Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Picture!

So blissed out over this little guy!!!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Hi

I would like to introduce you to Thomas Edward or just Tom as we will call him. He was born at 11:45 PST 8 pounds 8 oz and 20 inches long!!! We are just completely and madly in love! Still at the hospital waiting for someone to pee. I promise a picture just as soon as I get to a real computer.

4:33

At the birth center. Water broken and just waiting.

Friday, October 8, 2010

internet therapy

Sometimes F.acebook is the best therapy ever.  A friend of mine just posted the following.
"Make peace with the here and now. Let go and stop resisting. It doesn’t have to mean you’ve given up on the possibility of something better. It just means you’ve decided to pursue it from a place of freedom and peace."

That was exactly what I needed to hear at this moment.

Floating For Now

I have been in Oregon for almost a week now and am finally settled enough that I can post.  Settling has been a bit overwhelming, I had to get everything at home ready to bring the baby home and then had to do a lot of it all over again here.  Now I am just trying to enjoy these last few days before the real adventure begins.

Just being here has really made me feel so much better.  I no longer have to worry about missing the birth and just being near Sabrina and Cletus really takes away so much stress.  The thing that I am dealing with now is letting down these walls so that I can feel like this is really happening.  I am so excited that Sabrina is having a baby in just a little bit, but I am still having a hard time letting myself feel that I am about to become a mother.  The title that had eluded me is so close and yet I am unable to let myself really believe.

Unlike the other times that I have felt disconnected I am not afraid.  I know that this will all go away the second I hear my son scream.  For right now I am just going to go floating along because I have the ability to float!  For years I was drowning in the longing and fear of never being a mother.  Now I just have to convince my psyche that this is real and that it is okay for me to let those defenses down, but I am also sure that this will work itself loose.

I had a very interesting experience the other night.  Sabrina and I went to her last birthing class, which was a small class taught by Sabrina's doula.  The setting was comfortable and I was not nervous because at least there was a big belly sitting next to me.  Trying to do "mommy" things in a surrogacy situation is not always easy.  People often have a hard time disguising their feelings when you bring up the topic of surrogacy.  The majority of them try to be supportive, but there is often an underlying judgement that comes out in some way.

At the birthing class I was the one feeling a little weird.  It is not always easy to know that your role is as an intended mother.  Yes, I am the one who will raise my son and I am the one that will have the honor of being his mother, but I am not the one that has to bring him into the world.  My job only begins when he gets here and until then I am really nothing.  I know that sounds bad, but it really is not I am just still having a very hard time explaining what this feels like.  Of course, I will do whatever I can to make this easier for Sabrina, but she already has a HUGE support system that is much more capable of supporting her.

For right now I am just going to float and hope that the path is clear of power lines!  We have a midwife appointment tomorrow and I will update then.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Emotional Speed Bumps and Surrogacy

I need to blow off the cob webs around here. I cannot believe I have taken so long to post. So sorry to all of you who are still reading here, I have a million reasons but I think I will just start writing again.

Some of the reason that I have not been here for a while, other than just being plain busy, was that a few weeks ago I had a very emotional day that has taken me a while to process enough to be able to write about. Infertility quickly teaches you the lesson of longing and feelings so intense you feel physical pain. Once I finally got to the point that Cletus was really coming and that I was really going to be a mother I forgot about those feelings. Years of my life have been wasted on living in the emotional sludge that infertility brought into my life and all I wanted to do was but that all behind me. Then the bomb dropped and I found myself slammed with this feeling of longing like I had never felt before.

This being that has ruled my life for all these years is finally an almost reality. My comfort for those many years was the belief that once I became a mother that somehow I would no longer be the infertile woman who could slip into an emotional state at the drop of a hat. Not that I thought I would escape these feelings in motherhood, just that those sharp pains of longing would leave. Yet, there I was ramped up so much that I was crying uncontrollably and having some thoughts that really scared me.

From the moment that I got to know some really fantastic surrogates, I never once understood how someone could just take their child and never see the person who helped give that child life was infuriating to me. There I was sitting in the middle of my son's room and the only thing in the world that would make me feel whole at that moment was to have him. I wanted him all to myself, I was just done sharing anything anymore, or what the husband calls hitting the "Kindergarten Wall." My soul and body were hurting like they never had before, I just felt so empty and defeated.

A couple of days later the reality of what had really happened terrified me. What I believed I would never feel, what I had not felt at all until that moment, had slapped me straight in the face. I just wanted to have this all be over and I wanted to finally hold my child I have fought so hard to make a reality. My child that has no connection to me other than the fact that I have willed him into being, and for the first time I felt that my intention to be his mother was no longer enough. I was just this thing floating out in space and feeling so disconnected from everything that was causing me so much pain. It is not something that I can easily describe, but I can say that it was possibly one of the worst experiences of my life.

Like all of these intense bouts of longing and feeling of defeat these went away. As horrible as all that was, what has happened since had been fantastic. Difficult to work through yes, but here on the other end I am really much better for having been there. On this side of those horrible feelings is this place of just knowing that it is all going to be just fine. I should have known this, because it always has been, every horrible moment over all these years of me being so close to becoming a mother. Infertility has stolen many chances from me, but I will not let it steal one moment of joy and happiness out of these next few weeks.

Surrogacy is the closest thing to true altruism that I will ever know. A woman who was a perfect stranger volunteered to put not only her life but her family's life on hold so that our family can grow. All the nasty pain and heartache are just being cleaned away by our own BumpFairy, and there is nothing in this world that can ever express the love I feel!

Friday, July 30, 2010

3rd Trimester, Baby Shower, and JOY!



I did not fall off the end of the internet, things have been soooooooooo busy around here. 
First, we are in the third trimester!  I really have a hard time even thinking that without getting teary.  I never thought that we would be here, so close to holding our son.  Guess I forgot to do that whole big post.  We are having a boy and we could not be more excited! 
Second, I had the most amazing baby shower EVER!  Being surrounded by so many people who love us and who already love our son was just amazing.  We are so lucky that so many people in our lives have been so accepting of whatever fertility decisions we have made.  Really, I could not have designed a better group of people if I tried.  Having so many of them in the same room was just something I will never be able to describe and I am not even going to try.
I will give you a few highlights and pictures!!
My sister and mom playing Mad Hatter Croquet!  My sister is also wearing one of the aprons I made for my guests.

Just pure joy!  The night before the shower a bunch of my friends came to my house to get the final touches done.  Nothing like making centerpieces with 2 pairs of scissors and 1 wire cutter!
My sister, my Nana, Sabrina, my mom and me!
I am so lucky that I still have my Nana to share this with us.  She kept looking at Sabrina and saying, "That is my baby."  Nothing could have made that moment more perfect!

I am just so lucky to have so many amazing people in my life.  3 of my friends from high school came from out of town, we had a blast being together.  So many other people were there and it was a BLAST!

