March 29, 2010

Changing emotions

Posted in TTC woes at 9:36 am by Erin

So our plans to do all the IF treatments and then adopt?  Remember them?  Yeah, me too.  Except now I’m not sure that’s the right path.  I go back and forth on it.  I desperately want to give birth again…but I’m not sure that it’s desperate enough to spend that kind of money on it.  That’s a LOT of money and while we’re both now employed, we’re still coming back from having only one income (the smaller one) for a year.  And yet, we can save up the money.  We can do it.  I’m just not sure I want to spend it on a chance once we have it.  I’m coming back around to the same view as last time when we were at this crossroads.  If we only had the money to do one, would I want to do IVF or would I want to adopt?

This time it’s a little different.  If we do IVF and it doesn’t work, we can still adopt fairly soon afterwards.  It will take a little while to save up enough to start but it’s not going to be several years of saving like it would have been last time.  When we decided to adopt K, we were looking at an either/or situation, and we didn’t want to take that risk.

I just keep thinking about the money that goes into it!  If IVF works and we get a real take-home baby out of it, it will have been worth every single penny that we spent on it.  If it doesn’t work, will I feel really stupid for having spent close to $20,000 (between the Clomid/IUI cycle first and then IVF) to go through it?  And I’m not sure of the answer.  Part of me feels like it would bring a lot of peace-of-mind to know that we really did give it our best shot and that I won’t regret not having done it.  In that case, it seems worth it.  The rest of me thinks about what we could do with an extra $20,000 after bringing home our next children and wow, there is so much!  I don’t know which part is bigger.

There have been several days in the last two weeks when I’ve felt like telling J “Forget the whole IVF idea.  Let’s call Sarah (our social worker, not her real name) and start a homestudy.”  I’ve held off because I know he’d go along with it.  He is truly completely fine with taking either road and so I know that if I say that, he’ll be all for moving ahead with that plan.  And I’m really not sure whether I want to say goodbye to the possibility of another child by birth forever.  I definitely know that I have at least one more child by adoption waiting for me, even if he/she isn’t born yet.  I feel that very, very strongly and I know that’s in our future.  But I think I feel it almost as strongly that I need to give IVF a shot.

I don’t know.  Maybe it’s just impatience to get started that’s driving these emotions.  We could start a homestudy and move forward with adoption today if we wanted.  We have a lot of the paperwork already collected from last time and we could gather much of the rest pretty quickly now that we have a good SW.  (We used Sarah for our post-placement reports on the advice of a friend and she is fan-freaking-tastic.)  We could be signed up and dossier-ready in two or three months, I would imagine.  With the timeframes at the agency we plan to use (WA.CAP), we would probably get a sibling referral around the beginning of next year, and could probably have our children home by next summer.  Contrast that with IVF.  We can’t start for another couple of months, probably June or so and then do IVF in August/September.  If it works and we get a child out of it, fantastic.  We’d be bringing home our baby around the same time.  If it doesn’t work, we’re 6 months down the road to starting another adoption, which means we’d get caught in next summer’s court closures and probably not bring home our children until the beginning of 2012.  That’s forever away.

I wish we could do it backwards.  I wish we could adopt now and try IVF in a couple of years, but I know J won’t go for that.  If we don’t give birth, we’ll adopt siblings and end up with 4 children.  If we do give birth, we’ll adopt one child (probably 4-6 years old) in a couple of years and end up with 4 children.  J won’t go for adopting siblings now and trying IVF in the future, ending up with 5 children.  I could be persuaded to do it pretty easily.  But neither of us really wants to adopt one now and then adopt again in a couple of years, both for financial and emotional reasons.  (A part of me kind of hopes that if we do IVF now, I can still persuade J to adopt siblings in a couple of years; if not, I’d be OK with one at that time.)  The idea of 5 kids doesn’t scare me unreasonably since we’ve been set on 4 for so long.  Perhaps there’s something wrong with me 😉

