What IF?

What if I hadn’t been affected by infertility?

I’ve always known I was going to have at least three children and, since I was pregnant with my second son, I became convinced that I was suppose to have 4 kids. Then infertility hit and it was a struggle to even get my third son here. Looking back at what we went through gets me thinking and the unanswerable questions rear their heads. Looking forward seems to offer just as many opportunities for contemplation and confusion. Infertility changes your life forever and sometimes seems to leave you with more questions than answers.

Looking back…

When I was pregnant with my oldest, we were living in a very small apartment. Back then, my in-laws offered us a house…the same house we are now living in. It seemed like a wonderful opportunity. We would be renting to own, paying less than market value, and there would be no worries about financing. Hell, it even had a fenced in back yard for our dog. But, something told us to say no. It was more than the fact that we lived near our friends and our church. It just didn’t feel like the right move to make.
What if we had taken the house back then? If we had moved to Cary back then, I wouldn’t have had the wonderful OB that I had. My OB and his wife had been infertility patients themselves. He got just how hard it was to go through it. He was willing to order whatever tests I needed. He was open to all kinds of treatments. And, we did it all without a referral to an RE. Would Gabe have ever been born without me being under the care of that wonderful man? While Gabe can sometimes drive me crazy, he is a sweet, wonderful boy who makes me melt and I can’t imagine life without him.

What if we hadn’t lost our daughter in the summer of 2004? Would we still have had Gabe or would our family be completely different? I can’t even fathom how that would change everything.

What if we hadn’t experienced infertility? Would we have had our fourth child before Vic was diagnosed with diabetes? Diabetes issues put our trying to conceive plans on hold and have thrown up road blocks I couldn’t have imagined.

Looking forward…

What if we never have that fourth child that I so strongly believe is suppose to be here? Will I always wonder about how things might have been different?

What if we do have a fourth child but, because of the delays caused by IF, my husband isn’t around when that child grows up? I’m 40. Vic is 50. We’re pushing the reproductive envelope here.

I can’t let the What ifs dominate my thoughts or paralyze me when it comes to thinking about the future. I can’t imagine life without the exact 3 children we have and I can’t imagine my life without the friends I have made because of infertility. Instead of letting the What ifs be heavy chains that weigh down my soul, I chose to see them as butterflies that flit through and remind me to be thankful for what I have.

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Bloggers from the ALI (Adoption, Loss, Infertility) community are writing about WhatIfs for National Infertility Awareness Week, April 24 to May 1. To add your own thoughts, link here or here.

This post is part of the Bloggers Unite Project. For more on infertility, see Resolve.

Pssssst…I stole the phrasing for this last paragraph from Lori.

18 Responses to What IF?
  1. Lavender Luz
    April 24, 2010 | 1:27 am

    OMG — I’m going to the same parties you are!

    (That comment will make no sense once you take the BlogHer widgets off.)

    Ahem. Focus, Lori.

    I hope I did the verbiage correctly. I’m flattered by your confidence in me :-).

    Those unanswerable questions have so many heads, don’t they?

  2. Michelle
    April 24, 2010 | 3:28 am

    I think about What Ifs all the time, and the “if we didnt do that when we did then so and so wouldnt have happened which lead us to this and that” and it all eventually led us to our 2 adopted babies.

  3. battynurse
    April 24, 2010 | 1:44 pm

    Great post. I don’t even know what to say but this is great.

  4. Sheliza
    April 24, 2010 | 2:07 pm

    Wow, I sometimes go through the what if’s about my life as well. I think I speak for both of us when I say we made some good moves 😉

  5. chicklet
    April 24, 2010 | 4:01 pm

    I like your forward-thinking “what if’s”. They’re really REAL questions we all wonder about (not that your other questions aren’t too, but those just rang really true with me).

  6. Mrs. Bushey
    April 24, 2010 | 9:32 pm

    There are so many “what ifs” in infertility. I have read some great posts on it and am thinking of writing my own…but I’m not sure ow “out there” I want to be with my questions.

    Happy ICLW!

  7. Beautiful Mess
    April 24, 2010 | 9:36 pm

    What IF’s good or bad always drive me nuts! I do hope all your dreams and wishes come true.
    *HUGS*

  8. Niki
    April 24, 2010 | 11:23 pm

    What a beautiful post. I really felt your emotions. Thank you for stopping by my blog and for the words of encouragement. They help tremendously.

    Happy ICLW!(#70)
    Niki

  9. Another Dreamer
    April 25, 2010 | 12:30 am

    Wonderful post, thank you for sharing.

  10. WiseGuy
    April 25, 2010 | 8:30 am

    There is a sea of what-ifs out there….mostly one wonders as to who is writing the script really?

    Am glad to have known what gnaws at you…hope to be able to put up my post too in a little while…

  11. -K
    April 25, 2010 | 12:59 pm

    I can’t ‘what if’ backwards in time, only forwards. Forwards is way more exciting. Thank you for sharing this.

  12. Quiet Dreams
    April 25, 2010 | 1:16 pm

    Beautiful post.
    Life is so full of the what if’s…

  13. Patrish
    April 25, 2010 | 3:17 pm

    The paths we chose are always something we can second guess or ask “What if”? We can only hope there’s a reason for it all. Best of luck to you and your journey…..

    ICLW #79

  14. *Tanyetta*
    April 25, 2010 | 11:48 pm

    Great Post! I have encountered a many days of what IF this and what IF that.

  15. Crossed Fingers
    April 26, 2010 | 8:08 am

    I hope you are able to focus on the positive IFs like I am trying to do!

    ICLW #119

    http://lovelyladybump.blogspot.com/

  16. jrs
    April 27, 2010 | 1:34 am

    thanks for sharing your “what if” post
    yes, we cannot live in the land of negative what if’s, if so, then I think infertility wins.

  17. Piccinigirl
    April 29, 2010 | 3:17 pm

    these What If posts are just so hard to read, but I feel like I’m getting to know so many people..so many stories too.

    The what if’s after parenthood, seem to be just as many, at least they are for me.
    thanks for sharing 🙂

  18. Mr. Thompson and Me
    May 1, 2010 | 1:09 am

    I love how your post started with a postive What If.

    A beautiful post!

    http://www.mrthompsonandme.blogspot.com

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