Wednesday, November 13, 2013

So then that happened...

I honestly can't believe I'm updating this page right now. It feels a little surreal, as I wasn't sure if/when I would ever update again given where we were when I last updated.

Rather than beginning at the end and ending at the beginning, I'm going to tell this the old fashioned way.

We had made the decision to stop trying to have kids biologically. I was over and done with the roller coaster and we were ready to move on and pursue other methods.

We researched all types of adoption, but discovered that many were out of our reach, either due to my husband's age, or due to finances. We did start the process to go forward with Fost/Adopt, however.

We got as far as filling out the initial paperwork and getting our references in order when we heard some awful stories from a few people we know that had tried to go this route. Long stories short, they had kids placed with them, in one case had the kid for YEARS, then reunification happened. To one family this happened 4 times, each time DCEF told them that reunification wasn't going to happen and each time a judge overruled.

While we are adults and could handle this, my 4 year old son really, really wants a baby sibling (actually he wants a sister, but that's a story for another day). I couldn't stand the thought of him beginning to bond with a baby, then having to lose that. So we decided to shelve the idea until he's older and better able to handle what could happen.

So we were in this place of limbo, not really sure we were going to do anything, and I was making peace with the idea that we would only have one child, when I realized that my period was late.

At first I just assumed it was late. Then I assumed it was really late. Then I started having some odd cramps coupled with intense nausea. This was followed by my boobs growing an entire cup size seemingly overnight.

Eventually a light went on and I peed on a stick.

Imagine my surprise when it turned pink. Now, it was very, very, very light pink, which lead me to believe this was just going to be another chemical pregnancy/very early loss, so I went about my business, a little angry at people that have lots of kids seemingly without trouble (I may have cursed the Duggars a time or two).

Except that I never started bleeding, and the symptoms continued. And worsened. And I passed the time when I normally had chemical pregnancies/early losses.

Things are still very early, and I've been avoiding calling the OB just yet because my insurance sucks and I don't want to get stuck with a huge bill if I'm just going to lose this anyway, but...I'm feeling a little hopeful.

Compounding all of this is my son's intense desire for a baby sister. We haven't told him, but he's a 4 year old genius and has evidently figured things out on his own. Yesterday as I stood at the kitchen counter trying desperately not to hurl into the sink he came up to me, patted me on the stomach and said, "I think it's going to be a baby girl." Um, what? He has NO experience with pregnant women, does not know how babies are born, and, um, what?

So, maybe a little tiny part of me thinks that maybe he knows something I don't, and maybe, just maybe this will all be OK. Maybe.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The First Rule...

My husband and I have been finally been making a little progress in figuring out what our next step is going to be. Inspired by a comment left on a recent post, we've been scheduling 20 minute talks where we discuss what's going on. The key is that we only discuss it during those 20 minutes, which works for us on two levels:

My husband doesn't feel like I'm constantly bombarding him with information

I actually feel like he's listening

We've even started to joke about it, saying that the first rule of the 20 Minute Talk, is that you don't talk about the 20 Minute Talk. Even scheduling it has to be done in code.

Jokes aside, it really has helped us go forward.

We haven't made our final decision yet, but it looks like we are leaning toward surrogacy. Adoption is still on the table, but last night we spent our 20 minutes weighing the pros and cons of each, and we agreed that surrogacy came out slightly ahead. Strangely, it's my husband that won't take adoption off the table just yet, even though he's the one that is far more resistant to it.

The goal is to come to a final agreement by the end of the month, so that we can move forward with whichever plan it is come April. We recognize that no matter which way we go, we're looking at months of paperwork and meetings with lawyers, etc before we even get down to the nitty-gritty.

And I have to admit, as much as I'm pleased we're finally making some progress, I'm anxious to get going due to the looming timeline that exists just beyond our decision.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

When It Rains...

One of the side effects of waiting this long to have a second child, is the constant wondering and daydreaming about what that second child will be like and how he or she will fit into the family. Because I am a worrier by nature, I have often pondered hypothetical situations where I needed to be with one child for some reason, and how, oh how would I balance it for the kid left behind?

I got a taste of that this weekend.

