Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Perfect Moments

I’m borrowing a title (sorta) from Kami …first let me say I don’t know where the time
goes. I still can’t believe our little one is now 8 months old or that it took us over five years to get to this place. There are many days that go by where I don’t think about DE at all, and many others when I do…especially when

a. someone asks: do you want another. Ha, as if it were so easy.
b. someone says: She is the perfect combination of you and your husband
c. someone says: She has your: eyes

I just nod and smile and say something agreeable to any of those comments. Sometimes I wish we hadn’t told so many people as it REALLY DOESN’T MATTER that we used an egg donor. But I know it mattered to us at the time to tell people and it still MATTERS A LOT to let our daughter know of her fantastic high tech origins. How we will do this is umm, unknown. We read a lot of books that said start telling her her birth story from the get go. We haven’t. Other say tell her when she is x, or y or z age. If anyone has experience of thoughts on the when to tell or how, I’d like to hear/read what you think.

Basically for all we went through to get here I doubt our lives are that different from other first time mom’s although perhaps the appreciation I have for the struggle it took to get here adds another layer. I don’t know. All I can say is I LOVE OUR DAUGHTER. All the perfect moments in her day make me very happy. Of course there are imperfect moments a plenty. And the adjustment for my husband and I has not been that smooth. No one talks about the transition for the couple from infertile couple for years, to couple with child. Or how when you’ve waited so long for something you get very overprotective…we’re loosening up but…anyone have a similar experience?

Anyway, just wanted to post because it’s been a long time.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Every day is a blessing

Hi everyone…time passes so quickly. Our daughter will be six months old in a week. I can’t believe it. And I’m so happy to know that there are many new DE mother’s to be out there. Every day with her is a day when I think “it’s so amazing that I ever thought that a donor egg could matter in my love.” But I guess you have, or I had to, go through the whole process to understand it all.

I secretly laugh at the people who don’t know us well who peer into our little ones face and announce things like “her eyes are spaced the same as yours…or there’s just something about her that is like you…” People really do see what they want to sseen. So now I nod and say thank you.

Anyway just wanted to say hi. Trying to keep up with everyone please know even if I don’t post I am following what is going on sending out support vibes to all.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

This Time This Year

Since 2003 it’s been “maybe this time next year I’ll be pregnant, we’ll have a baby” it’s been so long that I was startled when we went hiking last week and on our first day walking a trail I remembered that in 2004 with pregnancy number two not yet a second miscarriage, I saw a family with a small baby and thought to myself this time next year it’ll be us…and then realized as we walked along in 2008, that we have arrived. There is no more this time next year, it is really this time, right now, this is it. The time we have longed for, waited and cried for…and it’s amazing. Truly amazing. DE has been a gift for us. To say getting here wasn’t easy is an understatement to say being here isn’t easy is also true. I don’t have the fears that protracted experiences with infertility seem to bring to a pregnancy that finally “sticks” but I do have the emotional scars and memories. These have begun to well up in anxiety, fears cousin, of the future and a difficulty in enjoying present moments. Yes those precious moments that are gone as soon as they arrive. I am determined not to let them slip as anxious thoughts of the terrible things that could happen seep into my mind. I am determined, if thinking about the future, to think, “what if everything goes right” instead of “what if everything goes wrong”. All these years of contingency plans for possible cycle failures seem to have taught me too well to prepare for the bad and not the good. But I am trying to change that…albeit slowly. And I think there is a glimmer of light…I don’t want to forget the past but I am trying to make a peace with it.

Now for the quick recap: our holiday was the first as a larger family and the first time my husband was able to spend so much time with our daughter. My parents came for one week and I have to say, as I’ve said before, DE continues not to make one iota of difference in our love, or the love of our daughters extended family. It does not come into play it doesn’t matter. What matters is her smile in the morning, her laugher when we play with her, the squeals of delight when she gets a bath, her look of wonder at everything.

