Thursday, December 24, 2009

it's been 14 days since my last confession

What do you want to know?
We are in snowy KCMO visiting relatives.

Yesterday we had breakfast with a lovely fellow IFer and her husband  which was absolutely delightful. Great to have lots of things to talk about and so much in common as well as IF. Good luck, Kim  - with your January cycle and BFP! I'm rooting for you!!! Can't wait to come back soon  and see you and your babies running around the farm! I hope ours will be running around with them!

To tell you the truth,  it was almost a relief to have  some kind of end to the months of  waiting to do this whole donor egg thing. The decision, the surgery, the two donors canceled  and then finally the perfect donor and the perfect embryo and the perfect lining and then a big fat nothing. It wasn't the end we were hoping for but it was a punctuation mark that signaled something finite; that we could stop, take a breath and just pause for a while. The long long first donor egg cycle was over.

And what starts again is the glimmering of hope and promise that keeps all us IFers going again and again and again. For me the odds are still good; the doctor thinks that there is no reason I should not get pregnant this time around.  ( I bet you've all heard that one before!) He was supportive of the decision to transfer one embryo the first time, and now says that this time around he would add more estrogen suppositories ( mm mm good!) and transfer two frosties. He went over the quality  of the remaining 7 embryos and nearly all of them are really good. For lucky me it seems that even though this kind of hope borders on a  kind of  addiction that so  many of us succumb to, at this point is does not seem to be leading down the path of total dependency. Yet. But not because I am better or smarter, just because I got the good odds for now.

I've been reading some of your blogs where some of you, my dear blog friends, have been contemplating the end of this leg of the  journey, the end of  squinting at the elusive light at the end of the tunnel, the end of the hardship that we inflict on our bodies and our minds that we put ourselves through all in the hopes of the elusive good outcome, to be the one exception to the rule. It is an excruciating place to be; it is palpable from reading your blogs. There  also seems to be some hint of  freedom in this decision, of escape from the joy  of being lifted up in the waves and the torture of being  dashed onto the rocks. I don't want to oversimplify it - or sugar coat it - but I do want to honor those of us who are making these decisions, and to say, I am with you; I am standing beside you; I am here.

I want to say congratulations to EB who has a long awaited BFP!  Glamcookie, on the birth of her beautiful son, Shane, a big woo-hoo to Heather, who was the one who helped me decide to transfer one embie ( as she did herself) and who is now expecting twins!!! Journey Girl for her recent trip to Thailand on her donor egg journey which culminated in a fantastic Christmas Present, and after a mega productive  cycle that had us all on the edge of our seats Noodle girl   who is now in the one week wait.  Sending so much love to a little turtle  who after an interminable wait, is still needing  to see a  zero on her HcG test  after her miscarriage. And  to all of us  trudging through the trenches of IF,  I wish us something better;  peace, transcendance, acceptance, BFPs, an end to tabloid journalism about IF ( that's for you, Stephanie!) universal health-care, mandatory coverage for IF and world peace. Yeah, Santa, if you're listening, that's what's on my list!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

tails I lose...update at bottom:(

The odds were fifty fifty - like flipping a coin.
Except that it was a lot harder to do than that.
I took an Early Pregnancy Test tonight at 10pm after I had been putting it off all night and it was clearly BFN from almost the start of reading it.
S held my hand and we both squinted at it, but the second line did not appear.
I haven't been feeling anything different except for a small moment of gagginess yesterday morning.
I wasn't convinced but  I was hoping for a surprise.
So that's what happened to the perfect embryo and the happy uterus.
I have to go take the blood test tomorrow at 8.30 in the fricking freezing morning.
Then they will call me at work with my results.
Which I already know.

Update: The nurse called. The test was negative. I have a consult  next Thursday with my doctor to talk about a frozen embryo cycle in January. I am stopping my meds and waiting for AF and then will start the dreaded BCPs then.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A flash of light!

The transfer went really well. The doctor (not my tanned old guy doc, but a cheerful and very clever woman doc who comes  highly recommended) was very nice and chatty and  informative. She told us all about our embryos and how they were rated.  She said they were beautiful and spectacular and amazing.

Here is where it got complicated. 
Up until last night I was dead set on transfering  two embryos, but then I started thinking about something that Heather  from team oclark wrote in the comments of my last post about how with high quality embryos your chances of twins go up significantly if you transfer two. I did some googling and got numbers of between 30 - 36% of twins. We agonized about it last night and decided to sleep on it. We talked about wanting to give our child a good start in life after all the work we have done to get here. This is no judgment on anyone else's decision - this is purely about our situation. Susan is working full time and going to school part time and we are going to need help anyway, with one baby, but the thought of having two to take care of and two of everything to pay for and two little ones running around our tiny place,  was scaring the bejesus out of me.  We have a nice, small condo which we can't sell because of the market and we are thinking that once Susan finishes school ( 2 years) we will perhaps be in a better situation to move.  I know people say: all you need is love, or " I was brought up in a box car and I'm okay" -(yes I really know someone who was! ) Also  I am a twin and I know about wanting attention and wanting to be noticed and special and not always getting it -  no judgments on anyone  here. I felt like we were gambling by putting two back because we didn't want twins,  but we wanted to mitigate the chances of getting a BFN and if we got twins we would "deal with it". I also feel that I know my limits and I really didn't want to gamble with my physical or mental  health or the babies' health. I know that many IFers have twins, so please don't think I am making a universal pronouncement, because I am not,  but  I have to think what's right for me. People always say - oh, you'll manage - you'll find a way, but this is our way and this is how we got here. It was hard and I know that having a baby is not going to be harder.  I know that when people hear there is a possibility of having twins they think that you must have hit the jackpot. I know many women who are IFers who have  healthy twins and were healthy themselves  throughout the pregnancy- I even know one  blogger who is about 28  weeks pregnant with twins and walked about 3 miles in an afternoon the other day! ( you go, Puffer!)  My own mother had a very easy pregnancy and was so small some people did not even know she was pregnant. We arrived one day before our due date and at good weights. But just as I try not to reassure myself with those stories of the people who were the exception to the rule ( i.e. you know the one about the woman who was fifty and had triplets all by herself and her husband only had to look at her to get her pregnant!) I try not to compare myself to others who are not me and have not lived my experience. And I haven't lived theirs.

I saw a woman trailing four kids to school this morning while I was walking the dogs and I thought - well if she can have four, surely I can have two! But really I'm not her - I'm me and we are very different. Maybe you are thinking - gosh  - that Tireegal has always got something to grumble  and complain about. I am extremely grateful for all that I have which I worked extremely hard  for. I guess I just feel the need to share the ramblings of my poor tortured brain over the last twenty four hours and am glad that we made the decision that we did.  I kept asking S to make the decision and she said, no you should because you are the one carrying and she would say;"go with your gut." And I would say, "I don't have a gut!!! I don't even know where it is!"

The bottom line is: when the doctor told us that our chances of a BFP were only increased 10% by transferring two and that our chance of twins was about 50% I really thought that I could not take that gamble. We have at least four other embryos to freeze - and the two that were in question were both 1AB quality which is practically perfect - so we were looking at transfering two rock star embryos and "hoping" that one didn't take, which didn't seem right, somehow. The clinic's freeze success rate is 98%  - which is comforting to know.

Would we have transferred two embryos if we were well off, I didn't have to work, and we had  a nice house in the burbs with a big yard and lots of bedrooms - maybe. But that's not where we are. A nice house in town might be nice though!

When  I went out of the procedure room to half empty my bladder ( for the first of two times- apparently my kidneys work so well that they fill up my bladder super fast - I had been instructed to drink a whole bottle of water while sitting in the waiting room ) S told the nurse we had made our decision ( they gave us some time to talk it over). I wasn't there when she told the doctor, but S said that the doctor looked relieved and pleased that we had chosen to transfer one. She cited the risks to my health and the baby's as I am older ( yes, I know, that's what doctors do! ) and said she thought we had made a good decision.

Even though I am concerned that we have lowered our odds, I am comforted by knowing we made the decision that was right for us, even though it was difficult, and that if this embryo does not snuggle in we have some other options and would only have to wait a month to try again with the frosties. At one point I did not think I could tolerate the thought of waiting another month to get pregnant, but if the choice is patience or overwhelm I think I will try the patience first. Of course there is still a 1% chance that the one embryo will fox us all and split into two - but I guess we just have to live with that.
On a more exciting  note, we have pictures of  the embryo  as it burst  out of the catheter and into my uterus in a tiny flash of light! If I can get S to scan it I will post it. It was an amazing sight!
So, apparently my attitude to decision-making regarding embryos is the same as my decision making regarding the rest of life: it's not going with my gut, its finding it and then going with it.

S just texted me from school to say that it's a full moon! Now if that ain't a good omen!
Testing is on Friday December 11th so I am officially in the ten day wait!
And you, dear kind bloggers, who cheer me on, even while you wait for AF or for  your HSG to go down or for sperm to cooperate, I really appreciate that we are all in this together and while I am in a sweet place today  I have so not been there too, and I am grateful for the strength and care which we all share.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Transfer tomorrow:) and the beginnings of baby controversies!

