Life Family and the Pursuit of Sanity

or… adventures in infertility and babies and family drama!

Agency Interviews Update November 6, 2009

Filed under: Adoption — arminta @ 3:36 pm

So, I’ve just received info in the mail from another on of the agencies we were looking at for adoption. This is the open domestic infant adoption agency. Here are the highlights:

 

  1. $15k bare minimum cost. BARE minimum, this is going to end up in the $20k range. Even with the adoption class reimbursement and tax credit, this is an expensive, expensive option.
  2. The agency will not agree to meet us face to face or communicate with us via any method other than e-mail until we give them $1,400 for our homestudy fees.
  3. The agency will not update us on when our profile is being viewed.
  4. They don’t want us to check status more often than once a month.
  5. Their what to expect document is full of things like “YOU GET TO KEEP THE BABY so let the birthmother say/do/keep anything she wants in the hospital.” (Again, for the record, I’m all about showing the birthmother love, I’m not all about language that implies “you’re stealing her child, so shut the fuck up mmm k.”)

 

This agency came highly recommended 😦

 

I’m so confused. The more research I do into adoption, the more I don’t want to give up on getting/staying pregnant. It’s cheaper, and it sounds like it may be fraught with less peril. (There’s peril either way, mind.) I’m so confused.

 

Oh, well t-minus 4 days until sexapalooza (also known as the potential fertile period, if ovulation is going to occur) hits the insanity household. Time to order my favorite sperm friendly lube and find some new porn to keep G going after sexapalooza day 5 (my range can be so very long, I can ov anywhere from CD15 to CD22… if I’m going to at all!)

 

***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** *****

 

Today I’m thankful that my sister made it through her knee surgery without issue. She’s at mother’s recuperating and I get Little C all to myself tonight. I’m going ot go out ona limb and say Little C is probably grateful for this, too. He’ll be happy when his mother is feeling better and spending time at Minta’s without Big C is like a dream come true for him. He goes around and touches all of the toys that Big C doesn’t like him to play with!

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To Adopt or Not To Adopt November 1, 2009

Filed under: Adoption,Infertility — arminta @ 2:30 am

That is the near constant question. I know that I’ve never ever said this before, but this shit is hard. There are so many angles, and that’s just considering me. Factor in G, too and there’s about a bazillion freaking things to account for. Of course, that’s even before the children are factored in. It is a little brain explosion inducing. By that I mean, “holy fuck, my head is going to pop from the pressure.”

 

My main debate right now is whether to use up my Clomid and Femara prescriptions before moving on. I still have three cycles worth of drugs left on valid prescriptions awaiting refills at the pharmacy. Ovidrel is an agent on Satan, so while I have valid Ovidrel refills, it’s not weighing on me quite as much. Coincidentally, I also have three refills left on my Metformin script. Now, obviously, the drugs are only part of the equation. There’s also the cycle monitoring. I am inclined to use up my med’s without doing the monitoring. My best response was 4 follies and it felt like my ovaries were going to pop. I’m not worried about having 38 follies and not knowing. I’m not worried about having a cyst and not knowing (again, four follies = pain, anything more than that, I’ll know). I am worried about the stress and roller coaster of emotion associated with the monitoring ultrasounds.

 

On the other hand… getting pregnant isn’t THAT hard with the drugs. The hard part is STAYING pregnant. I suppose we’ll cross that bridge if and when we come to it. What we do know is that G does not want to go to anymore first trimester ultrasounds. He says that he can’t stand seeing the heartbeat and then not again.

 

Which leads me to, why take the chance? Why not just give up now? It’s not like it’s the end of the world if that Clomid script expires anyway, Clomid is cheap and easy to get on the net… Not that I’d do that, I’d go back to my RE and discuss protocol etc… just saying it’s not like a Clomid script is gold or anything. But, why even bother with one? My womb is a death trap. Why subject another baby to the womb of doom?

 

Because I WANT a baby. I want to feel it inside of me. I want to nourish it with food my body made specially for it. I want that physical bond that isn’t just between me and the baby, but that is also between me and G. I want to see my husband when I look into my baby’s eyes. I want to see my Papaw in my kids. I want to be able to compare foreheads and chins and teeth. I want the C’s to see themselves and their family in their cousins. I don’t need any of that. But, I want it.

 

I need to hear a child call me Mommy. I need to have a family. I need to be needed. I need to be loved. Ultimately, if those things are achieved, it won’t be the end of the world if those children don’t have G’s freckles or my eyes. But that doesn’t stop me wanting them. That doesn’t stop me feeling like I’m compromising. Like I’m losing someone I love.

