Which is just great timing in light of the fact that DH and I are now beginning to question whether we can or even want to do this. By "this", I mean become parents. Is that shocking? I think it must because I could never even say those words out loud to anyone I know in real life. They just get stuck in my throat. Why are we having cold feet now?
DH has the more noble category of concerns and questions. He's worried about what kind of parent he's going to be. He didn't have the best examples growing up and he doesn't want to pass that junk on to his child. He's concerned that he'll fail in his efforts to teach our child what he or she needs to know to be a good person. I think he's worried about having the same kind of messed up relationship with our child that he has with his parents.
As for me, well, my fears are (embarrassingly) selfish ones. For the first time in a long time, I feel like my life belongs to me. I'm not anxious or stressed out about anything. I don't have to plan my life around appointments and injections. I love spending time with DH without the cloud of treatments hanging over our heads all the time. It's like when we were dating, but better. I feel so free. Am I ready to give up this newly rediscovered control over my life for the roller coaster of adoption and parenthood?
If we had got pregnant from our last IVF, we might have had the same worries, but we wouldn't have perceived that there was a choice. We would have just kept going down the path on which we started three years ago. But, as preadoptive parents, we do have a choice. We could stop all this right now and live our lives child-free: be the favorite auntie and uncle to all our friends' kids, travel, go out to dinner, drink wine, and have only each other to worry about. I've never actually considered that before and now that I'm examining the possibility of a life without adoption, having that choice makes the whole situation feel overwhelming.
From what I've read and heard, all our fears are normal. But still they make me doubt myself. That's what fear always does, right? I can't say that the thought of turning away from adoption brings me less fear. It doesn't feel right to me at all. In fact, it's enough to nearly bring on a panic attack. But I am afraid that the adoption process will turn me into the person I was when we were going through treatments. I don't want to be that unhappy, stressed out person again. Now that I have a bit of distance from it, I just can't go back there--I can't. I guess the benefit of cold feet is that you get to look at your situation and make a conscious choice about how to deal with it, rather than going through the motions. You feel the doubt and fear and move through it, more aware of the pitfalls, and maybe, just maybe, being more capable of avoiding them. Or at least that's my hope.