She will be twenty weeks old on Thursday.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Gone hiking

Yup, first trip with our daughter. Very exciting and totally terrifying.
I don’t know that I’ll have access to a computer to check up what everyone is doing but hoping everyone will be well!

Friday, June 20, 2008

How Many People Did You Take a Shower With?

Asked a very wise man once…in other words when you take a shower are you in the shower or is your mind going through lists, or possible conversations etc…this morning I showered with my fifth grade teacher, of all people, and revisited several past events but did redid them so they came out the way I wanted. And then I thought about the wise man again and this blog and well, now this post.

Just reminding myself as anxiety was starting to get the better of me to take the time to remember to breathe and most of all to take the time to be where I am instead of somewhere else in my head. Not so easy.

Anyone have any tips for trying to stay in the moment instead of rushing on to all the things that might happen? I’d appreciate any suggestions.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Four Days Ago

It was Father’s day…I never thought we’d celebrate. It gave me pause to think about how much all the IVF/Fertility stuff has changed him…after all it hasn’t just been me going through it all. As far as I can tell it was even harder for him to talk about than me…not because he can’t talk about his feeling (he’s good at that) but finding another male friend he felt he could speak with wasn’t so easy. In the end he had one person he could really talk to and im grateful that he had that outlet. He has been such a support to me, I don’t think I’ve mentioned it much here but since it was just father’s day I’d like to say how thankful I am to have him by my side. If not for him I could not have gotten through all the crap…he helped me see light when all I could see was blackness and his smile always makes my day.

Just wanted to recognize my partner in life and say I love him.

Friday, June 6, 2008

12 weeks

Wow, 12 weeks old yesterday. Our beautiful little one has really woken to the world now. It is amazing. Truly. She is a gift. I don’t forget that ever. I know I’d die for her. How strange, but how true. I got a call from our clinic yesterday because they wanted information for some sort of DE study. What’s the study? Why? Where is the information going? All questions I asked, I thought, were reasonable AND none of which the poor girl on the other end of the phone could answer except to say, you have to do this. Ha! Again I asked all the questions and said you understand you want me to give you personal information and you can’t tell me what it’s for, right? Yes she finally conceded. I’ll have to get back to you. Personally I hope I scared her away.

While we told our very close friends and family about DE because it seemed important that it not be a secret thing, and we will tell our little one, it also seems just as important now to protect her privacy and let her decide who she wants to share information with when she is older. The sharing of information before she was born is part of our story, now it’s hers to tell. At one point I thought I wanted to become some sort of poster DE mom but, at least in this moment, I’d like her to choose.

Anyway not much else to say. I love her fiercely, cannot imagine life without her, and there is no loss with DE, just bountiful overflowing gains.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Ten is a Magic Number

Today our daughter is 10 weeks old. Sometimes it seems so unreal after having waited and wanted this for so long…I keep thinking is this really my life now? I had gotten so used to the cycles and needles and planning weekends to recoup from disappointment and loss…these memories/feelings do not go away with the birth of a child. Yes the recede but they are also a part of me and have shaped who I am now. It’s why we didn’t have a baby shower, it’s why when I speak to friends I don’t speak about her first – or check myself to make sure I’m not going over board with baby talk. Mind you I am totally in love with our daughter and very happy…what’s funny is after wondering before we began the DE process if should would feel like my daughter without the genetic connection (yes 100%) I am now worried as I go back to work full time that the person we hire to care for her will become so connected to her that our daughter will think of her as her primary care giver…re-enforces yet again that is the time spent and love given that makes the parent.

I know I’ve blogged a lot about how being a parent is much more than a blood tie, and I think at this point there is nothing new to say on the topic besides the blanket statement genetics don’t matter…so going forward I’ll try to refrain from repeating myself and focus more on experiences I have that seem DE specific which some of you may or may not find helpful or of interest.