Last I heard on Saturday there were 13 embryos still growing!!! Woo hoo!!! I love you, beautiful egg donor! And sperm donor, you are just wonderful too!!!
Today I heard that the transfer is at 10.40 am tomorrow, December 1st,  and I have to arrive at 9.40am in order to sit and drink a whole bottle of water to fill my bladder. Sure, it's the LEAST I can do!
No-one told me how many embryos there are or how they are choosing the ones to transfer.
At this point I feel like I am on a conveyor belt and I really need to get the guts up to call them back and ask about the embryos. Which I am about to do.
So I just called - the lab people are gone for the day, but the doctor will review everything with me before the transfer - I feel a bit more reassured that they are actually interested in  me and the embryos. I know they are, I just wish they would be a bit more forthcoming with information!!! How do I know what to expect - I have never done it before:)
So I am excited, if slightly annoyed at the big business baby factory for being so cursory in their communications.
So then I decided it is probably a good idea to make sure I know what I should and shouldn't be eating - as I will be Pregnant Until Proven Otherwise (PUPO)  starting tomorrow. I have to admit I have paid scant attention to any of this stuff- because- you know - I was never even close to being pregnant before. I think I have uncovered a controversy in babyland - it's called - "everyone has an opinion about everything and it's up to you to figure out what to do"!!!! And that's just on the soft cheese issue! ( I  know, I know - you all figured it out before me - but it just hit me that getting pregnant - while the hard part  - has been largely uncontroversial  if rather painful for me).  I mean maybe because after a short foray into "natural" (sic) baby-making I gave myself up to the fertility doctor gods and just did what they told me it has not been controversial. When you tell people IRL about fertility stuff, either they are so gob-smacked at what you are telling them that they don't have an opinion, can't even uncross their eyes from all the fertility secrets you have just told them about - or they feel so sorry for you that they don't dare tell you what they really think, i.e. how dare you mess with nature? why would you spend that much money on a baby when there are millions of unwanted ( by all the fertile couples) babies in the world languishing in orphanages, or don't you know that lesbians are only supposed to have babies with their heterosexual husbands who they then leave? I could ask them why they would spend $30,000 on a car, which is an inanimate object that will rust and crumple in at least the next ten years? But I digress.....
My point is- get ready for controversy, people! ( Oh, I forgot, you already know about it - it's me that is clueless!!!!) Diapers, birth plans, sleeping, etc etc. Of course I will embrace these controversies with an eager spirit and a willing heart - but YIKES!!!
By the way I'll let you know when I figure out these things - and I 'll send you the list of fool-proof do's and dont's so you don't have to go through it:)
I will keep you all posted.  After the transfer I am hanging out on the couch and taking it easy for a day or two -my clinic does not recommend bed-rest ( and you know I do everything they tell me to do)- but I am off work for a week, so my stress levels should be about 300% less than normal!
Thanks for all your support! Big time fingers crossed!xoxoxoxoooxxxxooxoxoxox

Friday, November 27, 2009

All systems go!!! ETA 1st PIO shot down!

I don't know about it being Black Friday as I am on an anti-consuming kick, ( see how long that lasts if I get my BFP! ) but it's definitely HAPPY FRIDAY!
Thanks to our lovely super-fertile egg donor we have 15 mature eggs that fertilized = 15 embryos.  We are waiting to see how they grow in the lab and will hear later today to find out when the transfer is going to be. It could be Sunday or Tuesday. It's going to be two embies.
Everything is looking good from my end ( pun maybe intended) and I am "ready to receive"! i.e. I have an 11.6 lining, it's got all the grooves and snuggle places an embryo needs and the nurse told me that she thinks my estrogen will be fine - it was 107 last I heard. Apparently as long as my lining looks good and my E2 is okay I am good to go. I hope those extra E2 suppositories (!) have been helping!
So today I start the really big shots of Progesterone in Oil ( with a circle drawn in marker on my butt to give S something to aim for ) and antibiotic and prometrium. Still on Lupron, Estrace and baby aspirin and of course pre natals and vegetarian DHA. the nurse suggested that I put a cold pack on my butt for about 5 mins before the shot and a hot flannel and heating pad on afterwards. Any additional advice would be helpful.Keep everything crossed for us:)

And in your news, let me say that I am aware I have been missing in action and I apologize. I have about 10 days in which to catch up. I have been swamped at work and have time to read posts quickly to find out how you are all doing,but rarely time to comment. I will make it all up to you I promise. Thanks for all your love and support and cheering - I honestly can't believe I am even here and although I often sound upbeat and try to cheer myself on,  the first time I really smiled  ( not fake polite smiled) at the Clinic was today when the nurse told me that 15 embryos was great and my uterus was great and all looked really great - was I excited? and I let myself get excited and even envision what a BFP might look like. I have never even let myself fantasize about a BFP  - or not since those heady ignorant days of IUIs when I thought anyone in a skirt could get pregnant ( and those in pants like me, too!). Those were the days, my friends, and these are the days too!

I wish that everyone of us could get to feel excited and hopeful and fantasize about BFPs  in this  game of waiting and planning and grey drudgery that is IF.

BFPs for one and all! Hip Hip Hurray!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

the high achiever and the also ran... with update at bottom

The high achiever? The egg donor who on day six of stims has a lorryload* of follies that are approaching 17 and 18  ( is that mm?).  I got the call from the clinic today to say that the donor, "hmmmm...rattle rattle.... let me look at the computer screen....hmmm.... yes, errrrrmmm, she was seen at another clinic, yes, she has ermm......... well she is on day six and she already has lots of follicles and is responding really well to the meds, her estrogen is 900 and we are a little worried that she is going too fast."
Me: what are you going to do?
Nurse: watch her like a hawk.
I hope she knows that watching like a hawk does not equal preventing early ovulation.
She tells me that she is going to talk to the doctor this afternoon at home and I ask her to get back to me. She says she will.
The also ran? Rewind to Friday and my b/w and u/s at the clinic. Lining: faint at 7, b/w: estrogen low at 74. Where should it be? About 150 by now. The nice very cheerful egg donor coordinator answers my frantic e-mail to say that I am doing about average and not to worry.
But the problem is - it's day six of stims, the ER is supposed to be in 7 more days -will she hang in there with those wopping follies for six more days and can I catch up with my lousy estrogen levels?
I really don't know if they get it. Do they get what a big deal this is? Please do not let those follies sneak through on their own.
I know I am over-reacting..... I just wish there was something I could do!
Am I being too passive? Should I call the clinic back and say, WTF is going on? Please put a lock on those follies so they can't escape!!
So if anyone knows anything about estrogen levels and how much is too much and how little is too little, please tell me, because I wish I could say I know, but I don't.
Thanks for listening to my hyper ventilational ranting. I wish I could say it was my hormones!

The cheerful nurse coordinator does not think things are looking bad and foresees Ovidrel tomorrow and retrieval on T day! I think the nurse I spoke to was just being a drama queen. At least that is what I am hoping!

*lorry is the word for we in Britain use for what we in the US call trucks. The biggest ones are called articulated lorries! How is that for a mouthful!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


This is my sixty first post! And one year anniversary! I never thought I would make it a whole year.  When I started this I could not even contemplate what "in a year's time" might be. I had my eyes on the prize: IVF  January 2009. Let's face it - when I started blogging, I didn't really even know what blogging was. I knew other people who did it. Something in me wanted to join the club.

Here is my first ever blog entry. I may never have gotten much further than that except for my first ever commenter  An Offering of Love, who spurred me on. By the way, S. of the aforementioned blog gave birth to a beautiful baby girl at the beginning of November! Hop on over and congratulate her. I hope to follow in her footsteps! By the way, if you are listening, God (dess), I am totally open to gender!

So why did I call this blog happy-go-lucky? I would never typify myself as happy-go-lucky. More like anxiety-go-melancholy. I think that I generally present a fairly cheerful exterior to the world at large ( correct me if I am wrong IRL peeps!). But just below the surface is a pent up ball of worry - wartiness and gloom. I had just been to see the Mike Leigh film, whose name I borrowed for my blog, and it inspired me aim for the same sense of guileless cheer exhibited by  the the main character. She is a free spirit, open to a good time, largely unaffected by worldly worries or obsessions.  I was feeling hollow, lost, alone, and vulnerable ( yes, even while I was focusing on  IVF 2009)  and  felt pretty much like nothing was ever going to go right. So I started my blog on a whim; the name came to me in a split second; I put my virtual tile out into the ether and waited for inspiration.  Shortly afterwards I picked my signature picture which I wrote about here. 

When we have a child, my  hope is that she will have  a happy-go-lucky character,  and not  be burdened by stress and angst. We picked donors who had happy-go-lucky qualities. I am going to do my best to show our little one that there are other ways to be than with clenched teeth and adrenaline pump overload. Susan will be good at that when I fall by the wayside.  Of course, in the spirit of self direction and self determination, we will try to help her to be true to herself. Whatever that looks like. I am not going to turn being happy-go-lucky into a religion, or a pre-requisite for being loved.

So that, my friends, is the story of how happy-go-lucky was born. On a cold winters night in November 2008. And in just  over 3 short weeks we may know the date (if not the disposition) of our own little baby's birth.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Post haste

Period: Missing.

Work: Overwhelming. Stayed late. Again. Resentful.

Blogoversary:  imminent. One year. November 18th.

Lupron:  Still shooting.

Baseline U/S: Thursday.

Blog reading: Lacking. Time crunch.

Dear wife: Cute. Buttonly. Dear.

Dogs: lush couch surfers.

Cats: Sweet. Not really  feral. Need forever homes.

Greening: Three  seconds with three ply soft toilet paper. Worse than driving a Hummer whilst eating fast food.

Books: longing for  a good read.

Lips: pursed.

Teeth: ground.

I-pod app: Vegas pool!

Fellow bloggers: Awesome. Heroic. The best.

Bedtime: ten minutes.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

The countdown begins!

I don't have the guts/ balls/ovaries* ( delete as applicable) to get a ticker , but I do have a schedule and it starts tomorrow.  The legal documents are signed and delivered, the donor is on BCPs, she passed all her tests with flying colors and is given two big thumbs up for motivation and personality by the egg donor coordinator.

