How Do You Live in the Moment?
May 21, 2012
© Sarah Preston Gorenstein
Do you ever find yourself straddling two time zones, the present and the future? Lately, I’m torn between them: Is now the right time to have another baby? Will there ever be a “right time”? At 38, do I have time to even consider this?
The answer was very clear-cut the first year we were trying to conceive. It starts to get more complicated as months turn into years. That’s why this story really grabbed me, about a woman who was trying to conceive for 22 years and finally had a biological child at the age of 43.
I’ve always wanted two or three kids, and so has my husband. I want a sibling for Preston. I want my kids to have each other to play with when they’re still young, and be there for each other as they grow older as adults. I want a big family for all the reasons anyone wants a big family—the camaraderie as well as the chaos. More kids, more fun, more love for everyone.
Parenthood is a blast but it isn’t always easy. And it’s certainly not easy being a full-time working mom who spends more hours in my office than at home with my family during the week. But that’s a different blog for a different time…
As time goes by, wanting more kids isn’t the same thing as having them. So much has changed in our lives since we started our TTC journey, not the least of which is me. Sometimes I wonder if there’s a reason for all of these unexplained infertility delays. Not to get too spiritual on you, but I do believe everything happens for a reason, that God has a bigger plan—maybe this is happening for a reason? I was talking to my best friend about this the other night—she’s having her second baby today, who’ll be about 16 months apart from her first—and I explained to her that the longer it takes, the less desperate I feel for another child right now. That strong desire and determination is waning—it’s still there, but it’s not as pressing as it once was. Which is ironic considering my age...
After everything I went through last year and how sick I was, I’m finally feeling normal again. I was so caught up living in the future—I then became too sick to even enjoy the present. But now that I can? I realize how happy I am with the way things are—exactly how they are right now, with all of our attention focused on Preston. My time with him is precious. He's the center of our universe. Whether or not that's healthy I don't care, I'm happy devoting every available minute to him, especially because I work so much.
But the future nags at me. I worry if I don’t move forward with more fertility treatments soon I’ll live to regret it. And that’s a BIG regret to live with… It’s very hard to imagine our lives any different, or more complicated, but it’s also hard to imagine our lives with only one child forever.
The older he gets and the further away we get from the newborn stage—and all the stages that come after—the harder it is to picture starting over again too. Things aren’t exactly slowing down for me and my career—just the opposite. But my age isn’t slowing down either! The damn age thing again.
So the real question is: When you suffer from infertility, how do you live in the moment and stay focused on where you are now? You have no choice but to plan for the future and go to pretty great lengths just for the possibility of having more kids. The minute I start those treatments again I'm getting right back on that rollercoaster ride.
No matter how many times I tell myself I will not let this process get me down again, mentally or physically, it’s really not something I can control. I suppose I’m a little afraid of setting myself up for more disappointment, too, and what that’ll do to my family.
Do you ever struggle with living in the moment versus planning for the future, when it comes to having more kids? For me, and even with everything I know now, it's still probably going to come down to what I think is best for our future. Even if that means making some short-term sacrifices.