Hello Lovelies,3534516458_48e4e8595f_z

I’ve been thinking and I’m concerned about starting IVF. Not just about the crazy money. Not just about the pain and emotional turmoil. But also… I’m gearing up to pay tens of thousands of dollars for something I’m not 1,000% sure I want! The insecurities are killing me.

I mean, I want a baby. I want to be a mother… but am I really 1,000% sure? No. I wouldn’t even say I’m 100% sure. Sometimes, it feels more like 80%… other times it’s as high as 98%. But I’m not positive that I will like being a mother. And I’m not positive I will even like my own child. And yet I’m gearing up to pay tens of thousands of dollars, just to roll the dice. That seems insane.

I think these feelings, these insecurities surrounding parenthood, are incredibly common. How could it not be? No first time parent has been a parent before. However, for most would be parents, you think “I’ll try to get pregnant right now because today I’m sitting at 98% ”. Then *BAM* you’re pregnant! Then it’s too late to un-think that you’re ready and you just have to deal with the life sized repercussions.

It’s a little bit different for those of us with infertility. Click To Tweet

If I wasn’t sitting here with bitty eggs I would be free to think “Ok, let’s try” and then “Ok, let’s not try” and then “Ok, let’s try again”. I’m young, I should be able to have kids now or put them off till later without much issue. I could make-up and un-make-up my mind a thousand times over. If I wasn’t infertile.

It’s different for me. I am sitting here with itty, bity eggs and a ramped up biological clock. So, I’m paying serious cash to do this. Well, to try to do this. If halfway through a treatment cycle I’m hit with a low day of 80% certainty I’m not allowed to pull out. I’m not allowed to say “Just kidding. Let’s not try this month”.

Me–“I’ve decided that I don’t want to try this month.”

Dr.–“Um, lady, you’ve already done all the injections and you have 30 eggs about to burst your ovaries…”

Me–“Right, but I think this may be crazy. I don’t really, really want a baby. I’m just not sure…”

Dr.– “Well, I have a giant cheque that suggests you are.”

See the problem? Just because I am paying to pump myself full of hormones, doesn’t mean I’m any more sure than the next almost-30 year old wanting kids. What if this is a mistake?! What if I get to the other side and I think “OMG, what have I done?” What if I get there and that 20%, that on bad days is like “I don’t really want kids”, grows to be bigger?! I’m frustrated as hell with myself. I mean, how does someone spend this much money, go through this many procedures and still not know that they 1,000% want a kid?!

I drive myself insane.

Sure, most days, I really want a baby. Most days I know our lives will be enriched by that transition. I long for my baby so much that it can be physically painful. But I still wouldn’t say I’m sure that this is the right thing. I still wouldn’t say that I don’t have my doubts.

I hear this from my fertile friends all the time. Inevitably they get pregnant fast and they usually say “It’s scary because, I mean, I want a baby… but I was hoping it would take a little longer.” Or “I thought we wanted kids, then we had them and I just had to go with it.” It seems to be normal in fertile land to second guess your decision to become a parent. It’s as ok to say that you sometimes wish you hadn’t done it as it is to admit that you have no idea how to do your kids hair or cook or whatever else new moms stress over.

I haven’t found that to be the case in IF land. It seems to be that, as soon as you’re pursuing treatment, you must actively want to have babies. You must be willing to do anything to get it. Short of stealing one from someone else it’s all fair game and expected. I don’t think I’ve ever heard someone say that they still have doubts. No one in IF land admits they usually want kids, but not always.

Here’s the thing. I call bullshit. Click To Tweet

There’s no way to know that you’re going to be a great parent. It’s a total shot in the dark. There’s no way to know if you’ll like your child. They aren’t around yet for you to know their specific characteristics. There’s no way that anyone just knows with 100% certainty, let alone 1,000%, that this will all work out and they’ll be happy.

So why don’t we talk about it? I suspect it’s for the same reason that I haven’t really written about it before. When you’re spending your life savings to get something you need to convince yourself that you are sure. On those days when you feel only 80% sure you must quickly dismiss those feelings. Because no one wants to spend tens of thousands of dollars to try to become a parent if they aren’t sure.

