Monday, February 26, 2007


In response to R's last post, someone asked if we'd considered switching roles and having me try. To answer that question, yes, it's been discussed, but I have issues all my own and they don't have anything to do with wanting/not wanting to try myself.

The fact is, I do want to try, at some point. It has always been part of our plan. In our perfect dream world, it would go like this: R would try, get pregnant, have a baby, etc. And then a couple of years later, I'd try, get pregnant, have a baby, etc... one big happy family. Unfortunately, it hasn't gone quite like this. So, now we're left with making decisions about what R will/can do next. And if that doesn't work, then perhaps I'll give it a go.

The problem is this: I have several hormonal issues that might prevent me from being able to carry myself. We'll know more when I visit the same IVF specialist R saw a couple of weeks ago. Dr. S is actually a Reproductive Endocrinologist and took an interest in my case, stating that he'd be interested in treating my issues and suggesting that I should make an appointment to see him. I feel good about this idea, so I made an appointment for mid-March. I'm not seeing him for fertility, but rather to just treat my hormone issues, but who knows, I might be able to get answers along the way that would settle any questions/thoughts/what-ifs about this.

So, there ya have it. I'm not opposed to trying, but I'm not sure I can, either. We just want to figure it out and at this point, we'd be happy if either one of us could make it happen.

Sunday, February 25, 2007


Aaargh! We did not get into the IVF study -- the one that would have paid a large chunk of the genetic testing costs. All the slots got filled and we were the very first people they rejected -- just our luck these days. The nurse said if we'd gotten our names submitted even eight hours earlier, we would have gotten in. Why'd she have to tell us that?! I cried, a lot... I mean, A LOT. It has been very distressing, and there is a very big part of me that just wonders if we are not meant to ever have this happen for us. Additionally, I am MAD. We have worked so hard and for so long and have never caught much of anything even resembling a break.

I know I am whining, but seeing as I just do not have the cash to make this happen, I am left with very few options and whining looks pretty good all-in-all. The other half of this is that while in the grand scheme of things I realize that 20,000-25,000 bucks is not that much really... it could buy you a new Honda?... but the idea of spending what to us is a very large chunk of change is scary, particularly when we may have to finance a good deal of it (did I mention that I teach public school for a living? and Ju works for the university, which is notorious for their low-paying salaries).

While we may be able to beg, borrow, and steal the cash, we are then faced with the super-scary prospect of putting our lives back together if this does not happen for us. I have no idea what the right thing to do is. IVF seemed much less scary at a significantly reduced price tag. I am overwhelmed by all of the possible scenarios and additional awful things that could happen to us.

Both of our doctors have recommended that we go on and do a couple more rounds of dual-IUI with the hefty 150 milligrams of Clomid, additional estrogen support, the anti-neural tube defect drugs, progesterone support, 1500 milligrams of metformin and dexamethazone (steroid). The hope is that we will win the chromosomal lottery and produce an egg or two that are healthy and capable of survival, that this egg gets fertilized, and all the stuff that is supposed to happen happens. This is significantly less costly than IVF, but runs a pretty high risk of additional miscarriage.

We have been having some very frank discussions about what we think the state of my metal health would be if we lost another two or three pregnancies. This is a question that I don't know the answer to. I know that I am likely to get pregnant with this grouping of drugs and a dual-IUI (as I have gotten two times that can be documented out of the last three tries, but I suspect it actually happened all three times). The question, as always, is: can we hold on to the pregnancy? I used to worry so much about getting pregnant; now I pretty much expect to get pregnant, just worry about staying pregnant.

Saturday, February 17, 2007


I haven't blogged in a while because I have just been way too upset to deal with it. It has been a hell of a month and I am glad things seem to be getting better.

After meeting with the IVF doctor (Dr. S), it seems that we are planning our first (and hopefully only) IVF cycle for June. Dr. S was great and he told us that based on all of the information he had, it was likely that I have some issues with producing eggs that are genetically normal, and so when they are fertilized, they are not able to survive.

Dr. S said that I have both of the genetic markers for neural tube defects (ie, spina bifida) and that I will need to take some additional meds to prevent our child being born with this. Apparantly, the medication is simple: just a very high dose of folic acid combined with B-series vitamins.

He recommended that we do a combination pack of IVF with genetic testing on the embryos to decide which to implant. He says this will give me a much higher rate of pregnancy of at least 60%! Seeing as how we were working with a success rate of less than 10% before, 60% is amazing and we feel really good about it.

