The Worst Blog Post Ever

5 Aug

You all, I’ve got nothing to say. Or everything to say, but no way to say it.

For a week now I’ve started a post, got a couple of paragraphs in, and abandoned it. Now it’s become a “thing”, like I have to get over the hurdle of this bad post in order to move on. So here it is.

****

I am frustrated with infertility. I want to tell infertility to fuck off. I am angry, afraid, bitter, tired, resentful, worried, stressed, overwhelmed and pissed off. I am also aware that many of those words were synonyms. This is the worst blog post ever, remember? I might just throw in an overused cliche, when I can think of one.

Recently we had a one step forward, two steps back situation. (Overused cliche? CHECK) We had been planning on fundraising for IVF, and just kept putting it off because . . . how do you do that? Do you have a car wash? I just didn’t know where to start. Then we were approached by someone who said they would carry a baby for us.

I will give you a second for that to sink in.

I know, right? I mean . . . wild. So we thought about it, and talked about it, and finally we emailed her and said, shit, why not?

And Internet, it seemed too easy, and my experience has told me that everything about this process is soul-crushing hard. And the other thing, people would ask: but don’t you care that the baby wouldn’t be yours? and when I said no, it was because I am tired. I do care. I mean, we want to adopt and that is different, it is no relation to either one of us. But if it is just his, where am I? I kept thinking: I am dissipating here. What role will I play in the creation of this baby?

But that isn’t even the thing. The thing is, no one will do it. I mean, a traditional surrogacy. I guess no one in Oregon wants the blood on their hands, so to speak, if things go terribly wrong and end in a custody battle. So they only do IVF surrogacy, which is totally beside the point, because the point of having a surrogate was that it was going to cost less than IVF, therefore we could have a baby sooner.

I was calling around places and everyone was treating me like I was crazy. This is word for word how it went:

Me: I need to get information on your policy about surrogacy.
Her: Are you pregnant?
Me: No.
Her: Do you want to donate eggs?
Me: No. I am unable to get pregnant, and I have a friend that wants to carry a baby for me, and I don’t know how to move forward.
Her: Is she pregnant?
Me: NO! She needs to get pregnant. CAN YOU GET HER PREGNANT?
Her: Um, no.

All of the phone calls have gone like that. Unless you count the one where the lady suggested I try an at home kit.

I will give you another minute.

THERE IS SUCH A THING. It’s like a turkey baster.

Internet, I want a baby. But I will never hand a turkey baster full of my husbands sperm to anyone. Ever.

Here is the long winded, disjointed point: we got off track. We thought that this could be a cheaper, easier way to do it, and it isn’t. I think all along I felt that it wasn’t the way to go, but I was fighting it. I was hoping.

I know some of you reading have been through this stuff, and please tell me – did you do this back and forth thing? Am I making this too hard? Should I just shut up and save my money and have a car wash?

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9 Responses to “The Worst Blog Post Ever”

  1. Liz 08/05/2009 at 4:10 am #

    Ugh. I’m so, so sorry you’re going through this. It just fucking kills me that it’s so hard. So, since you asked, here’s what we did: We decided to try it one time. We begged, borrowed and stole to scrape together enough money for one round of IVF at the best fertility clinic in the state (the CDC has a website that tells you the live birth rate at every clinic in the country). Our IVF cost $21,000 and there was no way we could ever do it twice. So the plan was to try once and if it didn’t work, to move to adoption. We were blessed and the embryo took, but every day that I was undergoing treatment I wondered if I was throwing money away. I knew that for what we were paying, we could go through the adoption process twice. But I also knew we wouldn’t be happy if we didn’t try IVF once. I know that money is impossible to get these days and that the stakes are impossibly high. Can you get a doctor to give you realistic odds for success? Maybe knowing that you have a 70% chance with IVF would make it easier to get the buckets out and start washing those cars, while a 30% chance would move you more in the adoption direction? It so, so terrible that money has to come into these decisions. Infertility is hard enough without having to deal with the money side.

    Either way, whatever you decide, we’re good for a couple of car washes.

    • lswan 08/06/2009 at 12:41 am #

      Liz, I was so hoping you would be one of the people that replied, since I knew you had a successful IVF and wanted to ask questions but didn’t want to be like: SO, you know that one time you had an invasive medical procedure . . . how was that? 🙂

      I like the idea of getting some odds, I guess maybe some numbers will put this in perspective. I am just all over the place with this. Can’t I just get drunk? It worked for tons of chicks in high school!

      Anyway, thanks for sharing. And thanks for the car wash offers. You are a gem, and I’m so glad to have found you.

      • littledash 08/13/2009 at 4:09 pm #

        Yeah, I always figured if I could just really dedicate myself to getting hardcore into meth I’d get knocked up right away.