I have so much more to talk to you all about and I promise I am going to get better at coming by here.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

navigating a relationship

As we seem to be approaching the birth at the speed of light (25 weeks tomorrow) many people are starting to question the relationship that we are going to have with Sabrina after the birth.  I know that people are coming from a place of love and concern, really I do get that, but at the same time I find this to be the most invasive questioning and really it is something extremely personal.  So what does one do with such a personal question?  Writes about it on a public blog!  I know that seems insane but really I try to be very open about things and this is the easiest way for me to do this.

All things in life are only understood through the frame of reference which someone has to understand what they are experiencing.  Surrogacy is becoming more mainstream, or that could just be the fact that I am just seeing it more, but still more people know others who have gone down this particular path to parenthood.  Of course, more people just know the horror stories that make the news.  Ours is the farthest thing from that kind of story.  That is not to say that we are skipping through a field of daisies all the time, but when there are things that we do not view the same way we are able to be respectful of that and still express our opinions.  In the end we either just agree to disagree or one of changes the other’s mind. 

This is a relationship of friends where one person just happens to be carrying a baby for the other.  For purely selfish reasons I want to keep Sabrina in my life.  Then there are the multitude of reasons that I want our son to know the family that completed our family.  I will also be the first to say that when we first started looking at surrogacy I was perfectly happy with having someone have the baby and that would be the end.  My only frame of reference was that of adoption, which does not fit into surrogacy very well.  As an adopted child I knew that having my birth mother be part of my childhood would not have been good for me or my family, not that I have anything against open adoption. 

Adoption is only a good reference for surrogacy in that it teaches you that genetic makeup has nothing to do with who you consider your family.  Other than that there is nothing similar between these two paths to parenthood.  This pregnancy began as ours.  Yes, our son is the genetic product of an egg donor and the husband.  Yes, he is being carried by Sabrina.  But I literally willed him into being.  I worked through all the years of emotional sludge that comes with infertility and got myself to that place where parenting was way more important than pregnancy.  Without my intention to be his mother Cletus would not exist. 

Along this journey there have been those moments when I have felt the twinges of jealousy.   I do not think there has ever been a woman in my position that can honestly say that they have not felt the same.  Then one day I realized that there were always going to moments in his life that others are going to experience with him first.  I am just a little ahead of schedule with this particular mommy moment.  In a perfect world I would never have had to deal with this, but we do not live in a perfect world. 

Sabrina is currently playing the most important role in Cletus’s life.  I will be doing that for the rest of his life.  She loves him like she loves a few other people’s kids.  I am filled with this amazing warmth and light and unbelievable amount of love every time I look at that picture of Cletus as a five day embryo.  We all have people in our lives that have made a huge impression and have made our lives better for being in them.  All I can hope is that Cletus has Sabrina as one of those people in his life.  To me denying the existence of Sabrina would be the same as saying we were ashamed of how our family was created, which is the same as saying we are ashamed of our son on some level.

Honesty with our child about how they came to be was really the first big surrogacy question we ever asked ourselves.  For us part of that honesty was maintaining a relationship with the woman who carried for us.  In the end this is the story of how we became a family until Cletus draws his first breath, then it becomes his story which is not ours to edit.  I am not going to pretend that it will always be easy to tell him this story.  I know that there will be times when it is downright painful to help him process what this all means to him, but we are prepared as his parents to do whatever we can to help.  We made this commitment to ourselves and our child from the first conversation we ever had about surrogacy.

Then there was the moment in the ultra sound where I was holding onto the husband, also holding Sabrina’s hand, Cletus was on the screen, tears streaming down my face, and it felt like this was just the way it was meant to be.  I am not sure that I have the words to adequately explain what that moment was like.  All I know is that any worry I ever had about being able to handle surrogacy and whatever came after just melted away.  That squirming little image on the screen was all that mattered to any of us and he was perfect.  I cannot imagine anything that would make me ever not want to continue having those moments.  So Cletus might just be the first “insert brilliant thing here” to have both his mother and surrogate at his “insert fancy award ceremony here”, but I would not have it any other way.  I will always be his mother and she will always be his Aunt Sabrina who spent nine months growing him under her heart.

I will spend the rest of my life trying and falling miserably short of repaying this gift. 

Friday, June 25, 2010

Yikes!

Yikes, these past few weeks have just flown by!  The mother in law was here for a week (everyone say HI she is reading this) really it was a wonderful visit and I am so happy that we got to see her.  The husband could not take the whole week off of work, so for the first time ever she and I spent whole days together.  I will be the first to admit that I was a bit terrified of this, not that she is a scary person, just we had never really hung out alone for that long.  When the husband is around they get into conversations that go strait over my head most of the time, which relieves a lot of pressure to talk.  It was truly a silly thing to worry about, and I seem to be doing a lot more of this needless worrying lately, we had a great time or at least I did.  Since this is my blog I get to say that WE had a fantastic time!

The best part of the whole visit was getting to be around someone else who was so excited about Cletus.  Our immediate families live in different parts of the world, and the ones that live in the same country are very spread out, so there has been little sitting in the same room excitement.  My parents are coming through town this weekend to get me my next fix.  I really think that there is something addictive about people sharing their exicitement with you.  I have actually delayed telling people just so I have enough people to get me enough fixes between now and the baby shower.  I have always known that the husband and I have amazing families and friends, but there is really nothing like the love that surrounds talking about Cletus. 

This is something that I have never heard anyone talk about before.  Now, I have avoided pregnancy talk like the plague making it entirely possible that I just missed this part.  For those of you who know me, I am not a sunshine and rainbows kind of person, but this is just an amazing amount of puppies and unicorns pooping rainbows.  It is also completely terrifying.  We are going to be parents, that cluster of cells in the picture on my fridge is a real being that we are expected to raise to adulthood.  YIKES, this is suddenly a little scary, not that we can’t handle it, just a bit terrifying. 

I have really had a lot in my head that I need to get out here, but those are for different posts, which I promise will be coming quickly.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A True Gift

Our weekend in Oregon was nothing short of magic!  I know that it sounds corny, but really there is no better word to describe what we experienced with Sabrina and her family.  It was a weekend of fun and laughter, but mostly it was the weekend where I learned so much about myself.  Being an intended mother is a very weird kind of limbo not good or bad just very different from anything that I have a frame of reference for.  


I understand adoption as an adoptee and through my mother as an adoptive mother.  When we first started this journey I used adoption as my reference frame which is not even close to what this all feels like.  Never once have I questioned that our child will come home with us.  The baby has always been ours and always will be.  Of course, surrogacy is not without it's own set of challenges.

Jealousy can be a very powerful feeling that can ruin a relationship.  I have worried that I would be jealous of Sabrina getting to spend this time with our child, and at small moments I have felt a little of that.  Then out of the blue Sabrina e-mails me with some little event that only I would ever care about and I go back to knowing that for right now she is the best one to care for my baby.  Thankfully, I do not think that these feelings have ever effected our relationship, and after this weekend I know that they never will.

