Can I order a new reality?

In the past month I’ve been to three OBs, one gyno-oncologist, one fertility doctor, to radiology and ultrasound, and a fertility support group. To say we’re overwhelmed with information and feeling would be an understatement.

The reality of our situation hits us in waves. Some moments we can find peace and hope. Others we are curled in a ball on the bed crying into our pillow. We’re up. We’re down. We’re resigned. We’re angry. We’re always, always sad. After all those experts took a look at my case, examined my uterus, the stupid fibroid encasing the top of it, my cancer history and sub-par cervix, and my god damned closed left fallopian tube, they all said the same thing: the fibroid has to come out and you’ll have to do IVF if you are going to carry your baby.

But one doctor at a different hospital was very frank and blunt and laid out the risks involved with such a surgery. The likelihood that I would have to be cut open is high instead of doing the less invasive surgery robotically. That would increase my recovery time as it’s harder on my body. Removing the fibroid is tricky and mine is large so I could start to bleed while they attempted it laparoscopically and then they might quickly have to open me anyway. Even after that surgery and subsequent recovery, there is no telling if my left tube would open OR if it would be safe for me to carry a baby to term. The uterus could rupture while I am carrying our baby which is very risky for me and for the baby. What percentage are these risks? I don’t know. But they exist and are making us very concerned about moving forward with this path towards being parents.

After the appointment with the blunt doctor (we appreciated her candor and time), we sat in the car in the parking lot and talked about what to do. Mr. Darcy felt that we should not move forward with me having the surgery and trying to carry our baby. He thinks it is too risky and he doesn’t want us to go through that. He basically said, “You are the most important thing to me and I don’t want to lose you. We can find another way to be parents.” (Everyone I tell this to goes “aww” or tears up.) I’m pretty sure he has some PTSD from having to watch me during that rupture day and I don’t blame him. He’s got a lot of anger towards doctors who were negligent, rightfully so. I’m mad too it’s just that I’m more sad and I have to spread what little energy I have to trying not to fall completely apart. I mostly agree with him on this as I’m not sure what my body can do and I’ve lost faith in it. What if I went through with the surgery and we paid through the nose for IVF and I still didn’t get pregnant? By then we’ve likely lost a year, we’re closer to 41, and if it doesn’t work we’ll have to start anew on a different path, all of which are time-consuming, lengthy, and costly.

Depending on the day, hell, the hour, my decision changes. It absolutely breaks my heart to think that I cannot carry our baby. That we will not have a child with our genetic make up. Please don’t tell us how we will love an adopted baby just as much even though you mean well and you’re probably right. We’re really sad and mad right now and trying to wrestle with the reality that we can’t be parents the way most folks can. Please don’t tell us about surrogacy unless you have gone through it. It’s complicated and costly and difficult to get support with that option. This is an uncomfortable situation for everyone. No one knows what to say and all the advice is well meaning and most of the time we appreciate it. Sincerely, we do. But there’s a huge piece of this that makes us feel really, really alone and lost and like failures, and so angry at unknowns and bad luck and EVERYTHING. There are parts of this that we, as husband and wife, are unable to even support each other through. Grief is often a solitary process.

We’re still looking into the options though not really the one where I carry the baby as all signs point to that being not the right path. We’re still looking to talk to adoptive parents either through foster-to-adopt or private adoption and anyone who has done surrogacy. We appreciate your good thoughts and sympathy and your well-meaning advice. I might not respond to every email right away but I will eventually. I am buried at work under a 400-person gala fundraiser that is sucking the life out of me. I’ve hardly had time to feel my feelings on this because I’m working my ass off and have no spare time. I cry in the car or on my morning walks and then I get back to business because this event isn’t going to plan itself despite of me wishing it would or the numerous times I’ve walked into my boss’s office saying I want to quit (she refuses to entertain these dramatic outbursts- luckily we’re friends).

I probably won’t be writing again until after the fundraiser. That is, if I survive it, or if I’m not crumpled in a ball in the corner having a nervous breakdown.


41 thoughts on “Can I order a new reality?

  1. I am so so sorry. I’m commenting from my phone, but there were lines I wanted to copy and paste into here – losing faith in your body, and how you can’t be parents the way folks normally can. Those are absolutely things to grieve, and it breaks my heart that because of everything (age, work, etc), you seem to have to hurry along in this grieving process – I wish you could go at your own pace.

    Thinking about you and sending so much light and love!

  2. Every option carries risks, of varying degree. Only you can know the right one. Trust your instincts and each other, and look for the silver lining. We’ve remained without kids, and our silver lining is that we still have each other. Good Luck.

  3. Everything I can think of to say sounds hollow. Just know there are people out here who hear you, who see the pain in your life and who are sending you support waves as you process all the emotional reactions that apply to your life just now. Wrapping you in a huge (embarrassingly long) virtual hug.

  4. Grieving IS solitary. Just knowing that helps, I think. You’re slogging through the crap, Sizz. It’s hard work, but as Glennon Melton of Momastery says “We can do hard things.” YOU can do hard things. The loss of one’s dreams, one’s plans and aspirations, requires patience with oneself — to recover, to heal, to wallow if necessary, to regroup, to discover new dreams. You’ll get there. In the mean time, lots of folks are sending you lots of love.