        And always, always feel free to ask anything. I am an open book.

        xo

  2. Lelo 08/05/2009 at 2:06 pm #

    I know plenty of lesbians who’ve created families with ye olde turkey baster. Thanksgiving will never be the same. I can’t say what you should do, but in my minds eye, there is no “traditional” way anymore. Creating our families comes in many different forms, and when we get over our own hang ups, the door way gets much bigger. In the end, don’t we get what we want anyway? The pathway is just different. And more interesting and varied, and we have more people walking it with us. I like to think it makes for more people to support and love and be a part of that baby’s life. Whatever you decide, I’m sorry your heart is so heavy.

  3. Desiraie 08/05/2009 at 11:55 pm #

    I am hugging you and wishing you weren’t going through this. It just doesn’t seem fair.

    You, my friend, are scaring me and yet preparing me for what’s in my future. “What role do I play in the creation of this baby?” That right there is what keeps me from the turkey baster idea. Of course, I have the added problem of, “how the hell do they get to my eggs if I have no uterus and no cervix and how much will that cost on top of IVF?”

    Personally, if it couldn’t be both of our genes, I’d opt for adoption. If you can truly be ok with having the baby have B’s and not your genes (which I find incredibly strong of you) are you SURE you can’t get over the turkey baster? Maybe you could go for it and promise yourself not to think about that part. Just an idea.

    I know this is rough but I’m incredibly proud of you. You are persistent and no matter how much harder it’s going to get, Baby Swan will be here before you know it. I truly believe that. You are going to be such an amazing mom. xoxo

    • lswan 08/13/2009 at 4:40 pm #

      Dez, thank you so much for your kind words. Just, thank you.

  4. Lanie 08/06/2009 at 12:44 am #

    Crap – I wish I had some money to give you. Any chance of one of you getting insurance that will cover it? (Sorry – I’m sure I’m stating the obvious.) This wasn’t the worst post ever – it’s one of the best. Your honesty is really touching and makes me wish I could help.

    • lswan 08/13/2009 at 4:40 pm #

      Thanks, Lanie. It’s amazing to have people out there supporting us, I really appreciate it!

  5. T 08/06/2009 at 9:07 am #

    Sheesh I checked your blog just yesterday and still nothing new then all the sudden wowza! So brace yourself…it’s a long reply!! I mean I just finished it and it’s the longest post I’ve ever written so buckle up and hold tight! 🙂

    So my dear here is what I have to say. You’re right on bleeping track. Same track as so many before us have been. I say “us” because you’re on the same track as me and I know that I am not the first Spoiled Eggs and Spam sister strolling down this trail!

    When you and Swani weren’t getting pregnant you, got tested. So did we. We did the basic SAT of pregnancy and saw that neither of us had any “identifiable” issues but failure continued as the only result.

    Chad and I decided that we would put as little money into that side of it as possible but would dedicate some time for the medical effort. So for a year I took the dreaded pills that make you feel as though you’ve been raised in a circus and the dear people of the public are your animal side kicks. No luck. Only cuckoo for cocoa puffs!

    You guys took some extra steps on that as I know many people do. I think for us since Adoption had always been part of the (future)plan it just came as an easier step for us to move forward to adoption.

    Ok so the time count for us to this point so far….2 yrs trying. 1 yr on basic get prego pills.
    Total in limbo and watching everyone around us get pregnant… 3 years.
    **

    Ok so now we’re at adoption. This may seem like once you get there it’s a clear path. We all hear it is a long process but the path is laid out to the end goal, a child. Right? WRONG! At least not for me and many others like me I would bet.

    Here is why.

    We decide to do a state adoption. There are lots of kids out there needing homes, we need a kid and bonus …. it’s free. After calling the state office we learn the first step is to attend a 3 hour orientation about fostering and adoption. The next one on the schedule. 2 months away.

    2 months later we’re doing the 3 hour hang out with a room full of strangers, being told all the scary things about special needs kids (fyi..all kids any age any background that are “adoptable” children are considered special needs). We go home traumatized, tired and wondering why we can’t just “accidentally get knocked up” like the famous line of so many others.

    Still considering State adoption I start my research on the adoption process and prepare to get us as debt free as possible so we can afford to feed the little thing once it comes along. 🙂

    About one year down this road it hits us. We may never get to experience an infant in our lives. It’s about a 2% chance that you will be able to adopt a legally free infant through the state. Boy do we want that infant. The first word, the tiny feet. So we decide, Agency for the infant first and then the state to adopt a toddler later. New plan set.

    Numbers rolling, bright lights flashing…..
    2yrs trying + 1 yr pills + 1yr to get to the new plan, Agency.
    Total in limbo and watching everyone around us get pregnant, AGAIN …. 4 years.
    **

    There are a ton of agencies out there. After another year of research to find the right fit for us (such as: religion guidelines like signing faith statements of how you will raise your child. Lawyer or agency? The fact that some places keep all the money you put in if the birth parents change their minds. Domestic or International? Closed or open? Pay all at once, or little at a time. and so on and so on and so on…) we found Boys and Girls Aid.

    We sat down with them. We loved them. We decided yep, it’s them. Signed all the initial papers, got the packet of things to start working on and signed up for the class all adoptive parents must take.

