Considerations on Family Building

The PAIL Monthly Theme Post for July is “Considerations on Family Building.” In some ways, I cannot believe that TTC#2 is even on my radar already, but I suppose it makes sense that it is.

I am the eldest of five children, and my husband is the middle of three. We are both blessed to have awesome, wonderful, meaningful, fun, loving relationships with our siblings. I mean, seriously, I know conceptually that not all people get along with their siblings, but I cannot even imagine that. I truly believe that you could throw my husband and I on a deserted island with any of our siblings, and of course there would be stressful times, but more than anything, we would be stoked to have some quality time with family.

One of my favorite pictures ever of my husband with his brother and sister!
This is from seven years ago (the first summer we were dating).  They are so goofy. 🙂
This past Christmas, when all of my siblings flew out to meet their first niece! 

Thanks in large part to our positive relationships with our siblings, my husband and I both always thought that we wanted/would have a lot of kids. Pre-IF issues, I thought four, he thought three. NOW, we’re thinking hopefully two, but maybe just one. How things change.

Four years ago, back when we were first married, Charlie and I had a random discussion about how we had both always seen pursuing adoption as part of our family building experience. I actually remember the section of road we were driving when the topic came up (CR1 by his buddy’s parent’s old place). Isn’t that weird that I remember that? Of course, this is when we were fairly ignorant about the reality of how difficult adoption truly is. I hate to admit that we had a “we’ll just adopt” mentality. We thought that we would conceive #1 and then adopt #2 and go from there.

Once we had difficulties conceiving Stella, I briefly thought about adoption…but then through reading ALI blogs, I realized that adoption is not at all the easy option, and though I still thought it was an option for us in the future, I also wasn’t ready to let go of the dream of having a biological child.

Now, I really don’t know what lays ahead for us.

Most days, we are both thinking that we would love for Stella to have a sibling. Though I really didn’t enjoy pregnancy (for the most part), I love having a baby, and I love having Stella as part of our lives. She is a mini-me of my husband, and I would love to see if #2 might perhaps resemble me a bit. 🙂

Then I think, HFS, what if I can’t conceive  #2 without ART? 

Part of me hopes…and almost, believes…that my body has magically reset itself and BFP#2 will come about no problem. I have a few ALI friends that it has happened for recently, and that gives me hope. Never mind that I’m still breastfeeding, haven’t had one postpartum period to see what’s going on with my cycles, and the RE wasn’t even sure I had lean PCOS in the first place or if I was unexplained IF. Maybe I’m still magically fixed??

But what if I’m not? Do we save up the money to try IUIs again? Do we wait for the time that would have to go by to go down that road again? Diagnostic work + 1 IUI cost us $10k last time. That’s a lot of freaking money, and I know we were lucky as hell that IUI#1 worked for us. I’m not opposed to IVF if necessary, but wouldn’t it instead make sense to start saving the $30k+ for adoption? Do we just decide to stick to one and not enter back into the minefield that is TTC? Do we start TTC now? Isn’t that what we’re doing since I declined birth control at my 6w postpartum appointment? Don’t we have to have sex for that to even possibly work?

*sigh* So many questions.

As for child spacing, I have no freakin’ clue. My husband has alternately made suggestions like, “Let’s start trying for #2 in December when Stells turns one” … and “I’m fine with just one child.”

Ha. So I have no idea.

In short:
*If we miraculously get a BFP while “not not trying” (a phrase that I loathe), it would be scary as hell to have siblings so close in age, but such a blessing.
*There is no way we are trying to TTC until at least after my sister’s wedding in February. Stella and I are both in the wedding, and selfishly, I’d love to drink and party and have my body be MINE for a bit.
*Once/if we do “try,” I have no idea how long we would give it before turning to ART again, pledging to be content with one, or to start saving to pursue adoption. I was such a freakin’ mess during TTC#1, and it was SO hard on our marriage, that I just don’t know if I/we can do it again.
*I reserve the right to change my mind on any/all parts of this post at any moment. This is just what I’m feeling today. 🙂

Charlie and I with both of our immediate families on Christmas Day, 2011. LOVE.

