A little over a month ago, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, aired a brilliant segment about Sex Education in the United States. Most notable, the only consistent feature in the currcula from state to state is the slut shaming of any young woman who engages in any sexual intercourse (oral counts) before marriage. The "educators" (interestingly all female) describe a non virginal woman as a piece of tape that no longer adheres, and as a dried up piece of chewed gum. (Also interesting, there was no character assassination of the young men who are sharing the tape's adhesiveness, or chewing the gum...) In a more creative presentation, one Sex-Ed program shows a video of a young couple on their wedding night, where the bride, who is supposed to be giving her new husband that unique gift you can only give once, gives him a box with an old shoe. "It looks like an entire football team wore these!" exclaims the groom, just to make the point that she's not merely a slut, she's a mega-slut! "I made them all wear socks..." The deflowered bride tries to defend herself. "But Michelle, a sock won't protect my heart!" the groom proclaims, before he adds; "You can still get foot fungus from a sock!"
Okay, I love how they worked the foot fungus reference, as it almost prevents the analogy from seeming completely ridiculous. I encourage everyone to watch the clip, as it also contains a LWT produced sex education video, that is actually very relevant and informative with accurate information. It's also brilliantly cast with Will and Grace's Megan Mullally "Some people make make fun of you because of your choices. Those people are assholes." 30 Rock's Jack McBrayer aka Kenneth the Page "Here is a list of birth control methods. Google them!" and Laverne Cox "Lube is your friend. Believe me."
Oh my point, and I do have one... I'm back on birth control. Almost four years after I stopped contracepting. Had I conceived right away, I could be ready for my second Nex.planon device, rather than my first; but whose keeping track of details like that? After three years of passionately pursuing a pregnancy, I'm now back to avoiding one. I'm all too familiar with the spontaneous conception after infertility, and while it would be a wonderful blessing, it would also be a game changer. We would have to move to a larger house in a less expensive area. Maybe even consider going back east to be closer to my parents. We would have to revisit day care arrangements and my commute to work could increase. We've just begun figuring out how to balance our lives with one child, and we're not ready to complicate things by adding a second. I am in awe of all you moms of multiples and more than one kid. I cannot image taking care of a baby if I also had a toddler running around. You are heroes in my book!
When we announced my pregnancy to my parents and disclosed our infertility issues, my mother said, "I'm sure you'll conceive on your own after this baby is born..." Her comment annoyed me, as it sounded like my infertility was just some sort of phase that we were going through. "Actually," I informed her. "If we wanted a second child, I would rather use our remaining embryos than conceive spontaneously." Just as I said those words, my mind flashed back to the time when I proclaimed that I would never do IVF, which turned into a reluctant acceptance that IVF was needed to bring us a baby. Now I saw it superior to a natural conception. I would rather use my known euploid embryos conceived with my just turned 38 year old eggs than get a BFP at age forty-something, which has a high chance of a chromosomal abnormality.
On the subject of our frozen embies, just weeks before Jate was born, we received a letter from XYZ Embryology lab notifying us that we were due to renew our embryo storage if we wanted to keep our embryos available for future use. We really didn't give it any discussion and just paid the $600 fee to maintain our embryos for another year. As baby Jate wasn't born yet, it would have been another opportuntity to tempt fate. We didn't have much of a follow up conversation; if we did have a delivery of a healthy and thriving baby, what decision would we make next year? I think it will be likely that we'll feel our family is complete with Jate (and the whole not getting any younger thing, plus the expense of raising a child) but will we be ready to let go of our embryos in a year?
I know embryo donation is an amazing gift that has allowed many couples to become parents, but for various reasons, it isn't something we feel that we could do. One of my reasons is that it took us 6 embryos to achieve a successful pregnancy. I don't think our embryos would come highly recommended, and I would hate for another couple to invest so many financial and emotional resources to wind up with a BFN. Our intention is to donate our embies for scientific research. Maybe we can help another couple by gaining insight that will avoid multiple failed transfers. I know this is the right decision for us. I also feel strongly about our decision to only have one child. Yet, it doesn't make it any easier to say goodbye to the embryos we fought so hard to produce. It will be a tough day when we do notify XYZ that we've reached our decision. And a sock won't protect my heart...
In other related news, I saw on Fertile.book that my college roommate is expecting her third baby in April. As I keep track of these stats, she was five minutes pregnant with her first when I had my IUD removed and she was five minutes pregnant with her third when Jate was born. I sent her a text to congratulate her, as I half wondered if this was an 'Oops baby'. We met up last year, just before my transfer. I was in Boston watching Husband umpire some field hockey matches and she was in the city visiting her parents. I filled her in on all the details of our infertility journey, including the fact that my RE was two years younger than me. "Everyone is younger than us, Jane. We're old." She revealed that they most likely were done after two children, but weren't ready to officially close down the shop with a vasectomy. She replied that it was a planned pregnancy. "We decided that our family did not feel quite complete, so we rolled the dice." I figured she breastfeed until her second daughter was at least a year, which was at the end of May and she likely conceived in July. Also she has only one ovary and will be hitting the big 4-0 next month. Why is the process to complete her family easier than it is for us?