Sunday, August 30, 2009

Debates, Labs, Decisions and Love

There has been a major debate raging in my head for the past week, well actually more than one debate, but I will start with the first and see where it goes from there. In writing this blog, I have been very open about who I am and what has gone on during this journey. At the genesis of this little space in the world, I was a dark place where I felt completely alone and there were very few people who were blogging about beginning a surrogacy from the intended parent perspective. At that point this was my story, the end goal was to have another person walking around in the world, but a year and a bit ago that person felt so far away. So distant in fact that I never really let myself think that this was really the story of creating a new life, instead I saw this as a story of creating a mother. I know that this does not make a ton of sense, but little that goes on in my head ever really does. The closer that we get to making this dream of a person a reality, the more I feel that I have less of a right to tell the story to the world.

There is no easy conclusion to this debate. This story belongs to another person just as much as it belongs to me, but the other owner cannot give consent to have the story out in the world. Other bloggers write about their children all the time, and write about parts of their child's life that the child may not want everyone knowing when they are older. The main reason that I came to have this space in the world was that I wanted others to not feel like they were to only ones, to pull the curtain back from surrogacy, and hopefully change at least one person's mind about what this incredible journey was all about. Part of this process is giving information to complete strangers that one day my child may be angry about, but at this point I can say that I am okay with this. Not because I am a cold and heartless person, but because I hope that in telling this story, I am in some small way normalizing surrogacy so that the child may run into one less cruel comment. I know you are reading this and thinking that I have some really high opinion of myself, which could not be farther from the truth. What I do have a high opinion of is people's ability to talk about issues to others and helping others look at a situation from a different side. It is easy to sit in judgment when there is no human face on the other side, it is much harder when a real person is able to tell you what the experience was like for them.

Really, all of this is just a roundabout way of saying that I have some very big news, and have known for about a week, but I have been unable to find the right words to share the information. The clinic in England finally got back to us, saying that they could do the test. We received a timeline of 2 months, which is not great but something that we could live with. Call the clinic and let them know, and this is where the bomb drops, wait for it cause here it comes. Using a lab in another country would require that a lab in the US verify the results. The whole reason that we were going out of the country was because there was no lab that could do the test here! Verification could take anywhere from one to six months. To say that my heart sank into my stomach is an understatement; it dropped clear to my feet.

When we began this process, it was always our intention to use an egg donor. My main priority has always been to ensure that we had the healthiest child possible, and passing on von Willibrand's Disease would not accomplish this goal. Not that using an egg donor guarantees that our child will be the picture of health, but it does increase the odds. The other part of the egg donor decision, is that we have waited and waited for this to happen, put our lives on hold and we were ready to move on. Becoming a mother is way more important to me than seeing my own eyes rolled at me when I embarrass the kid. Yes, I was excited about the possibility of being able to use my eggs, but it was something that I have come to realize that other people wanted more for me than I ever wanted for myself.

The one aspect that has bothered me most in using an egg donor is how to tell the kid. To me, it is a much more difficult conversation than the surrogacy conversation. Children can grasp the "you grew in someone else's tummy" concept much easier than the whole egg donor concept, if for no other reason than having the intellectual capacity to understand the associated concepts. In other words, I do not want to have the BIG talk with a 3 year old. At the same time there is a very limited window of time when they are old enough to understand and when you have waited to the point that they will feel as if we lied or tried to hide something from them. Yes, I know that they are going to feel this way about a million things, but to me this is too big to let them feel this way about. So I am sure that this will be something that will take a lot of debate and cause a lot of worry, but it is also something that I know we will be able to handle.

So, we are moving on and creating our family with the help of 2 extraordinary women. I cannot begin to describe what it feels like to be on the receiving end of such an overwhelming amount of love. Sabrina has been such an amazing woman through all of this, taking on the role of sounding board, cheerleader, comedian, and the definition of patient. The gratitude that I have for her can never fully be expressed, but I will keep trying.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Tick Tock

I have no new news on the genetic testing front. I hope to hear something by Tuesday at the latest. Right now the plan it to wait until then and move on from there.

I just want to thank all of you for the love and support, it has been very overwhelming. I cannot imagine going through all of this without all of you standing behind me. Over the past couple of days, I have been able to really see what is important to me in this whole journey. Yes, the end goal is to have a baby, but there is so much more in this situation. When we first started to look into surrogacy, I had a vision of what this would all look like. We would find a surrogate, do what we needed to do, have a baby, and then there would be a few letters and pictures, but that would be the end of the relationship.

There is no way that I can imagine having that type of relationship now. Not just because Sabrina is someone that I would want to be friends with no matter what, but also because I have realized just how personal this relationship needs to be. Sure, this is my husband and I's child but Sabrina's whole family is involved in this situation. We are the ones waiting, but they are the ones giving up so much to help us end the wait. When I first got the news that we would have to wait to do the transfer, Sabrina was the first person that I called, and I cannot even begin to put into words how much easier she made the whole situation. I was able to see the forest for the trees after talking to her. We are in this together, and this is a partnership like no other. We are all going to make it to the end together, so how could I possibly just walk away after all of this. The answer is that there is no way that I could ever do such a thing.

