Friday, July 24, 2009
This is a post to say that I am still here...
So much has happened in our lives over the last few months and none of it has involved my reproductive system or anyone else's which has been a huge relief in many ways...but not in all.
When I started this blog it was meant to be a safe place to vent, inspire, draw strength and connect with those who were travelling on the same road. But what has happened is that it has morfed into being a miny version of my real life ,where I have watched others 'achieve' what still eludes us. Of the blogs/connections I made here nearly all are in various stages of pregnancy, and while I am so thrilled & inspired by the 'happy endings' I am yet again outside. Left behind. Waiting.
Of the few of us who are still hoping, longing, aching, most of your blogs have gone private and I wonder weather it is for self preservation...I understand that completely.
By posting today, I am hoping to tap into the strength that is still out there- those in the next chapter; those who are with me here and those new gals who may stumble across this today and need to know they are not alone.
G & I have continued with Operation Happiness. It has manifested wonderful things in our lives. We have moved to a part of the city which was a dream for us just a few months ago. It is truly amazing what can happen with vision, hard work and taking risks!!! We finished renovating our bungalow, I completely staged it (including painting the whole thing, inside & out, ourselves) sold it in less than one week, found a duplex in our 'dream neighbourhood', closed on both deals and moved in less than a month??!!!!
Why can't all things be that way?
Why can't vision, hard work and taking risks be enough when it comes to having the family that we both believe is meant to be ours??
On that front, a little bit of what followed Team Babies negative beta.
This is the first time I have addressed this thoroughly with anyone, including G.
I told him briefly what happened when I went to the follow up apt., but it was imperative for us to put all of this on a shelf. I knew we, HE, was at breaking point.
So, the follow up appointment was, well, dumbfounding.
I asked God (as I always do) to shed a little much needed light on the situation and when I arrived at the Clinic I was clearly the last apt. of the day for Dr. L. I waited and waited and finally he yelled for me and as we walked back to his office he said that they didn't have me on the schedule. Odd, our first apt. with him was the same.
We proceeded to sit across from one another and he said, glancing every now and then at the clock behind me, 'So, how can I help you today?'
It was clear to me, he had absolutely no clue who I was, or why I was there. It was as if I were a stranger to him.
I explained that this was the follow up to a negative beta for G& I and our surrogate R.-hoping to jog his memory.
*insert him madly flipping pages on our 'epic-novel-sized chart' and me, chin shaking, omg, don't start bawling you idiot, give him a chance...*
He then proceeds to counter act everything he told G & I at our first meeting only a couple of months earlier.
In stark contrast to our first apt., when he stated that 'he wasn't sure why we were using a surrogate with our amazing production of embryos, good blood work etc.', he proceeds to say with 'our long track record, age and high (not fsh, the other dohicky that tells you about the number of eggs you are producing)' he felt our chances of conceiving if we continued were slim .
If I were standing, I think my legs would have given out. I had never, in the three doctors who had been working with me, heard that there was any concern about egg production. He then proceeded to say that in his opinion, our only option was egg donor.
I sat across from him, and as the flood gates opened, made some lame joke about him finding a 6 foot model-turned astronaut, as he answered his cell phone and had a conversation with the person on the other end who was clearly his wife, wondering why he was so late.
After that there was pretty much nothing left to say but. Ok, thanks??!! and goodbye.
He walked me to reception and I was still crying. He said an awkward "You are special" and I have yet to know what he meant.
So, after conceiving naturally and 32, going through 3 clinics, 3 doctors, 3 operations, 2 more pregnancies, countless times I begged for what turned out to be hydros removed, countless months and dollars later- I am now almost 39 and my chances to have a genetic child are done. Just like that.
He did tell me that we had had terrible direction and medical care, and that he would have done things much differently.
We are sort of at a loss. We don't know where to go and so we are going nowhere.
We are not opposed to egg donor, but why and how do we trust this advice, given to us to a doctor who said the complete opposite thing to us and who has no clue who we are after telling us he would 'pray for us' and would make us parents????
So, there it is and here I am.
One bright note in all of this is there is no clock ticking any more. Time doesn't really matter, because one thing is abundantly clear- I will not endure another round in the ring with my eggs. That is over.
Not a cheery post, I know, but here I am.
If you are new here, and I could give you one lick of 'advice' : be your own advocate, and move to Colorado...
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Thanks to all of you amazing women whose words of identification and HOPE cleared away so much of the darkness I felt yesterday. I have read those words over and over and attribute much of my change in perspective to the power of a community bonded by the cement of understanding, compassion and love. You all rock.
I also believe that every time we go through the roller coaster of hope/waiting/disappointment we go through a cycle of the grieving process that that what's-his-face guy coined, Ed somethin'? (what a dumby) and I am amazed, yet again at how quickly I go from the numbness of denial, to the fierce anger to the intense sadness and the land, somehow, on the feet of acceptance.
This happened all in a 24hour span??
Don't hear me say that I didn't have the shooting pain of sadness course my veins momentarily as I sat with a pg. friend last night at a birthday dinner...but, it surprisingly did not last. I didn't plaster the usual forced smile, you know the one- where you consciously tell the muscles on either corner to ignore the downward pull??!!! I actually spoke to her about her upcoming move to a family neighbourhood and was, um, strangely happy for her????? Huh?