And on that front: we told another couple (known for a long time but rarely see) about our little ones origins this after the wife was saying how she is a mix of both of us…I wanted to share with her because they’d had their own fertility issues…wouldn’t you know it she told me about her close friend who used DE and a surrogate – goes to show there are so many combinations and so many ways to create a family. Anyway it felt good to tell her and at the same time it seems less and less important to say anything. Not because we want to hide DE (we will tell our little one about her high tech beginning) but because it just doesn’t seem to matter. I read an interview of the mother of a girl I went to high school she was adopted and the mother refers to her simply as her daughter…it think that says it all.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Who's your mommy?

I am reminded once again that genetics do not make the parent. My close friend who is adopted spent mother’s day mourning her mother, she past a way a few weeks ago. Does she care that her mom is not her biological mother? No. Would she be sadder if she was? No. And every Father’s day I am happy to have my dad who is my adopted one. I do not mourn the one who died who has a biological connection to me. How can I? I never knew him. Besides I love my life and if things were different I wouldn’t be me.

What makes your mom your mom? That fact that you might look like her or share some of her talents or the fact that she stayed up late at night when you were sick, hugged you when you were hurt, was there for you even when you hated her (my teen years were not exactly smooth) and loves you no matter what?

This was my first mother’s day as a mother. For a long time now I thought maybe next year I’ll be a mom…and it’s finally happened but that does not wipe away years of yearning. As Summer said in her beautiful post: “I also want to remember the children that we have lost and the ones that we hoped for but never came to be.”

Friday, April 18, 2008

She looks just like you: part two

Our daughter is now six weeks old – six weeks of experiencing what we had dreamed about for almost seven years. It is still unreal to me, to us, and yet it has happened. All the agonizing we did about using DE and how we would feel was mostly washed away over a year ago when we finally decided on this route and now that the little one is here I truly understand how all our fears meant nothing. I do not feel that oh she’s not genetically mine, that doesn’t bubble up at all. I look into her eyes and think here is a tiny human being and we have been trusted to care for her and give her roots so that when she grows her wings and flies away she’ll also be firmly grounded.

The thing that has continued to happen and I suppose will continue well, as long as we’re alive, are the comments from people on who she looks like and no I’m not just talking about strangers. My mother-in-law who knows all about the DE said to me last week she has your eyes and long fingers. How funny is that? I didn’t correct her and launch into a whole thing about how it’s totally impossible for her to look like me, I just smiled and fell back on my favorite response: you think so? It goes to show how little it really matters and how people will see what they want to see. For instance I’m pretty sure she and I stretch the same when we wake up…

Monday, March 24, 2008

She looks just like you…

A few people have said our daughter looks like my mother and my Uncle and what do I say? I say “you think so?” or rather I write that as it’s people who have seen photos of her. Of course I don’t mean our close friends and family, they all know we used a donor egg – these are the circle of people who we are not that close with. My husband and I decided we don’t need to explain to every person what we did or went through – the caveat being if we ever feel uncomfortable with what we are saying…in other words if either of us feel we are lying, or covering something up. My husband’s father asked us: do I tell everyone she is from a donor egg? And we said: only if you feel uncomfortable not telling them.

Has anything changed in perceptions of her in the last two weeks? Do I think “ what if she was my bio daughter? Am I missing out because she wont look physically like me?” And the answer is: she is my daughter, it’s really as simple as that. My husband says she sleeps like me and furrows her brows like me, I am reminded yet again that we take on our parents mannerisms and intonations and it is perhaps this that makes us most “look” like them…and again, it doesn’t matter who she looks like. It’s actually amazing to me that I ever thought it would matter, that I mourned the loss of my genetics at all (yes I cried and got angry)…of course that was something I had to go through to get to this place right now, this place of knowing it doesn’t matter how she came into this world, this little girl is our daughter .

