Thursday, February 28, 2008


Apparently, my previous post was my 300th post. Wow. I had no idea. That's a lot of posting. I sort of can't believe it.

So, T and I had a reasonably heated argument about these upcoming cycles and adoption all because of this stupid adoption "benefit" thing through my company. He was saying that he wants to put money into the account because he believes that there is no hope that any of these cycles will work. This, of course, made me ask why, if he had no hope, were we even bothering to do them. I said in order to do the cycles, I had to have a little bit of hope that they might work. T then replied that I had done a complete 180 from where I was a few weeks ago at our adoption seminar, and then I had said that I doubted that the cycles would work. This, as you can imagine, escalated to a not so very great place.

Then I stopped the discussion/argument. If it weren't for this stupid adoption "benefit" we wouldn't be having that argument. We both were feeling sad, hurt and frustrated about our situation all over again. All of our wounds were rubbed with salt, all because of something that was supposed to help us. We were both so angry.

We still haven't decided what we should do. I still think we shouldn't risk it and we shouldn't put any money in there. T still thinks we should put at least half the home study money plus the application fee in there. I just don't want to do that because if, by some strange circumstance, I get and remain pregnant, I'm just not going to want to do a home study. T is arguing that even if we do get and stay pregnant, which he really doubts will happen, we should do the home study because of how long the adoption process takes and since we will probably adopt our second child, if not both, we should get the process going anyway.

This is so hard. How can we do family planning under these circumstances? It is impossible to guess what is going to happen next. We are not getting any younger, and we are hoping to have our second child before T is 45. But how can we even begin to plan this? It is just not in the cards. We're just going to have to take risks and understand that we are going to be older parents.

This terrifies T because his father died at age 60, and T is afraid he is not going to be around to see our children's later milestones.

We're going to discuss whether or not to use this so-called "benefit" with our therapist next week. Hopefully she can help us get some perspective.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Work and things

So, things are going okay. Thank you so much for letting me know I'm not alone. I know I am not, but it's amazing how comments like that can send me spiraling downward. You are right that the HR woman should not have said what she did. But I guess I will chalk it up to ignorance and try to move on.

Work is generally good. It's good to be busy and I'm learning things and everybody seems to be very nice. Of course someone in my training class's wife is pregnant and someone else has a 1 1/2 year old and the person sitting diagonally from me has pictures of his baby son on the walls and there is a bunch of baby talk, but I am mostly taking it in stride. And I like having somewhere to go. I don't like commuting, even though the drive I have could be way, way worse. I just hate it. But it's only about 30 minutes, so I know I shouldn't complain.

I've decided to do exercise, so I'm waking up about 30 min early and either using our elliptical or doing a yoga DVD. I've only done it for two days, but so far so good. I'm planning on alternating. Today was elliptical so tomorrow is yoga. I hope I can keep it up and maybe I'll be slightly less depressed and will lose a little weight.

We're going to another adoption seminar in the beginning of April. I feel like I need to keep going to these things because when I stop I start getting down about it. It is through ACONE and looks like it will be really informative. We are able to choose which programs we want to go to, and there's even one separate for men and women, which I think is great. I so want T to be able to talk with a bunch of other men about all of this.

I'm managing to keep the house in pretty good shape after the big clean up. That feels pretty good. I made some new curtains. I'm only partially done, but this is what it looks like so far. I'm pretty pleased with them. I feel like they've really changed the way the kitchen looks. I'm going to make a curtain for the top, too. And we have a door with a window and I'm working on a curtain for that too -- with another fabric on the other side so it looks good from the outside. I don't love sewing like I love knitting, but I do feel accomplished when I'm done. I was hoping to make the curtains a little longer, but this is how they came out, so it is what it is. I still think it looks good.

I am waiting on insurance approval for our upcoming cycle, so I don't have any news in that area. T and I still haven't decided whether to try to utilize that adoption benefit. I'm of the mind to not use it since if I do get pregnant on one of these cycles, I won't want to do the home study right then. If we put money in and don't use it, we'll lose it, so the less risky thing to do is to not put money in. Using the money post tax is less loss than losing the entire home study amount we put in there.

