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

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

They chose us!

I called the donor mom yesterday and we spoke for well over an hour. It was amazing! We got along very well and we just "clicked". She told us that two of the embryos are ready for us when we are. I was floored! I thought that we would email for awhile and then they will let us know, not choose us right on the spot. She had been praying for the right family and as we talked she felt that this was "right". All of the families that she is drawn to are in the same state as us which is neat. They have 5 embryos and want either two families, one to take 2 and one to take 3. Or 3 families with 2, 2, and 1. We will be getting two. They are excellent grade embryos and the clinic is giving them an 80% chance of survival so that is great. But am I ready for the responsibility of twins???

I am in total shock over this whole situation. We were not looking for this at all. At least not now. I have no idea what God has in mind right now. Well, I guess THIS is what He has in mind for us. Holy cow! How did this happen?!?!? LOL

Right now we will continue communicating and exchanging photos and information. She is going to send me the contract that they used the first time with the other couple and we will tweak it to fit us. They are open to whatever level of openness we want and I am still struggling with that. If it were not for us having Maddie through an anonymous donation I wouldn't even think twice about it all, but having Maddie changes it a bit for us. I never, ever, ever want Maddie to feel left out and we are going to pray about how to proceed. Currently the two couples exchange Christmas and birthday gifts as well as photos and emails throughout the year. I am fine with emails and photos and even birthday gifts, maybe. But not Christmas. I don't want the new child(ren) to get gifts and Maddie not to. I could ask that Maddie be included but honestly, there are already 4 children of this batch and the potential for 5 more. That is 9 kids to keep up with and I just don't have the time to do all of that. So this area may need to be defined. But other than that everything looks great.

So here we go again! AAAHHHHHHH!!!!!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Maybe a match!

Okay, so when I posted that we were starting to look for clinics I also had a plan. It was to compile a list of clinics that had ED programs along with their prices and approxomate wait times. I would place them all in a file to be brought out when we the house sold and we knew that the money would be coming in a month or two. Then we would contact the clinics and get started. That was my plan. God may have other ideas and I really don't know where this is all going to lead.

Here is what is going on. While searching for clinics I decided to log on to Miracles Waiting. I have an account there but took our profile off in 2009 when we decided to go with a local clinic. Back then I would email donors and rarely received a response. Many ads were either matched or old and outdated. I just thought that I would look over there and see if there was a huge increase in donor profiles or not. There wasn't. But that was okay because remember my plan that I mentioned? I wasn't looking for an open donation. Not that I wouldn't prefer an open donation but anonynous is easier, less expensive (sometimes) and that is what we did with Maddie. So MY plan was anonymous again. But curiousity brought me to MW and I read a few ads. Two were new ones and there was nothing about them that said "Oh, this is perfect" or "wow, their children look just like Maddie and would be a great match" or anything like that. But one kept drawing me and I felt prompted to respond. So I did and thought that I might get a response in a week or two telling me that they were no longer available. Instead I received an immediate response asking for more info. I did and then another email asking me to call on Monday.

The couple have already donated 2 embryos and the recipients live near me. The donor family live out of state but are planning a move near us. Kind of neat! So I will call her this afternoon. I have NO idea what may come of this. It is nowhere near what I was "planning" at all. The timing is wrong, it is not anonymous, and I just didn't plan" for it to happen like this. And it may not. But it might! So now we take it one step at a time and pray! So pray with us please!!!

PS: KellyL I need a link to your blog please! I saw your response to my last post but don't have a link to your blog. Thanks!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Holy Cow! We might be ready!!!


As most of us know finances play such a huge part in an infertile's baby making decisions. It has been our biggest obstacle through the years. It was an amazing act of God that allowed us to do our first FET that gave us Maddie. We have been wanting to try again but financial issues have stopped us in our tracks. A few months ago I thought that maybe we would be ready soon so I started looking for a new clinic with an ED program but after some unexpected medical bills I stopped looking. I felt that it just wasn't the right time. Fast forward to last month.

