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

Friday, October 28, 2011

Legal contracts for ED?

Okay bloggy friends, I need some help! For those that have gone the donation route (but not in a clinic program per se) what did you do about legal contracts to transfer the property of the embryos to you and your hubby? A few months ago I was contacted by someone considering donating their embryos to us. They were out of state and we would either have to travel to their clinic or ship them to us. At this time nothing has come of this situation but on the off chance that we do find embryos outside of a clinic program, what do we do? Do we ask the clinics what they require? Contact a lawyer? If using a lawyer what kind of fees are we looking at? I just want to be prepared and I know that this information would be great to have for those considering ED. Thanks!!

If you have answers and are not comfortable answering publicly please email me at agreateryesblog@gmail.com.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Please, let me cry for you.

I was reading tonight on a forum about a woman that is ttc her second child and she has been trying for 3 whole months. Aw! Don't you just want to cry for her?? Her first child took almost a year, but she wasn't really trying then. Most responses were women giving her hugs and lamenting with her that it took then 6 month for baby #3 or 4 months for baby #4. WOW! Then the tears really began to well up thinking of how hard it must be for all of them. **insert eye roll** One poster told her "Hey, it could be worse. It took us 10 years". Good for her!!

Now, before you call me a heartless witch, I am not. Okay, maybe a little when it comes to whiny woman that have no clue just how difficult it can be. Once a woman hits the one year mark my heart goes out to them and I am quick to offer support. Did I wait longer? Yes. Does it make my pain more? No, it doesn't. Infertility is infertility. If you are diagnosed at 6 months or 6 years it still hurts. But if you are not charting or temping at the very least and don't get pregnant after 3 months YOU ARE NOT INFERTILE! Yes, you are allowed to be impatient. Yes, you are allowed to hope that it goes faster. What you are not allowed to do is whine about.

I wanted to post a snarky comment but decided that it would just feed the stereotype of the crazy infertile. So I blogged about it instead!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

It's not always sugar and spice

I love being a girl, usually. I love the frilly clothes, high heeled shoes and designer purses. And though I am no weakling and can do most things myself I am not above using my feminine wiles to get what I want. Though, admittedly, it was much easier to do 10 years and 80 pounds ago! But there is one thing that I hate about being a girl: lady business. There is nothing fun about an annual exam. Nuttin'! Stirrups are uncomfortable, the gowns ugly and the the snoopy looking tool they use.....yikes! Oh, and they weigh you to! Oh the injustices of it all! Yet, it is oddly comforting after not seeing my Ob/gun for almost a year. We used to spend so much time together and now, well, I kinda missed him. I think I missed what going there represented the last time: baby. Pregnancy. Yeah, that is what I missed.

So my appointment went fairly well. I talked to him about my endo symptoms and we are trying birth control again, but this time Nuva Ring. I am really bad about taking daily meds so pills were not for me. Hopefully the NR works and keeps the pain away. While he was checking out my business he said that my left side felt "full" and wants me to have an ultrasound next week. This will be bittersweet as the last time I did this was so see Maddie, not to look for a cyst. What makes it worse is that it is the drink-a-gallon-hold-your-pee one and I hate those! Especially now that they endo has taken over my bladder and I pee myself easily. Fun, fun, fun!!!

I have that done next week and then we discuss what to do if it shows something. I am not opposed to surgery as then he can attack the endo. But I would rather it be nothing. I hate jumping back on this roller coaster again, trying to stay one step ahead of a disease that is determine to annihilate my reproductive organs. But I want to protect my uterus for future bambinos so I will do what I must!

Has anyone used the Nuva Ring? Like it? Hate it? Was it pricey?

Monday, October 24, 2011

I have SPI

Are you wondering what SPI is? A diagnosis of some kind? A 6th sense? A new toy or gadget? Nope! I have Secondary Primary Infertility. We all know what SI is, and we all know what PI is. So what is SPI? It is the combination of the two. I am infertile....again. For the second time. In a way I have SI, but in a way I don't. Most that move onto the SI diagnosis are those that gave birth after conceiving a child whether it be naturally or with intervention. Their own biological child. Which means that the possibility exists to conceive a second child. With those that have to use a donor (embryo, sperm or egg) you do not necessarily fit into this category as their is no chance of having a biological child.