I always feel like I should make some sort of closing statement in these posts, but I don't really have one, so I'm going to just stop writing. I need to go make dinner anyway.

Friday, February 22, 2008

The freak in the corner

Another one of T's employees' wives is pregnant. She was drinking when we were in Las Vegas (5 weeks ago), so how pregnant can she be?

I wish this news didn't hurt so much. They're like 25 years old. And they got married after us.

I mentioned to the HR woman how the adoption benefit, while good in theory, doesn't work out so great. And maybe that's why no one has used it. But she said, no -- no one in the entire company has ever adopted. She would have known about it because they would have to talk to her about maternity/paternity leave.

And the cheese stands alone.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

How we tell

From Mel:
If you have told anyone, how did you broach the conversation? Did you wait for an opening or create it yourself (and if you created it, how)? Do you tell more than one person at a time or do you like to find private moments where you can talk about it one-on-one? Do you prefer to tell people in a written medium--email, letter--or face-to-face? Why did you tell them and how did they react? Were you disappointed or grateful, and did the telling make a difference in your life the day after and the day after that (in other words, did the telling do anything to change your daily existence either positively or negatively)?

Of all of the infertility questions, I think this one is the most difficult for me to answer. I think this may be because it is about other people. I can talk about how I process things with ease, but telling others involves the processing of other people, and it's difficult for me to explain. Maybe because I only get half of the experience.

Basically, telling people about our situation is mostly awkward. I don't know how to bring it up and people generally don't know how to react.

The first thing we had to tell the general public was about my husband's diagnosis. When the diagnosis is a balanced translocation, this is not such an easy thing. Talking about genes and chromosomes and meiosis which are all the things you need to talk about when explaining a balanced translocation. I also had to say that we had had two miscarriages which is what lead to the diagnosis. We were choosy about who we told. We told our family. We told a handful of our closest friends. I just called people up, found a break in the conversation and dove right in. I don't like telling people things like that in writing. I didn't know how else to do it. I just needed to dive in and say my piece. My husband is incredibly introverted, so I knew he couldn't tell people. The only person he told was his mother. I told everybody else.

Reactions varied. It's so long ago now that I don't remember very vividly, but everybody was generally understanding and supportive. My husband's mother was worried she had done something bad during her pregnancy to cause the translocation, so we had to assure her that this wasn't the case. She had a difficult time getting pregnant and finally had by husband after trying for 7 years. We think he inherited the translocation from her, but we never confirmed it with blood tests. We didn't see the point. But everyone understood that we would try IVF with PGD and that hopefully things would work out. Everyone had lots of hope.

I ended up only telling a few people about the third miscarriage. I didn't even tell my brothers and their family at the time. I was tired of sharing so much bad news.

People were curious how the treatments were going, but understood we wanted privacy about exactly where we were in a cycle and how things are going. IVF is weird in that people want to know exactly what's going on when. I didn't ask my friends whether or not they had sex the day before while they were ttc, so I didn't want to tell people the details. I just wanted to let them know if it worked or not.

As it started to become evident that IVF with PGD would not be successful for us, things started to become more difficult and awkward. If asked, I would say that things weren't going well.

When IVF was over and it was time to move on to donor sperm, I felt like I had to tell people again. We want to be pretty open about the donor gametes and we wanted the people close to us to know. Again, how do you bring this up? I called up my brother's families and told them again. I didn't get much of a response from them this time. I think they really didn't know what to say. I was a little disappointed at this. I wanted some sort of confirmation that they knew this transition must be a difficult one for us. At this point it was obvious that our situation was really pretty grim in some ways, though since I had been pregnant three times, there was some hope.

I told a couple of more people. Again, I just brought it up out of nowhere. No one says to me, so... how's your reproductive life? Most people just say something like, 'Oh, Rachel. How horrible," and look awkward and want to change the subject.

After all of the failed donor IUIs, I just sort of gave up hiding it, for the most part. Except at work. I want to hide all of this from work as much as possible.

