Monday, August 25, 2008

He Loves Me...

Me- Just shy of 30 years old.
Babe- 42 years old and aging.

I can't live life without a child. Better yet, I cannot imagine never being a mother. And right now, I am childless- Without a child and without a guaranteed baby in our future.

Babe and I have made some huge decisions in the past few weeks. Decisions I never thought I would be forced to make or discuss in my lifetime, if nothing more than hypothetically.

My insurance coverage is phenomenal for infertility, leaving us to pay maybe 20% of all procedures and medications, a true blessing. For this alone, I cannot abandon ART/infertility treatments knowing God provided this amazing job and coverage for me when only two years ago I prayed God would provide a way for Babe and I to financially afford whatever infertility treatments the future held. So, here I sit with multiple failed cycles: Clomid, injections and IUIs, IVF, FET, and another FET in the works. Childless. Wondering if I will ever be a mother. I cannot quit my dream. I cannot quit my future. I cannot quit my opportunity. I cannot quit myself and my dreams. I cannot quit the doubt and the uncertainty that eats my flesh, punctures my hope, and stills my beating heart.

And while I realize I am fairly young, Babe is not. We originally decided we would stop trying to have kids when Babe was 42. But 42 is here for him, and I am not yet ready to quit trying. I realize men can have babies physically much older than women. However, I do not want Babe to be an "old" dad. Nor do I feel like it is fair for me to ask my husband to parent when he should/could be enjoying retirement. I am not ready to give up my dream of being a mother, either.

Since there are no guarantees with infertility, we have decided to pursue adoption while continuing our infertility treatments. I know many agencies have an age limit of 45 and most will cancel your adoption paperwork if you get pregnant during the adoption process, but I have to try. I have to find an agency that will work with us. I have to find someone that will help me fulfill my dream. I have to know that at the end of this road- somewhere- there is a child for us. It doesn't matter to Babe or I if our little one is biological or not. How can we not pursue both?

Adoption is essentially a guarantee, much more so, in my opinion, than Assisted Reproductive Technology.  As for my insurance, I surely can't forsake what God has given me. Not yet. 

And here is where my guilt comes in to play. I want to try this FET in September. If it doesn't work, I want to give Doctor B (the one that has better IVF statistics than Doctor A, my current RE) a shot at a fresh IVF cycle, but I feel guilty. Guilt at leaving the doctor I have been with for more than a year and a half. Guilt because I still have three frozen blastocycts. Guilt because I am pursuing adoption and fertility treatments to ensure we will have a child. Guilt for being selfish in my desires to build a family. Guilt for having insurance coverage that will allow me to do another fresh IVF cycle before using all my frozen blastocysts when others struggle to pay for Clomid. Through my guilt, I just know I have to give Doctor B a shot or I will always wonder...

Babe has been so supportive. I thought he would throw a fit about the money needed for adoption and the obvious debt we will be forced into if we choose to adopt. I thought he would think I was losing my mind. I thought he would stop loving me for not being able to pursue treatment after treatment with no end in sight. I thought he would leave me because I wasn't strong enough. I thought he would laugh at me.

But he hasn't. And he won't. He loves me. He loves me for me. He loves me even when my body doesn't work properly. He loves me, even after I discuss option after option after option with him. He loves me and he has never not loved me.

So, for those of you that can undergo three, four, and five plus IVF cycles, I salute you. You are strong, strong women. You have amazing determination and persistence. You are honorable and worthy of ten babies! For me, my last shot will probably be either this FET in September or a fresh cycle with Doctor B (whenever that may be). I just don't have "it" in me to continue, whatever "it" may be.

For those of you that have survived adoption, I'd like to know how you chose your agency. We are researching both Domestic and International adoption, but after looking at many of the wait times for International adoption, are leaning more toward Domestic, although we are not yet ruling out International adoption. Do you have a certain agency you would recommend that does Interstate or International adoptions? Or do you have an agency you would never use because of your own personal experience or a friend's horror stories? I'd love to hear from anyone on this topic!

I almost feel a sense of relief making some of these decisions and having these candid discussions with Babe. Not to say that our decisions can't change, but I always feel better having a plan. I'm amazed at the energy and motivation I have since we have decided to pursue adoption and find an agency that fits our needs. It is like a heavy weight has been lifted off me, minus the guilt. And through all this, Babe still loves me. He loves me and he has never not loved me.

"Before you begin a thing remind yourself that difficulties and delays quite impossible to foresee are ahead.... You can only see one thing clearly, and that is your goal. Form a mental vision of that and cling to it through thick and thin." (Kathleen Norris)

27 comments:

Shelby said...

I am so happy that you have the option of both right now. You will be a Mommy, no matter what, and I can see the relief and peace that already brings you. I look forward to being in that place, however that may be. And most of all, you have wonderful support in Babes. I wish you so much luck in your journey, no matter the direction you end up going.

And lastly, I love, love, love that quote. It defines so much of the IF experience.

Lost in Space said...

