Wednesday, November 26, 2008

60 - A different kind of ornament...

So as you can see from the pic, yesterday was Alex's 37th birthday. In addition to his birthday, we also celebrated Thanksgiving as he will be flying on Thanksgiving Day. We made the whole dinner - turkey (18 lbs, I might add), stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, rolls, and gravy...topped off with this homemade birthday cake for dessert. Tonight we are having all the neighbors over for leftovers.

Part of this week's festivities has been putting up the trees. We have two trees - one downstairs that is eclectic and one at the top of the stairs that is our airplane tree - nothing but airplane ornaments. Since we have both been in aviation for awhile, we've collected about 50-60 of them over the years. And tradition has been that every year I give Alex one or two more airplane ornaments to add to our collection.

This year was no exception - but the airplane ornament I gave him this year had a little twist. It is the ornament pictured above - its box was titled "Playing Airplane". When I first saw it, I stood there with the box forever - should I, shouldn't I, should I, shouldn't I...well, I did.

And I know the risk. I know that it might end up being one of those little purchases that we end up grieving when our third birth mother changes her mind AGAIN. I know as we start the adoption process that even adoption is not always a guarantee. But we are in a situation where our only options involve risk - we have no choice. And as the holidays approach, the only thing I have control over is not allowing that fear associated with risk to take over and destroy our hope.

Alex loved it, by the way. He cried. I think he thinks it's worth the risk, too.

Monday, November 24, 2008

59 - Time to stop?

So here's a what point do you really stop "trying"? So we failed at CCRM, and today we are finalizing several adoption consultations. Does this mean I throw away all the OPKs and stop taking the prenatals? Or do I continue to track my cycle, continue to have timely sex (which Alex must arrange his flying schedule to be home for), continue with the prenatals...because, for the life of me, I can't see myself going on birth control. Do I hold on to that ONE story of a friend of a friend's who got pregnant naturally a year after several failed IVFs and the adoption papers were filed? Or do I truly let go - trash the OPKs, switch to a less expensive multi-vitamen, and try to get a healthy sex life back...which includes Alex choosing a schedule where he is home for OTHER things in our lives - not my cycle.

I have no idea. Maybe it's too soon to make that decision? But it crossed my mind this weekend - I know I was ovulating, and I thought, "What do we do with this information now?".

Friday, November 21, 2008

Thursday, November 20, 2008

57 - Adoption Consultation...I had to take a shower.

Why? Because of how gross I felt after the conversation. I will leave the adoption firm nameless as to not offend...they are a national firm, not an agency, they are averaging about a four month match time for domestic infant adoptions (that's matched with the birth mother), and they come with price tag of about $40,000. We had about a half hour phone consultation with them on Tuesday.

I felt like I was at a car dealership. The first nail in their coffin was our consultant's oh-so-sensitive comment near the very beginning of our conversation: "Just think - you could have a baby in your home in 9 months...and you won't even get fat or have stretch marks!". Oh, how amazing, because THOSE are the real reasons we are headed on the adoption road. THOSE are the reasons that 90% of your potential clients are on the adoption road. It's because we all care deeply about our looks and would preserve them at the expense of a biological child. Idiot. Bitch. Sorry for the obnoxious venting...I just hate that lady and her ignorance of infertility. She's supposedly an adoption professional - there is no excuse for her lack of sensitivity.

But here's the thing that really hit me to the core. Over and over and over she just kept repeating "We guarantee a healthy baby. We guarantee a healthy baby. If the baby's not healthy, you are under no requirement to take it. We will match you again. You are guaranteed a healthy baby.". And I certainly don't judge those who would find comfort in this reassurance - I'm not even going to claim that Alex and I won't say "no" to a large number of physical and mental issues on our application...but there was something about that conversation that chilled me to the bone. It felt like the human dignity of babies - all babies - was removed. Aren't the babies who have some issues the ones that need really good homes? I don't understand it - intellectually and at a heart level.

I think I might be a little sensitive to this issue for a couple of reasons First, because of Aaron (see my Halloween post - my best friend's youngest son). I remember seeing him for the first time in the nicu - not knowing what kind of physical or mental issues he may have one day. And I knew the minute I saw him, my love for him would never be affected by those issues. If I can bond with someone else's child in that way, I can only imagine that bond would even be stronger with my own. I think of him and his highly functioning four-year old brother and realize that if those two were the two kids I could adopt and I could only chose one of them - I could never chose. I am equally bonded. There is something so much greater than a perfectly health baby - there is that bond of love between parents and child that is present regardless of circumstance. The other situation that makes us more sensitive to all this is that Alex's sister, Emily, has Down's. And you know what? She loves life and contributes SO much to the world - often much more than many "normal" functioning adults. Her family and friends love her, and she gives abundant love back to them. It's that bond of love that appeared to be removed from the equation at this firm and that made me nauseous.

