Entry Number Twenty-One: Two Plus One

Hmm, what a crazy week of unexpectedness, so just because I vented on the last one I thought I’d get more informative this time around as things seem to be changing by the minute right now…

Minor Adoption Update (Wheels Turning)

Our agency is speedy. We love the couple who run the place. They are so real and funny and caring. Anyhow, we paid our second big check ($9,000 – gulp! Thank goodness for credit card checks so we could get miles from this!!) to them when the approval came in last week and today we went in and signed a few more forms, she notarized them, and tomorrow I’m off to Salem to get them certified. Yep – certified that they are notarized. Gotta love bureaucracy! (I think the director’s quote was “it’s not bureaucracy, it’s stupidity!” which gave us a good laugh). Boy I’m grateful to have a Zipcar nearby to drive it down there as my membership has been all too utilized between the trips across town to them and the fertility clinic (both which are not easily accessed by public transport.).

But anyhow, once I get this certified, they’ll be sending the whole packet off to Ethiopia. The estimated turnaround time was 4 weeks, so 1 week is pretty cool for us!!! Every week counts in this hella long process 🙂

Realistically speaking though, this is the beginning of a tough time in the adoption process – the wait. All this year, the turnaround times were not terrible, as we did our multitude of background checks, home study & interview, USCIS applications, etc. all in the past 5 months. So this next step there will be nothing to check online for, to schedule, just a long ass waiting game. Like our social worker at the agency said, you have to mentally prepare yourself for this stage because it’s going to be a very long haul.

My Body is it’s Own Roadblock – Well That’s Just Great.

So today I also got on the phone with my fertility doc. First, I had some questions about potentially testing our frozen embryos, as Pre-Implantation Genetic Screening is something I learned about recently which can look at embryos and see if there are any chromosomal abnormalities, which is frequently the reason embryos don’t implant in the first place. Unfortunately, his opinion is that this is best done on fresh embryos, as frozen ones, once rethawed for the genetic testing, don’t always re-freeze well, so this option is essentially off the table for us. He is confident that out of our 12 in the freezer, at least 4 of them are rated excellent (or whatever the embryo grading system is, that stuff confuses me a bit) and he’s hopeful for us. He said because we’re only transferring one at a time, it just takes longer sometimes to get the winner implanted, and understands with our Ethiopia adoption why the potential of twins by transferring two is just not an option. (Oh and I’ve read a lot about selective reduction which I think would be GREAT if we got multiples, but I’m betting with all the God stuff on the walls of this clinic that he wouldn’t be a fan of that. And knowing me, I’d probably weasel myself into thinking I could do the twin thing. Which I probably could but don’t want to – I want to give our girl in Ethiopia just as much of a parent as whoever we might conceive here from the clinic.

Anyhow so it’s been 30 days since I got my period and the whole deal was that I am supposed to call the doc when I get my period so we can get me started onto the hormones for his next IVF cycle in December. You see, he does transfers every other month, so because of that there’s a certain window you have to get “up and running” on the hormones to be prepared for the transfer. Your uterine lining needs to be all cleaned out from the past month, and in no danger of shedding during the cycle. Unlike the fresh embryo cycle we just did, I don’t have to do the evil antibiotics (thanks so much for the 3 month yeast infection, that was awesome!) or the Lupron (thanks so much for the shitty side effects!), this frozen (FET) cycle just has me on delestrogen (prep my lining) and progesterone (promote implantation) shots. I can deal with the shots and the butt pain. But here’s the deal – I usually have a 23-24 day cycle, not a month.

So the doc had me come in today for an ultrasound to see what the heck’s going on with my reproductive cycle and get this – I haven’t even fucking ovulated yet. Since that’s a mid-cycle occurrence, it’ll be at least 2-2.5 weeks before I finally get my period, thereby missing the window entirely and pushing us out to FEBRUARY for the next embryo transfer – assuming my body finally gets regulated.

Yes it seems like an “oh just a bit longer to wait” and “hey at least I won’t be getting booty shots around the holidays” but honestly? I’ve been living in a giant fear that I’m going to hit menopause during all that and that my insides are getting cobwebs in them.

Sensible thinking? No. But in the interest of sharing, that’s what my heart and mind are struggling with. It’s an odd thing being a female in one’s 40’s. Most fertile men don’t lose their ability to make babies til they are actually old, and the concept of menopause is just a foreign one to me (beyond the aunties in my life fanning themselves during hot flashes).

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My Almost-Midlife Crisis

It makes me think a lot about aging. How “old” 41 used to seem. How this year became the year I started pointing at women in magazines as I noticed that they all don’t look old enough to model those “career clothes” (well most probably don’t). How I feel a bit cooler when I have to explain a lot of pop music references to my husband who has no idea who most folks are on the radio (and a woman at the grocery store who couldn’t identify Gwen and Blake on the cover of People today). How as I try and try to become a mother, I feel like more and more each day like I’m chasing the caboose of a train pulling out of the station.

Help Has Arrived

And so while all seems a bit on the sucky side right now, I am grateful for our new counselor. Head of a support group I recently discovered (but didn’t attend, as we are kind of done with support groups – nothing against them, we just need to do more than voice our infertility frustration and get some tools to help us through this journey), we had our first session with a woman who is an amazing fit for us. Get this:

  • She’s also an immigrant married to an American so knows what the transition is like.
  • She’s also dealt with reproductive challenges – so she has street cred.
  • She’s a former yoga teacher, writer, and doula – wonderful things to us personally!
  • She’s worked in social services – like my husband did for 16 years in his own career.
  • She’s got experience with working with those who’ve had traumatic brain injuries – something very valuable to us as my husband suffered a subdural hematoma ~15 years ago.

And she’s exactly our style/energy/vibe. Like a life preserver in a storm, we have reached out.

“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.”
~ Lao Tzu

 

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