It started out simply enough.
Jeremy was cleaning the kitchen after dinner. Brody and I were in the living room. I read out loud to Jeremy that Sarah Jessica Parker was expecting twins, via a surrogate.
We talked about it for a minute and then he said, "Yeah, we have to sort of think about what we're doing, if we ever want more kids."
And here he told me a year ago he was done. Which I remind him he said. And which he denies.
In any event, I explain, it costs $1700 to have initial testing at a reproductive immunology clinic in California, and then probably $400 a month in medications while pregnant (even with insurance, Lovenox ain't cheap) and another $500 a month in testing fees to test my blood every month pregnant to make sure my natural killer cells (the ones that kill the pregnancy) don't spike. And if they do? IVIg treatment. Also not cheap. And the fees are this much because my insurance will not pay for out-of-network treatment/testing/doctors.
Jeremy revealed that he thought that all the treatment we did before and during Brody, including a trip to Mexico for lymphocyte immunization therapy (LIT) would basically still be in effect. Nope, I said, it stops after you stop taking the meds and basically wears off.
"Well," he said, "I always sort of wondered if all that treatment wasn't what caused Brody's problems."
Still, I always knew he blamed me for Brody.
Which is what I say to him, in a completely normal tone of voice. (This entire conversation was in a normal tone of voice. Which I find odd, but there it is).
What? he said. What are you talking about? I don't blame you.
Well, I explain, if it wasn't for me having recurrent miscarriages and having three big auto-immune issues, (categories 1, 3 and 5) then we wouldn't have needed the treatment, and you blame the treatment for Brody.
I go on. If it wasn't for me having this, we would be right now planning another child.
He clearly regrets what he said.
Probably because of my stupid tears during which I explain that no other family did any of the treatments we did while pregnant with their Vacterl child, and, by the way, Brody is healthier than most Vacterl children.
He really really regrets what he said.
And we are left with an economic reality. Too much money for me to get pregnant, and too much money for us to adopt.
That's why we have a plan to be out of debt in five years, he says.
I'll be 43 in 5 years, and Brody will be almost 8, I say.
That's perfect, he says.
I roll my eyes. It's not perfect. Not by any stretch. We can't afford to adopt because of the treatments we are paying off. Not to mention the $30,000 in outstanding medical bills from after Brody was born.
I always wanted two, or three, children. Brody would be such a good big brother. I want more children. At least one more.
Jeremy reveals during this conversation that he has researched waiting children in Colorado. He shows me the webpage with all of their faces. He fancies a sibling group.
I tell him that in order for that to occur, the state requires that one of us be a stay-at-home parent.
Which we can't afford because of all of our debt.
There are no good answers.
Jeremy is still hopeful and trying to make me feel better about this....situation. He says he is not sure that he even wants another child. I call bullshit on him, because he tortured his sister, mother of one, for years to have another child so her son wouldn't be an only child. That was before he had one of his own and realized the responsibility of it all, he says.
Not to mention, he says, Brody might resent a child we adopt, or have biologically, who does not have his medical concerns.
I tell Jeremy that I think Brody might resent us if we don't give him a sibling because of his medical issues. Which is what it boils down to, right? Well, the cost of my medical issues and the cost of his medical issues.
At some point during this conversation, Jeremy, and then Brody, climb into my corner of the couch and we are huddled on top of each other. With no good answers and no good options and nowhere closer to another child than before.