#Microblog Mondays: What I Do Know

Standard

Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is? Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.

*******

Well, it’s been a hot minute since I’ve participated in #Microblog Mondays. Lately I’ve had a lot percolating in my brain, and now that the craziness of Christmas and New Year’s are over, hopefully I will have more time to put fingers to keyboard.

The whole question of another baby has been floating around in my brain, pretty much since I had BG. Not that I/we’ve felt in any way ready (emotionally, financially and otherwise) to have another baby yet, but the question of “if” still lingers. But here’s what I do know; I do want to be pregnant again. It was not all sunshine and lollipops, I wasn’t one of those people who loved being pregnant. I didn’t feel glowing and ethereal, I felt large and round. But, it was amazing, what the body can do (when finally coerced to do it, and cooperate…).

There was still a lot of fear when I was pregnant, but I was in awe of my body, never mind its past failings. And I want to experience that again. I have always, in the back of my mind, considered being a surrogate (once I knew I could successfully get pregnant, stay pregnant, and carry a baby to term). So my thought is, if we decide that we are one and done, I would love to be a surrogate for someone. Obviously I know how the process from an IVF standpoint but I do not know the legalities, and whether I would even fall in a criteria that would allow me to be a surrogate. Now that my body has proved it is capable (at least once), I would feel honored to be able to carry for someone else who cannot. Plus, selfishly, it would allow me to experience pregnancy again, without a take home baby. Obviously the experience would be very different from carrying my own child, but special in its own way.

The other side of that coin is, we decide we are going to have another, and we go and do it. Clearly, there are no guarantees in that, we have the embryos but my body still has to get on board. If we decided we were going to have another, I would probably shelve the surrogacy idea. I would love to be able to do it, but if we decide to try for another it wouldn’t be for another couple of years, plus pregnancy time, and time enough to safely get pregnant again (as a surrogate) would push me into or past my mid thirties. Which could potentially still be fine, but then I would be on my third pregnancy, and that I can’t imagine.

It’s all a bit of a dilemma. If we decide to try for another, and I don’t want to be a surrogate after that, I feel like I am being selfish. I know that’s sort of twisted logic. It also almost feels weird to think that I could be a surrogate when it took IVF for me to get pregnant, but as far as we know there were never any problems with my uterus, it was just getting sperm to egg that was the challenge. I also feel a bit selfish that I am dreaming of another pregnancy (whether my own baby, or someone elses’) when for some that isn’t even a possibility. Beyond all of that, I would be grateful, and honored to bring another baby into this world, my own or otherwise. So I guess I’ll have to leave it at that for now, and hope that at least one of those options might come to fruition.

#Microblog Mondays: If You Could Go Back…

Standard

Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is? Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.

*******

I try to make difficult life decisions by choosing the path of least regret. During IF treatment, what would I regret had I done, or not done? That way I can’t (hopefully) look back and say, “coulda, woulda, shoulda”. Obviously one can only make decisions based on the information they have, and sometimes it’s not all of the information, so what then?

I’ve been contacted by an up and coming fertility website to be a contributing writing, and I’m trying to tap the community to see what sort of information you wish you had during your IF struggles, or if you’re still in it, what are you looking for? What sorts of things did you find that helped you? I’m hoping to put out some original, and helpful content that maybe wasn’t there for you, or me but can be there for those who end up down this path, so my ears are open to suggestion!

Six Degrees of (Infertility) Separation

Standard

With the stats being 1 in 6 couples suffering from infertility (in Canada), chances are nearly everyone knows someone affected. They just may not know it. As it is not something that is openly discussed (for the most part), many of us suffer in silence. Over time I have found many sisters in infertility, but you don’t always know it about someone right off the bat. 

