Ambivalence

by Jen on September 6, 2007

in Rant of the Week,Teenagers make it look so easy

Call it a defense mechanism, but I’m starting to feel the same low-level ambivalence that I felt earlier this spring when we started to try for baby #2. At the time I think I was trying to protect myself against the stress that I knew was coming. The sense of urgency, the long waits, the feeling of failure, the inevitable depression.

I told myself that it might be better to quit while I was ahead. I have a healthy son and, since I’m getting older, that might not happen again. I also didn’t suffer much “damage” from my pregnancy. I escaped stretch marks (the Monkey was six weeks early and I’ve heard that most stretch marks come in the last month). My breast are a little less perky, but I’m hoping to be able to lift them once I’m done with kids. If I never got pregnant again, I could fix them that much earlier. We are struggling to try to get the modifications done to the house sooner rather than later in case we have another baby. If we didn’t have another, we could take our time with those projects.

Then I pushed all those thoughts away. I’ve always thought that I would have kids (plural). I have many misgivings about only children (based on a mother and three close friends that are only children). I think that it would be lonely and burdensome to be an only child. (This is only my opinion. Your mileage may vary). So we forged ahead with the fertility treatment.

Since then, more recent events have made me again start thinking that maybe just one kid wouldn’t be the worst life development ever:

The first cycle of Clomid didn’t work. Or the second (well, not really). Or the third. Now I’m on my fourth and facing making an appointment with an RE and spending money we don’t have to conceive a child (you know, that thing that most other people get to do for free).

Toward the end of this summer, a woman who was about my age, who had a child that was about the Monkeyboy’s age, who was a member of Fertility Friend (my online charting program and message board), died while giving birth to baby #2. (The baby surivived.) This had the Holy Shit! effect on me. Apparently she had a very rare complication, an amniotic embolism. Yes, it’s very rare, but still… it gave me pause.

Just yesterday, one of my friends at work, Y, asked if the Hubster and I wanted to put together a team with him for the 24 Hour Championship Challenge next August. I would’ve been the token chick on the team so they could compete in the 5-person Co-ed category. I haven’t done a mountain bike race since I did the 24 Hours of Snowshoe back in 2001. But since I don’t know where I’ll be in terms of fertility treatment/pregnancy/post-birth infant-care & breastfeeding, I can’t commit. They have to enter as a 4-man Sport team (they can’t even enter as a vet/master team, because Y won’t be 35 yet (as the Hubster put it, “Damn kid!”).

My sister-in-law is obsessed with the house we stayed in at the Outer Banks this summer and wants to try to get together a group of families to rent it again next summer. The $100 per month that we’d have to put away to be able to do that is just not possible with the chance of having to pay out-of-pocket for more advanced fertility treatments. And even if we could afford it, just like with the mountian bike race, I don’t know where I’ll be in the Baby #2 process. I’d love to be one of those women that says “I’m not going to schedule my life around this” but at my age, it’s what I have to do.

Deep down I still want another baby. I think that this ambivalence — this pretended ambivalence — really is a defense mechanism. The proverbial sour grapes.

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