10 September 2012

Our Little Update


So many of our dear friends and family love to hear the updates with any baby news....

Well, we're comfortable being open about everything so I thought I'd give you guys a little update, too.  We just recently were finally able to meet with a new doctor about IVF.  There are just a few doctors in New York that even do the kind of specialty I need, which is called Reproductive Immunology.  SO FAR SO GOOD!.....I mean, the morning of the appointment I got a call from the doctor!!  :)  He was just calling to introduce himself.  What?!?!  When has that ever happened?!? And then, he was as thorough as could be during our appointment.  I have NEVER, EVER seen anything like it.  He doesn't believe in "unexplained infertility" and does testing that conventional infertility centers are not willing to do (if interested, see the video called "Who is Dr. Braverman" where he explains this.)  He is a bull dog and is 100% confident that he can get to the bottom of the issue.  I would actually say that this has been my best experience with a medical doctor so far in 8 years.  (And I have seen a LOT of doctors in New York.  Oh my.)  I really can't even tell you how relieved I am.  I was kind of walking on the clouds the rest of the day.

So far, I would wholeheartedly recommend this doctor for anyone with unexplained infertility, recurrent miscarriage, multiple failed IVFs, chemical pregnancies, or autoimmune / antibody issues of any kind.  These are the cases he specializes in.  Right now it's very difficult to find a doctor with this expertise, though because autoimmune issues are increasing in ridiculous amounts in adults and children, I'm guessing that this kind of treatment will become more and more mainstream.  FYI, he also works with and/or consults with out-of-town patients).  But, if you want to wait to see how the rest of this goes for us, I'm happy to fill you in as we go.  At the moment we are waiting for blood test results and so won't have our next follow up until October...and I'm guessing the treatments won't start until November..who knows..maybe December?  It's funny what a long process it all is.


Anyway...for the first time in ages, I'm feeling more excited about all of this, my friends.  This is a strange thing to admit and it still surprises me that I feel this way.... but....the idea of moving heaven and earth to have a baby (or get a baby via other means) has actually been less appealing to me over the years.  It has just been too many years and the hours and money put into the project have just been too great.  You see, I really have made peace with the infertility, which also means the agony, the desperation, the longing to have a child is not there.  It used to be.  I remember those days, which were many, many years ago at this point.  But since then, I have accepted the way my life has been and have actually just thrived.  It has been a MIRACLE to me that this was possible.  But it's also a long time to not be desperately living for a baby!  That's a long time to get really happy and at peace with my life, even without a child.  And so...one unexpected side effect is that it has actually been a bit tricky having the motivation to move forward with IVF or adoption (and all the zillion phonecalls and hours and hours of waiting room time, paperwork, and money involved).  It really does take some mother bear instincts to make all that happen...and sadly, those instincts have actually faded over the years. (Has anyone else experienced this?!)

But, at the end of the day, I still do believe in family.  And I believe in the beautiful and learning experience it must be to raise a child.  And, I could not be happier to do this all with Danny.  Every once in a while I have visions of me pregnant, with Danny by my side, and a huge smile on his face; or I envision us with some little children bringing their little spirits to this home - and it does make me really, really happy.  And so, with faith that it will be worth it all, we'll do what we can to grow this family and will move forward with our fingers crossed and full hearts!

Thanks for all of your support you guys have sent our way!  It really is SO sweet of you and it has touched us so much. 

Love,

Mara

p.s.  Has anyone else experienced a fading desire to become a mother?  I am so curious to know.  This is a strange topic for me - I didn't expect this to ever happen to me.  And we are talking about the most basic human instinct, after all.  At the same time, I'm not that worried about it.  I am sure my instincts will kick in once I become a mother.  I had a talk with one of the nurses and she said she thought the instinct I spoke of had more to do with nurturing and caring for others...and less to do with the means in which that happens.  And you know what?  I've had lots of lots of opportunities to sort of be nurturing in my own way.  This blog and other service endeavors that I am involved in have provided me with that in a huge, huge way.  And so I don't feel that part of my life lacking.  (See why I feel grateful for you guys every single day?)  Anyway, the whole thing is fascinating to me.  And it's not something I've ever heard anyone else talk about.  I'd love to hear your thoughts.




