As I was perusing my notes from the recent conference I mentioned in the last post, I was struck by a thought that occurred to me as I read one of my notes. One of the physicians had stated that "infertility is a cummulative, chronic condition". This means, of course, that infertility is usually the result of a number of factors (not just one), and that you don't just "cure" it.
In other words, infertility (subfertility) is something that I will never escape.
Let's say, for instance, that my husband and I decide to adopt. Once that child becomes a part of our family, we would no longer be a "childless couple", but we would still face infertility. Pregnancy announcements from friends/relatives/coworkers will still be received with mixed emotions. We'll still be faced with the fact that, while some friends and family members are able to build large families with no difficulty, our family will grow only slowly and with much financial investment if we continue to adopt.
Let's assume that we are actually able to give birth to a child. That would be a wonderful blessing, but it is MORE than likely that we would return to subfertile conditions after the baby is born. The factors that are working together against pregnancy aren't (likely) just going to disappear. We'll be dealing with a lot of the same issues when we try to continue to build our family.
I guess one of the things I've had to come to terms with is the fact that, in all likelihood, our family will probably not be nearly as large as we had once planned.
When we first started talking about getting married, my husband and I talked about family size. He and I both have big families...not huge, but lots of siblings and cousins for each of us. We imagined that we'd have four or more kids. We liked the thought of having lots of little ones around. I especially imagined this as I have many, many friends with large (6 + kids) families.
Now, I would be extremely happy with at least one healthy pregnancy. Feeling strongly that the best gift to give your child is a sibling, we'd probably adopt a second child if we couldn't get pregnant again quickly, or adopt at least two if we can't get pregnant at all, but that is a much smaller family than I had expected.
I'm starting to be comfortable with the idea, though. Who knows what blessings God will bring us in all of this...but if we are a small family, we'll be OK. Maybe there's a reason for all of this that is ultimately for our own good. But I will always feel a little bit of melancholy when I see a pregnant mother or a family with lots of little ones and wonder what that must be like.