You are currently browsing the monthly archive for January 2012.

I think we have things pretty much narrowed down to the country we’d like to try to adopt from, and maybe even the agency. It’s between only two or three, but one stands out because they seem to have a better reputation.

The difficult part is that is seems like regardless of which country we look at, there’s some major issue. In Russia, things seem to have slowed, and it’s more difficult to get younger children. Korea is attempting to phase out its international adoption program and puts a limit on the number of children who can be adopted internationally each year. Taiwan is up in the air because of new potential legislation. Ethiopia has slowed and seems uncertain. Other countries have a waiting list that will be likely to result in a wait that’s at least 3 years, but maybe more. I start to feel frantic as I go from website to website, thinking that there must be a country that doesn’t have a waiting list. It’s draining.

So, then I start to look at domestic adoption. International has felt like a better fit for us, but domestic isn’t out of the question. My main concerns with that are cost, and the birth mother changing her mind. One of the agencies we like for international adoption also handles domestic, but the cost is even higher than for international. It’s beyond what we can pay, and I don’t know if their cost is unusually high, but it leaves me unsure what to do and how to proceed. I don’t even totally understand the process, and the idea of a birth mother changer her mind completely freaks me out. It feels like the solution to our infertility is so hard to see sometimes.

The other thing that looms in the back of my mind is the fact that infertility treatment is covered by my insurance. I don’t know if I would really be an ideal candidate right now, because I had the LEEP procedure 6 months ago, but it’s all complicated anyway by the fact that my insurance is extremely slow to pay…like almost a year later kind of slow. On top of that, there’s the whole idea of going down that path…medications, the side effects, failed cycles…It all just leaves me so confused, and even though I feel like adoption is the right option for us, I wonder if I should be giving treatment more thought.

In the middle of trying to figure all this out is the ridiculously high number of pregnancy announcements we’re gotten recently.  I feel bombarded, and it’s wearing me out. I still feel like international adoption is the right path for us, but it’s a little scary, and sometimes it just feels like there’s no end in sight.

There are days where I am so envious of people who have it so easy. I wish I wasn’t, but it’s hard.

 

 

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Adoption is overwhelming!

I am still doing a lot of reading and researching, but we decided it’s coming to a point where we might want to ask for some materials to be sent to us from some agencies. We’re also starting to come up with questions that aren’t answered on the websites for these agencies, so I feel like we are just about ready to need a point of contact for questions. Our plan is to narrow it down to a manageable number of agencies (maybe four), and go from there.

The whole thing, though, is confusing. It seems like rules for international adoptions change all the time, and what’s a good program one year might not be the next. Or, timelines (which are really important to us) and the availability of younger children (also important) are in flux, so making a decision about which agencies to contact is really hard. On top of all that, one agency might work with the X, Y, and Z countries we’re interested in, while another might only work with A and Z. If we end up going with A or Z, it isn’t an issue, but what if it turns out that Y is our best bet? Another thing that makes things difficult is that some websites that aren’t affiliated with a particular agency might state that while country X used to have strong programs, they are currently in decline. If you search long enough, I swear it says that about EVERY country. But, the agency websites aren’t always in agreement. We were initially primarily interested in three countries, but then I read that wait times in one of those countries is now approaching four years. We really don’t want to wait that long because of our age, so we are still looking at the original two and are considering a third that just might end up making sense.

Our plan is to request some info, even though we still aren’t positive this is the route we’re going to take. I hope it leads to more clarity, and not less!

Surprisingly (or not, I guess), this overwhelming information gathering stage of the process has not seemed to make M less interested. He’s still not positive he wants to do it, but it’s a MAJOR decision, and I think that’s normal. Honestly, if he were the one who suggested we look into adoption, I think I would feel the same way. I wonder if I’ll second guess things if/when he’s more on board?

