Thursday, January 31, 2008

Thoughts on adoption

I've been thinking to myself that if a newborn (or a birthmom) were presented to us, we'd say, "Absolutely!" without hesitation.

But on a bboard, I just saw someone post that she knows a birthmom who wants to find a family. My heart skipped a beat. Would we be open to this idea?

Turns out, the birth parents are mixed-race, and they want a mixed-race family. Clearly T and I do not fit that bill. It's not the situation for us.

But it got me thinking about a baby. I do want a baby. I do want a baby right now. But am I ready to adopt -- to say yes to an adopted baby right now? I don't know. I think I'm still attached to some sort of ART working. Even donor egg with donor sperm makes me feel less scared than adoption right now.

I feel so confused. I want to be able to let go, but I can't yet. We are going to an all day adoption seminar on Saturday. (Ironically, we'll have to miss my cousin's baby's bris because of this. This is the second cousin baby in about a month.) But something about adoption doesn't sit well with me. This is so weird because my niece L is so great and that adoption has worked so well so far at age 11. Why can't I shake my scared feelings?

I know a bunch of successful adoption stories that last until adulthood. But I also know scary adoption stories of children no longer talking to their parents. I don't want that. But then again, I know fully biological children that as adults don't really talk to their parents.

The thing is, I feel like the not talking thing is different for the biological families than for the adoptive families. Maybe that's me throwing my baggage onto it, but that's what I feel like. Of course, thinking on it, it's not 100% true. Mental illness is probably the #1 reason for the not talking thing. I can think of 2 mental illness not talking situations off the top of my head. One of them is an adoptive child and one of them is a biological one. I know that adoption agencies try their best to screen for a family history of mental illness. And honestly, I'm not sure if we know whether or not our donor has a family history of mental illness. We don't think so, but do we know for sure? Another not talking situation is just because the son, now an adult, just didn't quite keep up with his sister (biological to the parents) and the parents (both professors). I get the feeling that he didn't feel like he fit in, especially intellectually. That's the one that really scares me. I'm afraid of our kid not fitting in with T and me.

I know there is nothing certain in the world. Anything can go wrong in any situation. Things can go wrong, biology or no biology. So why am I so uncomfortable with this whole adoption thing? Why? I don't want to be anymore.

Maybe it's because I got pregnant with donor #2 and I know we have 3 more vials left. Maybe it's because I know there's a chance that I could get pregnant, and with that chance right there, I can't mentally move on yet. Maybe it's because T and I decided we would definitely do IVF one more time with my eggs and donor sperm (with insurance coverage) before moving on.

I want to be able to process more than one thing at a time, but I'm not sure I can.

We also want to think about donor eggs and donor sperm if I don't get pregnant with my eggs. Both T and I thought we we would never think about that route, but we're finding out that our feelings are changing. At least we feel like we can have a little input on our child's biology with donor gametes.

Of course, we need the results of my tests first. If there's nothing wrong with my eggs, then donor eggs won't solve our problem.

I guess I just want all the answers instantly, and that's not possible. Writing this down made me smile a little. T tells me that I am extremely impatient, and I know it's true. Well, infertility sure forces patience on a person.

In other news, the penicillin is definitely helping as my throat feels much better, but I'm still not feeling really well. Perhaps I caught a virus along with the evil throat thing. I haven't been this sick in a long, long time. Happily, though, I am slowly recovering.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The world is out to get me

I hate feeling like the world is out to get me, but that's how I feel most of the time. I just found out that we aren't covered for my current RE under T's insurance. At all. We're going to have to pay for my SIS yesterday out of pocket.

We were told that the new insurance didn't have a contract with our insurance, but the second time we asked we were told it was fine. So we thought it was fine.

I am getting new insurance in three weeks with my new job. If I knew I wouldn't be covered I would have waited.

Now, it's not so much the cost that pisses me off. I mean, it's $500 that could be saved for something else, but that's not the real point here. It's just that feeling that no matter how mundane something is, it just never works for us. Something always fucks up.