And then, of course, there was the evasion of the truth about cost. Over and over..."you can have a baby in your house for $20,000". I got her in her attempted deception - I asked very firmly and several times about if the other costs we had discussed earlier were included in the $20,000. She avoided and avoided and avoided. I finally said "Does this adoption cost $20,000 or $40,000?". $40,000. Buh Bye.

We felt discouraged and...just plain yucky. But then we pulled ourselves up and came up with a game plan. I have a pretty light schedule in the next week and Alex is home between now and Thanksgiving. We are going to look at five agencies. That's it. No spending 40 hours a week for the next several know, obsessively combing through tons information so we don't feel like we've missed anything. We are going to pick five, do our homework on those five, and then pick the agency we are going with by the second week in December. It's perhaps the healthiest approach we have taken to anything in a long time.

Although we have just started, I get the distinct feeling that the adoption road is another long one.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

56 - I'm an awesome mom.

One of my favorite fellow ivf bloggers posted unfortunate news yesterday - a BFN from CCRM. I was shocked by the level of sadness I experienced when I read her post as I only know her through the blog world. Although I know that a lot of the sadness I was feeling was true empathy, I must admit that some of it was also a reflection on my own situation. When I read that she wasn't pregnant, not just my mind, but my body was instantly transported back to September 4th (the day we found out our result), and I found it hard to breath.

This same blogger wrote on a previous post "I guess the universe is selecting me out.". If there is one sentence that epitomises the feelings after an infertility treatment fails, this would be the one. Our situations are different, but the one thing I can relate to is going to the best in the world and things not panning out as hoped. Although we've only done one, most likely, Alex and I are not doing another IVF cycle. We do have two frozen embryos, but based on what the doctor says when we have another extensive conversation with him, we may even make the decision to not go back for them and put our resources elsewhere. I, too, concluded that the universe is selecting us out.

But then I thought about it...That can't be true - it just can't. I have to think of infertility in a different way. I have to or I'll go insane... And I'm talking "put me in the psych ward and tie me up" insane.

I am such an awesome mother. I am - already. I know it at a deep level. I'm not confident about much, but that is the one thing I am sure of. It is one thing that even the hell of infertility can't take away from me. I am perhaps the most comfortable when I am holding and caring for an infant - I knew this the first time I started babysitting for an infant when I was twelve. I've never questioned my desire for children - only the timing (if I only knew then what I know now, right?). At a party surrounded by adults, you can usually find me on the floor with the kids. You know, I just have to believe that the universe is not selecting me out - in fact, the universe has very strongly placed upon me the task of being a mother...and I am so grateful for that. I don't think everyone has the privilege of being given that task. For me, it is looking more and more like my mother role will be in the form of adoption...or perhaps in some other way that has yet to be revealed. Is this what I had in mind? No way. Do I feel pain on a daily basis as a result of going through these struggles? Without a doubt. But I will be DAMNED if I let anything stand in the way of embracing the loving, nurturing mother that is already alive inside of me. I love that part of me...even when I hate my body for this betrayal.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

55 - How much is that doggie in the window?

Too much. $750 to be exact - that's basically one month's payment towards our IVF loan. We just can't afford it right now, but isn't it the cutest? This picture warms my heart. I am all for getting a dog from the Humane Society, but with DH's allergies we are pretty limited to shit-tzus and poodles. With encouragement from a friend, I have been searching the shit-tzu rescue sites. So if anyone reading this blog knows of a shit-tzu or poodle looking for a home, let us know!

I received a Resolve email the other day about coping with infertility and the holidays. There was a whole PDF file listing suggestions...a lot of suggestions centered around avoiding children, of course. I'm not so sure how I feel about that. One thing I have discovered in the last couple of weeks is that I still really love being around the children I know - the children of my friends and family. It's the random kids at the stores that sometimes get to me (although I'm finding that less and less). So I think I may not take Resolve's advice on this one and instead dive into the holidays with both feet. I did a trial run today and did a little holiday felt good. I know in my heart that someday we will be experiencing this season with our own kids. So rather than feeling blue, I'm trying to allow myself to just fantasize about what that time will be like. For example, today I saw one of those "count down to Christmas" things - it was wooden, folk artsy, and had really tiny cute drawers numbered 1-24. I spent a lot of time checking it out and fantasizing about what little surprises I would put in the drawers for our children. It was fun. And I felt hopeful, not depressed. Imagine that - hope. What a concept...I might even go back and buy it :-).