Saturday, October 31, 2009

Learning From The Adoption Community

Today I listened to a podcast by Dawn Davenport. She does an amazing weekly radio show on infertility and adoption and has a great website. Back in September she did a show titled "What 3rd Party Reproduction Can Learn from Adoption." Now that I am pregnant I am a little back logged in my infertility listening. You would think now that I am pregnant I would listen to pregnancy podcast. I guess I am still living in my IF world.

During the radio show she had two guest Adam Pertman, Executive Director of The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute and Marna Gatlin, founder and Director of the nonprofit, Parents Via Egg Donation. They were discussing the mistakes that donor egg parents are making and how they are the same mistakes the adoption community used to make.

I find most of the mistakes stem from our own insecurities as donor egg parents. After years of treatments and failure, we are just ready to move on with out lives and forget about how our miracle came to us. Another of our fears is the fear of rejection, we fear our child will tell us they love their "donor" better then us or that they will bond more with their father (the biological link). Many of us also feel their is a stigma with being the recipient of donor eggs and building our family in a non-traditional way. I have felt all of these and debated them in my head.

Like many people who go through many IF treatments I felt like a failure by the time I got to DE. I was depressed and ready to move onto the next chapter of live "Motherhood." When my DH and I finally settle on DE it was a relief and I knew we wouldn't fail. This was our way to become parents. From the very beginning I knew I wanted to tell our little angel that his origins and how he came to us but there was a moment when I was unsure about telling. I remember discussing our next course of action with a close friend and leaving out DE. I felt like such as liar and I knew I couldn't continue this. I had to be honest with myself, family, and friends about what we were doing.

One of the reasons I hesitate telling anyone about us using DE was the stigma I imagined attached to it. I was sure people would look down upon me because I couldn't create a child without 3rd party reproduction. I was a failure as a women. The one thing women were created for I could not do, that was create an egg that would turn into a baby. Surprisingly in my life I found a wealth of support. Many of my friends and family had no idea what I was talking about but they were just so happy that I was finally going to have the chance to be the mother I so desperately wanted to be. What I am saying is there are people who may look down upon you for your choice of DE but I haven't run into a single person yet.

My insecurities weren't just from the stigma but also from worrying that he would love his father more or reject me because I wasn't his "biological mother." They discussed this in the show and talked about how adoptive parents feel the same way. There may be a point in my son's life that he uses that line but all teenagers say hurtful things to their parents, I did. How I have been dealing with this issue is preparing to tell our son from birth his story. They suggest doing this in the podcast. The reason they suggest starting from birth is so when he gets old enough to understand and ask questions you already know what to say because you have been practicing for years. I want my little angel to be comfortable with his orgins and not feel as an outcast.

After listening to this podcast I am even more confident in my decision to disclose to our son how he was created. I am not ashamed of my choices and neither should anyone else who has created their family with the assistance of DE. We know we made the best decision for ourselves and for our families.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Ever since I returned home from my trip, I have been trying to get the H1N1 vaccine. So, it has almost been a week now of calling my PCP's office. Monday I realized as I was listening to their daily recorded updates that they wouldn't give me the vaccine there because they wanted me to get it from my OB. I called the OB, "I don't think we have it right now and we won't give you the vaccine until you are 24 weeks." WTF!!!

Right now I am about mid way through week 21. After that phone call I talked to a few different people and several of my pregnant friends. None of them have heard this information and several of them have already recieved the H1N1 vaccine. None of them are 24 weeks. Last night I did a little research and went on the CDC website. According to the CDC there are no restrictions on pregnant women about when they can get the vaccine. So, now I am really confused.

This morning I decided to screw my OB's office and try to make an appointment with a county H1N1 vaccine clinic. They started taking phone calls at 8:30 for appointments. Well.....I never got through. I tried for 45 minutes using my cell and a land line at work, NO LUCK.