 

So, I’m waffling on the fence. Keep trying, take the chance of losing, again, or move forward. I’m never going to hear my children call me Mommy if they all die. At some point there has to be a line, I just don’t know if I’m ready to draw it just yet.

 

The Agency Meeting

Filed under: Adoption — arminta @ 12:23 am

So, despite my expressed misgivings, we did in fact go to the meeting with the agency on Friday night. And, like everything else it was NOTHING like I expected. In regards to the important stuff it was better than I expected, but the culture there was something I really wasn’t prepared for.

 

We decided to drive, even though we could have walked, because it was supposed to rain and were going to go out with G’s little brother afterwards. So, when we pulled up we were expecting an empty parking lot and a quiet, peaceful environment, which is basically the opposite of what we found. The parking lot was packed. By packed, I mean we took the last space, anyone else would have had to park next door or across the street because the agency lot was officially full up. I was feeling very apprehensive and nervous about the meeting and waffled outside peeking through the windows for about five minutes before going in. I was shocked by the inside of the agency. It was a mess. Paper piles and toys and just a mess. In addition to the mess, there were about 25 costumed kids of various ages running about the place like hooligans. In short, what I saw through the window was bedlam. Absolute bedlam.

 

Even still, G made me open the door and go in. I am very glad that he did. The agency owner, primary social worker and chief bottle washer (her description, not mine) was summoned by one of the many loose children (this one happened to be hers), and we went into a little office to chat. The office had a manky little couch, a little chair and a bazillion toys. G was a little put off by the couch. But, a different kid helped her clear a space for us to chat and we all sat. She asked us about our history and why were looking into adoption and I started crying like a little bitch. I literally did not get one single word out. From the immediacy and incapacitation of the tears she (correctly) assumed that we were infertiles and had experienced loss. G spoke for us and confirmed that was the case, and said that he was afraid for us to keep trying and that he had numbed himself to the idea of being a dad because of our loss history. I then cried more. Why am I always surprised that my husband, who has lost just as many children as I have, who actually realized something was wrong first last time, who wants to be a daddy, is hurting every bit as much as I am? Because I am a selfish turd.

 

So, after that, she started explaining the history of the agency and her personal history. They are truly non-profit. They deal almost exclusively with foster agencies. They are making almost no money, but they are in business to find homes for children not get rich. I asked her about the set fee for infant adoptions and she said flat-out: 1) they don’t get many infants, maybe 1 or 2 a year; 2) that is not their niche and they don’t want it to be and 3) OH is a shitty place for newborn adoption. Why? Because in other states there are less restrictions about how much money can be passed to the birth mother. It is $3k for living expenses and $4k for medical expenses. Unless they prove that the medical expenses were higher. In IN, it’s not uncommon for adoptive parents to hand over $40k to the birth mother for “expenses” and because of that, many OH birth mothers tend to adopt through IN. At least this is her story. I of course have no way to confirm this. So, the $7k is a state thing, not an agency thing.

 

Basically, she said they do a lot of work with agencies in OR, TX and WA. They get a lot of sibling groups. They are usually in the 2-4-6 or 3-5-7 type age ranges. Almost none of them are white, most are bi-racial or hispanic. She said that most couples come in looking for one baby who’s less than two and walk away with a sibling where the youngest is close to the baby age range and the rest are older. She said that all of these people got pictures of the kids, and just knew that those were their kids. She invited us to start our classes next week if we want.

 

Then I pulled out my insanely long list of anal questions. She was unphased by printed list which was obviously a product of obsessive Googling. She asked if we’d like to ask some of our questions to people like ourselves who were currently in the process. While I prepared to write down phone numbers, she called out to the hallway and asked people to join us. One couple was very similar to G and me. They were all happy. We all chatted for about 30 minutes, all of my questions were answered. It was a lot to process. Even though the atmosphere was so opposite of what I expected and hoped for it felt natural. It felt like family.

 

The bottom line is that it will likely be 2 years from starting classes to placement. Using this agency, there is little chance that we’d be able to get a baby, baby (which is important to me right now). We would get a family. We would get support. We would finally having living children. So, there are many great pro’s and several big con’s at this point. We’re still testing the waters. On the one hand I feel hope, and on the other despair. I want a family. I want to hear children call me Mommy. I want to watch my husband toss a football with HIS boy in the yard. But, part of me still wants to be able to deliver that from my body. Part of me still wants to breast feed and have a chubby little pink baby that’s MINE. MINE, mine. But now we’re getting into another post…

 

Hope’s a Bitch October 29, 2009

Filed under: Adoption,Infertility,Marriage,The Blah — arminta @ 12:01 pm

Last night was a bad night. We had my least favorite dinner (fried chicken, blech), I got the info from the adoption agency and I started my period. A three for three strikeout.

