Guest post: JJ on Sibling Revelry

“Real” work calls (the kind that pays, as opposed to blogging) and I’m running a couple of conferences this summer. But to keep my seat warm in my absence, I bring you some of my favorite guest bloggers on Fridays through July. Maybe you already know these amazing writers, and maybe you will find someone new to follow, but either way you are in for a treat.

A dash of IUI, peppered with IVF, add a side of ICSI, covered in FET.

This recipe of medical treatments has been a major part of JJ‘s life since 2007. When JJ and her husband, Mook, decided they wanted to pass on the family jeans they found out that no matter what your 7th grade sex-ed teacher told you, it does take more than one swimmer to reach the egg. They were diagnosed with a quieter side of infertility: male factor.

JJ and Mook were so fortunate that a delicious little boy was the end result of that recipe of treatments. You can find JJ blogging about parenting after infertility at Reproductive Jeans.

————

Sibling Rivalry 

Growing up as the eldest of three children, I heard that term quite a bit.

Mook went a long time without knowing what that was all about, as he was an only child.

I had to learn to share my favorite toy, and my parents affection. Mook had to learn to share with his friends, and had his parents undivided attention.

Ask us each who had the better situation, and we’ll give you pros and cons to both.

We are currently the very fortunate parents of a sweet 4 month old boy, born after our 2nd round of IVF with ICSI. He is a dream come true; the icing on the cake of life.

To say we cherish every moment with this little person is an understatement. We have enjoyed sharing our joy with friends and family–all who can see how happy we are. They love to make baby noises and faces with him, tell us how cute he is, and shower him with hugs and kisses.

And then as sure as a rain storm comes in on a hot southern afternoon, we hear:

 

So when are you going to give him a sibling?”

———— 

I must tell you that after writing the first two sections of this post, I had to let it sit in my draft folder for a few days. 

It’s been one of those questions that I knew we would hear eventually, but I wasn’t prepared to hear it for the first time 2 weeks after I had given birth. Now, those who know what a tough road it was for me to give birth in the first place (going through fertility treatments, and then dealing with pregnancy complications) knew better than to ask me that question. But the distant relative or friend on the giant-diary-into-our-lives ( a/k/a Facebook) have been throwing that question at me in as casual a tone as they would ask me what I want to eat for dinner tonight.

Maybe it’s because of my infertility background that I am dealing with this “Sibling Rivalry” in my head: will we or won’t we give the O-man a brother/sister?

In a perfect world, I would immediately say: YES! But the reality of it all is, I just don’t know…and it makes the sting of infertility burn all over again. We can’t just say: “Heck, let’s toss caution to the wind and hope for a surprise/oops baby!” I realize this DOES happen…but, when dealing with male factor infertility, it’s dreaming big. Real big.

As of this moment, I do not want to go through fertility treatments again. (I have the right to change my mind at a later date, of course….) We do not have any frozen embryos from the cycle that gave us O-man, so we would be starting fresh. It would be IVF # 3, and with NO guarantee that we would be as lucky again, I get exhausted just thinking about it.

And while we are not even close to resolving the sibling issue anytime soon, I can tell you this: I gave Mook 2 apple seeds from an apple we shared the day we got our male factor diagnosis. One of those seeds represents our blossoming handsome little boy. I still carry the other seed–and it may take some time to fully bloom, but I will nurture and care for that seed until we are ready to plant it. There is a certain garden that is catching my eye more and more each time I pass by. The seeds that have rooted here, are ones that come from all over, and are cared for by those “adopting” them into their family…

0 thoughts on “Guest post: JJ on Sibling Revelry”

  1. Great post! I appreciate you sharing this especially because we are now TTC #2 after undergoing infertility treatments to conceive our son. After two years, we got a BFP on our 5th IUI (w/injectibles), so we haven’t gone through the torture of IVF… but still, I have *much* less emotional reserve on tap for this process, and I don’t think we’ll try as long. I’m always curious about my fellow IFers thoughts on this, and I appreciate hearing yours.

