Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Making a List

Making a List, Checking it Twice

I’ve spent each day over the last week looking into one of our family building options. I am a crazy person, so I came up with a ranking system on 4 categories: difficulty of next step, cost, stress that will occur/ is likely to occur when doing it, and likely hood I get a baby out of the deal. Here is the breakdown of options: IVF #3, Donor egg, Donor embryo, adoption infant, adoption foster-to-adopt and GULP living with one.

Roughly in order of preference, though some could be swapped around.

Key: NOTE: Emojis don't publish in Blogger= annoying
>< squinty-face of fear= more faces, more fear
:*( crying=  More tears, more terror
$ amounts of cash needed =mo money, mo problems
? odds of working = more question marks, more questionable

IVF #3: we’ll be doing an estrogen priming cycle “patch protocol”. I will be putting on an estrogen patch every 3 days starting on CD 24. That is October 23rd. I actually don’t know the plan for the stim meds that cycle. I found most of the chat board banter about this topic on the DOR board, so that makes sense- though my ovarian reserve blood work is within normal limits, clearly something is going on.
Next Steps: Time passes, box of meds arrive, I patch, prime and poke.

Stressin’ Out Thinkin’ 'bout: ><  (1) I know what to expect
Cost of Doing Business: $ yay insurance
Blessed with a Baby: ???? the definition of insanity and all that yadda-yadda. 2 IVFs one embryo not good odds.
Mental Anguish:  :*(   :*(   (though I know what to expect and get a full genetic link to a baby that comes from the process- I don’t think it’s going to work)

Donor Egg: I looked into two egg banks with two different processes. One has the donor cycle for you. Many are unproven (which means they haven’t done a round of IVF before). That stresses me out, since she could bomb the way I did. No one would have guessed I would fail IVF so miserably. Hub and I have had some spectacularly bad luck in the past. So we think odds are pretty good an unproven donor will give us nothing. But, when I limited my search to proven-only donors I didn’t see any that captured me. The other site has eggs from known donors, so you know going into it how many eggs are available. But again, no homeruns in the lineup. The down sides: Hub thinks it’s oddly voyeuristic and it makes him uncomfortable to sift through women. Not an insurmountable issue. I am wary of losing a genetic link to my baby, this is evidenced by how important I felt it was to choose a blue-eyed donor (like me, hub and kins).
Next Steps: Save money, finish IVF #3, implant Surya-Scott (and any other embryos), pick a donor

Stressin’ Out Thinkin’ 'bout: ><   ><  (2)
Cost of Doing Business: $$$$ (looking like 25-30 thousand)
Blessed with a Baby: ?
Mental Anguish: :*(   :*(   :* (  (3) I think this is a really good shot at another pregnancy, but I am not quite ready to give up my genetic link, especially when hub will get to keep his.

Adoption: By ‘Adoption’ I mean either domestic infant or very young international child adoption. We have looked into a few things and are going to contact a few local agencies in the coming weeks. We aren’t sure if this is the way for us. Which is why we have foster-to-adopt below. I like the idea of having another baby, though as kins grows, I like him more and more (I say like, because I already love him max. haha).
Next Steps: Meet with agencies, Save money, finish IVF #3, implant Surya-Scott (and any other embryos),
Stressin’ Out Thinkin’ 'bout: ><   ><    ><  (3)
Cost of Doing Business: $$$$ (looking like 30 thousand plus)
Blessed with a Baby: ??? (I think we’ll be a hard match, honestly. Non-religious, liberal family with a bio-kid)
Mental Anguish: :*(   :*(   :*(  I LOVED giving birth, that’s hard to give up. The adoption process, especially for infants falls through often. For me, that feels like a late-in-pregnancy loss. I don’t know that I can do that again.

Foster-to-adopt: Between the adoption options, I don’t know that I have a preference. I know that there is A LOT I don’t know about adoption, most importantly post-adoption issues and care. I want to be the best mom possible, for any child who may come into my life. I know that foster-to-adopt has its own challenges, especially if you add an older child to the family. We do have adoption in our family, so it’s not a foreign concept, but parenting is different. What I have always imagined as a mom is school-aged kids, so I’m not missing my parenting sweet-spot by older child adoption
Next Steps: Meet with agencies, finish IVF #3, implant Surya-Scott (and any other embryos).

Stressin’ Out Thinkin’ 'bout: ><   ><   ><  (3) In the post-adoption time period…you know, the rest of my life.
Cost of Doing Business: $$ (foster-to-adopt is quiet inexpensive, by comparison)
Blessed with a Baby Kid: ? (This is probably one of our better-bets)
Mental Anguish: :*(   :*(   :*( (3) I LOVED giving birth, that’s hard to give up. Older child adoption has its own challenges, which I am reading up on and becoming aware of. I am concerned about the effect of a child in crisis on kins.