Somehow after my 'release' to you guys, my women's group that I go to on living a spiritual life (where we are studying Tolle's The Power of Now) I actually got in my car, cranked the tunes and was peaceful, happy, and hopeful.
Not gonna analyze it, just going to take it and runnnnnnnn.
Thanks, yet again.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
I am slammed against the bottom of the ocean floor, and the wind is knocked out of me.
I do not know which way is up.
I am tired and start to panic.
The terrorizing thought that this may be it fills my body with pain.
It is a nightmare.
I want to wake up, because, right now, I don't have the strength to swim.
To others, this may sound dramatic or self-piteous.
I assure you, it is.
You see, just for today, the optimism 'pot' runneth dry.
I guess it has runneth over for some time now...or maybe that was the wishful thinking pot???
But for me, a person who spends most of her time telling others that life is beautiful and worth living, I, today, am needing to release these feelings somewhere. Anywhere. Here.
I have not left my kitchen all morning. Reading about others who know how I feel, and those who have moved on, allows me to feel what is really going on inside. You guys (even dear R. who has just bought a front row seat to our show, and has had her own hardship in her own life) understand how truly daunting the idea that the most primal instinct to procreate may be being denied is.
Yesterday, when I heard the news, I had a moment where I doubted Gods existed. Where I shouted out that familiar old idea, that there couldn't possibly be a God who is this cruel. I swore that this would be the end of my believing, praying, hoping, dreaming, optimism...
What I was really saying was that I want the pain to end. I want a break from the heartache and disappointment. I want to hear a yes, instead of always hearing a no.
The swearing doesn't last long. I know those old ideas are not reality for I was given that Knowledge, many years ago as I lay on the maternity ward for two weeks following our first ectopic pregnancy that almost killed me, that this was not God punishing me. That this problem was scientific. His Grace carried me through that time, as I heard the calls, over the intercom, for the new mothers to come for the breastfeeding classes, while I lay, empty-wombed...I would never have survived that time if I believed that somehow they were 'blessed' and I was being punished.
I was given that same reassurance as I lost my best friend (age 24), father (at age 53) and stepmother (age 52) of cancer. It was not that God had "thought it was their time to leave the planet"- that is an old idea. It was scientific. A problem in the human realm, not the spiritual.
All of that said, G & I are so grateful to have met someone so moved by our plight that they would actually jump in with us to try and help. We will always be grateful for R and want her to know that.
The pain I feel is just the time ticking, the life altering pain that we, as a couple, are experiencing and the utter disbelief that we are still here. We both feel like fish out of water. That something drastic needs to change, and that this sadness must give way soon or it will kill us.
We have aged. G looks different now, so do I. This has stolen something from us. We have been overwhelmed and are 'hitting the mat' and both shouting "I Give"!!!!!!
The lesson cannot be that Life is Unfair. I got that one long ago (like many of you). The lesson cannot be patience, I think we have proven that we have that. The lesson can't be perseverance, humility or keeping faith. You can't move onto surrogacy without possessing those three attributes to some degree.
Is the lesson that we are not meant to be parents?
I don't know if that is a lesson I am prepared to learn, thanks...
Monday, April 13, 2009
Today we got the call while we stopped into the Brick to look for cheap appliances, to help in the sale of our house. While there, I was also looking at the couches that were on sale for R. She is looking for one, and I was secretly sure that she would need it for the bedrest she would be on from the twins...
Sitting on a couch in the Brick (of all places), G & I held hands as we picked up the message.
I could tell from the way the nurse said 'Hello" what the outcome was.
But this is R's first experience of the pain and sadness associated with a phone call telling you that the beta is negative, to stop all medication and...and what exactly???
We, sadly, know this all too well. Too many times to count or fathom.
When will I learn. Obviously there is some lesson I am to learn.
For now, all I can say, on behalf of a Team Baby who gave it their all is:
a punching-fist-through-wall angry & extremely broken-hearted: Ouch.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
R is doing great-full of hormones and hit-by-a-train tired...I pray that the little ones are the cause of her havoc!
G & I have, for the most part, had a real peace & hopefulness (although the nerves kicked in for both of us yesterday) and because R is doing all the hard work at this point, I am able to jump into the renos around here sans fear which has really averted my mind from the usual 2ww obsessing.
On the great PAOS debate: jury is still out deliberating. R is starting to get why waiting makes sense, she sees the roller coaster that testing too early could bring...At this point, she has our support (and the stockpile o' sticks) to pee at will...Yeaowwww-gulp.
This weekend is Easter. The Miracle of all Miracles (capitol 'M' miracle!!!) and Team Baby is hoping for a little one (s) ourselves.
Thank you guys, thank you R...
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Monday March 30th, 2009
Hi guys!!! Thanks for all your kind words of encouragement for Team Baby! You are all official members of the team and were with us yesterday...
There seems to be a whole lot of people hoping & helping our dreams come true.