And even those that have conceived a biological child can still fit into this category. All of the emotions and struggles associated with PI are still there, the difference is you now have a child to help ease that pain. I am glad for it, really I am! But I still wonder where I fit in. I am still infertile yet some infertiles feel like they no longer relate to me because I have moved on. And fertiles want to forget that we ever struggled. But I will never forget it, nor do I want to. To forget negates the journey. My child is a miracle made even more special because of all that we went through to get her. Do I want to remember the pain? No, not really. But that pain reminds me to pray for all of those still waiting. It also reminds me just how special my daughter is, especially when she is trashing my house and smashing crackers into the carpet.

I think that it is these feelings of displacement that makes me love the online IF community. You all "get" it. And even if you don't you still support those that are struggling. And as I go through round 2 of IF I am thankful to have all of you!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Um, no, I don't steal kids

Most of us have seen the news about the missing baby in KC, MO. I know that we are all touched by this story, worried for this little baby. I was recently talking to someone about it, discussing what we think happened. The other person stated that they hoped it was some childless couple that took her. Now, I will admit to seeing a baby left unattended in a shopping cart and thought about how easy it would be to snatch them. Most honest infertiles have thought this. Never seriously, just a fleeting thought. And had Lisa been taken from a grocery store or out of her front yard, maybe that could be said. But what we never, ever think about doing is plotting and planning to break into someone's home in the middle of the night to steal someone's child. That is what a crazy person does, infertility just being the catalyst to their actions. They were sick before infertility, not the other way around.

The media has done a great job perpetrating this image of the crazy infertile. I understand that the normal, average infertile crying herself to sleep at night, or looking longingly at a newborn while trying to stifle tears does not a made for TV movie make. I get that. Boring! People want to see a wild eyed psycho infertile woman lying in wait to steal your child. She will slice your throat and rip your fetus right out of your womb. Now that is Lifetime worthy! But it is realistic? No! Does it happen? Yeah, it does. But the women that do this have problems so much deeper than infertility. Parents abuse their kids everyday but we don't assume all parents hurt their kids. Men murder their whole family but we do not assume that all will do this. So why do people make infertiles out to be the boogeyman?? Hey, maybe I should make and market the Crazy Infertile Halloween costume! Comes with a fake baby bump and machete.

So to all of you fertiles, it is okay. You don't have to fear us. We won't hurt you or your little one. Hey, what is that over there? Look!! (snatches baby and runs.......)

It worked! It worked!!

Just a quick update on the cloth diaper stinkies: The aquarium ammonia remover WORKED!! Last night I used 2 different hemp liners and a Flip microfiber insert (all of which were really bad) and nothing. Nada! No burn your nose hair stinkies, not even up close and personal. WOOT!

Friday, October 21, 2011

It's that time of the month again!

No, not THAT time, but that time. ICLW time! For those of you that are scratching your heads, wondering what ICLW is, there is a link to the right. Click it. Go ahead. You know you wanna! It will take you to a place that explains it all better than I can.

For those stopping by from ICLW, welcome! Nice to meet you! I am Jess. I am also an infertile that also has a child now through the miracle of embryo adoption/donation. It took us 12 long years to have this little bit and we couldn't be happier. We just love her to pieces! But even though we have her now we are still infertiles. We will always be infertiles. And I am okay with that. We have been here so long I wouldn't know what to do with myself if I started popping out kids like a PEZ dispenser.

Currently we are not ttc, but hope to start again next year. But we have to start from scratch as our previous clinic closed. We are open to to whatever God has for us and pray that He will lead us to the right embryos. If that means travel to another clinic, great! Miracle's Waiting, we will take it. From a fellow blogger, sure! Wherever this journey takes us we will go! I just hope that it doesn't take another 12 years.

