Friday, April 13, 2012

What is the definition of success?

I think this post should be mandatory reading here in IF-land - "No Kidding in NZ" does an amazing job discussing those that have been left out of the Post-IF discussion: those living "child-less" or "child-free."

Life after IF - what is it? How can we make the most of whatever happens to us? No matter what our outcome. How do we define ourselves throughout the IF struggle? After "making choices" to abandon treatment? 

For us, a year ago we had given up doing any more IVF. We went through a marriage crisis, massive work on our marriage that lead to us trying one more treatment - medicated IUI with donor sperm - which was less invasive and expensive - to positive results. 

As recent debate showed us, pregnancy and parenting after IF isn't all unicorn farts and rainbows. As I'm on the eve of real parenthood, I have no idea what awaits me. If we had "chosen to be child-free (ha!)" I would know what my life would be like. Travel, dinner parties, sleeping in. Hmmm... I know couples with children who do travel and throw fabulous dinner parties, so that doesn't HAVE to change...

I've never been one to define myself by motherhood. That said, I really, really, really want to be a mother. I'm absolutely terrified about it, too. Having just had my mother and then my MIL come for week (+) visits, I know we aren't embarking on an easy life. Our lives are about to get much more complicated, messy, painful and rewarding.

I feel like I'm babbling - not enough sleep. MIL is leaving first thing tomorrow, so hopefully things will calm down around here. 

I just wanted to make sure you all read NK in NZ's post.



MyTwoLines said...

It is really tough to say what defines us...we obviously left treatment for the adoption world and it's been overwhelmingly happy, frustrating, challenging, and lovely--all at the same time. I do miss some parts of my old life and we are trying to find new ways to merge the old with the new because in the end, I think it's all about balance. You'll find what works for you and your new family too :)

Poppet said...

To answer your title: there is no definition of success, except as we define ourselves.

Parenthood isn't necessarily a happy ending. It can be of course, but having kids brings on an all new question of "success" - ie. if your kids end up f'ed up is it the parents' fault. And if they become superstars (whatever that means - an astronaut or a Yankee or Ambassador to the UN) can Mom and Dad take credit as their "success"?

My advice whether you are childless or fertile to the extreme is to enjoy the life you have as it is, be grateful for the good things in your life and if you want to make changes, change what you can.

Easier said than done for any of us - moreso for the IF.

Mrs. Gamgee said...

I don't think there is one moment where we can say we have succeeded...

IF, parenthood, life in general. Along all these journeys there are a series of small successes and small failures. Parenthood isn't easy, but I like it in comparison with the alternative. I can only pray that I'm doing an adequate job.

(btw, I responded to your comment on my blog and posted the list of things I'm making to freeze. So far I've only got one thing done. Yikes!)

Rebecca said...

I keep trying to figure out how to respond to this. I think part of it is that I don't know what "success" means. I think everything is always a work in progress. I succeeding in getting pregnant -- but that is only the first step.

I am currently succeeding at staying pregnant. If I hadn't gotten pregnant and we had decided to live child free, I would hopefully be succeeding at moving forward with my life. "Success" implies an ending to me and we're never there. I guess I define "success" as being happy with where I am.