 

Why is the agency literature a strike out? Well, because the non-profit agency ‘round the corner wants $10k for an infant adoption. That would be the low end number. Don’t get me wrong, I think a baby is worth $10k. But, I don’t exactly have $10k just sitting around. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an amount I could save up in a couple of years. It’s an amount I could finance. The problem isn’t exactly paying that amount of money. The problem is that the fees are more than double for an infant adoption than for a waiting child adoption. $7k of that figure is supposedly going straight to the birth mother. It’s buying a baby.

 

I’m not saying that the birth mother shouldn’t have her expenses taken care of. She should. She absolutely should. She should be able to come away from the experience with no strings to force her to remember, no bills to pay and no negative associations with the process. So, my issue is NOT with a large chunk of money going to the birth mother to pay her pregnancy/child birth related expenses. My issue is with the set fee. My issue is that a set amount could encourage certain women to get pregnant, get the minimum care possible then put the child up for adoption to profit off of the experience. Again, I have nothing against making the birth mother as comfortable as possible after the birth, but the situation of placing multiple children with the intention to profit is different to me. It just feels dirty. It’s the opposite of what I was expecting from the non-profit agency. So, that was quite upsetting.

 

Then there was red when I peed before bed. G saw me getting my Luna Pads and Diva Cup out and said “Really, I’m sorry.” At which point I broke down. Why should he be comforting me? He has healthy sperm, he wants to get frisky all the time, he is doing everything he can to aid the pregnancy process. I on the other hand do shit like not ovulate until CD22 then am depressed (because I didn’t ovulate) and don’t want to get frisky for 5 or 6 days straight. Yeah, bad night. I knew the chances were slim. But I felt so pregnant. This is fucking insane. Obviously, I didn’t test this morning. Frankly, I’d rather not know if it just didn’t work, or if it was another very early m/c. My count is high enough thankyouverymuch.

 

So, I’m laying in bed crying my eyes out because the adoption thing was feeling so dirty and wrong and I wasn’t pregnant and G turns this on:

 

So damn easy to say that life’s so hard
Everybody’s got their share of battle scars
As for me I’d like to thank my lucky stars that
I’m alive and well

It’d be easy to add up all the pain
And all the dreams you’ve sat and watch go up in flames
Dwell on the wreckage as it smolders in the rain
But not me… I’m alive

And today you know that’s good enough for me
Breathing in and out’s a blessing can’t you see
Today’s the first day of the rest of my life
And I’m alive and well
I’m alive and well

Stars are dancin’ on the water here tonight
It’s good for the soul when there’s not a soul in sight
This motor’s caught its wind and brought me back to life
Now I’m alive and well

And today you know that’s good enough for me
Breathing in and out’s a blessing can’t you see
Today’s the first day of the rest of my life
Now I’m alive and well
Yeah I’m alive and well

 

And, all I could think was it’s not good enough for me. I don’t want to be alive if it’s going to keep going like this. I know he meant it to comfort me (I heart Dave Matthews), but it really just made me feel very alone and not understood. I know there are people in the world who have it worse than I do. I know there are heartaches and atrocities in the world that are just unimaginable to me. But that doesn’t make my heartache feel any less important to me. It doesn’t comfort me to know that someone else has it worse. It just makes me feel worse that so many people are suffering. It also doesn’t comfort me to feel like our dreams being shattered are less important to him.

 

So, today, I’m depressed, with no answers, no action plan, no direction. Why is it not Saturday? Why did the work elves not come last night? Why am I spending another day crying into my tea at work?

 

Maybe you can trick your body… October 24, 2009

Filed under: Adoption,Infertility — arminta @ 11:48 am

Before I get started, no, I don’t believe that is at all possible to trick yourself into getting pregnant by starting adoption proceedings. That said…

 

I actually mustered up the balls to call, and speak to two adoption agencies yesterday. One was the for profit baby seller in the town where my sister live (hippieville) and the other was the non-profit helping children in need agency that I could walk to and back before you finish reading this post. I scheduled an appt to meet with the close one. I did this because regardless of “symptoms” that I’m experiencing this cycle (as I do MOST cycles, as we all do most cycles, because we’re crazy and we’re programmed to find a way to be pregnant, science be damned) I’ve pretty much decided this is a failed effort and we’re going to adopt.