On December 29th my MIL passed away. Though it was expected it was still difficult. She was 80 years old and had dementia and Alzheimer's. She was one the greatest Christians I have ever known. But in her passing is the possibility of trying for another child. My hubby is one of 5 siblings and their mother's house is to be sold and the proceeds split between them. We heard tonight that one of his brothers is wanting to buy the house and is trying to get a loan. The amount that we receive will not be a whole lot but enough for us to try embryo donation again. I knew that her house would be put on the market soon and that we would receive money after it sold, but it never occurred to me that it could happen so soon! When my hubby told me that the house may sell soon his first thought was to try for another baby. I love that man!!

This is all tentative at this point and honestly I am okay with that. I want it to happen in His timing. Though I will admit that if it happens soon I will be over the moon happy!! So now I need to start researching again. There is no clinic near me with an ED program so we have to start over and most likely travel. Unless someone has some they want to ship to me! ;-) There are a few that I have found that look promising. One is just minutes from hubby's family and that would be great as we can stay with them during the FET. AHHHHHH!!!! I am starting to get excited!!!! AHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

Calling it quits!

My cloth diapering days are over. We have had a good run but it is time to say goodbye. I have been CDing about 75% of the time mainly because I have had trouble with night time leaks. And I use sposies when out and about. Maddie is a heavy wetter and needs changed often and I didn't have the patience to cart around a ton of stuff for just an hour or two of running errands. At home we mainly used cloth though. This past week I have used cloth almost exclusively because I ran out of sposies and wanted to try to switch to just cloth. I hate spending money on sposies, really I do! So I gave it the ole college try. And it broke me.

My main issues are leaks and ammonia. First, the leaks. Maddie has to be changed every 1-2 hours. I know that 2 hours is average, but less becomes very time consuming. If it went past 2 hours her clothing was completely soaked. And even when I changed her ever hour I would still find her clothes wet. I have tried Flips (which gave me about 2-2.5 hours) BG AIO, Kawaii pockets, prefolds and covers, adding hemp liners to all of the above, and a few other types of dipes. Nothing really worked. Maddie just pees all of the time!!! And I know that part of the reason for this is that she still takes a bottle. Yes, I know that she is too old. Yes, I know that I need to break her from it. Believe me, I have tried. Every time that I do something happens that makes it even more difficult (she had strep, then the flu, then I had the flu, then hubby was in the hospital, etc). Hubby being in the hospital really made it a lot worse. While she liked it before she became obsessed with it after that. It became her security blanket. But I digress.....back to diapers......

My other issue is ammonia. I have found that I can get rid of it, but not for long. And the way that I know that it has returned is by not only the smell, but by burns on Maddie's bottom. Usually there is just some redness, but this morning she has a blister. :( I feel awful! She went to bed at 7:30 last night (early for her) and woke up at 2 am ready for the day. I had hoped that she would go back to sleep so I kept everything quiet and didn't change her. She was so fussy and crabby and obviously not going back to sleep so I changed her diaper. Her bottom was so red and sore that she cried when I tried to wipe her off. I cleaned her off and lathered her up with coconut oil and used my last sposie on her. Today I will use the ammonia remover, strip and wash the diapers then I will list them on Craigslist.

I am sad to say goodbye to CDing. I gave up on breastfeeding and regretted it. Now I am giving up on cloth as well. I know that it really is no big deal and that I will be happier with sposies, but I feel like I am a failure. It is weird to feel this way. I think that it goes back to all of the ideals I had while pregnant. Even before that too. When it takes you a bagillion years to get pg you have a lot of time to dream about what kind of mom you are going to be, all of the things you want to do. Breastfeeding and CDing were things that I was so certain were right for us. I still think that breastfeeding was and had I not had a migraine for 8 weeks I probably would have stuck it out, but cloth is so not important. But as moms we want to be "perfect" and in my perfect world I used cloth. Silly, I know. But I will get over it!

So today I say goodbye to my cloth. I will miss the money it saved me and the cute fluffy butt it gave Maddie, but it is time. Bye bye fluff!!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Fertile couples and ED/A

I am a member of baby.center.com and there is an EA board on there. A woman posted on there looking for answers and opinions. She was a very kind woman that has a heart for others. She has 2 children of her own and has no fertility issues at all. She had easy pregnancies and wants more children. So why was she posting there? Because she wanted to help and thought that through EA should could. She and her dh originally wanted to adopt a child through domestic adoption but was shocked to learn that there are so many waiting couples and so few babies available. She had many unkind things said to her by friends and family members stating that she had no right to "take" a baby from a family that had no other way to have one. She was hurt by some of the comments, but saw what they were saying was true in regard to so many waiting families so she began to look elsewhere.

