It finally feels like “life lately” posts may be necessary to share all the things in one place. So, here I am being completely unoriginal in the title of this post. I want to give warning that I am discussing fertility treatment and our family plans in this post.
Saying Goodbye to my Grandmother
We were so lucky to have my grandmother for as long as we did. She passed away last week at 90 years-old. My mind is filled with so many great memories of my Nanny. My grandmother lived quite an extraordinary life, and it was such an honor to listen to all the old stories our relatives had to tell. My favorite story was the one that explained her deep love for New York City. Nanny was the daughter of an elevator operator in the 1930’s. My great-grandfather worked in a fancy apartment building and came to work for some pretty famous people; including the infamous Al Capone. Residents often gifted my great-grandfather tickets to Broadway shows, and that is how my grandmother first fell in love with the city. My Nanny was one of the fanciest people I’ve ever known. Underneath all her pizzaz was a kind and strong woman who had a deep desire to give back to those in her community. When I was a kid, she spent ten years running the local hospital gift shop.
Saying goodbye was hard, but it was incredible to be together with our large family again. During the luncheon following her funeral, I kept thinking, Nanny would have really loved this party.
Benny’s New Accessory
Benny is getting a helmet! I could not be more excited to decorate it and see our little man in his cute “noggin’ corrector.” He was diagnosed with severe brachycephaly. While it sounds much more concerning than it actually is, it’s no surprise his adorably large head needs a helmet. It’s super common, and could be caused by a number of things. Our doctor told us that Benny’s positioning during pregnancy could have played a role. If you’re reading this and had a “helmet kid“, please feel free to reach out and share your advice and tips. In the coming weeks, he will start his treatment and should be done in about three months.
Going Back to Work
I’m going back to work in 7 weeks, but who’s counting? I’m simultaneously trying to savor every last minute home with Benny and resist the urge to countdown until the day I have to go back to work. I know it is an incredible privilege to be able to stay home with Benny for the first six and a half months of his life. It is no exaggeration when I say these have been the best months of my life. He is going to a wonderful daycare near our home four days a week, and I know he will thrive there. My in-laws will watch him one day a week, and that has been my saving grace. Knowing he will get a special day with them each week makes my heart swell.
This is our reality- I need to work. I’m lucky in that I love my job. I am incredibly excited to get back to my classroom and meet a new squad of first-graders. I find myself on my computer or in my craft room during Benny’s nap times. The thought of decorating my classroom makes me smile.
Expanding Our Family
I’ll be honest. This is hard to write knowing some of you reading this may be waiting to become parents.
Infertility has challenged us to rethink the vision we have for our family. Like most couples, we always envisioned our family with more than one child. We are hopeful that will be in the cards for us someday. That being said, now we can also envision another scenario- one with Benny as our one-and-only. That vision is pretty incredible, too. We are truly at peace with whatever the future holds. (Which isn’t something I say lightly. It took me awhile to get to where I am mentally). My pregnancy with Benny was riddled with complications, and we’ve been advised not to attempt pregnancy for another year.
For several reasons, we have been advised by my OBGYN and our fertility doctor to do a round of IVF (minus the embryo transfer part) ‘sooner rather than later’ given our infertility diagnosis. I was diagnosed with diminished ovarian reserve in my early thirties. We knew we would try and squeeze a cycle in this summer before I return to work. So, here we are- Day 9 of stims. We are praying my body pulls through and we have a chance to expand our family in the future. We haven’t discussed what our plan will be if this retrieval isn’t successful. We know that is a possibility.
Walking into our clinic felt very different this time. We don’t feel scared, depleted, or unsure. It all feels familiar, and that is comforting. I know I need to shake the feelings of guilt that fill my heart some days. You finally have a healthy baby. Why ask for another one? Don’t be so greedy! I’ve had several, well-intentioned, loved ones inquire why we don’t “just wait and see what happens. My friend’s sister’s brother’s wife magically got pregnant with Baby #2 after infertility!” I’ll be honest, sometimes I wonder if we should just do that. The reality is that it is highly unlikely to happen for us. We know why we struggled to get pregnant and DOR isn’t something that tends to get better with age. We’ve been told by our doctor how incredibly lucky we were to conceive Benny. That will never be lost on us. We know IVF gives us our best chance. We deserve our best chance. While infertility has taught me to give up a lot of control, we’re not okay with “just seeing what happens” as it has never boded well for us in the past. It took us three years to have Benny, and we want to be proactive. I’m learning to find confidence in our decision. We are incredibly privileged to have IVF as an option. That will also never be lost on us.
While I’m always happy to chat privately about our IVF cycle, I do not intend on sharing any specifics for the reasons I mentioned above. As always, we are grateful for any prayers and positive thoughts in the coming weeks.