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Our Journey

2002 Uterine Fibroid Surgery #1

2003 1st consult with an RE, you know, just in case

2003 Got Married (at 37 (me) & 34 (DH) years old)

2003/2004 Naturally conceived pregnancies BFPs #1, #2, & #3 and miscarriages #1, #2, #3

2005 Uterine Fibroid Surgery #2

2005 IVF #1, BFN #1

2005 IUIs #1 and #2, just because, BFN #2 & #3

2005 FET from IVF #1, BFN #4

2006 Exploratory surgery to remove scar tissue from fibroid sugery #2

2006 IVF #2 (w PGD), BFP #4

2006 Emergency cerclage for IC @ 16w6d (5 months + 1 week of complete bed rest at home ensues)

2007 Our son is born @ 38w by scheduled c-section

2007 IVF #3 for baby #2, BFN #5

2007 IVF #4, BFP #5, miscarriage #4

2008 IVF #5, BFP #6, miscarriage #5

2008 IVF #6, BFP #7, miscarriage #6

2008 DE IVF #7, BFN #6

2009 DEFET #8, cancelled, embryos don't thaw

2010 Decide to adopt domestically

12.17.10 Profile is live with our agency

November 2011 Consult with RE re: donated embryo cycle

Early January 2012 Cleared to proceed with deFET

January 2012 Freeze our profile

1.20.12 deFET begins
2.12.12 eSET of one compacted morula
2.22.12 BFN

3.23.12 deFET #2 begins
4.14.12 transfer 3 embryos (1-8 cell, 1-5 cell, 1-4 cell)
4.22.12 + HPT
4.24.12 Beta #1 = 48.4
4.26.12 Beta #2 = 125.7
4.30.12 Beta #3 = 777.8
5.11.12 1st U/S - Singleton!
7.12.12 It's a Boy!
12.26.12 C-section: Baby G is born, 9#5oz, 20.5"

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Ebb and flow

I do not know what to make of the constant second guessing that goes on in my head. I want to believe that it is part of the ebb and flow of the adoption process, but I also wonder if there is some other reason that I continue to worry if this is the right path for me, my husband, and our family.

There was no question that we wanted to have children. And, when I continued getting pregnant naturally and continued miscarrying, there was no question that we would use ART to conceive. And, when we had success on our second fresh cycle, there was no question that we would turn to IVF to have our second child. I said I would do two fresh cycles in our attempt for #2 and if we were not successful, we’d “move on” and I assumed that meant to adoption. And when the first fresh cycle was BFN, there was no question that we’d do the next cycle as soon as possible. That cycle was a BFP that turned out to be a chemical pregnancy. But, that pregnancy, that taste that I could get pregnant again, was enough for there to be no question that we’d sign on for what would turn out to be three more own egg cycles that resulted in one more chemical and one ectopic pregnancy.

It is very hard to get off the train when one is actually getting pregnant through IVF. Because, with each pregnancy, there is the promise, however fleeting, of a live birth. There is the hope that you can actually get that which you’ve tried so hard to achieve if you just keep trying. We just needed to get to that other last good egg. But, the losses took a collective emotional (not to mention financial) toll and since I’d been a lurking member of the donor egg community for some time and because those women were having so much success, there was no question that we’d attempt a half biological sibling by doing a donor egg cycle. I mean, of course, at 42, the issue was with my eggs (right?) and with a 71% live birth rate from donor egg cycles at my clinic, I had every reason, especially because I’d successfully given birth once before, to believe I would fall on the right side of those odds. When I fell on the wrong side of the odds and when the subsequent DEFET was a dismal failure, we took a break.

I thought that the break would be a couple to a few months. I thought I’d work through the tangle of emotions and be ready to move forward. I thought my husband, who had been my partner, giving me every single injection over all those cycles, would gently prod us along toward adoption, something we always said we were open to doing (but clearly so much easier said in the vacuum of still trying to conceive). I thought there would be no question that we would use the momentum of cycling to propel us to adopt.

And when those months turned into a year, a year where we barely spoke of having another child, it took a lot to get back on the train. Even after my husband lovingly told me he was supportive of our moving ahead, it still took me months to decide to do it. Yet, when I did and now that I have, I am not as resolute as I was in all the time I was cycling with my own eggs or even donor eggs. Why is there “no question” that we are going to adopt? Is it that I’m older now and worry about handling a newborn and 4+ year old? Is it that I’m beleaguered from raising a spirited, strong-willed child? Is it the worry of upsetting our glorious triad? Is it that this seems so completely out of our hands? Is it some lurking feeling that I’m not a good enough mother? Is it a worry that we won’t successfully be able to parent a child not from our gene pool? Is it the worry that some tragedy is going to be-fall me or my family? Why all the self-doubt all the time surrounding this?