You know what, though? I’m still gonna do it.

Because, most of the time, I know that I want our family to grow. Because, most days, I know the damp weight of an infant or the sticky kiss of a toddler will fill me with joy. Because the days that I’m certain far outnumber the days that I’m not.

Mostly these insecurities are ruled by fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of the uncontrollable. We put so much pressure on ourselves to be perfect. To do things we know will succeed and to be confident in our choices. When we aren’t that sure we tend to hide those feelings because they aren’t supported in our society.

But it’s ok.

No, I’m not 1,000% sure that I will love being a mother. I’m not 1,000% sure that I will like my child. I’m not 1,000% sure that I will look back at all of this and think “Yup. Made the right decision.” And I’m ok with that.

For me, being 80-98% sure in this decision is good enough. Click To Tweet

I’m ready to take that leap of faith. Even spend tens of thousands of dollars to investigate that possibility. It’s likely to be a good gamble, all my fertile friends were insecure and they seem pleased-as-punch with their decision now. I’m sure enough that I will be, too.

XOXXO,
Unpregnant Chicken

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22 thoughts on “Don’t We All Have Parental Insecurities?

  • January 29, 2015 at 7:38 am
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    I haven’t read others’ comments yet but I know many people will understand this post. I know I did. Many times, before and after infertility, I have wondered do I really want this? But what you said about most of the time the desire to have kids outweighs the desire to not have them is truly the right question to ask oneself. If the answer is yes, I dream of them more than not, then continue to pursue the dream.
    My coworker’s sister struggled for over 5 years with infertility and gave birth recently through IVF. She has experienced depression that parenthood is not what she imagined, and as an IF survivor feels guilt like she is not entitled to that feeling. Unfortunately, this is not uncommon with new parents of IF from what I have read. We have thought about babies for so long, many times longer and more more intensely than fertiles, and that has given us much time to have expectations of parenthood and also instilled an idea that once treatments are successful, life will be perfect again. So I think maybe the best approach is to reuse that the overall experience is wonderful, but it is hard and as someone who has gone through IF, with additional challenges that must be acknowledged.

    Reply
    • January 29, 2015 at 7:42 am
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      Nicole
      True. It does extend into the like “after”. Because that’s life! Life is ALWAYS ups and downs. That hardly changes if you get your kumquat! It’s good to realize this ahead of times. That it’s ok to have reservations and it’s ok to not love it all the time. You need to follow your mosts. Not your always.
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • January 29, 2015 at 9:09 am
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    Thank you so much for writing this. I too struggle with whether I want a baby badly enough; it sometimes feels like all the IFers I follow are willing to pay any amount and go to the ends of the earth to have a baby. And when i told an RE that I was not willing to plunge myself into debt to have a baby she looked at me like I had six heads and said “well you do WANT a baby dont you?” So thank you for validating this worry I have deep in me. Spiritually I feel I have a child out there, that I am meant to be a mother. But physically it feels like my body is actively sabotaging every attempt to conceive. And honestly this process is so exhausting. I love your blog, thanks so much for putting this out there.

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    • January 29, 2015 at 9:22 am
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      Maria,
      I’m glad it was able to validate that you are NOT the only one feeling this. I too have decided that we’ll do maybe three rounds and that’s all we are willing to afford. I sometimes feel like a pariah because of that so I’m glad to see I’m not alone. Yes, I want a child. Yes, I want to mother. I too feel there is a specific child out there that is for me and I should keep waiting for it to come to fruition. But I know myself and am only willing to go so far.
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • January 29, 2015 at 10:34 am
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    From my experience, having struggled for what most would consider short-term fertility problems, followed by a baby created using “mild” intervention, followed by a second, unplanned, surprise, baby, I feel I have a bit of experience on both sides. Fertility problems or not, I don’t think anyone is ever 100% sure. There are days now, 9 years into motherhood where I think “Wholy crap! What was I thinking? I WANTED this? I CRIED for this?”