This week I took Baby Girl to see my coworkers, and say goodbye to them as I am moving to a different office when I return to work next week. While chatting with my former cubicle buddy she divulged that her daughter is getting “her tubes flushed” (I’m guessing an HSG) and that her and her long term boyfriend have been trying for the past three years (unbeknownst to her). Her daughter is around 36 years old, I’ve met her on multiple occasions, but don’t know her well. My coworker has made mention to me multiple times that she wants a grand baby. She even used to sometimes make comments to me about having a baby. I can only imagine how she goes on to her daughter about giving her a grand baby. When she would mention it to me, I would caution her not to push. She didn’t know what I was going through, and even after I got pregnant I didn’t discuss how it came to be with any of my office mates.

When my coworker told me about her daughters troubles, I told her it had taken us a long time to get pregnant too, and that I had had the same procedure to check my tubes. Needless to say, she was surprised to hear it. She then went on to say that her daughter doesn’t want to do IVF, and I told her that was how we got pregnant, again very surprised. We didn’t get into it much more than that but I couldn’t stop thinking about her daughter after I left.

I emailed my coworker when I got home, and told her to please tell her daughter to email me if she wants to chat, and that going through this is very hard, isolating, and difficult to understand unless you’re in it. I’m sure her daughter wouldn’t be overly pleased that her mother was discussing her fertility with me, so my coworker may have been hesitant to pass my contact info on. But I hope she did, and I hope I hear from her. Though I’m on “the other side”, the pain is still real and I just want to hug her, and tell her it will be ok. 

#Microblog Mondays: Infertility, the disease

Standard

Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is? Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.

*******

I was thinking back to when my mom first asked me about our infertility (I had started following an infertility board on pinterest and stupidly had my Face.book account linked so she saw it there). I was very vague with her, at the time J and I didn’t know much about what we were up against but we knew it wasn’t good ( we had just recently received his first SA back, with bad results). It was looking back on this, that got me considering infertility, thinking on it as a disease (which it is).

It’s tricky to categorize it as such though as the true definition of a disease is;

A particular abnormal condition, a disorder of a structure or function, that affects part or all of an organism.

But with infertility, I find it doesn’t fit as neatly into this box. The definition of infertility is even varied, and vague (I won’t post all of the different definitions, but you can check them out here). In some instances an infertility diagnoses is based on attempting conception for a specific period of time (and this time period can vary depending on your age). It can be more straightforward if there is a reason for your infertility, perhaps PCOS, MFI, blocked tube, ect. Makes it easier to have a reason, but doesn’t always make it easier to treat (and by easier, I mean it’s easier for a doctor to put you in the box “infertile”). It get’s tricky because it takes (at minimum) two people to make a baby, but when one person is given a diagnoses of infertile, it often applies to the other half of the baby making couple too. For example; in my case, the most likely cause given to us for our infertility was male factor. But notice, it is “our” infertility, not just his. As far as we know, my “bits” are all in working order, yet I still consider myself infertile.

Sometimes there is no reason found (so you have a disease, but no one knows why, or what to do about it). It’s not really recognized as a disease by those that don’t suffer from it. It’s seen more as a hurdle, a barrier, but nothing so serious as a physiological problem (which it generally is in some form or another).

Infertility is a slippery beast to pin down. I can understand why the general population has a hard time recognizing it as a disease, when the medical community doesn’t even provide a concise definition. It’s not talked about like a real disease, there are no well known “runs”, or fundraisers. But those of us who suffer from it know better. So here’s hoping for more recognition, more research, more hope and more understanding.

#Microblog Mondays: Mystery Angel

Standard

Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is? Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.

*******

Time is flying; tomorrow I’ll have an eleven month old. We are planning her first birthday, preparing for daycare, my return to work. Life is so different, and it’s about to change again as my maternity leave ends. Some days I look forward to returning to the workforce; having some variation in my days and adult conversation. Other days I just want to stop time; how can I leave my baby girl for most of her waking hours of the day? I don’t want to be a stay at home mom, I know that, it’s not for me, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be hard to send her to daycare for five days a week. This year off has been a good taste of it, and I am so thankful that living in Canada affords me this opportunity, but I would not leave my job to stay home. Not only would I not choose it, we can’t afford for me to stay home, so it was really a non-choice. Our summer is jam-packed with activities, meet ups with friends and family events so I know it is going to be gone in the blink of an eye.