Friday, March 14, 2008

1:39 AM

Our daughter was born on Thursday March 6th at 1:39 AM. What can I say, as I write this I feel like crying tears of joy. I can tell you that it really really doesn’t matter that she started with another egg than my own. She is our daughter. The soul chooses the parents it wouldn’t have mattered anyway how we had her she’s still be her. If that makes any sense any at all. So right now being a DE mother feels like just being a mom (I can’t believe I am finally writing the word mom for myself)…as far as I can tell at any rate. We went to the pediatrician this morning and when he asked about family history I said she’s a DE baby and gave him the medical information I have that’s probably the most eventful difference between me and someone with a 100% bio baby, at least for the moment.

As for the birth nothing went as planned but it was wonderful experience anyway and I kept remembering the forest for the trees. My husband at my request had found some photos online of woods, meadows and trees in Oregon and thereabouts which I looked at often during the 22 hours of labor to remind myself about what we can and can’t control. In the then end she was a floating baby meaning she never dropped. I was induced 10 days after our due date and despite 20 hours on petocin without an epidural I never dilated or effaced, although my water broke. I ate like a fiend the entire time: chicken, pasta, eggs, apples, almond butter, quinoa…after 20 hours the doctor and doula agreed I should try an epidural to see if my muscles would relax enough to let the babies head come down. It didn’t work. So we ended up with a C-section and I’m grateful for it as she simply wasn’t going to come out any other way. What we did do is keep her with us during the entire surgery and she came intro recovery and latched on. So yeah, not the experience I’d planned but still a good experience. Forest trumps tree!

Thank you for your thoughts – I am happy to report we are all well. I will check up on everyone in the next weeks, just trying to adjust to everything at the moment. I hope everyone is well.

Monday, March 3, 2008

The Forest or the Tree?

Today I remembered that it’s the forest not the tree that is important – by that I mean it’s the big picture – that for us, after years of infertility we are going to have a baby this week one way or another. Sure a “perfect natural” birth would be great, but what’s perfect? The most important thing is that we will finally be parents.
I temporarily lost sight of this, I got side tracked by details that don’t in the end matter, that are a luxury to even think about given how hard it was to get pregnant in the first place. We are very lucky that DE was available and that it worked for us. I do not take this for granted.

Thank you for the words of support from my last post…I appreciate that no one was offended by my fixating on loss of control over a birth as opposed to the larger issues of infertility that brought many of us to blogland…wanting to be parents.

Which brings me back to the forest: we are so grateful that we are finally, almost there, or here.

Friday, February 29, 2008

The lesson learned…again

This week I am learning, or relearning yet again, that just because we want something or do all the “right” things does not mean something will automatically go as imagined. In this case I’d imagined our little one would come on or around the due date and that I would not be looking at a possible induction next week. Yes I know, I have time…but it’s the lesson I am grateful for…again. There is only an illusion of control that we have over our lives. The only thing we can control (hopefully) is our reaction to the things that come our way. My husband said to me we’ve waited almost seven years to have a baby so why should I think it would be easy or fast now? Good point. And again I am humbled by the largeness of life that we are swept up in and again I am reminded that I have a choice: I can make peace with how things are going, stay as positive as possible or I can rage and feel helpless or angry or sad (all good things to feel, get out of my system and let go of). Today I am choosing to make peace with whatever happens over the next few days…or should I say the rest of my life?!

That doesn’t mean I’m going to stop the acupuncture, reflexology, meditation, relaxed breathing, cranial sacral, sex, primrose oil etc. to try and get into labor, but I am also embracing, or trying to embrace the knowledge that ultimately I have no control and must take things as they come. It’s the lesson I learned with our infertility in general. How many times I’ll need to learn this lesson I don’t know, but it’s a good one to have a refresher course in I will say that much.

How do you deal with the your loss of control feelings? Any suggestions let me know.