There is of course the awesomely courageous R (applause), Dr. Garfield (I mean Dr. L), the favourite technician who made sure she came in to help with the transfer, my mom & SIL who went into her church to beg, plead & light candles, the lawyers who worked their butts off to get everything done, Duck who has helped me personally with my new role of IM, all of the people on R's side of the team who are helping her be on bedrest (cleaning, cooking, taking care of her cats, you name it!) and you & all the other people who tell me that we are in their thoughts & prayers...
I have a sense that we are a village, and boy, it seems to take a village for us...
Yesterday, after an excruciating wait (kayjay, Dr. L was about an hour late!!) for R's very full blatter (she had to do the tough task of a half-cup-pee 3 times!!!!!!) we ushered ourselves into the transfer room. It was a packed room indeed! We (G&R&I) held hopeful hands as we saw the picture of our three (they all woke up!!) gorgeous embryos. For some reason, they all looked stunning to us, if we do say so ourselves! We all welled up as we saw them go into R's safe and cozy womb. Cheers and tears all around.
After a 'pit stop' for R's first, hopefully of many, cravings- a charcoal pit burger at the, ummm, well 'Charcoal Pit Burger', we dropped her off to put her feet up and enjoy being PUPO.
It took all of about 5 mins for G & me to pass out when we got home. He, yet again, showed his quiet strength today- all the emotions that go along with what we have gone through and he is still 'in it to win it', and by my (now, with R, OUR) side. I want to see his faith lead him to a
big ol smile one day soon.
We are hopeful, overwhelmed, realistic (that has come unfortunately over the years), grateful, excited and exhausted.
Nestle in little ones. You are safe, longed for and loved- by a whole village.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
We will be transferring to our surrogate R, Monday morning.
It all seems quite surreal.
I will post after the transfer with all the details...
We need your prayers: R, G&me and our three embryos...
Go Team Baby...
Thursday, March 19, 2009
This will be interesting (I am not saying that like the guy who says, 'this is going to be funny' right before telling a really bad joke) I am merely saying that life has been wild lately, and when I sit down to blog I have no idea how that is going to translate. So it's more of a, here goes nothing...
Since last week we have been running in the 'Lawyer Marathon'. Truly an intense interchange between our lawyer (who basically writes the contract adding our specifics) and us; us and R.;
R. and her lawyer (who we scrambled and found Monday after poor R's backed out Sat, knowing that we had to be done wed!!!!!!! thanks God!!!) our lawyer and R's (put up yer dukes) and all finally culminating in a lot of initialling and signing and relief that this part is over.
Let's just say that running a marathon is hell (btdt have the bad knees to prove it) and introducing lawyers into the marathon of IF is even more horrendous. It is not 'Lawyers' fault (I actually loved both of ours and am so grateful they spent the better part of their lives over the last week getting this done in time to cycle...) it is just that the reality of talking about the possible worst case scenarios/risks and horrible possibilities (I got a whole bunch more now to add to the ones I already have experienced or feared!!) is not the stuff you want to be thinking about as you head into such a wonderful, exciting new horizon!!!!!
All in all, R and I were soldiers and despite a few bombs that landed a little close for comfort at times, I think we banded together and did Team Baby proud.
We signed our baby contract on March 18Th.
Lawyer, and the guy from the IT firm next door who she got to be my witness, were both Chinese. They were so thrilled that we were signing on that day. They explained to me, very excitedly, that the number was one of the most fortunate numbers in the Chinese New Year.
One symbolises a fortune that is definitely coming, and eight symbolises Life. Their excitement and story really touched me, especially as he explained it to me having no idea what kind of contract he was witnessing me sign and she watched on with a huge smile.
March 18 was also R's CD2 and our baseline visit to the clinic. And they're off!!!!!!
This was R's introduction into the early morning trek, (we are still drinking coffee thank goodness, that is going to be done soon and I will give it up with her out of sympathy) to the clinic, the sign in, wait, bloods, wait, u/s, wait, doc apt, wait...you gals know the drill.
She also started her estrace ( I have a picture of the first dose from the food court in the Eaton's Centre, now that is surreal...)
My doctor is slowly becoming my newest hero in a long line of heroes. Check this out.
After the green light we finish our first visit with the always fun "time to pay" routine. After a quick talk they hand me the breakdown of my payment for the cycle and it is double what the price sheet that they gave me at the consult 4 weeks earlier!!!!! Double.
sound of crickets.
Gulp, OK, "Do you think I could talk to someone about this???" comes out, instead of what would have come out in the past at all the other times I got hit with something I didn't understand, for fear that they would not like me and therefore not try really hard to help me. How foolish I have been.
Two minutes later Dr. L comes in and three minutes later he is saying,
"Don't worry, we'll honour the original price, I just want you to have a baby."
I love you Dr. L. THANK YOU.
After that is was some fun. Bra shopping to be exact. Her beautiful bountiful girls and my little buds. One (brassiere) looked like the real deal and mine, well, do you remember training bras? Yeah, well, I never graduated...
This post doesn't do justice to the highs and bumps and twists and turns in my week, but suffice it to say, this one won't be forgotten.
Tomorrow is the first day of spring. Natures mating season. We are mating I suppose, but just in a slightly unconventional sense and I have never been more hopeful.
Here is a picture of the sign that caught both our eyes and made us giggle, as we headed home that day. Great Eggspectations.