So if you wanna follow our journey, stick around. If you just find me interesting, I would love to have you too! Just click on that little follow tab at the top. And if you follow me, I follow you. Cause I am awesome like that!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

cloth diapers STINK!

I mean as in smell, not that I don't like cloth diapering. But as much as I love cloth, there are definitely some negatives. One of which is ammonia. (the other is changing every two hours, but that is just because I am lazy ;-). Recently I changed Maddie's morning diaper and whoa! Holy singed nose hairs, people! The ammonia smell seriously burned my nose and throat. And her tiny little bum. I have had the diaper pail smell of ammonia but never the actual diaper. And once it starts it does not get better. All of her microfiber and hemp inserts began to reek to high heaven. Some of the diapers did as well. I could handle the smell but not it burning her bum. That was unacceptable! So I stripped them with Dawn dish soap, tried vinegar, washed in bleach a few times, rinsed a ton, and nothing was helping. I went to the CD store near me to get something and the product they had there was almost $20. I chose CDs to save money and to pay $20 for something that may or may not work was not going to happen. So I asked one of the workers their opinion and she was awesome!! She told me that the pet store would have what I needed for a fraction of the cost. Apparently ammonia remover for aquariums have the same ingredients as the CD stuff. Hmph! Who knew?

So for less than $4 I bought some ammonia remover from Wally World and gave it a try. I soaked all of my dipes and inserts in hot water and 2 tabs of ammonia remover (some are liquid but mine were tablets). I soaked for about 4-5 hours and then did 2 cold rinses, one regular wash cycle and two more rinses just to make sure I got them good and clean. When I pulled them out of the washer I immediately noticed that they smelled like, well......nothing. No stinkies. No ammonia. Nothing!! So far so good!! They are drying right now and I will try a diaper tonight to see how things go.

So, for those that are CDing be prepared for ammonia. It can happen at any time. Some never get the yucky smell, but most do. I went 12 months before it happened to me. Others it happens within a few months. I am not really sure why is happens (I have read several opinions, but nothing conclusive yet. I am leaning towards bacteria in the dipes causing it, but not certain). If you find that your diapers start to burn your nose hairs head out to your local Wally World or pet store and get you some ammonia remover for aquariums. Your nose and baby's bum will thank you for it!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Ovary? Or no ovary?

In 2005 I had my 2nd laparoscopy to look for endo (first one in 1999 showed none, but that doc may have been an idiot). During this surgery my doc found endo. Lots and lots of endo. So much so that he did what he could and told me that to clean it up better I would need a laparotomy (like a c-scetion but without the joys of a baby). I tried to avoid doing such an invasive surgery but 3 months later I went ahead and had it done. At that time the doc was able to clean most of it up but my left ovary was covered in it and the ovary was adhered to my colon. There was no way to "unstick" it without losing the ovary. My gyn knew how badly we wanted children so he left it. Soon after my symptoms lessened considerably and we went on our merry way, trying 4 IUIs with donor sperm. Well, those were a complete bust!! My left ovary (the "good" one) was the dominant one. Sounds good, right? Well, it would have been except my left tube is blocked. With the magic of clomid we were able to get both ovaries to work at the same time. Still useless as I did not conceive anyway.

Now that I have had Maddie my endo symptoms have returned. With a vengeance! I am going next week for my annual exam and will discuss this with my doc. I am considering another surgery, this time to not only clean up any endo but to remove the left ovary as well. There are two main reasons I want this sucker gone: 1) I have terrible, horrible, no good IBS which is worse when my endo is bad. I am thinking that since the ovary is stuck to my colon that it may be the cause of my increased IBS issues. And 2) I was unable to have a colonoscopy done a few years ago. They were unable to get the scope around the bend. I am wondering if the ovary is the cause of that as well.

