That got your attention, especially if you know me in real life, or if you have read the older entries on this blog. So now that I have you . . .
It seems like everyone I know is pregnant. Heck, if one of my male friends were to tell me they were pregnant next, it would seem like par for the course. I’m not kidding, either. In the past 3 months alone (I won’t count the whole year; that’s too crazy) we’ve had 6 friends give birth. Another 7 are currently pregnant. I can’t keep track of who is due when and whether they are having a boy, girl or the spawn of Satan. (I’m pretty sure no one is having the latter, but I know some other folks who would swear they did!)
I am so happy for all 13 of these families. I swear I am. But it’s more like “I’m so happy for you that I’m stupid green with envy and if you turn your back for a minute when I’m holding your darling offspring, I may consider heading for the border.”
Not really. But kinda.
What makes all of this massive human population growth especially hard to take is that just about all of these parents say this to me – especially when I’m holding their child in my arms – “so are you guys going to have another?” They say it in an excited, expectant way. I know no harm is meant by it. I know they are so in love with their tiny human, and they are hoping that we are going to answer with positive news. But I loathe this question.
Take a look at this cheeseball. He looks nothing like me, right? Right. This little bun did not come out of this oven.
Let me interrupt myself to say this. Keep this in mind as you read this blog entry. I LOVE MY SON. I cannot believe how much I love him. When people tell you they would do anything for their child, they mean it. I would do anything. If someone were to try to hurt him, I would rip their face off with my bare hands. People will say to me, “I don’t know if I can love a child that isn’t biologically mine as much as one that is.” I tell you that I worry about the opposite. Could I love a child that is biologically mine as much as I love this little stinker? He is just the best. Honestly. I need to do a blog entry to update you on his progress and to profess my massive love for him.
Anyway, when people ask me if we’re going to “have another”, I am not sure if they are forgetting that we didn’t “have” Little Dude, or if I am just getting picky on the semantics. But I do think people may have forgotten how ridiculously hard it was for us to bring him into our family. We had a horrible, horrible adoption process and thought we were going to lose him several times. (In fact, for a while, we thought he was dead. Gut-wrenching.) So when I’m asked this question, I always inwardly sigh.
Oh, I wish. How I wish.
For us, bringing another child into our family is difficult. We either need to pursue another adoption or try IVF. Whether the adoption is domestic or international (and we would almost certainly choose international), it’s expensive, long, and sometimes difficult (though in varying degrees.) If we choose IVF, we have no guarantee it would work. I have never discussed my specific infertility problems on this blog, but will do so in the future since I’m learning that there are a lot of women out there who need to know that they are not alone. We could sink lots of money into the process only to suffer through failed attempt after failed attempt, or (worse) multiple miscarriages. Yes, it could be successful, but without a crystal ball, it’s hard to know.
The bottom line is that either route we choose is hella expensive. When the majority of you consider having babies, you think about the added cost to your ongoing family budget in diapers, formula/food, clothes, toys, braces, prom dresses, cars, and college funds. We don’t even get to consider that long term financial cost for a while because we have to figure out how to afford bringing that child into our family in the first place.
The average cost per attempt for IVF is $12,000 – $15,000. There are shared-risk programs (like the one we would apply for if we chose IVF) that offer you a 100% refund if you do not deliver a [live] baby. You don’t truly get 100% of your money back because you don’t get a refund for the medications, but it’s the bulk of your money. It’s not a perfect solution, though. They can drop you if they don’t think you are a good candidate. And getting your money back doesn’t make up for the fact that you still have no baby in your arms. And IVF ain’t easy on a wanna-be-mama, either.
Private domestic adoptions and international adoptions are puh-ricey. Some agencies will tell you they can get you through the process for $20,000 – $25,000. Maybe that is true, but I highly doubt it. I say that because it’s what we were told and that is not what we spent. We did have extenuating circumstances, but I honestly don’t think the quoted amount is accurate because our agency sucked and didn’t do their job properly. Had they done so, their baseline fees would have been higher. (Yet another post for another day.) Google results show that domestic and international adoptions are ranging from about $30,000 – $50,000, depending on the country one chooses (for the higher end of that range).
I swear some of the women I know get pregnant if their husband is in a 6′ radius of them for too long, and they don’t seem to have any idea of what an emotional struggle infertility is. Some will tell me that they had “so much trouble getting pregnant”, but honestly, trying for less than a year isn’t an unusually long struggle. I’ve had women tell me that they had given up hope after just a few months of trying and then – wowza! – they got pregnant. It is significantly different than going through month after month of trying, like some women I know. Gosh, I know women who have tried for years and can’t get pregnant. Years!
I know a couple of women right now who are struggling with infertility while the rest of the world is seemingly birthing healthy babies right and left. I can identify with them, and my heart hurts for them. It is an absolutely gut-wrenching, heart-breaking time in a couple’s life. I pray that they are able to, in some manner, bring happy little babies into their families.
So the answer to that question I’m asked all the time? We want to. We really, really want to. I’d love to have another boy and a girl. Three kids seems like it would be perfect for us. Well, I guess that would bring our total to 4 if you count the dog. He’s just like a toddler anyway, so I count him. I hope that we will be able to do so someday. I feel like I want to start a GoFundMe page to try to raise the money we need to expand our family!