Entry #45: Two Plus One

adoption update 3.15_zpspyncblhs
(image source)

The Latest Lack of Update on our Adoption

Well, our agency director got back and told us that MOWA, who handles adoptions in Addis Ababa, just moved all of their adoption staff over to youth services, and have hired all brand new staff for the adoption department. What this means is unknown – on a negative, it means that there’s now a learning curve for all of these new people to figure out how to do the work (these are the folks who give the agency the OK to refer a child to us), but on a positive, it may mean that there are more staff altogether to take care of kids in Ethiopia. Our agency has been a bit slow/vague on what actually happens at MOWA during this wait time, so once again, just trying to put this out of my mind. It will drive me nuts if I don’t. Dan’s the same way.

Doesn’t help of course living a block and a half away from Growing Seeds daycare, and the little cuties there all crowding around my pup to pet her and me falling in love all over again with being a mama while at the same time feeling my heart break inside.


End of the Hormone-Free Vacation…

Yeah so the party is over of being on absolutely nothing related to IVF. Four days with no birth control pills, no shots, no hormones whatsoever popped or injected, and now we’re back to the booty shots.

Gotta celebrate something though, and today was a good day for my feet as I’ve been struggling with this plantar fasciitis for almost 8 weeks now. It really threw my workouts down the toilet for the most part as the weather has sucked too bad for cycling (now that I’m a fair weather cyclist, which happened when I started my own business and stopped commuting anywhere). The fact that I was able to walk for a full 30 minutes at a rapid clip with the dog was a small victory this morning – but can I return to StepSculpt? We’ll see how I feel tomorrow…I miss the post-exercise rush incredibly and with the DEIVF cycle starting again, I need some distractions from my ass returning to pincushion status.

(image source)

Looking Back

On January 1, 2015, I started keeping a one-sentence journal, and have been pretty adamant about doing it, even if it really just documented a meeting I had or a food I ate. Looking back and seeing what was happening at this time a year ago, it really made me realize how much has happened. This time last year I found out my AMH was microscopically low at .1 (putting me in the 10th percentile for women my age) and my FSH was crazy high at 18, meaning that I’d never be eligible for traditional IVF.

Back then I did a lot of tests, and the one that frightened me the most in anticipation was the hysterosalpingogram (HSG). I just knew there was a catheter involved and that every forum I’d read talked about how brutally painful it was. I remember walking into Dr Thurmond’s office, fearful about how it would hurt, and full of shame about my body’s reproductive system failures. My husband was in the room with me, holding my hand, and Dr. Thurmond walked in and immediately I flashed back to seeing Jane Goodall speak at the 2009 Women’s Conference. I was both warm and fuzzy, half-expecting Dr. Thurmond to teach me how to make chimpanzee noises, while also practicing Ujjayi breathing to keep myself from stiffening up in gut wrenching fear.

What I didn’t know at the time was that I hit the jackpot when it came to HSG docs:

“With her 1988 R&E Research Fellow Grant, Amy S. Thurmond, M.D., aimed to improve the hysterosalpingographic (HSG) diagnosis of infertility and develop an interventional radiological treatment of infertility. What ultimately resulted from this pioneering and inspiring young investigator was a new procedure for diagnosing and treating fallopian tube blockage-a minimally invasive transcervical tubal access catheter system-which is now performed worldwide.” (source)

So, um, yeah, I got the HSG Jedi Master. And it didn’t hurt one bit. Not even cramping afterwards. And a year later, I think about the kindnesses of the many people who have provided not just care but true kindness in how they operate including the aforementioned Dr. Thurmond at Woman’s Imaging, or my wonderful ND/LAc Dr. Haywood at Bloom, or the great team of Dr Stoelk, Tracy and Millie at Northwest Fertility. After the first two fertility clinics treated us like shit, we have been – even in our struggle – seriously grateful to know that during this time, we are safe with them.