The other part is that if we did it backwards and brought home kids next year, we would want to wait another 2 years after that before doing IVF so that our kids have plenty of time to be the “newest”, so that our family dynamic could adjust to having 4 kids before we consider adding a 5th.  We just feel strongly that’s important for our family.  That would put me at 35 before doing IVF, that dreaded “advanced maternal age” designation, and a full 10 years after my pregnancy with P.  I never considered two pregnancies 10 years apart.  Pregnancy was tough on me at 25.  I suspect it would be quite a bit harder now at 32, and still harder yet at 35.  And that’s assuming there are no complications!  Plus, I don’t know how I’d feel about knowing that if it didn’t work, that was truly it.  No more IVF, no more adoption, just accept that as the end.  If we do IVF now and it doesn’t work…well, we’re planning adopt anyway and it doesn’t feel as final.  If we did it then, it would be the complete end of the line.

I genuinely can’t talk to J about this.  He is so completely willing to go along with either one that I can’t get an opinion from him on the best choice for our family.  He would like to have another child by birth, he would enjoy it.  But he’s also really fine if he doesn’t.  He’s fine with spending the money for IVF if I think it’s important to try, but he’d be fine choosing not to do it.  He’s fine with IVF now and one adoption later or adopting siblings now.  ARGH!

Thoughts?  I need some new ways to chew through the processes.

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October 19, 2009

And there we have it

Posted in TTC woes at 11:33 am by Erin

Spotting. I’m still delusional and trying to convince myself that since it’s only internal and not external, I’ve somehow irritated my cervix or it’s just the same spotting I had when first pregnant with P.  In my heart, I know I’m deluding msyelf.  I also know I always start spotting by 12dpo at the absolute latest and even if I was COMPLETELY not paying attention, I should be at least 14dpo today (I think it’s more like 16 in reality).

 

Something tried to make it.

 

Once hope is out of the box, she’s a bitch to put away.

October 18, 2009

Nada

Posted in TTC woes at 12:56 pm by Erin

Negative test.  No spotting.  No nothing except a whole lot of confusion.

October 17, 2009

Prayers of an infertile

Posted in TTC woes at 4:28 pm by Erin

I’m 14dpo but I could be a couple of days off on that.  I mean, I wasn’t completely paying attention and could potentially be only 12dpo.  So I will probably start spotting sometime today.

 

I felt kind of light headed for a while earlier.  But I’m probably just coming down with something. 

 

I’m really tired and could easily have taken a nap at noon today.  I know I got 8 1/2 hours of sleep last night, but I’m probably just tired from the whole week.

 

I took a prenatal and my metformin this morning even though I’ve been really sporadic about taking them in the last two months.  I should be taking them anyway, so there wasn’t a special reason to take them.

 

I bought the EPT because I was at the store anyway.   It wasn’t a special trip to the store to buy it.

 

A fertile who wants to get pregnant might say “I really hope I”m pregnant.”

 

A jaded, cynical infertile, already in a bad place after August, prays instead: “Dear G-d, please let me start spotting before I take out that test tomorrow morning.  Please, just let me keep some of my heart intact.  Don’t give me this hope just to dash my dreams.”

September 17, 2009

What to do, what to do…

Posted in Adventures o' K, TTC woes at 1:46 pm by Erin

If I didn’t know for sure that I wasn’t pregnant (hello, day 4, you suck), I’d be sure I was pregnant:

 

1. Emotional swings, mostly trending to the weepiness.  The weather, which has now been gray and rainy for two days and is supposed to continue in the same vein until the beginning of next week, is not helping.  More about this (the weepiness, not the weather) later.

 

2. Fatigue.  Of course, this could be because of the combined 15 hours of sleep I’ve had in the last 3 days.

 

3. Lack of appetite.  Just don’t feel like eating.  Been doing it anyway, but really don’t feel like it.  Probably related to #1.

 

OK, it’s not much of a list.

