Anyone who knows me well would tell you that I have a tendency to over-think things. I am not entirely emotionless, but I am much more logical than emotional and always have been. I am more like a stereotypical man than a stereotypical woman in that I generally allow my head to rule over my heart. I live my life in my head 95% of the time.
Given this fact about me, I think I am one of the last people who would need additional time to reflect upon choosing to become a parent. When we started TTC over two years ago, both MM and I were mature, responsible, gainfully employed people who had had ample opportunity to live the selfish lifestyle of those who have no children. We were both more than prepared to be good parents, so waiting longer to have a child would have been of no real benefit either to us or to our future child.
Seriously, for someone with a personality like mine, the best course would have been for pregnancy to "just happen." I was, and am, more than ready to embrace it. TRYING to conceive, even before we knew that it would take much, much longer than we thought and that we were infertile, is just not a good thing for someone like me.
When you introduce the possibility of having to spend tens of thousands of dollars (which you don't have in the bank) to become parents, it provides even more time to think and more to think about. It's no longer enough to just think "Yeah, we'd like to have a child of our own." Because of all the sacrifices you are going to have to make NOW, before your child is even conceived, you have to place a value on your desire to be a parent in a way that people who conceive readily do not. Forget about thinking about how you will pay for day care or diapers or a crib. . . . now you are thinking about how you will pay for a CHANCE to get pregnant. And inevitably--if you are like me--thoughts of "how" lead to thoughts of "why" and "is this a good idea?"
Before infertility, there was never a true doubt in my mind that I wanted to be a mother. Sure, being the overly analytical person that I am, as well as being over 35, I dithered over the pros and cons more than perhaps the average person would. But the ultimate outcome of these debates with myself was that I wanted to be a parent.
Someone on my Fac.ebo.ok friends list who is an infertility blogger recently posted the following as her status update:
"The feeling you have for your child is so indescribably deep and consuming that it must qualify as one of the few transcendent experiences in your plain old ordinary life. It arrives spontaneously. It is miraculous and supreme and irrevocable. It makes all things possible." (Attributed to Karen Maezen Miller.)
I love this quote because it very accurately sums up my reasons, and my husband's reasons, for wanting a child of our own. We want that "transcendent experience." We want to experience a miracle in our ordinary lives.
I think most people would agree that you can't put a price tag on a miracle. What would one willingly pay for a transcendent experience? Being able to experience something like that has a value which is not readily quantifiable.
At the same time, my logical self realizes that we have to be realistic about what we can afford. It's a sad reality, but it's the truth. At the very beginning of TTC, MM and I promised each other a few things: that we wouldn't let TTC ruin our relationship; that we would not go deeply into debt to become parents; and that we wouldn't let our emotions rule over our logic when it came to treatment decisions, if it came to that.
Let's face it, though. As a wise friend of mine once told me, there is nothing logical about the choice to have a child. It is a purely emotion-driven decision. Any possible logical reason to be a parent can be outweighed by two logical reasons not to.
Yet another hard part about the waiting associated with infertility: too much time to think thoughts on which no one should spend a lot of time.