Sunday, November 20, 2005

Just What the Hell is Going On?

Okay, this post has been brewing for a while. I've been busy with deadlines, and in between, keeping up on the usual blogs I visit.

I have not been happy about what I'm reading.

It is sad and disheartening to constantly read about everyone's trials and tribulations, and I'm going to name names.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not complaining about your problems. I'm just so sad that these things are happening to you all. I have never met any of you IRL, yet I read your words, which often times are things so raw your blogs are the only place you can really get these sentiments out. So while I may not know you, I am reading your deepest, darkest ickiest stuff about the most intimate details of your lives. This makes an impact on me; in a way, I do know all of you, I'm reading and I'm empathizing.

Thalia just went through her first round of IFV, which didn't work, which she got to find out through the early arrival of her crimson bitch. The beta came back at 5, just to kind of hammer it home in case the cramps and blood left any doubt. Well, that absolutely sucks. I'm hoping the numbers go down and this clears up so she can try again, with better results. How about that? Is that too much to ask for?

Manuela is embarking on her first IVF round (Yay! Go Manuela & Atilla!) which is exciting, but also dealing with the aftermath of being adopted...No small thing to shrug off. Who needs this agita? Yet there it is, to be digested and dealt with, like very dry bread. You have my support... You seem to be a strong and self possessed woman and no doubt the challenges throughout your life have contributed greatly to your abilities to adapt, but I'm wishing you a vacation nonetheless.

Katie and her Partner have just gone through their first round of IVF, which failed. It's such a perfect thing to do... Partner is being stimulated and the embryos are transferred to Katie to bear for the nine months. When you're a lesbian, I couldn't think of a more lovely way to start a family. I just want it to work for both of you. Please don't give up. Try again when the time is right for you both.

Kath has had to endure yet another miscarriage. Such a tease at life, taken away without an answer as to why. It must truly be maddening, I just don't know how you cope. Yet what is the alternative? Completely losing it? Not much of an alternative, although I'm sure there are times when we all must think and feel that we're a hair's breadth away from just snapping. Please hang in there and try to get some rest. I'm glad you're keeping busy - it's a fantastic way to deal, but treat yourself well.

My heart also aches for Katie in NY. With both male and female IF factors involved, they recently went through their first IVF attempt with the needed benefit of a grant. Horrifically, the attempt failed and they were informed by their RE that there's really nothing else to do. If that doesn't sound hopeless, I don't know what does. It's just ridiculously unfair.

mm had her latest IVF fail, with a laundry list of varied attempts and complications behind her. Is this really necessary? Can't someone cut this woman some slack? And in dealing throughout all this crap, she's still able to post savory recipes. More power to you, hon.

Amyesq. is trying to cope with the obscenely slow process that is International adoption. Yes, she'll be a mom...Someday...And I'm sure the wait is agonizing.

Fisher Queen has had the fantastic news that she qualifies for financing that will cover the costs of 6 IVF cycles for the price of 1, with a money back guarantee. While this is very good, it wasn't too long ago that things were looking bad. Who's to say if things can turn from bad to good they can't turn back to bad again? Ah, infertility uncertainty! Couldn't you just die? I'm keeping fingers and thumbs crossed for you (as well as everyone else in my little diatribe).

Karen has also gone though Heck trying to bring a little wee one into this world with no results. She is adopting her daughter Maya from China, who hopefully she'll be able to meet this Spring. Of course there could be a delay, too, but what's a girl to do? Her dad just had a quintuple bypass and is recovering. I guess fate just wanted to throw her another ball, just in case she got relaxed with the whole adoption thing. Because you know how easy it is to "just adopt."

Emily seems to be losing hope in the battle against infertility. I hope there is a solution out there for her, and soon. It just seems like this constant, ever ending uphill battle sucks the life force out of you. I can't imagine why... Hey universe - how about a little help? Hello...?

April, as of Friday the 18th of November has had spotting and bright red blood on day 8 after IUI. I'm hoping to God it's just implantation bleeding and not the end of her dreams. Can't a girl get a break?

Vivien is very new to the wonderful world of blogs so we should give her a lovely welcome. And what brings her to Bloglandia, you ask? Why, finding a way to process her 5th miscarriage. I'm so sorry, dear. Support groups didn't do much for me, but the support I have received from these women (and seen given and received all over Bloglandia) has been an incredible source of comfort. We're here for you, too.

This is aggravating for me because I don't know why such a fine group of women, who all so clearly want to be mothers with the best possible intentions have to face such difficulties. Of course it's not fair, and not one of you deserve it. But deserve has nothing to do with any of this. For whatever reason or bizarre fluke, this is what you've got to deal with. I cannot begin to tell you how much it hurts me that you must struggle with this on a constant basis. I'm so very sorry, but I am there... For you all. It's amazing that Bloglandia has yielded such a fantastic support system. Thankfully, we can all write about what we're going through, and so many wonderful people come out of nowhere to offer kind words of support, wisdom, sympathy, empathy. It really does help. I just wish we could offer more; wave that magic wand and - hey! Look at that! You're pregnant! And it's not going anywhere for a good nine months! A healthy child for you to love, rear and guide throughout it's life. I can't understand that you all who so very want a child, and would be great moms can't quite get there, and there are unwanted and unloved children being born into this world by parents who regard these little miracles as burdens. How the hell does that work? I'm sorry, I'll just never understand it.

