Unloaded

I feel a lot better now.

Seriously, there is a lot to be said for just dumping stuff out on your blog. Even though it’s probably not much fun for you to read, it really helped me process things. Even just writing out everything I was feeling helped me see where my feelings made sense and where they were mostly a product of anxiety and uncertainty. And all your comments helped immensely, as they always do, especially Elizabeth’s statement that her defense felt like a defeat rather than an achievement and Bionic’s comment about the cognitive dissonance of stay-at-home-motherhood. So thank you.

I can’t get a job right now.

Unless it’s something I can do largely from home, I am really really not employable until E. starts JK in September.

His nursery school has no room in the afternoon program- I checked. So even if I found a great job now, I couldn’t raise his hours there. Plus, making a change to his routine now would completely blindside him. It wouldn’t be fair.

Plus we have travel plans in May, and Ben’s mum coming to visit us in June, and more travel plans in July, and I don’t really want to have to cancel any of those just because I’ve run headlong into employment.

So. I can’t get a job right now.

And that is OK.

I am still reading my aggregate e-mails every day and making note of interesting jobs that come along. But I keep reminding myself that, unlike in academia, if an interesting job comes along I don’t have to apply for it because OMG IT’S IN MY FIELD AND THERE MIGHT NEVER BE ANOTHER ONE.

There will be another job.

Maybe not an identical job, but there will be another job.

As for struggling with my lack of income, I just have to get over myself. It’s temporary. Q. doesn’t think less of me for being at home right now. I shouldn’t either.

I am going to keep chipping away at job-related items on my monthly lists (especially informational interviews and resume tweaking), but I am resolved to stop panicking.

I am going to concentrate in the first instance on getting my dissertation off to the press, because my supervisor has already checked to see if the editor is interested in it, and he is, and if I don’t respond to this pressure but am left to my own devices I will never, ever do anything with it because a) I am a terrible judge of the quality of my own work and b) I hate criticism and am therefore great at writing things and terrible at risking rejection in order to get them published (hello, finished novel still living under my desk that will likely never see the light of day).

***

As for family-building, I think I will at least call my clinic and see if the doctor I still like and respect would be willing to look things over and give us a fresh opinion, and if he is, I will meet with him and see what he says.

A couple of people have asked me the question, “Do you think this will really silence that ‘what if’ voice? What if this round doesn’t work either? Will you feel differently?”

I think the question for me isn’t “what if” at all. I am fairly certain that if we just kept trying over and over again, with no thought to cost or time or emotional/physical impact, eventually something would work.

I am already at peace with this conclusion. I know it could eventually work, but that we don’t have the unlimited everything needed to see it through to the end.

The question I’m really wanting to answer is, “What is the more likely outcome?”

One fresh IVF brought home a baby.

The second ended in miscarriage.

The third (I feel) would sway the balance.

And I am really starting to feel like it wouldn’t be a waste of money if we tried again and it didn’t work, because then I would have an answer to that question.

I can live with whatever answer to that question we get.

But I’m not quite sure I can move on without at least trying to answer it.

Egg asked about doing PGD. That’s not something I want to pursue for two reasons: 1) We have never become pregnant on a frozen cycle (only fresh) and 2) The attrition rate of my embryos is so high we’ve always ended up with a number where it would be cheaper to just transfer them all and see what happens than test them. Both IVFs only had two blasts on day 5. I’m already decided that we are not going to freeze day 6 blasts. I’m done with late starters. So PGD, given my history, doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense.

***

I’ve had some good feedback from friends about age gaps with siblings. It seems a lot of it boils down to the personalities involved. Some siblings will be best friends no matter how far apart they are, and some are going to be oil and water and always butt heads, regardless of whether there’s one, two, three, four, five, or more years between them.

The pros of a larger age gap seem to include: less competition, the older child can actually be helpful, a chance to really enjoy infancy again (because older child is more independent and at school for much of the day). The major con is that they will always be in two distinct developmental phases, all the way to adulthood. They may well never play together much as children. It is harder to do things as a family because the younger one is too little to do what the older one wants to, and the older one is bored senseless by what the younger one wants to do. One of my friends (who has two boys, six years apart) wrote that they are more like two only children than a family unit because their personalities, interests, and needs are so different. Travelling and excursions are challenges. There’s a lot more divide and conquer with each parent taking a child to go do ‘their’ thing.

I have some really great friends who were willing to be super super honest with me about family dynamics, warts and all. I appreciated it so much. The conclusion seems to be that I won’t/can’t know how E. would get along with a sibling, because it would depend on the sibling. But it would change things, irrevocably. The day-to-day might be easier than it would be with two in diapers, two not sleeping through the night, etc., but maintaining a family dynamic and doing things all together would be more of a challenge. It would also be harder to carve out time for Q. and I, because both children would need different things. One of my friends joked that she and her husband expected they’d have time to talk to each other again in 17 years!

So we’ll see. We wouldn’t even consider cycling until after visiting my sister in early May, so we have some time to see what the other doctor says and mull things over.

It’s a risk either way, and I’ve never been much of a gambler, but we might have one more roll of the dice in us.

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1 Comment

Filed under A (Good) Day's Work, Anxiety Overload, Butter scraped over too much bread (a.k.a. modern motherhood), Family, Life after the PhD, Second Thoughts

One response to “Unloaded

  1. I love your post, totally made sense. And you know I get it….

    Yeah I wouldn’t stress about the sibling thing….even with twins you can’t guarantee they will be great friends! Personalities and life experiences make people different.

    I’m glad you seem more settled in the job search. Getting things out in a mind dump is like free therapy IMHO 😊

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