Wednesday, April 30, 2008

How things sorted out

Our Mac died on Sunday, so I've been away from blogs for a few days.

I had the dIUI on Monday. I told my manager that I had a last minute doctor's appointment and I went and then came back to work. I had my meeting later in the afternoon where I told her from time to time I will have a last minute doctor's appointment. She said okay, but that I should go tell HR so it will be on record that I let them know. She proceeded to tell me what a great job I am doing and that I am clearly "the cream of the crop" in my department.

The next day I made an informal meeting with HR and when the phones were slow and it was convenient for the HR person, I went over to talk to her. I let her know about the last minute doctor's appointment and she told me next time I should get a note on the doctor's letterhead from the doctor saying that these appointments have to be last minute.

To me I'm thinking, well there goes my confidentiality. I purposefully didn't want to tell them what doctor I was seeing and why, but this is going to be letterhead from a Midwives office, so they'll know something and it probably won't be the right thing. So I found that really frustrating. And then I sent an email to my manager saying I went to go talk to the woman in HR and she lightly reprimanded me for going to an "unscheduled meeting." How annoying! I'm an adult and I know when it's appropriate for me to go to a short 10 minute meeting. She knows I have really high production (she told me so in my meeting) and it makes me feel like a child to have to get permission like that. So, overall it was frustrating.

My friend E recommended that I get a note from my PCP, which I think it is a great idea. So that was a helpful suggestion. I'm not sure what I'm going to do. We only have 2 more of these IUIs left before I leave them behind forever.

The IUI itself was fine. Unfortunately T was not able to be there with me. That's the first time that happened. That was sad, but I guess any change might be a lucky one.

When I was walking into the room, a visibly pregnant midwife said to me cheerfully, "Congratulations!" I looked at her confused and said, "For what?"

Then they had me undress and get ready. When the midwife came in she said 'congratulations' again and I said 'for what' again, she said, "For ovulating." I told her she must not know my history because ovulation isn't the problem for me. I told her my whole history and I saw her eyes get wider and wider. She clearly didn't know how to react to me. That was a huge difference between going there and going to the RE's office. She said she hoped that her fertility (and pointed to her belly) would rub off on me. She was very nice, but it was a little strange to have a pregnant lady injecting some stranger's sperm into my uterus. What an odd scenario, eh?

Luckily I'm doing so much better around pregnant people and the sight of her didn't make me want to cry. There was a bulletin board in the room with tons of pictures of babies which kind of bummed me out after staring at it for 40 minutes or so before, during and after the procedure. But otherwise it was fine. The midwife said I had tons of fertile cervical mucus, so that is good too. I think the timing was spot on. So nothing to do but wait.

I'm drinking beer during this 2ww, though. At least for the first week.

So things are basically ok. We have a lot of stuff going on that is making me feel a bit stressed an crazy, but being busy makes the time go by easily, so that is a good thing. I'm trying to employ my new found ability to go zen -- just breathe and accept that this is the way things are. I'm doing okay. Nothing is horrible. Things are moving forward, slowly. It's okay. One step at a time.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


I'm trying really hard to not stress myself out.  It's not my forte.  I had been doing pretty well because I really thought my LH surge would happen today, we could to the dIUI at the Midwife place and it wouldn't interfere with work at all.  But of course, that's not what happened.  I have yet to surge.  I'm expecting it to happen tomorrow, but who knows at this point.

I haven't yet told my boss about my 'medical' issue.  I have a meeting with her on Monday (which has been delayed for 2 weeks) where I have planned to tell her.  I thought I would be able to get the talk in on time, but now it looks like I may fall short.  I'm going to have to talk to her first thing on Monday because I may have to miss our meeting depending on when the IUI is scheduled.

At the Midwife place, I have to call the morning of my surge between 9 and 9:30 to schedule the IUI (I assume for the following day) except on the weekends when you call the day of the IUI and page the midwife so that she can schedule something with you.  I guess if you surge on a Sunday that you call on Monday between 9 and 9:30 for an appointment that day.  So if I do surge tomorrow, I'll have to do that.

So I'm stressed that this won't work out somehow.  And I don't know if T will be able to be there with me, which sucks.  And my work is getting stricter and stricter about things, and since I want to apply to a new job and get out of the call center asap, missing random hours randomly due to some unexplained 'medical' issue doesn't look so great.  So I'm stressed about that to.  And of course, stress delays ovulation.  Hurray.