 

I’ve become more clear on this decision. That at least we’re going to give this option a fair shake. That we’re going to meet some agencies, we’re going to see how well this fits us for real. Not from Google, not from what I think, but for real, by talking to people who have been there. Each day this decision feels more clear and comfortable than the day before. It’s really starting to feel less like a last resort and more like an option, a chance, hope (bitch!). Each day I’ve been letting go of this cycle and future cycles little by little. As a matter of fact this morning I woke up, took my temp, logged it into FerilityFriend (old habits die-hard) and didn’t even look at the pregnancy predictometer. But, I did look to see when to expect my period, which is new in and of itself, because I wasn’t checking my test date, but my expected AF date. It’s tomorrow, BTW.

 

But, I scrolled too far using my laptops scrolly on the touch pad. I scrolled to an area I wasn’t intending to check and I saw this:

Implantation Signs

 

Just in case your eyesight sucks as badly as mine it says: Implantation Signs: Possibly Triphasic on Day 27.

 

I have only charted for two of my pregnancies.  Until today those are the only two  pre=”two “>triphasic charts that I have. My BBT was 98.62 today.

 

Obviously, this is conclusive evidence of nothing. I’m not testing until Thursday (which happens to be the day before my appt with the adoption agency). So we know nothing for sure.

 

If that test comes back positive, though, my theory is this… The fertilized, free-floating zygote heard me tell G I was going to call the agency. I think fertilized, free-floating zygotes have a type of instinct that if they hear the word adoption they implant immediately. LOL

 

The Adoption Talk (dunh, dunh, dunh…..) October 19, 2009

Filed under: Adoption,Marriage — arminta @ 9:07 am

I keep saying things like “I’m not ready to talk about adoption” and “I’m not ready to give up on me.” But, I keep DOING things like talking to my husband about adoption. This time it was spurred by a tv show. It’s a show about open adoption on WE. I stayed up half the night on Saturday watching it. The episode that first caught my attention was an older (late 40’s to possibly early 50’s… OK, I think they were well into their 50’s these people looked older than my parents) couple who had dealt with female factor infertility, failed fertility treatments (IVF) and had waited for an adoption match for nearly 20 years. Then, they finally got matched, and a year later the same birth mother was pregnant and wanting to place with them again.

 

There were several things I took away from this story. I first related with the adoptive couple. I wanted to see how the husband bonded with the baby since it wasn’t his fault that they had to adopt. I wanted to see how people who were older than some grandparents handled being parents. That whole dynamic sucked me right in. If things don’t go right, we could become those people. Turns out, these people were thrilled for both babies even at their ages, and the husband was a great father. They even made jokes about how their being so old was turning out to be a good thing because they had so much more time to focus on the babies. So, all’s well for them.

 

The flip side to me was the birth mother, though. My biggest hang up with adoption is simply that I’ve given up so much of my dream. I wanted to be pregnant, I wanted to breast feed, I wanted that deep physical connection with my child. Adoption already feels like giving up on that dream. Maybe at some point if we pursue that path, it won’t, but right now, it does. So, with that feeling of compromise, comes that further complication of open adoption which is allowing the birth mother some level of involvement. Or, as my mind reads it “sharing the baby.” Which to me feels like just too much. Isn’t it enough to have to become a mother through a route that shatters that initial physical bond? No, now you have to share the baby, too. (Yes, I am a selfish pig.)

 

Anyway, I’m watching with this anti-sharing lens, and I’m wanting to see how this birth mother reacts to placing the second baby, but also to seeing the first baby again. I’m wanting to see how everyone reacts to being together. I’m wanting to see if there is resentment in either woman’s eyes. Because, that’s how I think I would feel. Because, that’s how I would expect the woman who has handed over two children to feel.

 

But there was no resentment. No bitterness. Yes, there was sadness. There was regret at being unable to care for the children. There was an acknowledgement of missing the children and wishing she could care for them. There was a cautiousness when handling the new baby because the papers weren’t signed, yet. There was a sense of pride in the baby that they had raised and was theirs. There was a 18 month old baby who was oblivious to any of this, was happy as a clam and only knew one Mommy. Even beyond all of that, there was love. Every single person in the room seemed to love each other. The adoptive mother hugged the birth mother before even trying to hold the new baby. They had a bond and a love that was so strong, when this woman became pregnant again she chose the same home for the second baby.

