If you are a longtime reader, you probably know the answer. But, I still get asked this question frequently so I am sharing my thoughts.
Dreams vs. Reality
First off, wanting more children and being able to have more children are two different things. Asking if someone wants to have a child can be a painful question if that person has been unable to conceive. I was asked about having children often since Charles and I were married for 8 years before Gwen was born. Now that she is 19 months old, people ask if/when we are planning to have more children.
We Wanted More Than One Child
Charles and I always talked about having at least two children, but that was before we knew it would take 3 1/2 years and two rounds of IVF to get pregnant. After the first round of IVF failed we only had one embryo left so we decided to do a second egg retrieval. We wanted to create the possibility of having two children. Sadly, that egg retrieval failed. But, luckily, I got pregnant when we transferred our last embryo.
We Don’t Want to do IVF Again
IVF is tough. It is emotionally and physically exhausting. It is very time consuming and incredibly expensive. Each round of IVF required about 25 doctors appointments and dozens of shots. In total, I estimate that we spent about $20,000 – which is a low amount since we had excellent insurance.
We started fertility treatments when I was 33 and we got lucky when I got pregnant after two rounds of IVF. I don’t think we would be so lucky if we tried again, especially when you consider that my last egg retrieval failed, my low egg count, and the fact that I am several years older now. It just doesn’t seem likely. We don’t want to sink time and money into something that we don’t think would work. We feel like we beat the odds already.
And just to explain, IVF involves two parts. The first part is retrieving eggs and adding sperm to create embryos. The next part is transferring those embryos into a primed uterus. Hopefully this results in pregnancy and a baby. Many women are able to create extra embryos during the first phase of IVF. This means, that in order to have subsequent children, they just need to do the embryo transfer. It makes things less complicated and less expensive. We don’t have any remaining embryos and would have to start from scratch. If we had more embryos we would use them.
What About Adoption?
Like IVF, adoption can be extremely expensive and take years. If it was easier and less complicated we might feel differently, but right now, we would rather focus on Gwen.
We Are So Thankful for Gwen
Look at that face. She is the happiest little girl and she is our favorite part of our lives.
We want to be thankful for what we have, instead of focused on something that probably isn’t realistic for us.
I know how hard IVF and pregnancy were for me. I don’t want to devote so much time to IVF when I just don’t think it would work, and on top of that, it would take time away from me and I would rather spend that time with Gwen.
Gwen is Close in Age with her Cousins
Gwen is one of four little girls between the ages of 2 1/2 and 3 months on my side of the family. Hopefully, having cousins so close in age will be a good replacement for having a sibling.
We Feel Like Our Family Is Complete
We feel like having one child is what is right for us. She gets all of our attention. It makes things logistically and financially easier. We will be able to afford more family vacations and trips to see family abroad. We won’t be so worried about the rising cost of education.
But more than anything: Gwen is enough. To us, she’s perfect and we never feel like something is missing.
I Completely Respect How Others Create Their Families
Having children (or choosing not to have children) is such a personal choice. I firmly believe that everyone makes the choice that is right for them. This is what we feel is right for us. If I somehow magically got pregnant again without having to go through fertility treatments, we would obviously be thrilled. Is it likely that a 38 year old woman with my fertility history would get pregnant naturally? No. I’ve accepted that and I think that if I were to hold out hope for that, I would be setting myself up for disappointment.
I want to focus on spending time with Gwen and soaking up all the joy she has brought to my life.
As always, thank you so much for your love and support!