Saturday, May 30, 2009


I had an interesting encounter today. A complete stranger shared a very personal part of her life with my sisters and me. It was kind of like the movie Rashomon...I had 4 different views of the same topic. I don't think anyone didn't say something that wasn't mildly offensive to someone else, and yet there was no real distress because the atmosphere was one of sharing and learning.

The topic? Adoption.

The participants? My oldest sister(OS) - the fertile one, my second sister(2S) - adopted two girls from China, me - not quite infertile/not quite fertile, let's go with ART survivor, new person(NP) - birth mother.

NP was discussing the topic of education and preparation of kids for real life. I guess she felt pretty comfortable in our family circle (although she seemed like the type of girl who doesn't feel uncomfortable anywhere), because she detailed the story of how she was pregnant at 20 and was pressured into giving her child up for adoption. The story was both sad and hopeful at the same time - because from a certain perspective you could see the hand of God or fate or what have you in all of her descriptions. However, even though she wanted an open adoption (or maybe a semi-open adoption - I'm not sure about the particulars), she hasn't been able to have one. Because the adoptive parents were Evangelical Christians, details of her lifestyle became unpalatable to them, and they have obstructed contact between NP and her daughter. She may have downplayed her lifestyle, but it sounds fairly typical of a 21 year old living in a new (and big) city. It sounds like she wants a bit more involvement with her child (and the birth parents), but it didn't sound like a huge imposition - perhaps an email account where she could receive updates and pictures. It was clear that she understands that not being able to have your own children is painful, but this pain is ephemeral to her. It's not real, and she can't process the depths of despair that infertility can bring. I think the most interesting point she made was when she was discussing the selection process, and how all the prospective parent could do was describe what things they could give the potential child. I can understand how difficult it must be to try and translate how much you will love a child into a sales pitch for a birth mom.

OS made a couple of the kinds of comments that infertiles hear all the time, that are really annoying, but understandable from someone whose procreation was relatively easy. It was pretty easy to tell that this was of interest to her, but she has not experienced anything that would make this comprehensible to her.

2S had mentioned reasons for adopting from China in the past, such as low disease rates. However, today, she said the main reason they chose China over domestic adoption was because they didn't feel they would be able to cope with the option for birth mothers to change their minds about the adoption. They were not capable of giving back a child that they had opened their hearts to love. Then 2S told a story of one of her patients, who was accompanied by both birth mom and adoptive mom on an office visit. She said that birth mom and adoptive mom were actually arguing over the plan of treatment.

I jumped in there with my insensitive comment about how birth mothers really have to know themselves very well before deciding on open adoption. They really shouldn't have the right to interfere in medical treatment, in my opinion. If you can't give up that kind of control, then you either need to parent your child, or step away completely. Otherwise, it makes it seem like you're treating the adoptive mother like a nanny who is taking care of your child while you're busy with your life.

My mom was also there, and while she is normally very judgmental, her only comment was to wonder why NP had opened up so completely with us. I think I may have taken the wind out of her sails, because I told her that while I was surprised by the openness, I thought it was great. NP's situation was not ideal, but it was nothing to be ashamed of, and maybe if more people were open about adoption the way she is, it would be a much smoother road for both birth parents and adoptive parents.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Know what's a bigger pregnant woman magnet than Target?

The zoo. What are they all doing there? Are they trying to walk themselves into labor? Because it's not a bunch of subtle baby bumps - it's the 9+ month ladies out there. About half of them were without kids too. I guess I'm feeling better, because I found it more entertaining than painful that the universe is messing with me. Because the last 5 times I've been to the zoo? Not a pregnant woman to be found. No, then it was the ultra fit moms of toddlers, with whom I also compare unfavorably. When you can't win, you just have to laugh.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Getting over it...

I'm not getting much time to grieve this almost pregnancy. My husband returned to work today, so it's just me and my girl for a month. I feel mentally exhausted, but I can't sleep very well. I'm sad, but I don't know what the root cause is today. I'm sad because I miss my husband when he's not here. I'm sad because my daughter is sad because she misses her dad. I'm sad because I really want another baby, and this last chance didn't work. I'm sad because I have cramps. I'm sad because the idiot at the lab couldn't get a vein on my last blood draw and was wiggling the needle around in my arm and the bruise hurts. I'm sad because I have to have another blood draw to make sure that beta goes to zero.

I went to Tar.get today. I don't understand why it is that that particular store is a giant pregnant woman magnet. I saw no less than than 4 pregnant women today. One of them was smoking in the parking lot. I hate to judge people, but, seriously, she couldn't quit for a few months? I guess probably not, or she would have. I must be feeling a little better, since the sight of legions of pregnant women is not one of the things making me sad. I also don't understand why the pregnant women only appear to those who are trying so hard to have a baby. I never registered a pregnant woman when I was in my twenties, unless I knew her.

I have some things to look forward to. I will lose the bloating and the pregnancy brain (how did I get that in a chemical pregnancy???). I can have a glass (or a bottle!) of wine. My family and I will be getting together at the end of the month. We only get to do that about once a year. I will get to see friends (and, of course, their new babies). I will take 3 days off work. My husband will be home in a month. And every day, I get some kind of new entertainment from a certain 2 year old little girl.

Monday, May 11, 2009


Beta #2: 26

I guess that means I don't have to worry about medications...

Friday, May 8, 2009

Where the fear kicks in...

I thought I would write this yesterday. I got a positive hpt yesterday morning. I tested on Monday, but that was too early. I wasn't going to do it again, but I had some symptoms (horrible [and for me, unusual] breakouts on my face and back, the hungries (every 3-4 hours), and the husband upset me and I didn't start a screaming argument with him like I normally would if I had PMS) that I couldn't ignore. So I took the test.

For most people, that positive test would be the start of the wonderful journey. For me, it's just a signal to call the doctor to get my medication started and my worrying ramped up. I called the doctor and they sent me for a beta. The nurse said she would call back today to get my prescriptions going.

The problem is, they did not have my file available until yesterday afternoon. When I spoke with them today, I got some good news and some bad news.

First the good news: Beta at 12 dpo was 41. Repeat beta on Monday.

Now the bad news: My protocol for prevention of miscarriage is hepa.rin and baby aspirin. When I was pregnant with my daughter, I injected myself with hep.arin twice a day for about 7 weeks. During the 7th week, I developed a rash at the injection site. The doctor switched me to Love.nox. I developed a rash at that injection site. I was far enough along for the doctor to be comfortable telling me to stop the injections, and I have a beautiful (if extremely talkative) little girl to show for it. Now, however, the nurses cannot prescribe because I may be allergic to it. When I asked this doctor and my regular OB, neither seemed concerned about future usage of hep.arin. I'm in a waiting game, though, to see if they will prescribe he.parin, or lov.enox or if I will be on my own with baby aspirin and prenatal vitamins.

So, happiness and fear. I thought the fear of miscarriage in spite of drugs was what I was going to write about yesterday. Now I fear that there's nothing that can be done for me. I suppose it's some consolation that most literature thinks the hep.arin is too aggressive for my mild diagnosis of ANA's and baby aspirin is the solution. It is also amazing how the body can think of new and different ways to mess with you.