Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Heading to the land of the overly fertile

Tomorrow night we’re heading out to Utah. Jack Bauer is from Salt Lake City, and no he is not Mormon. Of course, I sometimes wonder if he were Mormon if it would help our chances of conceiving. I am making a huge generalization here, so I hope I’m not offending anyone, but the Mormons seem to have oodles and oodles of kids without even trying that hard. And they have kids when they’re practically kids themselves (and I have some evidence based on Jack Bauer’s Facebook friends from high school and college). Heck, if I lived there, I’d probably be a grandma by now.

Perhaps I should flag down one of the many-kid-producing Mormon mothers to ask her if there are any tricks to the trade that we non-Latter Day Saints believers should be trying to produce offspring. Maybe those special garments that they wear actually increase sperm and egg production or have some kind of super-fertile power. Or, could it be the large Jello consumption?

Perhaps this should be the trip where I find out what their secrets are. I’ll let you know if I uncover anything worthwhile

Monday, June 29, 2009

Favor, please

To all those TTC or those who have ever tried to conceive:

I have a favor. I am looking for some funny stories on the following topics:
1. Making Love and Making Babies are not the Same Thing - funny moments while trying to procreate. I've found that most of these moments are dictated by doctors, not by our own urges and that it stops being fun and starts being more like a chore.
2. Fun side effects from fertility drugs - everything from being tired to constipated to gaining weight and having bad skin and hair failing out (all of which happened to me)
3. Funny stories while going through an IVF or IUI cycle. For example, I did a strip tease in the hospital room before my egg retrieval for my husband before he went back to produce his half of our embryos.
4. Interesting coping mechanisms for not getting pregnant - drinking, eating sweets, buying something indulgent or other things that make us feel better when our procedures don't work.
5. Financial tales - I know someone who had a yard sale to pay for a fertility treatment; I buy HPTs at the Dollar Store, and we put most of our bills on our AmEx in order to get frequent flier points.

If you have a story or stories that fit in these categories, please let me know. Thanks! Email me at myeggyournest@gmail.com

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Failing at Fertility

I guess I never imagined that the act of procreating another human being could be so difficult. Well, the act itself hasn’t been difficult, rather the actual meeting of the sperm and egg. After all, my mom and my high school health teacher scared me into thinking getting pregnant could happen from a handshake.

So, for years you avoid getting pregnant at the “wrong” time, dutifully taking birth control pills at the same time every day. Checking off all the things you want to do as a couple before having children.

Jack Bauer and I really wanted to enjoy being married for a while before starting a family. We loved to travel all around the world and worked long and hard at our jobs. He got his MBA; I trained for marathons. We even lived abroad for a year (not that these things can’t be done with children, they’re just a little easier without). We had planned everything out pretty specifically. New Zealand trip – check; promotion - check; buy a house – check; save a little bit of a nest egg so that we could have a nest for our eggs – check.

And like so many other couples, when we decided the time was right, it really didn’t occur to us that we would have challenges. After all, all of the women on both sides of my family, including my sister, pretty much got pregnant by looking at their husbands sideways, so I didn’t think anything of it. In fact, my mom was so hyperfertile that she got pregnant with my sister with an IUD in place and my mother-in-law got pregnant with my husband in a similar manner. I just thought JB and I could decide that one day we’d snap our fingers, so to speak, and the next day I’d be pregnant. But, so far, no stork has visited our house.

It just seems so ironic that something you have tried to avoid for so long could actually be completely avoided. We haven’t used birth control in five years and it’s made no difference whatsoever.

One night JB and I were watching TV after one of our many failed artificial attempts to conceive. He seemed to have an epiphany, looking up from his BusinessWeek saying, “You mean we never had to use a condom.” No idea what prompted that thought in his head, but I thought that one moment summed up a lot of this crazy journey.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Trying Not to Obsess

So far, so good. The two peas still seem to be hanging out in the Nest’s pod. She said that she’s been a little tired the last few days. I’m not sure that she’d be tired this early into a pregnancy, but I’ll take that little nugget of info and run with it.

