Friday, October 28, 2011

Sign me up

I'm always looking for confirmation that I'm doing the right thing. I know that there are no guarantees in life but the kinds of decisions I have had to make in the past 15 years or so have been big, life changing types of decisions and I like to know that I am on the right path. I know I've posted about signs before but the things that have happened to me the past few weeks are like nothing I have ever felt... my head and my heart are in tune and this make me...makes us (H is even a believer) think that it's still possible for us to become parents...through adoption. As promised, here's the scoop:

The night before my appt. for my baseline blood work and u/s for IVF #7, I attended a "Girls Night In" event that one of my friends holds on a monthly basis. After attending for about a year, I thought I had met just about everyone on the monthly guest list but there was woman there who I hadn't met yet and she had recently brought her little boy home after waiting for nearly 2 years. She happened to use the very same adoption agency that the couple in the restaurant used all those years ago. She was very open about the process and made me feel so comfortable about pursuing adoption. After talking with her in depth, it really seemed like adoption might actually be affordable and not as daunting as I had originally thought. I still didn't mention anything to H but I was certainly mulling it over. She has offered to help me and we are going to meet next week to talk specifics.

~CYCLE #7 happens~ AKA my last shot

Two days after my negative pregnancy test, H came home from work and told me about a guy at work that approached him. He overheard H talking to me on the phone and he knows we have been trying for the past 6 years or so. He did not want to pry but he told H that he and his wife couldn't have kids and that they adopted. He told H that it is not as expensive or as difficult to navigate as people think. He offered to talk to H about it if and when he was ready. H came home that day and told me that we can adopt. H is struggling a little bit with how to parent an adopted child and how to discuss that particular path to parenthood with our future child. After a few beers at lunch one day with the guy from his office, he's starting to get quite comfortable with the idea. H was never really in love with the idea of adoption....mostly because of the money and bureaucracy so for him to agree to adopting was huge.

The very next day, my sis emailed me. She had no idea if I was interested in what she had to say or not but she said she loved me and she didn't want to see me give up. She told me about her friend from high school (who had just found her on FB.) It seems as though this girl had just signed with an adoption agency (nope,not the same one) and she was willing to help me and answer any questions I might have. People seemed to be coming out of the woodwork to guide us along this journey.

While shopping with my other sis, I decided to share the news about this next chapter of our lives. We happened to be talking about the woman I met at GNI and how she used the same adoption agency as the woman from the restaurant. A few minutes later I was shocked to see her in the front of one of the stores at the mall. I had no idea she worked there....apparently it's only like once a month. What are the odds? My sis and I were planning on shopping at another mall but changed our minds at the last minute. I got chills and knew it had to be some kind of sign. My sister said that it was basically God hitting me upside the head and that I need to pay attention and take action. I've had signs before...all throughout my IVF years but this feels different. It feels like doors and windows are opening up everywhere I look and I know it won't be easy..... but it feels like it will be.

Since then, every time I have any kind of doubt...about the expense or about the baby being taken back by his or her birth mother (you name it, I've freaked about it)something happens to calm my fears. Once, it was the movie "Like Dandelion Dust" showing on my (occasional)Friday night LMN movie night. If you haven't seen it, it's about a birth mother who starts the process of taking her child back from his adoptive parents.

*******SPOILER ALERT*******

In the end, the birth mother realizes that the child is better off with his adoptive parents.

Another day, I was worrying about bonding with my adopted child and the host of the talk radio show I listen to on the way home had a lot to say about adoption and the relationship he has with his adoptive parents. He started talking about it the week that apple guy died (since he was adopted) and he talked IN DEPTH about how his bio parents are just how he got here and how his adoptive parents are his Mom and Dad. From the moment I pulled out of my parking lot at work to the moment I pulled into my driveway-not a minute more or less, I listened to him talk about his experience as an adopted child. It brought me to tears.

