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Archive for the ‘Adoption’ Category

Where are we?

Really? It’s been since September since I posted?!? It hasn’t been lack of activity that forced an 8 month break. (Ironic that in a different situation, I could have almost had a baby in that amount of time…)

So let’s see –

In the time since we were officially ‘paper ready’ according to the state of New York, we have done four rounds of what’s called ‘blitz’ advertising. We’ve met three birth moms and had multiple, seemingly ‘good’ situations fall through. We’ve had to determine our risk tolerance for drugs (not just drugs, broad stroke, but what specific kind of prenatal drug use are we willing to consider), mental illness, incarceration…and the list goes on. Things are moving – sometimes fast, sometimes at a snail’s pace.

It’s been a challenge and if anyone’s still out there, I’ll bring this up to date slowly. But I’m back. I’m back on the blog to find a place to share my feelings. I’ve missed it.

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Paper ready

What a whirlwind the last three months have been!

This blog has served as not only a lifeline to other folks dealing with similar situations and a great source of support, advice and information – but it is also a bit of a journal through the ups and downs (okay, mostly downs) of our infertility journey.

It is in that capacity that I’d like to mark a pretty significant milestone in our adoption process. Frankly I’m also curious if anyone has kept me on their radar screen since I’ve been a miserable commenter/participant in this community! It’s the season of atonement in Judaism so please know that I really am sorry. Even if I’m not actively commenting, you all remain in my prayers and I am in awe of the strength that exists in this world.

But on to other subjects – like the fact that DH and I are now officially paper ready – meaning that the NY court system has found us fit to be adoptive parents! In addition to the paper-heavy process, we’ve also done quite a bit to get ready for the next stage – finding a birth mom/family. We’ve read a ton, joined a ‘waiting families’ support group, filled in some key friends and family members, started to (gulp) think about names, details like maternity leave for me, finalize our profile, etc. In typing it out, it seems paltry, but it has been hugely consuming, but in a really positive way.

There’s honestly too much to add here, but suffice it to say that the search for a birth mom/family begins in a week – and I’m sure that the REAL roller coaster starts then.

Wish us luck!

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A new chapter

There is something ironic about perusing the eight (you read that correctly, eight) books on adoption in a Park Slope book store. The section is right by the enormous kids section and dwarfed by cookbooks touting vegan, holistic infant foods guaranteed to make your baby gifted. There are toddlers running everywhere and just-hatched infants swaddled over beautiful mothers’ shoulders. The customer service desk practically yelled a response when I asked where I could find a specific book – “Our adoption section is TINY!’ – causing at least five people to turn and stare at me (or her). Not an auspicious start…

I know it’s been a while since I posted and a lot has happened – and I’m excited, terrified, thrilled and sad all at the same time. We’ve decided to pursue adoption – domestic, private – and we’re on the steepest part of the learning curve. As with other major milestones in my life, the trip to the bookstore made it real – and fueled my suspicion that this is not the right neighborhood for us.

To catch any possible readers (who have bothered to keep checking in on my long-dormant blog) up – we had our WTF meeting with Dr. TAL that revealed…nothing. We are 100% unexplained – which is all the three doctors we’ve seen agree on. If we want to move forward with ART, donor egg is the next step. We’re tired and given that I am now considered ‘young’ for donor egg, we’re going to wait for a  bit on that – if at all.

And (drum roll please), we’re going to adopt. The truth is that I’ve always thought that I’d adopt and I’ve always wanted a big family. DH and I even talked about it early on in our relationship. But I thought that we’d have a biological child first. So I suppose that the ‘loss’ I’m supposed to be grieving (according to the adoption-after-infertility books I’ve been reading ) isn’t as acute? Or maybe it is. Either way, we’re determined to be parents and if that means that I don’t get to have the experience of carrying a child and bringing him or her into the world, so be it.

We are almost done with the first round of NY state paperwork, have retained an attorney (that we met with last year), are in the midst of scheduling a home study with our assigned social worker, have spoken at length to our financial planner, have tracked down all addresses we’ve had for the last 28 years (quite a task!), and have asked two close friends and our bosses for reference letters.

In the midst of the paperwork flurry our last local couple friends without kids announced they are pregnant and my best childhood friend announced she’s pregnant with #2. Both are aware of our situation and have been supportive, but they are definitely in the ‘it was easy’ category. We’re still considering raising money for the adoption by hiring ourselves out as fertility charms…for other people.