 

It rocked my world.

 

The reality of their story was such the opposite of what I expected. It gave me hope. It opened my eyes in new way to adoption.

 

So, I talked to G about it. We had always only considered foreign or county adoption because of the closed nature. Because of the fear that it could all go wrong. But with this new hope, we discussed the possibility of considering open adoption. (Yes, we did just move 2 blocks away from an adoption agency. Yes we are oblivious to signs that smack us round the head every day.) His big fear is the same as mine, we’ll get invested and attached and the birth mother will change here mind. We’ll end up getting hurt again. So, we discussed it and decided that we’re almost certain to be let down by my body again (my track record is pretty bad). Even if we do go on to have biological child, we’re ready now, and my body isn’t. So, we’re going to take a meeting at the agency that is walking distance from our house.

 

We’re finally open to adoption.

 

The Adoption Talk July 21, 2009

Filed under: Adoption — arminta @ 8:21 pm

This weekend was long and busy. Longer and busier than normal. We moved some furniture (some even to our house, yay!), we re-painted the trim at the old house, we worked on my Mom’s yard, and watched my nephews all the while. So, where in all of that did we have time for “the talk?”

That would be over breakfast on Saturday.

We were sat near not one, not two, but four families with small children. One was a big extended family situation with cousins and whatnot. Great… So, I can’t exactly tell the server “Please move us, we can’t stand to be near children. Not because we hate them, see, but because we’re barren and it rips giant holes in our souls whenever we have to be near any except those dearest to our hearts, and actually that hurts sometimes, too.” Well, I could, but let’s face it, she wouldn’t have gotten it and G would have made me leave after such a gaffe. So, we sat near the family-thon and ate our breakfast quietly and quickly trying to get it over with as soon as possible. At least that’s what I was doing.

Apparently, G was mulling over how to best broach the subject of adoption.

** Disclaimer ** Adoption is wonderful. It’s a beautiful way to make a family, if you are in a place where it’s right for you. I always assumed that I would adopt, in fact. I have even seriously met with a foreign adoption agency and were my BMI lower and I didn’t have RA and I were older, might be the mother of a Chinese baby girl right now. Obviously, that didn’t work out and I have gone down different roads in the meantime.

Where was I? Right, adoption. So, I’m eating my potato pancakes and wishing that the restaurant would burn down around me, and take me with it, when G blurts out “Are we going to talk about adoption?” I realize now that it wasn’t quite that out of the blue, we had actually been talking about one of my co-workers adopted children who had spent the day in my office on Friday, but I hadn’t really been paying attention to what we were talking about.

In a nutshell, he’s afraid of another miscarriage for several reasons, not the least of which being the toll it’s taken on me this time. He’s afraid of spending too much time and money on treatments that may not pan out. Let’s face it, I got pregnant on two rounds of Clomid. Getting me knocked up didn’t turn out to be such a challenge once they got me ovulating. If we try again, I’ll get pregnant again, and if I get pregnant again, it will probably end the same as the last five. That scares him. It scares me, too, but I think it’s in a different way. So, he wants to talk to the adoption agency that’s literally within walking distance of the new house. (Talk about signs.)

Two years ago, I’d have been all over that. Now… not so much. It feels like giving up. It feels like second place. It feels like runner up. I don’t want just any baby. I want MY baby. I want G’s baby. I want to feel kicking inside of me. I want to feel labor. As much as I abhor anything near my nipples, I want to experience nursing. I always thought that I’d experience these things, then, when my kids were becoming teenagers, I’d adopt more kids. Then they wouldn’t be runners up, they’d be the second wind. They’d be blessings to the whole family. But, I have to face that I may never have MY baby. I may never have G’s baby. I may never feel the kicking or the nursing. I may never know that brand of joy. Facing that reality has soured me on adoption as well.

It’s really not as selfish as it sounds, or at least it’s not meant to be. It’s just that giving up on a biological child is giving up on a whole life I had hoped for and dreamed of since childhood. I’m just not sure that I’m ready to give up on it just yet. It’s still what I want more than anything, but I’m getting to the age that I may not get it. I’m just not ready to face that. I’m also not ready to face permanent childlessness. But, that seems less of a selling of my dream than adoption right now.

All of that said… you can bet your ass if a pregnant woman came to me tomorrow saying that she wanted me to adopt her child when it was born there would be no hesitation in my saying yes.

Why does this have to be so fucking hard? Seriously? I need some rest.