I feel quite guilty. I left you all hanging….well, most of you who read this probably don’t know me. You found me while searching for a solution to a problem that I’ve described or gone through – and that is why this old blog is still running. I’m 50 now and I still have two embryos in the freezer. One boy. One girl. Both with all their chromosomes and a reluctant mother to be….it is so complicated. We have decided to decide what to do with our embryos this year. That means either I carry or find a surrogate. The whole topic makes me nervous so I’ll just change it, shall we?
I’m writing about two of my friends who could not get pregnant. Everything failed them. They had dozens of normals yet they kept on miscarrying. One went to my RE in Colorado – the great Dr. Schoolcraft and the other to a doctor in LA (she just had twins at 49 so imagine the pressure that gave me!).
Both could get pregnant but not stay that way.
The first one was 42 – she still produced normals but she kept miscarrying. She tried donor egg and still, miscarriage. I urged her to do the one test that she hadn’t done (and boy do they kick those tires at CCRM) – beta integrin. After transferring all her normals she found out that she lacked the protein. She went through the three month lupron depot hell on earth and then got pregnant with donor egg. She is happy…but regrets not having this test done as she did want to be biologically related to her child if possible but, as we all know, any child who calls you mom is yours entirely. Genetics be damned!
The next woman was in her mid 40s. She and her husband had tried for ages. They were fairly chipper at the start but then the failures started to wear her down. She wanted so badly to have a child and they went straight to donor egg. She tried LIT therapy (I recommended IVIG but she said she didn’t like the risks). She then got the beta integrin test and it too came up negative. She went through the lupron hell and then added in IVIG and voila – twin girls.
I’m writing because you have to kick those tires. You have to think out of the box and if you need help, I’m here. I don’t know everything but I’ve been around the block a few times and if this isn’t your first rodeo and I’m your last hope – email me. You can find me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I know how hard this is and I care. You owe it to yourself to kick every tire and don’t listen to the doctors if you feel in your heart that they are wrong. I most certainly did not listen and I have my prepubescent tween boy who still sleeps next to mommy on occasion and never goes more than a day without telling me “have I told you how much I absolutely love you?”…..the answer is always the same – “yes, and I love you more”.
Keep fighting, keep trying and don’t stop until you’ve truly had enough. That was not a Michael Jackson lyric.
Much love to all of you mothers who still have no child to hold. One day you will…somehow but not if you give up.
Next blog post is going to be about a foster care experience. Heartbreaking. But oh my how it has changed my life.
See you soon….very soon.
Strange post. I never thought I’d even think that I’d be “thankful” for the things that have happened in the past 7 years but, I am. I’ve lost boat loads of money, injected myself with more hormones than should be medically allowed and well, the losses. Recently a mother in my school dropped off her child. She was very tearful. I told her “don’t worry, he will be fine!” and indeed he was but she was not. Her tears reminded me of the terror of sitting with an ultrasound probe inside me waiting to see if there was a heartbeat for the small bunch of cells growing inside me). She looked confused, dazed, and frankly, like she was about to be ill. She had another older child with her who, of course, was headed to another school in which she had already enrolled. As she left I wondered about her. Her husband showed up an hour later and came into my office. He said, “I want you to know that my wife and lost a child at 6 months to SIDS and dropping off our child today was a huge leap for her”. Suddenly it all made sense. I held back the tears until left and then just let myself take in their grief. That night I held my boy just a little bit closer and…I watched over her child during their time at my school always making sure he was safe (as I do, neurotically, will all of the children in my care). When they left to move back to their hometown I made a point of speaking to her and acknowledging her bravery and telling her that I understood (to a degree) and hoped that time would heal. I don’t know how you get over things like that – well, I guess I do. You just live.
I’m on one of the first holidays I have had in four years and, watching my son interact with his cousins, being so happy and relaxed has made me realize that I would never be the mother that I am had I not gone through all of the aforementioned. I also realize that mine was a happy ending and many people don’t get a baby in their arms at the end. For those people, I hope they find peace and I also hope they don’t give up on the other options. I just so wish I had a way to make every childless mother a mother and childless father a father. I also wish I had the power to make someone understand the amount of grief that goes along with all of this and what it does to you as a person….well, if you let it. There comes a point where you have done everything that you can possibly do and you must choose whether or not you let infertility define you, overwhelm you and take over your life. I made that choice, obviously, when I opened a preschool. I literally fall in love with each child and treat them as if they were mine throughout the day. Being new at this (3 years) I have had far many more hellos than I have had goodbyes but…the 18 goodbyes have hurt. Some of these parents have no idea how much of a bond we form with their children and then poof – they are in kindergarten. I think going this route has been far more rewarding than I could ever imagined but there is always loss….
Could I be more meandering?
Today I’m thankful for the wisdom I have received by going through such difficulty in having my child. Had it been easy, I don’t know if I would have had as much patience, as much appreciation as I do for my child.
I hope that everyone reading this has success….I hope you never let what has happened to you define you permanently and that you will one day have your much wanted child in your arms or find peace should that not be your result. I’m not in the game of pain olympics – we all have our life challenges no matter our path – be it cancer, a sick parent, the death of an animal. So much loss.
Today I’m thankful for this very moment.