CD1- might as well get to the point

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

I need to get out of the habit of only posting once a new cycle starts.  Oh well, at least you can be sure you'll hear from me once a month!  Hahaha ;-)

I actually started bleeding yesterday afternoon but for the sake of CD1-ing, I'm starting today.  Ever since I've gone to acupuncture (although I haven't been since just before Christmas) and doing yoga, I haven't had any cramps with my period, so it's not a physical issue really, it is just still the emotional disappointment.  I couldn't even remember if we had good timing this time, but it is just such a BUMMER when even infertile people sometimes have no problems conceiving #2.  I have tried to have a good day- I took the nanny and M out to lunch, and I have taken alot of gentle, deep breaths when it seems like I'm holding back tears.

By the grace of God, however, we do have M, and I joined a moms class at church several weeks ago (it is not an aimless "group"- we actually have a book and it's more about self-reflection and how that relates to motherhood).  The second week, they asked us to give our reflections on how the first week went.  The only thing I had to say was not really related to the class' content.  I said, "I am just so grateful to be here at all, because there were years when I wasn't even "eligible" to be a part of a group like this and I never thought I would be, and now I can't believe that I'm lucky enough to be my daughter's mom."  The other women in the group thought this was just the most profound, deep thing, but I wasn't sugar coating it or trying to win any philosophical awards.  That is my reality: alot of times, I was sure that I wouldn't be a mom, and now I am.

Which is why I feel really obnoxious for feeling bummed on CD1's.  I have been praying every night for contentment in our family.  Even that prayer feels a little weird, because "be content" is what you squawk at someone who doesn't really have what they want, but what they have is very good.  I read a post by another blogger recently that made me squirm.  It was about how as infertile mothers, we shouldn't focus so much on infertility or our rocky path to motherhood because our children will know if they are not "enough" for us.  Ouch.

It's not that M is not enough.  Her smiles and laughter and generous, friendly spirit has filled the hole in our family, and she is more than enough.  We are so, so lucky and grateful for her.

I just have insecurities over having an only child.  Only children get a bad rap, and my mother is not shy in proclaiming the selfish nature of parents who only have none or one or two children, because clearly they chose to only have a small family so they could afford a fancy house and fancy vacations and have a large bank balance.  And so what happens when you want more kids but you find yourself landed in the small family category when you never wanted to be there?

The chapter in my moms class last week was on self-growth, and admittedly most of the chapters have had some hokey kumbaya moments in them, one of the exercises was to identify an area where you feel most insecure or unstable and commit to doing things to help that area.

Mine was accepting myself.  Accepting that unless, at the not so young reproductive age of 33, I miraculously become super fertile (can I get a big YAH RIGHT?!), I'm going to have a small family.  Accepting that my mom's prejudices and judgements of people with small families were not all true or kind or fair.  Accepting that there are lots of good things about having a small family (fancy vacations!  oh wait... hahahaha)

Two of my "things to do" to work on accepting myself are to (1) make a list of positive aspects of having a small family, and keeping it handy so I can refer to it when I'm feeling overwhelmed or unworthy or not good enough, and (2) seeking out small families (parents, 0-2 kids) who are completely fulfilled and happy and content.

Can you help me?  If your family is small, especially if it's not what you envisioned you'd have, can you give me some encouragement or advice or positives I can add to my list?


Lady Grey said...

I don't know if I can give advice, but I had a youth group girl in my Bible study who was an only child (not by parents choice) and she was such a doll. She wasn't selfish or attention seeking, she had beautiful relationships with her folks, they were close because they were just them. She wished she had siblings, but she had church friends who were like sisters. It really felt like God really looked after that amily, providing what they needed without a sibling. You M sounds just delightful, ad no doubt God will care for her needs whatever happens.
Doesn't take away the hardness. Sorry for your mothers comments.

Type A Nightmare said...

I read so many of my IF-friend blogs who are currently trying for number 2, and I almost feel guilty that it's not a desire of my heart. I have a stepdaughter and so the pressures of not wanting E to be an only child are somewhat removed, and after all of the hurt and heartache involved in trying to get here... the relief of not having to do it again is greater than my guilt... if that makes sense.

Hang in there. M will turn out wonderfully whether she's an only child or if she has 10 brothers and sisters. You're too committed to mommying for anything less than wonderful to happen. :)

Amber said...

I so get it...Since having J, my heart is so full...and busy!! I am sooo thankful I can give him all the love and support right now from him being the only child. I do admit I wonder if he will be an I will feel and how it will effect him. BUT, I also am so content! So thankful! If God wants J to have a sibling, HE has to do it, just like J (and M was to you) was a miracle. God showed me he was in control the whole time. I refuse to go down the road of IF again. God will give us more, or lead us to adopt if that is the case. If not, praise GOD for our miracles of ONE!!

the misfit said...

I can definitely see wanting to offer a sibling to your child - my siblings are one of the biggest blessings in my life, and I know a lot of people from very large families who clearly have a blessing in their siblings. Then again, I know people whose tight community of adult friends is made of friends who are closer than their siblings.

I think your mom's criticism makes sense if you're literally talking about people who refused to have another child (despite it being a viable option) because they wanted to be able to afford yearly exotic vacations or a larger house (though a larger house with fewer children doesn't make enormous sense to me. Of course, you could probably persuade me that I need a spooky old Victorian mansion with a turret, and I have zero children. Whatever).

But that criticism only makes sense if that literally is the motivation. What about poor people who don't have a third child because they can barely feed the first two? Or people who had eight kids and seven of them died? Are they selfish too? And how could that possibly apply to people who WANT more kids but can't HAVE them?

Catholic infertiles struggle with the fact that we wanted to live our adult lives in a way that gave a concrete and obvious witness to what we value - people more than things, motherhood, generosity, openness to life, a big family. I bought my car (a Tucson that has been really great!) with a heavy heart because it was...dum dum dum...a second SUV. How many times have I, myself, condemned the contraceptive mentality using the words "...and two SUVs"? I am now a walking advertisement for values that I condemn. That's not a comfortable place to be. But the thing is, that's only the outward appearance. I would LOVE to be able to use that first-glance appearance to advertise magnanimity rather than selfishness, but God in His wisdom chose to deprive me of that option. (I guess I could adopt twelve children, too. Or even abduct them, if it's just appearances I'm worried about.) Clearly, He intended that I offer a witness in some less superficially obvious way. I guess that puts the burden on me to make my life a witness to Christ in a manner more personal and more profound than what would appear on my census results, then! Not that I've achieved that...but it seems like that's the project I have before me.

After all, I have to say that in my life, I get more out of the witness of those who are carrying significant crosses with grace (the joyfully single who wanted to be married; the chronically or terminally ill who give of their time and prayers as if they had riches to share, rather than poverty; those whose children are sick, or handicapped, or who, in our case, just AREN'T) than those who are living the perfect-Christmas-card life with the expected amount of serenity and gratitude.

holly said...

We've decided we're sticking with just one. I've been torn on this issue because I don't want to rob Floyd of having siblings. Even though we nearly killed each other at times, I learned a lot from my brothers and sisters.

I think having an only child means you have to take on the responsibility of filling in the gaps, building forts and teaching her all those silly songs and rhymes, acting goofy and making mud pies, and of course, bringing in cousins and friends whenever you can. This is what I plan to do.

What I honestly feel though, is there will be a number 2 for you. It might just not be when you want it. Remember, M took some time. So it stands to reason, if you keep doing what you're doing, another one might come along. In the meantime, I'm sure you'll fill in those gaps as best you can. - Toni