 

The weepiness sucks and while my hormones and the weather are certainly playing a role, that’s not all that’s involved.  When I told J that my period was starting and that I was depressed because yet again, I wasn’t pregnant, he started making noises about getting back into treatments and doing the Clomid/IUI cycle that Dr. Wonderful wants me to do before moving onto IVF.  I honestly didn’t realize that even he’s getting antsy to have another child.  I knew he wanted more but he always seems so relaxed about it.  I mentioned that I’d rather wait until we were ready to do an IVF cycle so that if (when) the Clomid/IUI doesn’t work (again), we can start right in on the IVF when that one ends.  That was Dr. Wonderful’s suggestion and it sounded like a good one to me.

 

We talked about it a little that day but I could never get a clear answer out of him about whether we should call or not.  I didn’t even bring it up again because then it hit me: I can’t fathom spending the money on a cycle to have another child when I feel this intense urge to do a search for K’s firstfamily.

 

I have been struck lately by the number of reports that have come out about unethical adoptions in Ethiopia.  I don’t *think* ours is one.  We met K’s mom and have video of her nursing him shortly before she relinquished him.  I am sure that she is his mom, that he wasn’t stolen.  I don’t believe that our agency has child-finders, as the videos lately have shown.  I don’t think that they have people who go into these areas and say “Give us your children, they’ll have a better life, they’ll be doctors and send you lots of money.”  I don’t believe our agency lies to these parents who relinquish their children and tells them that they will hear from their children.

 

That doesn’t mean I think it was all done properly.  Our agency draws (or did until recently) most of its referrals from one area of Ethiopia.  They are not the only agency working in that area, and it seems like there are an awful lot of children being relinquished there given the number of referrals that they give.

 

Again, I do NOT believe they are asking for children or promising better things for the kids to get their parents to relinquish them.  But perhaps other agencies working in that area are doing that.  Or perhaps a rumor, completely unsubstantiated by anyone, has gone around that the adoptive families will send money if they relinquish a child.  I don’t know, but there are cases where things like that happen.

 

I want to make sure that K’s mom knew what she was getting into.  I don’t believe that our lifebook video is complete, and I know it was edited improperly at least once.  I’m not sure I trust the translation on the video, or the translator at our meeting with K’s mom.  Regardless of any of those things, I’d like more information about K’s family (especially his first-father’s side, since we know nothing of that side but the name of K’s paternal grandmother).  I’d like to be absolutely certain that K’s mom is getting information about K if she wants it, since I’m not sure if she does or even can travel to see the post-placement reports.  I’d like to know if she would be willing to have us visit when we go back to Ethiopia next time.  She’s still his mother, every bit as much as I am.  From our brief meeting, I’d have a hard time believing that she isn’t open to continued contact.  I hate the idea that she hasn’t heard a word about him since we met her.  It’s very likely she can’t get to the office to see the post-placement reports and the pictures we’ve sent.

 

I want to be able to give K her memories of him as a baby.  The story of his birth.  Her dreams and hopes for him.

 

This is something I want to do anyway, but it is my responsibility as K’s mom to make sure that he has as much information as I can give him.  G-d forbid something happen to his firstmom and we waited too long to make that contact.

 

How can I spend money pursuing my dream of another child when I owe the one I have so much more than I’ve given him?  I can’t stop weeping about the idea that a mother might have gone 18 months without a single word about her son.

 

Tonight I’m going to tell J.  We need to do that search.  We have the money and we have the name of a searcher who seems to be quite respected and honest.  We need to contact him and get this process started: for K, for his firstmom, and for us.

September 15, 2009

August had a surprise for me

Posted in TTC woes at 1:53 am by Erin

I didn’t get my period twice in August.  I was expecting it around the 30th, as I thought I had ovulated on about the 16th of the month.  I didn’t start spotting when I expected to.  And on the 30th, when my period didn’t start…

 

…I ovulated.

 

I know.  WTF???  When was the last time that I misread ovulation?  Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever assumed that I’d ovulated when I hadn’t, not since I went off birth control in 2002.  I even got it right that first cycle off birth control, and I didn’t ovulate until day 57 that cycle.

