As I've posted before, just because our miracle finally happened, doesn't mean I'm cured of infertility and that "I'm over it". Anyone with something so devastating and life changing would agree that the wounds are always somewhat fresh, especially when a trigger appears. Why do you think so many cancer survivors are passionate about joining walks and celebrating life? The hard part is that the infertility folks don't have the support like most other groups. There's no "infertility survivor" support group. You'd be hard pressed to find any type of support group readily available, although this is slowly changing.
Sure we will have our child we wanted so badly but I still am traumatized by my experiences the last few years. I have more anxiety than the average pregnant woman that something will happen to my baby. It took years to get where we are and unlike them I don't have the luxury of trying again should something horrible happen. With every new symptom or lack thereof....I'm nervous something is wrong.
Unlike everyone else I know we had to pay to get pregnant. We have accrued debt most other couples will never know. Sure we had a little help, but most of it we did on our own by saving money and working extra jobs. Hallelujah for friends and family that helped us out. Like most couples, soon we'll have daycare to pay for. We both need to work and aren't lucky enough to have family watch our child. But UNLIKE most couples, we are still "paying the baby off". Babies are expensive and if we are going to make ends meet, it is essential the debt is paid off before the arrival of our child. While other couples are enjoying shopping for baby items, I'm frantically figuring out how I'm going to pay for these items AND our debt at the same time. While I'm lucky to be where I am, it does take alot of the joy away that I was SO looking forward to experiencing.
As I mentioned in my previous post...most of my friends get to "family plan". They get to decide how many kids they are having and when. They get to choose if their child has a sibling and when. We don't. We know our child will be an only child and I so desperately want them to have a sibling. That will never happen. Before people asked me if and when I had children....now they ask how many I'm going to have and how far apart. Some even comment I NEED more than one child to avoid "only child syndrome" or a "spoiled" child. Seriously? Some people are so naive. Some people have even commented that we will not be real parents until we have two....for all the fighting and sibling rivalry. Considering we have fought for this and have been through hell and back, I can say we already are REAL parents because we have been through more than most will ever know or experience. THAT is what makes a real parent....sacrificing for your child.....not listening to fighting. We can't afford a baby AND expensive fertility treatments so it WILL be an only child. But hey.....I am lucky to have at least one. Many others don't even have that choice. I wish people would realize that.
I'm extra sensitive about gender questioning. My least favorite question is, "what do you hope your having" or "what would you prefer, a boy or girl?" For most, this is a simple and innocent question. For me, it sets off a trigger. After ALL we've been through we are just lucky to have ONE child....we were told we'd likely have none. Why, after knowing we could have ended up without any, would I be picky enough to want a certain gender? I'll take anything since we are lucky to have anything at all. For me it's the equivalent of a starving person turning up their noses at baked chicken....you should be blessed you have what you do. It makes my blood boil when people who have all boys and are griping that they wanted a girl with this pregnancy.....do they realize some people can't have any. Any child is a blessing.
I've been warned by a therapist that guilt and subsequent depression are a side effect of those who have children after struggling with infertility. Seems weird but when she explained it, it made complete sense. Most would think that after we finally achieved our goal, we'd be happier than most. The truth is that we have placed high pressure on ourselves for wanting children. We know firsthand how lucky we are to be blessed with a successful fertility treatment and a child. Let's face it, most parents have moments when they want to strangle their child and most pregnant women have moments when they wish they weren't pregnant anymore. It's human nature. However, we often feel guilty for having these thoughts since we know how lucky we are. We feel horrible and guilty for having such awful thoughts when we could have ended up with nothing at all. Sure it's human nature, but often we are harder on ourselves than "normal people" without fertility issues for such negativity. I've already had moments when I could barely get out of bed from morning sickness and could barely make it through the day. I was SO hard on myself because all I could keep thinking was "you should be so lucky, you could have nothing" and "this is what you asked for". It's also funny how at the first moment you let your guard down and complain, people are 10 times quicker to let you know it. We seem to be held to higher standards when it comes to venting...like you're not allowed. Sure I'm hard on those that complain about what they have.....but that's usually because they don't follow it with the acknowledgement that they are still blessed and lucky to have what they do. I don't need to be made to feel guilty when I complain.....I make myself feel that way enough. And I know how lucky I am, even when I do complain. Not everyone does.