Tuesday, April 1, 2008

When is Jack going to be a big brother???

We get this question sometimes. And, I'm sure that as Jack gets older we'll be getting it more often. This could be a fairly simple question to answer for most people. For us, it's not so simple. We want Jack to be a big brother. It's something we pray for all of the time. But, we are not able to "make" Jack a big brother right now. We are struggling with secondary infertility - something that affects over 3 million Americans.*

Secondary infertility is defined as the inability to become pregnant, or carry a pregnancy to term, following the birth of one or more biological children.* We conceived Jack through the assistance of fertility drugs after a year of "trying." We were very fortunate to get pregnant with Jack. I (Stephanie) have a fairly common medical condition that prevents me from ovulating and getting pregnant. Without fertility drugs or procedures, our chances of conceiving naturally are very, very slim.

We recently decided to once again pursue treatment for infertility. Unfortunately, the fertility drugs did not do what they were supposed to do during the time that we used them. We prayed about what to do. Continue treatments or put them on hold? We both felt that it was the "right" decision to stop treatments. I say "right" decision, because it's a decision that will never feel right...it's one of the hardest decisions we've had to make. There are several reasons for that decision...one is financial. Although you hate to put a price on having a baby, our current financial situation just doesn't allow us to pursue more extensive treatments. We want to be wise with our finances (after years of being not-so-wise) and feel that it is important to be able to afford treatments. Especially now that we have Jack depending on us - we need to be financially secure for him as well. Another reason for stopping treatment is the emotional toll that it has taken on us, both individually and as a couple. You can't imagine the emotional rollercoaster that infertility puts you on until you've been there yourself. It's one disappointment after another. We've gone through so many ups and downs, and we're back where we started.

We want Jack to be a big brother. I want him to have a playmate, to have someone to share secrets with and someone to get in trouble with. I want him to be able to give his sibling that "look" and they'll know what the other is thinking without saying anything. I want him to be able to roll his eyes to his sibling about something I've said or done. I want him to know the love of a brother or sister. I want him to grow up knowing that there's someone else in this world who went through the same exact things growing up and understands him a little better because of that. I want him to have someone to stay up late with. Someone to sleep under the Christmas tree with. Someone to share a room with.

Since we've come to the decision of not pursuing infertility treatments, watching Jack grow up has become more bitter than sweet. Where I was once excited about his milestones, I find that I am more sad about them. I don't want to take him out of his crib. I don't want to throw the pacifiers away. I don't want him to stop mispronouncing words. I don't want him to go to school so soon. Coming to terms with the fact that he might be my only baby is difficult. I took for granted the thought that we would have multiple children.

In the meantime, we pray. We pray about where God is leading us next and for strength through the journey. Right now, I am grieving the death of a dream. While it may come true someday, and we don't know what God has in store for us down the road, we are sad for what we've lost for the time being. Our reality is much different than our dreams. But, God's plans are bigger than our own.

"'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD.
'As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.'" Isaiah 55:8-9

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" Jeremiah 29:11

Please take time to visit the RESOLVE website and read these articles:


mommastantrum said...

I hope that your prayers are answered soon.

I know that the toll of infertility is a big one, and that it can also make a strong marriage stronger.

I know that coming to terms with the "I may never have another baby again" is hard, and at times feels like the end of the world...really I have been there. If you need an ear I am here.

Remember that even if Jack is your only baby that you can share those "looks" with him, and he will do plenty of eye rolling at you and Lonnie soon enough. Enjoy all of these growing moments without being sad, be happy that the baby you have is growing and happy. Write about each of them for him to have when he has children some day...that in and of itself will be a beautiful gift to share with him.

Anonymous said...

I wanted to let you know that I am very thankful for you and your brutal honesty! I love that you are willing to share even the most painful experiences that you are going through, and you are doing it to glorify God. You are an amazing example of what a mother in my eyes should look like, you are so sacrificial yet so down to earth. Jack is so lucky to have you as a mother, you give him everything and I think that is the most important thing. Cherish him, love him, and your mothering him will inspire mothers that you touch, even if you meet them only once. Trust God with your worries and dreams, like you have already been doing, he will bless you greatly. I know this is a weird place to write this, but I take back every time that I said that I didn't know if I wanted to have children, because I do, I just hope that I can be a GREAT mother like you! I love you Steph!
~ Love,

Givinya De Elba said...

Hi Stephanie, thanks so much for saying hello on my blog! You're allowed to call me Kate, seriously. Givinya de Elba is a silly little pen-name I made up when I was a kid, thought it was funny (givin' ya the elba!) This post made me a little sad for you, Lonnie and everyone who struggles to become a parent but who can't. (Faith made me cry on 30th January though!!)

Thankyou for opening our eyes a little about secondary infertility. I too hope that your prayers are answered soon. It mustn't be easy, especially when you get questions.

Your dear Jack is such a little sweetie, he'll be a lovely big brother if that happens, and he'll be a lovely only child if that's the way it turns out. I pray that God gives you peace and joy in whatever situation comes about.

Keep blogging, thanks for letting me peek inside your life and laugh, cry and be encouraged. Kate.