I've never been in your shoes, any of you. I am not infertile, I don't know what it's like and I can't pretend to understand. We are not in the same boat, and I don't presume to be. I only know what it's like to deal with my own situation.

I clearly remember attending a baby shower for a cousin (let's say, Stacey) in 1999. This is a girl who has a lot: multi-millionaire parents with a company she'll one day inherit, a nice husband, pretty, nauseatingly thin, and was the standard for my mother to compare us to growing up. As she sat at her shower, a kind, sweet girl surrounded by family in her stylish outfit, not having gained an ounce that wasn't baby, my eyes welled up and I excused myself to the bathroom where I threw myself a little pity party. I cried and couldn't even imagine myself in a similar situation. Mr. Right and I were on a break, I knew I would have a challenge having a healthy baby, and just never thought I'd ever be happily married and expecting. Being there was a reminder of what I didn't have, what I didn't know, couldn't know I'd ever have. It was just painful to have that rubbed in my face. Of course, R & I got back together and married in 2001, with a relationship better and stronger than it ever had been. But throughout TTC, every time we saw a baby, it was a reminder of what we so wanted but didn't know if we would ever have. I hated people saying "Don't worry, it will happen." Oh, really? Will it? And you know this how? Are you privy to the secrets of the universe? It's amazing that people give this statement as support. They just can't imagine how aggravating it is. Of course if you try to tell them, you're just being hormonal or irrational. Damnit to hell!

I am, gratefully and most thankfully pregnant. I'll be 20 weeks tomorrow. Yet I would not be here without the gracious donation my cousin A made of her eggs. Okay, so I'll never have a biological child. I'll never get to see what a combination of mine and my husband's features or traits will yield. I'll have to hide a smile if anyone tells me my son has my eyes. Or shrug if I'm told he looks nothing like me. (My prepared answer for this is "look at my husband: he doesn't look anything like his parents"). Big deal. As my therapist has said, I placed a priority over having a child and that was to have a child without the disease I'm a carrier for. At this point, my husband and I know how lucky we are, how fortunate and how blessed to have even gotten this far. I will never forget it, because geez louise! it was hard. So I am one of the very lucky ones. I know it and I'm grateful every day.

What I really wish for in my heart of hearts is for all the rest of you to join me, by whatever means will work: IUI, IVF, egg donation, adoption - anything. The saying misery loves company is true, but so is the inverse: Joy loves company, too. I would like nothing more than for all of you to achieve the joy to have what you have all worked so very hard for. That is my wish, and it will remain so until you all have what you desire. Until then, I will continue to hope and pray for you all. I don't know if that will work, but reading your blogs has brought tears to my eyes and made me laugh out loud. I just wish I could do more to help. Good night, and good luck.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

17 Weeks, 2 Days

That was where we were in our first pregnancy when we terminated. It was such a horrific experience, to willingly end our son's life that I will take steps, via tubal ligation, to make sure it never happens again. The nursing and hospital staff were wonderful and sensitive, as well as my OB, but no one ever wants to be in that position, trust me. I joined a support group, once, but it was for mothers who had lost their children before or shortly after birth. This was not the same thing. I felt dreadful for these women, because to miscarry a child and not know why is maddening. We made a decision and carried it through. It was bitter and painful, but we know we did the right thing. In the news letters I get from the prenatal loss organization, there are letters to the children they've lost on various milestones - birthdays, Christmasses, etc. I cannot do that, because to think, 'he would have been a year today', or 'what would he be doing now', or 'he'd be starting school today' would also have to be followed by 'When would we start to notice?' 'Would the symptoms have started to show now?' 'When would he have started to need a wheelchair?' 'When would the vegetative state start?' 'How long would he last?' And the reason we ended our son's life before birth was to prevent him from living a life in a body that would be come a prison for him. A short, miserable prison.

Do we miss him, our little Ben? Every day. I wish with all my heart that he had not had this cursed gene. But he did, and we did what we felt was right. Because I know that were we to see our son suffer in such a way, we would do anything to change it, take it away, prevent it. And that's what we did.

Today I am 17 weeks, 2 days pregnant with my second son. This child will not have the disease we have tried so hard to prevent passing on, because my cousin was so generous as to donate her eggs to us. She is not a carrier for adrenoleukodystrophy. Our son will not be condemned to die a slow painful death, at least, not from ALD. Sure, there are other problems in our family that will crop up: vison impairment, heart disease, cancer, alcoholism. We're not looking for a genetically superior child - we just wanted to prevent this one, terrible thing from being passed on. My child will not have my DNA, but that is such a tiny price to pay to ensure my son will be ALD free. A price I'd gladly pay again and again.

Mr. Right is somewhat 'sensitive' to things that are not seen or heard in the normal course of events. Two nights ago Mr. R had a visitation from Ben, who told him that he, Ben, wasn't ready for the first body but he was ready now.

You may take that with a grain of salt if you wish, after all, we have no proof. I have had visitations myself (only two), and it is quite different from a dream. It's hard to explain; one of those things that you need to experience to understand. I know that I would like to believe it and I choose to do so. Of course, I've seen enough of Mr. R's feelings and intuitions to see how many times he's been right. We're thrilled that our son's soul is coming back to us, into a body that will be better equipped for whatever it is he needs to accomplish in this life. We will give him the name we intended all along. Its his, after all... Our little Benjamin. [Henceforth referred to as "the Bee."]