At this point, telling people at a Resolve support group our story is awkward and inspires sidelong glances and the feeling that the are thinking, "Jeez, that can't happen to me, can it?"

Now that we've had another miscarriage, this time with donor sperm, and we're exploring adoption, we have to do another telling. We have to start telling people we're thinking of adopting. We're not quite there yet, and only a couple of people know we are thinking of moving on. I talk much more openly about all of this with people now. I can talk about the ridiculousness of our situation and how little hope I have that anything will work out. I know that deep down inside my hope still lives, but it's almost impossible for me to deal with talking about hope with other people. I guess I feel like other people don't understand how much hope can hurt. I don't want people to tell me to hope.

I like to be free to talk about our troubles and my miscarriages in front of other people. I like to be able to say, "When I was pregnant," and people to not bat an eye. So telling people has been good that way. I have had some disappointment in some people's reactions. But I think that happens with everything that you tell someone else. True empathy is very difficult. People who haven't dealt with loss on our level can't truly understand. They can know it sucks, but they can't quite get it. I find myself wanting to mostly hang out with or read the adoption blogs or people who have had three or more failed IVFs because I feel like we can relate to one another.

The telling is difficult. That's one of the reasons I have this blog. I feel like I can tell anything to this blog. It is a great listener. Unless I think about the commenting, it never disappoints me. I say what I need to say, I tell what I need to tell and it never disappoints. And this way I know everything I say is captured somewhere.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

New Things

I started my job. I have three weeks of intensive training which is going well. I have played with our product a bit, so I know a little bit how it works so today the training was a little slow. I did learn a few things, but I'm ready for the pace to pick up a little. But I like the people and I like the atmosphere, so things after the end of day 2 are going pretty well.

I also spoke with my RE. Basically, all my tests came out normal. The miscarriage with donor sperm was a fluke. I think I kind of figured that was the case, but there it is. There aren't any female factor issues in this miscarriage thing. They did find that I have a mutation that means I don't absorb folic acid properly, so I will need to start taking a mega dose of it. It does increase the chances of birth defects, I guess, especially since I'm 35. But otherwise, things are normal.

So I guess I'm cycling again in March. We are going to do a micro-dose Lupr0n IUI. I am both a little excited and dreading it. I am starting the pill again on Friday, and in a couple of weeks I will be injecting again. I guess I'll just have to work something out with my new job. I'm still worried about that, but it is what it is. This is my priority right now.

And there's something else that's bothering me. My new company offers a pre-tax account for adoption (like an FSA for health costs) where you can put in a bunch of money that you are going to use for an adoption. But the thing is, you have to use all of that money within that calendar year, or you lose it. I have to decide how much to put in the account within 30 days of hire. And the thing with domestic adoption is, unless you are working with a flat fee agency, the fee schedule is kind of unpredictable. And we don't even know if we are going to go forward with it at this point -- we still have these treatments. So we don't know if we can utilize this benefit. Being pre-tax is a big savings, especially when you're talking about the large amount of money involved with adoption, but I'm not sure we are going to be able to take advantage of it due to all the uncertainty involved in our situation (and all adoption situations, really). The HR woman announced to the entire new hire class that no one has ever used that benefit. There are now over 300 people in the company. That felt -- I don't know -- it sort of made me feel a little bit like a freak. And on the life insurance form it asked if any of my listed children had been adopted. And I notice these things now because maybe some day I will have to check that box. Why would they want to know that? I'm not sure if the company even realizes the difficulty of using that adoption benefit. I may go talk to the HR woman privately about it, but I'm not sure. It just kind of felt a little bit crappy.

So that's it for now. The house is still wonderfully clean. I've been cleaning the kitchen before going to bed. Trash won't be collected until Saturday morning, so things won't be perfect until this weekend as we have a lot of recycling to bring out and nowhere to put it, but it feels pretty freeing to de-clutter. I recommend it if you can get to it.

Monday, February 18, 2008

a lot

We did a deep, deep clean of our house. It's kind of disconcerting, but it's definitely wonderful.

I start my new job tomorrow. Eeep!

