Wednesday, June 20, 2007

When is Enough - Enough?

I'm sure this will offend someone. I know. And I'm apologizing in advance. A real, truly sorry, apology. But I have a question. And I'd like an answer. When you are wanting a child, when is "enough" "enough"? I'm reading a story about a woman who has had, at last count, eight - yes, EIGHT miscarriages, and has one child. She and her husband have been through several IVF treatment cycles. It's just not working. Yet, she and her husband are trying yet another IVF cycle. She has one child. She wants another. When do you call a halt? When do you consider adoption? When do you sit down and thank your God for the child you have? When do you consider that, maybe in the grand scheme of things, one is all you're getting? When do you consider that, for some people, ONE would make them "over-the-moon" happy? Disclosure: I've been pregnant 4 times. I've had 2 kids. That's 50/50 odds, and the second one tried to deliver himself at 4 months. I figure I'm done. My body gave me a message. I had two kids, they're healthy, and I lost 2 kids. This was, of course, when IVF was in the time of "Baby Louise" and it was just outside of the realm of a "normal" couple. I have a friend who has gone through IVF. Adoption is, apparently, NOT on the table. They have no children. I don't know where they stand, and it's kind of a touchy subject. You obviously don't want to start a conversation with, "Hey, Sally - you pregnant yet? You still think adoption isn't a good idea?" Of course. That's insensitive. And I'm trying to NOT be insensitive. And I do know what it's like to lose a child. And I do know what it's like to give birth. But I still wonder. What drives couples to continue to do this? And when do you know that your body, your budget and/or your marriage has had enough? I can truly understand "baby hunger." Because when it was my "time" for having kids, it always seemed that EVERYONE was pregnant, except me. Please believe me when I say that. However, I have to say, in all honesty, that if it didn't work out, I would have taken it as a "sign" that it wasn't supposed to work out. I wonder why - and how - couples put themselves through this. This kind of begs a bigger question. Just because the technology is out there, are you compelled to use it? Would you feel that you'd "failed" at trying to be a parent if you chose not to use it, or if you went through "only" one cycle and it didn't work? Maybe these questions are unanswerable. Maybe I'm not meant to know the answers, and maybe it's all just too metaphysical in its entirety. But I still wonder. I would like to think that everyone who WANTS to be a parent can be one. But I read the stories, and I know what my friend is going through. And I wonder.


Writing Military Mom said...

I am right there with you. I spent two years trying to get pregnant, went through the work up, then was blessed with my first child (after a difficult pregnancy, for him and me). He bailed at 36 weeks and was perfectly healthy if skinny. :) I was then told I was infertile and starting menopause. No problem! I felt blessed and happy with the child I had. Suddenly, the second showed up on a pregnancy test and delivered - again - 1 month early, but completely healthy.

I count my blessings every day and stopped having children after the second. I was not about to tempt fate or risk losing pregnancies, nor was I going to leave children who needed a home "out there." If we ever decide to have another, we will adopt.

Life is too short. Spend your time enjoying what you have. Be grateful. It can all be snatched away in a moment. Yes, it's heartbreaking having miscarriages and, perhaps, never having a child, but there are children who need parents.

Thanks for having the guts to address this difficult subject. I could say more, but I, too, do not want to be insensitive.


Sue said...

You have it totally spot on! In addition ... there are so many unwanted children who need homes already, and it's not just in "third world" places. Right here in the USA.

I've spent the past four years, somewhat trying, or maybe better said not trying to not get pregnant. Last year I got pregnant but after six weeks there was nothing there to keep. At that time there is no he or she. I still get a lump in my throat when I think about it, like now.

I'm older and I wasted two of my best years when we first got married, being scared and not pushing my husband. Now I'm resigned to welcome a miracle but not try to make one happen.

Hubby is open to adoption. I really need to ask him one very important question, is he trying to find ways to adopt for me or for him.

Melissa said...

I completely agree with you! Adoption has always been an option for my husband and I, because both my sister and I were adopted. I thank God every day for Hannah, but we always said that we'd only go so far, and I told hubby that I wasn't going to put my body through all of the technological procedures. I can understand why some women really want to be pregnant, but there has to be a line when you say "It's just not meant for my body to carry a baby." And that's GOT to be okay.