She then heard about the 400,000+ embryos that are currently frozen. She thought that this would be a great way to not only add to her family but a way to help as well. As she began to research she found that while there are many still frozen the majority of them are not available for adoption/donation. She asked if it was really true that couples have to wait for embryos and while we were all very kind we assured her that was a shortage of embryos at this time.

I have heard people use the statistics of how many waiting embryos there are and have asked couples to stand up and help these little snowflakes, give them a chance at life. While I agree with giving them a chance, I disagree with using these statistics so flippantly. A lot of people have a good heart and a desire to help and hearing about so many embryos that may be destroyed if they don't do something about it will prompt many to action. But being that there are not a lot of available embryos this could cause an even greater shortage to those that have no other options to complete their family.

While I would never tell someone that was easily able to have their own children to never adopt an infant or an embryo, I do hope that they do so only because this is how they honestly feel that they should complete their family. If they want to fill a need then maybe adopt an older child or a sibling group. This is the area where there is a great need. This is what I responded to the member on Baby center. I told her that I applauded her for wanting to do help, but that the truth is there are many more waiting couples than there are available embies. And that if this is something that she felt called to do then by all means proceed, but if it was to "help" that maybe another option would be a better choice for her and her family.

The whole idea of using these statistics bothers me as it is misleading. I would hate to see couples consider EA just to "save" the embryos. Maybe there will come a time that there are too many embryos available and too few couples. But until then I hope that fertile couples will not be encouraged to use the limited number that are available at this time just for the sake of helping them.

What are your thoughts on this?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Abortion is not just about the baby

January 22nd marks the anniversary of Roe V Wade. Honestly, I did not now that until I was reading a blog today and it prompted me to look up March For Life. It is a date that I should know. It is a date that changed our nation forever. I think that being infertile makes abortion a sore spot with me. I am pro-life. Always have been. Always will be. If you have read my blog at all you know this. However, I do not support some of the craziness out there. I do support harming abortion workers or doctors. I do not protest clinics or spout hatred to those entering abortion clinics. I am sure that if Jesus were here he would not participate in it either. And while I am pro-life I also support the life of the mother as well. I support a woman having the option to abort if her life is in jeopardy or if she has an ectopic pregnancy. What I do not support is abortion for those that are pregnant as a result of rape or incest. This is where many pro-lifers disagree and today this post is NOT to debate that issue. We can agree to disagree.

I have always been pro-life but once I became infertile I also became......negative towards those that found themselves in the position to need an abortion. I thought, seriously, how do you get pregnant when you don't want to? There are so many free resources out there for contraceptives. Many available in your public schools and even gas station bathrooms. I spouted the "give the baby up for adoption" rhetoric without thought or consideration to the repercussions of the decision. As I got older and and as the pain of infertility changed me I began to see that it was not all black and white. Yes, I believe that abortion is wrong, but no, I no longer believe that those considering it are horrible people. I also realized that, as a Christian, I have not done my part. I do not believe that any woman should be coerced into placing a child for adoption, to parent or to terminate. Yet I think that many of us staunchly PLers come across as though we do not care. We preach "don't abort" yet we provide no help, no resources, no support. It is reprehensible. I am at fault as well and am praying that I can find a way to volunteer in a crisis pregnancy center. I am not sure if I am ready for that, but I am at least willing to pray and consider it. At the very least I can donate baby items for those that do choose to parent and need help.

If you have a moment please stop over and read this blog post A Tragedy All Around . It prompted me to post this as well as challenged me to get involved. It is a very well written post from someone that not only talks about change but does something as well.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

capturing memories

Maddie is at that age where just about everything she does is adorable. The climbing and destruction, not so much. But everything else is. I wish the days came with a pause and slow motion option so that I could make it last longer. Since I can't freeze time I am trying to find creative ways to capture the memories. I will share what I am doing and you can share what you do so I can steal your ideas as well.