I know that I am super lucky to have T. I do truly appreciate him and that we were able to find each other. That is one thing that is not fucked up and makes sense and the one thing I know is right. And we're lucky that way.

But I just feel like when it comes to everything else we are constantly getting screwed.

Monday, January 28, 2008

More tests

I had my SIS today. My uterus looks normal. The doc also looked at my ovaries and I had like 15 or 18 antral follicles, which means my fertility is fine. He has no idea why I don't respond to medication. He says that he has had other patients who seem to have normal fertility and do not respond to gonadotropins, but it is pretty rare.

I also had a butt-load of blood taken. They're doing the clotting panels and an insulin thingy, and a bunch of other things that I don't know what they are. It takes a couple of weeks for the results to come back, so I'll have a phone call with the good doctor on Feb 20 to discuss all of the results.

The test wasn't too bad except how weird it felt for the saline to slowly drip out of my uterus. That was a really weird sensation.

In other news, I'm on penicillin because I think I have strep. I went to my PCP today and the NP looked at my throat and was horrified. She swabbed me and gave me a prescription. My throat, meanwhile, feels like knives cutting my throat every time I swallow. I feel like hell in general, but sleeping is difficult with the swallowing problem. Hopefully the penicillin will work quickly.

I'm also just so ready for my job to start.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Starting Over

My hcg today was 4, which is low enough to be considered negative. I am to start bcps today. On Monday I am to have the SIS and a bunch of blood tests. I'm not sure whether I want everything to be normal with these tests or if I want there to be a diagnosis so that we have a plan for the next time I get pregnant which will help make it stick. I guess either way I still have a few more cycles ahead of me.

The adoption seminar was quite informative. I am still not mentally ready to proceed with adoption, but I can tell it is the right thing for me to learn more about it. The longer I sit with it, the more ready I will be to follow that route.

The scariest part of actual adoption, especially for T, is openness. Birth parents often want some sort of communication with a child. Now, meeting with a birth mother (and father) before a baby is born and a match is made makes a lot of sense. I can see how that would be comforting when choosing a match. It could make things feel right -- or to know they are wrong. T and I both like that idea. But T is terrified of face to face visits after birth. He is afraid of 'sharing' our baby and scared to have an adult suddenly become a part of our lives.

I can't say that I'm enamored with the idea, but I've been thinking about it a lot lately and depending on the situation, I think I could live with some type of openness. Thinking about being an adoptee or a birth parent, I can understand needing some sort of knowledge of my biological family. I mean, I don't think I could meet face to face several times a year, but I do think I could do regular written communication and some sort of sporadic face to face meet.

It's amazing to me how different adoption feels than donor gametes. With DI, we have chosen the specific donor and we have chosen to bring the child into the world. Adoption is just feels so different to me. I'm feeling all of the anger and frustration that I felt with the donor sperm all over again. Only more so.

T says he doesn't feel angry anymore. He felt angry for a long time, but he mostly just feels sad.

I wish I knew how to let go of my anger. I think I can live with a lack of biological connection. I even think I could live without ever staying pregnant long enough to give birth, though I think I will always be sad about that one. But I just can't stop being angry about how much time, effort and money we've had to put in to creating our family. I can't stop being angry about all of the loss we've had to go through. I am still really pissed that after more than two years and four miscarriages, once we decide to adopt we will have to fork over tons of money and then wait up to two more years in order to have a baby. I am just so furious about this. I've waited. I've done my time. I've suffered my losses. How can I be patient waiting for a match? I just don't know how to do that part.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Thoughts on yarn, food and adoption

Why do M&Ms of non-traditional colors seem to taste better than traditionally colored M&Ms? We bought weird colored M&Ms in Vegas and I just love them. Well, loved them as now they are all gone. Goodbye teal and maroon chocolate candies.

The hat I made my niece is apparently very fashionable and all the 5th graders want to know where she got it. Who knew I could be a hip tween designer?

