Saturday, June 30, 2007

Creeping in ...

Hope is creeping in, creeping in. Today I feel stuff happening in those little ovaries. Little uncomfortable on the left, little twinge on the right. I keep hoping that I'm the tortoise and slow and steady will win the race. We'll see at US tomorrow.

There has been a lot of recent chats in the blogosphere about hope, choices and adoption (The Oneliner, Serenity). So I thought I'd share a little of my (sorry, our) journey on some of those topics. Not that we have made any final decisions, but with so many set backs we have talked a lot about a general game plan.

First you need to know a few things about our situation. ONE, we are poor -- okay not third world country poor, or even working poor, but in the realm of IF ... poor. After being blessed to have one child, I gave up being a veterinarian to stay home. The area we live in has a pretty low cost-of-living, so we could squeak by on my husbands resident's salary. I've been putting off some pretty substantial school loans to do this. So now, we have one year left in DH's training. Which brings us to number TWO, in one year we will be moving to LA for him to do an additional year of training, and where I will not be able to easily practice (licensing issues). Then THREE, we will move again to places unknown to settle down. All these things impact some of our decision making process.

Okay, moving on -- when my first IVF attempt failed I was crushed. As undiagnosed IF, I had convinced myself that if we could just get egg and sperm together in that dish, we'd be golden. Our IVF cycle had gone from bad to worse. Only 8 follicles, then only 5 eggs harvested, only 2 fertilized (one with ICSI). I was convinced my ovaries were kaput (DH has great swimmers). Immediately after the failure I didn't want to talk to my RE yet. Then when I tried to set up our follow-up appt. there were issues (he was away, we were away), so it took a whole month. In that time I aggressively investigated adoption.

Initially we were all for it. We both love children (duh, what a silly statement). We had always imagined our family as including several kids (I had always wanted 4 or 5. I am one of 6 -- catholic parents). I did a lot of reading about domestic vs. international and open adoptions. But we were very concerned about moving 2 times in the next 3 years and how this would complicate pursuing adoption. Then there were the costs to consider, and also how moving would affect those (needed to update home studies). From the information I gathered, we were easily looking at $20-30,000 for adoption internationally. And with domestic there can be unknown costs if you are working with a birth mother who needs financial support. We simply don't have those resources.

Without a big pool of cash to work from, it seemed we would have to consider other adoption roads - such as older children or those with disabilities. This was tough but simple at the same time. We both agreed we are not able to adopt a child with significant mental, physical or emotional disabilities. If it happened to us, we would be committed and work hard. But we just weren't willing to volunteer for that. That is a hard thing to admit and say about yourself. But we felt that IF had put us through the wringer, and at 35 we were too tired to offer ourselves up for more heartache. So, we also agreed that babies from drug addiction backgrounds etc, were not in our future either. The adoption options were getting smaller.

We talked about open adoptions too, and whether it would work for us. Since this is now the way many adoptions are set up today, it was an important issue. Again, we were quickly on the same page. (Its so nice to have your intellectual soul mate for a spouse) I felt that any parent who is selfless enough to place her child for adoption, deserves to know they are loved and safe. So we were both very willing to provide information, pictures, share letters. But we were both leery of meeting with the birth family on any regular basis.

Based on all these things, adoption started to seemed pretty daunting. I finally asked my DH the big questions ... "what do you want? is having J enough for you?" And I was surprised at the answer. He admitted that he too always imagined our family differently, but that if all we ever had was J, he'd be okay with that. I was so touched. Because I knew he was soothing my fears over his possible disappointment over no more of HIS biological children (since it seems the problem is likely me). He actually told me that our son was remarkable and that having gotten to see that was enough for him. But also that he wanted me to be happy and satisfied, so he would support any efforts I wanted to make. Amazing huh?

This beautiful outlook from him led me to look more into donor egg as an option. I want to see his sweet personality in our next child. I want to give that to him. I admit too, that I really want to be pregnant again. I want that connection, even if the egg is not my own. We've talked about this option too. But we know we can't financially afford it until all the moves are done and he is settled in a job with a significant income. That's tough. But I think this may be the right choice for us -- we'll see.

So, anyway. We finally talked to the RE about the first failed cycle, and found out that maybe it was so abysmal because it was ended too soon -- eggs too immature. Dr K didn't feel we had given it our best shot. He helped a little with financing so we could give it this last try. I'm a little worried since we had such a slow start. But hope is creeping in ...


Leah said...

Once again, you are writing directly from my own brain. We too aren't exactly made of cash. We too have 1,001 reservations about adoption. And on, and on the similarities go.

I am with you 100% on the donor egg thing -- I want to be pregnant, I want to see at least one of us reflected in this child. It's just so hard to figure out the right thing to do.

Hopefully this cycle just WORKS for you guys and all this fretting and decision-making will be for nothing!

Sticky Bun said...

It's great that you guys have thought through your options so much. Hubby and I are definitely not there yet. But, I really hope this is your cycle so that you won't have to worry!

Portia P said...

I'm with you on the donor egg idea. I feel i'd like to look at my child and at least see my hubbie.

I'm also with you time wise on your cycle. I'm on day 7 of stims on my third ICSI cycle. I don't produce many eggs so i'm trying the short (flare) protocol this time and it seems to be going ok.

Loads of luck with this cycle - hope you don't even have to consider donor eggs yet. My hubbie won't even let me talk about them....yet