*Photos. Obviously! And lots of them.

*Photo books. One for the pregnancy and birth and one for each year.

*Video. Hubby is making a dvd of video clips and photos and we will put the video in the back of her book.

*A baby book.

*Memory book. This is a book I started where I write down funny things that she says and does. This way we can go back through it one day and remember all of the little things that were important to us at the time.

So what do you do?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

week one down!

So this is the end (or close to) of week one of our diet. I must admit, it ain't too bad! We are eating well and never hungry. And I am satisfied and don't feel deprived. This is huge for me as I am usually drooling over food commercials the entire time I diet. And I haven't even had a craving for Pepsi which is just.....wrong. But good. I hope to weigh myself in another week to see if I have lost anything yet. I really need to start taking my thyroid meds again though or it will all be for naught.

Bring on week 2!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

new squishies....I want one!

Yesterday friends of ours welcomed boy/girl twins into the world. I am so incredibly happy for them. Partly because we love them and want them to be happy, but also partly because they struggled a bit. I never want anyone to struggle, but when they do I really rejoice when they do succeed. So far I have not met the new squishy little babies, I have just seen photos. They are soooo adorable!!! I just want to squeeze them! I was supposed to go see them today but I have a nasty cough so I will have to wait. *insert sad face*

Hubby and I were together when we got the text that they were born and saw the photos. We both looked at the photos with such longing. We want another baby. Badly!! It just won't be happening anytime soon. We are hoping for early next year. This could change as his mom (who passed away last month) left us part of her estate which is mainly her house. It will be put up for sale soon and we plan to use some of that to try again. The money will be split between 5 kids so there won't be a whole lot, but enough for another FET. I hope. But we are leaving it in His hands. I will admit that I am praying that it happens sooner rather than later. Though giving up my sleep again is not something that I look forward to.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I cheated

Day one and I caved. I was grocery shopping, armed with my list of healthy foods, when I passed some chocolate covered graham crackers. Not the yucky kind the elves make, but real ones. And they were on clearance from Christmas. Hand dipped chocolate covered graham crackers for cheap....chocolate and a deal....I just couldn't pass them up. In the parking lot I ate one. And then another on my way home. I didn't tell hubby. I am now a closet eater. I hid them in the freezer so he wouldn't see them and so I wouldn't eat the whole bag. I wanted one last night but I was afraid he would catch me. I sound like a crackhead!!! LOL

But other than that I did great. I tried to drink the last of a bottle of soda but with eating everything else healthy it tasted to sweet so I poured it out. I stuck to one coffee and the rest water. It was not too bad. Eating healthy will grow on me. I hope!

Monday, January 9, 2012

D Day

Diet day. Just saying those words makes me die a little inside. Why? Because diets and donuts don't mix. And I like donuts. And Pep.si. And Star.bucks. Anything Starb.ucks. They will have SB in heaven. Did you know that? I am sure that I read that in the Bible somewhere. But SB, donuts and soda will be leaving us today. We have said our goodbyes. They will take their friends fried foods, creamy pastas, and juicy burgers and go on an adventure. I instructed them to find some skinny chick that has trouble gaining weight and attach themselves to her hips. You're welcome.

Hubby and I decided before his brush with death to make 2012 the year we get healthy. To do this we must lose weight. Yes, I wanna be a skinny hot chick, but the journey there sucks! I don't care how many times you say it, carrot sticks are NOT delish! Unless they are smothered in butter with a dash of brown sugar. Now that's good eatin'! We have just begun and I have already started having the shakes. I am watching the cooking channels like it's porn.

I have cleaned out my cabinets and given away all of the yummy goodness. I mean unhealthy death in box. I have my meals planned for the week and healthy foods now grace the pantry. While this is not a fun venture it is a necessary one. Not only do we want more children but we want to live long enough to see them, and Maddie, grown. Thankfully both of us are quite healthy. For now. With us being overweight this could change at any given time. So we are going to do something about it. Not just talk about it, but do it. Diet. I just wish it had a prettier name....

