Answer: Doing things differently/having another
What if anything would you have differently regarding conception, pregnancy, birth? You may have mentioned this but do you plan to have another?
Not at all, but that could be because we were one of the very few couples who had no trouble getting pregnant. I like the supposed romance of home IUI’s with candles lit and Surfacing playing in the background, but the effectiveness of the IUI in the RE’s office won me over. The only thing I may have done differently would have been advocating for buying more viles of our donor’s goods, since we only have one vile left and he’s currently… um, out of stock? He’s also an anonymous donor, which is I’m still at peace with, despite seeing features of RR that aren’t obviously mine.
I would have embraced the pregnancy wardrobe sooner. As much of a pain in the ass the clothes were, they were much more comfortable and flattering (yes, flattering) than the larger sizes of normal clothes I bought when I started to show. I’m afraid I looked a bit like a circus clown there for a month or so. I also would have also done more research about formula/bottle-feeding, and C-Section recovery while I was still pregnant, instead of getting the crash course in all three right after the birth. As much as I wanted a natural birth and a breastfed baby, it’s just now how it worked out, and I wish I had been more prepared to deal with either (and ultimately both) issues. I also would have gotten more sleep (duh), gone out to eat more often, taken long road trips (there at the beginning) – all things that are nearly impossible now with a sleep-depriving travel-terror infant in tow.
If I had a diploma from the school of couldashouldawoulda, I could really outline a thousand different ways I would have done differently regarding the birth. I don’t think any of the things I would have done, though, would have changed how things actually happened, as much as they might have enlightened me on why things were happening the way they were. Mostly, I would have been to ask more questions once “monitoring” turned into “let’s have a baby!” – about how long the process of ripening/induction normally takes, if/when do they call a vaginal birth a lost cause (and what factors into those decisions), why they thought 12+ hours of Pitocin didn’t have a more substantial effect on my cervix, etc. I would have liked to have been in the room during the OB shift changes, to witness their pow-wows and hear what they thought was happening inside of me, as opposed to just kind of waiting around, laboring laboring, waiting for progress, laboring laboring, and then leaving the decision to do the C-Section ultimately up to me, when everyone kind of knew deep down, somewhere around 30 hours in, that laboring wasn’t working. I liked having an OB group/practice, but thought that the two OB’s that ended up being on duty during my labor had two very different thoughts/methods/processes of getting the baby out, which unfortunately, left me having two different labors wrapped up into one. And really, one labor is enough for anyone.
On having another:
My wife and I go back and forth about this perhaps every day. Let’s just say that we haven’t completely ruled out having another baby (hence the low-grade woes about only having one try of our donor left). Any decision to NOT have another kid wouldn’t be based on any pregnancy hesitance on my part, seeing how I’m one of those people who actually enjoyed being pregnant. I know. I get all giddy, even, at the thought of breaking out the ovulation prediction kits again. So I’d love to be pregnant all day, every day, but being pregnant again is one thing – raising up another baby from scratch, while attending to a first-born toddler, is a whole other challenge that I’m not quite sure we want to take on. On the other hand, if she doesn’t have a sibling to yell at, argue with, spray Lysol on in the middle of a fight, and bite, who else will she do these things to? Also, another kid puts less pressure on RR to be everything we want her to be – if at least one of them goes to college, the other can be an unemployed and unmotivated hooligan, and we would feel at least half accomplished as parents. So the answer is… maybe?