Friday, February 22, 2008

It’s Official

I have nothing to do and it’s freaking me out. I had one last deadline for a big project and that was finished yesterday. When I look at my calendar for next week there is nothing....well other than the due date for the baby on Monday February 25th although the future little one has not sent an RSVP and for all I know might be rather late. For now this is the official beginning of maternity leave – but my brain is working overtime coming up with little projects like, oh, why not clean out the freezer? And, how about ripping the rest of the CD’s so your collection is totally digitized, and lets plan a hiking trip for the Summer in a place you know nothing about and have no information on so you can spend several hours trolling the internet. I keep making lists and finishing everything, which while gratifying, is frustrating because I seem to want to have things to do. My husband and I are going to a play tomorrow afternoon which I’m looking forward to and the rest of my days are filled with acupuncture, reflexology and pregnancy massage all designed to get my body into labor…I actually have until March 4th to do this and then I’ve been told induction awaits so I have time, and I’m not worried, my body will do what it needs to do.

I am so grateful for the donor egg process. I think about how upsetting the idea was at first and can now barely believe I was every upset. I feel very calm, very happy and have no doubts that this is our baby and that the soul that was meant to come to us has. I have no wish that things played out differently. I think that’s a good place to be and just wanted to share that because I know with DE the question can comes up: will I be able to love/accept this baby and while I certainly can’t answer for what anyone else will experience I can say from my own experience up to this moment the answer is yes I can love/accept this baby AND not have any second thoughts about what might have been had this been my egg. It will be our child and that is a wonderful thing.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Six Things

Summer tagged me.

The Rules:
1) Link to the person who tagged you.
2) Post the rules.
3) Share six non-important things / habits / quirks about yourself.
4) Tag at least three people.
5) Make sure the people you tagged KNOW you tagged them by commenting what you did.

1.I eat three squares of dark chocolate a day.

2.I don’t drive.

3.There is a falcon that often sits outside one of our windows on sunny days and makes our two cats bonkers by its presence. The falcon never deigns to look at them.

4.I play piano and recently my mother gave us hers, it’s the one I played growing up. It brings my great joy to be able to play again. I am relearning the sonatas I played as a teenager and finding a depth to them I did not then know existed.

5.I love reading.

6.Mountains, and walking in them, makes me very happy.

I am tagging M, Peep, and Foreverhopeful

Friday, February 15, 2008

Infertility is not Failure

At least I don’t think so. It just is. I stopped playing the what if and why games a while ago, they got me no where. That and I realized that I really like who I am today and since I’m a product of my experiences if they hadn’t happened I wouldn’t be me.

Not that there haven’t been times when I have asked why and what if, and not just for infertility – cancer, death of friends or family, general tragedy, and wtf? moments…but somewhere along the line I decided it was better to ask why not me? And then to accept what has happened and try to learn from it. I actually know the exact moment this occurred: I had just had my second D&C and was walking across the street when it hit me: I wouldn’t want anyone else to have to go through this and feel this way. I’d been doing a lot of meditation and reading at the time (still do) – and of course after that, when I found out I had a cancer a few weeks later I thought why me? But again, I thought – I don’t want anyone else to go through this, and again I thought – what can I learn from this…of course I also cursed and cried and was angry too.
And then there’s the infertility…I doubt any of us who discovers themselves in this camp got there on purpose – it was not, is not our fault. It just is – for a variety of factors and there is no magic that can make it go away. And it is not a failure – in fact if anything, it takes great courage to hear this, live it, and figure out how to move on from it. When I read the blogs of others in this community the word failure never crosses my mind – I think, this women is a hero, or that women has been through so much and is figuring out how to persevere and this other women is an inspiration, and here’s another I can learn from...the list of positive things goes on and on, not to mention it is through the shared experiences of everyone that I have been able to grow and move ahead too…so thank you….again.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Never Say Never

I’ve been doing a lot of blog reading this weekend and one thing I am reminded of is how I first reacted when told by our fertility doctor that DE was the best chance we had of being pregnant. NOT ME, NEVER, NO $#%@! WAY. Meaning, I could not imagine that we would not be able, through persistence to have a biological child, that some of my eggs must be good. Never say never. Today I read this piece about ending infertility treatment -- many thanks to Gabrielle over at fertility notes pointing it out. The thing that stuck with me is the final sentence which I wanted to share:

"Those whose greatest loss with infertility is the loss of the opportunity to parent are the ones who have the easiest time looking at options beyond treatment -- options which involve some kind of adoption: traditional adoption, surrogacy, donor gametes."