Sunday, January 8, 2012


On a parenting board someone started a thread about what life was like before their kids were born. Everyone posted things like "I pooped in peace" or "I got to sleep in till 8 am" and the like. All nice things, I assure you. When I saw the title of the thread my first thoughts were so far from the ones that they posted. Because mine would have been so....sad....I decided not to respond to the thread at all. But if I had here is what I would have posted:

Life before Maddie was born:

* I cried myself to sleep at least one day a month, the day AF showed up.
* Babies made me sad.
* I would do everything possible to avoid the baby department at the store.
* I slept till 8 am because my house was silent.
* My life revolved around trying to get a baby instead of caring for one.
* I took long showers because they hid the tears.
* My stretch marks were from donuts.
* My life was full of love and laughter but there was something missing.

Reading the responses from the woman made me ever more grateful for the things they find annoying. I hate only getting 5 hours of sleep some nights, really I do. But I love waking up to her smile or her yelling "momma". Sure, I would like to poop in peace, who wouldn't? But an audience is the way to go! Sure, cleaning up a mess only to find 2 more waiting for you is a pain, but I am thankful for the little person making said messes. Because life before was not as fulfilling.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Does this count?


I have been wanting to introduce Maddie to the potty and start potty training this spring. Does this count???

We usually have a gate up to block of the bathroom but to allow the cat access. Maddie and I were gone for the day and hubby forgot to put the gate back up. Maddie went down the hallway and I assumed that she was in her room. How wrong I was! I went to check on her and this is how I found her. Being the good mom that I am I grabbed my camera to capture this moment. Maddie had the audacity to grin and say "cheese". She was quite proud of herself. I was laughing but totally grossed out! I hosed her off and sanitized her after taking her photo. As I was taking her soaked socks off toilet water splashed all over my face. Can you saw eeewwwwwww!?!?!?! It really was nasty!!! But a great photo for her teen years.

Creating embryos for EA?

When most of us think about EA we think about embryos that are sitting in a freezer, waiting for a family to rescue them. This is true.....most of the time. Recently I learned of a clinic that has eggs and sperm available and they use those to create emrbyos for couples wanting to do EA. I know that couples that have both MFI and FFI can choose to find a sperm donor and an egg donor but I was unaware that there was a clinic doing it for the purpose of EA.

This is a new concept to me and I am not really sure how I feel about it. In traditional EA you are taking already created embryos and giving them a chance at life. In this instance they are being created for the purpose of being used by various couples. I am not certain if they just create a batch and then use them with different couples, or if they are created for a specific couple or what. But is this the most ethical choice? Or is it the perfect choice as there is not "donor couple" involved?

When a couple chooses to create embryos from donor eggs and donor sperm I don't even flinch. Never have. But this idea gives me pause even though it is essentially the same thing, just the embryologists and RE's making the choices instead of the couple. Because I am not familiar with this process I am hesitant to form an opinion regarding the practice. So I come to you all. What are your thoughts? Have you heard of this? Would you consider it? Are you familiar with the process? Share your thoughts!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

in the event of my death

Dying is not something that I care to think about. I am not scared of death as I have a place in heaven waiting for me, but I don't like to think about leaving my loved ones behind. It is worse now that Maddie is here. Just the thoughts of leaving her saddens me. But think about it I must. It is the adult and responsible thing to do. Hubby and I have been debating who to choose for Maddie's legal guardian and it has not been easy. His family is all older and most of his siblings have grandchildren so none of them are the best choice. My family is younger but they are not in church and that is important to us. After much prayer we have decided to on friends of ours and they are the perfect choice. It is a relief to have this done.

While talking to our friends about things they asked us what we wanted Maddie to know about her conception. This stopped me in my tracks. If I were to die now her story would die with me. Hubby knows it, but not like I do. He doesn't know all of the details. The thoughts of Maddie not knowing everything is not acceptable to me. She deserves to know how she came to be, how much she was wanted, and the details of her genetic family that we know. So now I will begin writing it all down. I am planning on printing out the relevant blog posts to make into a book for her as well as a letter and all of the details that I know of her genetic family. I want her to always know that she was wanted and loved. I want her to know my heart. My love. Getting it all in writing is the way to do this.

For other EA moms, do you have it in writing? Did you make a book? Anything that you have done that is special? I am always looking for ideas.