She does not want to be the mother of our child, she just wants to be a part of our lives as a family, and there is nothing wrong with that. When I got the horrible call, I realized that there are so many people who want to be part of our life as a family, so I can always welcome one more. Just like each person who reads this blog, we are all a part of each other's families. It is an amazing thing to know that as we wait for our child and while we are raising our child, that we will have this amazing support. So thank you all for giving me a safe place to fall, it means more than any of you could ever know. This goes for all my real life friends and family and my blogsphere friends. I only hope that I can be as supportive of all of you as you are of me.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Who Pressed the Delete Key?

Apparently, my body was not weird enough. We finally got the results back from the genetic testing. Instead of just having a simple gene mutation that causes most von Willebrand's disease, mine is caused by multiple gene deletions. There is no lab in the United States that is able to produce a PGD probe for genetic deletions. A lab in England will have to do this.

So what does this all mean? The first thing that it means is that we will not be transferring in September. I have no idea when we will be transferring. The second thing that it means is that I have had a hard fall today. As much as I tried not to get my hopes up, as much as I tried to stay detached from this transfer, this news has hit me like a ton of bricks falling on my head.

All of my energy has been focused on this transfer. I guess it was just inevitable that anything going wrong was going to feel this way. At the moment when I was finally able to let myself feel like this was going to happen, that this transfer was a real thing, this news hits. Part of me is angry at myself, because if this could happen to anyone it is me. Medically nothing has ever been easy for me, I should have know that something major was going to go wrong. Of course, I also know that if this had not happened I would have never given it a second thought. Right now I just feel beaten, what seemed so close this morning seems so incredibly far away now.
I am trying to find the good in this situation. There is the upside that now I have more time to work on my physical self. There will be more time to get myself centered before I become a mother. Something that I feel incapable of doing at the moment, but I am willing to try and that has got to count for something.

I should hear back from the genetics people tomorrow or Monday. I will know more then.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Lupron and Injections

Okay, I am a month out from the part of this process that scares me most. To say that I am just a little on the nervous side would be like showing up to breakfast in a ballgown (that you did not wear the night before), a tad bit on the crazy side. As is the needle was not bad enough they are filled with something lovingly called Loopy Lupron. I have read a lot of stories from fellow bloggers, but I need more information. I must know the non-sugar coated version. So give me the honest truth.

What is your best injection advise?
Do I need to send the husband away for the sake of our marriage?
Should I buy a roll of duct tape for my big mouth?
How much extra migraine medicine am I really going to need?
Are my dishes safe, or should I pack them away so that I have dishes left?
Do I need to book myself a padded cell?
What am I really getting myself into?

Friendship and Lessons

I have been a really bad blogger and a really bad blog reader, forgive me.

Things are going well and I have made my peace with the school situation. For those of you who asked, I went as far up as I could and there was just no changing anything. I will be working on changing the policy and will have some considerable help doing so. Thank you all so much for encouraging me and standing behind me as I went through all this, it helped more than you could know.

Please take note of the ticker in the right hand corner, more on the title in a moment. We are getting close to the transfer and I am freaking out just a HUGE tiny bit, but I will get over that, you know after I knock myself over the head and wake up after it is all over.

While I was finishing up with school, I got a blog award from my darling Emily. Since I hate to admit that I have not read one new blog all summer, I am going to change the rules a bit, cause I am a rebel like that.

I have decided that I am going to tell you a little bit about Emily and why getting this recognition from her really makes it that much more special. I found Emily through ILCW and I hooked. When I first came upon her little space in the blogsphere she was in the process of doing IVF (#2?) and I have never wished harder for anyone to be successful, her tattoos alone would have been enough to make me want this for her. Though what really struck me was all her tickers, and one in particular, the ticker she had for Darby. Her precious pup had not been gone long, and every time she wrote about Darby I cried like I had lost my pup. The sincerity and emotion reached through the screen and tugged at my heart. Then of course, there were her wedding pictures, you are hitched in custom Converse and well that is just about the coolest thing EVER.

Over the past year or so, I have watched Emily and Steve make some very major life transitions, and Emily has been gracious enough to let us all share in every moment. With the moving, heartache, and questioning, I have been privy to an amazing transformation. Their transition from attempting to conceive to waiting to adopt was really a magical thing to watch, because they got there without bitterness and hate. Yes, she mourned the loss of having a biological child, but she embraced having an adopted child with such beauty and fervor it astounds me every day.

I have met a lot of really amazing women through this blog, more than I could have ever imagined. There is just something special about Emily. She has given me something that I did not even know I was missing. In her story I have found the strength to feel the anger and unfairness, but not to let these feelings be roadblocks. Those feelings are just that feelings, and you have a choice to be paralyzed by them or to use them to propel you to the next step. If I could make her and Steve parents tomorrow I would, but I cannot. I would have a baby for her in an instant, but that will not work either. What I can do is beg and plead with all of you to go buy a bracelet. I know I have asked before, but I am just going to keep asking until you do it.

Emily, you are an awesome person and your child will be so lucky to have you as their mother.