With the events of 2016 that have been a suckerpunch to the gut (and uterus), looking ahead to 2017 is what my husband and I are now focused on.
- DEIVF: This will absolutely be our last round. I never wanted to say “absolute” but a switch has definitely turned off inside of me and I don’t want my life to revolve around hormones any more. With our ERA in December, and because our RE does batched cycles every other month, this means round 6 will be in the first half of February. While I really, REALLY wanted to do it in 2016, and for a brief moment considered bypassing the ERA and just hucking the last 2 “A” embryos in me in December, I cannot fathom that not working and then wondering if the ERA would have made the difference. Patience, patience, patience! Either way my period is late by several days already, which upon its eventual arrival will kick off the mock cycle with the delestrogen. Went to my acupuncturist this week for needles to help things get on their way as it has helped in the past, hopefully that will work as I’m impatient as all get-out.
- Ethiopia: Our agency just posted that the minimum wait is now 24 months for a boy, and 36-48 months for a girl, and there’s no particular order (so it’s sadly not ‘first come first serve’ which I think is kinda messed up). Either way we’re talking at least 2-4 more years which would put my husband into his 50’s and me into my mid 40’s before even a REFERRAL is made -i.e., the “here’s a picture of your kid” email. After that happens, then you have another 12-18 month wait for them to do MORE checks before you can come bring them home. So basically if they refer a 4 year old to you, the child could very well be almost 6 years old by the time you bring her home. But the part that is hardest is that international adoption laws are getting stricter and stricter, and newly introduced legislation, if passed, is expected to have a major impact on international adoption with even more restrictions and costs for adoption agencies, potentially shrinking the number of agencies as well as extending the wait times EVEN MORE. For those unfamiliar with the change in international adoption, the number of them have decreased by 74% since 2004 – some of this for the good (better protection for the birth families and children involved), some purely bureaucratic. Either way, our fear is if we do nothing but wait for this to happen, we are risking never getting a child because programs are closing right and left, particularly in Ethiopia, a non-Hague Convention country.
- Domestic Adoption: We’ve been quietly thinking about this for a while, and while the costs are way up there, last night we decided to go to a free 90 minute informational meeting at a local pro-choice adoption agency. They are NOT religiously affiliated, work frequently with the LGBTQ community, come highly recommended by several individuals I trust, and are the only agency who Planned Parenthood refers women to in the Northwest, which means a lot. They also didn’t give us a sales pitch but rather were focused on explaining the process, the relationships both internally and with the birth mother, and how they advocate for both sides. Also, the average wait times are ~13 months (but can be as few as 3 months since you rely on being selected by the birth mother from a profile you create, and most choose at around 6-8 months). So while our hope is that the final round of IVF works out, we also have to be realistic. And when I’m turning 43 in 2 months and my husband turns 50 next summer, 3-4 year wait times are not in our favor. So with that, we’ve signed up for the 12 hours of adoption training in December, which – talk about the stars aligning – is held on my husband’s two regular days off (rather than on weekends which are miserably hard to rearrange at his company). Our thought process is hey, while we’re paying for the training, it’s not the big ticket $$ part of the process, this just gets us kicked off so if Round 6 doesn’t work, we can get into the adoptive parent pool by Spring.
I’ve been trying to remind myself of the questions to ask myself in articles such as When is Enough, Enough? but it’s tough. It’s tough to ask myself those questions about quitting when I see the man walking down the aisle of the grocery store with his little one balanced on his hip, answering her questions about everything she sees. It’s tough to ask myself those questions when everything I want seems just a fingertip out of reach.
But I’m reading the forums about women who’ve had the Endometrial Receptivity Test (ERA) after multiple fails and I am excited. Excited because many, many women have talked about how the results changed everything. Did you know that 25% of women are not receptive on the normal day of transfer (@ 5 days of progesterone)? They’ve found that of those women, the majority need to be on progesterone 1 or 2 days longer to be at that receptivity window to accept embryo(s), and a small number actually a day less. When the ERA test result comes back, it will show as either receptive, post-receptive, or pre-receptive. If it’s pre- or post-, they actually have to do another biopsy/ERA to see if one more/less day gets it to Receptive, as it can be anywhere from 4-7 days after starting Progesterone. But when that magic “R” happens? 67% end up with healthy pregnancies brought to term.
Knowing this, I gotta say to my IVF sistas out there, if you’ve already had a fail, get this test. I know it’s an extra thousand bucks, I know it postpones things a month or two, but considering how much each additional round will cost if this cycle fails? Well all I can say after 5 fails including a miscarriage, if I had known about ERA a year ago I totally would have done this, and set myself up for the best odds ever.
And looking forward politically, we’ve got a battle ahead of us to fight for what’s going to improve the lives of the underserved in our country, from women to minorities to the disabled to the poor – and with that, we’ve got to walk the talk when we say we are against the hate that all Trump/Pence have fully shown they plan on promoting during the next 4 years. “Trying to work together” with a Nazi sympathizer or giving him “a chance to do the right thing” is like we never learned our lessons with the dictators in the past who slowly but surely stripped people of their rights.
- Don’t spend money at the retailers his hypocrite daughter Ivanka hocks her line of jewelry and other items, including Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Zappos, and more. Check out #GrabYourWallet.
- Read this article on tone policing and how “I can’t discuss this with you while you’re so emotional” or “Protesting is not the right way to get things done” or “you need to stop complaining about Trump voters and reach out to them so we can all work together” are tools for silencing dissent. I found this is applicable not only in the political environment we are facing but also in the professional world, where women are often told they are being “difficult” or “disruptive” simply because they disagree and/or react in a tone that is less than complacent. I won’t be a doormat and I won’t reach out to those who supported a rapist – and I absolutely will not be silenced. No ifs, ands, or buts about that.
- And remember that people will judge you based on who you surround yourself with. As was so well articulated in Sorry, but I can’t be friends with you if you support Donald Trump:
“This Trump scourge goes far beyond the usual election year tug-of-war over fiscal policies and the semantics of the 2nd amendment: this is the darkest part of our humanity being reflected back to us. This is about a charismatic madman slowly hypnotizing people into believing that hatred is somehow the pathway to peace: that exclusion of the “other” is the way to greatness. So when you support this blistering orange narcissist, you are saying Yes to a crusade of religious persecution while ignoring the well-documented legacies of those most despicable villains who also rose to power on the platform of spiritual superiority and the reclamation of a fairy tale past.
And I won’t stand for it in my inner circle. We are the company we keep. I will not stand with those participating in this tidal wave of discrimination being perpetuated by the very same fundamentalism we claim to be at war with. I would rather maintain a small circle of people demonstrating Real Love for their fellow man than stand with an Army of Ignorance that’s hell-bent on proving they are the King of the Hill – even after the world has lost respect for them.”