Honestly, I’ve been better than I thought about obsessing with the fact that this could actually be the time that works and that Jack Bauer and I could be parents in nine short months (after almost five years, nine months is nothing).

The most Jack and I have talked about the prospect of parenting this week is about potential boy names. If we have twin girls, we already have the names picked out, but the boy names have been harder. Our favorite name in the world has been given to our little boy in Vietnam (see end of posting for more details on that), so we need some new ones if these are XY embryos. But, I digress.

Monday was tough, but for some reason, every day has gotten a little bit easier not to completely obsess. I will admit though, it is a very surreal situation.

And, unlike my many blogging IF friends, the Nest will not be doing a home pregnancy test before her Beta which is still nine days away, though she did jokingly threaten that she was going to go to the Dollar Store and pick up ten tests and take one a day until she saw those magical two blue lines.

Perhaps a little known fact: those Dollar Store tests work. I only discovered them a year or so after a friend told me that the Dollar Store carries ovulation test kits. The ones I’ve used are much clunkier than the sleek and slender expensive brands (and they sometimes have instructions only in Spanish), but for me, if I was going to only see one line, I’d rather pay a dollar rather than $13. I figure I’ve taken no less than 20 HPTs in the last five years – think of the money I could’ve saved.

And, an update on our nonbio boy in Vietnam: Our hopefulness was short-lived. We received more troubling news this week that makes it less and less likely that we (or the 22 other families waiting for their babies) will get to ever bring him home. I’m about at my wit’s end on this situation, but that’s a whole other story.

After re-reading this posting, I realize that I should have titled it Random Thoughts. Sorry, I can blame lack of clarity due to lack of caffeine this morning – and a mind going in hundreds of directions.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

So Vogue

What do I have in common with Sarah Jessica Parker? Well, if you guessed having a dashingly handsome husband, you would be half right.

I never thought I’d have anything in common with SJP. I’m too cheap to don Manolos (I can’t walk very well in heels anyway and all my money has gone to the creation of offspring – bio and nonbio); I’ve never been considered fashion forward; and I’ve never been the lead in a stage production of Annie.

But, aside from our impeccable choice in men, I now have a huge thing in common with her. I, too, have a gestational carrier (though the press keeps calling hers a surrogate). Ms. Parker’s and Matthew Broderick’s (whom I have loved since War Games) carrier had twin girls on Monday afternoon. It’d be great if Jack Bauer and I could also have the “healthy twin birth” in common with the couple.

I’m sure that all the cool celebrities and trendy and stylish people will be following my and SJP’s lead. Mark my words, nine or ten months from now, there will be a rash of celebs announcing pending births when they have no baby bumps themselves.

Surrogates will be all the rage. And, I will be able to say that I was a trendsetter for once in my life. Yeah, the whole colored or patterned tights with cut-off jeans shorts and Birkenstocks movement I went through in college started and stopped with me alone. Don’t worry, I went to a liberal arts school, so I didn’t stick out that much.

Unlike SJP’s surrogate, I promised the Nest that the paparazzi wouldn’t go after her and that the police wouldn’t break into her house.

Speaking of the Nest, you have to check out her awesome blog at www.mynestyouregg.blogspot.com Her post from yesterday is hilarious.

Monday, June 22, 2009

How did we get here?

It was odd walking through the same hallways and prep-rooms of the fertility section of the hospital yesterday that I’d walked through four other times before. This time was different -- I wasn’t hopped up on Valium and didn’t have ovaries full of follicles waiting to be retrieved. And, I wasn’t the one that had to wear a lovely pink and mauve hospital gown (honestly, why are they so hideously ugly? Perhaps it’s to keep us from wanting to take them home).

As we sat with our lovely and beautiful Nest, trying to calm her nerves and ease her mind, I thought about how we’d gotten to this point.

