Crossroads

Last week we had appointments with a new OBGYN and a fertility doctor as well as enduring an hour-long ultrasound appointment (where they put us in the same room as the day I ruptured). Yesterday, I took myself to radiology for an hysterosalpinogogram or HSG as ordered by my new OB. An HSG is where they fill your uterus with contrast dye to get a better look at it and the fallopian tubes. Or in my case, the left fallopian tube as that’s all I’ve got left. To say this is an uncomfortable procedure would be a bit of an understatement. Filling a uterus that quickly with liquid causes it to severely cramp, to the point where I was doing deep breathing and at one point said “shit” pretty distinctly because OW.

But that wasn’t the worst part. As the dye filled my uterus and we watched the screen, it was clear even after pushing more dye into me that none of it was making its way into my left tube. My left tube is not open which pretty much means we can’t get pregnant naturally. Maybe my right tube hadn’t been open either which is why our baby got stuck there. It’s not like they check these things before they tell you to go ahead and get pregnant. So much is left up to chance and we just seem to have pulled the short straw when it comes to fertility.

As I laid there on the cold steel table with my legs bent and contrast dye leaking out of me, looking at the image of my uterus and that god damned useless left tube, reality hit me and I started to cry. I have endured countless indignities and disappointments in the past 14 month and for what? To come to this hard truth as I lay naked from the waist down dripping on a towel and crying in front of three women.

I feel like a failure. Like my body has betrayed me. As if I am disappointing not only myself but my sweet husband and our families because my body can’t make a baby without medical intervention. I’m 40 1/2 years old so time is not on my side. I have spent my entire life knowing that I want to be a mother but never fathoming that the choice would be taken away from me because my body can’t do the job. I foolishly believed that even if there were complications, THIS would not happen to me. Over and over, I am reminded that life happens with or without the plans you’ve made.

So we are faced with choices, all of which come with their own difficulties. Do we take the path towards IVF meaning I  will have to get the 7cm fibroid that is sitting on the top of my uterus removed and wait 3 months before starting the laborious IVF process which has no guarantees for producing a child and is very costly? Or do we decide not to medically intervene, let go of the want for our own biological child, and start the long process of becoming foster-to-adopt parents- enduring months of training, home visits, scrutiny, soul-searching, to hopefully be placed with a child that will not be taken back and put with birth relatives after we’ve attached ourselves to him/her? Or do I just get the hysterectomy and we adopt some dogs and take that trip to Paris and grow old together with no children to raise?

We’re overwhelmed and conflicted, feeling so much pressure to make the RIGHT choice as we grieve this huge loss. We also don’t have that much time because if we are going to do IVF, I’ll need to have that fibroid surgery right away. The clock keeps ticking and I wish I could rewind time and change this. But here we are, at a crossroads, pondering which way to go.

Right now we need to do some research about foster-to-adopt and IVF. We really want to talk to people have lived through both- the good and the bad stories- so we can more carefully weigh these options. If you have any experience with either or know a blog, a friend, a family member who has done any of these, we’d welcome the chance to hear their story.

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58 thoughts on “Crossroads

  1. Aw, sweetie. Your story of tears on the table reminded me of an infertile friend who was a church choir director/organist. I sat and watched her weep her way through years of Christmas Eve services as she listened time and time again to a birth story she had no way of personally experiencing.

    Nobody can know precisely what you are going through, but we all can watch your emotional back while you process your reaction/s. And as to making the “right” choice? WhatEVER you choose, it is you and Mr. Darcy choosing together, so that will be what is right for you.

    Here’s a blog I read regularly. You’ll want to go back to the beginning posts…

    http://www.alittlepregnant.com/

  2. I have a couple friends who started with IVF and didn’t have any luck. One ended up going through a private adoption and met the birth mom and dad before the baby was born. A year later she was contacted by their adoption agency because the same mom and dad were about to have another baby, and would my friend and her husband want it, so they would be full siblings. They did adopt the second baby, a girl They have had both kids with no issues as far as the birth parents (who have several older children that they kept) interfering. Those kids are now 15 and 13 1/2 and are happy, healthy and well adjusted. They have also known from the beginning they were adopted, they were chosen by their (adoptive) parents, and are loved to no end. When they are 18 they will be given the information on their birth parents and are free to make contact if they want to (and if the birth parents agree).

