When my husband and I got married we decided we’d start “trying” right away. For me to explain how I handled our process of trying all I need to say is that I’m one of those people for whom instant gratification takes too long. The frustrations and deep sadness I went through each and every month, from month one (I know, I was nuts), wasn’t so much due to that fact that I wanted to be pregnant, but more from that deep-rooted stubborn pit that resides within some of us that says, “What do you mean I can’t have what I want? This was my plan. Who are you to tell me I cannot have it?” Whoever that may be… god, baby gods, universe, genetics, biology, take your pick. I didn’t necessarily want to be pregnant, I just wanted a baby.
I was miserable and looking back I know my obsessive single-track mind made those around me miserable as well. I wanted a baby, I wanted what I wanted and that consumed me wholly. Over the next couple of years everyone I knew managed to get pregnant. I got calls from two different sisters in law that they were pregnant and every time I asked, “When is it going to be my turn??” After about 2 and half years of trying, all fertility testings saying we were both in fine working order and two rounds of IUI (not IVF), we decided we were done waiting around for who-knows-what to happen, and to move forward with alternative options of building a family. 2 and a half years isn’t all that long comparatively. A lot of people wait and try and go through a lot more effort to get pregnant before throwing in the proverbial towel. Again, being pregnant has never been really high on my list of priorities. After researching all the ways one could grow their family – and there are a lot of ways to grow a family, we decided that going through our local foster agency was the best option for us. From the moment that application was filed, the anxiety went away. Because I was, at that point, doing something about it and I could see a light at the end of the tunnel. They would call me with a baby. There would be no baby draught in our county. Babies would be born needing homes and they would call us. From the day we turned in the initial application to start the process of becoming certified foster parents to the date we left the hospital with a 7week old baby boy, was only 4 months. Four months!! I do recall the 6 weeks between becoming certified and getting “the call” was the longest 6 weeks of my life, but even that was only 6 weeks! Granted we didn’t know at that time if we’d be able to permanently adopt and keep said bouncing baby boy, but you can read more about that here. We did keep him and after 16 months we found ourselves in the tiny little family services court room surrounded by our closest friends and family to permanently adopt our son (I don’t know how long it’ll be before I can write those words without my throat and eyes starting to swell). Our house was full of love and laughter and now it’s full of love, laughter and toddler tantrums. We’ve finally got everything just right though. He can communicate his needs (as best he can being 2 and a half), he understands everything we say, we don’t have to tip toe around the house while he sleeps, he’s in preschool, he eats, he travels, I don’t have to carry a diaper bag around with me (not that I ever really did anyhow). Everything is copasetic. Not to say that our days aren’t full to the brim of all the typical control-related toddler tantrums about who does what, what he wears and what color the label on the milk jug should be. For the most part, we’ve got shit dialed in. Whew. What more perfect time to screw all that up and get another baby, right??
Have you ever seen the dog sport called Fly-Ball? These are dogs that live to play fetch. Their owners line them up and at the other end of the field is a box and when the dog runs and jumps on the box a ball pops up to be caught – Winner! The dogs want to go jump on that box and catch that ball so badly that their owners are holding them by their hips at the starting line and the dogs are lunging and wiggly just waiting to be released. The gun is shot, the owners let go and BOOM! Off the dogs run and before you can blink one of them has hit the box and caught their ball and won the race. I am that dog being held by the hips lunging and wiggly and waiting, Is it time? Is it time is time? Can I go Can I go Can I go???
I am so ready for baby number two and I’ve always wondered if baby fever the second time around would feel the same. Would I be as crazy and obsessive and would it hurt as deeply as it did the first time? For me, I’m glad to say that answer is no. While I am eager and excited for the opportunity to re-certify as foster parents and bring a new baby into our home, this time around comes with much more patience and much less anxiety. i.e. I don’t cry and mope for 24 hours when I start my period. While most around me know I’m ready, it’s not the only topic of conversation I’m currently capable of. This time I’m not filling such a void. I’m not searching to fill that deep dark hole that infertility leaves you with. I find myself now, again, surrounded by close pregnant friends, but this time around I’m simply happy for them all and excited for all the babies being welcomed into the world and into my life. Yes, a slight twinge of jealousy may arise, but no different than the one I feel when I see someone at another table eating a dessert I really wish I had ordered.
We have the most beautiful, bright (both in spirit and intellect), goofy, active, loving, cuddly little boy we could have asked for. He is 110% fulfilling both mentally and emotionally and I know if we, for whatever reason, are “one and done” we’ll be totally fine with that. However, I loved infancy so much and it brought out a me that I and no one else knew existed. I’ve said from the beginning, well from the time I could no longer swaddle him, that I didn’t want this to be my only infancy experience. That and I loved being a stay at home mom. He’s now in school and I’m working and I don’t want to look back in 15 years and say, “I was a stay at home mom for 2 years and it was the best two years of my life. 2 years…” So for all the shushing and bottle feeding and swaddling (oh, the swaddling! Be still my heart), I am so ready to welcome a second baby into our family. This time around, since I’m already so consumed with all of our son’s needs, all his tantrums, all his therapeutic services, all the time it takes me to chase him through the house just to get a damn pair of jeans on his body, I don’t have that anxious void to fill. From today, with all we have going on in our lives personally right now, I know that realistically it’ll be about 6 months until we’re ready to fulfill this next dream of ours. This time around, I can safely say that this timeline is just fine.