I bought two more skeins of yarn today because my nephew wants a hat and another one of my nieces wants a hat like L's. I'm knitting up a storm.

Read this article (referred by Sarah) about eating and fertility. I've been thinking about changing our diet a lot lately, and I'm trying to be inspired by the article. Now, I don't seem to have ovulatory problems. I'm not even sure I have poor quality eggs, though perhaps I do. But I figure, if eating less animal protein, more milk fat and higher quality carbs will help with ovulation issues, then I will just try it and see if it helps with egg quality, too. Or I just might see if it helps me be more healthy in general. I was thinking of going with the reduced simple carbohydrates and more complex carbohydrates route anyway, and this seems like a similar idea. Combined with exercise and increased water consumption, maybe I (and T) can shed a few pounds. If anybody can glean more about eating habits from this article, please send them my way. I sort of only skimmed it.

I walked a little today. Yesterday I used the elliptical.

Tonight we are going to a domestic infant adoption seminar given by ACONE. I think I just need as much time as I can possibly get to digest this whole adoption thing. When we first started doing the donor thing I was absolutely certain that I would get and stay pregnant successfully, but I am getting further and further from believing that anymore. And even if I do manage to stay pregnant one time, I just find it so hard to believe that I would be able to do it again in a few years from now. I just think it's nearly impossible that we will not end up adopting at least one child at some point in time.

Though I don't think I can mentally cope with doing infertility treatment and adoption at the same time, I think it's important to start thinking about all of the adoption paperwork and the process so that when we are ready, we will know what we are getting into. Each of these processes are exhausting, so I want to give myself enough time to be able to process each of these huge decisions we are about to make. Ending treatments is a huge decision. Adoption is also a huge decision. There's just so much to wrap our heads around.

I've also been thinking a lot more about not choosing interracial adoption. I know I've mentioned before that the fact that I don't want to do an interracial adoption makes me feel racist. There was a piece on This American Life this weekend (on the Matchmaker episode) about a woman who is hired as an actress to work in this realistic doll department at FAO Schwartz. She acts as a nurse who gets the little girls to 'adopt' these very realistic baby dolls. They sign 'adoption papers' and pay an 'adoption fee' in order to bring the dolls home. She is not allowed to break the illusion of this being an adoption process. They have a sample doll that they are supposed to tend to when there are no customers around. This doll is white, but it is a sample because its head is too heavy and its fingers are webbed and it is just an irregular doll. They called him Nubbins. Well, people came in and 'adopted' all of the white babies first. Then there were only dolls of color and Nubbins. Little girls would come and play with the dolls of color and the mothers would ask if there were dolls that "looked more like Sally does," obviously asking if there were any white dolls. When this woman said no, some left and some did buy dolls of color. The Asian babies went first. The Latino babies went next. Finally, all that were left were Nubbins and the Black babies. This one mother and her daughter came in for a doll, and the mother not even trying to be subtle asks where are the white babies. The woman says there are none. The mother asks about Nubbins. The woman shows the mother Nubbins and his head flops weirdly and his webbed hands do odd things, and the mother wants Nubbins anyway. So, Nubbins, the defective white doll, was adopted before the Black babies were adopted.

I feel like one of those mothers. It makes me feel awful. It makes me feel like a bad person. I think that story is terrible, and I feel like I am one of them.

But dolls aren't children. Dolls don't learn. Dolls don't have feelings. Dolls don't need to learn how to live in a racist world. Dolls don't understand that they don't look like their parents. Dolls are inanimate objects. Children are not.

And then I get angry at myself. Infertility sucks. Knowing that you may never, ever stay pregnant long enough to have a baby sucks. Knowing that you may have to decide to stop trying to have a baby sucks. Knowing that you have to go through this huge process and pay tens of thousands of dollars to be able to have a family sucks. It is a painful process. It is wrought with emotional trauma. And I'm making myself feel bad because I don't want my child to have to ask me why he or she has different skin color than mommy and daddy. I'm making myself feel bad because I just want to have my family find some way to be "average," whatever that is.