    My other friend that went through IVF gave up, went through a private adoption, and had a baby for a week when the mom changed her mind. It was horrible.

    I also have a friend whose step-daughter was a surrogate (for a complete stranger). She carried twins! The deal was done privately through attorneys. She didn’t have any problem at all giving up the babies when they were born. Knowing all the way through they weren’t hers and she was making a mom a very happy person.

    And while foster-to-adopt is a great thing to do for kids, (my daughter-in-law’s sister and her family is a foster family) a lot of the kids don’t stay long, a year, maybe 2. Some come and leave and come back. They have a special needs baby girl right now that may go from foster to adopt, and I think they may try to adopt her. (they have 3 kids of their own already).

    There are also options. I think private adoptions and surrogacy would probably be faster and less expensive than IVF (unless it was successful quickly). But I don’t know what the costs are these days.

    Sorry to be so long winded- just wanted to give you some good thoughts to hold on to.

    Thinking of you and Mr. Darcy, and wishing you all the best. Hugssss

  3. I have one friend who struggled for months with IVF and ended up with twin girls (!!).
    P’s sister had IVF and got pregnant on the first try (!! – even her doctor was shocked).
    And another friend of mine decided long ago to go the adoption route (without even trying biological children) and adopted two beautiful girls from Korea. I have learned a LOT from her blog and as soon as I can track down the link I will send it to you.
    I know it doesn’t help anything to say this, but please do not beat yourself up for this. There is nothing YOU could have done to change the unfortunate course of events. I will be thinking good thoughts for you and Mr. Darcy and your decisions ahead. *hug*

  4. Oh my word, I’m so sorry you have to go through this. It sucks.

    Honestly? I don’t think there is one right answer. I think you just have to choose one and go with it and hope for the best. I often wish there was a Life Manual, that tells you The Right Path, but life is more of the multiple-choice variety, with multiple right answers. IVF is great, and foster-to-adopt is great, both have their pros and cons.

    I hope that one of the routes works for you, because you two would make great parents. :)

  5. Hi Sizzle. I’ve been a reader (and lurker) for a long time, and I have to come out of the dark for you now because I had 3 rounds of IVF – resulting in the best kids ever. I had blocked tubes (that HSG sucks, and I had several), PCOS and we also had low sperm count to manage. I won’t sugar coat it: it’s hard. It hurts. It will consume your every thought for 2 months at a time (“when do I take this drug? Which injection is it now?”). But it IS possible. You can do it. But go in knowing your limit. We said we would only try 3x, for cost of money and emotional health. Set limits for yourself going in, and it can be manageable. Say “yes” to any experimental procedure you are comfortable with. Get massages and acupuncture (both supposedly help with IVF). Eat pineapple and listen to comedy after transfer (studies show this helps, too). But, if God forbid, it doesn’t work, be prepared to start the next phase. I stared down that tunnel as we started our third try and it hurt, but it would have hurt more to not try and to not have done everything we could. I am glad we did it. Ultimately, it is your body: do what is right for you. You have all of my best wishes.

  6. Just want you to know I’m thinking about you. Both my girls were conceived through IVF, so if you ever have any questions about the process, let me know. Much love to you and your sweet husband.

  7. Okay, I have eight from the foster care system. Most I have gotten between birth and 2.5 years. The thing about going this direction is you have to know the system and how it works. You have to have a personal relationship with placement and caseworkers who know what you want. At first I was just doing Foster, long term. It was a nightmare and broke my heart. Then I began short term placements, which was better for me emotionally. The main reason I got babies is because I took sibling pairs. One older and one from the hospital. The families my kids came from were not first timers. All have multiple siblings that were adopted form fostercare, so there was a pattern in the family. You learn this with in the first week of having a kid, you learn if the parents have ever completed services and which child will most likely go foster adopt. It’s a risk, but I love all mine as if I had given birth. Down side, being in a glass case with the world watching. False CPS reports. Judges who think they know what’s better for a kid then their caseworkers,. knowing their is a chance you could lose them. But like I said, sometimes the best things in life are things you have to work the hardest to get. NWAE.org has many sibling pairs that are legally free, ready for a new home and there are ones with babies.