I obviously don’t have an answer. Yet, when I think of the alternative, of not mothering a newborn again, of not completing our family with another child, of our son being an only child, of finding another career calling or some philanthropic venture to fill the void, it is unfathomable to me that this is it.

I am left trying to find some self confidence that I have made a long and thoughtful decision. I am left believing that this is part of the toll that IF takes. I am left believing that we are meant to proceed. I am left believing that when our child is finally placed with us that I will have the sense of contentment and family completeness that I have been longing for. I am left believing that what is supposed to happen will and I just need to let it. And, I am left believing in the dream and I am scared.

9 comments to Ebb and flow

  • […] was in September, 2010. It has been a long and often difficult road. ART has nothing on adoption. ART is about trying and adoption is about waiting. Those who come to […]

  • […] more quick to resolution now than in the past) and it is fun to be us again. Just as there is an ebb and flow to the adoption process, there is an ebb and flow to marriage. For now, we are in the flow of it. […]

  • Sara

    Here from CDLC,

    I actually had a few feelings of panic during my first post-child IVF. I knew that I desperately wanted another child, but I had doubts about whether adding that hypothetical child to our family at that time (Eggbert was very young still, we were planning an international move) was actually a good decision. Of course the next day when I got a BFN, I wept bitter tears. I think that some ambivalence is natural when you are starting something new and potentially very hard (but rewarding). Good luck as you move forward.

  • I feel like I’m reading my own future here. We’re still chasing that other good egg, but have opened the door to adoption.
    I’m glad we did that, but I have so many questions on whether it really is an option for us. At any rate, due to the waiting list, I have years to think it over. Literally.

    (Arrived from the Crème de la Crème list)

  • Hi. Here from CDLC. Just wanted to say thanks for sharing. We have started the open adoption process and I often have contradictory/ambilvalent feelings about our choices and the process. It’s good to know things feelings might even be normal :)

  • Bea

    Here from CDLC. Great post, well chosen. I hope your beliefs congeal into a reality you can be truly happy with.

    Bea

  • You list many valid things that might contribute to ambivalence. I experienced many of them — especially the fear of upsetting our little family triad.

    I think all that is normal with a process that you have so little control of and that could spin out in so many possible ways (but usually doesn’t).

    Gonna see where you are with your thoughts, nearly 2 months later. I hope 2011 brings you many good things.

  • Penelope

    My husband and I completed an adoption homestudy nearly 2 years ago. We have never been pregnant, and at 42 (he’s 48) we have struggled with all the issues around our desire for children at our ages, and our abilities to parent. We had specified in our homestudy that we were open to a child 0-8 years old and were hoping for one with no access to biological parents (we wanted as “normal” a family as possible). We started doing relief fostering in September, every second or third weekend. After three weekends the boy’s foster father advised us he was closing his home due to health issues, which we had known would be a possibility but hoped wouldn’t happen for awhile. This boy is 11 years old and although up for adoption, still has regular contact with his mom. We have decided to foster him and by the beginning of December he will be with us full-time. I call it the “Instant Parenting Project”.

    My husband and I enjoy a lot of stability and predictability in our lives and have allowed ourselves to develop the delusion that we are in control of what happens to us. We are now just trying to keep our knees loose and allow the universe to guide us. On paper, this is not the child we wanted, and we wanted to adopt, not foster. We wanted a child who didn’t have a family so that we could be his family. What we are getting is a child who is incredibly bright, excels in sports, has a fantastic sense of humour, is able to think about his decisions and admit when he hasn’t made the best one, gets up as soon as his alarm goes off for school, eats just about anything and is now asking for me to tuck him in at night. Of course he has challenges, and I’m sure we’ll see more of that once he’s completely moved in, but he’s a great kid. And I’m learning that him maintaining a relationship with the woman who gave birth to him is more important than my need to be the only mother in his life. My husband and I are both learning that panic and fear are as much a part of this process as joy and laughter, and we allow ourselves to feel all of it. And we hang onto each other and move forward, believing that the universe sends us what we most need to learn. We may end up adopting him, we may not, but we’re trying to believe that that decision will be made by our hearts when they’re ready, and not by our heads.

    Long story short (too late!) is let yourself feel all the ambivalence and the pros and cons and the fears, but keep your knees loose. That way you’ll be open to receive whoever needs to find you.

  • Joannah

    Although I did not experience it myself, when I was adopting from China I read somewhere that ambivalence is a normal response to the process. Perhaps that is where you are now? Perhaps it will pass as you move through the process and get closer to the child that will become yours? I just have to believe that you will be overjoyed to have that child enter your life sometime in the near future.

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