*ETA – for those of you who haven’t followed me for awhile, I live in the middle of nowhere and the closest RE is 6 hours away, so IUI cycles are NOT the easiest thing in the world to orchestrate for us. Apparently there is an OB about 2 hrs away would can do IUIs only (no IVF, which is why we didn’t bother with him in the first place, b/c we had no idea how much ART we would do to get Stella), but I’m not an established patient there, so that’s opening a whole ‘nuther can of worms of referrals and testing, and 2 hrs is still not an easy drive and would require tons of time off of work. 😛


  1. I was told I had PCOS (even though I don't really fit the bill for it). When the RE said I needed to IVF at 27 (and 1.5 years of trying) I walked out the door. 3 months later we were pregnant on our own! When my first son turned 1 we decided to see what would happen without really trying. If I wasn't pregnant by the time he was 2 I wasn't sure which direction we'd go. But 3 months later, I was pregnant again! I think there is some truth that after being pregnant once your body kind of figures out what to do. Good luck with whatever you guys decide to try!

  2. i'm holding out hope that you will conceive naturally this time. 🙂 anything is possible and ya never know!B and i have been talking about this a lot lately, too. i think we're going to start up with ART again in january. i'm super nervous and excited! i'm of the mindset, though, that more kids would be great, but as long as i have mack, i feel complete.good luck!

  3. I think all the unknowns are so nerve racking. I wish I knew I could get pregnant when I wanted to at the drop of the hat and not deal with all the what-ifs. It's scary to go back down that road again, plus having a child to care for at the same time. I hope you don't have to visit the RE again either and get to follow in your fellow bloggers footsteps with a surprise, natural BFP!

  4. Positive vibes are shooting your way for a natural BFP!!! 🙂

  5. I think there should be some magic law where anyone who had to struggle to conceive the first time, should automatically be blessed with a surprise BFP! 🙂 Ohhhh wouldn't that be nice! I admit I had that "Oh we'll just adopt!" mentality too years ago. But ummmmmm, definitely have learned that it is NOT easy to adopt. Love that family photo with both sides and baby stells in the middle 🙂

  6. So much to think about!What great families you both have! And I hope Stella reset your body and you get your 2nd miracle baby when you are ready!!!!! I love that pic of your whole family, it is amazing what a new baby can make happen (everyone coming together)!

  7. Thanks for sharing Josey! That's a lot to think about. Either way adoption is hard and so is ttc, i keep reminding myself. But since we were in the verge of giving up ttc if we had another failed ivf and move on to adoption i wonder if that is the way we will have our 2nd. Or maybe my body will be magically fixed too. 🙂 anyway i envy your large family and so want that some day, although i don't know if we could afford it. :)I look forward to following your journey! And Stella totally looks like you to me! Especially her smile!! Maybe her personality resembles Charlie? It's going to be a trip to meet our little girl and see who she most resembles.

  8. Hoping you get that surprise, natural BFP! TTC2 is something that I think we *all* think about if we once had dreams of having more than one child. There are so many questions and 'what if's' that go with that and it can really be overwhelming to think about. Love the family photos! I can see what that first one is one of your favs of your hubby!

  9. I'm selfishly sooooo happy you wrote this post. I've been wondering all these things but didn't want to ask you 🙂 BTW, Stella's sleepIng and overnight feeding schedule sound a lot like Gracie's was. I got my first period when she was 10 months old. So maybe you'll be similar?

  10. I love this post! LOVE IT! So honest and truly, I think it's something that's on a lot of PAIL mom's minds… mine included. Yes, I just said that. 😉 I'm definitely concerned about spacing – especially with Brother and Sister on the way and the uncertainty wrapped in with exactly when they will be arriving and exactly how old they will be. At the same time, I worry that if we wait too long, I'll lose some magical period of fertility that I miraculously stumbled into. I don't know that there are any right answers, but you're helping me to feel like I'm asking the right questions and considering the right things! 🙂

  11. Love hearing your thoughts on baby #2. I hope you get your easy baby – naturally! Wouldn't that be cool?

  12. It's a scary thing to think about. I wonder about this too I don't want a baby too close to Zoey but then how far apart do I want them to be if we decide to have another one. I hope when the time is right you guys will know.