    There are people out there who will certainly look at you like you have six heads wondering why you’re wavering at all. I would suggest that those people haven’t travelled far enough on their journey yet. Smile, nod politely, and know that whatever your emotions are, they are normal. And know that someone else, probably a million other people, are having the same feelings.

    On another note, I hope you find writing your blog as therapeutic as others do when reading it. I am well past my baby-making phase, but your posts remind me of my long-forgotten thoughts and feelings way back when. They also remind me to be sensitive to my friends that are having fertility issues and not forget how I was feeling at the time. Keep up the great work!

    Reply
    • January 29, 2015 at 11:13 am
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      Shawna,
      Is that you?! With Blake? I had no idea! I guess I was too young at the time to understand or notice. Yes I think it’s good to talk it out and realize how normal you are. It’s helpful to actually SEE that others feel that way not just having to think and hope they are. And thanks for the compliment, yes I am finding blogging incredibly beneficial. I am thrilled others find it that way, too. Glad I can put you in touch with a long forgotten perspective and hope you channel that understanding into empathy for others who are still in the trenches.
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
      • January 29, 2015 at 11:56 am
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        Yup, had some troubles getting knocked up with Blake. And I had a TON of guilt after – about being pregnant and leaving other non-knocked-up friends behind, and about not really loving it after he was born. He is still my most, um, challenging one that makes me question things! I felt like a terrible person for wanting a baby so bad and then wondering what the hell I had done when I got him! Turns out, that’s motherhood. A constant conflict of feelings. See – you’re a mom already, dealing with the roller coaster of emotions!

        Reply
        • January 29, 2015 at 12:35 pm
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          Shawna,
          LOL oh, good then. Let me just pass that info on to my ovaries and we’ll get this show on the road. 🙂
          XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

          Reply
  • January 29, 2015 at 11:39 am
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    I talk about this exact issue with my therapist all the time! When you are putting in so much time, effort and money, it feels like I’m forcing myself to want a child. I constantly question if I want a child for myself, or just because all of my friends have kids and I feel like an outsider. I remember the first time I went to the doctor to plan out an IUI cycle, I was extremely anxious because I wasn’t sure if it was what I truly wanted. I recently just had a rough experience of finally getting pregnant after years of interventions, only to lose the baby. The silver lining was that I realized how much I did want to have a child. I really didn’t realize it until the grief hit me. I guess I’ll deal with my expectations of parenthood with my amazing therapist when/if that time comes. Thank you for writing your experience with this issue! I was so happy to stumble on to this blog!

    Reply
    • January 29, 2015 at 11:57 am
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      Carrie,
      Thank you for sharing your experience. The conversation of Twitter around this post has proved that it isn’t that uncommon. I’m always worried what this means about me but I think it probably just means that I’m human. Here’s hoping that now that you know for sure that you want a child that your prayers are answered.
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • January 29, 2015 at 2:20 pm
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    I love reading your blog. And YES, we all have these parental insecurities! Although I want it SO bad, more than anything in the world, there is a little fear when I test, not only that it will be negative, but if it is positive, then OH shit am I ready??? Its normal to think this. Anyways I just want to say I am happy I found your blog on pregnant chicken. That article you wrote really rang true for me as a lot of people close to be are pregnant or just had a baby and its very challenging, although I am so happy for them. xoxo

    Reply
    • January 29, 2015 at 5:33 pm
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      Iris,
      Completely. I agree, it’s normal. I’m happy you found me too! It’s a challenging journey trying to get pregnant and it definitely helps to be in contact with others who have been/ are going through the same thing.
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • January 29, 2015 at 6:19 pm
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    I read this post earlier today and have been thinking about it all day. I think for me the not feeling 1000% confident all the time is also a survival mechanism; that if being a mother is just not in my cards then I won’t completely fall apart.

    Thanks for posting!