I feel like that we will have enough to deal with, whether it be educating our child about adoption, navigating T's and my differing views on religion, or having a donor conceived child. I don't want to add an additional layer of seeking out a place in another culture for our child so that he or she doesn't feel alienated? And I've just read so many stories of these children being caught in the middle. Too white to identify with whatever their ethnicity is and too ethnic to be white. I just don't feel equipped to handle that in addition to everything else. I admire those who are able to do that. It is a wonderful thing if you can do it. I just don't think I can. My energy has been spent getting to where I am now.

I just can't stop feeling bad about it, though.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Not low enough

My hcg yesterday was 12.5, so I'm going to have to go in again. It was so close. I was expecting to have to go in again, but I really thought the number would be in the 20s or so -- not this low. So, it is a slight pain to have to go in again, but I'm confident that I will be near or at 0 by next Friday.

Today we are having a big family get together. We are honoring the memory of one of my Nanas -- my father's mother -- by making her special cookies and blintzes. My brother is going to make ribs in his new smoker and we will watch football. My parents are leaving for FL for two months and this will be our last get together before they go. My mom will turn 70 in March, but will still be in FL on her birthday. We were hoping to go down and visit them in FL, but with my new job it looks like it's not going to happen. I'm a little disappointed, but it's definitely better for me to have a job.

T has a cold so he is snoring like a madman. I use earplugs to block out his snoring, but his cold makes it so bad that it wakes me up even with the earplugs in. Not good.

Friday, January 18, 2008


I'm back from Vegas. It was so nice to get away, and I enjoyed that city more than I thought that I would. I even gambled a little. So did T. Of course we lost, but not too much, so we can just write off the loss as 'entertainment.' We saw two shows, Le Reve and David Copperfield. The former was just incredible -- it's amazing what humans can do with their bodies, and the latter was impressive, if not what I was expecting. David Copperfield was geeky and self-deprecating where I expected him to be over-serious and egotistic. It's like he was aware of his reputation as taking himself too seriously and decided to make fun of himself. He reminded us of Bob Saget (but less dirty -- which if you didn't know he was dirty you should check out his HBO special or The Aristocrats). We had a really great time and it felt so good to just get away and relax and not think about things. Oh, and the two best things were the Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay and the Star Trek Experience at the Hilton. I am such a geek!

I bled pretty much the whole time, but the worst of it was over before I left. I was supposed to have a blood test this morning, but it snowed while we were away and we had to dig out the driveway this morning and I didn't make it, so I'll have to go tomorrow. I spoke to my RE while I was away, and we both agreed that we need to do extensive testing to make sure there are no female factor issues. We know my chromosomes are okay, but we haven't done a blood clotting test and he wants to do a hysterosonogram (the thing with the saline and the ultrasound) which is apparently more detailed than the HSG I've already had. He also wants to take other bloods for other tests that I don't remember because he wants to be exhaustive. So, I will have additional testing done once my pregnancy test comes back negative. And I will start the pill right away once I get the negative test, too.

I was only really sad once during the trip. T's boss, the former owner of the company (which basically means he's loaded) talked about how he had won a goodly amount of money gambling and since his wife was home with their baby that he felt obligated to go buy them presents. Then I went to find T to hear that he just lost a bunch of money at the blackjack table. This just made me feel so completely unlucky that I couldn't take it any more. I hid among the slot machines and just lost it. I tried to make myself feel better by thinking how lucky I am to have a wonderful husband such as T and that he could lose a little bit of money at the blackjack table and that it wouldn't affect us adversely, but it just didn't work. I just felt robbed of any sort of luck when the boss (and the other trillion people in the office who are pregnant or just had babies) had what they had. But we went off to a little party and I eventually felt a little better. Plus I bought some funny colored M&Ms.

