Tuesday, January 26, 2010

It's "Boy and Girl" not "Boy vs Girl"

So my computer tells me it's currently 5:18am. I fell asleep around 11:30pm and woke up several times during the night. I was out of bed at 4:45am so as to not wake Nik or Paxton (suddenly cuddled up with Nik) with the fussy baby, who is now contentedly snoozing in his bouncy chair downstairs while I surf the net. Which would be fun except I'm exhausted and this morning story, after a week and a half, is starting to get old. On the plus side it's also starting to get better. We diagnosed Ambrose with "silent" reflux last week and on Friday the doctor prescribed Prevacid. We saw a difference near instantly. I'll take fussing any day over the shrieks of pain that I just can't seem to soothe...


So since I have the time, and since my brain is all whirry since my last post, I'm going to touch on the subject I ended on: Would pursuing the conception of a biological child harm my children now? Would it somehow affect their sense of self worth or make them feel that they simply weren't good enough and thus we needed to pursue treatments? Is it even worth trying when we already have great kids, know there are more great kids out there, and don't really care about genetics? (Okay, I just added that last one... we'll see if I get to that!)

I suppose I should start off by explaining the title of this post: 'It's "Boy and Girl" not "Boy vs Girl."' You see, the way we've always seen our family being built included both children by birth and children by adoption. Just as most people who want to build their family hope for both a boy and a girl. It wasn't that either was preferable to us, though we certainly thought we'd be achieving one goal first. That's the norm, right? Give birth once or twice and then think about adoption? I certainly end up in enough conversations with people who always considered both options, got pregnant easily, and are now (one or two children in) considering adoption again. It's just how it happens in our society. You give birth and then you adopt. Not the other way around.

And yet that obviously isn't how it worked out for us.

We wanted both, absolutely positively, or at least I did. My husband could care less where our children come from honestly. I just wanted to experience pregnancy, experience bonding from conception, experience (*gasp*) childbirth. I wanted that experience JUST as bad as I wanted the experience of paper chasing, getting "the call" and having our new child placed in our arms. To me these were always equal, always the same but obviously different. Just as most women say they want a son and a daughter, I too wanted to experience both worlds.

But, to use my own analogy... Say there was a woman who wanted both a son and daughter equally. Say they in fact wanted a daughter first, so that she'd be the oldest, the big sister. And yet it didn't happen. This doesn't mean she doesn't love her oldest, her wonderful son. In fact she's thankful every day that things ended up the way they did because if they hadn't she would never have had him. She loves him and adores him and wants more sons because of him. And she gets more sons. But no daughters.

Even years later, fully entrenched in the life of raising boys and all it entails, even totally consumed and distracted by her family whom she loves with all her heart... there's still that ache. That need. That want. A daughter. How great does that sound? Just one... And she knows that she has the chance do go for it. There's room in their home and the possibility of success. It's an option, but...

If she pursues this girl, gives it her best shot, puts money and strength and time and energy and emotion behind it... what about her sons? Will she be forced to admit to them that she always wanted a daughter? What if the oldest finds out she wanted a daughter first? What if others find that out too? What if they, mere children, believe that she's doing this only because she was never satisfied with them? What if they think they aren't good enough because she's putting so much energy trying to create someone so not them?

Outside of the analogy it gets even more difficult as society itself sees adoption as second best. Second choice, second rate, never sought after from the beginning. Adoption literature and adoption agency websites are full of commiseration over infertility and how no one chooses adoption first. People are constantly telling stories about the person who tried to conceive for years and years then finally adopted and ended up pregnant. It's even a cliche in popular media. And people really believe it, that if adoption is followed by a successful pregnancy then THAT'S the happy ending, not the child newly joined with the family.

And I don't want that.

I'm effing LIVING my happy ending as I type this. As exhausted as I am at this moment I can tell you that I'm totally, 110% in love with my husband and sons. I don't hold any grudges toward my husband for his infertility nor do I see my children as second choice or second best.

And yet I'd still love to be pregnant someday...

How do I resolve that fact? By simply loving all over my children constantly and making it clear that pursuing fertility treatments in no way changes their status? How? How does one explain this to children?

Even more importantly... how does one explain this to every other dang person who I know would suddenly see our children as somehow second rate. Because they are out there. There are people who have no trouble talking about this directly in front of a child who has been adopted, making it clear that it's the pregnancy and the biological child who is so much more wanted and celebrated.

Do I just cocoon our family? Downplay joy and excitement? Or just hope for it to somehow happen naturally without treatments, so that our children don't have to see us pursuing it for so long?

Or even just... give up. Say that we're happy with our family and will be eternally happy with our family and won't pursue any other means of family building.

My only fear there is that, well... what if we regret it? What if we forever regret not even giving it a shot? I think I could live very well with trying and failing. I'm not so sure about how I'd live with not even trying at all...

Of course, hehe... I suppose we could simply go for embryo adoption. Simply being a silly word to use of course. But maybe that would fit our family better...

For the moment, though, we're focussing on our two sons and on adopting #3, because we feel pulled to adopt again, very strongly. So any plans for conception are on hold through the infancies of #2 and #3, meaning I have years to wrap my head around all this and formulate the plan that might best work for our family.

I suppose only time will tell...

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