Even though I find the prospect exciting, there’s still a part of me that wishes I was coming at this from a different perspective. I wish that my interest in adoption didn’t have anything to do with the fact that I’m infertile. I wish I could be like other (fertile) women, who decide to try to have children, get pregnant, and have a baby….and who don’t have to figure out how to come up with $30,000 and what agency they should choose to help them have a child. I guess sometimes I just wish it were easier.

I’ve seen a few agencies that have online webinars, so maybe that will help. There’s also an in-person talk offered by one of the agencies near here in February, and I hope we can go to that. It’s just crazy how much there is to learn and figure out!

Thanks for the kind comments…especially after my long hiatus from blogging!

Not much has changed here…we’re (or more accurately, I am) still doing a lot of reading and researching about adoption. I’m reading Adopting: Sound Choices, Strong Families, and I think it’s helping me sort through some of my fears and questions I have about adoption. There are some parts that don’t really resonate with me, but I’ve found other sections helpful. I thought I would identify more with the first part, which talks about infertility, but I felt like it was geared more toward people who are deciding between pursuing additional fertility treatment and adoption. I felt like it was just written with a different type of reader in mind. The sections on entitlement and attachment were great, though, and made me feel more reassured that we could actually do this. I have mixed feelings about some other sections of the book that deal with interracial adoption…we had been leaning toward international (and interracial) adoption, and there were things about interracial adoption in the book that just left me feeling uncomfortable. On one hand, it did bring up issues that I know we have to consider (and are well aware of), but on the other, I think I may just not agree with some of it. I worry, though – am I just being defensive? The author says at one point that a parent who adopts a child of another race should be prepared to move in order to find a neighborhood in which the child will feel most comfortable (in other words, we should be ready to sell our house and move to a neighborhood that is not predominately white…even if that means relocating to another state). That just seems extreme to me! Maybe I am being naive? Overall, I did find the book helpful, and I marked some pages for M to read. It’s a lot more psychoanalytical than I expected, but parts are worthwhile. I’ll post about the next book when it arrives.

I am still feeling pretty good about the whole thing and am still hopeful that we’ll move forward. I am trying to temper my desire to just get started already with the knowledge that we can’t rush these decisions – easier said than done. I’m also resisting the urge to talk about it ALL the time, even though it is on my mind a lot. M is still lagging behind a little bit, and I don’t want to pressure him. He hasn’t become LESS interested since we first talked about it, which I think is a good sign. I feel a mix of excitement and nervousness about it – it’s so exciting and so scary all at the same time!

At the end of December, after dealing with my family’s crisis and being on the receiving end of three pregnancy announcements, I was really starting to think that maybe we were giving up too easily on our quest to have children. My mom and I talked briefly about my inability to have children one night while my dad was in the hospital, and she told me that I should be thankful for what I already have. She said this was something she came to appreciate more deeply in dealing with my dad’s illness. I agree, in some ways, and I feel like I really am thankful for what I already have. I have an amazing husband, a great little dog, and a nice life overall. I am so thankful that I wonder sometimes if I am protecting our short term happiness to the extent that we may be sacrificing a greater, more fulfilling happiness down the road.

I felt like I was on the verge of tears for days after that trip, for a lot of reasons, but one thought that replayed in my mind over and over again was that I was just tired of feeling bad about the fact that we can’t have children. I’m tired of it always being there, in the background, casting a shadow on my life. I keep feeling like the feeling will pass…that accepting our situation would bring me some kind of peace…and sometimes, it does. But it’s the out of the blue times that are the hardest – and the ones that make me question if we are really doing the right thing.

Even though my friend had success with IVF the first time, I still don’t feel like it’s the right path for us. I never have, and I can’t really explain why. I just have this overwhelming feeling that it won’t work for me. Our current circumstances make it even less plausible, and maybe I would feel differently if I were younger, not recovering from cervical dysplasia, and not dealing with a sick parent…but those are the cards we’ve been dealt.