  2. Wonderful post. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this one. Some people can be insensitive and annoying when they ask people when they are going to have a baby, or have ANOTHER one. Our little boys are days apart, and I’ve enjoyed watching yours grow and change in so many ways that are wonderfully similar and different.

  3. So obviously, I need to get Tiny B out before we really consider this but we already are very much where you are – as much as we can be right now. The husband and I both feel like infertility is a place we never ever want to go back to – ever. And while we got lucky on this one, whose to say it’s not our only shot? Or moreso, whose to say that we’d be willing to go through this again for another shot when we can be quite content just how we are?

    Because we’d gotten to a stage where adoption was a real consideration for us (before this happened), we’ve talked a lot since I got pregnant that our second would be adopted. Or we’d not have a second. But no matter what, we can’t ever see going back to treatment. It was a horrible time, and i dont’ ever want to be that way again, particularly while we have Tiny B around who could be affected by how we’re affected.

  4. Great post! We haven’t gotten that question yet-I am so shocked you got it so soon! We hope to have another someday but I also feel so blessed to have this one miracle baby that I feel like i would be ok.

  5. Beautiful, JJ. Simply beautiful. When and if you’re ever ready to plant that seed (or any others), I’ll surely be there to read along.

  6. Beautiful post JJ! We’re enjoying V so much that it seems impossible that another one could match up…but at the same time, we always wanted two…

  7. Thanks for sharing your story and your thoughts.

    Your comments about people asking you about your next baby reminded me of how people ask a couple of their wedding day when they plan to have kids.

    I propose that we enjoy the beauty of where we are right now and contemplate each decision as it approaches us on our path.

    From your writing and the way you describe your experience with your son, I can tell that you are enjoying and savoring every beautiful moment. Good for you!

  8. Great post! I appreciate you sharing this especially because we are now TTC #2 after undergoing infertility treatments to conceive our son. After two years, we got a BFP on our 5th IUI (w/injectibles), so we haven’t gone through the torture of IVF… but still, I have *much* less emotional reserve on tap for this process, and I don’t think we’ll try as long. I’m always curious about my fellow IFers thoughts on this, and I appreciate hearing yours.

  9. Wonderful post. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this one. Some people can be insensitive and annoying when they ask people when they are going to have a baby, or have ANOTHER one. Our little boys are days apart, and I’ve enjoyed watching yours grow and change in so many ways that are wonderfully similar and different.

  10. So obviously, I need to get Tiny B out before we really consider this but we already are very much where you are – as much as we can be right now. The husband and I both feel like infertility is a place we never ever want to go back to – ever. And while we got lucky on this one, whose to say it’s not our only shot? Or moreso, whose to say that we’d be willing to go through this again for another shot when we can be quite content just how we are?

    Because we’d gotten to a stage where adoption was a real consideration for us (before this happened), we’ve talked a lot since I got pregnant that our second would be adopted. Or we’d not have a second. But no matter what, we can’t ever see going back to treatment. It was a horrible time, and i dont’ ever want to be that way again, particularly while we have Tiny B around who could be affected by how we’re affected.

  11. Great post! We haven’t gotten that question yet-I am so shocked you got it so soon! We hope to have another someday but I also feel so blessed to have this one miracle baby that I feel like i would be ok.

  12. Beautiful, JJ. Simply beautiful. When and if you’re ever ready to plant that seed (or any others), I’ll surely be there to read along.

  13. Beautiful post JJ! We’re enjoying V so much that it seems impossible that another one could match up…but at the same time, we always wanted two…

  14. Thanks for sharing your story and your thoughts.

    Your comments about people asking you about your next baby reminded me of how people ask a couple of their wedding day when they plan to have kids.

    I propose that we enjoy the beauty of where we are right now and contemplate each decision as it approaches us on our path.