I'm trying really hard to just breathe through all of this.  I am.  I have definitely been better at not stressing about things, lately, but this minutiae is driving me crazy!  At least at my RE's office I knew I could call in the afternoon to schedule for the next day.  Not here.  So I have to use the OPK first thing in the morning, which I don't like to do.  I think it throws the timing off.  I hope it's positive tomorrow in the afternoon and I can just call on Monday morning and have it that day.  Of course that may throw off my work meeting and the going away party we're having for one of my co-workers, but we'll see.

Plus I carpool with two people and I'll have to hide the vial of sperm in the back of my car and make sure it doesn't topple over.  I guess I'll have to use towels or something.

Sigh.  I'm really trying hard to not stress out about this.  It will all work out.  It's not big deal.  If worse came to worst, T and I could try on our own and this vial could just go into the freezer and we could try next month.  It wouldn't be the end of the world.  Breathe.  Breathe.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

On Time (as in waiting while time passes)

So, two years. That makes about two and a half since I was first pregnant. And little S, who was due 4 months before I was due is going to be 2 in July. I remember thinking how I didn't know what I was going to do if I wasn't pregnant by the time S turned two. But here I am, facing the reality that I will not be. And though it took E a long time to have a healthy pregnancy, I will assume that she will be pregnant again while I will remain fully and wholly un-pregnant. At least I'm confident I will not be pregnant with anything healthy. I wouldn't be surprised if miscarriage number 5 is in my future, though.

The funny thing is, I'm really doing pretty okay in real life. Babies don't make me really sad anymore, though I don't feel like holding other people's babies or ooohing and aaahing over pictures. I don't like hearing endless stories about other people's children. But the sight of a pregnant woman doesn't make me want to cry. I have really come to accept that this whole pregnancy thing just isn't going to work (though I do, in all honesty, hold out a small bit of hope for a miracle), and we're just going to have to grow our family through adoption. I'm even coming to believe that our genes aren't so great anyway, and wouldn't it be better if they had other people's genes. And I do really believe that in a physical sense. It's a little bit harder to deal with in a mental sense -- but luckily personality resemblances are a lot more learned than physical ones. I'm really coming to believe that I can live my life this way and it's okay.

At the same time, there still is a tremendous sadness about all of our loss. I feel like we have lost a lot. We've lost 3 pregnancies that we started on our own. We've lost hope that IVF could ever work for us because of T's poor genes and my poor response to medication. We've lost 8 embryos to bad genes. We've lost a genetic connection to my husband. We've lost a pregnancy with hope because we used donor sperm. We've lost hope that donor sperm will work at all. We've lost hope that I will ever be pregnant long enough to hope we can bring a baby home. We've lost several months of hope and expectation and knowledge (though not a guarantee, of course, because I've learned how fragile even late term pregnancies are) that we will know when we might bring our baby home. We've lost the possibility of experiencing a full term pregnancy.

So, though I am better in some ways, I am still feeling our losses acutely. I feel for those others who have suffered great loss. It's weird how when you've suffered a lot of loss that different types of loss feel so different. In some ways we can band together with our losses, but in other ways it just seems so personal.

It always hurts a little more when you see so many people win their battles and move on. I feel desperate to talk to those who are in a similar place -- who are struggling with all of their loss and need to motivate themselves to fill out a daunting adoption application. I know this will all feel less acute someday when we finally, finally bring a baby home, but it is impossible to imagine that and I just can't stop thinking about all of the things we have to do and the amount of time we will still have to wait.

I sometimes think it's a little bit worse that there is a chance that T and I could have a baby the old fashioned way. When we finish our application and are waiting for a match, I know we will keep trying on our own. I sort of think that is a bad thing, but I also don't think I can not try. The only way for me to do that would be to go back on the pill and I don't want to. I wish I could let go and not think about it, but I've been pregnant three times with T, so why couldn't I be again? And I know scores of people with balanced translocations who have children conceived the old fashioned way. Why couldn't it happen to us? This tiny bit of hope just kills me. I want there to be no hope so that I don't have to hope any more.

So, two years since I started blogging it is. I never, ever thought I wouldn't have a baby two years from when I started this. But I don't, and I won't have one soon. Other people have them all around me, and I have to stay inside myself and just force myself to believe that some day, beyond the obstacles, costs, waits and everything else, some day, some way T and I will have a baby.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Two years

This week it will be two years since I started this blog. Two years. And I feel further away from having a baby than ever.

I will write more about this soon. I just thought it had to be said.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Support Groups

I am, in theory, a big fan of support groups. I love the idea of sharing the suffering among other people who understand. I want to commiserate and complain and know that other people are feeling the same pain that I am. It's cathartic for me. It makes me feel better.

