MM: NIAW – Listen Up

This week is National Infertility Awareness Week. As an infertile for over 8 years, and someone who has suffered trough more tests, needle pokes, ultrasounds, and more I feel like I should be an expert at talking about infertility but I just can never find the words.

If you would like to read a more eloquent post head over to Starbucks, Peace, and the Pursuit of a Baby where she put up a very great post about statistics, resources and more.

I have documented most of our journey on this blog…even though I just recently converted it over to Word Press the posts themselves have been going for quite some time now. This blog has never made me famous, I have never had thousands of followers, and I have never been featured anywhere fancy or had anyone ask me to guest post. The majority of people I meet through this blog go on to have healthy pregnancies, babies, and some even abandon their blog and I don’t talk to them again.

Some of us are put in each other’s life for only a moment, and some of us are blessed to get long term friendships from this community. But this week and every week, I hope that everyone knows that I am here, fighting with you, and you are not alone.

For more about us and our journey feel free to check out our bio here. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions!

This blog was written for #MicroblogMonday. Find my blog and others that also participate here every Monday.

 

Content

Have you ever wanted to write something, needed to write something, but just weren’t sure how to. I have written a few blog posts but they all sit in drafts. I get about half way through then either lose my concentration, momentum, or it just doesn’t feel post worthy. I don’t know that this will say what I want it to either.

In July we will start our 9th year of infertility. The past year of our life has brought so many changes and I think I am still trying to process all of them.

Our niece continues to thrive and excel in everything she does. She finished her first season of swimming and is anxious to get back in the pool for a summer team. She is getting good grades in school and as I was told last week is apparently “totally one of the cool kids now, but not the snobby kind.” LOL! Life with an 11 year old.

Somewhere in between our first donor egg cycle and chemical pregnancy last year, until now, I have come to the realization that I no longer need a child. I still want one, yes, but I no longer need it. I no longer feel like my world is a teeter totter, waiting for the best, or the worst to happen.

I have this sense of peace in my life that I have never known. In the past few months I have discussed out loud for the first time with many people that I always felt like I was meant to raise someone else’s child. That in itself is a whole other blog post but from the time I was very young until even just before we got guardianship of our niece I have always felt this strong feeling that I was going to be a mother to someone who already had a mother. Now here I am…and it feels right.

I’m not sure that this blog says much of anything, but I feel like it also says everything. I’m not sure what our future holds but I am thankful that I am more comfortable living in the moment and feeling content in my own life regardless of the future.

As always I am sending love and hugs to all of you and I pray that you are getting everything you need.

This Life

I feel steady. I feel at peace. I feel happy.

Last night as we drove home from our niece’s second swim meet of the season I could hear her and her friend giggling in the back. In that moment, a lifetime of hopes and dreams and the past year of pain and heartbreak, all seemed to be settled in my heart.

Things are far from perfect and we still have so many struggles in front of us, but for that moment, all felt right.

I continue to struggle with my feelings of guilt for my feelings of happiness. This happiness did not come without great loss. I miss my sister-in-law daily and I wish I could share these amazing moments with her, although I know if I could, they would not exist.

It’s all very complicated, yet so simple. It all feels so normal, and like it has always been this way. I can barely remember what life was like before this, I can’t even bare to think of going back to the life we had before.

Although legally her name remains the same, she has asked that the school use our last name, her mother’s maiden name, the name her mother was trying to get back before her life was taken from her. Her swim shirt, and ours, have our last name on the back, and I have chills as I write that. I still feel a lump in my throat when they announce her name for her event. If it’s possible, I feel as though not only can I feel my pride, but I can feel her mother’s as well. I think it will always be that way, that not only will I feel joy in moments for myself, but also for her mother. It’s intense and amazing, and I am grateful to be the one lucky enough to experience it. I know I am not the only one. Each moment is even more precious, and emotional, and we all are so thankful to be a part of her journey.

I can’t thank everyone enough for their support and love the past year. I also apologize for my inability to be as present in my support for all of you. I tried spending my morning catching up, reading, and showing you all love and I hope to be able to do that more often now. I am sending you all my love and gratitude and hope that I can repay this community one day for all of the fierce undying support you have shown me.