    From your writing and the way you describe your experience with your son, I can tell that you are enjoying and savoring every beautiful moment. Good for you!

  15. I really appreciate all the comments, ladies. And Id like to say to the annon commenter that I am giving you the benefit of the doubt that you are just reminding me in a kind way of my incredible blessing: I hoped to convey that in this post, because trrruuuussst me, it literally makes me GAG when I read that someone is jumping right back into fertility treatments/other means of adding to a family when their baby is only months old–I may catch some flack for even saying that-(I know time is precious for fertility) BUT it also makes me sad–like Chicklet said–you run the risk of missing out on your current child’s life by getting so wrapped up in treatments all over again.
    So believe me, I completely know how lucky I am to have a real live baby. I meant to convey that Im NOT ready to think about #2, etc–but thats what has brought back that infertility sting, when people start asking.
    Ehh, I hope I am making sense. I hope I always, always, always make it known that I feel so lucky-and I am here to cheer on my sisters.

  16. Great post. I hear you on not wanting to go back to treatments. At my last ER I remember thinking I don’t ever want to do this again. Same with the ET.

  17. Oh, JJ- You cut straight to the core of an issue that is so fundamental to all IF people- the inability to truly control family size. I always thought I would be a young mother (of course, not finding Mr. Right until my late 20s took care of that for me!), and I always thought I’d have 3 or 4. I’ve always wanted a big family. But now I find myself making all kinds of excuses for why it would be a boffo deal if we decided to have an only child, if even that.

    It really just kills me- one more thing that infertility takes from us is our true ability, not just to have a family at all, but to have the family we’ve always dreamed of. And that STINKS.

    Oh, and I guess it bears mentioning that infertility has also taken the choice away when it comes to having MORE than you want as well. Even if it’s become rare, I wonder how many moms of higher order multiples really wanted to have five at once (and I sincerely hope that NONE of them were looking for that kind of pregnancy-birth-childraising experience when they set off on their IF journey… not that the babies aren’t all loved and cherished once they have arrived, but I can’t imagine anyone thinking that a HOM situation is what they dreamed of when they were thinking of their future family…).

    Thanks for writing such a great post! Food for thought, as always.

  18. Wonderful port JJ. I am also the oldest of 3, just like you. Lyla is 14 months now, I get this question al the time. I try just to smile and say something but deep down this questions hurts in many levels. After Lyla’s father decided that he no longer wanted to be with me 6 months ago, not only he broke my heart but he took way my life long dream of a big family. I see myself giving away Lyla’s baby stuff and I get so sad. All the things that were meant to be used to our next baby and my heart and soul just ache. I wish people would stop asking this question.

  19. I hear ya. Even though I just wrote a post totally convinced that Adam would be our one and only, I was just recently put into a situation that brought the twinge of wanting another back to the forefront. I just don’t know if we can go through it all again.

  20. Great post, JJ. We’re on the lucky side of the IF spectrum where I think making another mini-us would hopefully be relatively doable (knock on wood, crossing fingers, tossing salt over shoulder), but I’m having a hard time wrapping my mind around loving someone else as much as I love B. I know that’s silly and your heart grows to love #2 just the same, but wow it seems impossible at this moment. I’m hoping it will all work out, as pollyanna as that may be. *hugs*

  21. I really appreciate all the comments, ladies. And Id like to say to the annon commenter that I am giving you the benefit of the doubt that you are just reminding me in a kind way of my incredible blessing: I hoped to convey that in this post, because trrruuuussst me, it literally makes me GAG when I read that someone is jumping right back into fertility treatments/other means of adding to a family when their baby is only months old–I may catch some flack for even saying that-(I know time is precious for fertility) BUT it also makes me sad–like Chicklet said–you run the risk of missing out on your current child’s life by getting so wrapped up in treatments all over again.
    So believe me, I completely know how lucky I am to have a real live baby. I meant to convey that Im NOT ready to think about #2, etc–but thats what has brought back that infertility sting, when people start asking.
    Ehh, I hope I am making sense. I hope I always, always, always make it known that I feel so lucky-and I am here to cheer on my sisters.