My only reason to want to keep this ovary is that it is a super ovary, pooping out eggs like a fertile chicken. Nice, big, healthy looking eggs. If I give it up we may never be able to do IVF. At this time IVF is not a consideration. If we have to spend the money we will do EA again. However, if the law changes and insurance is required to cover infertility in my state will I then consider IVF? Would it be fair to Maddie to now have a biological child? Do I even want to go through a full IVF cycle if it is covered? Or will insurance (if mandated) cover embryo donation? Not so much the legal costs if there are any, but the FET?

I am really unsure of what I should do here! My endo is really taking a toll on me and I need some relief. I am horrible at taking daily meds so taking BCPs is a chore. And I was on them for 4 months and as soon as I stopped the pain was back and worse. So while BCPs keep the pain away, is it really slowing down the endo? What to do? What to do?? Any advice is greatly appreciated!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Baby Makers of the World, UNITE!

Was this a memo sent out recently? I swear that every fertile I knew is pregnant again. Was there a mass email to tell them all to baby dance? Or was there clomid pumped into our water system to assure that they all got pregnant about the same time? Seriously,m this is crazy! I work as a sub for an in home daycare and she told me that she will be needing me more in the months to come as she is 15 weeks pregnant. She has a 10 month old and is still nursing which may hinder some, but not the super fertiles, no! They still get pregnant easily. Must. Be. Nice!

Yes, I have a child. Yes, I am grateful and thankful for her. Yes, I realize that I am fortunate to have even one child while others still wait. Please do not misunderstand, I do get all of this. Yet, it does not change the fact that I cannot have a child whenever I want to. I want another baby. I want to give Maddie a sibling. I want IF to not hurt anymore. But what I want is not my reality. I don't wish IF on anyone. I just wish that IF did not exist so that all of us could have babies when we wanted.

So while all of the fertiles are waddling around I am imagining that they are not pregnant, just fat. It makes me smile! ;-)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Saying goodbye to Sadie

Photobucket My hubby and I got married over 12 years ago. Soon after we found out that we were infertile. To help fill that void we got a furbaby, a Maltese named Dudley. He quickly became my baby. A year later we got him a companion, another Maltese named Sadie. They have been wonderful pups and I have loved having them in my life. A few months ago Dudley had to be put to sleep because he had cancer. I was devastated!! I cried for days and I still tear up from time to time. Now, we are going to say goodbye to Sadie. She is not sick, we just need to rehome her. She is great with Maddie and everything, but she is becoming more work than I can keep up with. As Sadie gets older the more accidents she is having in the house. At night she sleeps with us (will cry and whine if not) and I am so exhausted I pass out so I do not hear her if she needs to go out at night. This means she is having an accident almost every night. Having a toddler running around knowing that my carpet is not sanitary is bothering me. We have had it cleaned but that is not enough for me. I have tried diapers for Sadie and they just don't work. Today Sadie pooped and I did not know it. Maddie got to it before I found it and that was the straw that broke the camel's back. Maddie has to take precedence. I have always been a firm believer that you just don't get rid of a pet because of inconvenience, and you stick it out if you can. But I can't. I just don't have the time or the energy to give Sadie the attention that she deserves. I want her to spend her last years in a loving home, being petted and spoiled. We cannot do that now. So I posted an ad on Craigslist and I think that we have found the perfect home. The woman really, really wants Sadie and emailed me twice. I hope to meet with her this week to see if this is a match. But I won't lie, this is killing me!! Sometimes doing the right thing is not easy!