The bleeding has really slowed, so I'm hopeful that the blood test tomorrow will come back negative. It's impossible to know, though. It may take another week or so, and I am prepared for that. I am sorry to return to some really sad news in the blog world. I am thinking off all of you in these difficult times.

Oh, and what's up with Las Vegas being a family destination? I saw so many babies and toddlers while we were there. I just don't understand! What are these people exposing these children to? I'll tell you what -- porn, gambling and excessive drinking. Oh, and cigarette smoke. No one under age 21 should even be allowed to go near the strip. Not in my world anyway.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Wow, good things can happen

I got a job offer yesterday. Though I was expecting it, I'm still kind of floored; I always expect things to not work out for me. I am accepting. The commute isn't the best, and the job itself is just doing technical support, but it is a growing tech company with plenty of room for advancement. I am of course terrified that I am making the wrong decision because the position itself isn't that exciting and my last two jobs, which were both completely horrible, I had some hesitations. But I don't have hesitations about the company itself, which is good, and the position is a good one for learning their product back and forth. Plus I get my old insurance back, which means I'll be covered for IVF again. Since I will be answering calls, it's a pretty strict schedule and I'm not sure how they cope with doctors' appointments, I'm not sure how easy it will be to make my myriad appointments. But the RE clinic is in the same town as my new office, so I'm sure I can mostly figure it out -- at least for the next 6 months or so. And we won't be doing IVF sooner than 6 months, if we do it at all.

We are leaving for Las Vegas before 7am tomorrow morning. I hope that it is a good get away. I am looking forward to just being away from home and from Boston for a while. We are going with people from T's work and I get along with them really well, so it should be a good time, as long as people don't constantly talk about their new babies. I probably won't post until I get back.

My next blood test is a week from today and I am still bleeding.

Go Pats! (I know most people hate them and want them to lose, but I'm a native New Englander! 19-0!)

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

still fake pregnant

My hcg today was 90. Going in the right direction (well, under the circumstances) but not as low as I was hoping. Still bleeding. I have to go in a week from Friday for another blood test.

I sent off for some adoption information. We're going to a Domestic Infant Adoption information meeting on Jan 23rd so we can understand more about the process and start thinking about an agency. I guess I need to feel like I'm moving forward in some way.

The biggest bummer about moving on to adoption is that when you decide to jump off the ART roller coaster, you don't just get to go to a peaceful place. You simply jump on to another roller coaster: Home Inspections, paperwork, profile, waiting to get chosen. I don't want to be on any roller coaster any more. I want to go to a peaceful place. But I guess a peaceful place will never exist for me. If I do get pg again, I'm sure I'll be pretty paranoid, though in an ideal world the second trimester should be a pretty peaceful time. If I don't get pregnant, we'll be on an adoption roller coaster until we get a referral, then there's all the other waiting for all the legal forms to be signed and for custody and finalization, plus follow up visits. And lord knows having an infant isn't peaceful (though in a much better way than having multiple miscarriages isn't peaceful). The whole process is so huge, crazy, overwhelming and expensive. I look at the literature and I freak. I can't absorb it all.

I have been feeling slightly less down lately, though. Slightly. My boobs definitely hurt less. I spent the day with my parents today. Still haven't heard about that job.

Vegas is coming up very soon, and I am starting to look forward to getting out of the house and just being somewhere else. We should have a pretty good time despite all of this shit.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

more fun with a miscarriage

Still bleeding. Last night was a particularly crampy one. Not fun. Took some ibuprophen and sat with the heating pad. Then I went to sleep. I feel much better this morning. B00bs don't really hurt any more. All of this points toward a pretty low number tomorrow, so that's good. After my blood test I'm going to spend the day with my parents. They are leaving for Florida in a couple of weeks, so they're happy I'm going to stop by.

I have therapy today. I guess that's a good thing. There is a RESOLVE support group tonight that I sort of feel like going to, but also don't. I mean, I'd like to go to a support group, but that one is usually full of newbies, and I just don't feel like being the veteran bitter person in a group of wide-eyed hopeful newbies. I don't want to receive that, "Oh my god, that is so awful I'm terrified of her bad luck," look from people. I wish there were a veterans group. There is an occasional miscarriage support group, but I think the same issue would exist there.