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35 comments:

  1. Hi Mara,
    I just wanted to say I'm really happy and excited for you. Children have never been a part of my dream for myself - I would much rather be a mother/nurturer to all the world, to individuals I encounter in everyday life who I can serve, but I do appreciate the fact that this has been a big goal for you. Also I have to say that despite me not wanting kids (very adamantly so) I truly do think it is a beautiful thing to see people be great mothers and fathers. I just loved the pictures you posted recently of the kids you borrowed. So anyway I am thinking of you warmly, and look forward to your updates on this subject.

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  2. Thanks for this post. I'm just starting to feel this way, about being okay with not having more children (I have one darling little boy). For me it started after finding out I had an ectopic pregnancy after trying, and starting fertility meds. The "old me" so to speak would have normally been crushed at this. I just sort of shrugged it off and said, "oh well" which surprised me. I think for me it has more to do with acceptance that I have no control in this and I don't want to live my whole life longing for something I may or may not get. I've already spent so much of my time doing that and it has gotten me nowhere. There are lots of ways to nourish and love people whether you birth them or not.

    I'm glad to hear that you are getting such great care. That does sound amazing by doctors standards. Best wishes to you and Danny in this!

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  3. I love to hear your thoughts on this subject. I would pray that someday you and Danny will be able to experience this beautiful part of life. While I too have not had any myself (yet:) I anticipate the day with so much joy that these beautiful spirits will be brought into my life so that I can raise them to be obedient, righteous, and loving children. I appreciate you expressing your peace with which you have found in your life in the present, regardless of children. It is beautiful to hear of the happiness you can still feel and experience regardless of your situation. Thank you for your faith.

    Also, you two are speaking at a fireside this weekend. I am tempted to fly into town to see you (from Mesa, AZ) but I may not be able to make it.:( Do you think it may be a possibility to have this meeting recorded so that some of us may indulge in your words as well?? I am always anxious to hear of anything you speak about and would love the opportunity to listen and learn.
    Please let me know if this might be a possiblity??!!!

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  4. Hi Mara, I have experienced it. For a long time, all I wanted was to have a baby and then, as you, I have faced years of infertility, and the "urge" started fading. But then I met this motherhood researcher (she has been studying it for decades) and she explained that this "urge" is mostly socially created. It totally shocked me. I mean, I thought this is a human instinct and a woman major instinct. The urge we may feel (biologically) comes in a real young age (when your body adapts itself to be able to have a child. First, with our first periods and then later on with a moment your body still changes so you can be able to bear children - your hips get a little larger). That's it. After that and before that, it's all about the social construction on the importance we put into motherhood and parenting. Which is not a bad thing at all. Except that when some women don't feel the "urge", they feel like that there is something wrong with them... And really there isn't. So, she was telling me that it wasn't that I biologically urged less, but that I had made my peace with the possibility of not having a child in my own body. Many women daydrem about motherhood since they are kids (we play "mommy" with our dolls!! So we are raised to this social construction). It doesn't mean that if we didn't play with dolls we wouldn't want to have children or choose to have children. But what she was telling me is that it comes from a very young age this importance of motherhood and the idea that this is a major social role for a woman. But that's what we constructed socially. And of course, it is of a major importance to the world and societies. But there are other cultures who live motherhood in a very different way (kids from different parents are raised together in the community), women who don't have babies (by choice or difficulty) don't feel diminished in their womanhood. These women never talk about a "urge" to be moms , although they do love the kids... all is different because these cultures have created different approaches to the experience of motherhood. (cont)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for sharing this! It helps me feel a lot better about our journey!

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  5. It sort of helped me not to feel weird that the "urge" was fading. And as you learning to deal with trials, it helped me think of my worth and place in the world indifferently of having a child or not.I too nurture and mother in many other ways. My husband and I decided to sponsor children in poor countries. We thought about all that we had been expending for our wished baby and decided that we could already help other kids and engage for years of help for them, as we wanted to do for our own child.And it has been a wonderful experience.