My son had been sick for several days. Coughing, fever, lethargic sick. But he woke up very slightly better Saturday morning. Better enough that we decided against taking him to urgent care, and planned to just stay at home for the day instead.

Fast forward an hour when my husband and I simultaneously noticed that the kitten was limping. Now, I make no apologies for excuses for the fact that Peep is my replacement baby. She is my BABY and I adore her.

So upon seeing that she was limping, I picked her up and flipped her over to look at her paw. My husband came over to see what it was and the two of us got a good look at her paw pad at the same time. There was a simultaneous gasp and mad dash for the phone to call the vet when we realized that all the skin on her paw was missing.

Now my son was still sick, but holding his own for the moment. We had no idea yet what had happened to Peep (turned out to be frost bite, of all things), but my parent's dog had had an accident that involved her paw pad, and she nearly lost her leg as a result. So I was in a blind panic driving her to the vet.

At one point, I remembered my son at home and it dawned on me that this must be what it's like to have two kids. You don't pick favorites, necessarily, but you go with the one that needs you the most at the moment.

Peep came home hopped up on pain killers and a cast on her leg up to her hip. She should be fine, provided we can make it one week without infection. It appears she fell asleep with her paw against a window overnight. The cold window froze the skin, and when she ran up the stairs, it ripped the dead skin right off. Horrifying, but she should keep her paw provided it doesn't get infected.

Later that day we wound up having to take my son to urgent care where it was discovered he had a double ear infection and bronchitis. I spent the rest of the weekend hovering over them both.

Strangely, this has all had little to no effect on my desire to add to our family. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Talking

The last week or so has been spent in non-stop research and talk between my husband and I. Trying to figure out which direction we'll be going in next, and make our plan.

My husband has been dealing with some really rough things at work just now (he's a small business owner) so he's listening and asking questions, but we can't make any serious decisions until after he's sorted a few things out.

What we have decided is this: No IVF. This last chemical pregnancy was enough to drive my pain syndrome into overdrive. I really, really, reallyreallyreally do not want to be pregnant again. I'm scared of another loss, and I'm scared of the pain.

That leaves us with adoption or surrogacy.

To address question left in comments a couple of posts back, the reason we won't be doing fost to adopt is because there is a very high risk of getting placed with a baby, only to have that baby get returned to relatives. This happened to some good friends of ours - they had that little girl for FOUR YEARS before she was taken from them. I think I would die; particularly after all the other losses we've gone through, I can't handle the thought of getting a baby in my arms, and potentially losing him.

We're currently looking more into surrogacy. I had thought it was prohibitively expensive, but it turns out it might not be. My husband likes this option more, but can't quite get his head around it yet. I like the idea of adoption more, but am willing to consider surrogacy if that's the direction my husband feels more comfortable with.

We've agreed to keep researching/talking for the next month, then we'll gather all our info and sit down to discuss.

The hard part is that while I know what's going on in my own head, and I share what's going on in my own head regularly, my husband has been pretty quiet. I attribute a lot of this to his work problems; he doesn't have the mental space to deal with anything else. But it's still frustrating, because I want this to a journey we take until we arrive at the right decision, and it feels like I'm walking in place, and we'll make a giant leap at the end.

Still, it feels good to know we have the beginnings of a plan and we'll be able to get started on the next leg of our journey in the next month or so. 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Superstition

I am not a superstitious person for the most part. I tend to believe in The Universe, and that certain things happen for a reason, while other things are totally in our control.

That said, I've had a little bit of superstition regarding this whole pregnancy loss journey I've been on. Early on, after I realized that this was more than just a couple of random losses, I bought a charm. It was an orange "Skittle". A resin skittle a little larger than the real thing that I wore on a chain around my neck.

I never took it off. I wore it to bed, the gym, in the shower. My son loved to play with it, running it back and forth along its chain.

The chain broke and I lost the charm last night.

Now, I'm sure it's not totally lost; we have a 10 month old kitten who I'm sure batted it off someplace while I was sleeping (she was a little extra active this morning while I was trying to get some more sleep). But the fact that it came off...

The fact that it came off, just when we're starting to explore adoption, etc, kind of felt like a kick from the universe.

