That's what I would tell myself if I could go back in time. I wouldn't change anything. I would still make all the same choices and stay on the same timeline and everything. But at least I'd know. At least I'd have a heads up that IVF and adoption don't always work out. Silly me, I thought everyone who wanted kids could have them, one way or another.
Five failed fertility treatments and one bankrupt adoption agency later...
I know differently.
I always wanted kids. But I always wanted kids later. I watched both my sisters get married young and have kids. They were happy thankfully, but I remember always thinking: I want my own apartment first.
So I don't have any regrets. I don't wish things had gone differently. I am actually extremely thankful. With the support of my family I got to go to college. Once I graduated and got a job, I got my own apartment. It was everything I had hoped and more. It was in a great location and it was back when I feel like things were more affordable and my friends and I had a lot of fun.
I don't regret any parties. I don't regret any late nights. I don't regret drinking beer, living off a diet of french fries and pizza, having boyfriends, going to smoky clubs, and eating greasy food and cake at two in the morning. It was fun. And it was exactly what I wanted to do. I wanted to work hard at my job, volunteer somewhere, and have fun with my friends.
I worked with kids and I wanted kids, just not yet. I hadn't begun dating my husband yet. It just wasn't time. And that was fine with me. I've been known to worry about almost anything, so yes I worried about infertility way before it ever even needed to be on my radar screen. But I always thought, ok, worst case scenario and I face my worst nightmare, there's always adoption and IVF.
I thought they were guaranteed.
I didn't know if I ever wanted to try medical assistance, but I knew I didn't need to birth a child for me to love him or her unconditionally. I know how much I cared about the kids I worked with and they didn't live with me. I didn't read to them or take them to baseball practice. I didn't hold their hand when they were sick. They weren't my kids. But I knew any child that was ever placed in my home would be my child.
Except, of course, that never happened.
These are not the kinds of things I want to talk about when people probe further after they've asked me if I have kids. "Have you thought about IVF?" "Have you thought about adoption?"
No, I haven't. What's that?
(I really want to try that answer out sometime. If you do, please let me know how it goes. I would love to hear.)
No, I wouldn't change anything about my life. Not the bad times or the hard times or the boring times or the making mistakes times or the really really tough lesson times. I'm thankful for how it has unfolded, for the choices I've made and mostly for good luck.
I just wish I knew that IVF fails 70% of the time. That a lot of women have done a lot of treatments and have never gotten pregnant. That it's not easy or affordable. And that it's not this fool proof solution that I thought it was.
And adoption. I didn't realize... So many things... Adoption has changed over the years. Overall, I think there are more people wanting to adopt than there are newborns available for adoption. Also, I've had a lot of different jobs over the years and the time I worked for a foster care agency really informed me of the complexities of foster care and adoption. Plus, the agency provided me with great training about working with trauma-informed children. That was and still is my most favorite job I've ever had, but it wasn't easy. And I got to go home to a quiet, stable home every day to recharge for the next day.
So, in one of those hypothetical "If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?" situations, I would tell myself: don't count on IVF or adoption.
I would encourage myself to live my life just the same. Work hard, be nice, have fun, volunteer. Make all of the same mistakes and choices. All is and will be well.
Just Don't Count On IVF Or Adoption.
What I love about our blogging community the most is this: even when someone lives on the other side of the Earth and is a decade younger, she still has the same thoughts as me. I find that just amazing.ReplyDelete
My mom married and had me when she was very young, only 17. Luckily my parents have a happy marriage but I always knew that I want to finish university, get a job and I have my own apartment first. And of course, find the love of my life (which isn't always easy).
I also wish that I knew I shouldn't count on IVF or adoption (there are only 5 children available to adopt in our country and there are 400 couples waiting in line).
I am good with numbers otherwise. I had data that on avarage IVF is successful in 25 % of the cases. But I always thought if you try enough times, once the luck will be on our side. Well, the luck doesn't work like that.
Wishing you all the best!
Thank you Klara. The similarities among us all are uncanny.Delete
You, your blog, and you encouraging me to start this blog have all positively accelerated my healing, and I greatly appreciate that. <3
I feel like this is general advice I want to shout at everyone whether they're dealing with IF or not (and not just my past self). Oh the number of times I've gotten "Why don't you just...?" questions.ReplyDelete
Seriously!! All these off-handed suggestions and advice from people who have no idea what they are talking about... So annoying. And painful.Delete
I must be doing something differently because I haven't been asked anything in awhile (probably because I'm going to school with a bunch of 24 year olds). But the next time I'm asked... Hahahaha well I will definitely blog about it because I have a couple of responses I'm waiting to try out. Nothing rude or abrasive, just responses that might make some people think...
btw: I love imaginary response "No, I haven't. What's that?"Delete
I am now too old (44).... so nobody asks me those questions any more. I wish I could use it few years back. Let us know how it goes :)
I too what to try your response! But doubt at my age I'll get the option. lolReplyDelete
This is an excellent post!
I think I need to mentally prepare myself for when I move and meet new people and a lot of them will inevitably try to take the conversation in this direction. So I probably will have a couple of opportunities in the future to try this response. I will let you know haha!
This is good, and what you said at the end that you would still encourage yourself to live your life just the same, that got me. I haven't had the need for IVF but adoption is certainly something we want...in this journey i have told myself not to count on it. i needed to read this today.ReplyDelete
I'm glad the words you needed to read today found their way to you. <3Delete