February 24, 2007

Fashionably Late

Since we're approaching five years since we first started trying, I sometimes feel like I'm a little late getting to the IVF party. Here's why it took so long:

I have always been very drawn to the idea of adopting. Even before I was married or had any idea I might have trouble concieving. I first remember thinking about it when I was about 17, and I came across a book about adoption. I just loved how it talked about the adopted children being special because they were chosen and how their parents went to great lengths to get them. Similar to how I hope IVF babies might feel when they one day learn of how they came to be. I had nothing against ART and those who chose to take that route, but I just always felt adoption was calling me.

Fast forward to about four years ago when we first started to realize it wasn't going to happen the old fashioned way. I was ready to start looking into adoption from the get go. Finding out we couldn't do it naturally was hard and I went through a whole grieving process around that, and at that time I let go of the idea of carrying and delivering a baby. It was heartbreaking, but I was consoled by a very strong belief that giving birth does not make you a mother (case in point all those who create children but do not parent them in any meaningful way). I never worried that I would love my adopted child any less. Actually I had a little fantasy of a beautiful multi-racial family that would set an example for my children and hopefully those around them of racial tolerance and appreciation for diversity.

I read articles about attachment disorder and the challenges of multi-racial adopting so I knew it wouldn't be all sunshine and roses, but I believed in it so passionately. Kind of like how once you accept the idea of IVF, and you begin to become aware of how difficult it will be, it's too late, you've already committed to taking the chance because you believe (even if only remotely) that you're pursuing your dream. But there was a bigger obstacle to adopting: my husband was NOT on board. He was simply never comfortable with the idea. It was starting to seem like we would never have a family because we could not agree on how to get to it. After a year of working with our RE and going through IUIs and IUIs with injectables, we took a year off.

Over that year, when I told people I wanted to adopt I heard things like: "That's great for you, but I would just be so scared. I mean, you just don't know what you're going to get. What if there's something wrong with it." I never had those fears. I remember responding: "I'm much more afraid of having my own child and having something be wrong with it, because then it would be my fault!" I thought this was a snappy comeback, but I started to realize I did have my own fears to contend with. And at the same time, I was coming to realize that if my husband had real and unshakable fears that he would not love an adopted child, then we were setting ourselves up for disaster from the start. Clearly you need to be on the same page to undertake any of these more challenging paths to parenthood. Also over that year off, our marriage changed and grew a lot. So now that we are pursuing IVF, I have an incredibly supportive partner. We both feel like we're on the right path now, where ever it leads us.

Speaking of being late for parties, I am off to my stim day 4 follie check. Which I'm going to ON MY WAY to a baby shower! Which I cannot find anything to wear to because my ovaries are so swollen and tender and sore. Must run and figure out how to dress up pajama pants!


Ciao Baby said...

Hey there,

Sorry I haven't commented much but I have been reading. Sounds like things are going well on the IVF front. I just did my 1st stim last night!! Went fine and I feel OK but I know that won't last. Tonight we are going out to dinner with friends so I will be injecting in the restaurant bathroom...wohoo. Oh the fun...


Anonymous said...

Baby showers suck. I hope this one wasn't too bad.

Mands said...

I can relate to being late for the party. It took us about a year to realise there was a problem. Then when we went for help, we were told that there wasn't a problem, and we should just give it more time. Eventually we found the problems, and 2 laps later, and still no PG, I stumbled upon Tertia Albertyn. After reading her story I was jilted into reality and started IUI. I try not to beat myself up about it, but sometimes wish we hadn't waited so long. Good luck with the shower - strength to you. Think calm, happy thoughts :-) And good luck with the check up too - let us know how it goes.

Baby Blues said...

My plan of approach on baby showers and baptismals, I come late and leave early! :-) That way, I showed up but didn't have to stay long for chit-chat.

Chanti said...

First time I'm reading your blog. Funny that it should partly be about adoption. On my side not a place I can go yet for a whole list of reasons. A couple of thoughts on it though... 1.) a friend adopted many years ago and when the child was old enough to understand they told her she was adopted, my friend explained that she did not grow in her tummy like other mommies get babies, instead she grew in her heart and that made her so much more special. 2. We went the IUI root with donor sperm last year and one of my concerns was heridatry deseased and my dearest doctor pointed out that I don't truly know my own family history so why should that be a big concern. We may know as far as 3 gen back but our gene pool is much bigger that that and some disease from a 100 years ago could pop up... so now I just go with the flow and the belief that somehow, someway I will have babies and that I will not be given something I cannot handle.
Holding thumbs for this IVF may it be what you are hoping for