Here are a few images of our last 6 months together ❤

What I Wish I Could Say

Dear Biological Father,

There are so many things I want to say to you, but you see my mother raised me to be the “bigger person”. When I was younger I thought that meant I had to be a push-over but I learned there is a fine line in standing up for yourself and stooping to someone else’s level. Well, it is time I stood up not only for myself, but for your daughter, and I know you’ll never read this, but the universe needs to hear  it, and I need to say it.

When your daughter’s mother passed away we knew instantly that everything would change. Her mother made her wishes known that she wanted her daughter to live with us if anything were to ever happen to her. Those thoughts were confirmed when the first thing your daughter said to us after getting home from the hospital is that she wanted the same thing.

Over the next 6 months we answered the phone every single time you called , which wasn’t much, and sometimes had to sit back and watch as you “bullied” your 11 year old daughter into tears. While most of the time you still treat her like a small child instead of the intelligent young lady she is now, sometimes you forget you are talking to a child, your child, and you say selfish and hurtful things. Maybe you think that she will feel bad, and you will “win”, but I assure you that you are the one losing. As you push her further away you are not getting the chance to know just how amazing she is.

We tried to talk to you, reason with you, help you. We offered to help in any way we could to facilitate a good relationship between the two of you, but we remained firm that we would not only honor her mother’s wishes but her wishes as well for her to live with us. We told you we did not want money, we just wanted what was best for her, and although you may not agree with us, we know that being with us, and the only family she has ever truly known, is what is best for her.

There are times I have felt sorry for you. Maybe you never had the relationships she has with her family when you were younger, so you don’t understand that what you have been giving her is never going to be enough. Maybe you truly don’t know that as the parent it is your job to make a valiant effort to be in her life, even if she pushes you away, even if you argue and fight, it is your job to love her anyways. That is what being a parent means.

I thought once you heard her tell the judge why she feels the way she does, you would wake up. You would see that you have made mistakes and take action to correct that, but it is consistently made obvious that you don’t seem to be listening to her at all. Maybe you hear her, but are you really listening?

I know you are angry, and I would assume you are hurt, but honestly I can’t see that. Your anger is the only thing I see. But I will not apologize. I will never be sorry for taking every step necessary to do what I believe is best for her. I will never apologize for fighting for her, and for her future. I will not feel bad for assuring that she has a happy, healthy, and successful life.

You can tell everyone that you were “robbed” and that your “rights were taken from you”, but the truth is, we were fighting a losing battle. We are just her aunt and uncle and in every law you are preferred. So while you will prefer to place blame on us for “taking her”, we gave you the chance, and had you taken it, the outcome would probably have been much different.

I have allowed you to “shush” me over the phone, and I have heard the distaste in your voice when you say my name, but I don’t care. I don’t care if you like me, or respect me, but you will respect your daughter. Now that the court has made their decision, and we are her legal and permanent guardians, I can assure you that I will not allow you to disrespect her anymore. I will honor her mother and I will protect and love her without reservation.

Sincerely,
Me

PS: I meant what I said, I hope that you can find a way to put your pride aside and have a good relationship with your daughter, but if you don’t, you will be the only one to blame.

 

MTHFR

I am going to start playing the lottery.

In 2007 I went off birth control for the first time since around 2003. I had irregular cycles and by July of 2008 I was sitting in an RE office and diagnosed with PCOS.

In June of 2009 after 6 medicated rounds of infertility medications, and two d&c’s I was diagnosed with Chromosome Translocation.

Last year we decided to pursue Donor Egg IVF. In August we transferred two beautiful embryos but after a car accident caused a hospitalization for a severe blood clot in my leg, my beautiful embryos managed to attached but did not hang on. I had my third miscarriage.

In November we discontinued oral blood thinners (per my GP) and started BCP to prepare for a FET in January. In December I started having more leg pain, like before, and went back to my GP. He did an ultrasound which revealed I had another blood clot in my leg. I was started on oral blood thinners and referred to a hematologist.

The hematologist did another scan a little over a week later and immediately switched me to Lovenox, an injectable blood thinner.

Last week I went for my follow up with the hematologist. He casually started talking about how all of my blood work was normal, except my MTHFR. I was pretty sure I had seen one of my TTC sisters mention this before and just thought to myself, “well of course I have that too”. I started doing more research and realized he never told me any details about what “kind” I had. I called the nurse today and she said it was “homozygous“. Which from what I can tell means, the worst kind.

