We write all about the dynamics of this at our blog: http://firsttimesecondtime.blogspot.com The "switching uteri" tag has a lot of the relevant posts: http://firsttimesecondtime.com/categ...tching/page/2/ but there's really stuff all the way through.
All told, it has been a wonderful thing for our family to have both given birth and both experienced building strong relationships with our "non-genetic" kids. There is something wonderful about actually knowing some what the other mom has experienced. That said, switching up introduces extra emotional territory that you can kind of just skip otherwise. For us, that's kind of just like candy, because we think it's all so damn interesting, but I can't claim it's all easy-as-pie. I think the level of challenge can vary depending on how much of a role biology played in how you structured your parenting initially (either on purpose or not -- and switching up can definitely expose places where biology played a big role and you had no idea).
In any case, good luck. It is not an easy thing to consider switching up after trying for so long, but maybe it will be a good path forward for your family.
We first TTC'ed with me and eventually foudn out my tubes are blocked. We tried IVF once but it didnt work. The cost of it all made us change to my partner and she is now pregnant with twins. In the meantime, the government started to pay for IVF's through our medical insirance program so next time it will be my turn to try again.... if there is a next time that is, with twins, we will have to see if we really want three kids ! the plan was to have one each... now we already have two on the way !
I have to say that its easier for me than I expected it to be. I thought I would be jalous (or envious anyway) to some degree and I dont really find that to be true.
Celebrating the arrival of our twins , Charlie & Chloe, born Jan 28th 2011 !
I imagine that it would be different to know that you were switching without the likelihood of switching back again. The process is very different from either side. We found that alternating helped us to know what the other was thinking and feeling, which was a nice bonus.
All that being said, in the end she was the one who ended up pregnant with Esther, which was as we wanted it and has worked out really well. We do intend to switch and I'll carry a subsequent baby, so we had always planned to each have pregnancies. I think it would have been really hard if I had gotten pregnant, which would have been different than our original plan. Of course we would have been thrilled after so many years of ttc.. but I imagine there would have been some frustrations and sadness mixed in.
We wanted to have two kids. Our doc thought our best chance was for me to wean my daughter right away, wait just a few months, then do it again. I didn't want to do that, and my partner did want to try again. So she decided to try 3 more times. She started when our daughter was about 7 months old and got pregnant on the very first try with our son. I don't know how she would have felt about me trying again if she hadn't been successful - she obviously loved our daughter from the beginning, but I don't think it was easy for her to see my go through pregnancy and birth. I can only see this as an outsider - while I am glad to have had the experience of being pregnant, I had felt totally fine with having her be the one to do it when we were first trying.
So how it has turned out is that we have two kids 16-1/2 months apart. I am interested in looking at the blogs mentioned by other posters. We have definitely had our issues. The bonds were very different for a while. I think nursing had a lot to do with that. I loved nursing, just loved it, and my daughter nursed past age 3. My partner just tolerated nursing. She also had supply issues, which made it difficult for me to nurse our son - any time I did I was basically forcing her to pump because her supply would drop pretty quickly. Those issues - not really enjoying it and worrying about an empty tank - also kept her from nursing our daughter. When our son was a little older and eating well, and my partner wasn't as worried about supply, she nursed our daughter. But after infancy our son wasn't ever very interested in nursing with me, so mostly we nursed the kids we had given birth to.
For a while it sometimes felt like two single moms with kids who happened to be living together. But as my son has gotten older and he and his sister have forged a relationship of their own, that has very much changed. Our family is an evolving thing.
oh, and hi! to lyn - i didn't know you were on MDC. i know i dont comment regularly, but i do enjoy your blog!!
Thanks! I'm over here sometimes but don't tend to be too chatty... (as evidenced by my paltry number of posts!)
I love conversations like this. Letitia -- your experience sounds really interesting. Having the kids so close in age probably makes a big difference. My pregnancy (which was quite difficult) definitely put a strain on my relationship with our oldest, but she was nearly 3 by then and our relationship was solid enough that we got back on track quickly. With kids really close, I think it might have felt much different.
Even though I have children, it is hard for me to hear women talking about giving birth, knowing how traumatic the birth of my last child was. So, you might have issues too, where it hurts for you to watch her go through it when you cannot.
I would still let her have the baby, and perhaps continue to try for yourself too. But regardless, the baby will be the child of both of you. Good luck!