Way back in 2005, Jack Bauer and I started trying for a baby the old-fashioned way – no luck. A couple months with ovulation detector sticks – no bun in the oven. Because of my bicornuate uteri (yes, I have two uteruses. Have I failed to mention that?), my fertility doctor decides that we can move straight into the hard core stuff. So, in November of 2005, we try our first Ovulation Induction /Timed Intercourse cycle, which is basically the same as Artificial Insemination, except that the inseminating part isn’t artificial, it’s the real thing. You do fertility injections to boost your eggs and then the nurse calls you to tell you exactly when to have sex – it’s oh-so-romantic.

That one didn’t work, so we tried again in Feb. 2006. Once again, I wasn’t knocked up. After failing two times within four months, we decided to take a break for a few months. So, we tried one last OI in August of 2006.

After that one didn’t work, our doctor advised us to try IVF. We were excited – surely this was a sure thing. Our egg retrieval and first transfer was that November. In fact, JB wasn’t even in the country when the transfer took place. I thought that was the time it had to work – what a great story. “I got pregnant without my husband being there.” But, I didn’t.

At that point, we decided that there was a real possibility that it would never happen, so we started our paperwork to adopt a baby from Vietnam the last week of December 2006.

We jumped right back in the IVF pool pretty quickly. I had my second transfer of thawed totsicles in March of 2007. No kiddo.

Another break, while we were busy filling out paperwork, getting fingerprinted, sending checks to pull together our adoption dossier.

We decided to give the IVF one last try in November 2007. But, again, a negative test result. We took almost a year to re-group and think about what we should do next.

We found out about our nonbio baby in July 2008, so we thought we were getting close, but after things were put on hold indefinitely two months later, we started thinking of other options. And, we weren’t getting any younger.

Then the Nest came into our lives and the rest is history.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Is today Father's Day for Jack Bauer?


This morning, our wonderful fertility doctor transferred two beautiful thawed embryos (an 8-cell and a 12-cell) into the Nest’s “playpen,” as he called it. What a fun place – she had it decked out with comfy blankets, toys and snacks. So, now the waiting begins again. Play nice, kiddos.

Earlier this week, I mentioned that it had to be fate that our transfer day is Father’s Day (I barely remember the dates or the months for the three transfers that I went through), doesn’t that give those embies a little extra boost knowing they have a daddy waiting for them? Sure, Jack Bauer has an important role breaking up terrorist cells, advising the President on global security issues and decoding nuclear devices, but he’s also a pretty amazing guy (please don’t get a big head, Jack) with awesome daddy potential.

I think you can tell a lot about how a guy would act as a dad by watching him interact with your pets. Jack makes up funny songs about the dog and cats (usually it’s a Journey or Bon Jovi song with new lyrics), cleans up cat vomit (usually after he found it with his bare foot), beams with pride when the dog learns a new trick or doesn’t eat her own poo, breaks up fights, and pets, plays and loves on them several times a day. If that’s not a daddy waiting to happen, I don’t know who is.

I’d love it if next Father’s Day, I’m in the kitchen trying not to burn the toast and Jack’s sitting on the couch reading the newspaper to our 3-month old twins and 30-month old nonbio baby boy while singing them a song about tooting and burping to the tune of “You Give Love a Bad Name.”

Happy Father’s Day to all dads (especially my own), bio dads and nonbio dads, and hopeful dads.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Go totsicles go!

The Nest’s oh-so-inviting uterus measured a marvelous 12mm this morning, so the transfer will happen on Sunday! Father’s Day – it’s a sign! She’s built a beautiful, cushy bed for the two embryos to nestle into. Now, the two totsicles just have to make it through the thawing process. Yes, you read that right, not the male body part (though that particular male body part is a very important part of the totsicle creation), a term coined by the Nest. Fingers crossed, prayers being said, rabbit’s feet rubbed, and lucky underwear washed!

