Our journey through infertility, failed adoptions and now parenthood through the miracle of embryo adoption/donation.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

scarred by infertility

Today was a good day, yet the scars of infertility were present. Some physically, others emotionally. My incision has yet to heal completely. Today it began to bleed a bit. I am on antibiotics and it is getting better, just not finished healing. As I was cleaning it today I noticed all of the scars around it. I have had 3 laps and all have left a mark. Its a good thing my body is not bikini friendly or I would be really upset about these scars. ;)

Today I finished going through baby clothes. I allowed myself to keep one box of items. The rest I will give away or sell. It was so hard saying goodbye to them. Each article of clothing had a memory. Her first Christmas. Birthday outfits. Those worn in professional photos. So many memories!!! I kept those that I want her to have one day and those that I still love in case we have another baby girl next year. I am glad to have this job finished. It was a bit traumatic.

One other thing today that I experienced. I was shaving my legs and Maddie asked to do it too. Typically a mother would say "No, shaving is for mommies.". But I can't say those words. I shaved before I was a mommy. What if I say this to her and she sees someone shaving that is infertile and says something like "Why are you shaving? You're not a mommy.". I know, I am reaching here and most likely this would never happen. But what if it did? I do the same thing when telling her why she can't wear make-up or why she can't cook or drive. Or whatever else she wants to do way before her time. I was hurt by the innocent words of children and the thoughts that my child could accidentally hurt a woman already suffering just pains be. It is crazy how infertility shapes and scars us.

Now on a lighter note, here is a funny from Maddie. This morning she put on a pair of my high heeled shoes and said: "Mommy! Dreams do come true!!". I heart that kid!!!!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Adoption? Donation? What terminology to use?

In my years of blogging about embryo adoption/donation I have encountered many different opinions about the correct terminology to use regarding the process. Most recently I was admonished for using the term "adoption". In the past it has been for using donor vs. placing parent and for use donation over adoption. I am just going to be honest, I don't think that it really matters what words you use. Really, I don't. As long as you are open with your child and love them to pieces, that is all that matters. For me, I go more the way of the donation route. We didn't do a home study, our embryos were from an anonymous donation and we view it similar to that of donor eggs or donor sperm. Do I use the term adoption? Yes, I do. Why? Because people understand it and relate to it. But do I think that adoption is a better term than donation? No. It is all in what you are comfortable with and what best describes your situation. I don't think that Maddie will be scarred because I tell her about how she came to be and use the term "share" instead of "adopt" when referring to embryos. Yet if I use adoption terms to help her understand, that is fine too.

What do you call it? Donation? Adoption? What do you call the donor couple?

And on a side note, where are my followers going?? I lost 3 in the past 48 hours? Did I offend? Am I smelly? Did I bore you??? I promise to be more entertaining and wear deodorant if you return. Maybe. ;)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Oops! My mistake. (post-op appt)

Yesterday was my post-op appointment. The first thing my doctor says is "Good God, you made me work!!". LOL  I knew my surgery was more complicated than my previous ones, but did not realize just how much. When he got in there it was actually not a hydrosalpinx (fluid filled tube) as originally suspected, but a 7-8 cm corpus luteum cyst that was attached to my bowels, tube and ovary. He had to drain it to even begin and then called in a general surgeon to detach it from my bowels. He then removed it, taking part of my tube and part of my ovary as well. He showed me the pics from it and yuck! I so did not need to see that.  This tube has always been blocked and this ovary is attached to my bowels and unable to detach without losing it, so this ovary is "uselss" unless we do IVF. Which we have no plans to do. Yet I felt sad that another part of my reproductive organs had been removed. I already lost part of my other ovary years ago. Now a tube and part of the other ovary? There really is little left. I have always dreamed of getting one of the surprise pregnancies one day. You know, the ones that fertile people get? Yeah, one of those. Like at 49 or something crazy with my luck. But my chances of that happening are slim to none. More none than slim, too. Now it is even slimmer. At least some part of me is slim though, right? Glass half full. ;-)

All in all I am healing well. My incision is starting to get infected so I am on antibiotics for that. We are on track for an August transfer. My OB was glad to hear that as I need the time to heal. Now to continue replenishing the Baby Fund. Another $500 will allow us to not use our savings as all, which would be awesome! I faxed a letter to the airlines for review and should hear back in 5-7 days whether they will waive the $200 fee because I canceled the flight. If they do not waive it then we will need $700 instead of $500. Praying they waive the fee!!!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

My inspiration for telling Maddie's her story

I recently shared that we had begun telling Maddie how she joined our family. You can find that post here.  Many of you commented on the way I told her and I wanted to give credit to the EA momma that originally shared the "tomato baby" story. Below is original post that inspired me. It was her story that encouraged me to start a little garden to have a launch pad for talking about seeds and telling Maddie her story. Our little garden has also been a great way for me and Miss Maddie to bond. She loves taking care of her little tomato babies and gives them a drink every day. I love that we can share this time together and love it even more that it can illustrate the beautiful way she joined our family.