These are the highlights -it is a bit more involved than this - especially on the donor end.
  • After two weeks of boob busting BCPs ( but no mood swings, thank you very much!) I start taking Lupron tomorrow, November 1st. Yippee! Never have I been more happy or grateful to stick a needle in my tummy! It's been about six months so I hope I remember what to do. But just in case I don't, the clinic has a handy dandy video to help me.
  • On 11/12/09 I go into the clinic for a baseline ultrasound and bloodwork.
  • 11//13/09, donor takes FDA tests. Stimulation is contingent on those tests being normal. 
  • 11/14/09  I start Estrace, baby aspirin and decrease Lupron. 
  • 11/17/09 the lovely donor starts her Gonal F pen to stimulate her ovaries. Sometime after this she starts her FSH medication.
  • 11/20/09 and  11/27/09 I go in for another u/s and b/w
  • Thanksgiving day I look at the tofurkey and thank my lucky stars!
  • Donor takes Ovidrel ( trigger shot)
  • Donor goes in 34- 36 hours after trigger shot  for egg retrieval ( around 11/28/09)
  • Lovely  donor eggs and lovely donor sperm do a happy dance with the aid of ICSI and nice embryologists.
  • 11/29/09 I start prometrium, PIO, and a Zpack.
  • Day of  5-day blastocyst (embryo ) transfer - December 3rd, stop Lupron and go for broke!!!
  • 12/13/09 pregnancy test!!!
So there we have it!
I am also very aware that IVF with donor eggs and sperm does not equal pregnant, and pregnant does not equal a healthy baby, but I am going to hope and pray for the best and am feeling excited and optimistic.

breathe, breathe, breathe!

And thank you, all of you for the cheers and the support. It means so much to me:) xoxoxoxoxoxx

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

ICLW redux - the story so far! With Happy Go Lucky Plans and News!

Hello again, ICLWers. This is only my third  month doing it after taking a long break - for no particular reaaon -  and I am looking forward to it! Here is my updates version of "Tireegal's TTC life" after  Ira Glass' "This American Life".

act i. ambivalence, therapy, soul searching, envisioning, money worries and woes, family drama, baby postponed till a later date ( 5 years)

act ii. decision making, temping, IUIs, clomid, anovulation, low ovarian reserve, age, more family and life drama, IVF attempt number one aborted after no response to heavy meds ( 1.5yrs)

(Heavy servings of gingersnap lattes, carbohydrates, shoe throwing, anger, misery, therapy, blaming, acceptance, adoption research)

act iii. donor eggs on the table, bcps, starting Lupron tonight for trial cycle, picking donor, baseline u/s and b/w on Friday ( 1 month)

act iv. more delays, including  one fibroid to be removed, one egg donor down for malaria, second egg donor down for emergency kidney surgery, third donor chosen and on the way. Scheduled to start Lupron November 1st. Estimated day of donor egg retrieval November 28th, estimated  day of five day transfer December 3rd!!!!! Yippee!!!!

Credits and acknowledgements :
my honey Susan, therapist, dogs, cats, supportive friends and bloggers.

Commence freak-out about where to put the babies ( I know they go in my uterus, silly - I am talking about apartment accommodations!), how many there are going to be, how to keep afloat financially,  how Susan is going to continue to go to school and get sleep, etc etc etc. You get the picture.
Freaked out but excited!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

And now for the awards ceremony! thanks to Noodlegirl and Fran!

Thanks to Noodle Girl for nominating me for this award.

I have been nominated for awards before  ( thanks, BWUB! and Clare ) but I had to ask for blow by blow instructions on how to post the award to my blog ( thanks Lara) . I seriously need to go to Blogging Boot Camp / Basic Training!

So, here are the rules that accompany this esteemed honor:

1. Thank the person who nominated you for this award - yup!
2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog - yup!

3. Link to the person who nominated you for this award. 

4. Name 7 things about yourself that people may not know. Here goes.
There are lots of things you don't all know about me- unless you know me in real life. Hmmmm.
1. When I am concentrating I bite my bottom lip.
2. I always wanted to be an actress and a singer - Julie Andrews was my first role model - no it didn't really happen.
3. I went to an all girls boarding school for the last four years of school. And no, that did not turn me gay! I was already way gay!
4. My family never had a tv when we were growing up till I was sixteen. It was a black and white tv with rabbit ears that had belonged to my Nanna and poor reception and we put it in a bedroom in the attic so you had to make a real effort to watch it.
5. When I was 12 my family moved into a house that had been owned by Amy Johnson's family. She was the first woman to fly single handed from England to Australia in the 1930s and was the British contemporary of Amelia Earhart. She disappeared while on a routine flight over the Thames in England after doing lots of very dangerous and difficult long distance flights.
6. After I got my drama degree in Wales, I spent a summer busking in a duo - I played clarinet and my partner in crime was a pot head who played guitar and harmonica. We used to net about 20 quid a day each on a good day.
7. After that summer busking in Wales, I took Welsh lessons at the local college and learnt to speak it reasonably well.

That was kind of fun - and I only covered the first 24 years of my life!

5. Nominate 7 Kreativ Bloggers.

6. Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.

And now for my next award!!!!!

Thanks also to Fran, for nominating me for this one! I love to be over the top! It appeals to my dramatic nature!


1. You Can Only Use One Word
2. Pass this along to 6 of your favorite bloggers
3. Alert them that you have given them this award
4. Have Fun!

The Fun Part

1. Where is your cell phone? Table
2. Your hair? Straggly
3. Your mother?  Feisty
4. Your father? Dead
5. Your favorite food?comfort
6. Your dream last night?stressful
7. Your favorite drink? coffee
8. Your dream/goal? Fulfillment
9. What room are you in? Sitting
10. Your hobby? Beach
11. Your fear? Meaninglessness
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Home
13. Where were you last night? Bed
14. Something that you aren’t? Relaxed
15. Muffins? Raspberry
16. Wish list item? Baby-House
17. Where did you grow up? England
18. Last thing you did? sipped
19. What are you wearing? comfy
20. Your TV? Cougartown
21. Your pets? Abundant
22. Friends? Nice
23. Your life? Busy
24. Your mood? Anxious
25. Missing someone? Susie
26. Vehicle? Matrix
27. Something you’re not wearing? Bra!!!
28. Your favorite store? Hardware
29. Your favorite color? Blue
30. When was the last time you laughed? Today
31. Last time you cried? Recently
32. Your best friend? Susie
33. One place that I go to over and over? Memory
34. One person who emails me regularly? Susie
35. Favorite place to eat? SimpleGourmet

7. Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know they’ve been nominated.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Teacher, what's the title?

I really don't know what to call this post, but I really need to get the last post out of sight and mind. It needs to go to bed! Bye bye miserable post of despair!
I have also been reading all your blogs and not commenting. It is a thing called inertia I think. I find it despicable in myself and forgivable in others.

I am procrastinating on all kinds of things. ( Like homework for my career counseling). In the process of procrastinating I read an op ed in the New York Times, by Maureen Dowd about how "Blue is the new Black" - especially if you are a woman. i.e. women are more unhappy now than they ever were. In fact, before feminism hit, women were blissfully ignorant of their options and guess what? they were....blissful. Except I don't think she actually says this, but believe me the 400 or more commenters on the article on line have a field day with it. According to many of them, feminism has been just plain bad for women. Give them an inch and they go out and hang themselves. But according to the study, feminism may be good for others. Like men. They don't have to earn all the money anymore, they get to play with the kids and go to soccer games and they even have time to pick up their socks once in a while. Women, on the other hand are running around like whirling dervishes tossed and blown by the winds of change!!! The message seems to be: women's lives are more complicated now and therefore they are more unhappy. They have more choices and that doesn't mean they feel better for it. Men's lives were never that complicated and they are even happier than they were before. Women are temperamental and moody, men are not.

And here is the worst news - EVERYONE who has kids is really really unhappy! I always knew that married women were the least happy of anyone of these demographic groups ( I learned that in sociology thank you very much!) and married men are the most happy (lucky bastards!) but hearing that people with kids - anyone with kids- are the most unhappy - well that just flipped my lid a little. (I do have this worry that I will work my butt off to have kids and then find out that it's all a sick joke - albeit a private one - and it's absolutely horrible after all). Of course those people don't regret having kids, they would never say that. So why do you think that women are so unhappy? Do you think they really are more unhappy than before or do you think it's some trick to get us all to relinquish feminism and spend all day cleaning house and then primping ourselves for the hour before our hubbies come home so we can look stepfordwifelike for them?

On another subject altogether..... I have been thinking of how having babies will make me "come out" in places I would rather not. Where I work all the staff know my story and most of them know that we are vigorously trying to get knocked up - or vigorously waiting to try to get knocked up. The clients, now there's a different matter. Having worked as a social worker for over 14 years I have rarely told any client that I am a laybeejun. I did famously come out to a client who confessed to me that she was confused about her sexuality ( and I naively thought she might need a role model to give her courage and help her see it's okay to be one of those people) who then went around telling everyone that she hated lesbians and that I am one. ( I wasn't on the news or anything - I use the word "famously" in a grandiose small pond kind of way!) A few clients who were gay just seemed to "know". They didn't spread it around but they would give me the "we both know that we are gay" nod! I have worked a lot with nice old homeless or nice old mentally ill ladies who I worry would be mortified if they knew I was a lesbian. They just think of me as this nice sweet rather asexual career girl who has two dogs and a handful of cats and is far too busy helping others to help herself to a bit of nooky in the bedroom. In fact that is really how I have been identified by most of my clients for a long time - the girl with two nice dogs who sometimes come visit and wag and scrounge for food. And I wonder how I will deal with telling these people - what do I tell them about being pregnant? I work in a place where staff are pretty transparent with clients - it's not the "therapy hour" kind of social work - we see the clients in the everyday - we sometimes have meals with them, we help them live their lives and we don't stop living ours while we do this. They like to know about our kids or our husbands or the latest cute bit of news that makes us look like the people that they like to think lead "normal lives".I know - many of you have been here before - do tell - I am interested to know how you have handled it. Don't get me wrong - I will be very very thrilled to have a big fat belly for all the world to see - and I will be a big fat show-off but it is going to be very very interesting in the world of work.