As for my other hero G., well he was feeling a little out of the loop. (anyone who is
working an average of 80hours a week might feel this, but esp. as all this big stuff is happening) That is, untill today when he got to sign the contract too. If I knew where the heart symbol was on my keyboard I would insert here. I heart him.
To all those out there reading this, please pause right now and say a quiet or loud prayer for: Duck, Mr Duck, Suro and her family, P, Niki,and Mr. Niki, K and her family and all their little ones. We are thinking of you all right now.
Monday, March 9, 2009
Not for long, but they came back none the less.
They came back to try and wreck the awesome new hope that has been with me (still is for the most part) as of late. They came back like unwelcome, yet familiar, creeps who steal and bully and really know how to wreck a party.
I know you guys know what I am talking about, I know they visited some of you guys too this weekend...
G. & I have a really great group of friends- we are five couples, pretty close in age and length of marriage. We are all pretty similar in so many ways, except one glaring difference, the other couples all either have two children (yes, a boy and a girl...) and the one couple who have a boy (our godson) is now trying for their second.
I know this because on Saturday night we had, yet another, bday party for one of their children and our friend was telling us (women) how frustrated she was that after 4 months of trying, she still wasn't pregnant. The others (including me) gave her the usual "oh, don't worry, take a holiday, relax, blah, blah, blah..."Some chimed in with the ever popular, "not me, just get that thing near me and I am knocked up"...blah, blah, blah...fuckin blah.
At some point, she did say she "felt guilty talking like this in front of me" (thanks) but that "she was an impatient person" and somehow that this made it more difficult for her.?!!?
Then, stomach clenched, G & I watched as they gathered up their children, put them in their pajamas for the ride home, gave out the loot bags (no loot bag here) and picked them up in their arms to head home.
By the time I got in the car, I didn't have anything bundled up in my arms, but I sure had a bunch of bullies on my fuckin back. They sat in the back seat of our car and taunted me:
"Still none for you eh?? Year after year, you guys get to go home alone, yup, to your quiet house, empty room that you foolishly still call the 'babies room'?? Ha!! How old would they be now?? Four and three?"
Needless to say, we started our ride just listening to them in silence. Then G. broke it by saying he knew it wasn't easy, but that they (our friends, not the gremlins in the back) loved us, and wanted the best for us. He went on to say that he was truly worried about me-my pain- and felt that at times, I suffered quietly, not wanting to let anyone know how depressed I might be.
I don't think I am any more depressed than anyone would be who had grieved the losses that we have had over the last 4 years.
I do not think I am any more depressed than anyone would be who longed for something at such a deep level that they couldn't imagine living without it.
I do not think I am more depressed than anyone who had given up their career in hopes of giving her "all" to achieve something that still eluded her.
I am no more depressed than would be cured by two pink lines on a pee test (mine or R's!!!)
I felt such an emotional hangover after Saturday's party that made me want to sleep forever.
Instead, I got up, prayed for our friend to have all that she dreamed of, meditated on Gods abundance and tried to remember all the possibilities that lay ahead of us.
R. reminded me of those possibilities Sunday as she read me her fortune cookie from the night before:
"Good News is Coming Your Way."
Perhaps she was reading this message as the gremlins were trying to make me buy their's.
To all those who got "the visit" this weekend: You are Not Alone.
I will be with you and as I remind you that although our pain is real, the hopelessness is not, I will be reminding myself the same thing.
It just isn't. It is like believing the sun doesn't exsist on a cloudy day. The sun does exsist, I just can't see it. But I know that if I took a plane above the clouds, there it would be. Shining bright.
I am back.
Operation Happiness continues.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Just a wee post to accept my, ahem, (I'm getting vahklempt -aka mike meyers) "Sisterhood Award"!!!
"First off, I'd like to thank my parents..."
Uh, oh, wrong acceptance speech.
First, I will thank Nikki (whose uteral lining I will be visualizing and encourage you all to do the same till monday) for the honour-I have never been officially part of a sisterhood (someone who used to not trust women) so it is an honour to be part of this sisterhood. Although it is definitely not the club you want to be in, but if I'm in it, I'm glad you guys are here with me.
That means at all stages of the Sisterhood- some throwing up the white flag, some just starting down the road, some mid cycle and worried, others mid cycle and excited. Even those who are cautiously happy with fresh news of a bfp, or those who just found out they will be having a little girl...
I don't think it is a fellowship you ever leave, babies and all.
In the news:
Met our lawyer yesterday-we'll call her... Lawyer. She's cool. I found myself trying to talk her down in price if I referred her to people I meet??!! What's up with me?? I guess the financial reality of this process has brought out my inner-barter-er. Doesn't hurt to ask?!
Also, got the green light on all our tests from the clinic. Tick another box please.
And our three little embryos were safely transferred today by Cryo-Labs, not Fed-Ex (we just couldn't bear that...) to their new, very temporary home. Our old clinic actually, get this ladies, paid for the shipping??!! Hey, may be a mere $200 but, dang, I'll take that...
Lastly, please perruse (sp?) my new lovely pic on the side board.
It is of R & Me today. For Anonymities sake, I am disguised as a pig and she is, very appropriately, a rabbit.