On our first night there Sabrina brought ice cream to our hotel, because that baby LOVES some ice cream!  Then came the big moment that I had been dreading since we began this journey, because if there was something that was going to drive me over the ledge I knew it would be watching my husband feeling the child that was made with his and an egg donor's genetics moving in another woman's body.  I got to feel the wiggle worm first and it was amazing to feel our child dance around, for the life of me I will never be able to put that experience into words it really was just magic.  Then the real magic happened, my husband sat next to Sabrina and felt lots of wiggles and kicks and I got to sit there and watch this look on his face that I will never forget.  In some ways I am happy that I got to sit outside the experience and just enjoy watching his face change every time he felt something.  My hubby is not the most expressive person all the time when it comes to this whole baby thing, not that he is not excited, just that he does not get giddy about it all.  From the first huge smile that accompanied the first movement I melted.  Yes, we were having this whole experience in a completely different way than most, but it was still our moment and I cannot imagine having it any other way.

Once I realized that I was fine, the world did not stop spinning and I was not a sobbing mess on the floor, I knew that this was all going to be just fine.  Like most things in surrogacy the fear of the unknown is infinitely worse than the reality.  For once since we began this whole process I am not worried about being jealous and that is a wonderful relief.  


That right there is our perfect little baby.  Everything looks great and we could not be happier.  I sat in the ultra sound holding the hubby and Sabrina's hand, and it really felt like it was always meant to be that way.  I have so many more things that I want to talk about, but I think this is enough for now.


 

You can see the sucking of the thumb, but what you cannot is that this is the compromise for not being able to get the whole fist to fit!  Oh, are we in for it!

Saige, in answer to your question there was no flavor to the lip stuff, but someone needs to make that into real lipstick because it never went anywhere!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

One Moment Please

Our trip to see Sabrina and her family was amazing! We had tons of fun, that sadly wore me out so much so that the big long post is going to have to wait. So a couple of pictures will have to tide you over.


I got my face painted because it is fun and why not?

The ultra sound went great! The little one is doing great, but more about that tomorrow!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Half Baked!

Not only only of my favorite flavors of ice cream, but also the mark we hit today! This pregnancy is officially 20 weeks today, and no one has any idea where the time has gone, except for my parents. Sabrina is doing very well and says that Cletus is a very active little one, which I am hoping is not a sign of things to come. The husband and I are making our way up to Sabrina's for the BIG ultra sound on June 7th! So let me know what you believe, are we have a Cletus or Cletusette? I hate to let you know that I already know. In fact, I have been keeping this semi-quiet for a good long while now.


In a journey where there is so very little you get to have to yourself, knowing this has really been a wonderful thing. We never had that moment when we were the only two people in the world that knew we were having a baby. Really, we did not with the gender either, but for some wonderful moments we have been able to pretend.

When we first began looking at surrogacy it was very difficult for me to wrap my head around sharing all these moments with someone else. To my surprise it has been much easier than I could have ever imagined. Most of this is due to the fact that we have an amazing surrogate who lets us know everything that is happening and really does everything she can to make us feel like we are going through this with her. The other part is that there are little things we know that we are not telling others and we are so happy to have these little things that we really do not worry about the bigger ones. In about 20 weeks, we will have millions of moments that just the three of us share, and really that is all that matters.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

a different feeling

I have been trying to post here for a week. For the past seven days I have come here, written a little and then walked away. I just cannot seem to hit the publish button. Whatever it is that is standing in my way is so powerful that I am feel paralyzed when it comes to this space in my little universe. There are so many things that I want to share, but at the same time I know that for some it is going to hurt to come here and see these posts. I know this, because I have been on the other side reading about the happiness of pregnancy and wanted to just crawl back in my bed.

I am sorry if you are one of those people who stumbled over here today. As frightening as this has all been, being firmly in the 2nd trimester is such a huge relief. The fear part now comes from the panic that comes when I get terrified that I am going to forget to get something that Cletus will need and then some ridiculous crazy thing is going to happen. It is all silly craziness, and sometimes it even gets to be funny.

Since Cletus has been making sure that Sabrina remembers there is a passenger on board, I am feeling like I can do more permanent things. I know that we are never really out of the woods, but I have to do something to keep me busy. So many people do not seem to understand that when you are expecting through surrogacy there is just no other experience the feelings can be compared to. I have known the date the baby was due since before the transfer, I know that sometime in October that baby will be mine. Until then there is nothing to do except drive myself coo-coo with every detail, and I mean EVERY mind numbing detail! The things that I know about strollers alone is enough to fill a book, and some days my brain is oozing from being stuffed with information on baby bottles. I am loving every minute of this. I have earned every minute of giddy pleasure that I get from this tiny step into motherhood.

We are no longer playing house in our heads. I put paint on the walls in the nursery, and trust me paint seems enormous when you have ignore that whole part of your house for so long. Our child has a room with paint picked just for it on the walls, that is just the most amazing statement in the world. Our child is real and we are about to become parents, we are about the end years of wanting and wishing. It may be taking a gestational surrogate and an egg donor, but our family is going to finally be complete.

Which leads me to one of the other reasons that this space is a bit uncomfortable. I know that infertility will never end for me. This child is not the cure to anything, nor should it be. Infertile will always be a label that belongs to me and I am sure that there are going to be many days when I still feel the pain of that label. For now though, my mind is other places and moving in a very different direction. I am not going to stop writing here, this is the place that has sustained me through this process, I am just going to have to figure out how everything fits together here now. Thank you all for being patient with me. I am working very hard to figure this all out while getting used to being happier than sadder!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The "What IFs"