Here's an example of how much I really don't want to offend "nice people" by making them think of sex ( shudder ) when I tell them I am a lesbian and they are horrified ( all my own prejudices).
On our recent trip to KC my dear sweet honey and I had occasion to have three meals in the dining car on the AMTRAK. That would be three meals where we sat side by side on the banquette and on the other side were one or two COMPLETE STRANGERS!!!!!!!! Oh my god - the thought of sharing a meal with strangers is kind of interesting and novel. It's odd that we ( or I ) have become so insular that this seems scary. We spend time in strange places talking to familiar people on our cell phones. We don't eat with random strangers very often without another context or connection like church or work.
Our inaugural communal meal was on our way down to KC when we had dinner. The woman who was assigned to our table looked friendly, casual and down-to-earth. It turned out we had a lot in common - so much so that we exchanged email addresses and talked about religion and dogs ( two of our favorite subjects - being that S is training for the ministry and any dog owner loves to wax lyrical about her dogs). We didn't have to explain our relationship or hide it. It was obvious she got it. So much so that she invited us to one of her get togethers at her house if we are ever in the area.
The second meal we shared was breakfast on the way back from KC to Chicago. This was with a guy who was perfectly friendly - and who talked non-stop about himself and his travels with his wife to various time shares. He was a minister, but probably not the kind of minister that appreciates the laybeejuns. By the time breakfast was almost over I began to be afraid he might remember to ask us about ourselves and did a good job of supporting S in asking him more questions about himself. It seemed to me that he was almost oblivious of us as people and that we were objects to be talked at.
Our final meal was lunch ( yes, we love to eat regularly!) and this was the kicker. We were sitting with Mr and Mrs Average American. They were on an extended tour of America by train and were looking forward to going home the next day. After polite inquiries about what we all did and where we were from, the conversation stalled a little. Until one of them asked how we knew each other. Or if we were related or something. I think that the woman said something like: "So are you two a couple of working girls?" (!)To which I answered rather too quickly, "yes, that's right, we are just friends." JUST FRIENDS??!!! Oh girl, please! It was obvious to me that she was trying to place us, to figure out how we fit into her view of the world and relationships and all she could come up with was that we must be two busy career girls who liked to travel together. But the question I am asking myself is - how do I know her daughter isn't a big ole laybeejun?!!! How do I know that she has no concept of the old L word and why am I trying to protect her from the awful carnal knowledge that is my life? And it's very very carnal you know - just watch the L word and you'll know! I think I am trying to protect myself from the awkwardness of being stuck in a banquette on a train and seeing her struggle and feeling myself grow red with embarassment? Why do I care so much? Why am I worried about a strangers feelings and if she is judging me? I will have to really get over this when we have kids crawling all over us and people ask us how we are related!
I leave you pondering that and am off to my bed because it's that time of night.
Thank you for listening.I await your wisdom and advice.

PS. We have a new donor. She is young, is said to resemble Mandy Moore and is artistic, a little musical and lots of fun. We are waiting for her paperwork to get to the clinic so that they can evaluate her.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Second egg donor down - will this ever happen for us?

I am beside myself. I am numb and sick and disgusted. It's not the donor's fault. She had emergency surgery on Friday. She is recuperating and will make a full recovery but be out of commission for at least a couple months. And she doesn't know if she wants to go ahead with it after that. She will know by Friday. We just got the go ahead from all her tests and I had just got the schedule about 45 minutes ago. For those of you who don't know, the first donor got malaria and was ineligible at the eleventh hour (in August) I am going to email our agency, but because we are in their bargain program there are less donors and no guarantees.
I guess the whole thing is about no guarantees, right?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I'm still here!

Just wanted all you nice people to know that even though I have been quiet recently I am still here and we still have a plan. I have been a horrible commenter. I read your wonderful blogs on my i-phone and if I am feeling a little more perky I comment, but mostly I don't. I have enjoyed everyone's beautiful belly pics - is there anything finer? I have read about your heartbreak and your excitement. And I am witnessing it all in my own way, but I am too tired to be very communicative. I am just tired and beaten down from work, over-wrought from the emotional roller coaster that is my life on birth control pills and so over all the waiting.

I finally figured out why I was melting down last week - a combination of endless complaints and irrational and irritating phone calls from clients on top of everything else at work meant that for once I could not keep a lid on the boiling pot of hot foamy and very salty water that is my emotions. Afterwards I had the realization that the reason I could not stay in control, under admittedly very trying circumstances, was that the BCPs do something to my tolerance for these things. Like I had had enough! And I had the kind of melt down in front of my supervisor that I have never had. I was mad, I was sad, I was fed up. Fortunately he took it in his stride and was very nice about it. I recovered and moved on. Still I couldn't deal with the ornery clients on the phone - even after a mental health day where I had the most perfect hour of windsurfing and a few more hours reading on the beach. I thought I had it licked, but the next day, I was losing my cool on the phone again. And I actually had the melt down the day after my mental health day. That's when I realized it was bad! He ponied up and went to bat for me with one particularly difficult issue and that felt good. This was not a client, it was a pissy state employee, to whom we are beholden, who was so rude and completely off the mark, in an email that it took up about two hours of my time and my supervisees' time and about half an hour of my supervisor's time to straighten out. All completely unnecessary.

Tonight is my last BCP for a week: the goal is to get a period ( hopefully my last for a long time) start BCPs in a week and by then we should have the infectious disease testing back from the new donor and be ready to go. She should be on or about to be on BCPs. I got the call from the clinic today (though unfortunately not nurse traffic cop but her stand-in) to say that finally the new donor had been evaluated by the doc and the nurse and "everything was in normal limits". Sounds cautiously ok.

I have not been thinking too much about the whole baby thing - trying to keep it at a distance and not getting too excited about it since the last hiccup. I may be excited when (don't want to say if) I get a BFP - but I am not sure. One thing that I know from the ALI community; there are so many uncertainties. I envy those women who sail through conception and pregnancy with not even a hint that anything could go wrong. I honestly can't believe it really happens like that for some people but apparently it's true. I almost feel cruelty towards their innocence. How messed up is that? Actually, the ones I feel the most cruel towards are those who know how we have struggled, but effortlessly "fall pregnant" and never once acknowledge that hearing about it on facebook posts might be a little hard, or even acknowledge that it might be hard, period. There are not too many of those people; they don't even know who they are. I know that all of my true friends and family ( IRL and in blog and message board land) have been incredibly supportive, and solicitous and kind and sensitive.I am grateful for that. Big time!

This was supposed to be a three line - I'm still here - please continue to hang out with me post. But I got a bit long-winded.
Bear with me. I couldn't do it without you all.

Friday, August 21, 2009

"She's like a traffic cop with those donors!"

So said the very nice bubbly attorney about the very nice bubbly ( and thankfully very focused ) egg donor coordinator nurse this morning. I was consulting her about the agreement that we are signing with the egg donor. Apparently she has already been to see her lawyer - so that is fantastic! S and I had to sign multiple copies as "intended mother A" and "intended mother B" so now I have those phrases running around in my obsessive little head. The donor and donees get copies without legal names on, but the copies with legal names are held by the lawyers. Something like that. The egg donor is forever known to us as Intended donor Z.
The clinic finally got the "overnighted" package from the egg donor agency this morning and the nice bubbly nurse emailed me to let me know. She is going to call the donor and get things moving ASAP! Thank god I have faith in her. If anyone can get things moving it's her. She has the reputation of being like a traffic cop, which in this instance is a recommendation in my eyes! I think that must mean she gets the job done, she's no nonsense and she directs multiple streams of traffic, right? That would be me and my "cycle" and the donor and her "cycle".
So - it's day three, I had my u/s and b/w in record time this morning and I am hoping and praying that this is the last delay. I start BCPs tonight. The "cyst" has shrunk to 19 mm and will probably disappear with the BCPS. Keep things crossed for me. If we are lucky we might get a tentative schedule next week! And if you see a traffic cop, please thank her!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Oh and by the way, send the frickin' referral to the clinic would ya

Picture this: A week after the "donor a go go" call.
Me, calling my clinic with news of my most recent BIG accomplishment: somehow I managed to get a period!
The clinic calling me back: "great news about your period. Did you pick a new donor yet?
Me, blood at 200 degrees: DIDWEPICKADONOR? Only about a week ago! What is wrong with these people?!!!!!!! What happened to the donor agency sending the "match" over "right away"?
Still no answer at 11pm tonight, but lo and behold, we get the donor to recipient agreement by e-mail today, too. Does that mean the donor has been to see the lawyer but not the doc? Er, yep! Okay,it's a start but could we please get this show on the road, puhlease!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

donor a go go!!!

Yes, three days later, we finally get the call to say that our new egg donor is on board, and ready to go. Which means she gets to go in to the clinic for testing, see the lawyer and really get the ball rolling. The good news is that she is in school for something medical ( which means she will probably understand all about shots), and is motivated to get the money to help with her tuition - and she is a mom - so she is probably doubly motivated to get this done!!!)
Me, I am on day 5 of provera, waiting to get AF which will probably happen a few days after I finish the pills and then I have to call the third party repro nurse and get instructions about BCPs and maybe even a schedule! I really like her - she is so thorough and explains stuff instead of referring me to the doctor to explain everything like the last one did. I think she really feels badly for me because of what happened with the last donor - so I am going to make sure I take advantage of that in any way I can. ( I know that sounds evil, but I am actually one of the most passive patients you could meet, so it' s not going to look too ugly when I start milking it for all it's worth!)
As for me I took off work today because I am exhausted, depressed and just plain cranky. I feel the weight of the world on my cliche ridden shoulders in my job and I am so desperate for a real live, quiet relaxing beach vacation - I know I know - we were on vacation in June but it involved a lot of driving and was relaxing once we got to Canada for a few days. Once we get our schedule we may be able to at least plan a long weekend away with the doggies at the beach.
S goes back to school in September and is furiously working to finish a paper so after the new semester starts it will be hard to get away.
I think I am going back to bed now.
Feeling like I need a big energy boost and some TLC. ( sob sob, sigh sigh)
I know, the news is good, I need to get over it!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A little bit mosquito bitten?- with update!