We went to the farmers market in the town she lives in. We bought organic chicken, fresh spinach, omega fatty acids ( for her) and two, teeny-weeny little baby onesies...one for her to keep and the other for me. I thought one was plain and the other covered in butterflies, but when I opened it up to take mine home, the other was indeed not plain.
It had three little butterflies on the front.
Hmmmm-three embryos, three butterflies... In any case, it now is neatly folded in the box that a friend of mine gave me that sits on my dresser. The inside of the box says, "When your head starts to worry and your mind just can't rest, put your thoughts down on paper and let God do the rest..." Ok, I am down with that.
Well, not down on paper, but a teeny-tiny-onesie with three little butterflies on it, says it all.
Ok, now to pass on the award to some of my deserving sisters...
In no particular order...The Nominees are:
R. @ Gestational Carrier to Be
Sue @ A Good Egg
KayJay@ A Miracle to Come
Fashionista @ Chronicless of an IF Fashionista
Duck @ The Ducks Big 'Ol Blog
Niki @ My Journey to Myles and Beyond
Bunny @ Bugaboo Envy
Emily @ What to Expect...
Angie @ TTC
PS. I have no idea how to make these actual links like you smarty pants do...
Friday, February 27, 2009
Alright- I am officially a geek.
After ignoring tags on FB, emails etc., I now find myself excited to be tagged by Fashionista and Kayjay!?? Actually excited.
I guess it's a little like getting picked for the team in grade school.
So, here goes, 10 totally random, totally useless, totally-amped-up-on coffee things about me:
- Before meeting G., I never dreamed about babies, or being a mom. Since G., it has been all I truly desire on the planet.
2. Once, when a couple of other gals and I went to a Greek island after a job in Italy, we rented a scooter for the week. Because it was Greece, they barely asked us for our name at the rental place. At the end of the week, I had damaged it pretty badly, (running into things will do that) so instead of returning it, we drove it off a cliff and never looked back. I will never go to Santorini again.
3. Sometimes my lunch of choice is a box- yes the entire box ladies, of Wheat Thins.
4. I detest folding and ironing laundry. To do it, is like pulling teeth.
5. My friend Nancy and I used to skip high school and hitch-hike to see my punk rock boyfriend who lived half an hour away. We would load a knap-sack with a box (so fancy) of wine and proceed to jump in the various vehicles of total strangers. We thought we were cool-now I think we were stupid and lucky.
6. Since my BFN last month I have rebelled: reckless amounts of caffeine; wildly quitting the prescription prenatal vitamins that I have taken religiously for years; at first I not only gave up prayer/meditation but actually cursed god for his cruelty (this only lasted a couple of days) and have stayed up till all hours of the night, only to feel like crap the next day. Sometimes, when you feel as though trying hard has gotten you nowhere, a little revolt feels good.
7. The smell of olives and blue cheese makes me gag and therefore I have never tried either.
8. I have been tremendously helped in my life by people sharing their struggles and triumphs. I am a sober alcoholic who entered into recovery 14 years ago and spend a lot of my time trying to pass along what I have learned and giving talks about my life, in the hopes that I will help others do the same. I want to start such a support group for people struggling with infertility.
9. I sometimes look at girls in their twenties and think, "I bet she'd get pregnant in a heartbeat", followed by a wave of jealousy and self loathing.
10. I believe that this will all be behind me someday. That I will be dropping our child(ren) off at school and that the longing that is constantly with me today will be a distant memory although, will have changed me forever.
Alright, now I tag:
- Gestational Surrogate to Be (R.)
- Ducks Big Ol Blog (Duck)
- Someday, Someway (Krissy)
- What to Expect When You're Not Expecting (Emily)
- Our Surrogacy Adventure (Jaymee)
- Which way To Baby (Rebecca)
- Our TTC Journey (Angie)
I look forward to knowing random things about you all!!!
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
I tell you, I don't know why, but I feel as though things are well, different. Good different.
Here are a few reasons I can attribute to this new found energy, this teeny-tiny-wee mustard seed of expectancy:
First, connecting with you lot. I just spent hours going back in your blogs, reading your journeys and marvelling at the feeling I am reading words/thoughts/ feelings that could have been written by me (if I could write as poetically as you all can, that is). Weather you are talking about the dreaded social event where you fear the inevitable-kick-you-in your gut-announcement of someone else's good news; the loss of our basic instinct to know what to eat/not eat, do acupuncture/don't do acupuncture, take this drug/go to a naturopath; or the testing of your faith in God after our prayers seem to go unanswered; the feeling like the rest of the world is growing and moving forward while we are still waiting; the mental teeter-totter of trying to keep hope alive and not let the past rob our promise during, yet another, 2ww.
Or what it feels like to make a decision to have a final round and live with whatever comes no regrets.
Your strength amazes me.
Next, there are the amazing women willing to go through this with us-I'm talking about the surrogates like our R.-women willing to put their bodies, hearts and lives through this process with us that they might help make our dreams come true. That is awesome.
That brings me to the third component to this change in outlook: our appointment Friday with, what we are now calling 'Team Baby': me, G (dh), R (gc) and Dr. L (aka Dr. Garfield- I am serious this guy makes me smile just thinking about him-Garfield in a lab coat! I hope our ET doesn't fall on a Monday-Garfield hated Mondays.) It was wild.