You have really been busy working on some hard issues!! I am so glad you shared all of this with us.

Babe sounds wonderful, but you already know that. (:

Let go of all that guilt!! IF is enough to deal with. I love my RE too and even though he can't help me anymore, I do plan to let him know what our plans are with another clinic and why we are choosing this over ZIFT. Stick to the facts. You are choosing what works for you and pursuing your dream.

As far as the blastocysts, I see women pursue fresh cycles all the time in the name of fertility preservation. You can always choose to use them in the future. This is your journey and you have to do what is right for you.

I am so happy for you on the fertility coverage and for pursuing adoption. You will get there one way or another and you will be a great mom when it happens!!

All my best to you and Babe. Keep us posted on your FET!!

Wishing 4 One said...

Hey very, very good news. I was so happy to read this , this morning. Just know that whatever route gets you your baby will be the right one.

Those of us, crazy ones, who have endure so many many IVF's are not strong, but desperate, LOL. No i am kidding. But it doesn't get any easier time thats for sure.

Anyway my friend, so gald to hear that all is moving right along and we are very lucky to have these strong caring men with us, God Blessed us for sure! Lots of hugs and love to ya!

God Willing, this transfer will be the one!!!

Just Me. said...

That's just such great news!! I know what you mean about HAVING A PLAN. It's hard going through this journey not having a plan. I've been in my lowest low and I had no direction in life that I didn't know what my purpose in life was. Your DH sounds like a great man. What's there not to love about you? You're the sweetest, most caring, loving WonderWoman ever!

((((((hugs)))))

I Believe in Miracles said...

I almost cried when I read this post. It was so sweet. Babes is awesome. Awesome.

Although we haven't gone as far in the journey (just IUIs) we're starting to look into adoption too. I've got some great feedback from folks who have adopted to send you. It was super helpful.

I'm really hoping this FET is it though!!

**HUGS**

alison said...

I'm glad you're finding some peace in the decisions made! Sometimes it seems making the decisions is more than half the battle. Like once you have a plan, you can at least begin to move forward. I will absolutely be praying for you.

I don't know if you read dooce.com, but I do. Yesterday she had a post about she and her husband's anniversary, and she had a quote from a friend in the post that said "No matter what horrible thing you're going through, when it's all over it only takes three seconds to sum it up. Remember that." I really love that. When the weight of the world seems completely unbearable and like you're fighting a losing battle, it too shall pass.

*hugs*

Rachie Pachie said...

Your plan sound good, I think!! I know how you're feeling... we've decided to pursue at least fostering right now (which will take a while, of course!) while we pray about treatments &/or adoption. I'm pretty sure we feel led to try IVF at least once, but if that's a bust... well, I don't even wanna think about it.

Maybe you can squeeze the FET with your 3 little embabies & an IVF in. Pray & I will pray that He leads you to the right path.

So glad you have the sweet support system with hubs! That's awesome.

Alex and Jill said...

Those are some hard decisions but only you can know what is right for you and your hubby.

As for the blastocyst that you have frozen, you can save them to use later or even donate them. There are plenty of women whose egg supply is gone and their only hope of having a child is using donated embryos.

I'll be praying for you guys!

Evergreen said...

The decision to adopt is a big one, and if you are nearing the end of your ART journey, it really makes sense to begin the process now if you are ready. Afterall, you may as well get some of the adoption wait over while completing ART. :-)

The beautiful thing is that you do have options, and that in itself is a blessing.

I love your respect and appreciation of your husband, and his love of you.

Cathleen said...

I am so excited that you are going to pursue adoption too! I only went through one fresh IVF and I too am in awe of the ladies that go through that time after time. They must have nerves of steel!

You are going to be a mommy! Can't wait to hear all about your journey whereever it may take you.

As for your husband, what a sweetie!

poppy.f.seed said...

I think it is smart to do whatever you need to do. I understand the guilt, but you have to put yourself and your husband first.

very nice what you wrote about your husband.

Jill said...

It sounds like you guys have had some very heart-to-heart discussions. That's wonderful. There is not a one-size-fits-all path to motherhood. Hopefully you'll get pg on this FET. But, adoption is also a great option as well. Put you and Babe and your marriage first and forget what anyone else says.

Fwiw, my DH is 42 as well. I know exactly what you mean when you talk about Babe being an "old" dad. My DH thinks the same way. Goodn luck to you both in all the options you pursue.

Jill said...
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The Baker's said...

I have tears in my eyes as I read your post. Babe is an awesome guy to stand beside you in no matter what happens what a great guy. I am so happy for you guys that you have formed a plan. I will be praying for you guys in your search for a agency and your next treatment. I pray that God opens the door to parenthood for you very soon. You should not feel gulity about wanting to be a mom, not at all. You are a great caring sweet women. I love the quote at the bottom. Hugs!

Bri said...

