Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Trying for a Sibling

I haven't written about this subject before because, quite honestly, I've been mostly ambivalent about the idea of having another child.  In my mind, our infertility simply meant "childlessness".  Now that we have a daughter, I consider us "cured".  Selfishly speaking, I don't really want to go through the newborn phase again, or anticipate another childbirth, even though I think my homebirth with our daughter went quite well.

Then again, I feel bad for the new kid, if this embryo transfer is successful, because I don't want her/him to feel like second best.  I'm sure that my heart will grow to accommodate two awesome kids, if the need arises, though.

But for now, the three reasons we are doing one last embryo transfer are 1) to attempt to give our daughter a genetic sibling, a blood relative she could grow up with, 2) because we made a commitment to the batch of four, and two remain, and 3) because the alternatives - storing them indefinitely or returning them to our clinic's anonymous donor embryo program are not viable options for us.

Storing indefinitely provides no closure, something that is important for me.  It's a main reason I'm excited about this transfer, because in a matter of weeks, we will officially be able to put our infertility struggle behind us.  We won't have to hem and haw when people ask about when we're having another one - we'll just be able to categorically say nope, we're done.  We are raising an only child, thank you very much.  Or if the transfer works, people are less likely to ask about a third child, unless of course we have two girls, but some people are never happy so whatever.

Returning the remaining two embryos to the clinic's anonymous donor embryo program would introduce another obstacle in that we would always wonder if there's another genetic sibling out there.  Right now, we know she has three siblings with her donors.  If we find one of them, we find the whole bunch.  But if we let the clinic have them back, we'll never know what happened to them unless another family receives them and reaches out to us on the DSR (Donor Sibling Registry).

Having said all of that, we are traveling for the transfer and chose to come early to do my monitoring at the clinic, since we are being charged a flat fee this time, with no discount for doing outside monitoring.  In between the monitoring (which consisted of blood work measuring my hormone levels and a sonogram to check my lining, which was a whopping 11cm and they like to see at least 7cm), we have been driving around Florida visiting with family.  We're spending several days with my brother, which is allowing our daughter to hang out with her soon-to-be 6 year old cousin and his two soon-to-be step-sisters, aged 9 and almost 6.  While it is utter chaos with four kids expressing their excitement, it has been amazing to watch Maya observe the other kids, enjoy interacting with them, and therefore keeping busy without insisting on my constant presence or being zonked out in front of her show.  It is exhausting to try to make sure she is getting social interaction with peers, because it means leaving the house and making an effort, and for an introvert like me, I'd rather not!

So now, as we count down to this Friday's transfer, I'm starting to actually hope that it works, that Maya gets a little sibling (sister ideally!  Alex and I agree that we know what to expect from a little girl and are too old to reinvent the wheel with a little boy!  Though originally of course we wanted "one of each")

I've been getting used to not carrying Maya this week, in preparation for after transfer, when I will be limited to what I should be lifting, and it's been tough.  I've noticed how much I still pick her up, so we've been having Alex lift her when need be or encouraging her to get around on her own.  Apparently she can get in and out of her car seat on her own, if given enough time and motivation.

I've also been noticing that nursing Maya is bothering my nipples, and since the meds I'm on may be messing with my milk supply, she's been wanting to nurse quite frequently, at night in particular.  I'm not ready for her to wean yet, but I sure do wish she'd keep it to daylight hours only!

Two days and a wake-up to Homecoming Day!

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