 

So August, you beat me.  You screwed with my mind one more time.  After 6 months of regular ovulation around day 14, I didn’t ovulate until d27.  The month that was already insanely difficult because we’re no closer to starting IVF now than we were a year ago, even though I thought we’d be starting that month; the month during which it occurred to me that if I hadn’t miscarried last year, I’d have a 6 month old; the month that my reasonably calm demeanor about not getting pregnant without help (ha, as if that was likely to happen) began to crumble…August, I bow to your clear determination to beat every last shred of hope out of me.

 

Oh, but wait!  You weren’t done.  You ended the month with more hope by ensuring that I ovulated on the left side.  The side from which I almost never ovulate.  The side which produced the egg that became my almost-6-year-old-son.  The crushing depression of “I’m not pregnant, I hadn’t even ovulated yet, I clearly have no idea what’s going on in my body” was slightly tempered by the hope that the left side would do the trick.  And the added hope that we’d hit that day exactly right for lovin’ purposes.

 

Alas, I started spotting exactly as normal and my period arrived bright and early this morning.  August, you had the last laugh.  I don’t think I’ve felt this depressed about getting my period since we gave up on treatments in 2006.

 

Come to think of it August, I believe you were the only one laughing.

August 26, 2009

A slap in the face and a kick in the crotch

Posted in TTC woes at 8:19 pm by Erin

A student in my first class this morning left a few minutes before the end of class.  In the break between my first and second class, she came back into the room and whispered “I’m so sorry that I had to leave.  I have morning sickness.”

 

After my second class, I went back up to my office and logged onto Facebook to find a pregnancy announcment…for someone due mid-March.

 

Because August didn’t suck enough…

May 21, 2009

Houston, we have a plan

Posted in TTC woes at 5:55 pm by Erin

We met with our RE, Dr. Wonderful, on Tuesday afternoon.  To make a nice circle, we had just completed K's readoption that morning–it was like we had completed the legal addition of our second child just in time to go talk about trying to have a third.  The appointment came up so quickly that we didn't have time to find a babysitter, so we had to bring K with us.  I got us checked in and since no one else was in the waiting room, we brought K in.  Otherwise, J was going to play with him downstairs and I would call his cell phone when it was time to go in to see Dr. Wonderful.  They brought us back so quickly that I didn't even have time to finish updating our insurance information!

We talked to him about our family, how wonderfully the boys are doing, how our adoption went.  He was thrilled to meet K and hear about our experience.  I told him about how things had been since we were last there in October 2006 (it didn't seem possible that it could have been that long ago, but it was), including my miscarriage last year and the chemical pregnancy last cycle.  I also mentioned that I've been ovulating earlier on Metformin than ever before in my life–around d20, when it used to be around d28-30.  Then we set up a plan.

Based on our history and since it has been so long since we were there, he'd like us to do one Clomid/IUI cycle before moving on to IVF.  He doesn't think it will do a whole lot in terms of pregnancy but it will give us a chance to see if I'm still responding the same way to Clomid, see how my hormone levels are looking, and do both a saline sonohystogram and a semen analysis all in the course of the cycle.  Since we need to do those before doing IVF, this will at least keep the "testing" cycle from being completely wasted.  And he did point out that if we get lucky, we've saved many thousands of dollars.

He still doesn't feel like an injectables + IUI cycle is worth doing for me.  As he said, we'd have to keep the hormone doses very low because of my PCOS and it comes with more risks than a Clomid cycle and a much bigger cost.  Plus, we still aren't sure that I don't have problems with my right uterine tube and it might be useless.  He would rather get the information we need from the Clomid cycle and then, if it doesn't work, start BCP for the IVF as soon as I get my period.  We talked about how to keep the doses low to avoid OHSS, about the risks and benefits of an elective single embryo transfer (benefits are huge but the success rate drops from about 65% to 40% at their clinic–regardless, all three of us would still prefer to do that), and about a timeline.