  22. Great post. I hear you on not wanting to go back to treatments. At my last ER I remember thinking I don’t ever want to do this again. Same with the ET.

  23. Oh, JJ- You cut straight to the core of an issue that is so fundamental to all IF people- the inability to truly control family size. I always thought I would be a young mother (of course, not finding Mr. Right until my late 20s took care of that for me!), and I always thought I’d have 3 or 4. I’ve always wanted a big family. But now I find myself making all kinds of excuses for why it would be a boffo deal if we decided to have an only child, if even that.

    It really just kills me- one more thing that infertility takes from us is our true ability, not just to have a family at all, but to have the family we’ve always dreamed of. And that STINKS.

    Oh, and I guess it bears mentioning that infertility has also taken the choice away when it comes to having MORE than you want as well. Even if it’s become rare, I wonder how many moms of higher order multiples really wanted to have five at once (and I sincerely hope that NONE of them were looking for that kind of pregnancy-birth-childraising experience when they set off on their IF journey… not that the babies aren’t all loved and cherished once they have arrived, but I can’t imagine anyone thinking that a HOM situation is what they dreamed of when they were thinking of their future family…).

    Thanks for writing such a great post! Food for thought, as always.

  24. Wonderful port JJ. I am also the oldest of 3, just like you. Lyla is 14 months now, I get this question al the time. I try just to smile and say something but deep down this questions hurts in many levels. After Lyla’s father decided that he no longer wanted to be with me 6 months ago, not only he broke my heart but he took way my life long dream of a big family. I see myself giving away Lyla’s baby stuff and I get so sad. All the things that were meant to be used to our next baby and my heart and soul just ache. I wish people would stop asking this question.

  25. I hear ya. Even though I just wrote a post totally convinced that Adam would be our one and only, I was just recently put into a situation that brought the twinge of wanting another back to the forefront. I just don’t know if we can go through it all again.

  26. Great post, JJ. We’re on the lucky side of the IF spectrum where I think making another mini-us would hopefully be relatively doable (knock on wood, crossing fingers, tossing salt over shoulder), but I’m having a hard time wrapping my mind around loving someone else as much as I love B. I know that’s silly and your heart grows to love #2 just the same, but wow it seems impossible at this moment. I’m hoping it will all work out, as pollyanna as that may be. *hugs*

  27. Wonderful post! I was lucky enough to get my BFP before we had to face serious treatment like IUI and IVF. But the time before my BFP was two years of doctor’s appointment, blood work, u/s, drugs, miscarriages and heartache. As much as I love the baby growing inside me, and as much as I would love for him to have a sibling, I am in no hurry to return to that dark place.

    I say enjoy where your at now!

  28. I get that question because I have just one bio daughter (and a stepson) and everyone wants to know if my fiance and I will have more. My answer has always been, “And you want to know because … ?”

    It’s not their business!

    :)

    Lynn

  29. Wonderful post! I was lucky enough to get my BFP before we had to face serious treatment like IUI and IVF. But the time before my BFP was two years of doctor’s appointment, blood work, u/s, drugs, miscarriages and heartache. As much as I love the baby growing inside me, and as much as I would love for him to have a sibling, I am in no hurry to return to that dark place.

    I say enjoy where your at now!

  30. I get that question because I have just one bio daughter (and a stepson) and everyone wants to know if my fiance and I will have more. My answer has always been, “And you want to know because … ?”

    It’s not their business!

    :)

    Lynn

  31. Wonderful post, JJ. I’m shocked that people are already asking you about a sibling for the O-man. They need to chill and enjoy the deliciousness that he is.

  32. Wonderful post, JJ. I’m shocked that people are already asking you about a sibling for the O-man. They need to chill and enjoy the deliciousness that he is.

What say you?