She started on her progesterone today, and I had to break the news to her that it can cause some major constipation. Typically, my bowel schedule could synchronize the U.S. Naval Observatory Master Clock, but when I was on progesterone, I was completely stopped up. So, I decided to bite the bullet and buy some prune juice, the ultimate cure. It actually worked and it wasn’t that bad. Just another one of the joys of fertility treatments.

It’s another sign! I was just watching a rerun of “Friends” and it was the episode where Phoebe, who was a gestational carrier for her brother and sister-in-law, gives birth to their triplets. Coincidence? I think not. There must be at least 150 episodes of that show – and that was the one that was on tonight. Hmmmm… Yes, I might be grasping here, but indulge me.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Jack Bauer Speaks

Hello all, Jack Bauer here. After reading the Factory’s last post, I wanted to chime in based upon her comment that men get all the fun in the quest to babydom.

Now admittedly, we are the weaker sex. I see what the Factory has gone through and I don’t know if I would be able to keep my spirits that high with the constant disappointments. And I can only imagine what those hormone shots do to you. Factory has never gone completely crazy. I admit that there have been times when I thought her kooky actions were because of hormones only to find out she hadn’t been on them for a week. I guess one of the benefits of having a wacky wife is that she you never know if the crazy response is the hormones or just her personality.

Anyway, when I was told what my role was in this whole experience, I realized that I got off pretty easy. Make a sample. Deposit said sample in cup – no worries.

I don’t know really what I expected when I was shown the room to do my business. Maybe some mood lighting? Maybe some Barry White or Luther Vandross in the background? I don’t know. But what I got was the sterile exam room that had a fake leather couch (pleather?) in there with a stack of magazines sitting next to the sink.

Not the most conducive environment for a man to get worked up. Like most guys – when I was 14, it seemed like erections would come every 1 – 2 hours, and of course, right before the teacher called you up to the blackboard to do a math equation. I wonder if my hatred of math stems from this? But there are many things that are harder at 35 than were when I was younger.

But anyway, calling an erection on command – not the easiest thing to do. Plus, as I started to think about this, I wondered how many other men had touched (one handed) those magazines or sat their bare behind on that nasty leather couch. Trust me, getting the erection is one thing – sometimes keeping it is another.

The other thing that went through my mind as I sat there pondering my role – how long should this take? Is this a 15 minute job, 30 minutes, an hour? I didn’t really know. All men have this basic desire to be seen as virile – but with this, I had no frame of reference to what good looks like. If I come out too early will the nurse raise one eyebrow at my fast performance? Or if I take too long will I get the (God forbid) knock on the door to ask if everything is OK?

In retrospect, it is a funny experience that I can laugh about now, but when it happened it was one of the most awkward things I have had to go through.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Injustice of it All

I had a brief thought during dinner with some wonderful friends tonight about the injustice of fertility testing – how men get the fun part of that equation and women are subjected to the poking, probing and prodding, needle sticks and sometimes surgical interventions. Just doesn’t seem right.

I must be hormonal (self-created, not from any biologic or synthetic additives to my system. Remember, I’m sitting this cycle out. Instead, our Nest is dealing with that stuff.). While I’m on the topic, and now feel like ranting a bit, there are other injustices throughout the infertility journey. Probably the biggest one is the injustice of responsible people wanting a child and not being able to conceive one when there are plenty of drug addicts (and I don’t mean those of use who start going into a withdrawal without our fertility medications), deadbeats and other not-fit-for-owning-a-fish-let-alone-a-child mamas and papas out there who seem to get pregnant without even trying.

There’s also the injustice of the financial burden put on most of fertility-challenged females. Very few insurance companies will cover even one iota of fertility testing or treatments, but most will cover drug addicts, smokers and others with health issues that are self-inflicted versus those of us who can’t do anything to control our lack of procreation. Many insurance agencies will even cover abortion surgeries – so they’ll cover the expiration of a child, but not the conception, but that’s as much as I’ll say on that volatile subject.