  13. It is a crazy place to be in. If I didn't have the 5 frozen embryos from my fresh IVF, I don't know what we would do. I do feel like when we go ahead with treatment for #2, no matter what happens, we have our miracle. We would love to have more kids…but also realize we may not be blessed with more. We are so very grateful for Raegan we can't be angry if no more kids come along. We will of course be sad and grieve the children we wanted, but having Raegan will hopefully make the process a little easier to take.You're young and healthy and I really hope Stella straightened your body out and you'll get your magical mini me of you as soon as you want to. Struggling with IF does something to a person. We are stronger because of it, but it doesn't make the decision to go through it again any easier.Good Luck and of course you have the right to change your mind…that's a woman's prerogative, isn't it? LOL

  14. $10,000 for one IUI? I cannot believe that – I am in shock! Our clinic charged about $400 for each IUI, but of course, that didn't include all diagnostic test which were about $4,000. And we weren't driving 6 hours each way adding up gas costs.You have the best family photos! I just love that one of both of your families together. That is priceless for you guys, but more importantly, for Stella!

  15. That was about $5k in diagnostic work and $5k of IUI costs + travel (gas/etc). My clinic also required new diagnostic work if it's been more than 1 year, so I'd have to redo that as well. I had to take menopur forever during my IUI cycle (slow responding follies) so I was getting an u/s and bloodwork done almost every day for a couple of weeks… when you're paying about $400 day for that, it adds up quickly! (plus the cost of the additional menopur that we had to buy). It was also $700 for a frozen sample (since my husband was working out of town at the time). The IUI itself was around $250 if I remember right – that was the cheap part!

  16. I hope you are magically healed and reset. 🙂 There have been a few of those recently, and it gives me a bit of hope. I'd secretly love to be the anecdotal story that obnoxious people repeat to those struggling with IF. I don't think it's selfish at all to wait until after the wedding. You need some time in your body. You want to look good in the pictures. And I'm assuming that the bride doesn't want you to morning sickness puke all over her shoes anyway. I think that's a perfect plan. 🙂

  17. Seriously, Joez, your families are full of ridiculously good-looking people. How is that even possible?!Your family seems to be so much like mine. I agree about not being able to "get" what not being close with one's siblings is like. I'm married, my two oldest younger brothers live together down the street from my parents' summer house, another brother in college lives in an apartment with friends down the street from here as well, and my youngest brother lives here (just graduated from HS) and yesterday, everyone came by around the same time and hung out. That happens at least on Sundays but often another day during the week as well. My girls spend a LOT of time with their uncles 🙂 On top of that, I have something like 30 cousins and many of us are close. People talk about seeing their cousins once or twice a year at holidays and feeling like strangers and I just don't get that… one of my cousins is 8 months younger than me and used to live one street away, and she and I call each other "sisters." Most of my cousins are "Auntie" and "Uncle" with my kids (as are nearly all of our friends). I want them to grow up with family EVERYWHERE around them 🙂

  18. Oh! And I feel you on banking on having TTC #2 be much easier. I really hope we're BOTH "fixed."

  19. I am always envious of people with good relationships with their siblings as it's not what I witness with people I'm close to, and I have no choice. But I think it's developed through family atmosphere and attitude and I think you've got that in spades.Yours is one of the few posts I've read so far that makes mention of how hard TTC#1 was on your marriage, and I've appreciated reading that. I didn't think we would make it, truthfully. Marriage #1 didn't. I think we're stronger now (and I hope you guys are too) but it's rebuilding I resent we even had to do, you know? Not that life would be unicorn farts if this never happened, but I'll always wonder.

  20. I have so many similar feelings as far as siblings go and number of kids go with you, it's so interesting, isn't it? Your family sounds amazing as does your hubby's. It's a huge driver for me to get Cheeks those sibling relationships I had growing up, though of course I suppose there's no guarantee they'll actually like each other. ha. Hopefully #2 comes easy and without a lot of financial strain.

  21. I meant to comment on this post when I first read it, but I forgot.Siblings are the best, especially Vols.tads ;), and I love love love that we all got/get along so well and can actually spend time together sans-fighting. But obviously, any way you splice it–siblings by adoption/ART/natural or no siblings at all–Stella will always be perfect!!

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