I wrote this long, long explanation of my journey for Mel, and because I spent so much time on it I feel compelled to put it up here. So here it is. I didn't proofread this, so forgive my errors.

And remember, it's long.

We have been down multiple paths in our quest to be parents. I
believe that each step we have taken has been a logical progression,
but each step was agonizing.

We started out charting and having timed intercourse. I got pregnant.
I lost the pregnancies. After losing two pregnancies we were tested
to look for a reason and my husband was diagnosed with a balanced
translocation. The OB that called me with these results told me not
to worry about it too much. There was this really great procedure
called PGD that they could perform along with IVF and she was sure I
would be back seeing her in the summer (the diagnosis was in April)
with my happy and healthy pregnancy. That was two years ago. While I
am sure that news of my husband's translocation was a difficult one to
give, I am extremely resentful of this woman to give me such a happy
prognosis and to give me hope that things would go smoothly for us.
It did not prepare me in any way for the agony that was ahead of us.

I didn't want to do IVF. I hated the idea. Looking back now, that
seems extraordinarily silly, but that's where I was at the time. I
just wanted to make our baby the old fashioned way. We are lucky
enough to live in a mandated state, so while we were applying for
insurance coverage we tried the old fashioned way one more time and
needless to say we got pregnant and had a third miscarriage. I knew
that I would have to move on after our third loss. I was angry and I
was resistant, but I was also impatient and I wanted to do what would
give us the best chance. My husband was loathe to see me go through
another miscarriage. He hated the emotional trauma it caused me. It
hurt him to see me hurt. So IVF with PGD it was.

We did IVF with PGD three times. Even though I was able to get
pregnant pretty easily, I was an extremely poor responder to
medication. Our first IVF only produced 2 eggs. Without a
chromosomal disorder, you can hope for a miracle with 2 eggs that one
or both might fertilize and one or both might be strong and become a
baby. But when a balanced translocation is involved, only
approximately one in 8 fertilized eggs will be healthy after PGD, so
we knew it was hopeless. We went ahead with the PGD anyway and had no
embryo transfer. There was no explanation as to why I responded so
poorly. My FSH wasn't extraordinarily high. No one knew.

I clearly needed a new protocol to get more eggs. I was immediately
put on a poor responder protocol. This went smoothly without
questioning. There are poor responder protocols that work better for
some women. Everybody responds to the medications differently. We
did an antagonist protocol. This time we got 4 eggs. All fertilized,
3 made it to biopsy and none were healthy. We again had no embryo

While 4 eggs was better, it clearly wasn't enough. I was ready to not
do IVF anymore. I knew it was futile -- I do not produce enough eggs.
The procedures are incredibly invasive and I didn't think there was a
snowball's chance in hell that this would work for us. My husband was
not ready to give up, though. He felt like it was his only chance at
having a biological child. How could I not give this chance to him?
I was very skeptical, but I had to do this last cycle for my husband.

We decided to go with a different poor responder protocol. This also
went smoothly without questioning. We simply needed more eggs if this
was to work for us. We would try anything at this point. Microdose
Lupron it was. We got 5 eggs. 3 fertilized and made it to biopsy.
One of the biopsied cells had no nucleus so its result was
inconclusive. We got a call in the car as we were driving to the
transfer. We fully expected for this transfer to be cancelled, but
there it was. An undiagnosed embryo. Should we transfer it? My
husband and I talked it over during the 10 minutes left of our drive
to the clinic. This was agony. What do we do? Risk another
miscarriage? But how could we not transfer it? What if that was our
embryo? We discussed things with the doctor once we got there. He
said it was up to us, but he saw no reason not to take the risk. What
if? So after agonizing over the decision and marveling over our bad
luck, we transferred. I didn't get pregnant.