In the end, that’s what it came down to for us: we wanted to be parents and I wanted, if possible, to experience pregnancy – that a child shared my genetics, or looked like me didn’t/doesn’t matter. And it wasn't easy -- I'm not sure that there are many choices we make in the IF world that are easy. Although I can honestly say today that I would not change anything. It is not about creating someone who is a combination of our looks, rather the combination of us will be in who that child becomes

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

You need a permission slip for the fieldtrip

I’m finally able to give myself permission to relax about this pregnancy. Yes, at week 36 I can write the following: we have a really good chance at a healthy birth and baby and that makes me very happy. There I did it. It’s scary to see that written, or typed, or posted, but it’s also great. I’ve vacillated between fear and fear since we got a positive pregnancy result from IVF number 8 and donor cycle number 1 so this is kinda momentous for me. Over the weekend my husband’s brother came and took the futon bed out of the room that we have finally started calling the baby room and not the guest room. So it seems it is possible after years of loss and sadness to enjoy pregnancy without forgetting or obliterating what came before. For those wondering if the fear every goes away it doesn’t completely (at least not for me), but it does recede. That said, I’ll still knock on wood any chance I get and the baby clothes we purchased are still wrapped in their packaging because part of me is terrified if I open any of it, something will happen. So yeah, it gets better but it’s not care free.

And on the telling front because yes we are still telling our friends: I think we have finally told all the people close to us. There are a couple I have not said anything too – one I’m waiting to see in person, one, a relative, I’m just not sure about – what I mean by that is I don’t think this person every really hears what I’m saying – or what anyone is saying for that matter. I wish I could count on some sensitivity but then it shouldn’t matter if this falls on deaf ears because ultimately for us what matters is there are no secrets and not what others have to say about it.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Sometimes Biology Can Take Three

My husband and I spoke to our future pediatrician last night – the doctor who has two DE children…we wanted to hear a little bit more about how he thought a donor recipient might affect the future little one as he/she develops since clearly it’s not gonna be in the genes. What he said in a nutshell was this: A DE recipient can and does effect the constitutional hardiness around the immune functions for the first 4 to 7 months after birth. In other words early on the baby will carry what we pass onto it/is protected by our biology for a short period. After that there are things that we can continue to modulate (his word) that can have a biological effect on the future little ones immune system. For example if one chooses to breast feed limiting exposure to certain foods can help prevent allergies or, a less direct example, by exposing the baby to animals like cats and dogs we can reduce the likelihood of pet allergies. Previously I’d discussed with him taking certain supplements like fish oil, which can positively effect brain development, and probiotics which help against development of food allergies because they break down food into digestible bits – in other words taking certain vitamins etc, can benefit the health of the baby. That’s pretty awesome. It’s nice to think about what can be done to help shape how a future little ones body responds to certain things.

On another very brief note (and this is directly about my current pregnancy so if for what ever reason you don’t feel like reading about these kinds of details please stop.): I am into my thirty third week and finally yesterday had the guts to purchase something for the future little one: a pair of totally frivolous and unnecessary fuzzy orange slippers. So now we have one pair of useless fuzzy orange slippers coming in the mail and nothing else. Go figure. The fear has really kept me from mobilizing but all of a sudden there are seven weeks left and all of a sudden im feeling like this is really going to happen and something terrible isn’t laying in wait around the corner. Although I’m still keeping my fingers and toes crossed.