Monday, August 07, 2006

panic sets in

Mommy called this morning. October will be bad for her. She has several reports to submit then, so it would be better for her to come and watch my kiddos in September. After a few rushed calls, we made it so. I'm in a total panic, with only 3 1/2 weeks to go. I'm not ready. I have rooms to paint, gardening to do, my house to set in order. I'm even making a binder of instructions for my parents, so they know how to take care of my 2 kiddos, 4 foster kiddos, 2 dogs, 3 cats and all the other craziness. Breathe, breathe. I'm not superwoman. I can't do it all. I'll do what I can and just go and take care of this. I can't believe this is happening.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

giving life to the dying

I was at church today and a woman stood to share a story. She is a nurse in the delivery unit of her hospital. In the last few weeks, there was one family that gave birth to a child that they had known for months would not survive for very long. They had the option of aborting the child earlier in the pregnancy, but chose to greet their child, their oldest child's sibling, and then say goodbye. Their poor baby's face was mishapen, but, though it was obvious this baby was not a pretty baby, the couple felt their baby was beautiful. They held their baby for its 32 hours of life and cherished every moment.
Another couple, a young couple, found out a week before their child was due, that it would also not survive very long and would be horribly mishapen. At the baby's birth, the couple decided to visit with their child for an hour. At that point, they handed the child back to the nurses and refused to see their baby anymore. The nurses held the baby for the next 15 hours, until it had slipped away.
As an infertile, I pray and long for a child. I pray to be pregnant. I don't dare pray to have a healthy child, not after what the rocket scientist and I have been through. I'd take a few hours of having my next child in my arms, to never having the opportunity at all. As the rocket scientist and I talked about this woman's stories, we cried and laid out all of the fears that are running through our minds. Neither one of us feels like we have the right to pray for a healthy child. A fertile woman would pray for a healthy child. I can hear them now, "I don't care if it is a boy or girl. I just want my baby to be healthy." I feel so angry, so irrationally angry, because all I want is a baby, my baby. I'd take a sick baby, a baby with delays, a baby who only had a few hours to live. Is that selfish? I know this feeling we have is just another symptom of the sickness of infertility. Getting a BFP won't cure us, either of us. I feel so tired, looking at the road ahead of us. If I ever do get that elusive BFP, I hope I'll have the courage to pray for a healthy baby. One day at a time, though.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Brady Bunch goes to the park

I had two extra kiddos in respite this weekend. The two boys were both 4 y.o.. My kiddos are 4 and 5. My two foster boys are 2 and 6. So, this brought our ages to 2, 4, 4, 4, 5, and 6. I loaded them into their 5 car seats in the Suburban "the bus" and drove to the local park, where I bobbed back and forth, scanning the playset for all 6 pairs of feet. I found myself counting every 5 minutes. "One, two, three, four, five...okay, where's the other other one?" Shuffle, shuffle. "Six." Sigh. I told the rocket scientist that we definitely needed to put a limit on the number of kiddos we would ultimately have. He suggested we buy a van. If he weren't in another state on an internship, I think I would have killed him. As is, I have another two weeks to cool down. ...I think it might take that long.
Got into a tiff with another IFer going through IVF this September. She suggested that I wanted triplets or quads, without regards to their health. I do want 2-3 bio children, but I would really like to enjoy them one at a time. I'd like the chance to not have to scan the playground, counting for little feet. I'd like to have my eyes on just one perfect, precious baby. That being said, I'll take what I get and be thrilled.

Friday, August 04, 2006

giving voice to the journey

It's time that I did this. I don't know why I haven't before. I've certainly gutted my soul to my other IF sisters in public and other private forums, but I've never kept a record of this time for myself.
When I got married, I was young. I was full of big dreams of a big family. The rocket scientist and I wanted 7 children. No, we weren't crazy. We were in love. We'd seen other large families of this size and we wanted the joy and chaos that they had. Seven months passed, while we worked on our degrees and kept busy being newlyweds.
Then it happened. I miscarried on a trip home over Christmas break. I was 5 1/2 weeks along. I didn't even have a chance to see the dr or tell our parents. It was over before we could even embrace it ourselves. This was a wake-up call for us. We realized that we wanted our family right away.
We started TTC a few months later. A few cycles in, the rocket scientist had a SA done. His numbers were outstanding. The dr patted us on the back and told us to get back to work. Sixteen cycles later, we stopped TTC. The rocket scientist was having liver problems from a genetic condition. We decided to get him through school, instead of making babies. I dropped out and kept him going. We told ourselves that we'd get back to TTC once we were within a year of graduation. I say "we" because that degree is half mine for the effort I've put into it.
We still wanted to nurture children. My studies were designed to put me into helping troubled youth, so we decided to do foster care. I was an adopted child, so it seemed right to us. We got our first kiddo in January 2000 and have had 24 kids in total. In that group of 24 kids, I found my son and daughter. My adopted kiddos are biological siblings. I picked them up from 2 seperate Denver-area hospitals in May 2002. My son was 19 months, drug exposed and had bronchitis from cold exposure. His bio family was living on the streets. My daughter was 6 months, 8lbs, unresponsive, drug exposed and had pneumonia. We got through years of therapeutic and medical services to get them to be the healthy and happy children they are today. The adoption finalized in Jan 2005 and they are 4 and 5 y.o. now.
Fast forward. June 26, 2005, I stopped taking the Pill. In August, we got back to TTC. We did it all. We did the temps, OPKs, CM, etc.. After 6 mo., we knew there was a problem. We got into an RE. HSG clear. Ovulating just fine. SA - total crap. Count was 4 mil, with poor morphology and motility. MIL had elected for a baby hernia operation for the rocket scientist back in 1975, which caused a varicocele. She must have hated me, even back then. It is degenerative in nature, so we basically screwed ourselves by waiting 8 years into our marriage before getting back to TTC. Rocket scientist had a embolization done in March, but good results can take years. Not waiting for that.
So, we asked about IUI and were told that it would be a waste of money and time. We needed to save our pennies for IVF, but we knew we couldn't afford it. We did a couple home IUIs (AMA), but they obviously turned out just like the other cycles. The dr gave us a 3% chance for conceiving au natural and a 7-10% chance with IUI. So, with one more year to the rocket science degree, we knew we were a good 2-3 years from affording IVF.
A gift from God. We were referred as good candidates for an IVF study being done in Chicago. The FDA is testing a new ovulation induction drug that has been used in Europe for years. We get the cycle for free, if we can pay for transportation and lodging. We even get cryo and 1 year storage for free. We had our consult out there last weekend. Got to play with the big needles. Had to stare at the walls of babies for 10 minutes before I could let go of the panic. Medicated cycles are totally new to me. So, we're cycling in October. It seems too perfect, too easy to get a BFP. I'm 28, have no fertility issues and ICSI will totally make up for the MFI. I want to believe it can happen. Somedays I do. Most days, I have to correct myself to prepare for the crushing reality of a BFN.
So, that's me. The girl who wanted the Cheaper by the Dozen reality and is now praying for just one. Grateful that I have my two blessings, my heart babies at home. Frightened, excited, overwhelmed, struggling for courage.