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

Monday, April 25, 2011

a working mom??

We have always planned for me to be a SAHM and I have been fortunate enough to be able to do so. However, I enjoyed working. I liked having a schedule and a reason to get dressed up each day. I love being a mommy even more though! This year has not been the best one for us financially and we have discussed whether I should return to work. At this time we are trying to find ways to save money and me remain at home. I have also found a job that allows me a lot of flexibility. I am a sub for an in home daycare. It is an as needed basis and perfect for me. I have 10+ years of childcare experience and enjoy working with littles. Even so, I would not want to do it full time again at this time. But subbing is different. The pay is better, I can say no, and I can take Maddie with me. All things that I love!

Tomorrow is my first day and it will be 5-10 hours. The woman has jury duty so there is no telling when she will return home and one of the children will be hers so I have to wait for her or her husband to get home. I am really looking forward to working tomorrow. I will admit that getting my stuff ready as well as Maddie's has been a lot of work and I have a new appreciation for working moms. I am enough work to get ready, but getting a baby ready too?? Sheesh! I can say that full time employment is most likely NOT in my near future! I like my lazy mornings too much!! Let's hope I can handle be a working mom even if it is for only one day!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Compelled to Tell

I have always been very open with our struggle to have a baby. I am not sure why, but in part it is because I hate the shame associated with it all. Now, I don't tell everyone mind you. It's not like I inform the cashier at the grocery store that my fallopian tubes are defunct or anything. But when asked if we have children or if Maddie is our first baby I do share a bit. I usually answer that Maddie is our first and is our miracle baby. I will leave it at that unless they ask. This is my way of allowing others to not only learn about infertility but to share their struggles as well. Nine times out of ten the person will either ask about our struggle, share their own struggles or mention a friend or family member that has experienced infertility. I have even been asked for advice on how they can show their support to someone that is struggling. I feel that by being open I am doing my part to remove the shame of infertility.

Even with my level of openness I do realize that it is not for everyone. I have a good friend in the middle of her first IVF cycle and she has told no one but hubby and I and her parents. And her parents only out of necessity. This works for her and is where she is at in her life right now. I support that!! But I do sense the shame that she feels and think that is the reason for her hesitation. That is the part that hurts me. It hurts me for her. Diabetics to not live in shame. Cancer patients are not looked down upon. Why then is infertility different? Why is it that people will sympathize if I say that I have endometriosis but not have compassion on the infertility part? Why is a man emasculated for having sperm issues but made to feel macho if he gets a woman pregnant after a one night stand? Why does society place such an importance procreation? And it is not just procreation, but the ABILITY to do so? If you CHOOSE not to have children then that is fine, but the inability to have them is perceived differently. Why is that? I think that it is because that we, infertiles, have allowed it to be this way. I have come to realize that our country is a long way from understanding infertility and the emotional toll that it takes. I also realize that there is little that I can do about it. But the little that I do and the little that you do will add up to a lot. Maybe when Maddie is an adult infertility will be viewed differently. I pray that she never experiences what I have gone through, but if she does, I pray that she has the support of those around her to get her through it.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Hello! Nice to meet you!

Yesterday was the first day of April's ICLW (see link on the right. Or is it the left?? It's there somewhere!) For those new to my blog let me tell ya a bit about me.

*I am not a newbie, but an infertile veteran. Hubby and I began ttc way back in the 90's. It was 1998 to be exact.

*We have so many things wrong with our reproductive organs that I don't even know where to start. A brief summary is no spermies, blocked tube, damaged ovary (on the side with the good tube...go figure!), endo, and mild PCOS. At least I still had a uterus or I would really be up a creek!

*We tried the adoption route first. Twice in fact. We are one of the horror stories that you hear about. Both fell through, one after we had the baby for 3 months. But even though it was not a good experience I am still a strong supporter of adoption. Just not for me.

*We did 4 IUIs with donor sperm. I de-fertilzed that man as well. The counts were high in the lab but once they thawed it the counts were low. Really??? We combined 2 vials and still no go. I even got a nice uterine infection too. I am one of those "if it can go wrong it will go wrong" kinda people.

*We had one last hope and it was embryo adoption. Wish I had heard of it years ago!!! The story is long but truly amazing! We did one FET and were so fortunate to get a BFP and last year we had the cutest little girl ever. And I mean ever!!! You just wanna gobble her up!!

*Though we are on the "other side" of infertility we still consider ourselves "infertiles". The pain is still there. The uncertainty as well. We want another baby but we have to go through the whole process again. No surprises for us!

The last 12 years were long, difficult and filled with pain. But they were good years as well. We grew as a couple and are still crazy in love. We have a strong relationship and are best friends. Infertility strengthened our relationship. I learned a lot through the journey. Though I admit, I still hate infertility. I have just learned to live with it better.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

six years have gone by....

Since I said good-bye to Abbie. For those unfamiliar with the story we were in the process of trying to adopt a baby girl, Abbie. We brought her home from the hospital when she was but 3 days old. She was a tiny thing at 6lb, 12oz. We loved her immediately, though I kept my heart reigned in a bit as the situation was tentative at best. (loooooong story!). This was January 2005 and on April 16th of that same year we drove 2 hours away to hand her over to a different family. One that would care for her until her mother was released from prison (7 years left on sentence, released when Abbie was 2 1/2). Handing her over, saying good-bye....it was one of the hardest things that I have ever done. Something that I never want to do again. We were able to visit her one last time that August when she was 8 months old. Now that Maddie is 8 months old I see similarities in them, things that they both do. What I remember most about that last visit was that Abbie came right to me, no hesitations. That was what I feared the most, that she would be afraid of me. But she wasn't. She even gave us both hugs and kisses. It is a memory that I will always treasure.