And so that’s it. A very big new chapter – perhaps even a new book – but one that we are excited about, albeit nervous. Since I picked an innocuous blog name I think I’ll just stay here. Hope you’ll stay with us for the journey. I think I could use the support…

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Pop culture conspiring?

[Warning, a rambling post…a small window into the mess that is my thinking process these days]

* Did you ever think that pop culture was conspiring to make things harder? I’m a long-time fan of Grey’s Anatomy and have watched the show through all of the melodramatic ups and downs. But this latest storyline, with Meredith on fertility drugs pushed me a bit far this week. While I do think they’re handling it well – including showing some of the irrational thinking we all go through (e.g., if someone else is pregnant, I’ve lost my chance) – I did find myself crying multiple times during the show.

* This week brought a little healing after last week’s BFN, but DH and I don’t know where to go from here. IVF #4? Start the paperwork for an adoption? Both?

* On the IVF #4 front, we have a little bit of money left that insurance will pay for – and Dr. TAL (along with RE#1 and RE#2) is stumped. He is really encouraging us to do another cycle – which would start mid-March. I’m turning 34, so it feels like we should go forward with at least one more while the money is available and I’m still (reproductively speaking) young.

* On the adoption front, we’ve already met with an attorney that we like and so all we have to do to start the process is send her a check to ‘retain’ her … and then the NY state paperwork, home-study process takes about 3 months. We attended an all-day adoption seminar about 14 months ago and are pretty sure we’d do a domestic adoption.

* The bottom line is that we want to be parents. We’ll get there, but it’s really hard to figure out how. And to keep my chin up when we live in a neighborhood FULL of kids, are surrounded by friends and acquaintances with seemingly endless Facebook updates about new pregnancies, babies and funny things their kids say.

* Tomorrow DH’s sister is bringing her 10-month old over to celebrate DH’s birthday. She knows about last week’s BFN and I’m really on the fence about whether I want to get together, but I’m burying that feeling and keeping a smile on my face for DH’s family. That’s what he wants.

* And finally, we have some gift certificates to Borders, which is in bankruptcy. Any suggestions of good adoption books to look into?

Happy President’s weekend to those of you that are still reading…

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It’s Wednesday and already a busy week.

Yesterday my SIL had a healthy baby boy and DH and I now have a nephew.

We had a long and (as we described it) ‘weird’ day. Full of the expected joy, jealousy and copious amounts of in-law time. After a 5:45 a.m. wake up call and battling Brooklyn, Manhattan and NJ traffic, we arrived a few minutes after our nephew was born, only to encounter a hospital security guard who was insistent that we not go in until visiting hours. The floor nurse and even his boss gave us clearance, but he stood his ground. Once we made it past him, we spent most of the day hanging out with my brother-in-law, ensuring everyone ate (while SIL was in recovery after her c-section) and then at Target (we just needed a break). Around 4 p.m. we returned to the hospital and SIL was in the room. She was very gracious, clearly glad to see us and insisted that we hold nephew. He’s adorable, perfect and the youngest person I’ve ever held (8 hours old). By 4:30 p.m. we were on the road again, fighting NJ, Manhattan and Brooklyn traffic home. We then decided to make good use of the car and do a big grocery run. So, by 9 p.m. we were eating leftovers on the couch, having returned the car, and watching season 1 of The Wire (yay Netflix). SIL comes home on Friday and we’ll probably go back for a weekend visit.

****

Had our WTF appointment today and, as expected, RE had no real concrete reason why the FET failed. He walked us through the numbers. Lining, estrogen level, blastocysts – everything looked good. He confirmed that by now, given our ages, health and history, we should have had a positive. We are now in the ‘statistical minority’ — and he doesn’t suspect autoimmune issues. Having never achieved pregnancy, we are also not eligible for recurrent miscarriage testing.

DH and I were both frustrated that RE was simply reacting to our questions, not proactively making suggestions. We peppered him with questions and the upshot is that he recommends we do a medicated FET using the last two blasts from IVF#2.

We’ve used up our lifetime ART funds on our insurance. But, DH’s company just switched to a new carrier and our health advocate (best service EVER) is pretty sure we get to start over again. However, this RE doesn’t take the new insurance.