  8. Oh honey. This sucks. You know we’ve been through both situations–I wouldn’t wish the agony on anyone. Please feel free to call or email if you want to chat. Perhaps we could have dinner some time? Let me know. XO

  9. I’m so sorry, sis. This sucks in such a big way. But like another commenter said, how about surrogacy? At least the baby is still a biological part of you.

  10. I’m sorry you’re going through this. I’m sorry you’ve been given this hard, hard choice.

    I have absolutely no advice or even resources to share. I just wanted you to know someone else was sitting here with you. xo

  11. I really have nothing constructive to add. I wanted to say I am sorry and I sent good wishes your way. Hope you find peace with whichever decision you make.

  12. First of all this is NOT your fault. Do not blame yourself. Our bodies – all of us – are not perfect and they will let us down time and again in many different ways. So no, this is by far and large no way in hell, not at all, or ever your fault.

    There is no right answer. All that exists is making a choice and I hate, HATE that you are going through this. I hate that you have to be faced with this.

    I have a friend who went through IVF for five years. She couldn’t conceive either (and this was apparently something with her system, nothing at all to do with age). On the very last try, her and her husband agreed that it would be the last time they would do it and if it didn’t work, then so be it. It’s all good. But it worked. They had a baby girl last year and she’s doing just fine.

    If you want, I can ask her if she would be ok with emailing you about it. (They live in South Africa.) Let me know.

    Love you hon. Please don’t blame yourself for this. It’s not your fault. And you are NOT lacking.

  13. I’m so sorry, honey. It just sucks to have all these decisions thrown in your face when it feels like so many decisions have already been made *for* you.

    I have emailed a close friend of mine who has experience with both IVF and foster-to-adopt and asked her to tell her story so I can share it with you. It may take a couple days, but I will pass it along as soon as she is able to get it to me. I think the more information you get the more you guys can feel like you’re taking your power back with this. That doesn’t mean the road ahead is any more predictable, but knowing what is possible, I hope, will buoy your hearts in an otherwise impossible time.

    Thinking of you and sending love. xoxo

  14. My heart aches for you, and at the same time, sends you loads of love. I am so glad you and C have each other. You will get through this, whatever the universe has planned. Love you both. XO.

  15. The same room? Ugh! Were the docs nicer this time?

    I don’t know anyone but will keep my eyes open. I know a few who are adopting, but not fostering, first.

    I was reading this and thinking about how awful it is… but then all of a sudden I had this warm feeling in heart, thinking about how great you and Mr Darcy are together and that you two will work hard (through tears) to find what is right for you guys. Hugs to you!

  16. I’m so sorry you guys are having to deal with this. It sucks, and it’s not fair, and I’m sorry.

    My cousin did a foster-to-adopt. It was tough on them emotionally, knowing there were no guarantees they would end up with the little boy (and the mom was around, which made things uncomfortable), but in the end they got a fabulous little guy. Her only suggestion if you go that route is that you need to have some emotional fortitude for the process.

    Whatever road you choose, know there are a lot of people pulling for you guys.

  17. Lots of good advice here! My only advice is to know your limits (financial, emotional, physical), and pay attention to each others’ needs. Darcy may not be going through the physical and invasive procedures, but he will have just as many emotional and financial considerations.

  18. Due in November with IVF bub.
    Still super fragile from it all and feel detached from this wee thing growing inside.

    No easy choices, unfortunately. Feel free to contact me.

  19. Oh, Sizz.

    I’m so heartbroken for you. This should be easier. It’s just not fair. Not fair that two wonderful people who would be PHENOMENAL parents aren’t given an easy way to do so.