I went to a few infertility support groups while we were doing IVF. Though I didn't go through the IUI process, having had three miscarriages and determining that I was a poor responder to medication with my first IVF, I was much more a veteran than the mostly newbies that came to that group. Most hadn't starting IVF yet. I found it helpful for the most part, but I also felt like the weirdo in the corner that most people hoped they wouldn't be forced to follow in the footsteps of our losses.

Last night I went to an adoption support group. It was mostly more of the same. We have been educating ourselves for months about adoption. We have picked our agency, know what type of adoption we want and just need to get off our asses and fill out the paperwork. We have had the 4 miscarriages and 3 failed IVFs and we just don't want to do this anymore. I wanted to commiserate about the wait and the forms and the invasiveness of the adoption process. That didn't happen. For most of the people in this group, this was their first bit of education about adoption. Most people had maybe one failed IVF or were single or had other reasons to come to adoption. I spent the time feeling like the co-leader of the group because I had a bunch of the information that they wanted. I didn't commiserate; I informed. I like informing, so it was okay. I just wanted to get some anxiety out, I guess.

I don't know why I want to find more people 'like us' out there, but I do. I sort of feel lonely in our loss and failure right now. I know lots of people around have suffered great loss. I personally know people who have had late term losses and/or years and years of repeated failure, though I suppose only a handful of those are still childless now. I know how much pain and suffering infertility has caused for so many people out there. I see it all the time. So why do I feel so alone with all of this? This is just something I can't answer right now. All I know is that I am feeling quite alone in all of this these days.

Luckily I have T alone here with me, I suppose.

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Mondays

The MS Walk was sunny for the entire morning! We couldn't believe it! Poor T got a major sunburn because we thought it was going to rain. He is extremely fair skinned and burns in the slightest sun. But because we had been told over and over again that it would rain the entire morning, we only brought sweatshirts and raincoats - no hats or sunscreen or sunglasses! My family together raised over $3,000 so that is a good thing. The weather was lovely (despite T's sunburn) and it went really well.

That night we went over to E&R's house for dinner. Little S is almost 2 now (yes, really) and running and talking up a storm. The ultrasound on the fridge was there, but didn't bother me that much, really. I guess now that I have accepted that it's there and it bothers me, it bothers me a little bit less. I really don't want to tell E that it bothers me because it will make her feel tremendously guilty. Little S walked up to T and said, "Up!" and T picked him up. Then S said, "Down!" and T put him down. Of course this became a game and happened at least five times.

This was the first time T had ever held a child under age 5. It was a big deal to me. He is so afraid of Other People's Children. He's afraid he's going to break babies. He just doesn't have lot of experience with them directly. This just was huge for me.

Sunday, T was very, very sad. After seeing S, he just feared that we will never have a child. He is convinced that a birthmother will never choose us. I understand that fear. But in the history of every social worker that we've spoken to about adoption, they have never had a waiting family not have a child placed. Sometimes it takes a while, but it always happens. Why would we be the first to not have it happen? But seeing little S walk and talk and sing and dance and be busy as all 2-year-olds do, it made him deeply sad about what we are missing and for how long we've been missing it. It makes me so sad to see him that sad.

AF has arrived with a vengeance. I've felt gross all day, and my bleeding seems pretty heavy. I went on the pill right after the miscarriage, so I'm not sure all of the lining was shed because I get very light periods on the pill. Not this one, though. I should have a nice, fresh lining for the donor cycle in a couple of weeks, I guess. Hopefully that's a good thing.

Going back to work is good. It keeps us busy and less depressed. The Sox took 2 of 3 from the Yankees this weekend, and the weather is supposed to perk up at the end of the week. Tomorrow we both have plans separately, and we will have our Seder this weekend at my parents' house. We are trying to make a date to really work on our adoption application. Busy is good.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Life after testing

I did pee on a stick this morning. It was very white. I was mostly expecting it to be white, so I'm not feeling too down about it. My b00bs still vaguely hurt, so I'm not sure what that's about. But there is clearly going to be no live baby resulting from this particular ovum, so that's that. We will be doing a donor cycle in a couple of weeks at the Midwife place. I have to go to that place. And by that place I mean mentally, not physically.

We haven't done anything else about the adoption thing. We spoke to another adoption agency to see if they would be good for us. They were fine. We've found three adoption agencies that are fine. We don't know what to do. I guess we're kind of frozen. I think we're going with the adoption agency that's closest to us. I literally have no preference. I don't like that. Does it mean that we're not ready for this yet?

Adoption in Massachusetts is very highly regulated, so all adoption agencies work in very similar ways. Lawyers and facilitators are not allowed in this state. If you do an inter state adoption things change a little, but the agencies have worked with other agencies in other states and they tell you (they try to be subtle because the adoption world is pretty small) if they don't like the way the other agencies work. So I honestly feel that we are reasonably safe choosing one of these agencies. We just need to choose and move forward.