All the what if questions I have ever asked is a variation of the scariest "What IF" ever. What IF becoming a mother turns out to be the worst decision I have ever made? Over the years I have tried so hard to avoid all of the “What If…” questions that seemed to permeate every part of my reproductive life. At some point I had to put these questions aside, I had to accept that parenthood may never come for us. Infertility is often accurately described as being on a roller coaster, for me accepting living child-free felt something like finally breathing in from an oxygen tank and sitting quietly on the sea floor. In that moment, just as on the sea floor, all I could hear was my own breath.
In that single moment I gave up on a lifetime of dreams because that dream was threatening to drown me. My body had failed me but somehow I needed to find a way to move on with my life and focus on the wonderful things that were attainable. Without accepting that I would never be a mother was something that I had to do for my own survival. Thankfully, my wonderful husband made this very easy for me, after we got married he made a rule that we would not talk about kids for three years. Not that I was always able to do this, but having him fully take the pressure off of me was exactly what I needed at the time. For those years I concentrated on those things that would fulfill me because I was going to have a lot of time on my hands. There were times when months would pass without me thinking of adding a child to our family. I was really getting to the point of total acceptance when our fourth anniversary rolled around.
We agreed that we would give it a little more time because we were just not in a place in our lives where children would have made sense. More and more our conversations turned to children, until we knew that we were really ready to take on the challenge of becoming parents. My infertility was no surprise, we knew years before we got married that reproduction was not going to be our strong point. I cannot properly express the level of happiness I felt knowing that some way we were going to have a child.
So here are the big huge questions that haunt my thoughts.
What IF becoming a mother turns out to be the worst decision I have ever made?
Somewhere deep inside I must really not want to be a mother if I could really imagine my life without every hearing, “Mommy!” On that day that I let go of this dream there was so much relief. Our life as just a couple has been wonderful. We really are those people who fly off to see concerts and once we took off to Europe on the spur of the moment. A child will make these things impossible, but then again we do these things much less these days.
What IF this dream turns into a nightmare?
There has never been a time that I have dreamed of sitting up all night with a sick child, or fondly imagined walking the halls with a child that will not sleep unless I keep moving. In my head there are always those wonderful moments of watching our child discover something for the first time or giggling uncontrollably at a magnificent laugh. The reality is that, for a while at least, my whole world is going to be turned upside down. That imaginary piece of baby perfection is going to become a real child with real demands. I worry that I will just be overwhelmed, that what my heart tells me is what I was born to do become something that I am unable to handle. There will always be the part of me that feels like being just a good mother will never be enough.
I am being given this child. Two women have given up parts of their lives to give me this child. We have spent years fighting to have this child. Our ability to have this child is a privilege that I can never take lightly. A culmination of living in a country that allows surrogacy and egg donation, access to finances, and a wonderful support system of friends and family have all made this child possible. For all these reasons I know that I am so fortunate to even have this chance at motherhood. Someone so fortunate should never complain. Long sleepless nights, days without a shower, and all the other joys of parenthood are not something that I can ever possibly complain about. All these things are what I signed up for, not only that but these are all the things that I have fought so hard to finally have.
What IF all this junk in my head is really just junk, and what I know in my heart is exactly right?
I worry about everything; it is just part of who I am. The worries about becoming a mother are just my way of preparing for the worst, so that the best is that much better. All it takes is a simple glance at the embryo or later ultra sound picture for me to know that this was what I was meant to do with my life. When I look at those pictures the amazing amount of love I feel for this child, grown in another woman’s womb and from another woman’s egg, makes me know that I was put on this earth to be that child’s mother. Yes, infertility has robbed me of my compassion, self-esteem, sense of purpose, and years of my life, but the sight of my baby makes me know that these things are not lost forever. Wounds heal, not through our children, but by a shift in our focus. I will always feel the loss of not being a physical part of making my child, but it will not always be the center of my universe. Love is too small a word for what I feel for this child.

This post is part of Project IF. For a better basic understanding of infertility: click here and for the background of National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW): click here. To read other posts in this project, please visit Mel's list.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

a mole ate my line

i guess this is the new form of "the dog ate my homework." a mole really did eat my internet connection. i am back up and running now, but of course life has been turned upside down.

when we first started looking into surrogacy i imagined that once we got to the actual pregnancy, that each day would be torture. was i ever wrong! there is a reason that nature gives you morning sickness, because without it the crazy cleaning sickness strikes. i am not complaining, i have gotten so much done, but there is still so much to do.

the second trimester is here and it feels like our first BETA was yesterday. for some reason it seems like all these years of waiting should have slowed down this part as well. maybe this is because i am not there to experience every day's ups and downs. this does not mean that life is blissful ignorance. sabrina and i talk at least once a week so i know everything that is happening. i am so lucky that i really have no worries about anything pregnancy related, because i know that sabrina is taking perfect care of cletus and i also know that sabrina will tell me any and everything that is happening.

we are going to our first huge family thing next weekend. the husband's grandmother is turning 100, so we are making the trip up north. i adore my husband's family, they are all really wonderful, but we do not have a ton of contact with them or at least not as much as we do with my family. i am nervous about the whole thing, not that i for one second think that anyone would say anything out of line, but because this is a bit out of my comfort zone. everyone knows that cletus is being carried by a surrogate and some of them may or may not know that we are using an egg donor. talking about all of this does not bother me in the least, i have always tried to be an open book about the process.

this is just going to be very different from dealing with my family. no one gets into my family the "old fashioned" way. we prefer to use alternative methods to achieve parenthood, or at least nature has decided that we should. our conversations at family gatherings sound like an RE convention. i am not expecting our situation to be the center of conversation, really i expect that it will be a small side note.

it is just a little out of my comfort zone. i will be the first to admit that we are extremely fortunate that everyone in our lives has been so incredibly supportive. this is rarely, if ever, the case with people who create their families through surrogacy. i know that my husband's family will be no different. the anxiety will stay until the whole thing is over and it turns out to be such a minor thing. it is just that i know the more people we tell the more times we open ourselves up for stupid comments. thankfully, some of the people who have stumbled over here have taught me that those comments come only from a lack of education on a subject that i really wish no one ever had to learn about.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Wiggle Worm

video

this is an undercover video a friend of sabrina's shot during our 11 week ultra sound. everything looks perfect, cletus spent all the time wiggling around!

sorry that i have not been writing more. there are a million things running around in my head and i promise to get to those, but right now i am in the start of the homestretch of this whole cleaning and organizing the whole house thing!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

parenthood through surrogacy part 2

Where my thought process has evolved the most is how I see the relationship I wanted with our surrogate. When we first started looking into surrogacy I was terrified of this part because I had no idea how to handle my relationship with the woman that was carrying our child. There is no comparable relationship that I have found.

I wanted her to be open to meeting our child if the child wanted to, but I was worried about having a close relationship between the her and us. My biggest worry was that my mommy toes would get stepped on if we were too close. It did not take me long to realize that I could not carry all of my infertility baggage into this relationship. There are wounds that will never heal, but they do not have to control my life or affect my relationships with others. Some part of me will forever be sad that I cannot carry our child, but that is a very small part that I give little attention to these days. Once I got to the point that I KNEW that I was our child's mother, no matter how many other people helped us get Cletus here, I am the mother.

Coming from a family that is very blended made it easier for me the know that biology is the smallest part of creating a family, but there were still many concerns and fears that I had. Adoption is often the nearest reference point that most people have when it comes to surrogacy, but surrogacy is a completely different situation. Our child is coming into this world with the help of an egg donor, gestational surrogate, and my husband. There was a lot of new territory for me to work through. I struggled with feelings of being completely left out of the process and a lot of guilt that I could not just be grateful that all these people were willing to go through all of this to make my dreams come true. Giving myself time to heal and work through these feelings also gave me the ability to have a trusting and honest relationship with our surrogate.

I will be the first to admit that we are extremely fortunate to have Sabrina, there is no one else I can imagine going through this with. She is an incredible woman with a wonderful husband and children. While Sabrina is doing the physical part of this, it is really her entire family that is involved in this. Her husband moved their house while she was away at our first transfer. There are going to be things she is not able to do with the kids in the coming months and she has been away from them because of transfers. Knowing that they are all doing this because Sabrina wants to make us parents is an overwhelming feeling.

I have spent many a social psychology class arguing the existence of true altruism. You have never experienced drama until you have told a good ole southern boy that his mama does not love him for purely unselfish reasons, I highly recommend this if you ever get the chance. Creating a family is the closest, I believe, that I will ever come to experiencing true altruism. Yes, there is compensation, but I will always believe that it is a small token amount of appreciation. Really, how do you put a price on completing your family?