    I’m so sorry. <3

  20. Sizzle, just let me say these things. First, I’m so sorry you’re going through this. I have my own struggles with it, and they’re not nearly as bad as yours yet really tough as well, so I can only IMAGINE how you’re feeling. It’s heartbreaking. Second, if you choose not to go with IVF, please, please, please, do both you and Mr. D a favor and skip the foster-to-adopt – go straight to adoption. I have been there. My friends have been there, and it has not ended well for any of us. If you do choose F-t-A, my recommendation is to use a private agency as your liaison to the foster system. You do NOT need any more heartache or loss.

    I’m thinking of you, my friend. xoxo

  21. This sucks a big sour lemon, dude. Fer real. UGH.
    Tough decisions are tough. I’ve been through a few myself. And I understand the urgency issue as well. I will say it made me a bit cuckoo.
    My friends are very happy with their choice to go to Korea to adopt. They went through very similar fertility struggles, including a life threatening emergency hospital stay.
    Sending my love, and the offer of a place to stay when you come my way. XOXOXO

  22. I haven’t read the other comments, so this may be a repeat: I have a friend who has endometriosis, fibroids and eventually had to have both tubes removed. She and her husband did several rounds of IVF (in Illinois 4 rounds of IVF are covered by insurance, so check your state’s law). After a failed attempt, they were able to retrieve a number of viable embyros. Their daughter was born in 2011 and they have twins on the way. She was 40 when she had their daughter and will be 43 when the twins are born. Carry on and keep faith.

  23. I think you’re doing the right thing — arming yourself with information so that you and Mr. Darcy can make the best decision possible for the two of you, because no one else can (or should) do it for you.

    Kristen at Rage Against the Minivan has two children by adoption. Here’s a link to their adoption story (http://www.rageagainsttheminivan.com/2010/10/our-adoption-story.html) and other adoption posts (http://www.rageagainsttheminivan.com/search/label/Adoption). There are tons of blogs on adoption – here is a list of adoptive blogs from Circle of Moms (http://www.circleofmoms.com/top25/adoption) and BlogHer’s Adoption page (http://www.blogher.com/blogher-topics/family/adoption).

    Hugs to you during these trying times.

  24. Have they told you what your chances are with ivf? Or is it not possible to guess how likely it is the fibroid surgery will be successful? I’d want to have an idea of that before moving forward. Have you decided against considering surogacy?

  25. G-d dammit. I am so sorry to hear this – crossroads, indeed. Take all the time you need and don’t rush it; you will find the way. Thinking of you.

  26. There are ways to foster-adopt only legally available children, so there’s no fear of bio-parents taking them back. Read Nia Vardalos’s book, Instant Mom. It’ll give you some hope about your choices.

  27. You didn’t mention adoption, and I’m wondering if that was intentional? My sister and her partner adopted. Once they got through the hoops (about 8mo I think), they were picked within 6 weeks, and 6 weeks later their baby girl was born. No issues at all with the bio mom, and they were the legal parents 2 days after birth. My awesome niece is now 20mo.

  28. I haven’t had experience with any of this, except with your option C: “adopt some dogs and take that trip to Paris and grow old together with no children to raise”, which is where I currently am right now. But I know that’s not the option you want. So, I’m sending hugs, big bear hugs your way, and praying you will find the best option for you soon enough.

  29. Don’t give up girl!!! I am so sorry you are going through this. Please don’t give up all the hard work and what seems like the worst luck in the world will all be worth it in the end when you hold your little baby. IVF these days is amazing, they can work miracles and every dime spent on it will seem like pennys. It will be hard and the IVF process is not easy, it will consume your every thought (did I take my shot today?), but I just can not say enough how awesome all the hard work will feel in the end. I know several women and I myself went through IVF and we all say it was worth it. Stop waiting get the surgery and start the IVF process!!!! Move, move, move, do it!!!!!

  30. Sizz I’m so sorry. Love to you and Darcy. It’s so strange how life works and I can’t help but wonder if you’re being steered toward something. Like in a few years this will all make sense and you’ll say, “Oh now I see why things went the way they did.” Listen to the whispers. Your intuition will totally guide you on the right path to pursue. I don’t know anyone who has done foster care but I do have a friend who did IVF and she got twins out of it. It seems like that route really does work for many people. Good luck to you sister. And hang in there.

