Monday, February 19, 2007

What a Difference a Day Makes!

Well, cyber-friends. I haven't had that much time yet in blog-land to give you the low-down on where we have been and where we are now in our pursuit of parenthood. So here's the Reader's Digest version:

After we had the miscarriage in April, (Echhh.) I was in a fog. Depressed, but still holding out hope that we had achieved a pregnancy (finally) and with a little help from our friend Clomid (bitch) we would be pregnant again very soon. The first one, I reasoned, was the dry-run. The warm-up. At least, that's what I told myself on the days I was feeling reasonably ok, and not curled up in a ball, crying my eyes out. But, we didn't get lucky a second time. After a few months, I decided it was time to see a specialist. That brings us to Dr. A. Hole. Now, the visit to Doc. Hole really deserves its very own, very detailed post. Because, it is a very prominent day in the arc of my infertility story. But, for now, I want to bring y'all up to speed on the current goings-on. Suffice it to say, that after our visit to Infertility-R-Us Clinic, we decided we would move on next to adoption. Infertility treatments were a gamble at best, and I was already fragile and devastated from the miscarriage. I was not sure I was ready to put my body and psyche through what I knew would be a very bumpy ride. One that might lead to a dead-end. We couldn't take any more disappointments.

So, a few days later we called the adoption agency. We had already started investigating adoption agencies before I got pregnant. Now we dusted off the literature and made the call. We received the paperwork, sent a huge check for their initial retainer, and then...I dragged my feet. It was not intentional--it wasn't that I didn't want to adopt. Mister and I had always talked about adopting children (Mister is adopted). It's just that in my dreams, the picture was different: I would conceive a child with Mister, the love of my life. We would try and have another close to number one, and then...when the time was right... adopt a third. I just wasn't ready to let go. And, I was grieving. Grieving the very real baby that I had lost, and not ready to change my focus to the very (seemingly) un-real, unknown, fantasy 'Birthmother' out there in the ether, with all her ability to get knocked up without even trying, who would (how, I couldn't fathom) be willing to 'give' us her baby. I wasn't ready to let go of my fertility, either. It just wasn't fair. (How could I be INFERTILE?) I was angry. I was pissed. And, I was stuck.

But, looking back, I think I get it. There were a few things that, for whatever reason, I had to move through. I had to get through the birth of my sister-in-law's baby, who was conceived only a couple of weeks before ours. I had to get through my due date (why do they have to tell you your due date the very first time you go to the doctor?). That was November 11th. Then, I had to brace myself for the Holidays. Thanksgiving was the worst. I was supposed to have a little baby to be Thankful for that year. I didn't and I wasn't.

That's not to say that nothing was moving forward. We did little things here and there. We got fingerprinted. We started the home study process. But nothing happened lightening fast. Each tiny task seemed exhausting, and the remaining pile of paperwork loomed larger than life. Overwhelming.

We just couldn't do Christmas. For the first time ever, Mister and I went away on vacation over Christmas, and just called it in.

Then, as the new year approached, I was suddenly determined. I couldn't control what my body would or would not do, but god help me, I was not going to spend another Christmas buying presents for every body else's babies. Fuck that!

We got all our paperwork together in January and finished our home study. We took more photos to send to the adoption agency so they could start building our profile. We wrote our Dear Birthmother Letter. Phew! When it was all in, I felt relieved. Now, I thought, it's up to fate. It's totally out of my hands. Let the waiting begin.

Having no idea how long we would have to wait, I started also investigating our options around infertility treatments. I was feeling a renewed sense of optimism, and wanted to be open to all the possibilities. There is a child meant to come to us somehow, I thought. We'll give every possibility a chance. I read books on Traditional Chinese Medicine and how it deals with infertility. I started taking care of myself a little bit better. I stopped drinking caffeine (oh my dear friend), I stopped drinking alcohol (oh, my other dear friend) --though I must be honest and admit I made an exception for my birthday--the evil #35--on the 10th of this month, and for V-day. I stopped eating refined sugar and white flour (and lost those pesky 5 pounds or so that have been hanging out around my midsection). Anyway, I figured, if by some miracle, I do get pregnant, AND we get picked by a Birthmother in the same year? Double-blessed.

So, last Friday morning, feeling somewhat grumpy, (I have not been sleeping well, not for a long time) the Mister said, "I've got something to cheer you up!" He brought his laptop over to the bathroom where I was brushing my teeth. (Oh, God, I thought, please not baby pictures, emailed from your family!--But, Mister would not be so dumb, I promise). "Our adoption profile is up on the adoption website!" I almost swallowed my toothpaste. That did cheer me up. And fill me with dread. It's done, I thought. Now we wait for fate. And fate has not been so kind to us so far.

Well, we waited, all right. Nine whole hours. When I got home from work, the adoption agency called. I was not surprised to hear from them. We had had a small snag with our home study (they wanted us to go to yet one more seminar before they'd give it the final ok) and they probably wanted to get an update, since our profile was up and running.

Uh, OHMYGOOOOOD! There was a Birthmother they wanted to present us to!! Due in the end of March!!

Um, okay, we said--sure! Present us to her! (Gasp! Gulp!) The adoption counselor said she would send the Birthmom our profile to look at. Apparently, every other couple she had picked, turned out to be already picked by someone else. The adoption counselor said the Birthmom was looking for some pretty specific criteria. First of all being a couple that was young. (This one made my gulp a little bit, in light of my recent milestone birthday on February 10th.) She said she would present us to her, and then call us back over the weekend, after the Birthmother had had time to think, and then get back to her with her decision.