Luckily for me I have a visit to the OB tomorrow afternoon. I will be talking with him/her about why they don't want me to get the vaccine until 24 weeks and if I could get on their waiting list. I wouldn't be so concerned but as you know I teach in an elementary school. There are confirmed cases (according to my students) of H1N1 and at least 2 of my students have told me that their siblings are home sick with it. Currently I am doing everything I can to prevent getting the virus. My other concern is I will be traveling for the Thanksgiving Holiday and I would like to have the vaccine at least a week or two before I leave.

Any suggestions on how to find H1N1 clinics in your local area?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Stupid Comments

I guess I am very talkative this week or just a lot has been going on. Today I attended a baby shower for one of my dear friends. She also suffered through IF and is expecting a little boy also. It was exciting to go to a baby shower and not worry about the questions or statements like, “When are you going to have a baby?” or “You are next.”

Most of the people at the shower were my friend’s family but there were also a few friends and acquaintances. I hadn’t seen these people since I have become pregnant, so of course I was looking forward to seeing them. Unfortunately it wasn’t as pleasant as I expected. The first thing out of someone’s month was, “I knew it would happen for you and I told you all you needed to do was relax. You were worked up for no reason.” I am sure some of you are reeling already. The kicker was it continued to, “Once you have one kids the flood gates open up and now the rest will be easy.” These aren’t her exact words but the gist of what was said.

This wasn’t the first time I have heard comments like these. I was under the impression that stupid comments like this would stop after I was pregnant but that was absolutely incorrect. Maybe for some people the second child is easier but when you use DE by no means is it easier. Especially for me, just because I am pregnant now doesn’t mean I don’t have POF anymore. My chances of getting pregnant do not go up. We are still sitting in the 1-2% chance of conceiving with my eggs.

In situations likes this I have two choices. One, is to just ignore and move on and try to forget what was said. This is what I normally do. My other choice would be to explain the whole thing to them but is it worth the effort? I guess it depends on who it is. If she was a closer friend I might have taken the time to explain it. DE, 30K, and IVF is how I got pregnant and unless you want to pay for child #2 it is not happening again any time soon.

Why is everyone suddenly concerned about a second child? Yes, in a perfect world I would love to have more children but in my world it might not be possible. I guess I need to be more vocal about the fact that this might be the only one. Once my little boy is here we don’t plan on preventing obviously, what is the point? If we get a miracle great but I am not holding my breath.

The gist of this rant is be careful what you say to a pregnant women, especially one that went through IF and IF treatments. For them a second child might not be an option. Those comments are just as hurtful as “Just relax, it will happen.”

Friday, October 23, 2009

Kids Say the Cutest Things

During my planning time yesterday I stepped out in the hallway to talk to a group of first graders. One of the best parts about teaching at a school for awhile is all the student know you whether you are their teacher or not. I was talking to one of the little boys (I taught his older brother and sister).

While we were talking he asked me, "Mrs. Q, did you have your baby?"

Me, "No honey he is still in my belly."

Student, "Well, you are to skinny to be pregnant."

I just had to smile when he said that. As much as I think I look pregnant to the trained 1st grader eye I am still too skinny. I guess I should be enjoying comments like this. Since I have returned from visiting my family that is all I have heard. "Wow, you are 20 weeks!!! You carry it well."

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Through most of my IF journey I have been very honest and open about the whole process. I figured by sharing my struggles I was helping others deal with their IF and also helping my fertile friends to understand the pain of IF.

When I first made the decision to move onto DE I was unsure about telling people. How would this change the way they thought of me or my baby? I quickly got over this fear because it just felt weird telling my friends partial truths. I even took it to the next step by blogging about it. My story was out there but I really didn’t realize how far it reached.

During my trip home I got to see lots of family. Other then discussing my IF issues with my immediate family, I really didn’t talk to my extended family about it much. Part of this is due to me living 3,000 miles away. During the trip I found myself talking to my Uncles, Aunts, Cousins, and even my 90 year old Grandmother about my IF issues. I never expected to talk to my grandmother about DE.