Honestly, it’s a good thing I have a decent sense of humor. At this point, all I can do is laugh. (Side note: beginning to understand the “Joker” character more in Batman).

My hematologist cleared us to do our FET as long as I stay on the Lovenox every 12 hours. I texted my RE nurse (because she’s amazing) and told her everything and she said she would meet with my RE and they would come up with a plan. I let her know there was no rush right now because we are STILL waiting on this court decision. I don’t feel that it’s smart to start our FET until this is behind us, regardless of the outcome.

Even with this diagnosis I am confident that our baby is in those 8 embryos, and I know my RE will take great care of me and having this diagnosis just means there is less room for error (or a missed opportunity to do something to help our chances). If you have any information or know anyone  who does please feel free to pass along the information. Also if you have any Lovenox to send my way, let me know, that stuff is liquid gold. I got my price for January and it is going to cost me $2361.32 for a 30 day supply 😦 Luckily my insurance deductible is $5K and once we meet that it’s free…silver lining?

As always thank you for your continued support and we will be sure to update when we get an update from the judge on guardianship of our niece.

2WW?

Well, here we are again, in another period of waiting. When our attorney told us it could take 2-3 weeks for us to receive the judge’s decision from our hearing yesterday the irony didn’t slap me in the face until much later. That here we are, caring for a child, that is not yet officially “ours”, and it could be two weeks, maybe a little more, until we find out if she gets to stick around.

I wish I could tell you how the hearing went but most of what I know was told to me by others. They called for a “separation of witnesses” which means anyone who was going to testify that wasn’t on the original petition for guardianship can’t be in the court room until it is their turn to testify. We originally did not put my name on the petition because we believed it would go further without it. Her biological father has always shown a very obvious distaste for me so we thought it would help us in the long run. Lesson learned.

I heard her testimony was strong, and well said, and the judge was paying very close attention, so I pray that he takes her testimony with the most consideration. All I know is when she left the courtroom she ran to me, wrapper her arms around me and cried. All I could say was, “I’m sorry”. It’s just not fair that she had to be put in that position and I pray that it wasn’t for nothing.

The hearing took over 2 and a half hours and the judge left stating that he would take it all into consideration and would give us a ruling “as soon as possible”.

I’ll be honest. I have been in a very dark place since we left that court room. Not being able to be in there with my husband and our entire family on what was easily the most important day of our life was extremely hard. The thought of having to tell my niece that a judge has decided she must go live with a man she barely knows  scares the hell out of me On a very real note, I don’t know what I’ll do if she has to leave. I keep praying and asking God to help give me peace but I can’t shake this extremely nervous and terrified feeling in my chest.

Please continue to keep us in your prayers. As always all of your kind comments on my last post help keep me uplifted and in the right frame of mind. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. ❤

But What if We Lose…

Last night I stayed up late, binge watching Gotham on Netflix then laying in bed watching Youtube videos to try and occupy my mind. Unfortunately, and inevitably my eyes grew heavy and tired and I gave in and shut my phone off, said a little prayer, and drifted off to sleep.

The minute I woke up this morning my chest felt like an elephant was sitting on it, there was a giant lump in my throat and I laid there tossing and turning, hoping to slow the minutes until I had to get out of bed.

I can only assume, the next two nights and morning following this one will be the same. You see, we have court Wednesday morning at 9:00am for permanency guardianship for our niece. Our guardianship is being contested by her biological father that only shares a few memories with her and a name on a birth certificate.

When I look at her, all I see is worry. She has told me how scared she is to go to court and she doesn’t know what she will do if she has to move. She has cried and held my hand much more in the past few days. She hugs us every moment she gets, squeezing tight and saying “I love you”. She asks us if we are okay.

And I am fucking terrified. (Please excuse my language)

This is by far the scariest moment of my entire life. I have lost a lot in my life and death has been a thief to many I love, including my own children, but the thought of potentially losing her, it feels like someone is tapping on my chest wall, just ready to rip it out.

We have many people in our corner, including a “mediator” attorney who was assigned to be an objective person to the case who weighed heavily in our favor, a letter from the school she has been attending regarding her outstanding performance and participation at school, and lots of family. But there is always that chance that because he is her biological father that he automatically has some sort of right to her. Even though my husband has been, and continues to be a bigger presence in her life that her biological father ever has been.