So, the question becomes how do you not have a lifelong relationship with someone who has literally given birth to your dreams? For me the answer is that there is no way that I can imagine not having Sabrina being part of our lives. My own selfish reason is that I adore Sabrina and want to be friends with her forever. Even if this were not true, I would feel the need to have a relationship where there was communication about how the munchkin was doing. In my opinion, denying that relationship is disrespecting your child's story. I cannot deny how my child came into the world. We have always been committed to telling our child everything about their background from the time they start asking questions, this story belongs to them and it is not our place to deny them that. Again selfishly, it is much easier to explain who someone is when they are a part of your life, children are not very good with the abstract. Of course this all goes back to being comfortable with my place in my child's life.

Monday, March 22, 2010

parenthood through surrogacy part 1

over the past month a few people have contacted me about starting their families through surrogacy, and i hope that i was able to answer some of the questions they asked. this got me to thinking that i had not written about the whole process in a long time. right now our journey is changing so quickly that it is almost hard to remember how far we have come. i am going to break this up into a few posts so you don't have to read the whole novel at once.

when we started this journey 2 years ago, i was so frightened of the road that lay ahead of us. the prospect of having someone who was almost a stranger carry our child was a huge ball of fear. most of all it is a very lonely place to be, while surrogacy is gaining popularity it is still relatively rare. it still amazes me when i meet someone outside of my infertility circles that has a connection to surrogacy. because of this rareness there are a lot of misconceptions about the entire process as with all infertility treatments. not only are you trying to find the answers for yourself, but everyone you share the news with has a million questions of their own. i am the kind of person who has a hard time keeping anything to myself, which means that i have answered a million stupid questions and heard things come out of people's mouths that made me want to live in a hole.

surrogacy is controversial, this is just a fact. there are people who are never going to understand what is really happening and there are people who will say very hurtful things to your face. nothing is more hurtful than someone saying something horrible about the way your child is coming into the world. people do not choose to enter into surrogacy lightly. this is not about vanity or not wanting to carry a child for some other stupid reason. i would gladly endure the worst pregnancy in the world to become a mother but that is not possible for me.

i was fully aware of both sides of the surrogacy arguments, in fact i obsessed over these arguments. at the same time we had decided that surrogacy was the right path to parenthood for us. i knew that there was no going back but i continued to read every argument for and against surrogacy, which is really the same thing as torturing myself. the more that i read the more i understood that all the terror and fear was really coming from a fear of the unknown. there is no surrogacy how to manual, there should be, but there is very little out in the universe.

our first stop was an agency. something that did not turn out well in the end but was well worth the experience and knowledge we gained. there was an issue that we were unable to resolve and decided to move onto another agency. i found a great deal of comfort in having people who do this for a living to help us navigate what feels like an overwhelming experience.

in the end we did not go with an agency. for us it was because we found the perfect surrogate and felt that we were willing to put in the legwork to get the rest of the process completed. this has not always been easy, in fact there have been times that it was down right difficult. everyone had their own comfort level and our comfort level is light years away from where it used to be. it can be overwhelming making sure that every i is dotted and every t crossed, because there are a lot of i's and t's. at some point you get passed that part or at least get a prolonged break. the best advice that i can give here is to protect yourself and your surrogate by using a reliable surrogacy attorney and a clinic that works with surrogacy situations, as their requirements will often help to guide you through the process. if something does not sound right or does not sit well with you speak up, you should be comfortable with every step that you take in this process. not everything can be changed but sometimes just understanding the rational behind it can help ease stress.

as you can see all of these questions and choices are enough on their own. add to that everyone and their cat giving you an opinion or asking a question you cannot answer and i fully understand why people choose to go through surrogacy without the knowledge of those closest to them. we have not chosen to do this. not that we made some grand announcement about our plans, but we have never hid what we were planning either. we told our parents and other family members first, and as things became more concrete we began to share with others. there were of course a lot of questions, but surprisingly very few negative comments. in fact, i have gotten more negative reactions from comments here than in real life. either people are talking about us like crazy behind our backs or we are incredibly blessed with very supportive friends and family. i know that it is the latter, because they have all been very supportive and i have really enjoyed sharing this story with them. there have been times that i did not want to answer any questions and they always respected our space. it was very clear that i would share what i could and that was all i was capable of at the time.

these people have been my crutches through this whole process. there were many times when i had to just let others be excited for us because i was emotionally spent. i believe that these ups and downs are no better or worse than going through any process to have a child. making a family is an emotionally taxing process. i have spent many a distracted month or two recovering from some of the huge events along the way. right now that is getting much easier but i am sure it will show up again in some other form. then there are the moments that give you enough steam to make it through another event or two. an example of this is finding the perfect surrogate, but more on that tomorrow...

a simple sound

wow, how did it get to be the end of march and ILCW already? if you want to read how this story came to be go here.

this month has really just flown by, and while i have gotten a lot done there is still so much more i have to accomplish. saturday marked the 10 week mark. while this is wonderful news, when sabrina called to let me hear the heartbeat i really got a big smack in the head.

for just over 2 years we have been working to become parents through surrogacy and egg donation, and making a lot of really difficult decisions. a funny thing happened to us, and it is something i suspect that a lot of people dealing with infertility deal with, we got so wrapped up in the day to day process of getting to pregnancy that we forgot that we have to bring a live human being home. that beautiful heartbeat that makes my heart melt belongs to a real human being who we are expected to raise into adulthood. don't misunderstand me, we are so excited about becoming a complete family i cannot adquetly describe how happy we are to take on this challenge. that said, this is terrifying.

i have thrown myself into the books, checked into infant cpr classes, cried a little, and researched much more than i should have. information is power, and sometimes that power can make you a little batty. what i am most terrified of cannot be easily fixed with books or information, at least not fully. i have wanted to be a mother since i was a child, and when motherhood did not come easily i lost pieces of myself along the way. at the same time, i picked up a lot of anxiety. when you face not having the life that you have always wanted, and spend years knowing that the main desire of your heart is just out of reach, two things happen. first, there is a tendency to loose sight of the bigger picture, because it is hard enough to focus on the next step. second, the desire to protect this dream becomes so strong that it can overtake your life. it is the second part of this equation that feeds the terror monster in my head.

children are not born knowing how they came into the world, they do not care that you have waited years for them. they have every right to live their life without having to carry the burden of being the cure for years of heartbreak. i know that i have to let my child experience all that life has to offer, including those things that can cause bodily harm, like walking! i also know that there is a part of me that is terrified that something horrible is going to happen. i know that this is a normal reaction, and i am really trying to curb the desire to buy up the world's supply of bubble wrap because a bubble wrapped kid would make potty training a wee bit difficult. still i cannot shake the feeling of terror. there is going to be a human being depending on me for everything and that is scary because it is supposed to be scary.

