Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Fast Track Fertility Plan

I saw my little Italian gynecologist this afternoon. I made the appointment this summer. We now have a plan. A good plan.
1. Tomorrow I get my thyroid level checked.
2. I call next Wednesday to ensure that the lab sent her the results. If my thyroid is low, we start on a thyroid medicine again.
3. The first day of my next cycle (beginning in January) I call to schedule an ultrasound for day 12 of my cycle.
4. Day 3-7 of my next cycle, I take 100 mg of Clomid (last time I took this stuff it was 50 mg.)
5. Day 12 ultrasound, if I'm making a follicle we stick with the Clomid for two more cycles. If I'm not making a follicle, she gives me an injection and I will ovulate within 36 hours. We time intercourse for that day and the day after. Or we can do intrauterine insemination.
Finally a plan.

Logistics and the Specimen Cup

S has never really wanted to get checked out. He has been convinced from the beginning that all conception challenges were mine. When asked to have his sperm tested, he would agree and then not make the appointment. Or, when I made the appointment, something would "come up" and he had to cancel. So, when he actually made and KEPT the appointment with his doctor last Friday, I thought our challenges were over. Little did I know that there would be more hurtles to jump.
Here are the details to the latest snafu. S was handed a specimen cup told it needed to be filled after three days of abstinence, kept warm, and delivered to the lab within thirty minutes of filling it. Then he was ushered out the door; filling the cup at the doctor's office on Friday was not a possibility. We don't live within thirty minutes of the hospital's lab so filling the cup within the privacy of our own home was not an option. S needed to find a place where he could do his thing and not be charged with indecent exposure or something like that. We brainstormed a list of folks we knew within a thirty minute radius of the lab, but how do you ask a buddy if you can use his bathroom for a while? Mission impossible, right?
Here is what the man decided to do: 1. Wear his puffy jacket to work, specimen cup and brown paper bag in his backpack. 2. Use the bathroom at work at a relatively quiet time. 3. Collect the necessary, put cup in paper bag, paper bag under his arm while wearing big puffy coat. 4. Deliver it to the lab, five minutes away. 5. Pray to God those few people who were working suspect nothing. Who knew it would be such an ordeal. At least his test didn't require mega doses of antibiotics and being filled up with dye.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

5000 Choices and I'm Knitting Booties

We're looking into everything at this point. Yesterday was filled with a crazy amount of pursuing. I emailed every adoption agency in the state (all nine) requesting information. S went by The Department of Health and Human Services and got information on foster care/foster to adopt. While I was substitute teaching kindergarten, S spoke to a nun who called back about their program. I am disappointed with her information. According to the website, to adopt from our local Catholic home for wayward ladies, or what ever it's called, costs $11,000. Just under the tax reimbursement amount. VERY promising. But according to the Sister, they haven't been accepting couples into the program because the birthmothers are choosing to raise the children when they leave. Which is wonderful for them, but a closed door for us. She can do our homestudy though and help us network to get an adoption for $20,000-30,000. She also mentioned adopting from Korea. Which is something new for us to look into.

About the foster care thing. I'm scared out of my mind about that. But excited too. I'm leaning towards less than three years old. Here are my fears. I'm afraid of loving someone else who will leave us. I'm afraid of battling the state (Maine is not known for a well run foster care system). I worked for a little while with autistic preschoolers, and secretly I'm afraid it will be like LIVING that job. Endless screaming, biting, power struggles. Nap time was a nightmare for one kiddo and I can't imagine a fight like that every night. Another secret fear is false accusations. What if we get a kiddo in our home, love him/her, and then we are accused of harming this child. S is a police officer, I'm a teacher. Personally and professionally we couldn't handle a blow like that.

Then another part of my brain kicks in. The booty knitting kind. The part of me that wants to bake Christmas cookies and give the bowl to be licked out by someone watching Sesame Street instead of by someone watching football. The part of me that knows I have a lot of love to give and I am loved by many children already. The part of me knows that a child would be safe here in this home. We are caring, supportive people. S is amazing with kids without being sappy. Our dog Luke would love a kiddo to romp with in our fenced in back yard. We're close to schools, the library, a big playground. We play at the lake house (we call it camp) in the summertime, we build snowmen in the winter. S and I love our fun. We would make a great home for a hurting child.