EA and race

When you are faced with not having biological children you have few options left to consider. One is adoption and now, through the miracle of modern medicine, is embryo adoption/donation. There is also donor sperm and donor egg, though with these you have many, many choices and usually you choose the donor that is most compatible to you and your partner. When you consider adoption and embryo adoption there are so many variables yet few options. There are a lot of children waiting for families in foster care but not nearly as many babies when considering infant adoption, especially domestic. The same is true for EA. So when you start your journey down either path the first thing you usually decide upon is whether you want international or domestic (for adoption); open, semi-open or closed; health (history of families and health needs of baby); and lastly, race. With traditional adoption it is much easier to explain to an Asian child why their dad is AA and their mother caucasian. Though there are obstacles and prejudices, most people understand adoption. But what do you do when both parents are one race and you give birth to a child of a different race? How do you explain that to not only the child, but to other people? With the newness of EA you have to explain IVF, EA and adoption to those that are inquisitive. When we decided to pursue EA race was very important to us, more so that when we were trying to adopt domestically. Race was important for several reasons. The main one being that my hubby travels. A lot! Because of this there would be those that would assume that I had had an affair. With hubby being in the ministry this would have had the potential to harm his testimony. Many people don't understand EA and to some they would assume that I had an affair and then used this "EA story" to cover it up. It may never had happened this way, but we felt it best not to even go there. Another reason is that my family has a few racists. No, I do not let them dictate what I do. No, I would never allow them to say anything in front of me. But the truth is that they would never accept a child of a different race and I would never want a child to feel different or to be hurt by callous, hateful words said my "family". Hubby's family has bi-racial marriages and children and if they lived near us it would have been great, and would help our child understand differences. But alas, they do not. The third reason is that I want my child to be able to share their story if THEY want to, but not to have to every time we go somewhere. People can be stupid and insensitive, saying things that no normal person ever should. We did not want to have to explain that no, they were not adopted in the traditional sense. Not that adoption is "bad" or negative at all, it just does not accurately describe EA. So, for us, race did play an important role. So, for those of you that have done EA or are in the process, how important was race to you? Did it play a factor in the embryos you chose? If you have a child of a different race how are you dealing with the questions? I know that there are many couples beginning the EA process and could benefit from all sides of this discussion. **Please note: any racial slurs or negativity will be deleted!**

Thursday, October 6, 2011

holidays are different now

When we first got married I loved holidays. I love to decorate and entertain. We always had BBQs for the Fourth, Labor Day and Memorial Day. Christmas Eve was at my house and even if we did not host Thanksgiving dinner I would still decorate. And for Christmas I went all out with the decor. All year long I would look for decorations at yard sales and thrift stores, looking for items to add to my stash. I also began Christmas shopping the day after Christmas. I love holidays!!

As the years passed and all of our friends baby after baby it became difficult to host get togethers. There was no place for the kids to really play and though I had some toys there was not a lot for them to do. And I felt out of place in my own home as the moms congregated and talked diapers, feedings and sleep deprivation. Slowly the get togethers stopped. Then it seemed silly to decorate for anything other than Christmas and even that was no longer fun for me. In 2009 I only put up a tree and even that was done sparsely. It held no joy for me.

This year I anticipate the holidays. There is so much joy in my home and I can't wait to decorate and see Maddie enjoy the lights and decorations. But then I feel guilty. I should have enjoyed life a bit more before having a child. My life was a good one. We have a great marriage and a wonderful family. Looking back I should have focused more on Him than what I was missing. This is not to say that I should not have felt sadness, that was part of my life. But it became my focus and I missed out on some wonderful memories.

I can't change the past but I can embrace the now. Now is easier, I will admit it. But there are days when infertility still leaves me sad, especially knowing that Maddie may never have a sibling. But regardless of the future I am going to enjoy this holiday season.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

First time EVER!

If you have followed my blog for any time at all you have read that Maddie has suffered from chronic ear infections. They began in December when she was just 3 months old and by September she had her 12th one. She had tubes back in April and they only helped for a few weeks. The infections came quickly and were separate infections, not just one that was not healing. After her 4th one we called the ENT. Just waiting for that appointment she got her 5th and 6th one. And her 7th right after that as we waited 3 weeks for her surgery date. It was ridiculous!

After her 10th one we scheduled her 2nd surgery. This one was to replace the tubes (ENT thought that the tubes themselves were infected) and to remove her adenoids. And while waiting for this surgery (insurance was being a pain and it took 4 weeks) she got her 11th and 12th infections. Surgery could not come fast enough! On September 19th she had her surgery and we went into "wait and see" mode, praying that this would heal my little one. If it did not work we were unsure of what else to do. We had already seen an allergist and had allergy testing done. We went to a chiropractor and it did not help either. We cut out dairy. That did not help either. We met a little boy in the pre-op area that was there for his 5th set of tubes and if that did not work he had to have his entire ear canal reconstructed. The very thought scared me for Maddie. We were desperate for this surgery to work!