    But the most weird thing is that, when we decided to quit trying for good, at age 42... a baby came into our lives... And now, we visit with our own child, the projects that we've been helping... for our little girl, all those kids are like older brothers and sisters. It's a better parenting experience than either of us could have expected!

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  6. My husband and I wanted nothing more than to have children. That was before years of unsuccessful trying and treatments. But now, though there are still days of sadness (I can't lie and say there aren't because there very much are), we have found much happiness in our childless home. It is probably us convincing ourselves, but we have found that there are very nice things to enjoy in life when we don't have to worry about the welfare of little beings. There is much freedom and low stress in this life. The most important thing is for your marriage to remain solid and joyful, so that the two of you may move on together and enjoy all the good things that life has to offer. That said, good luck with your new doctor. We would have been very happy to find someone who specialized in unexplained infertility which was our situation as well.

    Loulou

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  7. I have never struggled with infertility, but have struggled with other issues in life. I believe the peace you are feeling right now has been given to you by God. Embrace the peace and enjoy it =)

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  8. Mara, thank you for sharing this. My husband and I decided to try for children recently. We got pregnant quickly and then miscarried at 8 weeks. Losing our first pregnancy was very hard on me. But, we are young, and hoping that we will have better luck on our next try. Despite this, there are times where, as a woman, I can't help but feel like I failed in some way. Like not being able to carry my first pregnancy was something to be ashamed of. At times, I worry that I may not be able to have children at all. I worry about infertility. But, in reading about your struggles with infertility, and how you have come to peace with this area in your life, I realize that God has a plan for me too. And no matter what challenges await me, I can choose to be happy and accept life as it is - the good, the bad and the ugly. I truly believe that acceptance is the only way to real joy. I am working on getting to a place of acceptance again after our loss, and so far it's going well. I am excited about the future and looking forward to trying again. Wishing you and Danny the very best in this journey. Can't wait to follow along with you!

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  9. This post is so spot on. Sometimes you start looking at it as a business deal and become emotionally numb. I always say I'm thankful for the breakdowns and the bad days because its a reminder of what we are fighting for. Its exhausting but it will be worth it in the end! Thanks again for another great post. Good luck!

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  10. This post resonated with me so much. After 2 miscarriages and 2 failed IUIs and 2 failed IVFs, we were debating donor eggs or adoption. We've now completed our adoption home study and just this weekend found ourselves faced with the fact that we could have a baby VERY soon. Strangely, I find myself having doubts, after all that we've been through! The "urge" has definitely dissipated, and it scares me!

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  11. We have one sixteen year old son and tried everything we could to have more children. After a failed adoption (the birth mom decided she couldn't go through with it six days after we brought our daughter home) and failed fertility treatments we made a Plan A (larger family) or Plan B (go on with life) decision. Our Plan B hasn't always been easy, but it has allowed us to see other dreams come true and feel a peace that we didn't think was possible either. I can very much relate when you mentioned the motivation it takes to get back into the effort to grow your family. Who knows maybe one day it will be in our hearts to try one last time, but I have to admit we are incredibly fortunate that our hearts are pretty darn full with our little family and the chance to have a big life together.

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  12. I've been struggling with the fading desire to be a mother since my husbands cancer diagnosis. Part of me wants to get pregnant right now, but the other part isn't sure if that is a right decision for us anymore considering his prognosis. It's a hard decision, and my emotions are a roller coaster.

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  13. I'm so glad you brought this up Mara! My husband and I are experiencing infertility too. This question of a fading desire to become a mother has been nagging at me for a while. On the one hand I feel like it's a blessing so that maybe the pain of being childless will be lessened as my desire fades. But on the other hand I feel like maybe I'm avoiding/or ignoring the desire to become a mother as a defense mechanism, in which case it's not really a blessing, because it will come up again. I think I'm doing fine and I don't really want to have kids, then we have a family dinner and I get to tuck a niece or nephew into bed, or one will curl up on my lap for a snuggle, and then I end up bawling the entire car ride home at the thought that I will never have a little one to tuck in or snuggle.

