A little while ago I made a promise that I'm going to break.
I am not going back to the fertility clinic. No more tests.
Not necessarily done as in no second child ever, but done as in no needles in my ass again ever.
And it feels like a great weight off my shoulders.
I've been circling around this realization for a long time, without being able to see it clearly. If I'd really wanted to go the ART route again, I should have been back at the clinic a year ago, and I knew that. But something kept me from saying aloud that I didn't want to.
Partly it's that saying I didn't want to go through it all again feels like saying that my son wasn't worth it, which is of course not true — I would certainly do it all again, knowing I'd have him at the end. But doing it all again not knowing how it will end — and it could easily end in heartbreak — is something quite different. And doing it all again with him here is also different. I have realized that the question of what to do next is interfering with my enjoyment of the baby I have. When he's being adorable, I'm thinking in the back of my mind, this will be hard to enjoy when I'm distracted by treatments, or even when I'm distracted with a newborn. And when he's being hellacious, I'm thinking, how can I possibly manage treatment and him, or even two like him? It makes the good times feel watered down and the hard times more difficult.
It's also hard for me to admit that I can't handle much more than I have on my plate right now. It's not like my life is so tough — my job could be a lot harder, I could have a husband who doesn't split the home stuff fifty-fifty, we're all healthy — yet I'm not sure I could cope gracefully with much more. I've always had a problem admitting anything is too hard — I've got pride issues. And it seems somehow wrong to say that it's too hard to try for another baby; in an ideal world, I would like another, so if I can't do whatever it takes to have one, I must be weak.
As long as I'm admitting hard truths, I have to say that I don't find caring for a baby to be especially fulfilling. I adore my son, and somewhat to my surprise I love sleeping with him and breastfeeding him and singing to him and carrying him around. But I love when he heads off to daycare and I head to work, too. I don't daydream about staying at home with several kids — for me that would be more of a nightmare. When I am sleep-deprived and bored and isolated, I get depressed, and I don't mean down, I mean clinically depressed. Of course I wouldn't have to stay home if we had another baby, but I would certainly be more home-bound. I know this would be temporary, and it's hard to weigh a temporary bad thing against a possible permanent good thing. But then again, now is all I've got. I always tell my students, you have to decide what you want to do based on what you like doing every day. You won't find your joy by being miserable every day, even if you're working toward a goal you think will probably be wonderful.
Life is pretty wonderful right now as it is, and it's time to let all this go and just be here.