Being Thankful….for infertility?

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.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Just when you thought nothing could surprise you…

I’ve been debating posting what I have on my mind. I’ve really thought long and hard about it (yes, I’ll get to it but there is a back story so indulge, please and thank you). I’ve had a pretty horrible few years months. I’ve not told anyone about all of the things bothering me. In fact, I’ve kept almost everything to myself for so long that I’ve become used to it. This blog is about as close as I get to spilling my guts about what is really bothering me and most of you have no idea who I am (er, I suppose).

Let me backtrack…

I went to visit my husband’s family for three weeks in June. It was the first real holiday I’ve had in three years and I REALLY needed it.   This has been a challenging year for many reasons not just waiting for the doctor to approve my chosen surrogate.   I was hoping to relax, recharge and hopefully come back to the great news that Dr. Schoolcraft had approved my surrogate after the “difficult cases” meeting and that our journey could begin. I was rather sure AND as my husband said after reading the pleading letter to the good doctor “there is no way he won’t be moved by that” or something of that nature.  I had pretty much secured the loan from our credit union for most of the costs, I was set. The IS (intended surrogate) was getting a little tired of waiting and I didn’t blame her. But knew that it would crush me and ruin my one chance to rest after a hard few years.  I didn’t think three weeks would make much of a difference and knew that a calmer me would make me able to deal with whatever the decision was with a clearer head.    So I went to the UK blissfully unaware that meetings had been had in Colorado and fates had been sealed. Who knows, they hadn’t called me back despite a few phone calls and emails so I assume that is what was going on. I certainly was not going to have  another hundred or so dollars to talk to him again (plus the 8 dollar phone call charge – love that touch).   I try not to think of the money we’ve spent so far and the phone calls….which have been about 2 minutes long.  What is the hourly rate for that?  A million dollars an hour?

I digress.

So I went to the UK and had a fantastically craptastic time thanks to some work drama.  The highlight was going to Paris for the night, eating a chocolate ice cream cone and working off the calories (and almost dying of heart failure) trying to keep up with my 5 year old ball of energy who literally ran up the Eiffel tower to the first level.  Let me say that the Eiffel Tower is a big deal at my school.  We talk about it a lot.  We draw pictures of the steeple at our school (we reside in a church) and the kids love imagining it with all the lights on it at night.  I have little replicas that they love to hold.  My son was a ROCKSTAR at school for going up the Eiffel Tower so it was worth it….even if I cried all the way down and back on the Eurostar….imagining horrible things that never happened, arguing with my husband over almost everything and nothing and missing my friend who died last year.  You know, the one person you have in your life that you can call and talk to for a few hours and you both walk away from the call having unloaded and feeling like you connected with another person who gets it?  He was that person for me.  I know I’m all  over the place but I just needed him at that moment and well, now….and I don’t have him or anything like him anymore.    Enough with the pity party.  I’ll be fine, I just get sad sometimes and talk to the air imagining he is here and listening (minus his incredibly catty stories about people we know from high school and who is now gay and who is divorcing and….you know, a little harmless gossip with an old friend).   He was gay, for the record and when he died we hadn’t talked because I was so busy, I didn’t return his few calls.  Not because I didn’t care, I was too busy working to save my family.  Another blog post… another regret.

God help me I will get to the point.

So I get back to the US and solve a few of my pending problems, get the news from CCRM, digest it. tell the surrogate via FB (because I could not speak I was so upset)…  A few weeks go by and I’m thinking about how perhaps I could try one transfer with me and then move the other embryo to a clinic (my husband’s wishes) and transfer to her.

Then Aurora happens and I immediately look to see if she is OK (on FB – she lives in that vicinity) and she is gone.  Poof.  She blocked me.  She erased me from her life.  My husband was very relieved that we didn’t proceed further with someone who clearly didn’t see us as anything more than dollar signs…I took it a bit harder..  I felt like I’d been punched in the gut.  The idea of someone carrying a child for me wasn’t easy.  I had pangs and yearnings and questions but I made peace with it because of her.  I also felt a connection to her and knew she would care for my children (if they do turn into children but with a normal CGH embryo made a few years ago, you have a good chance in the right womb).

The person that I almost let carry my children blocked me on facebook.  Just.Like.THAT.

If that isn’t a kick in the pants, I don’t know what is.  All I can say is I hope she isn’t following me.  Fool me once and I get the picture.  I’ve now learned that life is not only about choices but also how you react to the choices of others.

I just keep on thinking…what if she had my children living inside of her and blocked me.  What if, what if, what if.

Maybe I have a guardian angel.  I don’t know.

Let me leave you with the good news – my period is back again.  Heavy too.  I think I am going to build a lining, folks.  I think I’m going to do this myself.  Soon.  44 and pregnant.  Think I’d get a reality TV show?  Good LORD, my friends from high school are having grandchildren now.