Here is the original story:

I was also struggling with how to tell my daughter (who celebrated her 4th birthday in June) about how she came to be my daughter. The question of "to tell or not to tell" was never a question for my husband and I since our daughter has a tan (native american/hispanic) skin tone and we are light skinned. Hopefully I won't offend anyone by writing this, but I do beleive that we should "tell" our children. As long as a single person besides the mother and father of a child know about the embryo adoption the possibility of the child being "told" at some point is too great to ignore. I feel that it is best if the "telling" is done by the parents in a positive way rather than by "who knows who" in "who knows what" way "who knows when". I know that is probably easier for me to say than for people who have children who like them since there was no question that I would have to "tell" my daughter. The answer of how to tell my daughter presented itself over the summer.

Our family has a "garden" of EarthBox planters on our patio. This year we planted tomatos, corn, and watermelons. Each food had its own EarthBox. My daughter had the best time planting and watering the seeds. She was so excited when they sprouted. She called each of the sprouts "tomato babies", "corn babies" and "watermelon babies". She was thrilled when the babies were "born" (bore fruit). One day when we were picking the tomatos from the tomato EarthBox, my daughter noticed a stringy vine that had grown through and wrapped itself around the tomato plants. At the end of the vine was a single half-open bud. My daughter looked back and forth between the bud and its surrounding tomato plants, then said matter of factly "Mommy, that tomato baby doesn't look like her family." "No, he sure doesn't" I replied. I'll never forget what she did next. She petted the bud gently and then attempted to hug it and said "It's okay little tomato baby , I don't look like my family too. Mommy, why don't tomato baby and me look like our family?" I froze in panic. I'd had four years to come up with a good explanation and still didn't have one. I hugged my daughter (and the "tomato baby")! and told them that I would have to think about how to say it but that I would tell them in the morning. Then I stayed up half night and prayed that the answer would come to me. It did. When my daughter woke up the next morning the first thing out of her mouth was "Did you think about the stuff to tell me and tomato baby?". After breakfast, we went out to the patio. The half-open "tomato baby" bud had bloomed into a single perfect miniature sunflower. "MOMMY !! TOMATO BABY IS SO PRETTY
!!!!". my daughter exclaimed. "AND ,AND, AND, AND, TOMATO BABY ISN'T A TOMATO BABY SHE'S A SUNFLOWER BABY. HOW IS SHE A SUNFLOWER BABY MOMMY?" I asked my daughter to look up above the tomatos and tell me what she saw.
"The birdfeeder"
"and what's inside the birdfeedeer? "
"Yes !!! So why do you think sunflower baby doesn't look like her family?" , I asked.
"Cause we put the tomato seeds in the tomato family EarthBox and they got big and they are tomatos and the sunflower seed went down in the tomato family Earthbox and she grew up and she's a sunflower baby." she answered.
"Yes !!! They look different because they came from different kinds of seeds. So why do you think you look different from your family?" I asked.
After a moment of intense thought she responded "Because you put a tan girl seed in your tummy, Mommy ?"
"Yes, that's exactly right , because I put a tan girl seed in my tummy."..... ......... .

Since then my daughter occasionally volunteers to people, "My mommy is white but I'm tan cause my Mommy wanted to have a girl grow in her tummy but the girl seeds in her tummy wouldn't grow good and the nice people had a pretty tan girl seed and they shared the pretty tan girl seed with my Mommy and the doctor put the seed in Mommy's tummy and I got big and I was born."

I think knowing she came from a "tan girl seed that the nice people shared with Mommy and Daddy" has made my daughter feel comfortable about who she is and how she came to be at a level that is perfect for her age. I don't know if this explanation would work for everyone, but it sure has worked for us !


Friday, June 14, 2013

My next transfer will be........

Today I am a week post-op and doing a lot better. I am still having some discomfort throughout the day and pain if I overdo it, but all in all I feel a lot better. AF is finally gone and that helps too. I spoke to the nurse at the clinic and she said that the RE wants me to wait until I have two full cycles before we begin again. My surgery was more invasive than we thought it would be and I need time to heal. We are also going out of town in July so an August transfer works better for us anyway. This also gives us some time to put a little more money aside for it as well. We have the entire transfer fee in the bank and possibly have the full $350 credit for the flight (still have to fax it for review). But I will still need the $265 for the u/s, about $100 for the rental car and $150-ish for the hotel. I would love to have all of that in the baby fund before August. I am sorting clothes next week for a consignment sale and hope that I make a bit from that to add to it.

So for now it is a waiting game yet again. But I am used to that by now! Aren't we all??