I know there are others, but my brain is fried. I’m really not that bitter about this stuff because I’ve lived with it for the last five years and it’s just part of our daily life, but sometimes it’s good to get that off my not-engorged-from-being-pregnant chest.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Superstitious

I’ve been a little bit superstitious since I was a kid. Ever the athlete, I had lucky socks that I would wear for basketball games, lucky underwear (no, not that kind of lucky underwear – I was a kid) that I would wear on the days I had volleyball games or math tests, and a lucky pre-track meet meal of a Pizza Hut personal cheese pizza.

These pseudo-illogical ways disappeared for the most part during college and my twenties. My only momentary lapse was buying a plastic statue of St. Joseph, the patron saint of home and family, and plant him in the ground upside down next to your “for sale” sign. You then say a prayer to him every day for nine days and your house should sell more quickly. So, maybe it’s more religious than superstitious, but you get the idea. Anyway, Jack Bauer and I tried this method to sell our house in Atlanta and it worked.

And then I started trying to get pregnant.

Since I originally thought it would only take a few months, six max, to get pregnant, I started buying cute unisex onesies, d├ęcor for the nursery and other baby belongings. We’d buy baby souvenirs while we were on vacation, too.

When I started the hard core fertility treatments, I went into overdrive (maybe it was the fertility drugs), buying even more infant equipment because I was convinced that it would work and I’d soon need Diaper Genies and teething toys.

After three ovulation induction treatments didn’t work and the first IVF didn’t take, I started reverting back to those old superstitious ways, and wondered if buying all the baby stuff was actually inhibiting my ability to get pregnant. So, I went cold turkey and stopped the shopping spree. You would’ve thought I was a heroin addict, I’d get the shakes when I’d pass a Gymboree.

Then we got the call last July about Nate, and those baby buying tendencies picked right back up. My girlfriends almost had an intervention with me after one trip to an Outlet Mall – I tore threw Oshkosh B’gosh and Hartstrings like there was no tomorrow, estimating how big Nate would be when would get to bring him home. Then, as you know from the NonBio Baby post, all progress to get him home stopped.

So I had to go into withdrawal once again. But, I have stuck to my guns and haven’t bought any baby-related stuff for more than a year and a half, except for shower gifts for friends, which is incredibly hard to do.

Here’s hoping that I’ll have trips to Pottery Barn Kids in my near future.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Tired of Being in Limbo

I just got off the phone with my beloved sister. We were chatting about this week’s news about Nate and the Nest’s pending embryo transfer. And how tough it is to wait, even just a couple weeks, for all these potential baby bringing breakthroughs.

I’ve spent an awful lot of time waiting during this whole five-year process. I don’t mean the actual, entire five-year span, though of course, that is a long time, like one-seventh of my life. I mean the waiting for your period to start (in the case of getting ready to start an IVF, IUI or OI cycle) or waiting for your period not to start (in the case that maybe you’re pregnant). One week you’re shooting up fertility drugs waiting for your follicles to mature, and the next week you’re waiting for the conjoined sperm and egg to divide and conquer into as many cells as possible. Then you’re biding time until the transfer date comes up.

The next ten days you’re waiting for the possibility that maybe, just maybe an embryo stuck -- hoping not to feel cramps or bleed, thinking that your boobs are sore from a possible pregnancy and not from the fertility drugs, praying that the mild nauseated feeling is morning sickness.

If things work out, especially if you’ve had fertility challenges, you’re next waiting for the other shoe to drop and not make it though the first trimester. And if that embryo didn’t stick, you’re back to counting the days until you can try again. All the while, waiting, waiting, waiting.

During my IVF and OI cycles, I became obsessed with my calendar, nervously tracking potential start days, counting backwards from my last cycle, pondering if my upcoming business trip would impact me getting my requisite blood work and ultrasound on time, or if I’d have to wait one more month to give it another try.

