Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Family Photo Time


Brandt and I had our serious discussion this weekend. After I told him about the painful and thick progesterone shots, he felt adoption was also the best choice for us. I reminded him that from the beginning we said that we didn't want me on hormone shots.

The hard part now is finding a good agency. We are definitely going with the Edna Gladney Center in the DFW area. It's the same place my in-laws adopted Brandt. There's an agency in Houston we are looking into as well as in San Antonio.

Most agencies need you to supply a recent family photo. I realized we didn't have a good picture of just us (where we aren't being silly or wearing sunglasses). I got us all dressed up and put us in the front yard. I'd say the results were not too shabby!

The adoption process is pretty lengthy. Most agencies have you do a preliminary application. If you pass that step, then you get the real application which is probably about 30 pages and requires a lot of references and letters of recommendation. We will also have to have a Home Study completed by a social worker. After all of that, you sit and wait to find out if your application is accepted. If you are accepted, then you are guaranteed a baby. Then you sit and wait some more till they match you with a baby. We are looking at a two-year process here!! :-( I guess it's a good thing we are starting now! Maybe I'll get a baby for my 30th birthday!! Gosh that seems so far away. Don't go anywhere, folks! Sit back and enjoy the ride. It's going to be a dizzy winding road to get our baby!!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Enlightenment

I've been struggling now for two weeks on which decision is the right decision for us. Since Brandt and I are split on which path to take, everyone keeps saying pray about it. I've been praying and praying with no clarity.

I got the opportunity to spend some time with my in-laws on Monday and Tuesday. Brandt and I have always been pretty close with them. I've known them almost as long as I've known Brandt. I got to meet them when Brandt and I were "just friends" and not exclusively dating. We go way back. I had talked with them about Brandt's adoption right after we were married, since Brandt never cared to share about it (and I never asked). I figured if he wanted to talk about it he would. My impression was that he never even thought about his adoption. The boy thinks he's Cajun b/c his parents are from New Orleans :-) His parents think the same thing as me - he just forgets he's adopted. Gilbert and Tonnette are his parents as far as he is concerned. Anywho, back to Monday...we played catch-up on a few things, and I finally brought up the big pink elephant in the room. I told them that I just had no idea what we were going to do about making a decision b/c we are split. My in-laws started telling me more in depth info about the place they adopted Brandt from - Edna Gladney. They had told me a few things several years back, but now they were telling me more important and specific information. Right away I knew that's the route I wanted to go for sure. The Gladney Center for Adoption in Fort Worth, TX is a home for unwed mothers. I had no idea! They take care of the moms, provide schooling/take them to school (not sure which), make sure they are taking care of prenatal things, etc. That really warmed my heart and made the decision so clear. The application process is pretty lengthy, but once you are in - you're in! I have not been able to share my excitement with Brandt, b/c he's still out of town. I tried bringing it up in a phone conversation, but he said he wanted to wait. I'm anxiously awaiting his arrival today!!

I also found a woman's blog called My POF Journey about her IVF w/egg donor experience. The progesterone shots she had to take were painful and thick like peanut butter - gross! She said her butt was all lumpy from them - NO THANKS! The one thing Brandt and I don't want me to have to do is take all the hormone shots. That was the icing on the cake that adoption is the right choice for me. Her IVF ended in success (barely), but it's not a guarantee at all. I have to see what Brandt's reasons are for wanting to do the IVF. Hopefully by next week we will take the first step in which ever route is our final decision. Keep your fingers crossed and pray, pray, pray for us!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

2nd Opinion

So going to the herbalist didn't do much except get me to spot a little and maybe make my body a little healthier, and my OBGYN was a complete jerk. He was completely insensitive every time I talked to him. My sister-in-law had heard about a local fertility specialist who was working miracles. I finally made an appointment, because I just could not go back to my regular OBGYN. Unfortunately, he gave the same sad news I had already heard about not being able to use my own eggs, but he put it in such a way that made me feel better. He was very understanding and explained things we didn't completely understand from the other doc.