I hadn't realized how concerned J was about the miscarriage and chemical pregnancy until the appointment.  He brought it up twice in the context of being concerned about losing another pregnancy.  Dr. Wonderful thinks that I probably have some endometriosis, which we've considered as a possibility in the past, and that's what's causing the losses.  He doesn't think I need to have laproscopic surgery since it doesn't cause immobilizing pain, and that IVF will help solve that problem.  We've agreed to consider progesterone in the post-ovulatory stage of the Clomid/IUI cycle, just in case.

J and I had talked more about it after I made the appointment but before we went in.  He wants to wait until he has a job before we do IVF.  We can afford it now and still be OK financially but it's better not to take a chance with the one of us who has a job.  And he'd rather wait to make sure we can afford FETs in case the first IVF doesn't work and we have frozen embryos.  It was hard to accept that, since I thought we had a timeline in place, but he's right and so we'll wait until he has a job.  We mentioned this to Dr. Wonderful and he said he wasn't concerned.  I'm still young and we're looking at starting IVF immediately after doing a single Clomid/IUI cycle, so it's not like we'll have a long wait once we decide to begin.

I feel good about the plan.  It seems reasonable to me to keep our costs low and get the tests done during the Clomid/IUI cycle, and then start IVF with eSET afterwards.  I would like to start sooner but with the job market so lousy, it also makes sense to wait until J gets a job.  So we'll wait but there is a plan in place.

May 18, 2009

Um

Posted in TTC woes at 7:29 am by Erin

Yesterday, J and I discussed doing IVF this summer.  I said that I would call today and make an appointment with our RE to figure out the plan.  I mentioned that we probably wouldn't be able to get an appointment for a couple of weeks.

I thought about it once or twice yesterday, but that was it.

This morning, I forgot about it until I logged onto Bloglines and saw a mention of IVF.  My hands started to shake.  I called my clinic before I could think about it too much.  My hands shook some more.  I chatted with the scheduler and she said "I know this is really soon, but he had a cancellation.  Can you come in tomorrow at 3 p.m.?"

"Sure, that would be great," I said.

Now my entire body is shaking, and I'm not sure if I'm excited or terrified.

April 28, 2009

Facebook plans

Posted in TTC woes at 10:12 am by Erin

I've been ringing in National Infertility Awareness Week by making all my Facebook updates related to infertility.  Yesterday, I said that "Telling an infertile person to "just relax" won't help.  Relaxing won't cure PCOS, endometriosis, azoospermia, etc. that cause infertility."  (I'm paraphrasing because I'm too lazy to go to FB and cut and paste my actual updates.)  Lots of lovely comments–including one from Tertia (am I allowed to feel giddy about that?).  One of my friends commented that he had a corollary–telling someone that they're sure to get pregnant now that they've adopted is only hurtful and stupid.  Thank goodness for smart and understanding friends!

Today's status update was something like "People don't adopt in order to get pregnant; adoption does not cure infertility, it cures childlessness.  People who adopt do it to become parents, not to get pregnant."  A neighbor commented that "Everything happens for a reason" and said that my boys are very special.

Want to know what tomorrow's status update is going to be?  "Infertility does not "happen for a reason".  Infertility is not a punishment for being a bad person (just as fertility is not a reward for being a good person), nor is it G-d's way of leading a person to adoption.  It is a medical condition.  Would you tell a cancer patient that "cancer happens for a reason"?"

It takes a lot to get me pissed off the way I feel right now but by damn, she's done it.  She already announced her pregnancy with her second child at about 5-6 weeks along after repeatedly telling me that she didn't want any more children.  Want to know when I heard that one?  About a week after last year's miscarriage.  That was a hard one to take, especially since I was in a room full of people at the time.  I left my family there, walked back to my house, and cried for a good 10 minutes.

Should I tell her that perhaps her mastitis is "happening for a reason"?  Maybe she just wasn't meant to breastfeed.  Would that get her to figure out how hurtful it is for her to say something like that?

I hope she realizes how incredibly insensitive that is.  And I wonder if she will, or if she'll just think I'm overreacting.  Feel free to add many, many, many comments to that one tomorrow (and if we're not FB friends but you've commented before, just e-mail me at pcosbaby AT gmail dot com and I'll tell you how to find me).

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