Still Jittery

I will admit, when I see a pregnant belly I feel a stabbing pain, a pit in my stomach, the welling up behind my eyes. What I’ve told myself to stay sane? Maybe they’ve been through what I’ve been through. Maybe they didn’t “just relax and got pregnant”. Maybe this woman fought like hell like we have – and all the other couples out there living with infertility – and she finally got her wish. It helps – a little.

(But I still don’t want to touch your belly)

Of course this psychological game of mine has also spread to every time I see twins (“must have transferred two!” I think) and over to the adoption side of my brain, every time I see a kid who doesn’t quite resemble the parent. How many times I thought in my head, hey maybe they adopted too and maybe that means it’s in the cards for us soon! Heh.

And there’s the real stories as well. Running into the sweet girl at the park who my husband and I have both read to at SMART, and getting to meet one of her mothers. After being in and out of the foster system, these two wonderful mums finalized her adoption last year and we watched her transform before our eyes from being all over the map emotionally to a joyful, well-adjusted child. I watched her mama just being a mama, worried about her little girl racing around too fast on her razor scooter, happy to be taking her to a play date. Just. Being. A. Mom.

That stuff right there, that’s what inspires me to keep on going. The real stories. The real people I encounter. The women who have battled and won, like BabyScienceProject who still manages in her writing to make me laugh til I almost pee myself, even though she’s crossed over into Established Pregnancy Land – a place I normally don’t want to read about. Not the “hey I know someone who did that once and it worked then she got pregnant on her own!” stories that just make your own struggle seem even more futile. Not the people who promise to make time for you and then cancel over. And over. And over. I still wonder every once in a while what a whole day with a close friend that’s not my husband would be like, you know, the more than a meet-for-a-quick-lunch-or-drink-then-rush-off-to-your-kid-who’s-already-left-the-nest kind of get together. Whatever.


Going into Robot Mode

One thing about multiple failed attempts is you stop doing the silly shit you did at the beginning. Cute little cardboard books? Stuffed animals? Finishing up that project to carve alphabet blocks? All feel toxic now, like bad luck to even think about, like a jinx. The kid stuff is pretty much in the basement bedroom so we don’t have to look at it, minus the May Gibbs alphabet art that’s on the wall in the former dining room-turned-office-to be turned into-future nursery. So I just stay out of there or dash in and out quickly when I’m getting something off my printer. I just can’t think about it with optimism.

Not that we’re pessimistic. We’re just in robot mode. Walking down the street, wondering who looks at us now with pity since they know we went through treatments and now just don’t talk about it, if that’s why they don’t ask us over anymore, because they’re too busy in their kid-filled lives. Reminds me of when I divorced my first husband and the couples you knew and socialized with dropped you like an infectious disease. They didn’t want it to ‘spread’ to them.

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Focusing On Beauty

So we’re off for a hike this weekend, heading up to Angel’s Rest in the Columbia River Gorge, pulling on our mucky muck boots and jeans and rain jackets, grabbing the pup, and breathing in our beautiful state.

And someday? Maybe there will be Two Plus One.


3 thoughts on “Entry #45: Two Plus One

  1. Lovely post. I totally agree on the ‘avoiding pregnancy’ thing – a work colleague brought her 8 month old son into work yesterday and a part of me just thought ‘ugh, I don’t even want to look at your hastily popped out spawn’. But I did, and he was lovely and all that stuff. Did reinforce the notion that I will NOT be bringing my kids in for work show and tell should I ever get to that point. It’s all just far too show-offy for my liking. Anyway I am fucking sorry that you have to go through all this. I sincerely mean that. You and Dan seem like an awesome couple and I just want you to get a break soon, either from your own uterus or the mysterious MOWA. You totally deserve it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “the mysterious MOWA” – that gave me a great visual, like that scary snowman in Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. I should have noted that MOWA is the Ministry of Women’s Affairs in Ethiopia, like DHS in other countries 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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