  5. How about chatting to an adult adoptee? I am in the UK but happy to provide my email address if you hae any questions. Sometimes its worthwhile seeing what an adopted child could become. Thinking of you (as a long time lurker reader)

  6. I’m thinking of you two all the time, friend. Grief is a solitary thing, and all of this is a very personal, unique thing that even with shared experience will still make you feel alone sometimes.

    My friend I mentioned a few weeks ago said she has never written down their story (she said she was thinking about it, though. Not a blogger, hard for us to imagine. 🙂 ) but she said she’d be willing to talk to you about their process any time. Let me know and I’m glad to put you two in touch.


  7. more love & more hugs from this little corner of the internet. I can’t imagine how hard this all is. I do have complete & utter confidence that you will make it through, though. i don’t know many people who could have handled everything that has already been thrown your way with such resolve & such grace. (having a nervous breakdown will not change that assessment, by the way. I can’t believe you haven’t had, like, 45 of them yet.) love to you both.

  8. I don’t know much. But, I do know that this journey you and Mr. Darcy are taking is uniquely yours. Good, bad, ugly. Feeling like hell is freezing over or future feelings that you struck gold. It doesn’t matter what any of us have experienced, because it’s not remotely close to what you’ve gone through. I think that’s the hardest part of watching a loved one or cherished friend go through a difficult time. The reality is, the rest of us can listen. We can say prayers or send positive energy. We can try to share resources, when appropriate. But, we alone cannot heal your wounds. Hugs to you, Sizzle, as the two of you figure out what’s next on your journey.

  9. I’m sending you all the positive energy/vibes/thoughts I can muster and a big bear hug. There will be light at the end of this tunnel, there just has to be.

  10. Sending huge hugs to you. Sigh. I wish someone else could handle the fundraiser. You need some chill time to mourn and to just, lay low! Oops, giving advice. Sorry.

    Always thinking of you guys! And hoping you find little smiles in every day 🙂

  11. I wish I could kidnap you and Darcy and just take you away from everything for a little bit. Bring you down to my house and stick you in the backyard with wine and blankies and then maybe play with your hair and whisper soothing things in your ears. I’m so sorry you’re going through this. Love and light and continued strength to you.

  12. For years I dreamed about the children I’d one day have. I was so convinced I’d have a son that I started buying him little blue baby clothes, 10 years before I even got married. It took 2 years to get pregnant, and 9 months later a skinny baby girl who looked nothing like what I imagined was whisked away to the special care nursery. Less than 2 years later another girl arrived, this one a little more robust. My son never came. My daughters look very different from me, and very different from each other. Their personalities are nothing like mine, and they both have health issues that no one else in the family has. I saw them emerge from my body, but they could have been adopted for all appearances. I came to realize that all children are a unique creation and genetics are no guarantee that a child will be what you expect them to be. I’m now convinced that I could easily love an adopted child as much as my birth children. I wish I’d had the opportunity to adopt, and I actually envy my friends who have.

  13. Everyone else is sending hugs so I think I’ll send kitty licks and quite possibly the two kitties themselves. If they start to take up too much room, just mail them back in the self-addressed box I’ve enclosed. Much, much love you guys.

  14. I can’t even tell you how many times friends and family have said to me “There’s always adoption!” I know it just seems like the only comforting and positive thing to say about a really shitty situation, but it doesn’t ease any of my stress, anxiety, helplessness, etc. I’m adopted and anyone who knows me KNOWS how much being adopted has played a huge role in me wanting to be pregnant with my own child! I can’t explain it…’s a deep yearning I began having probably when I was 9 or 10. Anyway, when you mentioned people bringing that option up to you, it really struck a chord in me.

  15. Hi Dear: Well Dammit! And a bunch of damns. Been thinking about you and Mr. Darcy. Wishing I could say something comforting. So many care about you two. Hope the fundraiser is over soon and you can rest and recoup.

  16. Sizzle, I’m so, so, so sorry about the way things have turned out. Please take time to mourn and be sad once the fundraiser is over, because you absolutely deserve to mourn the turns your path has taken. I’m sending all the love and strength I have your way. xoxo

  17. Hugs, dear S. I would never presume to offer any advice (and what the heck do I know anyway), but I send you continued love and best wishes for an easing of the pain of this moment right now. xx

  18. I have a friend who has adopted three children; they are located in the Midwest but I know they would be more than willing to talk to anyone who has questions about the process. I know they went through some good with it and some bad, and everything in between.

    For now will be thinking of you and sending lots of hugs. I’m sure everyone says this but if there is anything that we can do please let me know. I’d be happy to help.

  19. Girl- holy, holy cow. I have absolute shivers going up and down my arms because our stories are so, so (SO) similar. You and I have been paired up through Hill’s Christmas card exchange, and I must say, I think it’s fate as you are truly singing my song. I feel for you and wish you continued strength and hope. From my heart to yours, Amy

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