First, I must say thank you for trying to assuage these feelings. They are ever-present and, at times, strangely all-consuming. I can only describe them as the confluence of survivor's guilt and my inability to achieve the good mother standard. Although neither really describes what it is I'm feeling.
I liken my situation to winning the lottery twice. The first time, everyone is thrilled for you. You've plunked down your $5.00 every week for 20 years for the chance to strike it rich. You've got crushing credit card debt. Your wife has left you, you've lost your job, and your dog has just died. And then, the sun shines down on you and you finally win. After all these years. After all the heartbreak. Your ship has come in.
But a few years later, you start complaining that you need more money. Suddenly, the jackpot you were damned lucky to hit once isn't enough. You want a faster boat. Another house, in Tuscany this time. You aren't content with the riches you have, and yet there are still plenty of people waiting for their chance to win for the first time. People who deserve it as much if not more than you do.
When I first found out that I was pregnant with Isabella, I felt as if I had been given an enormous gift. Of course, most expectant moms feel this way. But given my struggles with infertility, the realist in me felt I would never be a mother. To have given birth to Isabella 18 months ago still feels like a miracle.
To now be asking for another one just doesn't sit right with me. The sisterhood formed from the hell that is infertility is a strong one. And while I don't read as many infertility blogs as I once did, the stories of the women whose blogs I do still read serve to reconnect me with the familiar feelings of not being able to get pregnant for two years, despite Herculean efforts. Why was I so lucky and they were not? Why has God, the universe, whatever, seen fit to make me a mother and not them?
It isn't right. It isn't fair.
Shouldn't I take my one miracle ART baby and call it a day?
As many of you have told me, I'm entitled to want the family that my fertile friends are able to achieve. Infertility doesn't disqualify me from wanting what everyone else with working parts wants. But for me, it still seems greedy. I want my sisters to experience the joys of motherhood, and, however irrational it may seem, I feel as if I'm cutting them in line.
Every woman who wants to should be given the chance to be a mother. It angers and pains me to read the stories of those who are struggling. Common sense tells me that a potential second pregnancy isn't stealing the baby of someone still waiting for her first.
And yet, I still feel like I'm cheating the system.