Who knew that malaria would put a spanner ( or a wrench for those of you speaking the vernacular ) in the works for us at this the eleven and three quarters hour? Yup, the donor came back from foreign climes with some kind of case of malaria. i. e. She was exposed at some point and took medication for it. Now we are waiting to hear back from the FDA to see if we can proceed. We should know by Friday. Maybe I will have my period by then - gotta call and schedule u/s and b/w if she stays away much longer . Provera here I come. Strangely I am not mad with her. It just feels like it's part of our self-fulfilling doom and gloom prophecy. say it ain't so!

The donor has been canceled which at least means I don't have to make a difficult decision about what to do next ( i.e. whether to take the risk or not). The donor agency said they would find us someone quick and are supposed to be sending us some profiles to look at today. They said it would not cost us anymore and that this has never happened before. I am waiting to hear from the third party coordinator to find out what the FDA actually said and from my regular nurse to find out if I should fill the Provera Rx she gave me this morning to start my period. Oh and I have a 32mm cyst on one of my ovaries according to the U/S technician who volunteered that information to me. Hmm -was it 32 mmm or cm? or inches???!!!!The visit to the clinic today took over 1.5 hours, and they forgot about me while I was waiting to get my b/w done. Needless to say I was not looking very happy at all by the end of the visit. I am feeling a little more optimistic now though. Another donor to fall in love with again. Ho hum! Onward and upward and please let it be soon!!!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Come back, Auntie Flo

All is forgiven. You will be welcome with open arms. Please call anytime! I will accept collect calls. I hope you have the right number. It's 1.800.WTF. RUUB. I don't like to beg or plead but it is day 33 and I am getting a little desperate. Don't leave me all alone like this. Please! Flo - are you out there? Is anybody there?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

skipping towards the starting line!

Well, I have been a busy little bee since last I wrote on this here blog. Here are the facts:

1. Went to the lawyer to have a consultation about the agreement between the egg donor and me and S. Apparently there is no law that governs egg donation in IL so it's kind of a crap shoot so you have to come up with contracts and everyone signs and hopes that if there ever is a law it will be favorable for all of us. The main thing is to create a paper trail and to memorialize our intention of being the parents of the child. ( I think, or something like that!)We also have to sign an agreement with the egg donation agency. We are waiting for the lawyer to draw up the final agreements and then we will sign them and move onto the next thing. In the documents we are called "intended mother A" ( me -the gestator) and intended mother B (S). Funny, but makes it seem more real!

2. Called another lawyer to inquire about second parent adoption and the procedure and the cost. Interestingly she said that it is a little unusual as I won't be biologically related to the child but I am the gestational mother - but she said she has done some of these before and they have gone smoothly. S ( who will be petitioning to be the second parent) has to have a police background check so I cautioned her to keep herself on the straight ( well not quite straight ) and narrow for the meantime! The cost is $1500 - $2000 depending on the case. Need to start saving up for all these extras! We don't have to do anything until about week 20 when we should contact her and let her know how it's going.

3. Ordered some more sperm as the donor we have one vial of is retired and we need two ( just in case one is a dud). So we agonized and searched and looked and listed and found this amazing guy at Cryogenic Laboratories. I like them a lot - you get a lot of info for free - I mean a lot of info!!!! and the IVF sperm is pretty cheap - as there is less of it. We decided we want him to be our number one guy ( especially after seeing his childhood photo and hearing his audio interview ) so we ordered two vials.

4. I have been engaging in a little career counseling and have decided to take the plunge and go for it full speed ahead. The reasons: I need someone to cheer me on and motivate me while I explore new careers ( and hopefully ones that are conducive to part time for good money ) and take steps to fulfill my goal of feeling satisfied and useful and creative in my work ( and less stressed). I need help selling myself, and someone to believe in me while I am doing this and someone with expertise and the two career guys (that I kind of met by accident) seem to really know what they are talking about and seem to have worked with all kinds of people - even cuckoo clocks like me! And I say that in the kindest and most loving way to myself.

5. When I saw my therapist tonight we sat there and marveled at how far I have come in pursuing my two ambivalent but persistent dreams - having a baby and getting un-stuck from my career. I could not even work on those dreams without first having the good fortune to have a great relationship with my honey and the feeling that we have a firm foundation. I remember being referred to her over five years ago when I decided I needed to have a new therapist so I could talk about how I was getting old and really wanted to think about having a baby!!! If you knew me when I was 14 years old you would really know it's been a long journey!

6. Waiting with baited breath for the lovely egg donor to come back from out of town - she gets back tomorrow and the third party coordinator is going to call her on Monday. Still waiting for that elusive period. Any day now!

Goals for next week: work on refinancing the " house" - I use that term loosely in the way that one does when one lives in a tiny garden apartment, tidy the back bedroom ready for company and ( ponder how we will somehow turn it into an office / slash nursery) and of course, win the powerball!

If I sound a little pollyanna, believe me: I have been through plenty of hedges backwards before getting to this point.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

my happy uterus!

It's fluffy! I know I am boasting a little and I really don't know the measurements but the doc said it looked good and obviously my body is actually doing something to create its own little lining. Thank you, body! I know sometimes I act like you don't belong to me, but I am so grateful.
What this means and why I am so psyched is that we can FINALLY start the real egg donor cycle. Yippee!
The lovely egg donor ( I am really going to have to think of a name for her) returns from out of town at the end of July and once she checks in and gives them an update we should be ready to go.
I am waiting for my period (in solidarity with Bang Head Here) and then I can start BCPs and stay on them until she gets synced with me - or vice versa. Soon I may even have a schedule and be able to plan my life!
Newsflash from CCB: they ran out of our donor as he was a big hit, so we get to pick another one for our "back-up" vial. Thankfully we kept a list of favorites so we are going to pick one of those and not worry too much about it.
One of these days I will post something interesting and whimsical, but for now, I am little focused on these details!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

"Patience is the ability to idle your motor when you feel like stripping your gears." - Barbara Johnson

I went in for an ultrasound and saline sonogram this morning.
It was painful but the results were good: on day 16 of my cycle ( yes, apparently I am still cycling albeit with poor quality eggs if any eggs at all) my lining is 10 and I have one follicle - yeah - just when I least expected it I have a follicle - it's small - I think 13mm by 16mm but it's there. It's a moot point really as we won't be using my eggs anyway. But it hadn't really occurred to me that despite all the drugs I have been taking my body still apparently has its own natural rhythms.
The bad news - it's not really bad - but it relates to the title of my post - everything looks good, but he wants to see me in a week for another U/S and B/W and consult. More waiting.
Cut to me lying on the table with legs waving in the air forgetting to ask - so what's the plan about the trial cycle?
Oh and my insurance company apparently has to see current day three testing results to affirm that I am indeed infertile which slows things down again. Day three testing without any meds to clock my lousy FSH and Estradiol levels. I am, as I said earlier, on day 16. I know I should not be bitching because the rest of the world does not get to have their insurance company cover any of this and I should just be grateful and put a sock in it. But still. I am officially stripping my gears.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Quick and Dirty.... in quick and dirty update. Sorry if you were expecting something a little more exciting!
I keep waiting for the perfect post to pop into my head and it doesn't, but I do want to update my blog with my something about my life and current plans. About babies in particular and my life in general.
Here are the highlights:

Holiday came and went for 10 whole days of fun, travel and friends. Loved Canada - they know all about how to really deal with garbage ( when they are not on strike like they were in Toronto!) It also brought AF. ( as scheduled with Provera of course - ain't nothin' "natural" about my cycles no mo').
On return from vacation we went in for our meeting with the third party coordinator - she is very perky and friendly and got us all excited about the process. I signed a lot of papers - Susan is not needed to sign papers because legally I am single - yeah, duh, right, I feel so single!
The donor sounds like someone we would be friends with in real life - cool, into humanitarian work, fun, a busy bee and cute of course. ( not that those are our only criteria for friends of course - we don't usually interview people or have them fill out a questionnaire!)
After we got back I played email tag all last week with doctor supertanned as he had decided that he was on vacation too - how dare he? Played round robin with him, his nurse and the 3rd party coordinator all week.
Today after aggressive phone calling and e-mailing I find out I need another saline sonogram on Thursday plus consult, plus b/w. Please let there be no more bloody fibroids!!!!!!
The plan ( so far) is to do another "trial cycle" all the way to the progesterone in the ass shots and endometrial biopsy ( ouch!) and analysis and then go for broke with the real one sometime in August. Oh that clock is tick tick ticking. I hope I can skip the BCPs and go straight to Lupron this trial cycle.
In the rest of my life: I am trying to suck it up and get through my daily work without being too much of a neurotic worry wart and we are trying to spend as much time at the beach or in outdoor activities the rest of the time. We spent two days this weekend at the beach in Evanston where I took windsurfing classes for the umpteenth time and got covered in bruises and sores from pulling myself onto the rough board over and over again. The fun parts were the cruising through the waves when I caught the wind and didn't fall off. I am going back for more - probably tomorrow - but with a wetsuit to protect me from the board. Susan watched from the shore, read her books and waved encouragement and then we both got to go swimming together. I have a smile as wide as the lake when I get in the water!
So that's all folks. A very hum drum kind of waiting waiting waiting post, but just wanted to let you know I am still here!
Cheering section - thanks for all your support - I really appreciate it and every comment makes a difference ( and it's free!!!) ( Tee hee!!!)