M and I have never really considered adoption…not really for any particular reason, but we just didn’t. Initially, the biological link was important to us, and I think that especially for M, the idea of  a little us was what motivated him to want to be a parent. This combination – no desire to proceed with fertility treatments and no interest in adoption – was what brought us to our path to live childfree. I used to consider it a decision, but looking back, I think it was more of a default than a choice. We didn’t to pursue the two options that were available to us, and we were left with only a sliver of hope and the knowledge that we would probably never be parents.

After a difficult summer and fall (seriously, 2012 has GOT to be a better year), I reconsidered everything. I found myself unexpectedly considering adoption – Why hadn’t we pursued it? Why weren’t we interested? What would that be like for us, for the child, and for our family? Would I feel the same way as if I had a biological child?

I can’t really explain why I didn’t consider it before or why it suddenly seems like a good idea – all I know is that it does. M is easing into the idea, and I am giving him time to really think it over. I still have billions of questions and plenty of fears, but I am cautiously optimistic that this could be our path to having a family.

 

There have been many times since July that I’ve thought about restarting my blog. A lot has happened since then, and it’s made me question a lot about our plans to live without children and how I deal with being infertile, overall.

After I had the L.E.E.P. procedure to remove the abnormal cells from my cervix in July, I felt pretty confident that I wouldn’t want to pursue any additional treatment for infertility – ever. I know the two aren’t entirely related, but I just couldn’t imagine choosing to have anything else going on down there, and I knew that for a while, my cervix wouldn’t even be totally healed. After bleeding and spotting for almost a month, not being able to use tampons, not being able to go swimming, and having all kinds of strange discharge, I really just wanted to have as little going on in that region as was possible. My doctor said that my L.E.E.P. procedure was extensive, and the entire portion she removed contained no normal cells. It seemed like throughout that process, things kept turning out to be worse than expected. She said that because of the lack of normal cells, another procedure was also a possibility. I was scared, but I felt lucky in so many other ways…that it was being treated, that I had health insurance, and that I was otherwise healthy. I actually felt thankful that I had come to terms with my inability to have children, and I thought about how difficult the whole experience would be if that were not the case. Even though cervical dysplasia isn’t linked to infertility, I felt like it was a sign that I really needed to finally give up on the idea of having a child. I felt like I could accept it, and I just wanted to be healthy again.

I wasn’t really recovered (in terms of discharge and comfort) until the middle of August, and I spent the rest of August and September just happy to feel normal again.

October was a crazy month.

  • We closed on a house. It’s in a great neighborhood walking distance from a school, and on a nice day, I can literally hear the children at the school playing outside. I kept thinking what a great house it would be if we had children, but I moved on and made plans for all three bedrooms.
  • I had my follow up exam with my doctor. To everyone’s surprise, my pap came back NORMAL!!! There are probably some abnormal cells still hanging around, and it doesn’t mean I’ll never have this issue again, but this was fantastic news! It was amazing to see my body do what it was supposed to do, and then some!
  • My dad was diagnosed with cancer.

I literally felt like my head was going to explode by the end of the month. I spent November working on the house and talking to my parents almost daily. It was surreal to know that my dad had been diagnosed with cancer, and coming to terms with that was not easy. It was hard being away from my family, but my dad seemed to be doing ok.

Also in November, my good friend got pregnant on her first IVF attempt! I was, and still am, so thrilled for her. Another (infertile) acquaintance got pregnant on a medicated cycle, and I am happy for her, too (although I’ll admit that for some reason, that one did sting a bit). Hearing from both of them started to make me wonder if we were giving up too easily, but all our discussions just ended with a decision to talk about it later.