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  14. I 100% feel the diminishing wane of motherhood. I was on board around 25, but now that I am staring down 30, I am finding it hard to justify trying for a pregnancy over a trip to Europe. I have some really conflicting feelings about this, mostly ungratefulness and selfishness, but at the core it is fear. Fear that I will be like my own mother. Fear of my inadequacy. It's a challenge to imagine my life with my husband with a baby in tow. Even more selfishly, what we would give up. Another factor is that people are jumping over themselves to tell me to wait, or not have kids at all, which is a very surprising turn of events. Thank you for sharing your journey.

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  15. First of all, it is great that you are feeling good with the new doctor. That's half way of the journey. Secondly, I have written this to you before and I will do many more times (hopefully won't need to) and I strongly believe that (good) things in life come when you least expect them. Enjoy fall :)

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  16. Man do I feel ya girlfriend! It is so hard, cuz everyone expects me to be distraught an depressed and miserable, and I find myself becoming the opposite. Less and less need to be a mother. More and more my life seems more desirable, and enjoyable. "Oh, it's so easy to do this, and that". Not that I don't desire still to be a mother, but the NEED faded a long long time ago. Sometimes I think there is something wrong with me for feeling that way.

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  17. I know exactly what you're saying about that feeling of lessening desire. We've been trying for our 2nd for well over a year. Almost 2 years, really. And after 2 miscarriages, I guess I've finally reached the point where I can be content with whatever happens. I don't know if it's a defense mechanism - like I don't want to be any more disappointed than I have to be? But I'm just so so tired of the rollercoaster of emotions, the peeing on sticks, the disappointment. I don't know how far I'm willing to go for #2, you know?

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  18. Can we be best friends in real life? I am so relieved you articulated this. I've had a similar post working in my head for quite some time. After 11 years of marriage and 8 years of trying, we made the best decision of our lives and will begin the adoption process (from Russia) soon. But, sometimes I wonder: is it really the "best decision?" I mean, do I really even want to be a mom at this point? Eleven years means we are pretty comfortable in our life, one of which consists of 10 day road trips, spending Christmas night in NYC (we live in Tennessee), and countless nights staying up way too late. Today, we looked at a beautiful 5,000 square foot home we're interested in renovating. Never have I felt so conflicted. On one hand, I delighted in the idea of my daughter growing up in a home. Moments later, I realized we couldn't buy this house and fulfill that dream because we have to spend roughly $50,000 on adoption and also this house would be a bit subpar for a home study. Someone mentioned "defense mechanism" above, and those were my exact thoughts when I read your question. Either way, thanks for asking it because it caused me to open up about my fears (especially the loss of desire) to my husband. I will pray for your continued peace.

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  19. When I read Philippians 4:6,7-I think of the peace you feel about having/or not having children. The peace that doesn't make sense to our mortal minds...but comes from God.
    6 aBe bcareful for nothing; but in every thing by cprayer and supplication with dthanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

    7 And the apeace of God, which passeth all bunderstanding, shall ckeep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

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  20. Since I was single into my thirties I rarely thought about having kids, and when I got married I had to think long and hard when I got married about whether I really wanted them, or if I just felt I should. It isn't a simple decision any time. Since I was older, I also had to think about how it would feel if we tried to get pregnant and couldn't. Before we started trying we decided we weren't going to pursue any special methods if the "regular" one didn't work for us. This was a personal decision - I am not suggesting it for anyone else. However, the decision brought me a lot of peace.
    I am writing this with a newborn asleep on my lap-- it has been an amazing experience, but as someone who was childless for a long time, and now adores her little baby, I want to say this; having a child is NOT the sum total of human experience, even for a woman. There are lots of ways to be happy and giving. It is ok to take a different path in life, especially if life leads you down a different path.