We're also looking into finally going to some adoption information seminars. We need to get more information on how it works. Luckily my therapist knows a lot about that, too. So, we shall see.

Still feeling lame and self pity-ing. I hate this person I have become in some ways, but I just don't feel ready to pull myself out of it. I need to wallow a little bit longer. Somehow I will find a way to be strong again, but I guess I'm just not ready yet.

Saturday, January 05, 2008


I've been feeling pretty down lately. The bleeding started, but it seems kind of light, so I'm worried it isn't enough. I have another blood draw on Wednesday, so I'll know more then. I am just worried that it's going to take months for my hcg levels to go down below 5. I know I said that I sort of needed a break from all this ttc stuff, but this isn't how I pictured that break. I'll see how the bleeding goes over the next couple of days.

I'm starting to really think about adoption a lot. I am very close to saying FUCK THIS to the ART roller coaster and just sucking it up and going in to debt to do domestic adoption. I can't get past the infant thing -- I still want a newborn baby. And I still have mixed feelings about interracial adoption. I don't think interracial adoption is wrong. I definitely think it is a great thing for people who want it. I'm just not sure that's what I (or we) want. Between having interfaith parents and being adopted, how many more layers of complication can I handle layering on our child? I haven't completely ruled it out, but I still think I want a baby where, when we walk down the street, people won't necessarily know our family history without ever speaking to us. Sometimes I feel that's selfish, but I guess having a baby at all is selfish, so I am entitled to a last vestige of selfishness in what has turned into a long, horrible and painful process.

I had a really great job interview on Thursday. The job itself isn't that exciting, but it is a great company that is growing rapidly, and they do a lot of promotion from within starting in the department where I would work. The woman in HR gave me very positive vibes. I would have our old heath insurance again starting on my first day of work, so I think if I'm offered this job I will take it. It is a job that involves telephone support, so I am a bit worried about doctors appointments, etc, but I really need a job and I really need insurance, so I can't picture myself turning it down. They also have some sort of adoption benefit, though I'm not exactly sure of the details.

Tonight I am hanging out with E for a girls' night out. She's leaving baby S home with R. We went to their house for New Years and it was fine, but I'm really having a difficult time doing anything but feel sorry for myself lately, so I hope I don't act like an ass. I am thinking about Samantha's resolution to act with grace and poise this year. I admire her courage to do so. Maybe soon I can be in a place where I can try to do that, but right now I'm kind of wallowing in the depths of my own hell.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Nothing to do

My hcg levels are too low for misoprostol or a D&C so there's nothing I can do but wait.

I think I'm starting to spot! I never thought this would be uplifting, but I think things may be starting soon. Please, please please.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

It went up

My hcg level this time was 144. It went up a little. No wonder my b00bs still hurt. This just sucks. I asked the nurse to ask the doctor if there was anything we could do to speed this along. I want this miscarriage to be over by the time I get to Las Vegas.

I'm feeling pretty empty. Usually I find solace in my knitting, but it doesn't seem to be doing much for me right now. I mean, I enjoy it and I keep making things, but I just don't feel fulfilled. I just feel like there is an empty pit in the middle of my body.

Maybe part of the reason is because I'm not working. I may have a job starting next Monday, but they have to see if they can make it so that it's not a problem that I'm not coming in the week we're going to Vegas. I do hope the job works out, though. I'm nervous about working full time again, but I think it's better to be busy and to have somewhere to go where I'm doing things than it is to make myself busy at home. Don't get me wrong, there's plenty I could do while I'm at home, but my motivation is pretty limited. And though I take care of some things, I'm not doing all I could do. I just find it really hard to reach inside myself and take care of big projects.

I hope I can get some sort of pill and empty out my uterus. This limbo is the worst.