It has been over three weeks and so far so good. Then on Sunday she woke up with a runny nose. It was not bad, but any time she has a runny nose she inevitably gets an ear infection. Always! By Sunday afternoon she was miserable so we took her to Urgent Care. Though the situation was nowhere near "urgent" I wanted her to be seen by a doctor. If it was an ear infection I wanted medication ASAP. She also has a history of bronchilitis and we wanted to head that off as well. Thankfully both her ears and lungs were clear and we were told to watch her for any changes. By Tuesday her nose was green and really yucky and we were certain that her ears would have drainage as well. Again, nothing! Today she started to cough and we started her breathing treatments. Still, no ear drainage.

This is the first time she has ever had a cold, runny nose, fever, etc without an ear infection. She goes to the doctor tomorrow because her doctor wants to make sure that she does not have an ear infection but so far there are no signs. I am so excited that the surgery may have "fixed" her ear problems!

Monday, October 3, 2011

To tell? Or not to tell?

Maddie's conception story is no secret. We are honored to have welcomed Maddie into our home through the miracle of embryo adoption. Though we do not tell just anyone about it, we do share with those that are close to us and those that have struggled with infertility. I want Maddie to be comfortable with her birth story though not defined by it. As Maddie is getting older we are being more careful in who we tell as we don't want Maddie to grow up cringing every time we talk to someone about it. But we do want her to hear us discuss it openly, without shame. We are just going to be selective in who those people are.

Today I saw a friend that I had not seen in 4 years. She is very well aware of our struggles though she has no idea what all we have done as far as treatments. Though we are not close friends we still feel comfortable enough to discuss this kind of stuff and she asked me is she was a natural miracle or an IVF one. I was stumped for a second, unsure of how to answer. I did not care to tell all, though I did not want to lie either. Technically Maddie is a product of IVF so that is the story that I went with. I refuse to deny that we used fertility treatments. The world in general has some negative ideas about treatments and Christians even more so. If I deny it or omit it I feel as though I am adding to the shame associated with it, therefore I am fine with disclosing that information. But that Maddie is genetically not ours? I am more reluctant now to do so for the aforementioned reasons. The problem today was that I was unprepared.

Now I am trying to decide how I want to answer these inquiries. Anyone that has known us for any length of time knows that we struggled with infertility. It took us 11 years to get pregnant so it is quite obvious!! I am leaning towards going with the "we did IVF" and just leave it at that for people that we know. To everyone else she is just our miracle baby!!

How am I still fat???

I chase this kid all day long! She is Speedy Gonzales constantly searching for some new adventure. Yesterday she was standing in the kitty litter box while splashing toilet water everywhere. Today she unlocked and then opened the dishwasher to stand on the door so that she could reach stuff on the counters. She also stands on the shelves of the lower cabinets. That was just the start of my morning. At about 8 am she had her morning poo and I opened the diaper and used my right hand to grab a baby wipe. It was stuff so I used both hands to pull them apart. Big Mistake! She grabbed her poopy diaper from between her legs and wiped poop all over her shirt, face (nose and mouth included), hair and changing table. I grabbed it and wiped her face first. She then stuck her arm in the poo on the changing table. I wipe her arm and she twists and gets poo on her legs. I just needed to wipe her off enough to carry her to the shower!! I finally get her wiped off then scrub her down in the shower. All before 8 am.

I just cannot, for the life of me, understand how I can possibly still be fat while chasing her all day long! She never rests!! She has three speeds: fast, faster and crash! Barney is the only thing that will distract her (that show is like kiddie crack! she is addicted!). And yes, I will use it to give me five minutes of peace and quiet. Don't judge me!! This chubby chick needs a break sometimes! Besides, Barney music is awesome!!