surrogacy is an amazing experience, but this is one of the downsides. i have way too much time on my hands. because i am not worrying about holding down breakfast or fitting into the pants that fit perfectly yesterday morning. i just have unlimited amounts of time to think about everything that could go wrong and all the things that could go right. there are no feelings of jealousy that celtus is being cared for by another woman, because there is no person that i would trust more than sabrina to bring cletus into the world. there are just those moments when i wished i had something else to occupy my brain. preparing the house is helping, because that process comes with millions of distractions.

having to take an honest look at everything i own and the purpose that it serves is exhausting, but so worth the effort. i am still amazed that i let things get to this point, but the deeper i dig through it the more i realize that i am ready for this part of my life to be over. i am ready to take on this new role and i am ready to do all the hard work that i need to do on myself. as hard as this all is, there is nothing that i would not do for the person attached to that heartbeat. because that simple sound is part of my heart. there may not be a grain of my dna, i may not be the physically pregnant one, but that heartbeat belongs to a person who will change my life forever. that heartbeat belongs to my child, and there will never be a mroe beautiful sound in the world.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

psychotic nesting!

i have discovered a really bad part of being an intended mother, i have NOTHING to at the moment and then suddenly i will be momma. can i just tell you how terrifying and overwhelming that feels right now? A WHOLE BIG HUGE MUCHES!!!!!

when we moved into this house we both were very busy. instead of really getting everything put away properly most of our stuff ended up wherever it would fit. add to this living here for the past 4 years, well i will let you do the math. i have worked non-stop for the past couple of weeks, with the help of an amazing friend who i am forever indebted to, and managed to get my house to the middle stage. i knew that it was bad, but i had no idea how bad. i have to put a lot of things away and finding new homes for things that need to come out of the guest room, because everything has to come out of there. another week or so and i should have everything finished.

it feels wonderful to be at this point, but also very frustrating that i let it get to this point. i think that i thought i was handling this whole reproduction thing a lot better than the state of my house showed. there is no doubt that the past three years have been some of the most overwhelming of my life so far. there was no energy left for me to take care of the house, most of the time i was just hanging on till the next day. then there were the weeks that i waited for the next phone call, email, or smoke signal. those were the days when i would sit in the dark. rarely did i open the blinds because i could not face the mess and i just did not have the energy to open the blinds. i did not realize this until i started going through here and that terrifies me. the terror part is not from knowing i was feeling those feelings, but in not having any clue that i was not doing well at all. the fact is that i was miserable and unable to work my way through the feelings because i had no idea that i was in such a hole.

i open the blinds every day, things are not perfect but i can somewhat stand to see the mess. there is a different person living here, that real me i hope, i feel like i can breathe. there have been tiny exhales, but i really cannot remember when i was able to really feel like i was breathing. all the things that could possibly go wrong now are so much easier to handle, we have gotten farther than we ever have and for right now that feels great. we are getting there and i still cannot believe that we are really here.

these past two weeks have shown me just how easy it is to ignore things that are just too big to deal with at the time. at least i know there is a good chance that this can come back if the littlest stress could make a huge crack. not because i am fragile but because it is going to take a while for me to trust this new feeling. that happiness stuff is invading my misery and throwing me all off balance. forgive me if i am not great about writing, but hope that it will be a very short time.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

a member of the tribe.

We infertiles often talk about the people who give us the stupid comments or insensitive remarks because those hurt. The people who go through this journey right beside us, we often overlooked. Without two women being willing to go through infertility treatments for me I would not be becoming a mother. Neither of these women need to do this, they both have children of their own. It is easy to dismiss their willingness to go through all of this with thinking that they are just in this for the money, but anyone who has gone through this will tell you that no amount of money in the world would be worth volunteering to play the role of an infertile. These women join our tribe for a myriad of different reasons, what really matters though is that they are there. They show up and take on our pain as if it was there own, carry our hopes and dreams, and they do it voluntarily. For all the stupid comments we get, they get just as many. No matter how many times I see this happen I will always stand in awe that these women show up and voluntarily join our tribe.

In May of this year, a voluntary member of our tribe was diagnosed with breast cancer while she was carrying a beautiful little girl for an infertile couple. At that moment, she became part of a tribe no one wants to join. Nikki was a month away from her 32nd birthday when she found the lump that would forever change her life. Instead of giving birth early, she put off her treatment until the baby was safely born. Over the past eight months, she has gone through a double mastectomy, chemo, and radiation with an amazing amount of grace that often leaves me breathless.

I have lost people I loved to cancer, watched others battle and win. All the time I knew that anyone could get cancer, but it had never happened to anyone my age. Nikki's diagnosis was a real wake up call for me. I have always done self exams, but it was just something that I never thought about happening, it was more of a baseline thing. Sadly, breast cancer does not care how old you are it comes whenever it feels like it and the destruction is horrifying.

Please join me in joining Nikki's tribe, by clicking the button in the right upper corner. She willingly joined ours, the one that we were dragged into kicking and screaming. Sometimes, just knowing that there are others in your corner can heal more than any medicine. If you can get yourself a piece of jewelry, it is pretty and 100% of the money goes directly to Nikki. We all know how expensive medical treatment can get, even with insurance coverage. I have verified that Nikki does get all the money, and I love my necklace. This is something that I rarely do here, but this is someone who has stood by me on this journey and this is a way that I can support her.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Thump, Thump, Thump

I know it goes more woosh,woosh, woosh, but we are not talking about Cletus's heartbeat, we are talking about mine. His is just PERFECT at 114 beats a minute and he is snuggled in all by himself.

When Sabrina called every moment of anxiety, way more than I knew was there, just came flooding out. I mean heaving, sobbing, flood of tears. I cannot tell you how good it felt to cry and smile at the same time, something I have not done in years. I still cannot believe this is happening, but every milestone makes it just a tiny bit more real. Now it is on to the big 20 week u/s!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

from the start!

Well it is that time of month... No not that time silly. It is ILCW!!!! Since it has been a while since I have participated, I am going to give a little back story, well as little as I can.

I do not think I have ever met a woman who was happy about getting her period, but I also have not met one who hates it with as much passion as I did mine. This loathing could stem from the first time my period tried to kill me and almost succeeded! At some point we all get the period talk from some adult woman in our lives. I got mine twice in school and from my mom, but everyone forgot to mention that having your period for SIX weeks was not normal. In my 12 year old brain if I did not have a period for a few months then bleeding for longer was normal, right?

Not only was I bleeding for way too long I was flooding pads to the point that I would stand up after class and have blood in the seat. One morning in chapel I stood up and went right back down again. My mom came to get me from school and took me straight to the doctor. For week I had been having trouble staying awake and always wanted to just be sleep. That day my blood pressure was 60/40, no wonder I was tired! I was admitted to the hospital and given a blood transfusion. I knew it was going to hurt when the nurse made my parents leave the floor and then turned to me and said, "You are allowed to say any bad words that you want while we get this needle in." When adults are giving you permission to curse something really bad is about to happen. Thankfully, this was the last transfusion I needed. This was also the first on many estrogen shots I would endure, OUCH!