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  21. I feel like I expereinced the opposite. I did not want to have kids when I was going through college and even during my first marriage, but once I was divorced it hit me like a Mack tuck that I want children. That was 4 years ago and now the I'm 35 and not married I often think about how much I would love to have children of my own.

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  22. Mara, this post made me hopeful. Even if I never have a baby, I will be ok. I have no doubt that you've been a mother more times that you can count. The act of giving life is beautiful but nurturing it is also just as beautiful and you do that every day, not just on this blog. Bless you & Danny. I hope this round of IVF works for you and if not, I can only say how lucky the people in your lives & beyond must be to be nurtured/parented by you every day. much love!

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  23. I know how that is! And one thing that I've realized is that I don't LOVE babies. When someone shows up to a party with a newborn I don't want to rush over there and hold them and my heart doesn't ache that I don't have one. I'd rather talk to my friends and have a conversation with people that can talk back to me. I think what this means is that I (hopefully!) will be really into MY babies, when they finally come, but I'm just not that into other people's babies.

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  24. I definitely hear you sister! After well over a decade of marriage I felt the same way. I still liked the idea of having a child, but I didn't feel a strong drive or compelled to go to the ends of the earth, spend every last penny trying to do so, or focus every bit of my energy or emotions on the task of gestating a baby. I had/have a fulfilling life. I did end up having a baby - a surprise pregnancy when we were no longer doing any fertility treatments and were just going about our happy lives. We never got consumed, felt desperate or that our lives were somehow "less than". That seems hard for a lot of people to understand - they love their children so much they assume that those without children are missing out. But now that I am a mother, and I love my child more than anything I ever imagine, I still don't agree that those who don't have children are missing out.
    It's wonderful that we are all on our own journeys. May yours always be a happy one.

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  25. I know what you mean, Mara! It looks like plenty of others (above) do too. Anyway, I just wanted to say that a friend of mine articulated this recently. She really was into her garden and gardening and the season after her second baby was born she was just feeling blah about gardening. She said that she thought a lot about it and decided that gardening was her way of nurturing, and when she was nurturing two little ones so constantly, she didn't NEED to nurture her garden like she had before. Happy to report that she's pregnant a third time and has a lovely garden at the moment. My point is, our need to nurture can be filled in so many ways, and waxes and wanes much like other needs. :)

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  26. Thank you for this post and for all the comments. I appreciate everyone's honestly -- including yours, Mara. My husband and I have been wringing our hands over this very issue. I have never heard it discussed before and right when we are at this crossroads, here it is. The comments and insights of your readers are fantastic.

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  27. Im so happy to have found your blog. We have similar stories in many ways, thought I do have a son born at 26 weeks some years ago. Im currently fighting miscarriage number 9 - and winning (so far) but the journey is a long one and Im looking forward to watching yours. I wish you all the best!

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  28. I am pretty young, and we have not even tried to get pregnant yet...so this is a little bit other. BUT sometimes I wonder if I will be able to make the sacrifices (the sleep one scares me most), or not go insane, or be the kind of mother I hope to be. Right now I am in nursing school and I just got back from my last clinicals in peds, and today as I was holding a little 7 pound 6 month old (which should tell you why this kids in the hospital) and I fed him his formula, and rocked him to sleep and watched him...my heart (and maybe mothering instincts that I thought I didn't have) told me that I could do this and I could do a good job, and so can/will you :)

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  29. I'm new to your blog and it's comforting to read your thoughts on infertility as my husband and I are going through similar struggles. Thank you for sharing so openly.
    I wonder if you or any other readers have heard of Napro Technology. It's a treatment method in reproductive endocrinology that involves a method of in-depth charting of one's cycle, followed by a very thorough diagnostic process prior to the use of hormones and surgery. Artificial insemination and IVF are not part of the treatments they do, yet their statistics of increasing fertility and healthy pregnancies are much higher. For those who may be morally opposed to IVF, or are just not comfortable with the process of the normal fertility clinics, it's definitely worth checking out.
    http://www.naprotechnology.com/index.html