Friday, June 26, 2009

Education, transportation, investigation...

1. Educating the extremely educated.
Last weekend we had three lots of visitors in quick succession. I am happy to report that I was able to educate two of the three parties on the awful truth of the transience of women's fertility. One queer / bi gal -aged thirty -nine is newly in THE relationship of her life with a guy, thinking there might be time to squeeze in a pregnancy or two. I sent her away very optimistically ( after giving her my abridged version of the "eggs get old fast" speech ) with my "taking charge of our fertility" book and my basal thermometer. Those days are over for me - so I wanted to spread the love and pass it around. It felt really good to do that. The second - a 48 yr old queer / bi gal had been told by an ob-gyn that he had just seen a woman of 47 in his office who was pregnant with twins - and hey - anything is possible!!!Oh my blood started boiling when I heard that. Fortunately she wanted to hear the "eggs get old fast" ( the longer version) speech and went away feeling more informed and realistic. I told her I thought if she still wanted to give it a shot she could at least get some day three testing to see what that said. It makes me so mad when people do that "exception to the rule thing" - if you have seen "he's just not that into you" you know what I mean. You know the - well my cousin thought she was infertile and she and her husband could not have kids and then she started eating papaya and she had triplets at 45! And you know the sad part of this - both of these women are highly educated, smart, intelligent, wonderful women and they did not really know the truth about fertility! Or infertility.
2.Transferring the sperm to BBBF
Yesterday I got up really early to go in for an U/S and B/W and to pick up a nitrogen tank from the new clinic (BBBF) to transport the sperm that was still stored at my old clinic to the new one. Even doing something like this was exciting for us ( S. came along for the second half of the ride) and felt so momentous! There has been so much waiting and wondering and lots of small painfully slow parts to this - so any action for us is a big big deal. Especially when we get to do stuff together.
3.Donor testing
Today I got a call from the third party coordinator ( as in third party reproduction - which is what donor eggs comes under) to say that they had been working with our donor because they figured out she was going to be out of town in July and they wanted to get the testing done before she leaves. That way if she does not qualify after testing we can start with another. I had been hoping that was going to happen but was not really driving the whole thing like I had wanted to. Fortunately for me the clinic is taking this whole thing seriously and moving on it. The coordinator told me that the donor was really excited about the whole process, is really nice and that she had passed the u/s and ovarian reserve testing with flying colors and they were just waiting for the results of the STD screening which takes about two weeks. So we have an appointment to officially start the third party process and sign papers when we get back from vacation and all being well we will be starting the cycle for real in August. My doc says my uterus is healing well from the myomectomy and he wants me to have a period and then do one more cycle of suppression and estrogen just to make sure everything is fine. So I am on my fifth day of provera and hoping Ms. AF comes soon. I am so psyched - I can hardly believe it!!! I am so hoping this will work for us! We might have a May 2010 baby after all!!!
So that's the news from here. I will try to post more often. I have been MIA for too long. Thanks for all your support and thanks for commenting - it really makes a difference.
(I have been a bad commenter lately as I was working so hard to get ready for vacation but now I am on vacation I will have more time for fun things like blogging and commenting)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Another bump in the road, or, "more about my uterus"! - with update!

My doc finally emailed me back tonight after my ultrasound yesterday to say he wants me to take Estrace and Lupron for ten more days and then take provera (is that the right med?) to induce a period. His reasoning for this is that the estrace will continue to help my lining thicken up where the fibroid was "re-sected". Does this mean that the lining where the fibroid was removed is not thick? I am guessing so. But it would be nice if he TOLD me that. I need to get more assertive with him and let him know that I need to know more than WHAT to do next, I need to know WHY we are doing the next thing next.
He is out of town for ten days. I am hoping to go out of town in two weeks, for ten days. I wrote to him tonight saying that I really want to try to work around this because I REALLY NEED A VACATION!!!
We will see what he says about that. I want to have my crummy cake and eat it –I want to continue the trial cycle AND go on vacation. Who knows when and if we will add the progesterone? At this rate I won’t be ready to do the real cycle in August. I am so bummed. I am just swinging those moods right now – UP and DOWN! And capitals too!
One good thing is that work has become slightly more bearable at the moment. I am onto my fifth supervisor in 22 months. This most recent one seems affable, knowledgeable and human. Of course, he is only temporary until they find a permanent psychopath to run our agency.
It’s odd, I have incredible anxiety every morning without fail about going to work, and I ruminate and obsess and ruminate some more and then when I get there things usually are fine and if they are not I deal with them and by the end of the day I am usually feeling so much better. Today I got a lot accomplished and managed to avoid any big crises, so I feel great. We will see what tomorrow brings in the form of neuroses!
UPDATED June 11th to say:
PS - My doctor just e-mailed me back and said: "Vacations are important. I don't think it will interfere with your cycle - just come in the week before you go." ( He should know as he is on vacation right now improving his tan!!!) So I am ON for the vacation and ON for this extended trial cycle and needing positive vibes that my uterus heals!:) WOOHOO!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

the plan ...

I am mending nicely from the fibroid removal surgery- yeah, I know, it's still all about me! Only a little bleeding. My doc wants me to continue lupron and estrace until my U/S on Tuesday and then see where to go next. ( I am hoping for the endometrial biopsy the following week, and the green light for the real cycle!)God I feel like all I talk about is meds and procedures! I have become a chemicalized, automated, wanded infertility patient! Weird!
I was at work the other day in the garden of one of the facilities and I had a deja vu about a phone conversation I had had in that very spot almost exactly a year ago, with my crunchy lesbian clinic about whether to start on clomid or not. I barely hesitated to think about it and said yes. So much has happened since then. It took us almost a year to even get to that point and here we are another year later. In some people's infertility journeys that is just a drop in the bucket I know.
So it turns out that "known" sperm donors and "known" egg donors are not created equally. According to the egg donor service, few if any of the egg donors want to really be "known". The argument is that they are too young to make a decision like that about what they will be willing to do in 18 years. They agree to be contacted about medical issues and to keep in touch about anything that comes up like that, but there is no cosy little meeting with the kid over coffee or anything like that. Our first choice is really against contact except for this medical stuff, our second choice seems a bit more open. We don't want to do Christmas cards or play dates, we just want the option of even some contact to satisfy the wondering kid. So we went with our second choice, who is also mostly European ethnically, blonde and green, has a nice face, nice features and sounds like a philanthropist and a generally decent person. Her famous look a like section says Lisa Loeb ( but blonde). We are happy about this choice. We paid the deposit yesterday and should be ready to go ahead with the rest soon. She is going to Europe in July so we won't be starting the cycle till August, which on the one hand makes me impatient and on the other, is better timing wise for us and gives me a little drug break in between. If all goes well and the doc gives me the go ahead she will be starting testing this month.
Between coordinating all this, talking to insurance and docs and nurses and appointments I feel like I need a personal assistant! Ha ha - that'll be something to laugh about when we have a kid that is keeping us up at night!
S is away visiting her mom and sis and I am taking the time to be a complete and utter slob. I got up so late today ( having gone to bed late, which always happens the first night she is away) and am still wiped from the past week. Luckily the weather is mirroring my mood and is damp and rainy so I don't feel as if I am missing anything outside! I missed my tennis class today - just could not get out of bed.
Anyway - I am rambling! I have lots of housework to do, clothes to fold, floors to sweep and tomorrow I think I am going to have to go to work to catch up on billing. We are going on vacation at the end of June and before then I have to do evaluations for 5 staff, catch up on all my billing, read and sign off on about 75 assessments, observe one staff conduct 15 assessments and deal with all the usual stuff that happens every day too. YIKES - will I be ready for a vacation!
So that's all for now. Feeling a little lonesome...
ta ta!

Monday, June 1, 2009

All went well!

I am home resting in bed having been taken care of by wonderful doctors and nurses and family members - you know who you are and I really appreciate you.
It is odd being taken care of so completely for a few hours that a nurse even held my blanket for me while I was walking with my IV from the pre-op room to the operating room. I almost felt like a child being taken care of by her mother again. That and the drugs - very comforting.
I can't say enough nice things about the staff. I had read a review on-line about the place just before I left for the center that said "I won't go back there, the staff is unfriendly" and I was a little trepidatious! ( Is that a word?)
I also managed to complete my will and advance directives this weekend so I feel I have accomplished quite a bit!
Thanks to all for your well-wishes - it means so much to me! And thanks for the advice on the donors. Having thought about it over the past couple of days we have decided to go for known for both donors. So I am waiting to hear back from the donor service to see if the alternates we picked are available.
Now I just have to e-mail my doc and ask him if the trial cycle is still on. For some reason I forgot to ask him. I guess he needed to see what was going on "in there" before he decided.
ta ta for now!
my poor honey is sleeping next to me and is exhausted from a busy weekend and worrying about me!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Surgery and egg donor issues

