Susan Manning and her wife, Jen, with their son, who was conceived via IVF.

Susan Manning and her wife, Jen, with their son.

By Susan Manning

Tink, tink, tink…

My nail taps the vial of the trigger shot before I inject it into my wife’s abdomen. The bubbles of air atop the medicine seem to mock the bubbles of anxiety in my stomach.

Or maybe they’re bubbles of guilt? Of wonder? Of selfishness?

You see, this is the first IVF cycle for our attempt at a second child and I am riddled with uncertainty.

I’m not uncertain in whether I want a second child. It’s more uncertainty about whether we deserve a second child.

The journey to our son was long and windy and at times seemed like a dead end—between the two of us we had 13 IUIs and 7 IVFs, with some miscarriages and some BFNs. We thought a marriage of two women wanting children would be easy—twice the equipment with which to try. We never thought both sets of equipment would need repair!

After so many attempts, we were all but done, until our RE suggested she had one more protocol that might work. We went with it, watched as it produced the lowest grade and quality embryo (yes, only one), and cried every day of the two week wait. But on Mother’s Day we drove to the office for the pregnancy test, certain it would be negative, even stopping at my mother’s grave ahead of time to “ask her” why? What did we do wrong? 

Fast forward 10 months and that worst quality embryo was born a near-10-pound baby boy. A fabulous outcome to a seemingly never-ending journey. Everyone was pulling for it to be a successful pregnancy—family, friends, friends we met only because of our IF.

That is why I now harbor uncertain feelings.

Why push the envelope? We have an amazing boy.

We have friends who still suffer every day from IF and want a child, so isn’t it selfish to want another?

Shouldn’t we just continue to shower our son with the years of saved up love?

Isn’t he good enough?

These feelings originated, I believe, during the entire process when, with every cycle, every vial of donor sperm purchased, every shot we injected, every sticky bun we ate after procedures, we promised we’d do anything if we could just have one child.

We’ll be good mothers, I heard myself promising the higher powers. We’ll not ask for anything else, I added to that thought. Give us a child and we’ll be happy forever. Every. Single. Cycle.

And while I wasn’t lying when I said how much that one child meant, I realize now that I never promised to forfeit my attempts to have more children if that’s what we wanted.

The bottom line is he is good enough. He is amazing. He is getting showered with love. Nothing will change that if and when another child is born to us.