In December, I got a call from my mom saying that she needed me to come home because my dad had been admitted to the hospital. I flew there the next day, and what I thought would be a long weekend trip lasted until the end of the month. My dad was in the hospital for two and a half weeks and had two major surgeries, in addition to many other procedures. I had to stay strong for my family, which was not always easy. I took time off work, and I left my husband, new house, and dog behind. I was constantly torn between wanting to be home and wanting to be there for them, and I can’t even begin to explain what it was like to see my dad struggling and to see my whole family in turmoil – and to have to be the strong one for everyone else. I’m sure that anyone who has had a seriously ill parent can sympathize, but it was all new and overwhelming for me. I feel like I haven’t even totally processed everything that happened or how I feel about it, now that I’m back home.

I found myself – totally unexpectedly – thinking about our childlessness during the time my dad was in the hospital. It caught me off guard, and at the time, all I knew was that we needed to give it more thought – what our decision meant for us, and whether we were giving up too early. I still can’t explain exactly why or where these feelings came from, but I know they were there. I’m sure it’s something to do with my view of my family, my role in it, and the idea that we could have lost my dad – or that he may not be around as long as we imagined, but these feelings weren’t based in any concrete thought. They were suddenly just there. I decided I was going to talk to M about it again, when I was back home.

Then, one of my best friends – who until this point wasn’t sure she wanted children – told me she was pregnant. She went off the pill and got pregnant right away, and she and her husband were still a little stunned by the whole thing. It was a difficult conversation…I was happy for them, but I just felt so tired – tired of being supportive, and tired of wanting. I held back the tears until later, but it hit me so much harder than any other pregnancy announcement. I wasn’t ready for it, and I was already so worn down from dealing with my family. I felt like the tears were endless, and the feeling lasted for days.

Despite all my attempts to put infertility behind me and move on, I couldn’t help but feel like I was back where I started.

I’ll post an update on what’s happened since then tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

History

2014
May: BFP for baby #2, due January 2015

2013
July: Our daughter is born!

2012
November: Still pregnant. Fingers crossed! EDD 7/5/13
October: retrieval 10/12; 5dt 10/17; BFP!!! 10/25-hcg=70; 10/29-hcg=391
September-October: IVF, microdose lupron flare protocol
June-July-August: approved! dealing with scheduling issues and most likely starting IVF in September
May: waiting for insurance approval to start treatment
April: laparoscopic surgery to remove endometrioma on left ovary; diagnosed with stage 3 endo
March: RE finds cyst - suspects endometrioma; also high FSH, low AMH
February: consult with RE; bloodwork, hsg

2011
January-February: Acupuncture once per week, vitex and natural progesterone after ovulation; back to charting bbt
March-April: end of ttc
May:diagnosed with severe cervical dysplasia (CIN III)
July-August: L.E.E.P. procedure and recovery

2010
December: Start acupuncture
May-November: Not actively trying/on a break/enjoying life
April: Not actively trying, still waiting for insurance coverage for injectables
January-March: still waiting to start injectables

2009
December 09-March 10: On a break while waiting to start injectables
November 2009: 50 mg Clomid CD 5-9; BFN
October 2009: All tests normal; Take 50 mg Clomid CD 5-9; BFN
July 2009: Ob/gyn asks for bbt chart, S/A, CD3 b/w; plan tbd.
April/May 2009: Switch from OPKs to the Clearblue Fertility Monitor
March/April 2009: Start using OPKs and bbt

2007-2008
Sept/Oct 2008: Stop preventing; 'if it happens, it happens'
Summer 2008: Stop BCPs; using bbt chart to prevent pregnancy
May 2007: Married again! husband #2; no plans for children

Previous Life
Fall 2005: Divorced
Summer 2005: See RE; more b/w, clomid challenge test, sonohysterogram; 2 Clomid IUI cycles - BFN; male factor discovered (he now has a child with wife #2)
Spring 2003: See ob/gyn for IF, get b/w and HSG; All results normal; Husband #1 gets S/A, which he says is normal; results never sent to ob/gyn
Spring 2002: Stop BCPs, begin ttc and charting bbt
Oct 2000: Married to husband #1