This appointment lasted four 1/2hours?!! On a Friday night, Dr. L and his staff stayed for us from 330 until 8pm??!!! I have never had a doctor take that much time, or even care to be as thorough as they were. It kinda blew our minds. I am sure it blew the staffs minds as well, who I am sure had better things to do on a Friday night, although they never made us feel that way.
And despite my inner pessimest (who has turned into a real downer during this procees) that tells me this is big business, it seemed as though they actually cared.
R,G and I had to first meet with the dreaded psychologist, which for R & I seemed pretty daunting. The thought that some doc meeting us for an hour could hold the power to grant us permission to go ahead with what we felt was meant to be? Yowser, that one would do a number on anyone. Turns out G. was right (this is Canada after all, the most liberal laws in the world) this appointment was much more about their liability than weather or not we were all 'sane' enough to be IM and GC's. She was great, gave us good advise and an hour later, her blessing.
Next there was the physical stuff for R and a sit down for us with Dr. L. He was incredibly thorough and confirmed what I already knew to be true. There should have been no doubt that my tubes needed to be clipped or removed after the second hetrotopic and the fact that they did discover a large hydro meant that all of our previous chances had very little chance of success(and the crowd went mild!!! not an easy realization after 3 fresh and two fets).
He also saw many indicators for further immunology/dna testing (which my previous RE's did not 'believe' in) There was the history of thyroid issues on my mothers side (her,aunt,cousin, grandma) which, although my thyroid tests were always in normal range, should lead an RE to do autoimmune tests. I had asked my former re about this very thing, only to get the answer I always got which was "the evidence regarding this is inconclusive- everything with your cycle looks great- it's just been bad luck, lets keep going." Just like there was no 'evidence' of a hydro right?
Dr. L ordered a bunch of testing for both of us and then went over our history with a fine tooth comb, visibly frustrated by some of the decisions his medical colleagues had made along the way.
Then my physical followed ( I apparently have a beautiful uterus) , bloods for all, another sit down with G & I going over our options; then Dr. L & R sit down alone to discuss things and then we all go in for a pow-wow and he goes over it all, actually seeming moved by R and her selfless gift to us.
And, four and a half hours later, "Team Baby" had formed.
We have decided to do a frozen embryo transfer with R. next month.
In the meantime, I have phoned the former clinic to arrange the shipping of our three precious 8,8 & 7 cell 3day embabies , only to find out that they ship them, get this, with FED EX.
OK, have you seen guys loading fed ex trucks? Imagine them tossing my little ones around like they are, oh i dunno, someones pricewater house cds for a penny???? Crap, I have wayyyyy too much information. This stuff just gets more wacky. I mean, think of the old fashioned way (first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in a baby carriage, and not always in that order) and then us: hundreds of shots in the belly & butt; Embryo Retrieval, ICSI, freeze, ship with the men-in-brown; thaw and then insert into my dear friends uterus. Can you hear the belly laughter? Aaahhhh, just like I dreamed as a little girl.
And yet, I am curious. I am curious to see if the different feeling I have these days is the feeling that I haven't had in a while. That I am right were I am supposed to be. That all we have gone through has lead us to this place. That everything is going to work out.
Thank you fellow women: some of you fighting hard for the family you believe in, some showing us what true strength is as they learn to accept, some sharing their miracles and happy endings.
Thank you R. for listening to your small quiet voice and having the courage to tell me about it that day in the coffee shop.
Thank you Dr. L for not worrying about yourself and asking us to book anther appointment at a more convenient time for you, but actually taking the time to listen and explain things that no one else had.
Thank you DH for staying on this path with me: lifting my snot-filled chin up after the other people's children's birthday party at Balls Of Fun; allowing me to lift your spirits after another person complains about their wife being knocked up again. But always knowing that when we look back at this time we will know that we gave it allll we had.
Oh and P.S: Bunny and Tiff, tried to post, but the word verification was kaput. I'll check back soon. And also a request to all, but esp. surro-people to go to R's blog (Gestational Surrogate To Be link on my sidebar) to lend support/give advise, you know...thnx.
Monday, February 23, 2009
I will say this though, Friday's appiontment with the new RE was amazing.
Dr L. (think of Garfield in a lab coat) was amazing.
R. is amazing,
and despite everything, I have a renewed sense of hope.
Details to follow...Peace y'all
Monday, February 16, 2009
G & I had a great Valentines Day this year...I think (like many of you have expressed) it really is a day where we can focus on what we do have and that is each other. This whole process makes me aware of my sensitivity to other people's struggle. I do not want to be the hypocrite who complains about the shocking insensitivity of people to our infertility(oooohhh how clueless they can be) without regard for how, say the single person I am around might feel that I have found such a great man while their dream have yet to be realized.
The other reason Vday didn't blow this year is because G & I have declared 2009 'Operation Happiness'. While ushering in the New Year (and heading into the 5th year of fertility hell, almost our entire relationship) we woke up to the fact that much of our lives have been 'on hold'. We have been waiting for the stork to drop off 'happiness' in a little bundle while forfeiting the things that we love to do-trips, spontaneity, FUN...So, we decided- NO MORE- we are going to start living and actually try to enjoy living again. What a concept.