We were out of insurance. We felt IVF was futile. I seemed to get
pregnant easily enough, but my husband's sperm was the X factor. So,
we decided to try donor sperm. We agonized over finding a donor.
Nobody was good enough because nobody was my husband. We knew we had
to choose whether personality or looks were more important. We
decided on personality. My husband wanted a computer geek donor
because my husband is a computer geek. We found a few. We read. We
discussed. We disagreed. We slept on it. We only found a couple of
appropriate donors. We whittled it down to a few. We chose. We
slept on it again. I woke up crying -- this was not the right donor
for us. I had a bad feeling about him. I didn't want to use him. My
husband said it was okay, that we didn't need to choose that donor.
We didn't know how we could find a new one because it had been nearly
impossible to find the one I decided I didn't like.

We started our search again. We expanded our criteria a little. We
found someone else. He fit. He was on the skinny side, but otherwise
he fit. We decided. I didn't cry. We slept on it. We ordered 4

We did 4 IUIs. The first one was natural. The second through fourth
we used Clomid and a trigger shot. We didn't want to risk the timing.
Donor sperm is expensive. Luckily insurance paid for the IUIs. I
didn't get pregnant.

I wasn't getting pregnant now. We thought it might be the donor. We
decided to switch donors on both our decision and our RE's advice. We
thought it would be smart. This wasn't a hard decision. Finding a
new donor was much easier this time around. I guess we were used to
the idea that the donor wasn't my husband and we were more open to
certain differences. We still needed to find a geeky guy who was good
at math. It would be nice to find someone who was a big guy like my
husband is. But we were okay with other differences. So we chose and
it was easier. We bought 4 vials again.

Our 5th IUI with Clomid and a trigger shot worked. I had taken an hpt
and it was negative on day 13, so I was sure it would be a negative.
My beta was 13. I was shocked. Second beta was 88. It more than
doubled. Third beta was 168. Not looking good. Fourth beta was 144.
It was time for my fourth miscarriage.

Now that the translocation factor had been removed, we were afraid
that there might be a female factor reason for this miscarriage. We
knew it just could be because miscarriages happen and it could be bad
luck. I'm 35. Miscarriages happen in women 35 and over pretty
frequently. But I demanded more testing and my RE agreed. We need to
make sure there's nothing going on on my end. I had the testing done
and I will get the results this week.

We are tired. We feel like we have tried everything without success.
We want to be parents. We want this whole thing to be over. I am
tired of cycling. I am just tired. We needed to start thinking about
adoption. Since my husband let go of his genetic connection a year
ago, this was not difficult for him. It was slightly more difficult
for me. I feel a little bit like it's less the genetic connection and
more about never being pregnant long enough to have a child. And I'm
afraid of not being able to choose the biology. At least with donor
gametes you get to choose the biology on some level. But I don't want
to cycle. I want a sure thing, and that's what adoption is.

We went to seminars. We are adjusting to the idea. We think we will
utilize adoption to grow our family. It is a difficult decision, but
it is one we feel is inevitable. We are still adjusting to this idea.
We are still working through this decision. But we know we will move
forward with it.

We own three more vials of donor sperm. They cost us about $1500. If
my testing comes back normal, we will use them. We may use
injectables again for a couple of cycles if our RE thinks it's
appropriate. Since I got pregnant with the Clomid last time around,
I'm not sure right now. We will consider doing IVF one more time with
donor sperm. We are unsure whether we want to do this or not. We are
still deciding. Yes, we are tired, but we need to make sure we have
done everything we can. We do not want to leave any 'what if's'
behind. We need to do everything we can.

We are still in an unstable place with these final decisions, but we
know we have no choice. Even though the choices are limitless, it
feels like the next step is prescribed. But we are close to getting
off this train and to enter an entirely new one.

The worst part of leaving ART behind and entering the adoption
rollercoaster is that you don't really get new relief. It can still
be years before you get a baby. You just leave one form of torture to
endure another.

But what can we do? We want to be parents.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Feeling down today

Today sucks. It snowed a little last night, and now it's pouring rain which leaves about an inch of slush in standing water on the sidewalks. It's cloudy and dark.

I made shortbread cookies, but I ate so many I'm starting to feel a little ill.