The same night, I was watching Private Practice and there was a storyline about a young woman who had no uterus. They tried a transplant with her um, grandmother's uterus. (My ute is fine, thanks and I know this is odd.... but it's tv)What spoke to me was the speech that her RE gave her when the ute transplant failed. Picture the very handsome, Benjamin Bratt with tears in his eyes while you read on: "We knew it was a long shot but we tried. Your mother knew it wasn't giving birth to you that defined her. It was the 1st time you looked into her eyes and smiled,the 1st time you fell asleep on her shoulder and she barley let herself breathe because she never wanted that moment to end. You will have your baby however she comes into the world and you will love her incredibly well because your mom taught you that that's all that matters." DISCLAIMER: *Those are not my words.....those are words I copied from Private Practice after rewinding the DVR 5 or 6 times to get it just right*

Love IS all that matters. I know there is a child out there that needs us...that needs our love and attention just as much as we need him or her.

Now, we have a long way to go. We have only just begun doing our research and we are still learning...but it feels like we are moving toward something real. For the 1st time, we can actually see ourselves as parents and we are so excited.

Thanks for listening.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Food for thought

In my last post I promised an account of the steps that lead to our decision...I really do keep meaning to post but it's been difficult for me to try and share all that has gone on in the past few weeks without losing you. I'm going to try and break things down without boring you. I'll start by sharing my thought process before I get into the signs that keep appearing.

Adoption had always been something I had thought about, but more in terms of an option for a sibling for our biological child. I found it so overwhelming,though. Not the part about parenting a child that was not my bio child-that was never a question. I'm talking the paperwork and the waiting and the financial strains.

I also felt like I had a job to finish. Since I had been pg a few times I felt like I was meant to keep going until I had the chance to give birth. And I'll be honest....when I was sitting in front of some of the best REs in the country and they would tell me that they were pretty confident that they could get me pg, I believed them. I also felt a bit betrayed by God and, you've heard me say this before: I found it really hard to believe that He would let me have so many miscarriages and never let me experience child birth. You don't just get over that overnight. DE seemed like the next natural step since we were more familiar with the process and even the terminology. I had H convinced that we should head in that direction.

This last cycle was really tough on me physically. I'm still trying to overcome the fatigue and weight gain. I have this feeling that I'm not supposed to get pg to be a Mom. Going through a pregnancy is tough on any woman but a 40+ year old with Crohn's is considered especially high risk. Maybe I wouldn't be able to care for my baby as well if I had to go through 9 months + labor and delivery. I'd rather be a mother than be pregnant....and I want to be the healthiest I can be so I can give my baby all the best that I have to offer. I had my heart set on feeling baby kicks and breastfeeding and that is still hard to let go of but I feel like I have a new focus. I always said I didn't want to be pg at 40 (my parents were 40 when I graduated high school!)and I'm there. My body is tired. I'm sick of gaining weight(it's fine if there is a baby but it's not fun to look pg when you are not). I hate not being able to exercise- my mind and body need it on a daily basis and I want my healthy body back.

A part of me can't believe I did IVF so many times or that I spent so much money and time but I needed to take this journey and have it end where it ended. I think my head and my heart are finally in the right place at the right time. Everyone always says you will know when it's time to stop...when you have hit your limit and I feel like I have. H and I are both ready to get on with our life and we want that life to include a child. Convincing him to adopt was something I was going to need to work I thought. But more about that in the next post where we'll get down to specifics.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A new beginning

It has taken me a while to craft this post. I struggled to find the right words. I wanted my readers to understand that my decision was not a spur of the moment kind of thing...although it may seem that way.

I guess the best way for me to start out is by saying that I don't think I have been true to myself and that I have ignored what my heart and God (or the universe, whatever you believe)has been trying to tell me. I'm going to take you back a few years to explain some of it so bear with me.

A month or so after my 1st miscarriage, H and I went out to dinner with his godmother. She had lost her husband a year earlier and she was still struggling. We spent a lot of time with her after she lost her husband. She never had any children and H was the closest thing she had to a child. She was infertile and I think that's why her and I got so close. We switched restaurants at the last minute and ended up at a restaurant by the lake that we had been wanting to get to. There is something about the water for is so peaceful and soothing.

