January 30, 2006

Spoke Too Soon

We hit another big bump this weekend when we found out there may be issues with the birthfather wanting to object to the adoption.

At this point, we’re not quite sure what to do. Our attorney advised us to stick it out for a few more days to see what happens while some paperwork progresses. We may get more information to help us make the decision, but it’s also possible that nothing will change in that short period of time to give us any clear (or even semi-muddy) answers.

Even if we do decide to go forward, because of the laws involved, 30 days after the baby’s born is the earliest that we would know for sure that the adoption isn’t going to be disrupted.

Our options boil down to:

1) Bail within the next few days, lose about $2,000 in attorneys’ fees and living expenses we’ve already paid, have no baby prospects on the horizon, and always wonder whether we made a mistake if the situation does work out and the baby is placed with another family

2) Fork over another $900 at the end of this week, stick it out for at least another week beyond that to see if anything develops and then decide whether or not to bail

3) Go for broke, commit to this all the way, risk a) about $12,000 by the time the baby is placed with us, b) more money if we have to fight it in court c) the heartbreak of possibly having to give the baby back

We don’t have trust funds or a money tree growing in our back yard, so if we spend a lot of money on this situation and it doesn’t work out, we’ll be having to look at potentially drastic options, like down-sizing to a smaller house to get more money to continue forward. On the other hand, if this situation does work out in the end, we risk walking away from a baby by not continuing forward.

If we opt not to continue with this situation, I’ll probably wind up doing our first IVF cycle in the beginning of April. I should have hope for that, and sometimes I do, but it’s scary to think about what if it doesn’t work.

And in a lot of ways, it’s not any different than this adoption situation: either way, we pay thousands upon thousands of dollars up front, with no guarantee of success, and hope and pray that it works out the way we want it to. So is going forward with this adoption really any more risky than going forward with an IVF cycle? Somehow it seems like it is, maybe because in the adoption, other people’s decisions and actions factor into whether it will be successful or not, whereas in an IVF cycle, ultimately it’s nature that decides whether it works or not, rather than other people.

Either way, we don’t have much say. Let me know if any of you have a crystal ball. We could sure use one right now.

January 26, 2006

Good News and Coming Clean

The results of the Rh antibody test came back yesterday, and the test was negative. Yea! That was a huge relief. Deep down, I knew how afraid I was of the possibility that it would come back positive, but I had been trying to take the ostrich route and not think about it too much. I’m glad that little drama is over.

Speaking of dramas, before I begin this next part, I will issue a disclaimer:

If you’re feeling fragile, you may want to stop reading here. I’m not pregnant, but there will be discussion of a baby and, well, us…

This is something I haven’t blogged about yet, because I just haven’t had it in me to put it down in words and put it out here. But I’ve slowly begun to process all the feelings, and I figure it’s probably time to work up the courage and come clean.

The thing is, we’re matched with a birth mom again. (That sentence was supposed to be in teeny, tiny type, but I can't seem to make the blog recognize the html code I added, so pretend you're squinting to read it.) I’m trying not to be afraid, but apparently I can only bring myself to write that in a whisper. We’re pretty much only whispering in real life, too. We’ve told some friends who are also dealing with infertility, and we’ve told our bosses about it, because it’s only fair to give them as much notice as possible. But I’ve only told a couple of fertile friends, and we haven’t told any of our family. I’m not even tempted to say anything to them at this point – it’s just easier not to.

I won’t go into too many details here: I know it’s unlikely that the mom is spending her time browsing the infertility blogosphere, but as my mom says, you can never be too paranoid careful.

The due date is still a ways away, and the situation has already hit a few bumps that we thought might derail it for a while, but we’re still moving forward at this point.

I feel like I should be happy. I feel guilty that I’m afraid, because what kind of faith is that? My faith seems to be in a very sad, sorry state lately. But to be honest, I spent the first few weeks after the match feeling angry. Angry that we have to go through this process in the first place, angry that each day is “ok, what else is going to come up with this situation that we have to deal with?” rather than “yea, we’re one day closer to being parents.”, angry that I can’t enjoy this.

The anger has settled down for the most part. Now I can’t quite tell if I have peace, or if I’m just feeling resigned. R and I still talk about "the match" (again, teeny tiny type meant only to be seen by squinting) in qualifying terms – “ ‘at this point,’ it’s still going forward”; “ ‘hopefully’ she’ll go through with this”; “ ‘so far,’ she still seems to want to do this.”

Maybe I’m stronger this time around, or maybe there’s just a much tougher, hard-to-penetrate layer of armor around my heart now. Because I know that either way, whatever happens with this situation, we’ll be ok in the end. Hopefully parents, maybe not, but ultimately, ok.

January 14, 2006

Sleep Deprivation and a Few Updates

I’ve been behind on blogging, because work’s been busy this week with a couple of special events. I don’t do well when I’m sleep deprived. I tend to forget things, like where I’m supposed to be going and, ahem, articles of clothing.

I got home really late one night this week, then had to get up 6 hours later to go back. When the alarm went off, it took me a full two minutes to figure out what day it was and why the heck the obnoxious thing was buzzing at such a hideously early hour. Then as I stumbled into the lobby of the building, still half asleep, it occurred to me that I had forgotten to put a slip on under my skirt. I was too tired to care.

And since I’m telling you about my wardrobe faux pas and whining about a lack of sleep, clearly I’m still too tired to write about anything new that’s interesting. How about a couple of updates instead?