New things we learned:
1. IVF w/egg donor has about an 80% success rate (although my research shows that's not the case in ever clinic)
2. Women begin with 7 million eggs inside their mothers' wombs. When we are actually born, we only have 1 million. When we begin our periods, we only have about 300,000 eggs. It is at this point that our bodies begin to put the breaks on the huge dumping of eggs, and we only actually end up releasing 400-500 eggs in our lifetime.
3. Apparently, my body never put the breaks on the dumping of eggs :-( Stupid body!
4. Because my FSH (follicle stimulating hormone-determines how many eggs a woman has) is ridiculously high (245 in January-normal is around 10-12), the new doc says my body is trying really, really hard to try to get any follicles that might still be in my body. Thus, I don't want to be on birth control - so quit asking me that docs!
5. I have a 5% chance of still producing that one last follicle that might still be there, so why on earth would I get back on birth control???? The new doc finally understood why I don't want to be on BC right now. I eventually will though b/c it contains more estrogen that estrogen HRT (hormone replacement therapy) pills.

Now, we are stuck deciding if we want to adopt or if we want to try to find an egg donor and do IVF (in vitro fertilization).

I've been wanting to look into adoption since we got our bad news the first time around in January. Now that the new doctor gave us more info about the IVF thing, Brandt seems to leaning more towards that decision. I would rather pay all the money we're going to pay and have a sure thing (adoption) instead of paying a lot of money for a maybe (IVF w/egg donor).

Decisions, decisions...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Infertility

This journey began August 2007 when I finally convinced my hubby to start a family. I was 26 and he was 27. We figured it would be no problem, because no other women in my close family have had any fertility issues. Of course, this was not the case for us.

One of the worst things that happened to us was getting a false-positive on a pregnancy blood test. I had already taken 5 at-home tests that said no, but I was experiencing a few symptoms of pregnancy. A friend convinced me to seek a blood test to be sure. We got the news it was positive and began telling everyone!! We were so excited and thrilled. I scheduled my 9-week ultrasound and thought I was all set. I went shopping with my mom and childhood best friend to shop for maternity clothes. The best friend was about 3 months pregnant at this time. We thought we would experience motherhood together.

My 9-week appt finally came around (Oct 07) and by this time I had taken 7 pregnancy tests - all of which were still saying no. By this time, I felt more like I was going through menopause than pregnancy. The doc told me that it was very unlikely that I was pregnant. He was right. We did the ultrasound and were completely crushed. The doctor left the room so we could have a moment alone. I sobbed and sobbed. We were given the option to be on Clomid but that 1% chance of triplets scared the ba-Jesus out of us. We opted to just keep trying on our own.

My cycles were so random and spread apart. I was buying pregnancy tests out the ying-yang and getting no where. I would get really upset for a week or two then finally return to myself. People keep saying, "It will happen when you quit trying." How the hell do you quit thinking about it and quit trying??? Not possible!!

Another year passes with no success and no more periods. I had my last period Aug 08. By Jan 09 my hot flashes and night sweats were so bad that I could bear them no more. Had some blood work done and then wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am I'm diagnosed with Premature Ovarian Failure - and recently found a new doc that calls it Premature Ovarian Inefficiency. They both suck and sound horrible! Basically, I have no more eggs and will never be able to get pregnant using my own eggs. I find all of this out while I'm on my conference period by phone! The doc didn't even have the decency to call me into his office with my husband to share the news. When my 4th period class came in, I had to put on a "happy" face for them. They all knew I had been crying and knew something was wrong. I couldn't exactly share my new-found infertility issue with 14 year-olds and expect them to be able to relate or understand. They were very sweet though. I had a great support team in my husband, family and friends waiting at home.

A very close and dear friend (and her mom) convinced me to see an herbalist. He's worked miracles in women who were told they couldn't get pregnant. I went for 3 months spent a few thousand $ but had no success. More frustration and more sadness. A dizzy and winding road to have a bit of happiness and completeness.