I have so many things to say to you, I know I will not remember them all. I found you from I believe in Miracles and I had to comment! I hope you don't mind! Right now, we are currently waiting to be selected for a domestic adoption. I have been exactly where you are (almost- without the age/time issue). We never did IUI because it wasn't an option for us, but we did do 4 IVF cycles. After two, we looked into adoption and then ran the other direction. After the third we looked again and decided we would try one more IVF (becuuse we had already paid for it!) while pusuing adoption. I am really glad I continually looked into adoption during our journey. I will argue that deciding on adoption is a process, because there are a lof of things that are difficult to wrap your brain around. While some things just take time, there are a few things that we couldn't fully be ok with until we had completely let go of the idea of a biological child. That last IVF cycle was especially difficult (maybe because it was our "last shot" at it) and my emotional recovery was a lot slower.

I completely understand your desires to be a mom. For me, not having children just isn't an option, it just isn't. Don't feel selfish - I think YOU have to do whatever YOU and BABE feel is right. Nobody has the right to judge or ridicule, only you know what is right for you.

I don't have any advice on agencies, since mine is local, but I would advise you to make sure you are with an ETHICAL agency that offers (or requires) birthmother counseling. Good luck!! **HUGS**

gracechild said...

Good luck girl. As long as you're moving forward you'll be fine. Don't know much about adoption but one of my favorite bloggers is Glenna at http://graceisstillenough.blogspot.com/ You can try asking her about her agency etc. & pls don't let concerns for a doc's feelings stop you from doing what you feel is best for you

dmarie said...

Having a plan makes such a difference. I'm glad you getting a sense of relief. It feels great when have a partner that really supports you and you're on the same page. Yay for you!

Leslie Laine said...

I was really moved by your post - I can so identify with everything that you are saying. I often find comfort in reminding myself that we are on the right path, God's path, and that everything will turn out just as it should. It sounds like you're really in tune with that. And, I love you what you said about Babe. It made me think about my wonderful husband. At the end of all of this, I have to remember to feel so blessed that he has always loved me in spite of everything that's happened. Thank you for such a wonderful inspiration on such a sucky day for me.

Lucia said...

I wish you so much luck, and love. And I agree: drop the guilt if you can. Thank you for your generous comment on my blog. I am rooting for you. xxx

Happy Not-So-Newlywed said...

Oh girl- please don't feel guilty! I think it is wonderful that you have such a great plan. It is good to keep all doors and windows open- it helps God's light shine through!

Good luck with the agency search. You WILL be a mom.

petridishbaby said...

You have alot on your plate...but I think trying all options is a good plan. That is what I would/will do if IVF is not working out. Maybe do one more cycle but also start looking into adoption. The thing about adoption is that it takes so long, I don't see why you can't start while trying ART. Best of luck with everything!!

Just Meim said...

Please don't feel guilty. You owe it to the child(ren) that you are meant to have to do EVERYTHING in your power to get them to your family. You never know if the spirits sent to you will make their way to you through genetics or adoption. I am so glad that you are open to both both.

I am proud of you. You are in my thoughts! ~~ Hugs ~~

Anonymous said...

My husband and I adopted our little boy nearly 2 years ago. Our experience was greater than I ever anticipated. I love our story and I love how God changed my heart when I believe it could never change! Our little boy couldn't be more ours and I thank God for him everyday. We researched a couple of agencies but knew of several people that had adopted through Christian Homes - our of Abilene, TX - so we went w/ them. The people we knew all had wonderful stories and experiences through them so that's why we chose C.H. - their website is christianhomes.com - if you want to talk and/or need more information please do not hesitate to e-mail me. amycarol@cableone.net

Amy

s.e. said...

Somehow I missed this post and I am so glad I came across it tonight. You have come so far and I admire your strength to make this decision. You are fortunate but also appreciative of your fortune so there is absolutely no need to feel guilty. You are destined to be a mother and I think persuing both options sounds wonderful.

My sister adopted internationally from China and could try to answer specific quesitons if you are interested. Email me.

...love Maegan said...

wow. what a great story and what a great and supportive husband.

I'm afraid I will look into adoption before any infertility treatments ...too scary for me. But I definitely fear I will never get to live the one dream I always knew I wanted to fulfill ...mommyhood.

Clomid Prescription Medication said...

My name is Holly Lem and i would like to show you my personal experience with Clomid.

I am 28 years old. I got preg first time on my own & miscarried. after a while of trying, my dr put me on clomid. after the first round i got pregnant & miscarried. i decided not to try or think about it at all probably for a 9 months... right around the time baby would be due & then started trying again. after a few months got back on clomid. after 5 months and no pregnancy i'm giving it a rest again. it's to much disappointment. i'm going to give it a try again soon, in the mean time we're keeping our fingers crossed for the old fashioned way to work.

I have experienced some of these side effects-
HOT FLASHES, moody, cry easily, weight gain, headaches etc!!

I hope this information will be useful to others,
Holly Lem

Kristin (kekis) said...

I know it's easier said than done, but try not to let the guilt consume you. You haven't done anything to "earn" that guilt. Be kind to yourself!