I've been feeling for a long time now, that maybe I'm just not supposed to get pregnant. That my path to a child really must lay in some other way - that my next child will be "different" (adopted, maybe?).

So maybe it broke for a reason?

Or maybe this is just a long string of crappy coincidences and the chain broke because my kid played with it too much. 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Moving On

Chemical pregnancy on the last try.

I totally knew something was up with this last cycle. I went from super strong symptoms, to less strong symptoms, to no symptoms. I also went from a super faint positive line to a negative, so I was not too shocked.

That said, we are done trying this way. Or rather, I am done trying this way.

It seems my loving husband, as he put it, put all his eggs in the basket that just trying naturally would eventually work. So he's been giving me a lot of lip service since last summer when I asked him if we could explore other options. Apparently, he didn't think it would be necessary, and never gave it the brain space.

So.

We are not giving up entirely. By this summer we will be moving on to something else - more reproductive medicine, adoption, surrogacy, SOMETHING.

My personal desire is to move to adoption. I don't think I ever want to pee on another stick, take hormonal medicine or endure another test. Not to mention the fact that there is no guarantee that IVF or even surrogacy would work, because we have no idea what's wrong.

IVF is by far the cheapest option ($2,400 if we can get insurance on board, $6,000 if we cannot) but I really DO NOT WANT to do it. I've agreed that I will talk to the RE, however, if my husband decides he feels strongly about it. I'm just convinced it will be a very expensive loss.

If we do move on to adoption, it will be of the international variety. Yes, I know that is much more expensive, but we have a tiny issue in my husband's age. While I am 35, he turns 50 next week. We will therefore be technically ineligible for many kinds of adoption by the end of next week. Going international means that I can adopt as a single person, and he can adopt the child at a later date. Tricky, but we know of two other couples in the same boat that have done it.

Yes, I also realize that we are still eligible to adopt an older child, but I feel strongly that the best fit for our family will be a child younger than our son. Many agencies we've looked at feel the same way, actually, so we would be looking for a child younger than 3 (or 4 depending on when we get started) and by my husband's age, we are ineligible for a child that young.

We're now in what I'm calling the interim period. While my husband thinks about what he feels strongly about doing next, and we have many, many discussions, I'm using this period to work on some other stuff.

I'm trying to work on our relationship - 8 losses in two years takes a big toll.

I'm trying to be a better parent to the child I already have, rather than focusing solely on the future.

I'm working on my freelance career and some art projects that I've put off because trying was taking all my time and energy.

The goal is to have reached a decision about what we are doing next by April or May, so that we can make appointments, look at finances etc, by June. I figure we're in for the long haul no matter which way we choose, so I want to get going.

Strangely, I am so freaking happy to be done with the trying portion of the game that I feel like a giant weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I know my child is out there - maybe not even born yet, but out there - and we will get there eventually, but it won't be this way. And somehow, after everything we've gone through, this is very comforting.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Ugly Tears

My husband and I had a huge fight this morning basically about whether we should try this month or take the month off. This all stems from the fact that I'm viewing sex as something of a chore right now. You know, mop the floors, do the dishes, have some baby-makin' sex. He apparently feels we should be having sex because it's fun. Fun. Huh. I think I've forgotten what that aspect of sex is like.

What really surprised me was my reaction. I honestly had considered taking this month off anyway, so when he told me he wanted to shelve it I surprised both of us by bursting into tears. Ugly, shoulder shaking, gut wrenching tears. The kind where your face sort of folds in on itself and you know you look like hell without even having to see a mirror.

The idea of taking even one month off was giving me the equivalent of a panic attack. I suddenly couldn't STAND the thought of not trying. Odd because I'm also really, really ready to move on. Not from trying for another child, but from this specific type of trying for another child. I don't want anymore breath-held terror, worrying about another loss. I don't want to feel pregnant - even if its just the progesterone fucking with me. I want to move on to whatever we decide will be the next step - IVF, adoption, surrogacy - whatever.

So apparently hope really is the last thing to die, because there must be a very small (and yet very vocal) part of me that isn't ready to give up quite yet.