Donor Embryo: This is also known as embryo adoption and reflects two different schools of thought on using an embryo created with the gametes of two people who are not the parents-to-be. In short, there will be no genetic link to me or to hub. I talked about donor embryo/embryo adoption here. There is actually less information around on this option than I would like. I’m not too sure about this option.
Next Steps: Decide if this is even an option for us.

Stressin’ Out Thinkin’ about it: ><   ><   ><   ><  (4) fear of the unknown
Cost of Doing Business: Not really sure
Blessed with a Baby: ??
Mental Anguish: :*(   :*( :*(   :*(  (4) I think this is a really good shot at another pregnancy, but I am not quite ready to give up my genetic link, knowing so little about it makes me nervous.  

Living with One: This is obvious, right? Stop the insanity, save the money, avoid the heartbreak (and potential joy) and live as a family of three.
Next Step: Exhaust all other options/ all the money we're willing to spend.

Stressin’ Out Thinkin’ 'bout: ><  ><   ><   ><  ><  (5)
Cost of Doing Business: -$, -$ Save tons (college, cars, making the baby etc.)
Blessed with a Baby: ????? I mean I guess I could have a natural pregnancy.
Mental Anguish: :*(   :*(   :*( :*(   :*(   (5)


  1. This is the kind of list I would make! I think IVF #3 sounds like the next logical step and I'm hoping and praying it works!
    Can I add some things to consider- I think there would be LOTS of birthmoms that would be interested in your family! I definitely don't think all birthmoms want their babies to go to religious families and some prefer them not to be. And I think even though you have a bio kid, explaining your struggle to build your family would make total sense. It's not like you're out for a 'boutique family', as (sadly) some are.

    And also, foster-to-adopt should be totally free. You actually get money from the state while you are fostering them, and at most you would pay maybe $1000 or so to finalize the adoption? But, I think when you go through the state, it's free.

    Also, if you are ever interested, I am in a secret FB group for women who choose donor embryo. It's a SUPER helpful group of women who know what they're talking about. Just in case you are ever interested in asking women who have been through it.

    Crossing my fingers for you for your next IVF round !

    1. Thank you so much for this! There is so much to think about and research in ALL these things we're looking into. It's giving me some hope to hear you think there are families who would be looking at a family like mine.
      I would love an invite to the group. I think I have your e-mail, I'll shoot you my real name ;)

    2. Did you email me yet? I haven't seen it, so I hope it didn't go my spam folder! Can you try sending it again? You can even give me your FB link. :)

  2. I think it would be helpful to explore the foster system first before trying to assess it. Foster to adopt is incredible in concept, but the foster system is not designed in many jurisdictions to support it. Fostering is really a system designed for reunification between bio-mothers and their children. There are some jurisdictions where when it's clear that a bio-mother cannot or does not want to continue raising her child, it is a straightforward path to be able to adopt those babies. But there is a subgroup of heartbreak in some (not all) jurisdictions where children and potential adoptive families are strung along, indefinitely (even though this is actually illegal). I guess my rambling goes to say that if you live in a county where the foster system has its act together, this is a great possibility. In my city, it's a non-starter conversation because our foster system is painful and broken.

    1. I know that in my area there are adoption fairs with kids who are free for adoption, I haven't really looked beyond that. We are considering fostering (without the intent of adoption, but if it works, that's great), but there is A LOT more to consider in that scenario.

  3. I'm :*( when you say how sad you would be to accept your family of three. I hope your other options pan out and you find peace with the one you choose (or that chooses you). I'll be supporting your journey along the way.

  4. I know I'm sooo late to the game here but I personally prefer embryo adoption over donor egg having been through the IVF process and worrying what I would do with excess embabies, knowing the embryos are already made and probably come from a couple who were successful. Admittedly, I haven't compared the two from the financial point of view.

    That being said, I work with kids in the foster care system where I live and it is SO fucked. By the time the state takes these kids away, they are old and so fucked up (excuse my wording, but I'm being blunt) despite SO many people calling and reporting the abuse/neglect. Basically if CPS doesn't see it happening, it didn't. Nevermind the dad who gets caught with his crack pipe and a rock after taking his baby on a police chase because he's already on probation or the mom who still lets her boyfriend's brother live in the house after she catches him with her 9 year old in bed, both naked. I have worse stories that I'll spare you but usually the primary goal is reunification with the original family which I guess SHOULD be the intent BUT it is such a ridiculously easy process that most people in that situation can't even abide by in the 18 month or so time frame that they get extension after extension, chance after chance, while the kids are reaping up trauma left and right making them almost impossible for a person with an average upbringing to deal with, let alone relate to.

    Enough ranting, I would definitely pursue only free to adopt kids because I couldn't deal with a child being taken away over and over. I think it would definitely feel like a pregnancy loss but maybe worse in a way.