Monday, August 20, 2007

Two Paths

There have been many conversations around our house lately (and some tears, to boot) regarding whether or not (and how, and when) Mister and I will (or will not) pursue bringing another child into our family. I, as you all know, very much want to experience pregnancy and child birth as part of my experience of being a mother. I also would very much like to have a biological child (as opposed to using Donor Eggs, which is also a consideration). Mister, however, couldn't care any less whether or not we have a biological child. He wants to have more children, but whether or not they come from our bodies, doesn't really make a difference to him. It may have to do with the fact that he, himself is adopted, and he is totally secure and happy within his family, and never felt like he was missing out on anything being an adopted child. He never felt the need to seek out his biological parents--he always says that he had the best parents anyone could ask for, so why go searching for something else?

And, that's sort of the attitude he has with our family. Baby Boy is the best child we could have ever hoped for (and he is) so why go looking for something more? When it's time to add a sibling to our family, adoption is a great way to do it. It worked out for us once, why dive into the murky waters of ART and why on earth would we go back to the emotional roller coaster of trying to conceive?

However, he does understand that it is important to me to at least try. Or so he says.

But (and I mean a BIG BUT) we do not, at this point have the means to do IVF or any other expensive fertility treatments. We are still in debt from the adoption (and other things) so, there isn't any money to pursue ART. And, we certainly won't be doing our lives, relationship, or Baby Boy's future any good to go further into debt at this point.

Mister is a logic and statistics kind of person. He looks at the odds, and makes unemotional decisions based on reality. Chances of getting pregnant, even with IVF, are on the low side. The stakes are high, financially (and emotionally, too) so why gamble? Go with the safe bet, and pursue a path that has a 100% guarantee of having a baby at the end of it: adoption.

How can I explain my deep longing to become pregnant, and carry a baby to term? How can I fly in the face of such sound logic and say, "No! We have to choose the other path!"?

Can I?

Even in the absence of trying any expensive ART, Mister does not want to even try the "Natural" path. (Acupuncture, herbs, diet, yoga, etc.) That, too, he says, is expensive. (It can be). And why would we spend any money on something that isn't going to work anyway, when we need to spend any money we can spare on paying down our debt and putting money away for Baby Boy's college?

I don't know, how can we? Why should we?

Is the fact that I feel deep, deep down in my bones that there is a child that is meant to come to us through my body. That, though the challenges are many, that I deserve the opportunity to pursue my dream, so that I can feel that I have done all I can before I give up the dream.

Is that crazy?

Of course, I don't want to push our family into financial ruin. Not for this dream or any other.

But aren't both people within a relationship entitled to pursue their dreams, at least, in a responsible way, as long as both partners can agree? Can't there be a way to move forward that that allows me to feel some empowerment in knowing I am doing WHAT I CAN to pursue optimum fertility?

I am willing to give up many things (and I already have) to make room in the budget: Therapy, manicures, hair stylist (I have actually started cutting my own hair--and coloring of course). I am no clothes horse, and I drive a hand-me-down car. All this I do without complaint. The one thing I want, in the absence of being able to afford medical treatements, is to go to acupuncture twice a month and take whatever herbs my TCM prescribes.

This, I feel, at least, will promote and foster whatever fertility I may still possess.

Am I crazy?

Still there is another side of me that says, "I am tired." I am tired of the trying, the wanting, the hurting, the jealousy and the arguments. There are plenty of times where I look at my son, and think, "This is enough. I am happy." Those moments are wonderful.

Maybe one day soon, I will come to a place where I am totally, 100% fine with not trying anymore to get pregnant.

In the meantime, the stress of doing NOTHING is too great.

Maybe I am crazy. This is sounding a little schizophrenic, even to me.

But, for now, I am doing the following:
Acupuncture 2x month. (I have a new acupuncturist, who specializes in fertility issues, and I looooove her).
Whatever herbs (bleeech!) she prescribes.
Lots of vitamins, supplements (folic acid, fish oil, CoQ10)
Trying (TRYING!) to eat right. No white flour, sugar, caffeine, alcohol.
Trying to gain some weight. (I am one of those annoying women who actually complains about being too skinny.) But it's true, if you saw me, you'd probably tell me to eat a sandwhich.

As soon as my busy season winds down, I hope to do more for my body, such as yoga.

I'm trying to find some time each day to breath deeply. I need to learn to meditate.

I'm trying (TRYING) to think positive thoughts. I know, I know, I've even referred to myself as Miss Negativity. I'm trying to change that. Some creative visualization and positive thoughts can't hurt, at least.

I am going to see a new RE next month to get a second opinion on my diagnosis and prognosis. This is purely a fact-finding mission, since, as you know, IVF is not an affordable option right now. If it even IS an option, with my eggs, at all. Well, I'm going to find out what the deal is.

Two paths, one already traveled, one unknown and full of potholes. Which one will we take?