Sitting at my desk Friday morning juggling ten different things I get a call from a woman telling me that she is calling me about my surgery. What surgery? The one that is scheduled for Monday! Oh really, that one? I told my doc THE PREVIOUS DAY that I could come in any time for surgery and I guess he took me at my word. The rest of the day I scrambled to reschedule my Monday duties ( including planning to go into work on Sunday), kept on juggling other work stuff, dealt with the many calls about insurance, tried to find people to give me rides to and from the center so S can go to work and not worry that she might get canned for taking one more day off ( she was just off for a week for an intensive course for her MDiv.) She totally would have done it for me, but I prefer her to keep her job and I am a big girl. So my sis and her sister in law are taking me and bringing me back. Thanks guys! You rock!
The surgery center told me all the details about what not to eat or drink before hand,to wear no jewelry or valuables and to bring my advance directives if I have any!!!YIKES!!! I am having a general anesthetic and of course I need to be prepared... I know I talked about this in my last post, but it feels a bit creepy that they brought it up to me.
So I am sitting on the couch, ready to search for a website that can help me do a will and advance directives so I can get them witnessed tomorrow.
Sorry it's not very pithy or funny, but I am pre-occupied.
And then after having dinner with a friend last night and talking about the whole egg donor thing and showing her the info, we discovered that the egg donor we picked wants to remain anonymous to the child. We had not given it much thought really - but had believed we had picked a known donor. We agonized over the decision to pick an unknown sperm donor when we were doing IUIs- it boiled down to money in the end - and then when we started IVF we picked another guy who was willing to be known because our clinic didn't like the first sperm bank and the second had known donors available and IVF only takes one vial so it's cheaper than endless vials for IUIs- but he wasn't our renaissance man that we just love, who is with a company that does not supply any known donors. I have this fantasy that if he had been given the choice he would have said yes - just from reading his answers to the essay questions I got the impression he was very interested in how it would all turn out. So this whole egg donor thing has been kind of a whirlwind and we never really considered the whole known donor question too seriously. I am not even sure if many egg donors consent to be known. So we decided that we really do want to give our child some chance to find out who donated the eggs and sperm to bring him or her into the world. So now we have to pick another egg donor and we are thinking about going back to the guy who is not so interesting but is willing to be known so we can give the kid the chance to meet or talk to both donors if he/ she wants to. It's a bummer because we really liked the donor we had picked!
Any thoughts on the subject would be most welcome!
Please send positive vibes to me on Monday at 12.30pm central time - when I will be having my little fibroid removed. I told my tennis pal today that I had to have a fibroid removed and she said she thought I said I have to have a vibrator removed!!!! Funny!
Okay - off to do my will, etc etc.
Ta ta for now!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Slight hiccup

I have been missing in words for over a week but I have been busy in deeds.
Busy shooting myself up with Lupron, taking Estrace, DHA and multi-vitamins, picking an egg donor, getting blood-work done, having ultra-sounds up the wazoo! Planning the intricacies of this trial "GEEP"cycle and figuring out how to get it all done and still go on vacation at the end of June.
We picked an egg donor that is new to the egg donor program ( which makes it cheaper )is very young and already has a child. She is from a part of the former Yugoslavia ( as is one side of Susan's family) She has coloring similar to mine ( the sperm donor has Susan's coloring). All very exciting and the idea that we are so close to the prize is tantalizing. We breezed through our interview with the psychologist ( who turned out to be an old friend of my extended family!) and she informed us that it's really hard to flunk a GEEP cycle, which put my mind at ease. I have become more comfortable at the new clinic and I like the nurse who I am working with. Even the phlebotomists have figured out how to get blood out of my veins, which is not a small accomplishment. All is well!
So where's the hiccup? It's called a fibroid and it's in the cavity of my uterus. I knew I had fibroids, but I had always heard that they were in the wall of my uterus, and would not interfere with implantation. Today at my saline sonogram the doctor spotted one a bit smaller than an inch around that was hanging in there and that he said would act like an IUD and prevent implantation. The word surgery was mentioned. I imagined the myomectomy that one of my favorite blogger friends had that sounded really painful and with a long recovery. It turns out I am lucky in that this surgery is minimally invasive. They give me general anasthesia, go in through my hoo hoo cha cha, snip the fibroid, go out again and in a day I am up and about. The really really sad part of this is that when I heard about the idea of surgery I was hoping that I would get a bit of extra sick time out of it. All that tells you is that my job is so ridiculously stressful that I am looking for any excuse for a day off - with some good drugs of course!
I told Susan optimistically that we better get our wills written before I go under! It is something we have been procrastinating about and now we have a reason to get our butts in gear. I know, I am morbid. I take after my mum. What can I say?
At first when I heard about the fibroid and the surgery I was so bummed out. Not another delay! I need to get pregnant and have this baby quick while I have my insurance and have my ridiculously stressful job and while I can still stick it out.
I still don't know what this means for the GEEP cycle, but the nurse is supposed to call me tomorrow and tell me what to do. For now I am continuing the meds. I told them I can come ANY DAY for the surgery - just get me in soon!!! I have decided that even if the cycle screws with my vacation I am still going on vacation. I need one goddammit and after all, sometimes life has to come before babies.
So that's how things are going in my neck of the woods, how about you?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The story so far - welcome intrepid visitors of ICLW!

Hello again, ICLWers. This is my second month doing it and I am looking forward to it! I hope I get some work done this time in between commenting on your wonderful blogs.!
The short story is this: (borrowed from Ira Glass' "This American Life").

act i. ambivalence, therapy, soul searching, envisioning, money worries and woes, family drama, baby postponed till a later date ( 5 years)

act ii. decision making, temping, IUIs, clomid, anovulation, low ovarian reserve, age, more family and life drama, IVF attempt number one aborted after no response to heavy meds ( 1.5yrs)

(Heavy servings of gingersnap lattes, carbohydrates, shoe throwing, anger, misery, therapy, blaming, acceptance, adoption research)

act iii. donor eggs on the table, bcps, starting Lupron tonight for trial cycle, picking donor, baseline u/s and b/w on Friday ( 1 month)

Credits and acknowledgements :
my honey Susan, therapist, dogs, cats, supportive friends and bloggers.

Watch out for the next installment.
Leg going to sleep, tireegal going to sleep!
night night!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

ho-hum musings

Nothing earth shattering to report here, except that I have the most uncomfortable case of indigestion. It occurred to me after about 4 days of suffering that it might be the BCPs and then I dug back into the swamp that is my memory and remembered that this happened last time I took them. So far I have not been a homicidal harpy like last time, but I have had a loss of sleep due to horrible reflux at night, which is exacerbated by eating normal sized meals, and reflux all day which is exacerbated by eating and not-eating.
I guess this might be one way to lose weight that does not involve points.
I am looking forward to having my wife back in my life. It will happen by about June 1st I think! My dear S has one more week of school left and two papers that she is gamely slogging away at. Then one week off plus another week of an intensive course and then FREEDOM for the summer! Have I got a chore list for her! Of course these are chores that work best with two people- and I have been waiting to share them with her. They involved going to storage, tidying out our back storage area, making our apartment welcoming for visitors, organizing our office / baby space and a plethora of exciting tasks that I won't bore the blog world with for now.
But the evening is upon us, which means din dins, a dvd and hopefully blissful, reflux free sleep. I know I know - the excitement is killing you!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Day two of BCPs

It's official - I am on the way back to popping pills, poking myself with needles and getting my va jay jay wanded with the ultra-sound stick!!!
The doc emailed me that my blood work showed I could start the BCPs yesterday ( no numbers of course - I never get numbers!!!) It probably means my ovaries are in sleep mode and nothing is happening there anyway so lets really lock em down.
I go in for an U/S and consult on May 15th. We are doing a trial cycle.
I have no idea what to do to prepare for the real one. I called the nurse at the BBBF today and left her a message but did not get any more info. I know I need to pick a donor and get this show on the road. I think the doc is supposed to give me more info when I have the ultra-sound and he sees what is really going on in the velvety depths of my uterus. No idea if it is velvety in there - but I know I am supposed to be growing a lovely thick cushiony lining at some point so the embie can bed down there and get snuggled in.
Anyway, I will call the egg place soon and try to figure out what the next step is.
So that's my exciting news. Oh and I joined Weight Watchers today and went to my first meeting. It was like a cross between an AA meeting and a Tupperware party.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

"third party reproduction"

Apparently that's what it's called when you use a donor's eggs or uterus. Not sure if donor sperm is considered third party although it should be I guess.
The appointment at BBBF went well, apart from waiting in the hall outside the doc's office and hearing most of the conversation of the woman ahead of us who had her husband on speaker-phone and a toddler running around while she was trying to discuss being a "poor responder" with the Doc. I kept wanting to go over and whisper "HIPAA" round the door-frame at them all.
Mr. Silver Hair and Tanned Doc was very nice, a little deaf ( but I do tend to swallow my words) and explained the whole thing to me. It wasn't much that I didn't already know but it was great to feel like I might be on my way to the next step.
I had a blood test to see where I am in my cycle, he gave me some BCPs to start when he tells me and sent me on my way with instructions to call their psychologist and set up and appointment (it's mandatory but FREE!!!).
The clinic has a special nurse coordinator that deals with the "third party reproduction" - ooh the acronym is TPR - not sure if I will be using that. In child welfare circles that stands for termination of parental rights.
I have to make sure I have all the standard pre-IVF tests - I have had them all - perhaps an ultrasound and he might do a trial "cycle" first to make sure my uterus responds properly to the estrogen and progesterone.
We can transfer the sperm that is sitting at the other clinic and get one more vial for back up. Don't want to have those precious eggs sitting there meeting a bum sample of sperm! The good news is that maybe we can go back to our "Renaissance Man" - from Midwest Sperm Bank for this one. He was our number one choice but we couldn't use him for various logistical reasons for the last few tries.
And then there is the whole picking the egg-donor thing! Now, we are experts at picking sperm donors so it doesn't really phase us that much except for the fact that we are basically trying to figure out how to choose an egg donor that complements the sperm donor and has the potential to be an interesting, nice and hopefully pleasant looking human being! Hopefully she / he won't be so gorgeous and talented that it will hate us for being its parents! It's like planning a sort of blind date for two people who will never meet, but whose "donations" will hopefully make up the genetics of our child. Freaky!!!
Psychologically and practically weird.
For example - S has brown hair and hazel green eyes and is a mix between Slavic and Irish looks. I have blonde hair and green eyes and look Anglo-Nordic. I have always had this idea that we would have blonde kids because that's what my nieces look like ( my sister's kids). But we want to honor S in this whole process too. We are both drawn to donors that are creative and like music - maybe if we were more savvy we would be drawn to donors that have brilliant business acumen so the kids could make enough to support us in our fast approaching dotage. I also like people who are athletic. It feels odd, but having always known we were going to use a sperm donor it's not completely out of our comfort zone.
So for all of you that have been following me on this journey, you might be wondering what happened to the adoption idea? I have been researching it and reading about it for the last two months; I attended three open houses / seminars and while I don't think it would have been impossible, I came to the conclusion that I needed to explore the whole egg donation option before we made any decisions to go for adoption. And once I realized that we could afford donor eggs and that my insurance would pay for the procedure (BIG YAY!!!) I realized that I had already made up my mind.
Most of the fear of doing more medical interventions has dissipated after the initial horrible disappointment of my own egg failure. The process of being a recipient of an embryo that has been created in the lab is actually much less difficult and risky than that of over-stimulating the ovaries to produce lots of good eggs (which is what the egg donor will be doing and is what I am unable to do). I will have to give myself those horrible IM progesterone shots, but hey, many of you have done that and survived. I figure I can do that.
So the idea that I won't ever carry a baby or give birth to one has now faded a little; the possibility that I will be able to do this is feeling more real.
According to the doc, the risk of multiples is high. I am not sure if it is more than for IVF with my own eggs or not. With a three day transfer they usually put back three embryos and a five day transfer they put back two. Hmmmm.....
And any remaining embryos can be frozen for future use - by me or someone else.
So that's the story.
Mind boggling!
Oh and we have to get a lawyer too.
And talk to the egg donation company to figure out about donors.
Lots to do.
Lots to think about.
We keep moving forward... it's a good feeling:)
And I owe a lot of this to my Dad, Harry, who thought about his children enough to provide for them in his will and who died just over a year ago. Without my little inheritance this would be out of reach. I hope he gets to see his grandchildren from heaven some day soon:)