Once, a few years ago, I even tracked a cycle while I was in a budget planning meeting at work. Hopefully, no one could make sense of my cryptic scribble and I don’t think that blurted out anything like “Trigger shot on day nine” instead of “Bigger presence of the brand on-line.”

Who knows how long before we know whether we can bring Nate home or not? At least there is a not-too-long timeframe for us to know whether the Nest gets pregnant. T-minus seven days and counting until her last ultrasound to check her lining, 11 days until the transfer and 22 days until the Nest’s beta test.

Patience is a virtue and not one I have.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Maybe Baby

I got one of those phone calls today that I thought only happened in movies. One of those where you think all is lost only to find out that there’s now hope. Over the weekend, I explained our plight in trying to adopt our baby boy waiting for us in Vietnam.

Things have gone from bad to worse over the course of the last ten months and in April we learned that because of the continued issues surrounding our case, we’d probably get a letter from the U.S. State Department that our case would be denied. So, every day we come home expecting to see a letter with a certain Washington D.C. address, but thus far we still haven’t gotten one.

But, in a turn of events that I can only liken to being as much a miracle as me actually getting pregnant, things have suddenly turned up.

Part of the reason for the pending denial was the fact that they could not locate Nate’s birth mom (a requirement of the U.S. is having DNA proof that the person who drops off the babies at the clinics are actually their birth mother). They’ve been searching for her since Oct. 08 with no luck.

But, today we learned that they not only located his birth mom, they matched her DNA to Nate. It may not seem like big news, but it’s a huge step forward.

There are still some major hurdles to get over, but we have achieved a huge milestone – hope.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Rantings from the Nest

The Nest and I were emailing back and forth today about important things like uterine linings, progesterone applicators and period cycles when her always sunny disposition turned into a little bit of a rant:

“Just for the record, I am going to be so mad if we don't get a baby! I
hate taking pills, now I'm up to nine a day, a shot in the belly, and I'm
flowing like the River Jordan. It just doesn't seem fair for someone to go
through this and not get a baby. I want a baby! Now, that I've had my
little fit, let's continue.”

I got the biggest kick out of it. She wasn’t complaining about going through the process or that she signed up for something she didn’t want, she was simply feeling the same way that I and millions of others have felt while going through this ridiculous fertility stuff.

And the key word in her rant, for me, anyway, was that she said she’d be “mad.” I was really happy to see that she’d be mad and not sad. Mad seems like a much more constructive emotion (though I completely understand being sad beyond belief – I’ve been there, too). When you’re mad, you might take a kickboxing class or scream into a pillow to get out your frustration. After one of my six medical quests to get pregnant didn’t result in a bun in the oven, I went out and ran a half-marathon (I do run pretty regularly, but hadn’t trained at all).

“I’ll show you, stupid uterus,” I thought to myself.

Since I wouldn’t have been able to run it if I was pregnant, I took it as an opportunity to show my body who was boss. It must have been some weird reversion back to grade school when we had to run at basketball practice if we made a mistake.

My most frequently used coping mechanism was to buy a bottle of Chardonnay and a packet of Oreos. I’d finish off both of them with in a matter of a day or two (yes, I realize that I don’t have the most sophisticated taste.).

And, since my rear end and stomach were already several pounds heavier from those awesome fertility drugs, my over-indulgence only added insult to injury, but something about it took the edge off.

I remember getting a call from my fertility doctor’s office telling me that my beta test was negative while I was shopping at a large department store. Stunned from the news, my immediate reaction was to hit the purse counter and I went over and bought an expensive impractically colored suede purse (which was a really bad I idea considering that we’d just spent thousands of dollars on fertility treatments, only for it not to work).

Another gal I know was so upset by her lack of procreation that she went out and bought a BWM in a semi-spontaneous fit of frustration. Now that’s what I’m talking about.

Ever do anything crazy to soothe your empty uterus?

