I’ve been meaning to do a post for a while about some of the differences between three years ago, when we were working on conceiving Tadpole, and now.
Of course the biggest difference this go-round is that we have Tadpole. In lots of ways that is wonderful. I’m not wondering if we are ever going to be parents. When I have been sad about the cycles that didn’t work I have a snuggly, goofy, busy toddler to hug. I have a fabulous life right now that I can be grateful for, no matter what happens each cycle.
Logistically, though, having Tadpole makes things more complicated. When we tried in October we were able to figure out childcare for both inseminations. But this month both insems fell on the weekend (so we couldn’t drop him off at daycare), and we made a somewhat last-minute decision about the timing due to confusing OPK results (so no time to get relatives to babysit). So Tadpole came with us both times. This meant telling him we were going to a doctor’s office so Mommy could get a check-up–it confused him a little that she needed check-ups two days in a row, but doesn’t seem to have bothered him since. It also meant that during the procedure I was in the waiting room entertaining him. Talk about feeling extraneous to the process! My partner and the doctor were in the office, doing the important stuff, and I was down the hall with the kid! I felt like the babysitter, just tagging along to provide childcare. I am so proud of Roo, and impressed that she was up for doing the IUIs without me there. But it also made me feel even more extraneous–I wasn’t even needed for emotional support!
I was also so torn–I absolutely wanted to be there with Tad, caring for him and protecting him from any confusion about the process. And I absolutely wanted to be there with Roo, holding her hand and encouraging her and being there for the potential creation of our future kid. My mom loves to tell a story from when I was 4 and being told about the immanent birth of my little brother. Apparently I asked, “what happens if I need you and the baby needs you at the same time?” I think that part of being in a family of more than two people is having times when those loyalties conflict–when more than one person needs you at any given time. I’m sure that if we succeed in our family-building scheme there will be times when I am pulled in three directions instead of two. And I hopehopehope that that happens soon!
As the one entertaining the kiddo, I also had moments of feeling like I had better do everything right in order to “prove” to our doctor that he should help us have another kid. Logically, I know there are a number of reasons why that is ridiculous. Dr. A is definitely a queer ally, and is supportive of GLBT folks being parents (he jokingly tried to sell us on the idea of twins when I was first trying!). He helped out some friends of ours who are a three-parent family. He also seems fond of our family in particular–he played ball with Tad for a while in the waiting room so I could check in on Roo after the procedure. But a part of me is aware of how much power he holds in the forming of our family.