  31. I would think of all of your countless loving females in your lives… you could ask one to be a surrogate. Prayers to you all, Amy S. Petrik, Tyndall, SD

  32. this is totally pissing me off. for you two. I so want something positive to happen here…… A round of IVF with a surrogate backup. I know of a local one and she is simply more than fabulous.

    I want to punch this shit-news in the face. i’m sorry.

  33. I am so sorry to hear this, Sizz. Big hugs to you both.

    My nephew-by-marriage and his wife struggled for years with fertility issues and lost pregnancies. They finally succeeded in having twin boys through IVF (I think it was their third try that “took”). Luckily, their medical insurance covered a lot of the costs. But those two little boys are priceless to them – worth everything it took.

    I wish you many blessings on whatever path you and Chris choose.

  34. Is surrogacy an option for you guys? I have some friends doing that currently. Then at least you guys could get a baby of your own genetics… I’m just thinking maybe the costs of that are similar to IVF, and could end up with better results.

  35. Hi babe. I was sick to my stomach reading this update yesterday – when is enough enough for a couple, you know? I would think there’s so much grieving to be done with all that you’ve been through lately, including this news. And yet, decision that need to be made fairly quickly. That is a horrible combination. I hope continuing to build up your support systems – individually and as a couple – will help.

    This is what I know, and it’s not encouraging. I only mention this because I think you’re asking for everything your peeps know, not just positive stories.

    My sister went through 4 rounds if IVF and 4 or 5 rounds of IUI. None were successful. The drugs were very hard on her and I think she regrets doing so many rounds, but they really wanted a baby. And, honestly, if one of the rounds had been successful, it probably would have been worth it. You know? She’s gone on to divorce her husband (a result, they both say, of too many years focusing on something so difficult and sad; their relationship got lost along the way) and is leading a pretty happy life single now. She returned from a solo trip to Paris a few days ago.

    My friend adopted a baby right after birth. They were so happy. The poor child has grown up (is 14 now) with tremendous emotional issues bordering on psychosis, really. He’s been destructive and abusive to both parents and other people almost his entire life. Pretty much every day is difficult. They’ve tried meds and therapy and they can’t find a combination that works.

    I know there are a ton of happy stories and successes. I might just want to know both sides if it were me.

    I love you. xoxo

  36. I wish that I had the perfect thing to say, because it just sucks that you’re going through this. I agree with Mel Heth a few comments back who said that your intuition will guide you and that you’ll know what the right path for you is.

  37. Thinking of you during this difficult period. Stay strong and do what makes the most sense for you and your hubby there. :-)

  38. I’m late to this post and can’t think of any words wiser or more comforting than what has already been offered. So I will say I’m sending you hugs and hope for peace and courage. I trust you’ll find your way. You always do, which is why you have so many “fans” and friends.

  39. I second the surrogacy idea. It’s another viable alternative. Hang strong Sizzle! Whatever path you take, you will make the right decision for your current and future family.

  40. Well shit. I just really, really, really hope that you are able to find some peace within and peace with Mr. Darcy about WHATEVER you decide to do. Have you considered doing one round of IVF, specifically for harvesting the eggs? Not to do an implantation but to harvest only- then you’d at least have the peace of mind that the eggs are there if you end up wanting to do surrogacy/IVF implantation. A friend is doing this now- she says it’s “Helping her Mind shut up and giving her a break while she ponders what’s next.” Chris and I are at a major crossroads, too. In fact, we’re smack dab in the middle of another round of IUI. My right tube is closed. I have 7 lime-sized fibroids, and enlarged uterus and would really, really like the ability to Harry-Potter-style-conjure up a healthy baby. If this round and the next round of IUIs don’t work, I have to have major surgery on the fibroids which will make me swiss-cheesy in there and my husband also has to have a surgery. Then we have a 6 month wait. Then more IUI. Batting a thousand, right? My head spins with thoughts about MY PLAN- Am I going against the natural/God’s plan by fighting against this infertility so hard? Or, is this a test? Or..or..or….gah. I am rooting for you big time, Sizzle. Some how, you will soar. Because you’re damn awesome.

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