Because of What Could Be

family on bridge

We got lucky, and I know that. There were almost 2.5 years of trying to conceive naturally without success. Then with treatment, we turned around and had four kids in four years. I am quite sure that we are done. Completely done. Besides – we’ve run out of room at the dinner table.

Yet still, when my OB asks each year if I’m so certain that I’d like to have my tubes tied, I stop short and pause. I cannot bring myself (or Frank) to do something so permanent. Much of it has to do with the difficulty we went through to get pregnant. Time measured in tears was spent wondering what was wrong with me. Was it so bad that I’d never be able to conceive? Clearly, it wasn’t. Intentionally damaging the parts of us that brought life to our children seems to be the complete antithesis to what we were fighting for in the first place.

Furthermore, I am certain in how I feel today, but I do not fool myself into knowing how I will feel tomorrow. I never want to get to a place in my life where I have to look back on that particular decision with regret. Frank and I are still relatively young. I don’t see ourselves ever starting over, but it is impossible to tell how we’ll feel or what we’ll want five or more years from now. Dealing with infertility the first time around was hard enough, and my PCOS is growing more pronounced as time progresses. Getting around the PCOS again would be challenge enough in and of itself. Why would I want to add another hurdle of heartbreak and frustration? I’d have no one to blame but myself, and self-guilt is already something at which I’m a little too good.

Above all, I can’t help but marvel at how essences of Frank and me came together to produce the Minions. Of all the possible permutations of him and me, we got them, and they are perfect. I can’t permanently end our ability to conceive because there is the lingering idea of “what if,” of the possibilities of what we could create. To do anything that would end those maybes – even if we never intend to turn them into certainties – is too much for my heart to bear.

Irony above all ironies – I never got pregnant in 2.5 years of trying, but I don’t trust the faults in my body enough not to get pregnant now that I don’t want to. The idea that I have to even think about contraception at all…well…it’s almost inconceivable.


Special thanks to Julie Gardner by way of Erin Margolin. Julie’s heartfelt, pensive guest post on Erin’s blog was the inspiration behind this. Pay visits to both of their blogs for good reads.

22 thoughts on “Because of What Could Be”

    1. Thanks much. You know I’m head over heels for you too, JC. <3

      I think that no matter the road they took to get there, at some point a lot of mothers end up at this same destination.

  1. That is the best picture ever.

    We aren’t done yet, but I wonder how I will feel when we get there. Am I ever going to feel finished? Or will all this waiting and wanting ever go away?

    1. Well, speaking only for myself, I knew for 100% sure when we were done. I was satisfied after we had Jordan. We could have gone either way with having a 4th child. We’d pretty much agreed to leave that one up to chance. Chances were obviously very slim that we would naturally conceive a fourth child. We weren’t doing anything to prevent it, but we weren’t intentionally trying (i.e. going back to Clomid), either.

      It wasn’t until I had a potential uterine cancer scare that we purposefully went after having a fourth child. After being cleared and told that I didn’t have endometrial cancer, we immediately made moves to conceive and I went back on Clomid. We didn’t want to leave it up to our (unlikely) chances and never get pregnant before something did really happen to me.

      Once we had Kaelyn, that desire for another was completely squelched. Well, I won’t say completely, because every once in a while I feel a familiar ache. But it’s more a whispered ghost of the acute longing that used to be there. I think as infertiles, we never lose it completely. But, there was a definite and perceptible shift in how it felt. It was more like a memory of longing instead of actual longing, if that makes any sense.

  2. Oh, my friend. You know I understand this ~
    “Because of what could be” says it all.

    Your words are beautiful and true and heartfelt.
    I’m so glad I found you.

    And I know your family is already full of love;
    no matter what may come.

    Thanks for hearing. And for sharing.

    1. “I’m so glad I found you.”

      And I, you, Julie. One day when I have a stretch of time (HA!), I’m going to cozy up to a big mug of hot tea and your blog. It’s rare when I want to go all the way back to the beginning of a blog and work my way back up. I will with yours!

  3. I’ve officially given up…but I still hang on to a little shred of hope that I’m supposed to have more than one child. Unfortunately, my eggs are crap, and I’m not willing to pursue any other avenues. Either way, that means I don’t need to waste money on birth control.

    Love that family picture…

  4. What a gorgeous photo!

    I can absolutely relate. I can’t manage the two I have, my husband is adamantly against it, and getting pregnant again could kill me, yet I can’t bring myself to say that my twins are the only children I’ll ever have.

  5. I regret having my tubes tied at first 3 kids was enough . Each one with an illness that is inhertied.Then my daughter was diagnosis with PCOS. I said Damn these SMITH genes. I recalled reading your blog during the first phases of your fertility treatment and my Sister s hysterectomy at only 28. I gave up my Gift of fertility out of fear. Um I wish I had read this Years ago .

  6. If my pregnancies were not so complex, I would definitely do the same. But, I know it is not healthy to get pregnant again.

    Who took that pic? I hope it is framed in your house, if not I’m going to send you a link where you need to put it on a canvas.

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