I think John Lennon said "life is what happens when your busy making other plans".
So, we have started looking for a new house back in Toronto. This place has not had the happiest of memories and the move to the burbs was mainly with the idea that it would be better to raise kids. The search, holding new possibilities, has given us a fresh focus.
We also had private dance lessons Saturday-what a blast! Salsa, rumba even the tango before a beautiful Japanese dinner at a restaurant we hadn't been to. Felt like a real date. We didn't talk about babies, or doctors or disappointments- we focused on each other. I highly recommend it.
Sunday we had to drop by a gift for our nephew (who we adore) who was having his 4th bday party today. Part of 'Operation Happiness' is that G & I have also started to not buy into the fact that we have to do or be anywhere where people are insensitive or who don't give a single thought to our life. Fuck it. We have swallowed hurt and put our feelings aside for too long and suffered the consequences for that. But with family it can be tough!!
There has been a bit of a divide with S&BIL because they initially had difficulty but got pregnant with first IVF, then a natural pregnancy and then decided to do an FET the same week as us (they of course got the BFP of their third child while we got the thrill of a chemical pregnancy!!!)
Our issue is not the fact that they have three children now and we are still looking for our first, it is really about the utter lack of caring about our feelings. When their FET baby was born (on our 4th wedding anniversary) they actually had us babysit all day and insisted we put t-shirts on that said "Big Brother Again" and "Big Sister"for our trip to the maternity ward for the birth, without even so much as a "is this ok for you guys??" And there is much more. The complaints to me about morning sickness and difficult deliveries. The endless discussions at family get togethers of baby names, potty training and how hard it is to juggle all these children.
I would give my left arm for that problem.
MIL refuses to acknowledge what we are going through because she wants to enjoy her grandchildren guilt-free. I don't blame her, so we just pretend everything is fine.
S&BIL also lay on the whole "God opened my womb" thing, implying (not-so-subtly) that somehow my infertility is Gods will. What, so God says "I'll Bless this one and leave this one out in the cold." Nope, not buying what your selling. I have always intuitively known (even though in frustrated moments may doubt) that my problem is on the scientific plain. That, of course God plays a role in what happens in my life (and I will never proclaim to be enlightened enough to figure that all out) but that He is not some puppeteer that withholds blessings for some to "teach them a lesson". Infertility is challenging enough without all this added confusion, thanks!
Anyway, a whole blog could be written about the dynamics that our infertility creates in our relationships, but the bottom line is we are going to , from now on, take care of ourselves. We will only do what we are able to emotionally. Fuck it. If they love us, they will understand.
That is why we said nothing at our families yesterday that when we left there we were going to have lunch with R. , our hopeful surrogate! Ha! To think of the field day they would have with that one!
Anyway, it was the first time G, R & I really talked details about this 'team' we were forming to hopefully usher in our baby. We, over the Indian Buffet, discussed the ins and outs- laughing over our things and misting up over the overwhelming possibilities at hand.
After G & I dropped of R we marveled at her honesty and surety of the inevitability of what we were embarking on. While we were interested in the emotional ramifications (ie. how she might feel at the end of the nine months etc.) her concerns where very practical (I'll need new bras) It was comforting. It made us realize that we should over-analyze less and go with the flow more.
As we fell asleep last night, we cuddled and thanked each other for the great Valentines weekend. Its not every weekend you learn the Rumba and take a person who may have your baby out for Indian.
So just before closing our eyes G. looked at me and said, "well, it's never dull!"
Ain't that the truth.
Friday R, G& I have our first appointment at the new clinic with the doc and the psychologist.
This, of course, has brought up some fears: "Wait-Are we actually sane??"
What qualifies sane in their eyes??!!
I welcome any insights/experiences that you guys may have with this part of the process...
Thursday, February 12, 2009
How our Surrogate Found Us
First of all-after reading a heartbreaking post on another gals journey can I just say: "INFERTILITY SUCKS." I know I am preaching to the choir, but man, when I hear about someone else's disappointment it breaks my heart because I know the pain and isolation they are experiencing.
It's like belonging to a secret fraternity that I wouldn't wish on anyone, but am so grateful to know that others are getting through this and usually to a happy ending...
I think that one of the most- and there are many-frustrating things about infertility is the deafeningly quiet response to the many times I have cried out "why??" to the universe as another treatment fails, or another friend or family member gets knocked up.
Every time someone else announces a pregnancy (many of our friends and family members are on #2 and 3) or every time the strength we have mustered to believe that this cycle will be our time turns into yet another disappointing phone call, a little of my faith gets chipped away.
In my life I have always had a sense of a path or something directing me and yet with the path we are on to start a family, there have been times I have had a sense of getting more and more lost.
That being said, the story of meeting our possible surrogate was definitely not of my own doing and really quite amazing. Although we are still very early in the process (we need to go for bloods and psychological evaluation) I believe that our paths even crossing the way they did was quite miraculous.
We'll call our hopeful gestational carrier R.