Thursday, April 30, 2009

poll on the worst things people say!

Hi bloggers!
I made a poll about the most irritating / annoying / upsetting things people say to us because we are IF / TTC/ experiencing loss. etc.
Vote and then tell me here if you have any other priceless ones!
Gotta pass the time between appointments / two week wait / paying credit card bills!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Happy go eggie!

I am ecstatic to finally have some good news on the whole baby / adoption / egg front!!!
I called my RE's office to schedule a consult to find out the whole egg donor process and find out how much it would cost and the good news is that everything but the agency egg donor fee ( I know - it's still about $12,000 - $14,000 but in this business that is good news!) sperm and co-pays up to $500 is covered by my insurance. It's the blessing of living in good old Illinois where they have great laws covering fertility treatment and having great insurance ( which is kind of a lucky accident for me). We could do a cycle and produce a whole load of embies and still have left-overs for next time ( I know - I am dreaming in a very grandiose way! )
So I have a consult on Friday morning. I could actually go to my old clinic which has the donor sperm there and is much closer, but I will have to think about that. I really like the new guy but it's at a BBBF ( Big Baby Business Factory!) down-town.
I am going to go straight home and start taking pre-natal vitamins again! Off with the coffee and the booze!
I know that I am extremely lucky to a. live in illinois and b. have great insurance c. have a wonderful honey who supports me 100% and I know that I am blessed someway and somehow. I know that is a speech but I feel like I just won an Oscar!!!
Happy end of ICLW week to everyone!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

adoption agency #2 part 2

Update: Unfortunately I never made it to adoption agency #3 today. I was so beat and feeling so icky last night that I went to bed at 7pm and stayed there till about 10am today. So I missed the last of my scheduled adoption investigation appointments. I am going to sign up for the next one as well as scheduling an appointment at the Big Business Baby Factory to talk about my options with egg and embryo donation. Then I will flip a coin to decide....Just kidding!
But here is my review of adoption agency #2 part 2
This was my visit to the actual agency. My previous experience had been a talk at the Big Baby Business Factory and featured a speaker from the agency Ruby aka funny and flippant who gave us an overview of adoption 101.
I was reluctant to go; it was a weekday evening, I thought I knew all there was to know about adoption and it meant giving up my prime parking spot to go out and come back later in the evening when all the parking on my street is gone. This agency is actually in my neighborhood – I know - I am so lucky to be living in the big city. I have driven past it many times and only half realized that the cheerful mural on one of their outside walls is connected to an adoption agency. Inside it is a brightly painted old building that has had something of a renovation. The bathrooms are cheerful, the walls are fun colors, there is new hardwood flooring and nice wainscotting.
I was welcomed by miss fun and feisty and I introduced myself again. She remembered my face. The long narrow conference room was lined with three tight rows of chairs on one wall facing a white board and a couple of chairs for the speakers. It turned out there was one speaker and he was the ED of the agency. The room was full of couples who all looked pretty straight-laced and ordinary. They were all talking to their respective spouses and did not emit any airs or wafts of friendliness in my direction. As the talk started the latecomers started arriving and by the end of the first half hour we were really crammed in there.
I am so glad I did go to this talk though. I learnt such a lot. The ED – Richard, is one of the founding members of the agency and he and the people who started it (all of them members of the adoption triad ) did so because they were dissatisfied with the adoption agencies that they saw around them and the experiences that they had had. The birth moms felt that they had been treated like s.hit; the adoptive parents had been psycho-analyzed into delirium and the adoptees (I don’t think that is the pc word, is it?) felt lied to and cheated of an understanding of a very important part of their life.
He made a distinction between agencies that say they are not for profit and ones that really are charities. I am not sure if it’s just true of Illinois, but he said that to be an adoption agency you have to be a charity with a 501 c3 status. Along with the fees that they charge, they still need to raise about $400,000 per year to keep afloat.
His intent was not to paint a rosy picture of adoption for us. Not to make a Hallmark movie of it, but to tell us how it is. His message was that working towards an adoption is a roller coaster ride and you have to be ready to get on again after dusting yourself off and try again and again. He also stressed that adoption was not a finite act, but a continuum that lasted all through the adopted child’s life and included all parts of the adoption triad.
He told us that as a child welfare agency it is their job to find good homes for children. It’s not a place where we can go and pay lots of money to “get” a baby. He can’t guarantee any of us a baby. He can offer us the tools to be give us the best chances possible to be picked by a birth mother or to go out and find a birth mother ourselves. According to him, no agency can guarantee anyone a child, it doesn’t matter how much money adoptive parents are willing to pay.
This agency has a set fee scale. The first $3,000 is for the home study, the next $3,000 is for helping with the photo album and foster parent license ( I am going from memory). After that the fees vary from $13,000 to $27,000 total ( including the first $6,000) for a traditional adoption ( i.e. the birth mother comes to the agency and based on her criteria picks the adoptive parents.) If you want to go out and find your own birth mother after the first one or two stages then you pay only a smallish fee to have an "agency assisted" adoption. In an agency adoption, this agency pays the birth mother’s costs – the only other out of pocket costs to the adoptive parents are lawyers fees. You only pay the placement fee ( which is the largest part of the cost) after placement, so it does take away some of the risk of getting to that point and paying the birth mom’s expenses and then the placement not working out and you are out that money too.
The thing I liked about this agency was that they were very open about not trying to win our business. He really wanted us to know what adoption was like, what their philosophy meant and where they were coming from. They don’t advocate one kind of adoption, because there is no one size fits all. So they don’t say: we only believe in open adoption – they say they want the birth parents and the adoptive parents to be in charge of their own lives and to work out what works best for them.
So what are the odds? He said that adoption is enduring a difficult time right now. There are less birth moms placing infants for adoption, in part because of contraception, the morning after pill, more acceptance in families of “unplanned” pregnancies, abortion, etc. Also many people who were doing international adoption are now moving to domestic adoption. I asked him what the odds were – I have to know odds – it comes from the infertility experience I think.
He said that if you are not super picky then the odds are around 60% of getting a placement if you just wait for the agency to do the work of finding a birth mom who wants to place with you. If you amp up the publicity and find creative ways to get your message across to the most people your odds increase to 85%.
I sat there comparing those odds with egg donation ( about 60%) and embryo donation ( about 25%). Hmmm.
He offered for us to have a short one on one with the assistant director ( miss fun and feisty) or himself whenever it was convenient. They must be awfully busy is all I can say.
And then it was over, anti-climactically. Unfortunately there was no parking lot bargaining for eggs and uteri. This being the city it was parking meters, no parking lot.
I am still mulling it over. I talked to S. about it and she is mulling too, in between her studies. We don’t know what our chances are of getting a child that is right for us. It does seem to be about odds, and we aren’t really sure which ones to go with. There aren’t any guarantees. Here are the options:
1. Egg donor = pick a gorgeous young college student’s eggs, pick some gorgeous sperm, hope my gorgeous uterus can carry the off-spring for nine good months.
2. Embryo donor = hope some gorgeous infertile couple picks us to offer their gorgeous embryos to so my gorgeous uterus can carry that baby for nine good months.
3. Adoption = hope some gorgeous young pregnant woman thinks we would be the best couple to love and nurture her off-spring and that she is able to give us the baby after she carries the baby and gives birth to it.

None of these choices guarantee that the kid won’t have schizophrenia or bi-polar disorder or get addicted to drugs and alchohol or engage in public indecency. And working as I do in the field of mental health I am scared of all of the above happening. Despite us giving the kid all the love and nurturing and baby bjorn snuggling we can manage.
I don’t know why I don’t sound more excited. I was excited at some point during the presentation last Wednesday, but at some point I got really really over-whelmed. Why is it so hard for some people to have a kid? It don’t seem fair or right. Ah well… off to watch the Hallmark channel.