Waiting for Baby, Part 6

The Next Family

By: Stacey Ellis

Sunday at 8:00 AM. Today, I meet with Dr. T at the Huntington Reproductive Center in Pasadena. Yes, infertility doctors all work weekends because everything is timed. I had two follicles the last time I saw him and potentially some more. When this whole new “round” started, my husband Steve and I decided that if we only get two follicles, then we will do an artificial insemination (IUI) and not the full-blown IVF. The reason I took all those vitamins and supplements was to alter the egg quality and hopefully produce more eggs. The last IVF I had two eggs retrieved, and only one fertilized. Hardly optimal when most women produce twenty plus eggs when taking the stimulation drugs. Today, I will know if “potentially some more” really means more.
It doesn’t take long to find out if my dreams are going to come true.

They aren’t.

Two follicles, only 9 and 11 mm big, after 15 days of shots. They need to be 18 mm to be ready for retrieval. It’s already been fifteen days. Dr. T. looks at me, “We can continue on the drugs, but you won’t get any more follicles. We should abort the cycle.” He says I’ll ovulate in three or so days, so I should pee on an ovulation stick and have sex when it says to have sex. Dr. T. didn’t want to waste any more of our money or time. It is over.

Over. It takes a while for that to sink in. Over. Really over. I shed one tear, but that’s it, just one tear. I wonder, is it bad to say that I was relieved we aborted the cycle? Does that mean I really don’t want my own biological child? For a year, that’s all I did was try to have a natural child and now it is definitive. I will never have a biological baby. Why am I not more upset? I ponder this for days. Finally I realize, this final answer has nothing to do with wanting or not wanting a baby. I desperately want to be a mom. I am ready to be a mom. I just don’t want it under these circumstances. I’m ready to adopt. If we did an egg retrieval from the two follicles and got one egg to fertilize again, or did an IUI, I would have had to wait again, wait two more weeks to see if it sticks, three more months to see if the baby is healthy. I am done waiting, done mourning the loss of not having a biological child, done with the entire manipulation of my body and my soul. Over isn’t painful. Over feels good. I didn’t realize just how much I wanted my life back. I knew I wanted to work out to feel better. I knew I wanted to lose the 30 lbs of pregnancy weight that I gained without being pregnant. I knew I wanted to not be on mood-altering drugs. Now I know just how much I want to be me. Just me.

Still, since I just blew another $6000 in 15 days, I was going to pee on a stick. I did. We had sex. Now, I am going about my daily life. I did the best I could. I have no regrets taking all those vitamins and supplements for three months. I will never say, “What if?” But, I also know this entire process has come full circle and I’m ready to adopt. That is, if we can finish off the home study and our Birth Mother letter. They’re both nearly done. We’re not even in the pool of prospective parents until we finish that letter. We’ve had five rounds of edits, but it looks beautiful. And we have just one more three-hour training in Dana Point next week and we have to finish baby proofing our entire house before the final home visit at the end of the month.

I think baby proofing must lead to divorce. The swivel cabinet and drawer lock is really a secret challenge to see if our marriage is really as strong as the plastic lock. Sure, we called Safer Baby to come and give us an assessment so we even knew what to do. But if we want the company to come and actually install everything that we need, we’re looking at another $1000! Did I mention it cost $35,000 to adopt and we just lost another $6,000 on an IVF try? We’re not spending another $1000 when my husband is very handy with an electric screwdriver. Or so I thought.

First we tried installing the lip part, then the hook. That didn’t work. Then we tried attaching the hook first, then the lip. Still not lined up. Keep in mind, every try means more holes drilled in our beautiful custom-made cabinets! I don’t care that the holes are on the inside, we just want to get one installed right the first time! After about three mishaps on each of three drawers, finally we hit a rhythm. Four hours later, we installed eight. You read that right, eight. We have an entire house to go and ten days to finish every cabinet lock, toilet lock, fireplace bumper, light outlet replacement, move all the dangerous items from low level to high level, and install blind cord rope cleats.

And with that, I better grab my electric screwdriver…

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