    2yrs trying + 1 yr pills + 1yr to get to adoption Agency + 1.5 yr to research/pick Agency and take mandatory weekend class.
    Total in limbo, watching everyone around us get pregnant, AGAIN. Seeing our nieces/nephews start middle schools then high schools …. 5 1/2 years.
    **

    We’ve picked the agency, we’ve taken the class, we’ve even filled out the 120 question sheets that we must both fill out individually.

    I’ve spent a good 8 months researching how to fund our $25,000.00 adoption. I’ve collected recipes from families and friends. I’ve spent countless hours looking through grants. I’ve joined Adoption Fundraising Yahoo Groups. Then, I get laid off from my job.

    Now the getting laid off thing was fine my job sucked but it really hit me and had me thinking. I’ve worked with nonprofits for 5 years or so of my life. During that time it’s all about finding ways to raise money for the cause I was working with. I sat down and realized that if I combined all the individual fundraising efforts I’ve done I wasn’t even half way to the 25k.

    So what now take a loan for $25,000? With this economy who would loan us the money, especially with me unemployed. What if Chad lost his job and we had a big loan payment, a new baby and a mortgage and other bills? We’d have to both be working and probably more than one job each.

    So…if I want to adopt before 2015 and if we don’t want to take on a loan payment AND a new baby than this whole agency thing just isn’t going to work out for us.

    State adoption = Free
    Goal = Have a family

    After we had some internal dialog, tears, anger, jealousy and all the goodies that go with infertility we make a decision. What the hell point does it make to focus on the age of a child? Our goal is to have a family. Not to just be parents to an infant.

    Sure we’re going to miss first steps, first words and other firsts. But like I’ve said in the past there will be so many other firsts we will get to see.

    First time we see them. First time that connection is felt. First time I see the look in Chad’s eyes when our child turns to him and says “hey dad”. First laughs. First show. First camping trip. First scream of “you never let me do anything” followed by a slamming door. (oh goodie!) First first first and more firsts.

    Mid Sept. we call the state agency. We meet with a rep. within a couple weeks. We take a whole new set of documents, questions, fingerprints etc. home with us. It seemed like a step backwards at first. But in a month we had almost everything filled out. Dec. 30th we were put on the Home Study waiting list. 5 months 27 days later we started our Home Study. Home Study took place for roughly 12 hours all in one week. Then today, about two weeks later, we are told our Home Study should be approved tomorrow or the next day. Then there it is, looking at childrens information that want a family just as much as we do!

    2yrs trying + 1 yr pills + 1yr to get to the new plan, Agency + 1.5 yr to research/pick Agency/take mandatory weekend class + 8 months until light bulb moment.
    Total in limbo, watching everyone around us get pregnant, AGAIN. Seeing our nieces/nephews start middle schools then high schools. Making excuses of why I can’t attend 435 baby showers …. about 6 years.
    **

    Adoption has brought Chad and I to a whole other level in ourselves and in our relationship. Because we weren’t able to “get pregnant like everyone else” we were given the opportunity to really look at being parents. A gift really.

    We’ve had to lean on each other just to survive the process of adoption. We had to test the strength of our relationship.

    We had to put down in words with great thought and detail why we want to have a child. Why we want to have a child with each other. What good and negative things are we expecting as parents. What ways could I or my spouse improve. How we plan to talk to our child about sex education, religion, family and self respect.

    I get to not be forced to go find a job. One that makes X amt. of money because that is how much it will take for us to cover the bills PLUS that adoption loan we would have had to take out.

    I get to be a stay at home mom. I mean freaking priceless. I know I’m lucky. I know not everyone gets that.

    I also know that OUR path is just that. It is ours; Chads, Mine and our kiddo’s to be. As much as we are “all on track” as I started out this post we are all on our own crazy family building journey as well.

    I promise to you that this freaked out, sad feeling you are having Linds of “is this ever going to happen” is just a part of the crazy process of adoption. Or maybe part of the crazy process of birth for you. Who knows. All we can do is breath, hope, wish for the best and keep moving forward.

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt what you are feeling. I’ve said this to you a thousand times but as much as I’m sorry you and Brandon have to go through what you are going through I’m so glad to have had you to go through it with. You’ve been my rock at times. My reminder to breath, relax and remember it will “all work out”.

    Oh, by the way. When I heard my Aunt Melissa (she’s about my age) offered to carry for us I too thought. Hmmm well why the hell not. Until I saw the big $$ signs that went along with it.

    Don’t think I didn’t even consider getting her and my hubby drunk for a one night fling! I just didn’t know how I’d explain that to the kid later in life. “Well you see, I got your daddy and Aunti trashed one night so they’d sleep together to bring you to me!” 🙂 We will do whatever it takes to have kids…well almost whatever it takes!

    Love you lady! And to anyone else who reads this and who has struggles with pregnancy, I feel your pain. Lindsey feels your pain.

    Remember to keep the belief that anything is possible and to track down and lean on your fellow Spoiled Egg and Spam Sisters out there!

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