    Reply
    • January 29, 2015 at 11:33 pm
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      Kristi,
      That can definitely contribute to the feeling.
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • January 30, 2015 at 6:50 pm
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    So much yes to this post! When I first started trying to get pregnant some 2+ years ago the first few months I was almost relieved it hadn’t worked (oh poor naive little me). I’m now 9 weeks pregnant and even though it’s what I wanted, I’m still scared. As soon as I told hubby we were pregnant (after our first FET) after his initial excitement he said he was freaked out.
    When you’re fully immersed in fertility treatments you sort of just focus on the thing in front of you, not the baby at the finish line because in the moment it just seems so intangible.
    I’m thrilled to finally be pregnant and in my heart of hearts it’s what I wanted. As bad as it may sound I don’t love kids but I don’t doubt I will love my kid(s), even if I don’t always like them ha ha. It’s never been my life’s goal to be a mother and it’s certaintly not going to be the thing that defines my life (I hope), but I felt that I would regret it if I didn’t give it my all to see if being a parent was in the cards for me.
    I guess, what I’m trying to say is, I get it, I’ve been there, and you’re right it’s impossible to know what’s right. You just have to take the path of least regret.

    – Cassie

    Reply
    • January 31, 2015 at 5:48 pm
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      Cassie,
      Absolutely. You have to do what feels right to you in the moment. I feel in this moment that parenting is something I want to do. I think that it scares the shit out of me is probably a good thing. lol
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • January 31, 2015 at 12:35 am
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    The truth is, there WILL be times that you don’t like parenting and there WILL be times you don’t want to hang out with your kid. But I’ve never met a mom who would not want to be a mom. You’ll be great!

    Reply
    • January 31, 2015 at 5:50 pm
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      Northern Star,
      Truth!! That’s what I figure too. It’s not all rosy all the time and that’s normal. But the overall response tends to be a good one. LOL
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • February 5, 2015 at 8:09 am
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    I completely relate – and I’ve done 8 rounds of IVF to date and am about to start another (I do have a 4 year old son who was conceived on number 5), but I don’t think that I am ever 100% sure about anything – I think it is part of human nature for us to have doubts. I love what everyone else has said too about wanting to protect ourselves, and our insecurities. This horrible journey has taken me to some pretty dark places. I do remember however when I finally did get pregnant as well as the obvious disbelief and elation, I was also absolutely terrified will I like him/her, what if I’m too selfish to be a parent, what if he/she doesn’t like me etc etc, and now 4 years on there have been moments of each… but anyone who hasn’t experienced all of these emotions is probably lying. Having said that – from the moment I held him in my arms I couldn’t imagine life without him. I have all the same worries going on now – I am going to be 45 soon – am I too old, will the age gap be too big, etc etc but the way I got through the last 8, and the way I will cope with this one is to try and hand over control – what will be will be and if I am meant to have another one I will, and if not then I already have my miracle and I am eternally grateful for him.

    Good luck honey xx

    Reply
    • February 5, 2015 at 12:33 pm
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      Abby,
      WOW that’s a long road there, sister! Thanks for the luck! I sure could use it. Glad that you feel completely connected to your little one. I’m sure that’s what will happen to me if the time comes.
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply
  • February 10, 2015 at 6:22 am
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    I totally feel you, Unpregnant Chicken!
    I will start UIU in a couple of months when my thyriod levels are normal, and hubby and me are definitely in for it, but scared at the same time.

    I hear sometimes pregnant chicks who are uncertain sometimes, but when you are dealing with infertility problems, it’s like you can’t be insecure about those babies and you cannot speak of it.

    I think that the infertility-strugglers just have too much time to think. Every lost cycle, every month goes by and gives you time to think too much about what your life will be like with a baby. The pregnant chicks just don’t have any time to think about it and just “go with the flow”, “see what happens”. I feel like I ‘m stressing about being a mom like a year and a half and that means a lot of moments when you think too much and your mind starts racing.

    Thanks for writing this post!

    Reply
    • February 10, 2015 at 7:07 am
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      Littledragon,
      I think you are totally right. The amount of time we have to think on it and stress over every little thing make us much more prone to over analyzing things. If we were pregnant faster you just wouldn’t have the same amount of time to dedicate to thinking about it haha.
      XOXXO, Unpregnant Chicken

      Reply

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