She called back. 30 minutes later.

Birthmom thought we were (her words) PERFECT!

Now, there's nothing that can really relay how it feels to have someone tell you, they think you are the 'perfect' people to receive the most amazing thing anyone could EVER. EVER! give you. That they think somehow by looking at your goofy grins in a few photos, and by reading your DBM letter, that you somehow, they are pretty sure, have what it takes to raise their baby. Holy smokes. That's some good shit. I may never know what it's like again to see two lines on a pregnancy stick, but being "picked" is a pretty awesome feeling too. One I'll never forget.

Now, that being said, let's not all get too excited. We have yet still to have our arranged phone "meeting" with the Birthmom. She could, for some reason, find us not what she had hoped, and change her mind. And, of course, she could change her mind later, too. Like when she sets eyes on that beautiful baby. We are aware of this. We don't want to count our chickens before they're hatched, so to speak. But boy, (and that reminds me--she's having a boy!) it feels really great to hope again.

I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day

It was this same week last year that the Mister and I conceived for the first and only time. After almost 2 years of trying, we were elated. I can't say for certain if it was actually ON Valentine's Day that we conceived, but when we found out we were pregnant, we joked that it must have been the "hot Valentine's Day lovin' that did the trick." *sigh* Those were happy days.

I am not naive enough, a year later, to hope for a magical repeat of last year. After the miscarriage and D&C, and then waiting for two cycles (doctor's orders) before we started trying, it has been 8(?) months of not conceiving. And of course, there is the diagnosis from Dr. A. Hole to consider: Elevated FSH levels, indicating diminished ovarian reserve and poor egg quality. As someone close to me indelicately phrased it, "your ovaries are drying up!" (Thanks for that, really, that makes me feel special).

Well, I know that there are going to be a lot of babies conceived tonight. But not for Frenchie*.

(*Note: Dear God, if you exist, and if by some weird chance you're reading this post, I would be very grateful to be proven wrong. Really, if you wanted to make an example of me and point out that I don't know everything by actually helping me to get pregnant, I'd be willing to accept that. Go on, prove me wrong. Take me down a peg! I deserve it!)

Happy V-day!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

And the Winner Is...

...Everyone but me. If this motherhood thing were a contest, I would officially have won the consolation prize by this point. "Miss Inconceivability" seems fitting. I'm actually thinking of making myself one of those big blue ribbon sashes with just that moniker splashed across it in glittery letters. In the past three years since my husband and I started trying to have a baby, his sister has had two kids, his brother's wife has had their second child, and are expecting number three, and every married friend has had at least one--most have had two. My close friend J., who just got married this past summer? Yep. Preggers.

So what gives, you may ask? Why no baby joy for us?

That's what I would like to know.

Well, I do know. But it just doesn't seem fair.

After trying for close to a year, I went to my OB to see if anything was wrong. Of course, I had been charting, so I brought them along. It was obvious that I was ovulating, but she wanted to run a series of blood work. According to her, it all came back normal. I was still "young" at 33 (I was 31 when we got married, and 32 when we started 'trying' a few months later) so she told me to go home and keep trying. More time went by, and still nothing happened. Back to the doctor I went for more tests. Dye shot through the tubes, uncomfortable pelvic ultrasound, yadda, yadda, yadda. Normal. So, Mister went in for a test. The test came back with a slightly low number. Still, my doctor said, Mister should have no problem impregnating me, it just might take a while. Keep trying. As we approached year number 2 of trying, we went back. Okay, doc said, try Clomid. Just to increase your chances.

Guess what? First month on Clomid. I got knocked up, for the first time in my life. We were elated. Finally, we thought, our time has come. We went to the doctor. She shook our hands and congratulated us. Did all the necessary tests. Yes I was indeed pregnant and all looked good. Go home and come back in 6 weeks for an ultrasound, and you'll get to see the heartbeat! I went home and read the pregnancy books. I ate all the best foods. No alcohol or coffee, or empty calories. I learned how to cook things like...kale (full of iron and mega vitamins!). I felt great. Tired, but no morning sickness. I had a serious craving for deviled eggs.

When our appointment day came, we were so excited. We couldn't wait to see the heartbeat. My regular doctor wasn't there so we were seen by the midwife. As she began the ultrasound, chewing and popping her chewing gum, she announced, "This doesn't look good." I felt all the blood rush out of my body. "What does that mean?" I queried. There was no heartbeat, she told us very matter-of-factly. Go home and have a miscarriage.

Only I didn't. My body wasn't ready to let go of the pregnancy any more than my mind and heart were. I had waited so long for this. Surely they had made a mistake. I went back a week later and saw my regular doctor. They ran tests, and did more ultrasounds, all confirming the bad news. She scheduled me for a D&C. Two weeks after the heartbeat-less ultrasound, I went into the hospital and had my baby removed from my body. Since the day I'd found out I was pregnant, I figured that would be the hospital I would go to to deliver my baby. Instead, I went in, and came home empty-armed.

I was totally devastated. But everyone told us, "You'll get pregnant again right away!" Or, "My friend's, sister's cousin had a miscarriage, and she got pregnant the next month--with twins!"
So, though I was sad, I held out hope for us, and for Clomid to work its magic again. As soon as the doctor said it was ok to start trying again, we did. With Clomid. Two months on the evil pill, and no pregnancy. I figured something was up. I decided to get a second opinion. From a fertility 'specialist'.

Well, the trip to the the specialist, or Dr. A. Hole, as I like to call him, will be a story for another post.

Thank you for reading.
Miss I.