Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I can feel it

God is working out His plan. I'm not entirely sure of it all yet, but I can feel Him working. He's very busy. I have hope.

Hope is more than a word--it's a state of being. It's a firm belief that even if you don't know how, even if you don't know when, God will come through and better days are ahead. Life brings rain...Hope dances in the puddles until the sun comes out again.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The problem with having a "Plan A"

is that it implies it will fail and there must be a Plan B. We would never introduce our current spouses as "my first husband", as if to imply there will be a second. I'm not sure what Plan A ever was...I suppose it was get married, have lots of sex, and one of those times will make a baby. Obviously that's been pushed aside for more exciting plans that have involved attorneys, dozens of doctors, injections, contracts, and lots of additional participants. It's almost as if I forget all the plans we've once had in place, until I'm forced to recall the magnitude of devastation that we've endured in our efforts to become parents.

(Un)fortunately, I had a hysterectomy before my dh & I ever started dating. Only 3 months after we had been engaged we were strongly encouraged to pursue surrogacy if we ever wanted to produce a child using my genetics. We cancelled our perfectly orchestrated Cinderella wedding and packed up the car for a roadtrip to Chicago to meet with the surrogacy agency. It was shortly before egg retrieval that our cycle was cancelled with no hope of trying again due to my very unhealthy ovaries. This was followed by two adoptions situations that were presented to us that failed for a variety of reasons, a lot of marital heartache, and the conclusion to pursue traditional surrogacy. This is the simplified version, of course. And now, Plan (Insert Letter of the Alphabet Here) has also failed. After previous confirmation that M's insurance would cover surrogacy, a final "check" today confirmed that it will indeed not cover her.

Financially, we are not prepared to take the risks of insurance claims being denied or purchasing an additional insurance policy for M. So, for now, we are unsure how a baby will make itself into our arms. We need time to digest, pray, and consider our options (again).

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

March Madness

I'm not sure I can even explain our rationale, except to know that we've been reminded that what we want most in life is a baby to love, and so we have moved up our date for insems to March. Just two short months away! For the first time, I can almost feel what it might be like to be expecting a miracle. If God blesses us in our first attempt (which I'm praying he does), we'll be pregnant for Mother's Day and my birthday this year! And, I would have spent the last Christmas without a baby in my arms!

I spoke to the clinic today and they provided us with the lists of testing and preparations for M. She's begining to track her cycles and I ordered her plenty of OPK's that will be delivered to her home this week. I have an appointment tomorrow with an insurance representative to discuss life insurance and short-term disability for M. She also has an appointment next week with her OB for a pap smear and surrogacy discussion.

On to the task of ordering sperm. It seems so surreal, so strange, and completely uncomfortable to be online looking for semen samples. The clinic that will do our ICI has suggested a sperm bank that is local to them. I am off to examine their samples and see if anything catches my eye...if sperm every does catch one's eye.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Would you rather?

It was the perfect New Year's Eve, relatively speaking. Since labor day dh has been remodeling our basement. It was completely gutted, new walls were built, a new bathroom, a gorgeous bar complete with a kegerator (all for him as I'm allergic to beer), gorgeous fluffy semi-shag carpeting perfect for our little one to crawl on (we even bought the thickest padding so it would be extra soft), and gorgeous tile. It's a perfect space for us and although there is still some work to be done, it was largely complete the morning of New Year's Eve.

Our home has been a major construction zone for months and as often as I've tried to keep it clean, the layers of drywall dust and random construction debris have been unavoidable. I was thrilled to be able to wash my hardwood floors without piles of materials in my way. It felt quite liberating to finally begin to unpack the boxes in the spare bedroom (aka the future baby's room). I made dozens of snacks, wore my comfy pj's pants, and we settled in on our new sofas in our new basement. My bff came over for the evening and we hung out and chatted while my dh played his PS3 that he's been neglecting for months. I had purchased a game from Target on Black Friday called "Would You Rather?", it was on sale for $5 and the lady in front of me in line said it was a fun game. If it was horrible, all I would lose is $5, right? Wrong.

It's a horrible game and I'm quite certain that they'll be releasing a new edition by next Black Friday. "Would You Rather: The Infertility Edition".

The game is a collection of questions that present a seemingly impossible choice: Would you rather be in an ocean, 15 yards away from a shark coming toward you or snowshoeing (who does that?) 15 yards from a grizzly bear coming toward you? Would you rather always cry when you should laugh and laugh when you should cry, or lose the ability to do either? The game seems innocent enough and for the majority of the people who have never had to make impossible decisions, it's probably a delightful game for a fun-filled evening of a reality that I will never know. Instead, it was a horrible game that we had to stop playing because I couldn't relax enough to enjoy any of the questions. I actually could recall, in that moment, the miserable feeling when I have been faced with the difficult 'would you rather' choices. For anyone who has experienced infertility or baby-loss, the premise of the game is all too familiar.

Would you rather try another experimental drug that will make you feel miserable, force you to gain weight, and you'll lose your eyesight or have a hysterectomy right now? I tried the drug, and the next drug, and the next drug from the time I was 10 until my hysterectomy when I was 22. I did gain 20 lbs, I have the stretch marks to prove it, and I did lose a large amount of my eyesight, I have the glasses to prove it.

Would you rather risk your savings (or lack thereof) for a 2% chance that an IVF cycle will succeed (and your ovaries can only sustain 1 cycle) or risk never having a biological child? We will never have the biological child.

Would you rather adopt or pursue surrogacy, both options would result in a child not genetically related to you? We're happily pursuing surrogacy. The 'impossible' part of this question comes from the enormous price tag that's associated with surrogacy, after an already enormous price tag we've already paid to still not be parents.

Would you rather divorce your husband who isn't ready to ttc and make a baby on your own or wait until he's ready to ttc and hope you'll be the family you've always dreamed of? Well, we still haven't officially ttc, but according to dh's wishes and M's cycle, it looks like we will be at the end of May 2010. We're still married, I'm madly in love, but baby-stress is a constant barrier in our marriage.

The questions are endless, the game is horrific. I pray, truly pray, that the remainder of our "would you rather" questions in our life can come from a board game and not our reality.