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Thursday, September 20, 2007

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I can totally relate. I'm a planner, and an NFP teacher to boot, and my journey with infertility has really thrown me for a loop from time to time. It hit me HARD, especially as I was helping other couples learn about fertility and realized that I had really no control over my own. It challenged all of my assumptions about building a family. Now, nearly three years into marriage and two years into the infertility battle, we are feeling called to adopt (although we are by no means finished with fertility). No, not just called, but pushed (gently, and with great Love). We kept feeling the nudging, and then just about the minute we decided that we were going to start the process, we got a referral. God works in really wacky and mysterious ways!

I used to be one of the people asking questions, but now I realize that "family planning" is far out of many people's control.

Wow...what an awesome post!

Oh Arwen, that was dead on how I feel. Of course we haven't gotten to that first one yet and there are still days where I questions God on a regular basis, but wow. You have such a way of putting things.

I am glad you addressed this because I have been wondering! :)

Lovely post! So good to hear things are well. Camilla is of course, adorable!

Amen, Amen and Amen! 'Nuff said. =)

P.S. Is it not crazy that our babies are almost ONE?! Definitely the longest, fastest year in my life ... except for the first one with Aidan.

Wow, what a great post...and it's just what my husband and I have been discussing as of late in regards to adopting a second child. We are so blessed with our son, and at times we feel selfish to want another child, however he or she may come to us. And your comments about "The Plan" crack me up - very true!

Beautiful.

If I could, I'd have the second one tomorrow. I keep trying to tell myself all the things you wrote here (good lessons, even for those of us whose first kid didn't take long) but you say it much better. So I'm just going to print it out and carry it around in my pocket for those times when I start thinking "NEXT year when I'm PREGNANT..."

Confession time: I weaned my daughter at one year because my fertility hadn't returned and I wanted to at least get the ball rolling towards the (hopeful, God-willing) conception of #2. In my defense, we were down to about 2 feedings per day anyway, and I was feeling the pressure of advancing age. My daughter didn't mind the weaning at all, my cycle returned immediately, and *blush* I'm now 14 weeks pregnant with #2, on our third try. I was expecting it to take longer, but God's time is His own, isn't it!

She is insanely beautiful. God did good.

I love you view on this.

What a beautiful post Arwen! You are so right about the importance of surrendering our lives to God and His will for us. The picture of Camilla is stunning!

Arwen - First things first: Camilla is lovely - is she almost a year already? In a way, I envy her having a fall birthday, it's always been my favourite season and with that windblown hair and those red little cheeks she looks like a perfect autumn baby :).

You're absolutely dead on about getting to "if" not "when". Lately I've been trying to approach things the same way; to use academic-speak, creation is Not My Field, and it needs to be left to the one whose prerogative it is. Oddly, I'm much more comfortable now with the idea of not having any more children for a long while, or ever, than I would have imagined I could be. I figure that if an adoption or a freak conception doesn't come through, then we'll just have to find out what it is we're supposed to be doing instead. In other words, rather close to the whole "you're supposed to be doing something else/it's meant to be" refrain that was killing me during the worst days of infertility! Probably the weirdest thing is that I sometimes feel like I should be *more* determined to have another, because that was the "original plan" and if we give it up we're somehow cheating ourselves. Perverse, in that it assumes that we always know what's best for ourselves, but astonishingly easy to take for granted.

Sarah - I had the reverse experience, in some ways; I don't ovulate on my own and it's unlikely that I'll conceive spontaneously, well, ever, and that contributed to the fact that I stretched out breastfeeding until my son was every day of two :). (That wasn't the only factor, but it was a big one). It was like being normal; not conceiving was no big deal because hey, I'm breastfeeding!

Ah, I love this post and it brought tears to my eyes. Exactly how I feel about our situation.

Amen... at least, that's how I TRYING to feel. My guy is 2 1/2 and I have a baby in heaven that would have been born 6 weeks from now. And I want that baby in my arms so acheingly (sp?) (and I always wait so long to get pregnant) that it makes me loose sight of the fact that *I* am SO not in control of this baby-making business.

I don't know if I've ever posted a comment before, but I just had to say "Amen" to this one! Beautiful.

Arwen,

Thanks for this post. You have a great attitude. I earnestly hope you do not suffer from secondary infertility. I think it is very reasonable to assume that you are over the worst part and will have normal fertility from now on.

I remember the time between the birth of my son and his second birthday as a period of relative peace in our otherwise quite painful infertility journey, because I was fully engaged with one baby and had no need or desire for another at that time. Of course I pinned a lot of hope on the fact that we had a diagnosis, we had treatment, and we had a quick conception, so the problem is solved, isn't it? Not! Getting from there to here has given me a lot of lessons on patience and surrendering control.

Infertility is a cross. Secondary is a better deal than primary, and those of us lucky enough to have one child already have so much to be grateful for. But I find that the overall pain is not much less, and it is a weight I feel each and every day, that does not get less as time goes on. There are so many new ways to discover it. When that close cousin (in our case born within four days of my son) gets a new sibling. And we don't. When a woman who had her first baby around the same time I did is now pregnant with her *fourth* child. When people start asking when you are going to have another one. And then when they give up and stop asking. (Strangely, I have fielded that question a number of times lately for no apparent reason.) When your child begins to ask for a sibling, and later when they ask why they don't have a sibling, and even later when they adjust to the loss and are philosophical about it--you realize it is not your loss only. And I imagine that there will never really be a time when we don't feel it. Those quiet Christmases later in life, the looming prospect of a very empty nest. *sigh* And there is something else, too. I started out as a young infertile, and was 26 when I had my son. I had a lot of time. Now I don't. Somehow, week by week, month by month, I went from young to not-so-young and now I really do have to face up to the fact that there is a good chance I will not have any more.

But what can you do? Nothing? We have to take the joy we are given and do whatever it is we are here to do. I try to remember that three is a very respectable size for a family, and we have a lot of fun. Giving up control is the hard part, but it is also a great relief.

People do tend to ask that question, don't they? I don't tend to ask, even when I'm curious - but only because of my own situation.

Most people just assume that we're done. We're getting old, the elder kids are older, and they figure that my littlest is a surprise.

Though I did get asked last week if we were planning on having another one. Planning? Never. At least I can say no, we're not planning on it...

Thank you, Arwen. You just wrote everything I've felt for the last 3 years.

Seriously, lovely post. But, we had countless complications and disappointments when we tried to conceive and finally had Alex right around the time you had Camilla. Breastfeeding kept me apparently cycle-free. But (happy day) it did not keep me unpregnant. I am now in my seventeenth week. Who would have thought - after three years of tears, bbts, medication, uterine abnormalities, an ectopic (the list goes on!) that we'd be launching into our second (so far , so good healthy pregnancy) before our first child had his first birthday?

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