What’s with people already pressuring me to have another baby after this one?!
Short answer for everyone: hopefully never.
I say hopefully because I’m well aware of the fact that many end up conceiving naturally (oops) after using fertility treatments for their first. I will definitely take precautions (FAM is my preferred method) and I keep telling Alex just to go back on TRT which predictably tanks his sperm count. I understand that shit happens and I don’t want to lock myself into a ‘never’ which is the same as me refusing to take on a label… whatever it may be. Locking yourself into such a definitive decision is agreeing to take on a fixed mindset on a subject. Something I avoid at all costs.
With all that said, there are some major deciding points that leaned me in this direction.
1.) As many that aren’t familiar with cancer, you don’t just get a free pass after surgery and initial scans. You generally have to have a number of clear scans over a span of typically five years. My melanoma had spread to my lymph-nodes, so it’s a big waiting game right now.
Pregnancy is not great for someone who has existing cancer. It causes a state of insulin resistance, increases allostatic load, increases cortisol, increases estrogen, and bathes you in growth hormones. The risk was worth it for one, as I don’t want to die without the experience of creating life. Literally the only thing I wanted when I was diagnosed was to have a baby, if I live a long time or not.
With that said, I’m not willing to risk my life for multiple pregnancies.
Why didn’t I wait until I was deemed “cancer free”? I will be a couple months shy of 37 when I have Lux. Tricky spot to be in and a lot of thought went into my decision. I do know there are outliers that have babies well into their 40’s, but I wasn’t going to put my money on that. Especially with my fertility issues and reoccurring miscarriages. Again, having babies in your 40s is the exception, not the rule. I also wasn’t willing to bet on my cancer not spreading and waiting to see. At that point I could very well have been out of time to see this goal to completion. Cancer is an uncontrollable beast even when we do everything “right”.
2.) I am an extremely creative high energy person and being pregnant is like throwing a wrench in my spokes, as far as productivity is concerned. This hurts more than my income, as my creativity is directly related to my satisfaction and happiness in life.
3.) I’ve raised children and I am well aware of the fact that the fairytale relationships we have built up in our minds don’t always pan out in regards to parent/child, or sibling relationships.
4.) I want to pour everything I have into one child. Whether we like it or not, when resources are allocated between multiple children we can’t possibly give our all to everyone (time is my most valuable resource). I have lofty goals on what I will provide for my son and I will do everything in my power to make those a reality.
Now, anyone else can reasonably choose to disperse your resources among a few, as everything is a cost benefit analysis each individual must make.
5.) Alex is an only child and I was raised by my grandparents much of my childhood as an only. We both enjoyed it immensely and never held onto fairytale sibling relationships. In conclusion, I’m not prone to idealization over reality. Yes, some may have those unforgettable relationships with siblings, but that’s not guaranteed.
6.) I don’t want to devote more mental energy into a realm where it will be 100% self sacrificing and not increase my happiness further than one child would. Having another baby will divert mental energy as each child increases the burden in our environment.
We can have it all. We just can’t have it all at once.
The costs outweigh the benefits in my eyes. Alex had just as much to say in this process as I did too. If he thought the risk was worth it, I may have reconsidered. But he doesn’t. Yet another thing that we are 100% together on.
Disclaimer: These are my thoughts and my own personal cost benefit analysis. I’m not judging anyone, or claiming that my decision is superior. I don’t know what’s right for anyone except myself. So no need to defend your decision as it probably was perfectly perfect for you.
These books are highly recommended for anyone who is making the decision themselves currently, or knows anyone who is. They definitely helped me feel confident that I was on the right path! You can find them here and here.