The clinic’s lab shuts down for two weeks for cleaning over the summer (which we ran into last summer) and so if we want to proceed with the medicated FET we would need to start in 2 weeks. Not likely that we’ll have all of our ducks in a row by then, which means if we go forward with a medicated FET, it won’t be until mid-July and it may not be with this clinic due to the insurance situation.

The only real positive was that he was helpful when we asked what he thought about getting a second opinion (which we were already going to do) and even offered a suggestion at NYU and to make a call on our behalf. He’s also going to bring our case up with the rest of the doctors in the practice at their May meeting. Perhaps 8 heads are better than one?

So where does that leave us?

We’re going to get at least one more opinion (likely NYU and perhaps also a doctor that L., my acupuncturist recommended) and have requested all of our medical records.

We’re going to proceed with the adoption pre-certification.

We’re going to book an appointment with the therapist we’ve seen sporadically.

We’re going to keep taking my temps, timing intercourse, praying, hoping, wishing and supporting each other.

Now, off to eat dinner and prepare for a client meeting in Westchester tomorrow.

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Snapshots of the week

My phone rang last night – a call from my cousin. My first thought (upon seeing her name pop up on the caller ID on a Friday night at 9)? She’s pregnant.

I let it go to VM.

When I picked up the message, she was just telling me that they were going to be in New York because her grandfather died.

I am so sad that IF has colored every reaction that I have.

***

Went with DH to L., my acupuncturist, for the first time post-FET BFN. She’s in her new space, which is slightly more convenient than the old location. We talked about how we are going to proceed, next steps and got her perspective on the situation. She’s also a doula and had just assisted in a 30+ hour birth and commented that as she was leaving she had a strong visual image of assisting at my birth.

Now you have to understand, she is very down to earth and this was a *very* surprising comment. DH and I agreed it was a good thing and a large part of why L. is critical for us on our journey – her positive attitude even in the face of crushing bad news.

***

Had dinner with my pregnant SIL, who is scheduled for a c-section on Tuesday. We always do better one-on-one and dinner was nice, despite my leaving my credit card at the restaurant. I’m bracing myself for a week of emotion – positive (becoming an aunt) and anxious (LOTS of in-law time, focus on babies, jealousy, etc.).

***

Anyone catch the story about an adoptive mom who sent her adopted son BACK to Russia (age 7) alone on a plane – with a note!? My heart goes out to all the families in the process of adopting from Russia who are impacted by this irresponsible family.

***

WTF appointment is on Wednesday.

***

Finally, and most importantly, thanks for ALL of the support. Seriously.

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Busy day again today — but first the weather report. More snow, slush & freezing rain. Good thing I have those boots!

It was a long day. A day in five acts.

Act I: Adoption Consultation

The day started with a mad rush to the subway to our initial consult with an adoption attorney. It was a really helpful meeting – with a flood (or avalanche, or whatever weather metaphor you want) of information. Overall, she seemed to have a philosophy that resonated with us, clearly had lots of experience and a great network and sound reasoning behind her recommendations. All good signs.

On the negative side, she had three walls FULL of baby photos, her successful cases. After almost two hours with her DH & I agreed that the smiling babies and happy parents were crushing.

We haven’t had a chance to really debrief about the situation – just a short subway ride before we went our separate ways – but my sense is that we’ll decide to start the lengthy pre-certification process soon. Essentially it is just paperwork, but it can take two to three months in New York State.

Act II: The Acupuncturist Returns

Having survived a parasitic issue in India, my acupuncturist is back. It was truly and completely a relief to see her! She brought me a fertility icon that is apparently a replica of the oldest symbol of fertility near where she was traveling.  Just one more reason to love her – and hey – you never know.

She poured over my BBT charts and then did a pretty aggressive treatment to encourage a strong lining for the upcoming FET (see Act IV). After the treatment it was astounding how much better I felt. I struggle to describe it – perhaps more whole.

Act III: The Cubicle

Work. In a cubicle.

Act IV: Preparing for the FET

So tomorrow is cd10 and I head in for my first monitoring appointment. I’ve got a boatload of questions, am feeling a bit more optimistic and look forward to seeing what’s going on. I truly never thought I would say that I missed the ‘wand’ – but the ultrasound and blood work together with acupuncture will definitely be an interesting view into how my body responds. (Hoping that the response is a successful pregnancy!)

Act V: Home

In sweats, apartment spotless (yay bi-monthly housekeeper!!) and preparing for house guests if the weather cooperates. Really glad I have those boots.

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