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Show and Tell - Where it All Began


Our first house. It was 1998, we were newlyweds and we lived in Atlanta. We used to scan the For Sale ads in the paper, scour neighborhoods for Open Houses on the weekends and dream of being able to buy a cute little house in a half-way decent area. We’d always go back to our apartment that was far from the cool part of town and be depressed thinking we could never afford any of the ones that we liked.

But, one fateful Sunday, we happened upon a darling, little bungalow. It was love at first sight. We didn’t even have a realtor, but through some number crunching figured out that we could just squeeze the mortgage payment for it.

Although it was only 950 square feet, it was our dream house. We loved it, adored it. It was the perfect place for us to start the next chapter of our lives together.

I love this photo because in the 11 years that I lived in Atlanta it only snowed three or four times – and the house looks magical to me.

Even after we moved away from Atlanta (some seven years ago), any time we’d go back, we’d stop by our house just to reminisce a little bit. However, I was back there last September and was shocked to see that our precious little bungalow had been leveled - and a McMansion was in its place.

But, I still think about that darling house where it all began.

For more Show and Tell, visit Mel.

The Early Bird Gets the Worm

Throughout our quest to bring a baby into our lives, very, very rarely have things happened on schedule and not once has something actually happened early (except for my period’s cursed arrival). However, the Nest reported some news this afternoon that was a little surprising.

It seems that instead of it being another four weeks until her transfer; it could actually happen two weeks from today! Father’s Day -- so appropriate! That’s got to count for something.

Originally, we thought we’d have to wait an extra two weeks for the transfer because the lab where the frozen embryos live shuts down for two weeks right before July 4 for some kind of extra special cleaning or something, but according to our fertility nurse who’s monitoring the Nest’s progress, it seems likely that the Nest will be ready before the lab shuts down.

I think I’m still trying to process it; you wouldn’t think two weeks would make that big of a difference, but it has been more than 18 months since our final IVF attempt.

And up until we met with the Nest six months ago, we had all but shut down the thought that we’d actually have a real, live prospect of having a bio baby. So, to think that this could happen – and sooner than we thought – is a little overwhelming.

We are guardedly excited about our chances this time, but have complete resolve that we’re doing the right thing. And no matter what happens, we will have solace in the fact that we did everything we could.

Sending fertile waves to the Nest…

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Our non-bio baby - a world away

On a more serious note, I wanted to expand upon one of our efforts to bring a baby into our lives that I haven’t mentioned yet.

, We tried to get pregnant for several months “naturally,” then moved on to ovulation induction -- a fertility treatment where you’re pumped full of follicle-stimulating injections, your hormone levels are closely monitored, you have ultrasounds every few days to see how your follicles are growing. Once the follicles are large enough, you take a “trigger” shot to get them to drop and then ever-so-romantically your fertility doc tells you exactly when to have sex (also called “timed intercourse”).

When the OIs didn’t work, our next step was IVF, which we were kind of expecting, but we started wondering if we should “double down” our efforts and look into adoption, too.

After careful consideration, we decided to adopt a baby from Vietnam.

A side bar here before I get judgmental thoughts from those who think we should have tried to adopt domestically (and yes, I am hypersensitive to this because so many people ask me about this and offer not-asked-for commentary on the subject). Every couple makes their own personal decisions based on how their family gets made and it should be based on what they are most comfortable with and it’s no one’s business except your own. OK, I’ll step back off my soapbox.

So, while going through our IVF cycles, we were also filling out paperwork, getting physicals, having our backgrounds checked, unveiling our financial portfolio, having friends write recommendation letters and dreaming of having IVF twins AND a sweet bundle of joy from Vietnam.

In the meantime, none of my IVFs worked, and we waited and waited for the call that we had been placed with a baby in Vietnam. And, waited…what was supposed to be a 9-12 month wait turned into two years.

Finally, last July we got the phone call. A baby boy! We were ecstatic, and for the second time in our lives, we experienced love at first sight. Our agency sent us photos and we couldn’t take our eyes off of the sweet little boy with full cheeks and a black shock of hair sticking straight up off his head.