I was put on birth control pills, and then doubled the dose, then tripled and finally when I was taking four pills a day I got to graduate to Estrogen and Provera. During this time we were trying to get the bleeding under control, you know having a five day period once a month. There were times when no amount of drugs were going to make this body do anything, so we turned to surgery. I had my first of MANY D&Cs when I was 12, it was the only way to stop the bleeding. During this time I was also diagnosed with von Willebrand's. Now before anyone thinks that I have a stupid family that did not recognize a genetic bleeding disorder, I should say that I was adopted as an infant and there was very little in the way of a medical history.

This cycle went on for many many years. When I was in my early 20s the hormones started giving me horrid side effects and frankly I was sick of taking them. A wonderful doctor fell into my lap and it was at this point I was diagnosed with PCOS. Apparently, what was causing all this bleeding that that my body believed it was in menopause and just forgot to turn off the faucet. Without the hormones I was never going to have a normal cycle, with the hormones the rest of my physical and psychological life was a mess. I gave up the hormones and decided to just deal with the bleeding. At first it was not so bad a few months of bleeding and a few months of not. Sure it would get to the point that I would stand up and not be able to see or hear and drop straight to the floor, but it was occasional and something I could live with.

At 25, I married my wonderful husband, a man that was willing to put up with all these problems and so accepting of any decision I made. After a period that started on the day of our wedding and lasted for six months I was done. Six months was just unacceptable to me, I was exhausted and recovering from that took months. My hormonal balance was so off that there was no lining NONE, I was just free bleeding. Conceiving would be next to impossible because my body had decided that it was not going to work with any hormones. We made a decision that we were not willing to go through years of treatments and add more pressure to our lives.

I went to another doctor that had the answer. I had always said no to a hysterectomy because I saw no reason to go through menopause before I had to, who knows what the hormones will do then. In March of 2006, I went into the hospital and gave up my fertility. I know for some this is unthinkable, but for me it was the only way I had to have a life. With this endometrial ablation I took back my life. Yes, I gave up the chance to carry my child, but having a child when you are tired and sick most of the year would have left me unable to enjoy my child.

We began looking into surrogacy in 2007. Our first encounter with an agency turned into a NIGHTMARE. In fact, it was so bad that we really considered living childless. It was in the middle of this debate that Sabrina found my blog. She was an amazing support for me and made me start to think that going through the process without an agency might be possible. It is difficult to really understand trusting someone so much that you would transfer an embryo to them and know with everything part of your being that they will not only take care of that bundle of cells while it grows into your child, but also to give you back that baby. It is hard to imagine until you there with some of the most amazing people in the world. Sabrina is one of those people and there will never be a day that goes by that I will not thank the universe for putting her in our path.

Once we decided to work together it was then figuring out all the nitty gritty details. Which was actually easier than I could have ever imagined, yes there were points that were uncomfortable but everything was very smooth. Well until we decided to let my body get into the act. I did not want to pass on the von Willebrands, so I decided that we would use an egg donor that was easy enough. Then we talked to the RE who would handle the transfer and were given the option of doing genetic testing and then PGD to rule out those embies with von Willebrands. Give some blood, wait six weeks, and then transfer a healthy embie. Only problem was that we were dealing with me, and as my parents will tell you I have never been one for doing anything the easy way. After TWELVE weeks of waiting, due to mess ups with the lab, we learned that instead of having a genetic mutation causing the von Willebrands, I have deletions that are causing the disease. There is no lab in the U.S. that can make a probe for deletions of this kind. We had the option of waiting another few months for a lab in Europe to attempt making a probe but there was no guarantee.

It would have been nice to use my eggs, but it was not a huge deal to me. We picked a donor, which is a weird process unto itself. Our first transfer was in October and that one did not take. On January 28th we transferred one beautiful embryo and tomorrow we expect to see ONE very beautiful heartbeat. It has been a long road here but one that has made me grow as a person, strengthened our relationship as a couple, and brought some truly wonderful people into our lives.

Thank you for making it this far. I know this is a long story. I hope that you will stay around to find out exactly how it ends!

hi!

if you are here for ILCW, please come back soon for a real post. just having a crazy busy weekend, sorry.

Monday, February 15, 2010

a tiny exhale

Today we had our first ultrasound to make sure that Cletus was in the correct spot. I am happy to report that Cletus is tucked safely in Sabrina's uterus and not in her shoulder! The gestational sac is measuring 3 days ahead of schedule. Our little overachiever is not disappointing, let's just hope this continues! Next Monday is the heartbeat ultra sound, just thinking of it puts knots in my stomach. I am really trying to just take things from day to day, but that is a lot easier said than done.

Other exciting news for the day: Sabrina's birthday!! Go over here and wish her a happy birthday, you can also see Cletus while you are at it. For some reason the picture does not want to upload here.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

a horrible husband

No, I am not talking about my wonderful hubby because he is truly the best ever. Anyone who can put up with me for all these years could never be horrible. I am speaking of myself.

At this point, and for the next 8 months, I am really in the husband role of pregnancy. Well, really not even that, I am the husband that is home for a single weekend over the next 8 months. I did my small little job and then flew the coop, or at least that is the way it feels.

Sabrina is awesome about letting me know every little thing that goes on with her and I love hearing her complain about every minor thing. I of course also feel bad that it is all my fault, but really not that bad. Though I am sure that once the symptoms really hit I will feel worse. Other than those phone calls I am feeling like I am just floating out here in space, which is just part of the ride and not something that can or needs to be fixed.

To cope with this neurosis, and it has turned into neurosis, I am starting to do that nesting thing. Well really it is more like complete panic over where am I going to put Cletus and all those baby things!! Our extra room has turned into storage over the past few years and the amount of stuff in there is a bit frightening. It is not Hoarders bad, but it is getting there and I am horrible at throwing things away. I have thought about hiring someone to come in to assist me, but I am embarrassed to let anyone see the level of crazy in that room. In my first attempt to do something I found a box which contained, among other things, the candles from my 16th birthday cake. I know CRAZY!!!

There are things that I can pitch in the trash without a second thought and then there are things (stupid things) that I have a very hard time letting go of for some unknown reason. For right now I am just going to purge the things that are easy. It might not be much but at least it is a start. In some ways this feels great, being able to rid myself of baggage that only serves to weigh me down is always a good thing and I am hoping that I will get addicted to that feeling.

Just as I needed to rid myself of the infertility baggage to get to this point, I need to rid myself of the physical baggage to make room for this new chapter in our life. I will get there, I always do, it is just a little overwhelming here at the bottom of the hole!

The other thing that is getting really strange is people telling my congratulations. I know that they are happy for us and I am so thankful that Cletus already is so loved, but it just does not feel right. Yes, I have willed this pregnancy into being but that is all I have done. In the grand scheme of things that is really nothing. Right now it just does not seem to fit, like last year's winter coat it is tight and makes my skin crawl a bit. I accept these showings of love the best that I can, but they just do not seem to fit me right now. This is a process and one that I am still learning to navigate, so be patient with me I will get there.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Take That!!!!