Please keep us in your prayers. Please pray that she is able to continue her life with us and that we will get final and clear answers on Wednesday and this won’t continue and hang over our head. Thank you all for your continued support. I promise I will update as soon as I’m able on Wednesday.

“Our Name”

While I think the time away was needed, there were times where I wanted to come write and tell others of how life was going, but I just didn’t have the time, or the energy, or maybe both. The last few months have been a wild ride. One bad thing after another, with tiny glimmers of hope sprinkled in. I hate to re-hash it all and most of it I have covered either here, or on Instagram so I will just leave it be.

While we still don’t have any definite answers on the permanency of our niece living with us, it seems as though things are still moving in our direction. She is thriving in school, making all A’s and B’s, and is adjusting well to life with us. She continues to be a bright spot in our lives and while I would assume I should be telling you how going from zero children to an 11 year old was somehow incredibly life changing, it feels as though she has been there all along. It feels normal.

We have a FET scheduled for early next year we are just keeping the details of that private. I am excited and optimistic. We have 8 beautiful embryos on ice and I just know that our baby is in there.

And it happened…The thing that we all hope we can avoid, we know is inevitable, but somehow, in our 8+ years of infertility I have never had happen to us, until now. “Our name” got used. I put that in quotes because I know that realistically you can’t claim a name as your own, but we have been lucky that in all of these years of waiting, no one we knew closely, used a name we were set on. We have not openly shared our names, and they really haven’t changed in all of these years. The middle names have changed, and we added secondary names once we started IVF because we knew the likelihood of twins was higher, but for the most part our names have remained a nice little piece of this puzzle that we have managed to keep to ourselves. Until today…today a little girl was born, and she was given “our” girl name. I would be lying if I said it didn’t sting a little. My husband and I picked that name for very sentimental reasons and this person seemed to just pick a name. But somehow, I have a certain peace about it. A part of me tells me that we will end up with a boy and it won’t matter, and the other part of me really doesn’t care because if we do have a baby girl, she will still get that name, and it will still mean all the same things to us. I am happy this little girl entered the world healthy and with a beautiful name, and I hope that one day she can share her namesake with another little girl and that can be something they can bond over.

I have tried to keep up on blogs and pages but it is hard. I feel like I barely have time to answer my phone these days so please know I continue to pray for all those in waiting, celebrate with those who receive their miracles, and mourn with you on your losses. Best wishes from me to you. Until next time… ❤ #MM

So Much Can Happen…

Well if you follow me on Instagram you will know that Friday marked 1 more month of blood thinners! WOOHOO! Don’t get me wrong, I am thankful for that little pill because it basically saved my life, but I am done with it. I have been wanting to get my sleeve finished but can’t because, well blood thinners, I thought about getting a random piercing and I can’t because, yep, blood thinners. Most importantly, I have wanted to do another FET, but unless I want to go off oral blood thinners and go on injection blood thinners, I have to wait. My husband and I talked about it and the injection blood thinners are not easy, for me I was going to be doing two shots, twice a day, and they are NOT fun. I would take a PIO injection twice a day before one injection of blood thinners.

Of course, with the excitement of…”Oh we could do another transfer soon”, I also worry. With the current issues with our niece’s bio dad fighting our guardianship of her, and my paternal grandmother being in the hospital and likely not making it out of the hospital, I worry that trying to do a transfer in the middle of all that is not very smart. I would hate to be under so much stress from the potential loss of my grandmother and court date for my niece that we would waste two more embryos…

She meets with the Guardian Ad Litem today, and after that I believe he is going to write his report regarding what he believes is her best interest and send it to the court. The court would then have to review it and set a court date which our attorney told us could be 30-45 days from that time. So potentially we are looking at another 2 months before court…so do I really want to hold off on a transfer for that long? If we transfer in December I could be “safely” pregnant by the time we go to court.

Also, my grandmother. So apparently she hasn’t been taking her medications for congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, and diabetes. So she is very sick. Her CO2 levels are critical and she is getting worse every day. She has good days and bad and honestly I have no idea what the time frame on this could be. She has already signed a living will to not be on life support or anything of that capacity so that isn’t an option. Part of me wishes we could transfer now, so that maybe we could tell her we were pregnant before she passes. She wanted us to have a baby so bad and the thought of her missing out on that is heart breaking…

As always, positive thoughts and prayers are always welcome. ❤ Thank you to everyone for the continued love and support. #MM