Jack Bauer got excited about giving him a faux hawk. We picked out his name. I went crazy buying him outfits, getting decorations for the nursery, and looking at the calendar for dates for baby showers (it was FINALLY my turn for one, darn it!).

Our adoption agency’s guess was that we could pick him up in January 09. There were still a few hurdles to get over, but they didn’t seem overly concerned.

Then the rug got pulled out from under us. In September we learned that there were some major issues with getting final approvals from Vietnam (Unfortunately, it wasn’t just us, it was also 22 other families adopting from the same orphanage). No kids were coming home any time soon and our agency wasn’t sure how to resolve the issues.

So, when the Nest offered her uterus as a temporary home for our last two embryos, once again, we had visions of a family with both bio baby(ies) and our non-bio boy.

Flash-forward to now and we still don’t have our darling boy and at this point, it is very likely that we won’t get him because of yet more issues and problems at the U.S. and Vietnam levels.

We’re OK, though, especially with the hope that our Nest can hatch those embryos into a baby or two.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Embracing my inability...I mean infertility

I completely accept the fact that people have strengths and can’t do everything well. For example, I can play a mean game of volleyball, can sing like a rock star on Rock Band, and I have Magellan-like directional sense, but I can’t cook, ice skate, sew or bowl well at all.

I can write a public relations strategy like nobody’s business, but can’t do graphic design to save my life. So, I have experts take care of it for me.

And, it just so happens that another one of the things that I can’t do is get pregnant.

So, I’m working with someone who can. The Nest has had three children, so I know she’s got some strong experience in the area.

I’ll just stick with things where I can excel.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

It doesn’t take a village to raise a child; it takes a village to create a child

For most couples, it’s just that – it takes a couple, two people, to conceive a child.

Not in our case, or in the case of other couples in our position. It can take many, many people to conceive a child.

Let’s see…

Obviously, there’s the fertility doctor, who performs the tests, procedures and other baby-making magic.

There’s the fertility nurse, who does the daily ultrasounds to check how my uterine lining looked, how my ovaries were growing, etc.

The phlebotomist, who drew my blood on a daily basis to check hormone levels, which determine the best time to do an IUI, IVF, TI, etc. In our situation, our phlebotomist doubles as the person who took the super sperm sample once Jack Bauer produced it.

The lab technicians – I don’t even know how many people have touched my eggs, JB’s sperm, the embryos, blood, etc. Let’s just guess and say “10.”

The pharmacist who filled my hundreds of dollars worth of prescriptions.

The acupuncturist who placed several needles all over my body to prepare it for the IVF transfer of embryos.

There is also a myriad of other medical people, including anesthesiologists, schedulers, ultrasound technicians, more nurses, etc. who aid my fertility doctor by helping him with some of the fertility procedures. Let’s say there are another “7” of these healthcare professionals.

That’s a total of 22 – and doesn’t include other key people like the massage therapist, who helps to relax my worried body, the teenager at Steak N Shake who makes those killer milkshakes that ease the stress, the spin class instructor who helps me get rid of the weight I gained from the fertility drugs.

And now that we’ve enlisted the assistance of our Nest, there are even more people that are helping to bring a blessed child into our lives.

My family – from my amazing sister who offered to be a gestational carrier years ago before she had to have a hysterectomy and before we knew that we would have so much trouble conceiving, to my dad who drove the Nest 100 miles to our required counseling session (sure, require it for us, but any ol’ teenager can get knocked up without having to tell someone why they want a baby), to my mom who brokered the whole hook up with the Nest, buys the Nest pre-natal vitamins, and delivered the Nest to the first appointment with our fertility doctor.

Nurse mom who helped the Nest with her fertility drug injections.

And, last but not least, the most important person to date, our wonderful Nest and her supportive and amazing family.

And, we’re not even finished yet. So, so far, we’re up to more than 33 people and counting, stretching across two different families and three generations of people…

So I guess it doesn’t just take a village for our baby; it's taking an army.