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Negative Spaces

There has been a lot of baby-and-or-pregnancy related stuff going on around me lately. Last week , I attended my friend, J.'s baby shower. I actually wrote a post about the baby shower, but took it down after I received a somewhat 'slamming' comment from an Anonymous lurker. She accused me of being extremely negative. Well, she was right. I was in a very negative place at the time I wrote the post. It is true, that I feel very deep pain about being infertile. I can't help it. I try to think happy thoughts, and focus on the positives. And, doing so helps me get through the negative spots. But, I have to have a place to vent. I guess that really comes out in my posts, and, overall, makes me look like a really negative person. If I had time to post every day, I'd probably post about a lot of other things in my life, things that have a more positive ring to them, but I don't. About once a week or so, I sit down, and write. I write about all the negative thoughts that have been swirling around in my head or things that have been bothering me, hurtful comments that others have made, or situations that I have found difficult to deal with. I have to get it all out, so that my husband, my co-workers, my friends and my family don't have to hear about it. Because they don't want to hear about it any more, I'm sure, and, well, I have to try to go out into the world and seem normal, and hopefully, somewhat minimally pleasant to be around. I especially need to do this for the sake of my son. I want him to have a happy mom. And, blogging about the infertility stuff helps. A place to put it--a way to get it out, and (hopefully) let some of it go, until it builds up again and I write another post. It's sort of like therapy, only, way, way cheaper.

Anonymous was right--I am sure I do come off as being very negative. I have never been a Suzy-sunshine, God-has-a-plan, the-sun-will-come-out-tomorrow sort of person. I am a little more cynical, sarcastic, and distrusting than all of that. But that is not 100% of my personality. I'm sorry if that's all I present HERE. I will try to post about more positive things when I can, but I am not promising things will change over night. So, Anonymous Commenter, if you don't like the tone of my blog. Please find another blog to read. This is my space to spew whatever I want. I don't even NEED anyone to read it, just need to write it. But, thank you for your comments. I have taken the time to really think about them and consider them.

But, I digress. To return to the original purpose of this post:

My friend J.'s baby shower was lovely. She was very pregnant, happy, and glowing. I was very very happy for her. But it was hard to watch. Sorry, but it was. It just was. I was proud of myself for showing up, and participating as much as I could in the revelry. I really made the effort. But, I had to leave after about 2 hours. The rest of the afternoon was difficult. I was PMSing really hard which did not make it any easier. And, yes, I was in a negative place.

Then, this past week, one of the young (18-years-old) girls that works for me as an intern, announced she was pregnant. There was a lot of glee and talk and giggling and general merriment around the workshop in response to the announcement. She claims it was an oops! pregnancy, but I am not so sure. She said she took the home pregnancy test, and said to her mom, as they looked at the pee-stick, "make that 2nd line go away! ha, ha..." This was like a knife in my gut. Luckily, I was in my office--I could hear everything they were saying, but they could not see me crying. As the pregnancy talk went on and on, I had to find some errands to run, so that I could get out of there for a while.

I decided to come home for lunch. To see my hubby, and get a little bit of a baby-fix. Seeing my son's face just cheers me up. He is so precious to me.

However, Baby Boy was taking a nap. And, my husband took the opportunity of my being home to let me know that his brother's wife had just given birth to their third child. A girl, with a beautiful name. I knew the announcement was coming any day. And I am genuinely happy for them. But, at that moment, it just made me feel totally spent and empty.

It is true, I still long to achieve a pregnancy and have a healthy baby. I wish I had a different body and could some how make it happen. I always dreamed of having children (plural) and I always vowed I would not raise an Only Child. However, the reality is that after begging, borrowing and stealing (that is a figure of speech, we didn't steal anything) to hire a kick-ass adoption firm, and then being matched surprisingly quickly with our birth-mother, and pulling a rabbit out of our collective hat to be able to go through with the adoption before we were financially prepared, we are too broke to pursue any Fertility Treatments. It may be a long time before we have the money to do so, by which time, any dim chance we now have, will only be dimmer, or, burned out completely.

So, it is true, the pregnancy and birth announcements, the happy wonderful baby showers for my pregnant friends, they sting. I wish it were me.

However, to set Anonymous Commenter straight: I do value, love and cherish my son. He is the brightest light in my life and I would not want to have a life without him. You are wrong that I don't appreciate him. But, like many women who face secondary infertility (they have a child but cannot conceive a second time) the love I feel for my existing child does not extinguish the longing in my heart for the other child(ren) I always thought I would have. And, in my case, never having had a successful pregnancy and being the only person in my circle of friends who has started building her family through adoption, I can feel very alone in all of this. Some support would be nice. But that is another negative space in my life I need to find a way to fill, I guess.

Now, I am going to go play with the World's Cutest Baby and (Happily! No negativity!) go about my very blessed day.