The clinic Dr. S runs has an outrageous success rate and our doctor here in town seems to think this guy is a god. And, so far, to us he is! He was kind, funny, and took an enormous amount of time with us (about two hours) to go over everything you can imagine. He talked about all of the possible reasons that we lost the previous pregnancies and never once did he term it in anything other than "this is a medical problem" terms. After having been told that it was "just bad luck" by the staff at my local doctor's office, it was a relief to not have him say that. When someone starts talking about "luck", frankly, it just makes me feel like it is my fault. But when someone talks about screwed up chromosomes, I know I can't change that with my thoughts, behavior, stress level, etc.

Dr. S is trying to get us in a study that looks at the impact of genetic testing of embryos on the pregnancy rates of younger women. We will find out if we get into the study early next week. The really great part about the study is that it will pay for about $10,000 worth of the medical cost of all of this. (Did I mention that insurance pays nothing?!) We are really hopeful that this will be the answer that we are looking for.

I am still intrested in having us get to know Z for all sorts of reasons. The reality is that even the most amazing amount of medical intervention may leave us without a child in our house. I want us to continue to look at what it would mean for us to adopt and if that happens with Z it would be great, but if it doesn't, then I think all three of us would benefit from the experience of getting to know each other.

Z is not expecting to be adopted and because I am already a part of her life, I doubt she would think it was that odd for us to see each other. Foster kids have an enormous number of adults that they have interaction with that a kid in a traditional family would not have, so having us "mentor" her (i.e. hang out together) would not be so very strange. At least I don't think so. (?) Feel free to weigh in.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


Since both R and I have off on Thursday, R decided to check and see if the IVF specialist had any cancellations/openings that day so we could go for the appointment early. As it turns out, the receptionist had *just* hung up with the person who was cancelling the appointment we needed, so she was able to work us in right away. We're quite eager to have answers, so this is a great thing to be able to go when we have time do it and not have to wait another month, which is when we were originally scheduled.

Updates coming soon.

Monday, February 12, 2007


Which blog service is your favorite and why? I'm especially interested to hear from you folks out there who have switched from Blogger to WordPress. Was the transition smooth and are you pleased with the switch? etc, etc, etc...

Sunday, February 11, 2007


R and I have been doing a lot of talking about what we're doing in this TTC process, what we want, what we need, our fears, etc. We've talked a lot about Z, the little girl who is coming up for adoption, and how we each feel about that.

No decisions are being made right now and the fact is, being able to actually adopt her anyway is a long shot. But we'll take some time to think it over, to mull over our concerns, and to come up with answers that feel right to us. In the meantime, we've pretty much decided to pursue the classes we need to take to be certified as foster/foster-to-adopt parents. That way, if we do decide at some point to pursue Z, or some other kid, we'll have our certifications completed. It can't hurt, right? At the very least, we could have Z spend the night one night, or just take her out for a few afternoons. That way, I could get to know her a bit because I think part of my struggle is that I just don't know her. It might be nice to be a sort of mentor anyways.

I still have many of the same concerns I aired before, but the one thing I am sure of that keeps me from saying 'no' is this: all kids deserve love. All kids deserve to have a decent home. We'd potentially have the chance to give a little girl everything she'd otherwise not have and she deserves that. So, that's where I am right now.

As far as another "try" with IUI goes, we're considering it some time from now. Our doctor actually wants to do another round before we see the IVF specialist for our consult. We don't know if we'll take her up on it, but it gives me some glimmer of hope. Dr. A knows what we've been through and she knows how upset we've been. I can't imagine that she'd ask us to try again if she didn't really think we stood a chance. She knows we have the appointment with the IVF guy. If she thought she couldn't do anything more for us, I think she'd just give us her blessing to move onto to the next step. But, she hasn't done that, so... I have to believe. It's scary as hell, though.

R talked to the nurse/insem coordinator the other day to see if her second round of tests came in. I can't recall if they had or not, but the nurse did say that Dr. A wants R to go ahead and start taking extra folic acid (in addition to the prenatals she already takes), baby aspirin, and at some point, progesterone. This was in response to a conversation that R had with them (I don't recall the details) and it has become obvious to us that Dr. A is really listening to us.

So, we have a lot going on and a lot to figure out. It's confusing as hell, but I am so glad I have R to figure this out with.