In one of our mom and baby classes we spend the last few minutes with the lights dimmed, listening to peaceful, calming music and cuddling our babes (as much as they will allow). It is one of my favorite parts of our week, yet it is bittersweet because our undivided time together will soon end, and many of our activities together will cease. So it makes me a little weepy; for this season of our lives that is almost finished, for the new seasons to come, for all that we’ve had, and done and been through together. There has been so much that has happened in the past year, I can’t possibly describe it adequately and eloquently enough, but this beautiful song from our relaxation time together makes me feel all of the things that I can’t put into words.

*Sidenote: This song reminds me of Jess over at My Path to Mommyhood and the Mystery Baby that she is waiting for, so hopefully this sends some good vibes her way!

#Microblog Mondays: A Beautiful Shower

Standard

Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is? Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.
                **************

This weekend, I happily attended a baby shower. The reason I was so looking forward to attending wasn’t because I have a baby of my own to ease the discomfort of the dreaded baby shower, but rather because of the circumstances. The shower was for my cousins newest daughter, who was born via gestational surrogate. They also have an older daughter, brought into the world the same way. It has been a very special journey for them, involving two amazing women who carried each of their daughters. These selfless women did it out of the goodness of their hearts, to help a friend in need (it is not legal to compensate a surrogate, in Canada). Both of them attended the shower, and they both still act like it was no big deal. Beautiful ladies. 

I’ve spoken about my cousins wife before, she has an “incompetent cervix” that has made it impossible for her to carry a pregnancy to term (she lost 4 babies, a set of twins and two singleton pregnancies). When I got pregnant I was pretty open with my family about the fact that we did IVF, and I knew my cousins wife would understand more than most. Little did I know, when I told her I was pregnant, her surro was just pregnant as well, as our daughters were born 3 months apart.

Also at this shower, another extended family member that I don’t see often was there. She struggled with infertility for years, and had gone down the path of adoption. Her and her husband were at the point of waiting for a match when they went to the Fertility Clinic (I think their referral to the clinic got lost in the shuffle because it took them way longer than is normal to get in). They were on their third IUI, staring down IVF for their next appointment, but it took. Third time was the charm and she is now 5 months pregnant.

My other cousin who was there is 37 weeks pregnant, and though she did not struggle to conceive, she is a labor and delivery nurse and has seen enough in her job to not take her pregnancy for granted.

So, three infertility “survivors”, two surrogates, and a labor and delivery nurse walked into a party…and it was beautiful. 

#Microblog Mondays: You are Your Mother’s Child

Standard

Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is? Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.

                    **************

I understand the sentiment of the phrase “you are your mother’s child” but I’ve always thought it a bit silly. This weekend, it was exactly what popped into my head. We took baby C to see Santa this past Friday and luckily, hubby had a day off work so we went as a family. Of course we put her in a cute outfit to get the obligatory “first Christmas” photo. If she’s afraid of him in future years I won’t be the parent who plops the screaming child on Santa, when they’d clearly rather be anywhere else (though I will admit those photos are kind of funny, in a twisted way).

I held her in front of Santa for a minute while so she could see him, and while he asked what her name was, and how old she was before handing her over. The photographer had a bell and a puppet to get her attention and while she did look right at the camera, there was no way she was going to give us a smile. She wasn’t scared or crying, so we took what we could get, her looking surly (and adorable). 

She does give smiles, but honestly usually just to me, slightly less so to my hubby (poor guy) and occasionally to strangers. But otherwise she is a rather serious girl. She observes, and takes it all in; just like her overly analytical mom. Apparently my grey-blue eyes aren’t the only thing she’s inherited.