I guess I'm finding it difficult to cycle and do the application at the same time. We have to write our personal biographies in order to start our homestudy. Maybe I can force us to work on that.

It's supposed to be rainy and cold tomorrow for our MS Walk. Oh well. (The donation link is still on my sidebar.)

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


It's been a while since I cycled, but now I see why taking some time off is so relaxing. Not that I didn't see it before, but all of those months of cycling really comes back to you when you haven't done it for a while. I'm obsessively feeling myself up, I'm thinking about when I can POAS, and from moment to moment I change my mind about whether I think I could be pregnant or whether I think there's no way I'm pregnant or whether there is just absolutely no way to tell. I've been in all of those places for the last three days. Today is 10dpo. This is a natural cycle. Even if I am pregnant, the chance of miscarriage is very, very high. I'm trying really hard not to be hopeful, but I am finding it difficult. It's amazing that no matter how much I go through, I definitely have a little spot inside of me that hopes for a miracle that a pregnancy might work out. But we see it all the time -- miracle pregnancies. There are certainly plenty of people with balanced translocations who have had children conceived the old fashioned way. It's not unheard of. I know bt people whose first pregnancy was a successful pregnancy. Why couldn't it happen? It could.

But I also know how dangerous hope is. Hope leads to disappointment. Hope leads to depression and desperation. Hope can come crashing down on you and make you feel like you can't try again. And yet we have to.

So right now, I'm just deciding when to POAS. I think I will do it on Friday.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Adoption Conference

Today T and I went to an adoption seminar put on by Adoption Community of New England (ACONE). It was difficult and overwhelming, but we learned a lot and it was definitely worth our time.

Our first seminar was a panel of birth moms. I was pretty scared of this panel, but I thought it would be good to hear that side of the story. It's not something I have much exposure to at all, but it's something I think about. I had never seen or met a birth-mother, at least that I've known about. There were all sorts of people in this seminar -- birth parents (mothers and fathers), prospective adoptive parents (like us), adoptees and adoptive parents. Some birth parents and adoptees have met their birth children/parents. The birth parents on the panel all had their children years ago when single young women who were pregnant were whisked away and basically given no choice but to place their children for adoption, so there was definitely an old school skew to the discussion. Things are definitely better now in that area. But the session definitely made me feel more comfortable with openness and helped me see the importance for an adopted child to be able to find their birth parents when the appropriate time arrives, and it made me feel perfectly comfortable about sending updates to birth parents through the adoption agency.

The second seminar was about adoption after infertility. We heard two interesting stories from two couples who have adopted after failed treatments, etc which was nice. Unfortunately there wasn't much time for discussion afterward, so I didn't get quite as much out of this one as I had hoped. I wanted to discuss the whole loss of biology thing in there since in the birth mother panel, the importance of allowing an adoptee to know and see their biological connection to other people was discussed. I get it -- I really do. I completely understand an adoptees need to know about or see their birth-parents. However, as much as that child mourns a biological connection, so do we as adoptive parents. They (hopefully) will be able to someday meet those people they are biologically connected to, but we won't because those people (our imagined children) do not exist. This is the part of adoption that I find some difficulty in resolving.

The third seminar was a men's only group for T and a women's only group for me. This was the best seminar of the day. We talked about all sorts of things, including the biology issue I mentioned above. T's group talked about dealing with their wives and finances and other issues. He really seemed to get a lot out of it which made me really happy since there are so few resource out there for men. This seminar made the whole conference worth it, in my opinion.

The fourth seminar was about open adoption. There was a birth-mom and an adoptive mom in an open adoption situation. Now, I believe in semi-open adoptions, but this situation was really, really open. The adoptive mom was incredibly vehement about this openness and frankly put me off a little bit. I was hoping that this would be a discussion about openness and how to decide what level you're comfortable with, but it ended up being more a lecture on how you are morally and ethically obligated to include birth parents into your child's life as much as possible. While I agree it is important to be able to give information to your child about his or her birthparents, and the information about them should be available so when the time comes they can meet or at least talk to each other, the openness this family had is more than most average families can handle, I think.

We got information from another adoption agency, and we are going to make sure that we are picking the right one for us. We did start filling out one application, but I am feeling a tiny bit of uncertainty about it, so I just want to do a little more research about the agency we think we want to use and this new one that looks pretty good.

Anyway, overall it was good to be around people in the adoption community and to discuss all of our feelings surrounding adoption. I am glad we spent our day this way. It was hard, but we definitely learned a lot.