Thursday, February 08, 2007


R called me this morning to inform me that she'd just found out some kids at her school were about to be up for adoption. She's known these kids for a while, as they have somehow managed to follow her path as she's taught at three different schools. Each school she moves to, they're there. Anyway, it's a sibling group - three kids (two boys, one girl). They're African-American, have a very loooooooooong history of being abused/neglected/etc., and the youngest is five years old. R says they're great kids and very sweet, but I don't know them outside of the few wretched stories I've heard about their family.

It looks as if the sibling group will be split up. Child care services is trying to adopt the boys out as a pair and the girl out alone, unless by some miracle, some family is willing and able to take all three (which isn't us, by the way). R, at least this morning, was flipping out at the chance to adopt the little girl, Z.

The thing is this: We still have a chance at pregnancy. The doctor has a new plan for us and says things with R look promising. I hate to forfeit this and if we adopted Z, that's what we'd have to do, for now anyways. And, if I'm being honest, I'm not sure I want a five year old. I could change my mind after giving it some more thought, but right now, in this very instant, I'm having a hard time saying "yes". Plus, the fact that she's been abused and neglected - it makes me sad, but call me selfish - I'm not sure I want to take on a kid who has all that baggage.

The other thing is, and I don't want to offend anyone - I'm not sure adopting an African-American child is the best thing for us. We're already a minority family, living in the South (not the most accepting place), and I don't want to make things any harder for a child than they might already be. And I think for a child of five years old to come into our home, after being raised and fostered in black homes, it would be really hard for her. Also, I'm not African-American myself and I don't have that culture that I would want to be instilled in my child. Is this wrong to feel this way? Seriously, share your thoughts with me!

Additionally, I worry that my family wouldn't accept an African-American child the way they would if I adopted a white baby. This isn't right and in no way am I making an excuse for my family, but the reality is that my mom will be 70 years old next year. There are some generational things there that would make it very hard for her to come to grips. Quite frankly, I don't care about that as far as my mom is concerned, but it would worry me for the child. I don't want my child to feel funny or unwelcomed because he/she is black and living in a white family where they are not completely loved by everyone. It's all so confusing.

Plus, I just have issues about foster care anyway. After R's call this morning, I looked up the child care services online foster/adoption listings, hoping to read about these kids. I didn't find them there, but I was able to look at a listing of 151 children. Out of those 151 children available, the youngest not in a sibling group was eight years old. And nearly all of the children have serious behavioral and/or mental and/or learning and/or physical problems. That's a lot for anyone to take on.

The part that really gets to me, though, is that the goal of child care services is to keep these children in their biological parents' homes. It doesn't matter if little Mikey has been beaten and burned and starved for six years straight - "momma" can say "this time is different" and off Mikey goes, back home to a disaster. I can't bear the thought of getting past all of my issues, taking a child, loving them, and then having them ripped from my home. Sure, some folks will say, "But it's not about you." To that, I say screw it, because when that child leaves and goes back home, it's damaging for them, too. What good is providing a loving home, if the child is just going to be taken away in the end? Isn't that, in some way, more damaging to the child? I think so, but that's just me.

There are so many things to think about and so many questions. I want to see these kids find loving homes and certainly, we'd be loving parents, but I'm just not sure this is the right thing for us. I'm not saying no, but I'm not saying yes, either. I just need time to think, think, and then think some more. Comments, please!

Thursday, February 01, 2007


I had to go in today to see Dr. A to discuss the results of my latest ultrasound. She says the cyst on my ovary hasn't changed and while that isn't good, at least it hasn't gotten any bigger. She wants to see me again in eight weeks and if it's still the same then, or if it's gotten bigger, she'll do surgery. Let's hope it doesn't come to that - I have an enormous fear of being put under that isn't to be believed.

Because the schools (and the university, where I work) were closed for winter weather today, R got to go with me to my appointment. This was good because Dr. A had no choice but to address her as well. She told us that R's test results were all fine, but that she was waiting on one last thing. She said she knows we're going through a lot, but she's not ready to give up and for us to consider another try in a few months from now.

Anyway, we felt such relief to be able to talk to her in person so we didn't have to keep getting these wierd answers or to have to be postponed. I mean, anyone at anytime could have said your first tests look good, but we're still waiting on the last one, or something like that. It was driving us nuts.

We're looking forward to our appointment in March with the IVF specialist. We're not sure we need the actual IVF because we've had previous successes with R getting pregnant. But at least he'll be able to run more sophisticated tests and do the monitoring that we might need.