So it seems that the deeper we look into bringing a child home the more choices there are. Adoption - domestic or international? Domestic - agency of independent? Open or closed? International - Russia, Korea, Guatemala, Ethiopia....? Foster care - which agency? How old? How long? These are the things I think about as I work on crocheting booties.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Holiday Heart Pangs felt by the Childless

Holidays have been hard on S and I for a while. Most years we spend Thanksgiving and Christmas with my family where each year a new child is ushered into the world and is passed from one cooing cousin to another. In the early stages of our quest to have a baby, back when we were waiting to see "what would happen," seeing the little ones made our hearts warm. I would look at S as he would play with a tyke and think, "see, he is going to make such a great daddy!" He must have thought similar things because he never failed to gently touch my arm or stroke my cheek when I rocked a newborn, when I was the cousin cooing over the new addition.

Then, as the years multiplied so did our doubts. It was harder and harder to bounce a baby on my knee or tickle a toddler. Holidays seemed more of a reminder of our want than our hope. In fact for the last two or three years I have been angry with God, asking Him in private "Why not us!? Why do they keep getting children? Just give us ONE!"

You need to understand, my cousins have lots of kids - three to six kids per family. It was so hard keeping my jealousy in check. We just wanted one baby to call our own. One that hid her head in my neck pretending to be shy. One who lifted his arms to S when he fell down. Just one.

Thanksgiving seemed different this year, though. I held the newest babe - five weeks and a snuggler - all day. S became the best buddy to an energetic four year old who thought it was really cool to have a giant man to treat as his very own jungle gym. It felt like the early days of our baby quest. My heart felt warm. We have turned a corner in our journey. Hope of adoption. Hope of a baby. Hope...

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Well, two interesting pieces of information came my way today. The MAPS adoption information packet came in the mail and my husband got the dish on a friend's IVF experience. An adoption through MAPS seems like it is going to cost a fortune. Unless we find our own birthmother, so if you know of anyone in a crisis...

Our buddy whose wife just had IVF had an excellent experience and her insurance covered some of the cost. Our insurance rep doesn't think that that is the case for us. But she's checking into it. The clinic is about 150 miles away which tells you how very far away we are from civilization. If only Wal-Mart got in on the infertility game...there's one of those every 25 miles.

I have an appointment with the OB-GYN on December 4th. I made that stinking appointment in the middle of the summer, by the way. I'm getting assertive this time. To the point of irrational. We want a baby/pregnancy within 18 months or we will be stepping up the adoption plans. Enough already. I'm pushing 30. I've been trying for EIGHT years. It's go time.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A Needle in Bombay Anyone?

You know you've reached the brink of insanity when you actually contemplate traveling to India for an EMBRYO ADOPTION.
That's right kiddos. I actually looked up ticket prices on expedia.com
It would mean ten nights in Bombay, stirrups, and $3500.
Thank goodness I couldn't find the credit card.
Check it out for yourself.

Happy Thanksgiving, and please pass the curry.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Who We Are

My husband, S and I met while working together at a little restaurant in coastal Maine. We had a whirlwind romance and were married less then a year after meeting. It was the best impulse decision of my life. We were married in July of 1999 and each day I fall deeper in love with this man.

One of the reasons why I fell so hard and fast for this guy was the way he spoke to the children who came into the restaurant. He would scootch down beside a table, look a kid in the eye, and talk to him like he was the only person in the room. I just knew part of my purpose in life was to have a family with this man.
So we began trying for this family right off the bat. And we got pregnant just as fast. While I knew I wanted kids, I was overwhelmed at how quickly it all happened. So in the middle of my elation mingled with undeniable fear and dread, I started to miscarry. We lost our first baby at nine weeks. I can't tell you how guilty I felt. I am so thankful for the sound council I got from my pastor's wife and from my mother who helped me let go destructive thoughts.

Except for a very brief hiatus from "trying," S and I have spent the last eight years attempting pregnancy. In the meantime, I finished my degree in education, he became a police officer, we bought a house, and adopted a yellow Labrador we named Luke. We also miscarried two more times.
Through the years, we have purchased countless pregnancy tests, taken herbs and vitamins, hormones, given over 50 vials of blood, had many ultrasounds, and one VERY painful die-filled x-ray. Everything keeps coming up "normal." Reassuring and immensely frustrating at the same time.
We are still seeing a medical specialist, but also gathering information on adoption. Through domestic or international adoption or through hormones and IVF, I believe that our home was meant for children. It will happen. Welcome to our journey.