All the Sun For You

A mom, two boys, a husband, and a whole lot of adventure!

What We Want and What We Get


So I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how I want our family to look when we’re all done building it.  It’s no secret – we still have 5 embryos in the freezer and we really want to give them a chance.  At this point, we’re thinking we want 3 children.  But then I wonder – do we REALLY want 3 kids, or is it because that’s the potential due to our frosties?  If we didn’t have those frosties, how many children would we have had?  How many children would we have seen ourselves with?

Before we found out we were infertile, we both said we’d be happy with just 1 child.  ONE!  Then we were told we couldn’t have any children and the floodgate of emotions were opened and I started to think about the things I never really knew I wanted – like the amount of kids I wanted.  At the time, I was feeling very cheated because, “what if we want 2?  Then what?”  We didn’t even have 1 yet, and I was feeling cheated by infertility because it felt like it was taking away my choices to have more than 1 child.

We were at a holiday party last night and a close “couple friend” said that 2 children didn’t feel like enough for them, but that 3 feels like too many.  She wasn’t complaining – she was just stating the exponential addition of work when you go from 2 to 3 children (I hear this a lot and understand!).  That comment made me pause and wonder, “will 2 not feel like enough for us?”

I can already say that 2 doesn’t feel like enough – and we’re not even there yet.  I see us with 3 children – I just do.  How did I go from seeing us with ONE to seeing us with THREE?  How did THAT happen?

Again, is it because we have 5 frozen embryos that we moved heaven and earth for?  Have I just folded the idea of one of them into my vision of our family?

This all makes me very nervous for our future – and not in the way that fertiles would think.  I’m not nervous about providing for 3 children, or having enough time for 3 children, or having enough time for B with 3 children.  What I worry about is this – am I setting myself up for complete devastation if one of those 5 embryos doesn’t turn into my third child?

I have convinced my head that a third child would be “gravy,” that it would be the cherry on our sundae, that if it doesn’t pan out, that I’d be OK with that.  But would I?  I know that I will never stim again – I know that we will never EVER do another fresh cycle.  If none of those frosties turns into our third child – then we will be a family of 4.

A family of 4 is great – but is it enough for us?  Is it what we truly want?  Or do we want a family of 5 because we have the potential for it?

I guess we won’t know until the time comes to start working on #3 (we will NOT be doing a transfer again on October 12 – HA!) – but I wonder.  I wonder a lot.  I wonder all the time.

What do we really WANT, and will IF, ultimately, decide what we GET?


Author: Courtney

Hi, there, I’m Courtney. I never planned to stay home with my kids, but I got sucked into motherhood when my first baby came into our lives after years of infertility and multiple rounds of IVF. His brother followed closely behind, something we didn’t plan on after having such a rough road with achieving parenthood the first time around. My boys are IVF cycle twins, conceived on the same day but born two years and one day apart (they were both transferred on the same day in October, but with two years between them). My boys are the best of friends and my husband is a terrific husband, father, and most importantly… friend. He fully supported my desire to stay home (“I just wanted it to be your idea and not mine, I totally want you to stay home and raise our kids!”) and encourages me in everything I do. I am a lover of projects, spreadsheets, fitness, healthy cooking and eating, crafts, selling my stuff on FB (HA!), and the outdoors. If I’m active, I’m pretty darn happy!

19 thoughts on “What We Want and What We Get

  1. Oh this is so funny. I was talking to a VERY newly pregnant woman last night at work. We were discussing this very subject. I ALWAYS wanted a big family. I’m the youngest of 4 and I loved having my siblings growing up and as much as they drive me insane now, I’m grateful I have them now. My dream was 5 kids, 4 boys and a girl. When we found out about IF and our struggles, I said OK, I’d settle for 3. Now we’re just so grateful to have one. One will never feel like enough for us, but it may be all IF let’s us have. We have 4 frosties left, with the option for 2 transfers of 2 each. We hope HOPE at least one of those frosties sticks, but I’d actually be TOTALLY OK with them all sticking.