Our BETA number is so good that we are not even having another. Sunday would have been the normal day to test. Since we are insane TTC people that would not work so we had a pratice one on Friday. So I guess you want to know what that amazing number is, because it is so amazingly wonderful that I might just be taking it to college at 10. Oh, something that I need to tell you first the baby has a name Cletus! Since we live in the south no need to worry that the kid will be made fun of, Cletus will fit right in.

Oh yeah you wanted to know the number. How about 139! That is an awesome number.









239 is a much better number and just happens to be ours!!!!!

Friday, February 5, 2010

How I lost the ability to count!

I promised you the transfer house of horrors story.

The day before the transfer I called the clinic to confirm our appointment. At that time I went over what our wishes were. What I thought was a very clear conversation that was understood, I was so very wrong.

We, Sabrina and I, get to the transfer on time which was no easy feat in the pouring rain. Thankfully, the hospital has valet parking, of course I think that the grocery store should have valet parking but that is another story entirely. Everything is going well. Sabrina got all geared up. Embryologist comes into talk with us, and this is where I should have known something was up. She shows me two pictures of very adorable embies. I do not want to know the gender until maybe 20 weeks and I am seriously considering waiting till birth.

We go back to the transfer room. Sabrina gets all strapped in, lights are turned down, and the doc calls for the embies, as in plural. To tell you the truth I did not even really hear him. Sabrina turns to me and asks if we are transferring two. Since this whole adventure began the husband and I have been fanatical about only transferring one at a time. It is something that we feel very strongly about, our lives and personalities are just better suited to parenting one child.

After some prodding I ask if they are aware that we are only transferring one embryo, open flood gates of misery. The doctor stands up and walks over to me, all 6 foot plus of him while I am sitting on a tiny surgical stool, and starts talking about lower percentages of success with just one, blah, blah blah. The problem was that he did not stop there, he asked five times, in five ways, to get me to agree to both embies. Not only was I willing to do two, but I could not have made that decision even if I did want to transfer both. The husband was almost a thousand miles away and unreachable that the time. How many children we purposefully have is not a decision that I could make without consulting with him. Finally, I just said we are only doing only one in a big girl voice that made him stop pestering me or at least I thought.

The embryologist finished prepping the single embryo and brought it into the room. At this point I was just elated to be almost finished with the whole thing and just get out of there. “You do realize that there is only a 30% chance of this working. I really hope this one works for you,” all said with the most condescending bordering on accusatory voice coming out of the doctor’s mouth. Basically, he was making sure that I understand that if this transfer did not take I was fully to blame. I wanted to scream and run out the room after stomping on his foot, but I decided to be a normal person and just wait. After the transfer no words were spoken to us by the doc, which was fine with me.

The more I have thought about the situation the angrier I get, which is very rare for me. 99.9% of the time things bother me for a day and then I am over it or at least very close to being over the situation. Not this time, because there are some very fundamental things wrong with this whole situation that could have had serious consequences for not only my family’s life but also Sabrina and her family. The responsibility that I feel for Sabrina and her family is overwhelming at times. Pregnancy is risky, we all know this, but when that risk is being taken on by someone who only wants to see you happily become a family it creates a need to do everything to reduce any risks. As a mother your first priority is the safety of your child, as an intended mother my first priority is to the woman who is giving our family the chance to grow.

In the eye of this fury hurricane I lost my ability to count. So if you have made it this far you get to hear the real news. Because our BETA would fall on a Sunday the nurse agreed to give us an order for a BETA today. At 8dp5dt our number is a 71!!!! Next BETA Monday!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Short Update

The transfer happened, I promise to get the whole story, let's just say some good and some bad.


Practice BETA 2/9
First Real BETA 2/11

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Almost There

Well at 2 pm cst, we will be doing the transfer thing again. Keep all appendages crossed that this is the one. I will do my best to update as soon as I can. Of course, me being me I forgot my computer cord, so updating may take a little bit.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Meet Guilt and Questioning

Okay, so here is the update that I have been promising you. Sabrina started her meds the day after Christmas in preparation for our January 28th FET. To tell you the truth I have given very little thought to the whole thing, but more on that later. We had a wonderful Christmas with my family, so wonderful that I did very little thinking about the whole baby thing at all. For once I was really able to just be in the moment and enjoy the time that I had with the people who I love, instead of being distracted by that non-existent human who has haunted me for so many of the previous years. I am so grateful that I was able to just live in the moment, because they are beautiful moments.

For Christmas I gave the husband a trip to San Francisco to see two members of the Grateful Dead play on New Years Eve. To everyone’s shock, mine mostly, I was able to keep this from him. I am horrible about not being able to keep secrets from him, so this was a major accomplishment. It has been a couple of years since we have taken a proper vacation, and although this one was short it was amazingly wonderful. Between school and just day to day life we get very little time to just really be together. We partied way too hard on New Years Eve and spent the next day paying for it, but it was still the most fun I have had in a long time.

During all this fun and acting way younger than we apparently are, I had a profound moment. For just a tiny moment I questioned whether I really wanted to be a mother. Let’s face it a kid is not going to allow us to have much time with each other just being silly kids ourselves. As usual this fleeting thought brought along two friends, meet guilt and questioning.

I live in this constant state of fear about being a good mother, which I know is natural, but that fear quickly turns to guilt in the blink of an eye. I put so much more pressure on myself because of the infertility. The fact that we must go to extremes to have a child has made me feel the need to be the perfect mother, something I know full well does not exist. Every time I even entertain the idea of living without a child or start to enjoy moments that I know will be few and far between once our child is here I feel an overwhelming amount of guilt. No matter how irrational I know this all is, the feelings never seem to change.

Part of all of this is that I still, and always will, feel responsible for my infertility. Yes, I have PCOS which was going to make getting pregnant very difficult at best, but at the end of the day I know that I did this to myself. Really, there was very little choice in the matter, having periods from 2 to 6 months did not leave me with a life. The uterine ablation was the only chance I had at living a “normal” life and there is not a moment that I ever regret making that decision. The fact remains that it was a decision. Unlike the vast majority of women in the world of infertility, I walked into a hospital and signed a consent form to make myself forever infertile. Which also makes me feel guilty about ever calling myself an infertile, because medical conditions caused me to get to that point but in the end I put the final nail in that coffin.

I know that I want to be a mother as much as I want to breathe. I know that parenthood is going to be a great new chapter in our relationship. I also know that I am going to miss these amazing moments that we have together as just a couple. My world is a wonderful place, I am married to the man who was really my best friend before we ever got romantic and no matter where life has taken us we have maintained this friendship. Our world will be an even better place when our child is finally with us.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

a quick word

we just got back from spending time with family for the holidays. unfortunately, one of our journeys came with a parting gift, SICKNESS!!!! i promise to give you all a very long update, but this will have to do for now, as i am pretty sure that my body is going to fall into a billion pieces at any moment.