I can’t find the link to the post right now, but quite some time ago Bionic wrote about a particular evening with her (then infant) son, and how becoming a mother sometimes made her life harder, but not worse.
That phrase- harder, but not worse- has stuck with me ever since.
And I’ve realized this week that it is also true of ttcing for 2.0.
It is harder to manage the trips to the clinic, harder to balance the visits with our family’s schedule, harder to figure out who can look after E., harder still on the rare days when I have to bring him with me, and I try not to make eye contact with the miserable women who don’t want to have to look at him, while at the same time I wish I could just make a big announcement to all of them that “E. came from this clinic and it took us thirty-five months to get pregnant and he is an IVF/ICSI baby and sometimes, sometimes, it really does work”.
It is harder when it is time for the PIO shots again, when doing them in the morning means my muscles are less sore, but E. freaks out at being left downstairs, or freaks out at being left in his crib, and shrieks non-stop while Q. is trying to concentrate on causing me the least amount of pain, harder when we decide to just do them at night, and the last thing we do before going to bed is the PIO shot, which is hardly the sort of intimacy a couple wants.
It is harder during the two week wait, when I am forced to realize just how often I pick up my toddler in the course of a day because I am no longer supposed to pick him up at all, harder when we are at the park and E. wants nothing more than to go on the swings, and I have to distract him because last cycle I forgot and did put him in the swing and then wrenched everything when I got him out again and now always wonder if maybe, just maybe, I screwed things up right at that moment, harder when (as has been the case this week) he is ill, and wakes in the night, and cries, and doesn’t want his father, and doesn’t understand why I can’t get him out of the crib, or why we have to call in Daddy when it is time to go to bed at night.
It is harder, so much harder, after a failed cycle because I know now, I KNOW what these embryos, these tiny balls of cells become, I know what we are missing every time a cycle fails, and I know that these embryos were once in the same petri dish as the embryo that became our son, and that hundreds upon thousands of tiny details somehow aligned in the universe so that his embryo was transferred, and his embryo stuck, and his embryo stayed with us and grew and developed, and it takes my breath away that perhaps if even one of those factors had shifted, he might not be here, no child might be here, that we might never have become parents.
It is harder sometimes.
But it is not worse.
It could never be worse.
Because at the end of the day, no matter what the result, he is still here.