I'm feeling sad. Yesterday T and I kind of didn't get along, and that never happens. And today I'm just feeling sad about IF stuff. I'm sad that this has been so hard. I'm sad that we've had so many losses. I'm sad that we won't know anything about 50% to 100% of our child's genes. I'm sad that our child may possibly have had poor prenatal care and drugs or some other substance(s) that I never would have exposed myself to while it was in-utero.

Sometimes I wish I could live child free. I wish I didn't have this strong, compelling need to raise children. I wish I could just do the "if it happens it happens and if it doesn't it doesn't" attitude. I wish I could just let all of this crap go and just live with the cards we were dealt and just move forward.

But I know that I can't do that. I know that I will regret living child free. I have a lot of regrets in my life, and few of them are for doing something I shouldn't have. They are mostly made up of things I never did. And I know that this would be my biggest regret if I didn't do it.

I am just tired of all the hurt and all of the sadness and all of the ups and downs. I just want to live my life and in the space that we are in right now, I just don't feel like that's possible. There's too much going on (while nothing is going on, as I mentioned yesterday.)

I guess I just feel tired. I am so, so tired.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

So many things, so little time

Our friend S came over the weekend and we started a deep clean. Yesterday morning we gave about 5 boxes and 4 bags of clothes and stuff to the Vietnam Veterans of America. They pick up. We got rid of lots of old paper and cleaned up bunches of clutter. It was good. We still have a ways to go, but we made definite improvements. I'm hoping to get some more done this week while I'm home, but I'm again finding it difficult to motivate by myself. But I'm really going to try.

We had a meeting with a social worker at an adoption agency. We got an application and can start filling it out at any time. We can start our home study before we stop our attempts at getting pregnant. I have asked people out there how difficult it is to do that, and the replies have all been, "Very difficult." So, I'm not sure we'll be able to do it, but we may try. We aren't deciding anything, though, until I talk to the doctor in a week. We need to know the results of my tests before we decide on our next step.

I saw my therapist yesterday and she said that we are in one of the most difficult times in our journey. We are finishing up treatments and realizing that they most likely aren't going to work. We're doing emotional work to start the adoption process. We are just starting that process and there is a lot ahead of us. We are at a place where we are not seeing any benefits and only liabilities. It is a crap place to be.

T and I don't argue or bicker very often. At least, not when it's not in a playful way. But we had a small argument this morning and it's getting me down. It was over coffee. I didn't make any for him this morning and he got upset. He says that the coffee I make is much, much better than the coffee he makes. I tell him what the beans to water ratio should be, so I think it's in his head. But I've been making coffee for him while I haven't been working and he was disappointed that I didn't this morning. But I say he can't be mad at me for not making coffee because he's not broken and can make it for himself. He says that he's mad that I keep changing the rules and doesn't know whether I will make it or not. But neither do I. I didn't want coffee this morning, so I didn't make it. It's that simple.

He did apologize, but I know he still feels disappointed. I'm trying to not feel bad because he feels disappointed. He should be able to make his own coffee.

I know that this is petty and stupid and if this is the only kind of argument that we have then we are in a very good place. I agree with that. I know it's true. I just don't like arguing.

I guess this just reinforces the fact that it's really time for me to go back to work.

I feel like there is so much going on while at the same time there is nothing going on. It's making me a little batty. I want to feel like I'm making progress, and I'm not sure that I am. We want to meet a couple of more social workers from different adoption agencies, but with my new job I can't take any time off from my training for three weeks and I'm not sure of the flexibility after that, so it's on hold for at least a month. I'm really nervous about the lack of flexibility with the new job (I know I've mentioned that) and I just think I'm going to have to tell a supervisor what's going on with me and I just want to keep things quiet for a while.

I'm sick of everything being so damn complicated.

S and her husband are coming this weekend to help finish cleaning up, so that's good. It really does feel refreshing to de-clutter the house. Perhaps now we can hire someone to come once or twice a month to do the cleaning that I just never get around to. And we can keep our house clean.

Friday, February 08, 2008


I am going to blog about the Oprah show today where they discuss donor conceived children.

The pediatrician at the beginning of the show had a really good attitude about sperm donation. The second donor, not quite so much. He is enjoying playing "father" to his "children." But he's not horrible.