Though it was a difficult day to remember, Maddie eased some of that pain. It will never be completely gone but each year it gets less and less. Saturday I was not ready to talk about her but today I felt the need to acknowledge her and the day that she left us. I miss you and love you, little Abbie!!!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Bad blogger!!

I don't know what has gotten into me, but I have become such a bad blogger! It's not like I don't have anything to say, cuz I do. As I lay in bed at night I think of awesome things to post. They are brilliant, really. But then I get up 2-3 times a night and my brain turns to mush and all intelligent thought flies outta my head. I had a great post brewing the other night and for the life of me I can't remember what it was about.

I guess that I will give a bit of an update. Maddie is going to be 8 months old in just over a week. Time sure does fly! She is now crawling and pulling herself up on everything. She will be walking in no time!! She is just under 19 lbs though she would be more had she not lost 7 oz when she had RSV. She is almost 29 inches which is off the charts for height. This kid is gonna be tall! The donor father is 6'4" so she may be really tall. Because of her height she is in 12-18 month clothing and I was so not prepared for that! I thought that she would be in 6-9 month clothes so we are running low on spring clothes right now. I am picking things up here and there but hate to buy too much since summer will be here very soon. Hopefully yard sales will start soon and I can get this nekkid kid some clothes!

Maddie also has her 6th, yes 6th, ear infection. She is scheduled for surgery to have tubes put in next Friday. I am super excited!! I am so tired of her being sick and on antibiotics. I am sure that she hates it as well.

I think that about sums everything up. Hopefully I will get better at keeping up with my blog. I will try. Promise!!!

Monday, April 11, 2011

yeah, these are awesome!!!


A friend of mine is getting ready for her first IVF cycle. She is nervous and stressed right now thinking about it. Originally I had planned on making her an IVF survival kit but her cycle is coming up faster than she thought it would and I don't have time. I really wanted to get her something fun and to show her some support so I found these. They are cowgirl boot socks! You know, since her feet will be in stirrups!!! I love the idea! And I hope that each time she wears them it brings a smile to her face, lightening a stressful moment.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

PETA, are you kidding me???

Today I read on a few blogs that PETA had launched a campaign in honor of NIAW (National Infertility Awareness Week). My first thought was "Great! Recognition is good.". How wrong I was!!! PETA's way of "honoring" and recognizing infertility is to give away a vasectomy to a fertile. Really?? I thought for sure that this must be a joke. There is NO WAY that anyone could be so heartless and cruel to do something like this. Apparently they are just that insensitive. They are trying to discourage overpopulation. Now don't get me wrong, I think that vasectomies are a great option for a man that is done having children. I also agree that if you are unable to care for more children or are having unprotected sex then it is the responsible thing to do. I support them wanting to give away a free vasectomy. But to do it under the guise of recognizing NIAW? That is just wrong on so many levels!

I wonder what they are trying to say? That infertility is God's way of preventing overpopulation? I really don't know what they are possibly trying to say with this disgusting campaign. Whatever they are trying to say or do it is not working. And if I didn't like PETA before I really dislike them now.

Friday, April 1, 2011

"So, are you are the biological mother?"

Maddie had an appointment with an ENT this past week. She has had 5 ear infections is less then 4 months. This means that she has been on antibiotics a total of 50 days in 4 months. That is insane! We barely get a week between stopping antibiotics and her next infection. And yes, the antibiotics are working because her follow up appointments show no infection. And then BAM, she gets another one. Before this last one I had scheduled her to see my chiropractor and still plan on taking her, but at this rate I don't feel that we have many options. She is getting tubes on the 22nd. I had really wanted to avoid surgery but I feel that to wait is putting her health at risk. I do not want to risk her hearing by delaying surgery. Also, I hate for her to be on antibiotics so often. She currently has a nasty yeast infection from this latest round. We are still going to see the chiropractor and if we see an improvement we may delay the surgery, but I doubt that we can avoid it altogether.

While at the appointment they were asking about a family medical history. This has come up once before when she saw the neurologist and I have to remind myself that her and I do not share a medical history. I explained to the nurse that she was a result of a donated embryo and gave her what medical history I knew. This gave the nurse pause. She had to fill in whether I was the biological mother and did not know how to answer. She asked a few more questions and decided to put me as the bio mom.

Later another nurse was setting up the surgery and she mentioned several times how Maddie looked just like me. I laughed and said "Ironic, isn't it?" thinking that she was amazed by the resemblance because she had read on the chart that Maddie was a product of EA. This was not on the chart so she was confused by my comment so I had to explain. I say "had to" but really I mean "got to" as I love sharing Maddie's story. I am happy to give infertility a voice and to introduce people to the concept of EA. Though EA has gotten more exposure and is not completely unheard of, it is still one of those sci-fi sounding procedures to most people. The nurse was curious and asked some questions and congratulated me on my little miracle. I love opportunities like this! I am always happy to share with others that show a genuine interest. I have had several people ask for contact info for either myself or for clinics or have asked for websites about EA wanting to pass it along to someone or because they themselves are interested in pursuing EA.

Though I enjoy telling Maddie's story I do wonder if that will change as Maddie gets older. I don't want her defined by her conception, but I also don't want her ashamed. As much as I want to educate people about EA and infertility I don't want to do so at my daughter's expense. I do know that had we used donor egg or donor sperm I would not be nearly as quick to share. Not because of shame as I would have none, but those options are much more common in that people know about it and understand it. EA is different and still confuses some. Navigating the land of EA brings questions and situations that I just don't know the answer to. So I ask you all, what do you think? Should there come a time that I not be so free with telling people? Or should I still discuss it but maybe not in front of Maddie once she begins to understand? I still have a few years before she understands anything at all about this, but I like to be prepared.