    And yeah, it’s not about affording the large family, it’s not about time for more children, it’s about my heart’s desire to have a large family. Will I be devastated if we are a family of 3? I will be disappointed for sure and I will mourn and grieve the family in my dreams, but I’m sure I won’t be devastated. I do after all have Raegan, and we weren’t even sure we’d ever get her. So, do I want to be a family of 3? No. But at this point, IF and my age are playing a huge part in how things will be….and my OCD is NOT handling my lack of control with this situation. But we got one, we beat the odds and had Raegan. I’m hopeful we can do it again, at least once…fingers crossed for twice 🙂

    Really like this topic. It’s definitely something to think about. Having the frosties does kind of give us the notion more children are on the frontier for us….

    • This is so true: “Will I be devastated if we are a family of 3? I will be disappointed for sure and I will mourn and grieve the family in my dreams, but I’m sure I won’t be devastated.”

  2. Interesting. I had never really thought about whether or not my IF experience was changing how many kids I thought I “wanted” – though I’m sure it has. I used to say 4 and Charlie said 3. Now we’re happy with 1, and hoping for 2 someday. I don’t know if that’s b/c of IF, because we have realized the realities of cost/time involved in raising kids, or a combo of both. Good food for thought…

  3. I always wanted 3-4 kids but it became clear before we even started struggling to get and stay pregnant that I would not be allowed to follow that dream. Before we entered the realm of secondary infertility I had plans to push for a third child but now, I just doubt I have it in me to argue for a 3rd (which we most probably can’t afford anyway) and then struggle to conceive one.

    It has been a hard lesson for me to learn, that some people don’t just get to have the family they want, either because of finances or infertility or just plain disagreeing on what that looks like. I always thought we got that family if we really wanted it, but in this economy, with our reproductive health the way it is, many of us just don’t have that choice. Is a hard reality to face.

    • It is a hard lesson. My sisters have gotten just what they want with very little effort – and here have to put lots of thought and work into getting what we want… and then we don’t even know what we want because we’re scared to dream beyond the limitations put on us. It’s a toughie.

      Don’t even get me started on the economy! Times have changed for the worst in this country when you look at how you could support a family in the 50’s on one modest income. Infuriating.

      • It must be hard when you have sisters who have gotten and stayed pregnant easily. I don’t have any sisters, but I have a feeling that if I did, I’d be mentally lining up my body alongside theirs and feeling pretty bitter about it. As it is, I can only compare myself to my mother, and that’s never a good idea either!

  4. I always wanted 3 and my husband wanted 1. Pre-IF, we tentatively agreed on 2 (1 bio, 1 adopted). Post-IF, we tentatively agree on 3 (2 adopted internationally & then one adopted older child down the road). It’s funny how IF can change the picture or make it either fuzzier or clearer.

    • Exactly! I think our picture us much fuzzier than it was before IF.

      I like that you guys are back on 3 – your plan of adopting an older child later on is awesome!

  5. Interesting thoughts. I am overwhelemed with the idea of having 2 in a few months, yet I get so sad thinking this might be my last pregnancy. Right now, I really want a third- but is it because we may not be able to have a third (either because of IF or genetics- we will NOT have another suprise pregnancy) ? I don’t know. Another thing I think about is how will I really KNOW we are done? I mean, will the desire to add another baby to the family just not be there one day?

  6. I never really wanted children at all, and then all my friends started having them. Then I thought “maybe just one” but it kept not happening, and it was becoming clear I had a major problem preventing it. When it began to seriously look like I wouldn’t be able to have children, my marriage evaporated and I thought I would never have another chance. Until I did. And THEN I was desperate to have one, no matter what. After about a year, I started thinking “maybe 2” until well you know. Two was happening whether I wanted to or not! And now, even though we are not fully prepared for TBD and I freak out DAILY about my capacity to make it through each day with a toddler and newborn, I find myself daydreaming about THREE. WTF???