The donor conceived children's stories were.... mostly unhappy. It seemed like they were either children of SMCs or from a long time ago when donation wasn't open. In my opinion, these children are the ones most likely to feel angry about their conceptions.

I see another donor who has the good attitude. I will talk if a donor conceived child if he or she wants, but I'm not going to force myself on a child.

One dc woman does have a dad. She calls her donor Dad and her father Dad. She thinks of herself as having two fathers. This is making me feel pretty ambivalent.

Granted the reasons for conception are different, but I imagine an adopted child would feel similarly about his or her biological parents. I understand the curiosity and the need to meet the donor. I believe in open donors. Our current donor isn't open, but isn't open for the right reason. And has a family member that is donor conceived and I think if we express an interest down the road, I think he would understand.

The pediatrician's wife is also a pediatrician. I like them. They're good. They understand the idea of donor conception well. They don't over condemn, and they don't idealize.

This part is about donor siblings meeting. They are both only children of SMCs. I totally understand these people and why they have a need to meet each other.

So the siblings are talking about a void in their lives being conceived this way. That she, as an only child, was amazed at being able to look into someone else's face and see herself. Well, we have lost this, too. And donor sperm is how we are trying to allow ourselves to have a child, even if that child can't see himself in my husbands face, or we can't see my husband's face in our children.

All I want to say is, the hurt goes both ways, folks.

The pediatrician talked about regulation of the industry. It needs to be regulated better. No argument from me. He also talked about being paid for donation -- how blood donors are not paid (Is that 100% true? They used to get paid.) so why should sperm donors. This is something I think about, too. And I know that other countries do not allow payment for donating gametes. It's a valid point to bring up, though I am not expressing an opinion about that one.

Why were all the dc children women, except for the male reunion sibling? And why aren't egg donors discussed?

They leave with info about the DSR.

All and all, it wasn't as bad as it could have been. The choice of dc people was not quite as diverse as I would have hoped. It would have been nice if they had an adult who, while certainly curious about the donor, doesn't think of the donor as a father and thinks of his or her FATHER as his or her father. I know they exist. I have emailed a couple of them. I have a friend who was donor conceived and didn't find out until she was an adult who feels that way.

But all and all, it could definitely have been worse.

February cleaning

We have an appointment at an adoption agency on Monday morning for an initial visit.

I have finished my penicillin, but unfortunately my throat still hurts. I had been coughing a lot, but I had a pretty good sleep last night without too much coughing. The good sleep felt really good. The only issue is I got up to pee at about 3 and I couldn't go to sleep for a while and the theme song to H@nnah Montan@ was going through my head. Don't ask why I know the theme to H@nnah Montan@ -- it's something about being a former middle school teacher and being very interested in popular culture -- but needless to say it is a sign that I really need to start my new job. Aaaanyway, I'm just concerned because my throat really, really hurt again last night. Swallowing was not fun. I can't see any white patches in my throat; it is simply red down there. And the pain is further down in my throat than before. Should I go back to the doctor?

I'm still feeling pretty calm, though I was feeling a little bit sad yesterday. I spent some time with E and little S yesterday, and that is always slightly dangerous, especially with that ultrasound picture they have that is up on their refrigerator. That thing just kills me. S was a little cranky, and we went to a restaurant and he did a lot of screaming. He is really exhausting poor E, and her hubby doesn't quite appreciate the energy she spends chasing him around. But he did fall asleep on the way back, and that was nice. I helped E plan to redecorate her living room, and we moved some furniture around.

Now I await the arrival of S to help us clean the house. I hope I feel well enough to get a lot done. But I need to do a bunch of cleaning to prepare for more cleaning. Ironic, eh? I hope we're able to get rid of a lot of shit. I brought some packing peanuts to a store yesterday, and someone came to pick up our broken exercise bike the other day. Getting rid of stuff is good.

Less clutter is better!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


I'm feeling a little better still. I still have a bit of a cough, but I'm definitely doing better.

I'm also enjoying my new found peace. I don't know how it came about so all-of-the-sudden, but I just feel different. I feel calm. I don't feel desperate. I just sort of feel okay with whatever the future brings.