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  30. After 4 successive miscarriages, and visiting various doctors, I was diagnosed with a blood clot disorder (MTHFR), a variant of the more common Factor 5. After the miscarriages, I can honestly say that I knew things would be okay for me even if I "never became a mother." You're right, as women we have various ways we "mother". It was frustrating, but there is comfort in knowing that you're trying and doing your best to welcome children into your home. I am grateful for modern-day medicine that only in the last 10-15 years has known much of the link between blood clot disorders and miscarriages. I had no idea I was a carrier as I am otherwise very healty and fit. I always try to educate others about this to others...if my 3 boys (ages 4,2,and 1...oh dear! let me :) )
    -btw, thanks for such a great and uplifting blog...it is seriously one of my favorites. Much luck and success to youu both! Remember "Come what may and love it!"

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  31. I have felt a declining urge to have children with every passing year (I'm 37 now). It's always possible to focus on what you don't have or what's less-than-ideal in life OR on what's great. I choose to focus on the positive. And I choose to focus on how my own grass is greener. Often, people with kids envy those without and people without kids envy those with kids. So, I focus on what people who have kids might envy about my life! While I'm sure my life would be great with kids in different ways, it's amazing in different ways without kids.

    Because I don't have kids, I get to travel whenever I want in in whatever fashion I want. I've been to over 40 countries and can have all sorts of wild adventures, I can travel via crazy local buses and trains, I can stay in cheap hotels or expensive hotels. I can be impractical - I can quit my job to travel for a year if I want, I can take 6 weeks off between jobs to travel (just did that to go to SE Asia), I can quit my corporate job to teach part-time and not worry about the drop in income. I don't have the financial worries of supporting another person, saving for college, etc. I can live in the trendiest, nicest, most expensive neighborhood in my area...I don't have to worry about choosing a home based on the best school district, and I'm fine with a tiny 1-bedroom apartment. I have basic day-to-day freedoms - I can leave my house whenever I want, grab coffee or drinks with friends without thinking twice, do whatever I want with my weekends.

    Not having kids also makes me a better citizen who can make a much larger impact on the world. I have so much more time and energy to dedicate to making a big-scale impact on the world. I realized that the energy, time and money I'd devote to raising 1 child in yuppie America can literally save thousands and thousands of lives in the world. What's spent on 1 American kid can save countless lives in a developing country. The time and energy I'd devote to my own child can instead be redirected toward important social justice issues that can affect thousands in the US or overseas. I'm also freer to make job decisions based on how I think I can contribute the most to the world - without kids I'm more free geographically and financially.

    And there are other benefits, too! :) It's been so useful to shift my thinking and to embrace the awesome parts of not having children. So many parents look frazzled and unhappy and snappy - it's nice to not be that as well!

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  32. Hi Mara,
    I just stumbled upon your blog from pinterest (Love the tips from a J.Crew stylist!) and I read this post. It's such a small world because I worked with Dr. Braverman last year and I cannot tell you how much he changed my life! He is so wonderful and compassionate and absolutely brilliant. Dr. B helped us get pregnant through his immune disorder protocol and we have a beautiful 8 month old baby boy because of his expertise. I'm so happy you found him... I know you will be in good hands!

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  33. Ok, I know I just commented on another post so I hope you don't feel annoyed, but it's because I can relate so much to your life! Divorce, infertility, IVF, second marriage--except not in the same order or with the same exact results.
    I completely understand that feeling bout the diminishing desire for children... Some days I get a little concerned about that in myself, but when I stop and *listen* I realize that it is a tool to help me, not a fear or a detraction from what I know will come. That feeling is a gift of peace, of acceptance, wisdom gained from my trials. When I recognized that, it helped me in moving forward with the KNOWING that my desire to be a mother will be fulfilled--in this life.
    I wish you and Danny all the best in this journey! I know how much it means to me when someone really gets where I've been and where I'm coming from. Thank you for sharing yourself so openly!

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  34. You are a beautiful couple guys!

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