I was looking forward to a relaxing evening with good conversation and good food. Gazing at the lake after the tough times we had been through was just what I needed. Well, they seated us next to a couple around our age with a little girl. At this point, it was hard for us to be around kids and we felt like our dinner was going to be ruined. Well, the baby was so precious and kept waving and smiling and playing peek-a-boo and we had some nice chatter with her parents and grandparents. The baby's mother told us how she was so animated and friendly ever since she had been born and how the moment she saw her in the delivery room she fell in love. As they were about to leave, the mother told us that it was nice having dinner with us and H's godmom wished them lots of happiness with their baby girl. She told her how beautiful the baby was and that she looked just like her. The mom looked at me and said that the baby was actually adopted. She said that she never tells people that because sometimes she forgets and because it's no one's business....but for some reason, she felt compelled to share that with me. Since she was so candid, I mentioned that we were having trouble and that we might be going down that road some day. She gave us the name of her agency and she couldn't say enough great things about them. I have never forgotten that name. I actually looked up the website the next day and got scared off by the price. H was nowhere near even considering adoption at that point (back in 2008)and I knew he would never want to part with that kind of money. He had me convinced that we could not give a child the kind of life he or she deserved if we had to start out in debt from adoption costs. I dropped my investigation into adoption and focused on IVF while we still had insurance coverage.

I became addicted to hope. One IVF after clinic after another and still no baby. I was convinced that because I had miscarriages that it was my sign that I should just keep trying....I was so close, after all. After the insurance ran out, I was still convinced that it had to work so we kept know my've seen my stats. If there was a God in heaven, surely He would not give me what I wanted most and take it away so violently? I had hoped not.

But that chance meeting with the lady and her baby was always in the back of my mind. I swore up and friends, to family and in several post on this very blog that I could not see us adopting. I just didn't know how I could manage the paperwork and the waiting and all the little annoyances that are bound to pop up when you are dealing with lawyers and red tape.

If you hadn't guessed it yet, I'm about to tell you how all that I changed and how I finally feel a sense of peace about my struggles, my losses and just about everything that happened the past few years. My H and I have decided to adopt. We are in the early stages of research but we are both really excited to become parents. We feel that this is the best way for us to build our family and we know that there is a baby out there waiting for us.

In my next post, I'll talk more about how and why we came to be on the same page after so many years of fertility treatments. It really is amazing to me what we can accomplish when we listen to our hearts and pay attention to the signs around us.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Why did I bother?

Boy, the clinic is soooooo nice when they want your money. Try and make a WTF and it's a completely different story.

They don't even let you make a follow up appointment on the regular line. They transfer you to some "call center". As if you don't feel excluded know, not being able to get pregnant on your own, years spent pumping drugs into your body and taking time off from work and having miscarriages. They don't even let you talk to the people you are familiar dealing with.

When we decided to use this clinic, we went straight to the top. We met with the owner and he was pretty honest,all while trying to encourage us to think positive. He kind of pushed DE but he also really encouraged us to look at adoption....and never say never.

We only had a 10% shot of this working and I have definitely reached my limit with IVF using my eggs body,mind and soul. We are really looking for honest answers as far as the probability of DE working and we had our hearts set on wrapping it up with the guy we started with.

He doesn't come to our office anymore. We would have to travel about 3 hours each way if we want to see him. No big deal,right? When you have done 7 IVFs and more than half of them were spent traveling to NYC and back...every day, the last thing you want to do is put more miles on your car for a 15 min. meeting. We decided to meet with the other RE in the practice- neither of us have met him. He just happens to be the guy that had the nurse call H and tell him to get some backup sperm. Awesome.

So, we have to wait until 11/2 to put this to bed. I suppose it's my fault for waiting this long to call them but I simply wasn't ready. Now, I'm just ready for it to be over and move on. More proof that we don't get what we want in the time frame we want it. c'est la vie

In the meantime, H and I are enjoying our favorite time of year...joie de vivre!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Dragging my feet...

Something in me won't let me make that call to the clinic for the cycle recap. I'm not ready to talk about it yet. I'm afraid that an upbeat meeting with the RE will get me excited to move on to DE but the more we discuss it, H and I think that may not be our best option. Better odds than with my eggs but 50/50 is not something you want to spend $30K on. I am a sucker for positive talk and will believe anyone if they tell me they think can get me pg,though.

Will someone just tell me to stop being such a wuss and make the call?

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