Enough counting chickens.

The End of Post 125

Rejected

Just like that. So the only surrogate that I would consider (pretty much) has been rejected by CCRM. As you know, I have no plan B. I did this on purpose because I just knew that they would let me do what I want. They are perfectly happy to let me do a FET into a 44 year old, recurrent miscarrier…oh that is just fine but a young woman who has five healthy pregnancies has been rejected.

I have no idea what to think let alone feel. My husband wants me to try to carry one and then do surrogacy for the other. I can’t even comment on that one. Really?

Right before I received the email I was cleaning out my office and found this cute little ultrasound of a developing baby (my son!) – you could see the feet developing and the head. I immediately showed my son and he was so excited to see himself at barely a CM. I looked closely after I told him and saw that there was very little room for movement. I then looked at the date and saw that it was from December 08. The chromosomally normal female that would be my daughter right now except….she isn’t.

Yesterday was not my day. Neither is today. I’m just done with thinking about it right now.

I also can’t keep my intended surrogate on hold anymore. She is ready for her last journey now and I’m facing a battle royal with my husband on who carries a pregnancy first and I am also in the middle of other things which require my full attention.

I wish I could get on a flight and disappear for a week to process this but I can’t.

I don’t even have any tears. I’m just numb.

There it is – and now I need to figure out what to do. Roll the dice? Try this myself? This is my last shot with my own eggs. No adoption per my husband. I’m up against the wall and have no idea if I even have the fight in me anymore. Defeated, party of one.

Blogging

No word from CCRM. I’m going to chalk it up to the holiday. Next week I need final resolution. I’m over it…and I suspect you are too (especially my intended surrogate). I have about 200 – 300 readers every time I post and I’m still mystified. Who the heck are you people? 🙂

Getting back to CCRM and all things related – no period this month. Hmmm. Guess it was a one off thing?

So, the embryos that I have are it. Last chance and I am OK with that. What I am not OK with is the fact that I have a unbelievable amount of medication (gonal F mainly) that I would love to donate. I have enough for a regular person to cycle (I used to take the motherlode of meds and, to be honest, I don’t think it made one iota of difference – I made the same number of eggs no matter the amount of medication).

So if you are ready to cycle and meds are holding you back – please email me (comment and I’ll get back to you). I don’t think donation is illegal and if I can help someone, I’d like to. I have all my gonal f and such in powder so the expiration date is nebulous but soon. If I can help someone out there it would make me very happy.

I’m encouraging my husband to start a blog. I think he is rather funny but then again, I have to. I’ll let you know his blog name. Suggestions welcome – he is British, didn’t go nuts over the fireworks last night (while our wee boy sat there waving his flag shouting “yeah to American”. We’ll forget his usage of the English language (not required in the south).

Thanks for reading and I hope soon that we will have something to say. Something serious….

One cranky email sent

Ok, here we go! I sent off the email. I want to get this show on the road. Stay tuned. If I don’t hear back tomorrow, I’m going to step up the calls and emails. I hate being that patient but enough already. I rocked my child to sleep in a room with a crib last night. Five years and the damned thing is still up and I’m stuck. STUCK!

So expect news soon…then I’m going to need help figuring out what to do if they say NO.

Time to make a decision grid like in 8th grade. Pathetic.

BAH! How did I get here again???

Dropping the ball

So the every day posting thing isn’t working out so well for me. Big surprise! There is only so much time in the day and even fewer topics to muse about. Let’s see. Lately I’ve been thinking about the autism rate. A lot. 1 in 55 boys? I’ve been reading a lot about bromide in flour, the neurotoxins in pesticides and their role in killing the honey bees in vast numbers and more. I’m on a health kick in anticipation of a dual transfer and am scared to death of what I put in my mouth. I’m also wondering if my missing period has anything to do with my diet. Eating in the UK was not only easier but healthier. Their labeling systems are pretty incredible and I love the fact that villagers burn down GMO crops when introduced. Can you imagine that kind of thing happening here? Take the time to read the packaging..for example smart balance…the stuff lasts for a year..that simply is not food. Food does not last a year. I tried to explain that to my son when he got out the “butter” to put on the peanut butter and jelly sandwich (remember that sandwiches always have a layer of butter then mayo or whatever when you are in the UK so…I had to disabuse him of that idea).

I am glad that people are becoming aware of the food they put in their mouth. At my preschool parents think nothing of packing lunchables and m&ms for their kids which always boggles my mind.

I’ll try to be more creative as I make this an active blog – until I hear back from CCRM, I am in a state of perpetual worry. Afraid to ask and afraid not to ask (because the plan is not formed). If I get rejection, there is no firm plan B (very unlike me). Guess I’m becoming a little superstitious.

Ugh.