Thursday, June 13, 2013

telling Maddie how she came to be

All kids will ask, "Where do babies come from?". It is a part of life and one that must be explained. For fertiles you have several age appropriate options. You can tell them that the come from mommy's tummy, the hospital, the stork. Take your pic. Even as they get older and you have "the talk" with them it is all pretty straightforward. But what about third party reproduction? How do you explain donor eggs, donor sperm, donor embryos or surrogacy to a child? To someone that doesn't understand the biology of it all? I will tell you, it is not easy. Though I do think that donor embryos will be easier than some of the others, it will still not be easy.

My Madison is going to be 3 years old this summer. She is maturing and talking so much and we have decided that we will talk about her origins now, even though she cannot begin to understand. She looks just like us so she will never question why her hair or eye color or skin color is different than ours. It isn't. She looks just like us. Probably more than a genetic child would have. It is really crazy!! And amazing! So for us we either have to sit down and tell her one day or always make it a part of her life. We will make it "the norm" and start telling her now.

This morning Maddie and I went out to tend to our little patio garden. We have some tomato plants and they have the first tiny, little green tomatoes growing on them. Maddie loves to give them a drink of water, talk to them and kiss them good bye. This morning she mentioned that the pepper plants didn't have any tomato babies and she wanted to share them from the other plant. How perfect of an opportunity to start telling her story!!! So we found one that my niece had picked off and put it over with the pepper plant. I then told her that a nice family shared her with us and we put her in my tummy to grow. Her response? "No. Mommy and daddy make me." I will say that this kind of shocked me!! She has no idea about babies as she isn't not around pregnant women or ask about babies. It was funny that she was so determined that we made her. LOL My stubborn little girl is going to argue this one, I can see. But I have laid the groundwork and will continue to do so. Hopefully she will be more accepting as time goes on.

Friday, June 7, 2013

surgery update

I am home now. The surgery went longer than anticipated and he had to call in a general surgeon as well. He said that my tube looked really bad (and was very swollen) and I am so thankful now for them finding it and being able to have it removed. My tube could have burst and could have been deadly if there was an infection in there. Also, my endometriosis was really bad too and he cleaned that up as well. Thank you for all of the prayers!!!!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Surgery tomorrow (and pics of my counter tops)

Tomorrow is my laparoscopy. I am not really nervous, but really hoping that it is a simple procedure and nothing more is found. I feel like I have been in the vicious cycle of what can go wrong, will go wrong. I could use a break! I had a moment today of fear. I never had it before and this is my 5th or 6th surgery. Something about having a child now makes me think about the actual dangers of going under and not waking up. Today I took a few minutes to write down the info I have on her genetic parents. The clinic has since closed and no one knows what I know (general idea of where they live, occupation, etc). My nurse would give small non identifying tidbits and I remembered every one of them. If I die, that information dies with me. I couldn't live with myself if I took that to my grave and Maddie never had it if she wanted to look for them one day. I know, it is morbid, but I had to do it. She will always know that I loved her as everyone can share that with her. But this was something that no one else could do for her.

Now, onto brighter things! I finished painting my counter tops. I lurve them!!!! Here are photos and instructions if anyone wants to see them: Counter tops

Saturday, June 1, 2013

surgery and other updates

My lap is scheduled for Friday morning at 1:30 on Friday. I have to be there at 11:30 and man, will I be hungry by then! I hate later surgeries! Last time I got a burger on my way home. And it was the best one ever! :) I have everything lined up for it and have Maddie staying with friends that night so that I can rest. She sleeps with us and I don't want to chance her kicking me. I am still waiting to hear whether I will have to pay my deductible with this or not. I assume they will tell me when they call this week. If not, they will spring it on me during registration for surgery. I love how they assume that people will know what exactly what their insurance covers and be prepared to pay $1000 up front like that. I have a fairly good understanding of my insurance (and had to deal with them when I worked) yet I never know what they may or may not count towards my deductible. And without the diagnosis code there is no way for me to find out. So I will cross that bridge when we come to it.

In other news I now have a note from my doctor as to why I was unable to travel last month. I am submitting this to the airline for them to review and consider waiving my $200 rebooking fee. I made  a dozen cupcakes (Pumpkin with whipped cream cheese filling and icing and Banana cupcakes with dulce de leche filling and a brown butter cream cheese filling and a caramelized slice of banana on top.......mmmmm) for my doctor's nurses to butter them up before asking for the letter since I knew they were the ones that would have to actually take care of it. And it worked! I got the letter within 2 hours!!! I will fax it next week and hope for the best!!

So now it is just a matter of time, surgery and healing before we can try again. Until them I am staying busy. Crazy busy actually! This week I am not watching any kids and am tackling some DIY home improvement projects. I am starting with painting my counter tops to look like granite. I currently have hideously ugly mauve counters. I detest them!!!!!!!!!! And have lived with them waaaay too long. I have a lot of counter space and some of them are not standard. To replace them would not be cheap so painting it is. I bought everything last night and will prepare everything this weekend. And take before photos too! Then on Monday it begins. Next will be painting the kitchen walls and replacing the cabinet hardware. Lotsa work but it will be worth it. I hate what is there now!!!