    I don’t know how much of that was IF, or how lucky I have been to have had successful treatments (which even though I lost 2/3, they “worked”) and this most recent surprise. I wonder if I am a little less ‘afraid’ of IF, or if I just really enjoy mothering much more than I though I would. I don’t know. I don’t know if a year from now I really *will* want a third. Or if it is just a question mark that always lingers… really good food for thought Courtney. 🙂

  7. I have ALWAYS said I wanted two kids. A boy and girl. The boy first. Don’t you love how you plan that all out when you’re a kid? Then reality hits. My mom passed away far too young so I really wanted that bond with a daughter of my own. I’m SOO glad I have my girl, even though I never would have admitted what I “wanted” when we were expecting our first. Now being pregnant again, I’m not so sure I want a boy. Of course I do for JJ, he needs a pal. But a girl would be easier b/c we already have stuff for a girl and they would grow up being the best of friends so close in age. Then I think about two teenage girls and start to freak out a bit. Now I’m sure I want a boy! The back and forth can drive someone crazy! THEN if we have another girl…do we dare try a third time for a boy? One time, just one time, JJ said maybe we would, but he’s quickly gone back to two being enough. I’m 99% sure we are done building our family, but I think the “what if’s” will be there stronger than had we not dealt with IF. I’m hoping it goes away, but I’m not sure it will, at least for a while.

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  9. Man, I only read the first half of that before it pulled a whole long post out of me. ❤

  10. Before IF, it was two- boy and girl of course. After our IF journey, I’m thrilled with one and done with ART. I’m truly happy with that decision but darn IF for making it for me. I have no idea what things would be like if I really had my heart set on 2 or more. Hmmm… a loaded question and appreciate you sharing these thoughts!

  11. Fuuuuuuuuuck. I had the longest comment typed out and then I hit that fucking fucker, useless red “mouse” button in the middle of my laptop keyboard and it all disappeared. Fuck. Fuck.

    Okay, I’m going to try to replicate my comment from before:

    I’ll say it, I will not feel satisfied with just one. My one is wonderful and amazing and I am eternally grateful for her, but I will feel cheated if I do not have more children. At least one more. Stan and I never completely agreed on how many children we wanted, but we definitely did agree on one thing: we did NOT want an only child. Neither of us would choose that upbringing for our child. And I think that’s a valid feeling to have. Just as you choose the religious upbringing you plan to instill or the educational system you think is best for your child(ren), so do you choose what you want your family to look like. And having or not having siblings is a critical to the identity of your child as religion or culture or anything else. And, personally, we don’t want an only child. (I should clarify, we DO want an only child if that’s what we end up with. We’d 100% choose 1 over none. But almost any number other than 1 would be preferable over “1.”)

    Although, for me, going through IF didn’t change how many children I want, it did change how I look at that potential family make-up. I know that it’s not entirely up to me. That pisses me off, but what’s a girl to do? I still want what I want.

    FWIW, I always wanted 4 kids. Stan always wanted 2. We loosely agreed on three. IF did change things a touch, as it has pushed our ages up a bit and Stan in particular is very aware of how old he is and not wanting to be an “old dad.” That may be the reason we don’t end up with 3, although we are both open (the clinic asked going into it) to scenarios that raise the chance of having twins this next time around. So, I guess it’s just a wait-and-see…

    I cannot begin to really even fathom how I would feel about all this did I have potential children just waiting for the chance to implant and grow. that’s heavy stuff. My answer would have been very different before having Sofia, because “our children” was such an ambigious thing back then. Not ambiguous anymore, is it! I’d be hard-pressed to leave any of those “kids” behind…

  12. I have these same thoughts all the time… well not exactly because we don’t have frosties in waiting but I have always wanted 2, then I had Alidia and said I could do this 50 times.. obviously an exaggeration but I loved pregnancy, birth, newborn, everything so far. I KNOW I will not feel complete with 1 and that sucks and scares the shit out of me because what if that is it? I want to say I will be happy because Alidia fills our lives with SOOO much joy but I really really know I want another… and then maybe another?! Damn my body, I wish it were just that easy to get what we want!

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