I met R. after a talk I gave in a city about an hour away from where I live. She came up to me afterwards and thanked me for my talk, asked for my number and wondered if we could have a coffee sometime. I said yes and we started talking on the phone and meeting once a week for a coffee and I knew from the beginning that there was something special about her.
A few months after our friendship had begun R. and I were planning to meet for a coffee after my follow-up apt. at the clinic following another failed fet. That appointment left more questions for me than answers and I left there looking forward to meeting a friend and getting my mind off of baby-making.
When I sat down R. asked if she could ask me about something personal. She had NO idea at this point about any of our fertility issues, I had not mentioned a thing to her. All she knew is that I had had a Dr.'s apt. before our get together.
I said "sure" and she proceeded to ask me if the Dr.'s apt. I had was a fertility doctor. I (jaw on table) said casually, "yes...how did you know?" and she told me that on her way over she had a strong sense that I was dealing with fertility struggles and that she wanted me to know that she had always thought that she would be a surrogate for someone who was unable to conceive, if that was something my husband and I ever were considering.
My reaction was of utter shock and, in stark contrast to my previous reactions when people would offer their two cents on our situation. Like when SIL would say things like, "maybe you are meant to adopt" and I would want to reach across the table and shut her first-ivf-worked-and-then-had-natural-pg-and-then-had-fet-baby's mouth! (do you detect the resentment?? yeah, I know, I am working on it...)
No, R's words melted my heart and made me think a higher power was at work here, because there was no possible way for her to know our situation.
Since then we have grown more and more open to the idea of R carrying our child. I never would have expected to actually be excited by the prospect of this and yet when I imagine someone else going through the 2ww instead of me, I actually feel relief! When I imagine the possibility of a bfp at the end of it (we know she is fertile, she got pregnant with one of her two children while on the bcp!!!!) I am flooded with happiness.
So, we now have a surrogacy lawyer, and have switched to the best clinic in Toronto which is surro-friendly.
That too fell into our lap.
Frustrated by my clinic I picked up the phone and thought "what do I have to lose?". I called the new clinics manager and left a message. She called back a few hours later, and after I explained our situation put me on hold and came back saying that Dr. L would not only take us on, but that they could start the process on Feb. 20th??!! This doctor normally has a four month waiting list?
She was hopeful, and kind and I was actually excited when I hung up the phone.
So, even though my faith is challenged and many times it feels like the reply to my questions is the sound of crickets, when I really look at these two events closely, maybe the answer is right in front of me...
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Well, after sneaking around other women's fertility blogs and drawing so much strength, comfort, and the much needed laugh, I have decided to take this story- our story- and put it out there in the hopes that I may do the same for someone else...
Buckle in, it's a long one.
Here goes: boy (we'll call him G.) meets girl (I'll be H.) in dog park.
Boy and girl and dogs fall madly in love instantly and soon shack up.
Out of the blue, six months later I can't drink my usual gallon of coffee in the morning and the sight of meat turns my stomach.
To appease my mother, we buy (my first ever) pee stick and, to our utter shock and amazement, it says we are: "pregnant".
"Pregnant" was a foreign concept to us. I had never been pregnant before and even though I was 33 years of age, I had never even really contemplated the usual life route: marriage, house children.
As an ex-model-turned-actress i guess my career was always my "baby".
Until G. Until now. Until two lines on a pee stick.
We were thrilled!!!! Our families were shocked, and thrilled.
A few weeks in I went to the doctor to let her know I wasn't feeling "right" and she said, matter-of-factly: "well, if you are still pregnant in 3 weeks we will do an ultrasound.
This was my intro into the comforting world of doctors with the bedside manner of robots.
Two weeks later G. came home from work at 12 o'clock at night to find an ambulance at our door, the paramedics trying to break down our door and me passed out inside.
I woke up after a life saving surgery to learn a new phrase: Ruptured Ectopic Pregnancy.
I spent two weeks (and my 34th bday) in the hospital (on the maternity ward to top things off) and this started our journey into the world of fertility.
We did the usual: lap and dye tests to check one remaining tube;
chlomid and charting: nothing.
On to fertility specialist and iui. 2nd iui: bingo! bfp, 2nd beta rises, early ultrasound shows embryo in uterus and then: at 5 weeks 4th beta does not double, in to find out that they did not check the remaining tube which would have told them it was twins and one was in the tube.
After a d&c I get to learn a new phrase: Hetrotopic pregnancy.
Break Please!!!! We switch clinics and move straight to ivf. After 3 fresh, 2 FET's and only one chemical pregnancy I insist (after a year of asking politely) that they do a lap to check my tube, and, sure enough, last september (my 38th bday) they discover that the tube I have is a large hydrosalpinx (another phrase for the vocabulary) and the tube we thought was removed was half there and also infected.
This meant that the last 3.5 years, and all the $ and tears were probably for nothing.
Moral of the story: listen to your body and find a doctor who will listen to you.
So here we are now.
G. & I have decided that want to give this our all, but that we want to turn the page on this chapter as soon as we can, and that is why we have switched clinics and are beginning to bring another womb into the picture.
Surrogacy: I had heard of this word before, but just never expected it would apply to my life.
I will log our journey here.
I hope you come along for the ride and share your strength and wisdom as we go