Maybe it's the time off from cycling?

Maybe it is. Part of me wants to just stop cycling all together and do the adoption thing. Now. I have emailed the social worker from the agency that we think we are going to use and asked if there was a policy about treatment and starting the adoption process.

But I know we should do those final few cycles. I don't want to ever look back and think, "What if?" But I also want to start the home study. If any of those cycles worked, we'd put the adoption process on hold.

Oh, and the social worker that we liked from the agency we liked is the same social worker that did my therapist's adoptions. How crazy is that?!?

I just sort of feel like a different person. I didn't care that the Pats lost. I mean, I was disappointed, but I just felt like, "Whatever. It's only a game." And I got my hair cut today -- chopped, kind of. What do you think?

You can see my messy living room. I've been living on that couch all week because I've been so sick. Got bunches of knitting done. Speaking of which, here are the things I made my nieces. L is on the left and E is on the right. I just can't get over how grown up they are. L is going to be 11 this month.

Speaking of L, have I mentioned how incredibly talented she is? Check this out. She painted this.

Yes, really. She did. And yes, really. She's not even 11 yet. It's a friend of the family's dog, Buster. Words cannot explain how proud of her I am. She's done at least 4 pictures that are this good and they all have totally blown us away. She sketched my parents for my mom's 70th and it is perfect. I can't tell you how much it looks just like them. Incredible.

Okay, enough bragging.

In the meantime, it's election day. We're going to make pizza and watch the results on tv. T is a politics junkie.

I start my job two weeks from today. I can't wait. It's weird to me to feel this content, but I will enjoy it for now. We'll never know how long it will last. But for now, it feels pretty good.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

More adoption info

Today, T and I went to an all day adoption seminar. The first part was about taking the step to decide to adopt. There were two adoptive moms and a social worker from an adoption agency. Actually, it was one of the social workers that was at the other adoption seminar we went to a couple of weeks ago.

The second part was about domestic adoption. There were three social workers from different agencies, each of which goes about adoptions in a different way. We talked about the home study and birthmoms and family.

Then there was the international adoption section. This was more boring and completely validated our decision to go with domestic. That is absolutely the right decision for us.

Then a panel of adoptive moms just talked about their journeys to their children.

It was wonderful. It really took a lot of the scariness out of this process for me. It also made T feel a little bit better about openness.

I know it was just one day, but I was talking to my mom and she asked me about the costs involved, and I heard myself saying that yes, it usually costs somewhere around $30,000, but with T's $5,000 adoption benefit through work and the $10,000 tax deduction, it ends up not being too bad. I mean, yes it's a lot of money, but T and I are lucky that we can find ways to finance the costs. I was shocked that I said this. I must be losing a little bit of my anger.

It must have been those moms talking about how they knew they found the child for them. Each of them said this in their own ways. Each of their stories resonated with each other. Each of them spoke with such love of their children. And I think there were 8 of them right there.

I know we are not done with our fertility treatments yet. We have no idea what my test results will say. No matter what the results of the tests are, the treatments may not work. They may work. We don't know. We still want to do injectables or whatever my RE recommends after the testing as well as one IVF with my eggs if necessary before we move on. I ams starting to accept the moving on part a little bit more. We do hope the treatments work. But even if it does, I do foresee us most likely adopting our second. And I really think I'm starting to be okay with that.

At least today. The adoptive moms said it is a roller coaster, not unlike IF, but once you start feeling better about it, it starts to keep feeling more and more right.

As a health update, my throat is mostly better, but I definitely caught some sort of virus too, and now I have a respiratory thing. I cough a lot at night and have trouble sleeping. I feel better, but I also still feel a little bit like crap, especially at night. And now T says his throat is getting sore. Great.

Tomorrow is the Superb0wl. Go Pats! 19-0!

My deepest condolences to Mary Ellen and Steve for losing their three little girls, Sylvia, Claire and Lucy. I cannot imagine the pain you are feeling now. My thoughts are with you. I also hope Mary Ellen recovers well.