I guess the reason I didn’t discuss with my family was because it was just plain weird. As comfortable as I am with my IF, it caught me off guard with how uncomfortable I felt discussing it. Why did this feel so uncomfortable? I think discussing IF with friends, strangers, and other IFers is easier. You aren’t as worried about them judging your decisions. I guess also because I know I have very different opinions then most of my family and I fear they might look down upon my son as a non-biological link. During these discussions I didn’t get that feeling but I still fear they might reject him.

What this should tell me is that my father and family are just as excited about this baby as they are about any new addition to the family. I shouldn’t worry about my family but focus on the good that the disclosure of my IF and DE has done. As I focus on the positive I still have fears. I am sure this is normal for all mothers-to-be but sometimes I feel so different then them. Hopefully over time my fears will quiet and I will start to feel like a normal mother-to-be.

Friday, October 16, 2009


Tuesday, I was in JoAnn’s and perusing the yarn section (I love to crochet). I was looking for the perfect yarn for our little miracle. This shopping trip was actually just to pass the time between my sono and my dinner plans. So, I ended up walking all over the store.

During my wandering I ended up in the frame section. While grazing through the frames I came across a family frame that said “generations” on it. For a normal mother to be they would be excited about the pictures of them and their child with other family members. To me it brought up other thoughts. One of them was that I am so happy he is a little boy. He will still be able to have his generation picture with Doug and my father-in-law. I can already picture it in my head now.

This same vision made me sad because how does this translate to me? Will he look like me? I know with any child you never know what you are getting but sometimes I feel that is more so with a DE baby. We did choose the donor, eye color, hair color, and so much more but I never met the women who actually donated. There are many stories of DE babies looking like their mothers but am I going to be one of those cases?

There times I also catch myself wondering how I will feel about people telling me he looks like me. Sometimes I think people lie to new parents by telling them how much the baby looks like them. There will be a point in my lifetime that someone tells me he looks like me. How will that make me feel? I pray that it won’t string my IF wound but reinforce the wonderful decision we made to use DE. I guess it all depends on how fresh my wound still is.
I don’t want anyone to think I regret giving up on a biological child because I don’t regret it for one minute. Thinking of a generation picture just makes me a twinge jealous that my son isn’t my biological son. Being a mom though is so much more then biology it is about loving and caring for your child. I knew I always wanted to be a mother and DE was one of the only way I could get there. He took 3 years and DE to conceive but he is going to have a lifetime of love.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

On My Own

The last couple weeks have been a whirl wind. Almost 2 weeks ago we found out Baby was a boy and we were also preparing for Doug to leave for tour. For his job there is a possibility of him leaving for a month once a year. The last 3 years we have been lucky and hasn't had to go but of course this year he was going.

Through out our entire relationship we have had times of separation. While we were dating, 1 1/2 years was long distance. Also during the summer I would go visit my family for an extended vacation, this was never an issue. Of course I missed him but it can not compare to how I am feeling now. Lonely and Useless.

One of the few things I dislike about being pregnant is not being able to do certain things. This has become very apparent this week now that Doug is out of town. At work, I constantly have people helping me move things. Today was the worst. I had my 4th grade chorus today and there are 65 students in the group. For the past few weeks we have been meeting in my classroom but there were just to many bodies in my tiny music classroom. So my solution was move to the cafeteria and use the risers. Great idea in theory but much hard to arrange in real life. After hunting down people to set up the risers, moving the piano, and setting up name cards I was exhausted. Worked much better though. So while everyone was moving the risers and the piano I was wishing I could help. I don't like to feel useless but I was. At home I have the same issues if I need to move something heavy I need to ask a neighbor. Also we have cats and I have been told by many people "Don't touch the litter."

In those moments that I feel completely useless at home I am missing Doug more. I never realized how much I have come to depend on him during this time. He has been so amazing through this entire pregnancy. It reminds me why I picked him.