The weight thing: 20 pounds in 9 weeks may have been, um, a wee bit optimistic. The number goes down, the number goes up, the number goes down, the number goes up. But so far I am down 2 pounds, so at least it’s something. And I’m ahead of R for the moment, too. Bonus points! I think I’ll go celebrate with a piece of the cheesecake that is cooling in our fridge…I really need to get connected with some weight loss blogs like Nico suggested. Maybe they can help me break the habit of rewarding tiny little dieting successes with marathon baking session.

The perinatologist appointment: Because I’m heterozygous rather than homozygous for Factor V Leiden, the peri doesn’t think I need heparin. The information I’ve been reading online points to the same conclusion. So now I need to have a conversation with the RE. That should be interesting. “Hi, I know you’ve had years of medical school and years of experience, but here’s why I think you’re wrong…” Ok, so I’ll be tactful in real life, but it still doesn’t sound like a lot of fun.

Oh, and the peri added a couple more things to my list of things to freak out about should I ever actually see two pink lines again: higher risk of placental abruption and abnormally slow fetal growth. I can’t remember if those are courtesy of the Factor V, the MTHFR or the PAI-1, not that it really matters. Couldn’t the man tell simply by the fact that I showed up in a perinatologist’s office even though I’m not actually pregnant that I tend to obsess a tiny little bit? And that perhaps it would be best not to give me more reasons to obsess, even if they are true??

The Rh antibody test: Still haven’t done it. Every time I think of it, my veins seem to start shrieking and burrow deeper into my arms so as not to be found. But I suppose I’m going to have to suck it up at some point. Maybe this week.

P.S. Fisher Queen – if you’re reading this, check the comments section of the Jan. 10 post.

January 10, 2006

Another Time Around the Track

R and I paid our admission (the price: a small shred of hope), once again boarded The Great Adoption Roller Coaster and strapped ourselves in for another emotional thrill ride.

We got a phone call from an adoption attorney yesterday morning letting us know that a baby had been born at a hospital about 20 minutes away. The birth mom didn’t have any particular criteria for the adoptive parents, and it sounded like we might be the only couple the attorney had on file who would be interested in the situation.

At first, I was frantically trying to put together a status update on the dozen or so projects I’m in the middle of at work so that somebody could pick up if I was to walk out the door and not come back for three months.

After an hour or so, I began willing the phone to ring. Anytime my desk phone rang, I snatched the receiver off the base, tried to sound oh-so-calm as I said hello and then tried not to let the disappointment show in my tone for the rest of the conversation when it turned out not to be the attorney.

Somehow, checking my cell phones every three minutes didn’t make those ring with happy news, either.

As the day wore on, we knew it was looking less and less likely that this would be our baby. After all, if the birth mom did choose us, it’s not exactly like the attorney would forget to call and tell us. ("Oops, sorry, it slipped my mind. Congratulations, you're parents!" Um, no.)

I left a message before heading home for the day but didn’t hear anything back. Then she called late this morning. The birth mom chose another couple, a Hispanic family who speaks Spanish, because she’s Hispanic and only speaks Spanish.

Totally understandable, but also very disheartening.

So, where did this little trip around the tracks take us? Right back to where we started, with a little less hope to show for it.

God, I hate this process. Hate, hate, hate it.

January 03, 2006

Sperm "Art"

I meant to post a Happy New Year wish at the end of last week, but clearly it didn’t happen. R and I went out of town this weekend to celebrate a decade of wedded bliss, and being the last-minute packer that I am, I was still frantically cramming things into a suitcase five hours before we were supposed to wake up to go to the airport. Where is the Suitcase Packing Fairy when I need her??

So, a belated Happy New Year! May this year be filled with the peace, joy and children we are all longing for.

Speaking of children and longing, that was something R and I decided we were not going to do this weekend. It was going to be a no-infertility-thoughts weekend. It was a great plan.

Despite how well intentioned that idea was, it turns out there are some things that will find you regardless of where you are, even if where you are is in an art museum.

I should mention here that R and I are not cultured, art-loving sophisticates. When I see a very large, plum-colored canvas painted orange on most of the top of it and dark blue on most of the bottom, I don’t think that the slightly varying shades of orange have any sort of deep, philosophical meaning. Yes, I realize it’s a famous painting, but I don’t understand why. Nor do I understand why a large canvas painted solid blue is considered “art” and worth thousands of dollars. I could do that. Come to think of it, maybe I should take up canvas-painting as a new way to pay for our infertility treatment bills.

But I digress. We wound up in said museum because it was raining, we needed something to do indoors, and the unfortunate timing of cycle day 1 ruined any chance of other romantic activities.

Our obvious lack of artistic taste aside, we were having a pretty good time wandering through the exhibits. Then we got to the last one, entitiled “Kiki Smith: A Gathering, 1980-2005.”

We turned the corner, stepped into the gallery and looked down to see a large, square, black platform on the floor. It was covered with dozens and dozens of foot-long glass sperm. It looked like a drop of a semen sample, magnified by the power of 1 million.

You think I’m making this up. I’m not. Here’s proof. The picture shows the glass sperm on what appears to be a wood background rather than a black background, but that’s about the only difference.

R and I quickly decide to move on. A mistake. We look up, and there’s a paper maiche-looking sculpture of a woman standing up, umbilical cord hanging out of her vagina, with a baby laying on the ground between her legs. The baby is still attached to the other end of the umbilical cord, which appears to have either hung or strangled him, I’m not sure which.

Quick! Keep going! We continue to scurry through the exhibit, only to come face to face with another paper maiche-looking sculpture. In this one, the woman’s nipples are leaking breast milk that has run down her chest and stomach, leaving chalky white stains as evidence.

By that point, we forgot that this was “art” in the traditional sense of the word. It felt more like a creepy Adams Family version of Infertility Hell, in technicolor. We decided we’d had more than our fill of art and culture for 2006, so we headed for the nearest exit.