Family Size Decisions: Coping With the Loss of Choosing

One of the hidden emotional costs of infertility is what it does to your ability to make plans. Among those plans is the idea that you had some control over your family size. Growing up, and during dating and subsequent marriage, I think a lot of us make plans around how many children we want to have.

My plan was always to have at least 3 kids. I mistakenly thought growing up I’d have any input in that decision. So all of my ideal life views always included the idea that I’d not only be a Mom someday but that I would be a Mom to 3 children.

When reality hits though, and you end up riding the infertility roller coaster, those ideas sometimes go out the window. Some couples will still be able to achieve their desired family size, but not all of us will.

I am one of those that has to give up her dream. It’s simply not feasible at this point, all things considered, for me to have 3 children. These are the inside discussions that have to occur for couples faced with infertility.

After much discussion, Bill and I came up with the decision that 3 children are not feasible. There are a lot of determining factors:

  • Age – for both of us. When we try again I will likely be 37 and him 39
  • History – We now have 3 failed cycles under our belt. Reality is the more children we attempt to have, the more failed cycles we are likely to have.
  • Medical – This is tied to age, but also, the older I am during the pregnancy, the larger the risk is to both me and a baby.
  • Cancer – The longer I keep all of my lady parts, the more likely it is my tumor regrowth will potentially be cancerous. Complete radical hysterectomy with bilateral oophorectomy needs to occur ASAP once our family building is done.

So we’ve decided once we can try again, we will likely only be having one child unless an embryo splits and results in twins.

It’s a hard reality for me to face as it is yet another dream given up.

Infertility is a thief of dreams, and there’s only so much it can take from you before the weight starts to become overwhelming. This for me has been one of the hardest truths to face on this journey. And it’s still dependent on the idea that I can even carry a baby to term, which is still an unknown.

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