Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Decisions, Decisions

I sat through an extra boring lecture today. It was a general overview of female reproductive disorders...I don't need a lecture, I live them!

I have been thinking a lot lately, about what our next steps will be.  I mean I've only got 13 months, 1 week and 5 days until I finish nursing school...not that I'm counting or anything...

Anywhoslebees, it's still rather daunting to think of all the routes and options we have to build a family. Even more daunting/discouraging to look at failure rates.  I can accept that BJ and I have infertility. What I still have difficulty understanding, however, is why my embryos and more likely my eggs, are so shotty.  As much as we, the collective medical professionals that study reproductive disorders, know, there is 10 times as much stuff we have no clue about. That's completely frustrating.  How can you make a decision if you don't know everything you need to know.  It's like building a house on an unstable foundation.

There are, unfortunately, many of us labeled unexplained, or, and I utterly HATE this term, idiopathic infertilty.  There is just no good reason for anyone who has ovaries and a uterus with no history of STIs or cancers to not be able to conceive.  Which again throws me back to 'it has to be the endometriosis.'  Endometriosis, is not the end-all-be-all of infertility causes.  Many women don't find out they have endometriosis until they have a c-section.  Clearly, it did not make them infertile.  However, here I am with "mild" endometriosis, as in I have relatively few lesions, and I can't stay pregnant for more than 5 days. On paper, there is still technically no reason that BJ and I can't have children, but clearly 2 years and several thousands of dollars later, something has to be going on.

If something doesn't work, it's easy to say from the outside that it was a waste of time and resources.  If something works people are quick to support your decision. The thing is, it doesn't matter what other people think or do. Every decision I've made about fertility treatments has been the right decision. It will take all of those cumulative experiences, decisions and outcomes to lead BJ and I to what will be the eventual "final" decision.   Final of course being whatever decision leads us to completing our family or ending the quest and living "happily" as a childless couple.  It's why we can't "just adopt" like it's a simple, sure thing. (It is neither, by the way.)

I'll be honest, after working in public education, my childhood dreams of adopting troubled children came crashing down hard and fast.  I have the utmost respect for people who foster and adopt, but I know what I envision for my family, I know how difficult it is working with these children, and the two don't fit together at this point in my life.  I'll never totally rule out adoption, domestic infant, international, or otherwise, but I also know my that I'm not ready for adoption at least for the time being.

I also know how important it is for me to not have regrets.  I have a strong desire, to "finish the race" I guess.  I know that when I eventually stare down into the crib containing my child, I do not want to ever think 'what if?'. So each decision that BJ and I have made has opened the door to new decisions, maybe only hesitantly at first, but it was a beginning that helped us make our next choice.  Call me stubborn, call me hard-headed, call me whatever because at the end of the day, BJ and I are the ones that are in charge of building our family, and not whoever thinks I'm "ridiculous" for trying IVF "over and over".

This has been a hard lesson for me to learn throughout my life.  I'm a total people-pleaser, to a fault. Other than picking a spouse, no decision or life-event has been more important to me than having a family. Of course I want people to support that decision. I've really had to learn that my priorities are mine, and not somebody else's to judge.  I would never ask someone to start using birth control because I don't think they should have children, but people tell me that "maybe it's a sign" and I should stop trying, often. Nor would I ever tell someone to not have an illness treated because "it's a sign", so why should infertility be different?

At the end of the day, as my favorite Duke of Cambridge would say, whatever, and however BJ and I do end up finding success or peace will be the culmination of all the right decisions made in the past.  We will not look back at failures with regret, but use them to determine the next venture when we're ready and at peace with that decision.  Whether the outcome is positive or negative, the decision we make will always be the right decision for us.  They are all just part of our journey...

Peace, love, and ever forward,
Mary Katherine


Monday, October 15, 2012

Remembering Baby Roberts

Dear Baby Roberts,

Today is the day we light a candle to remember you and our friends who have lost a baby through miscarriage.  As sad as I feel that you can't be here, falling asleep in Mommy and Daddy's arms, we also want to know how blessed we feel to have had the opportunity at all.  You, my darling one, gave us hope.  You taught your mommy so much in such a short period of time!

You taught me to appreciate the moment.  They may be all we ever have. You defied odds, and we know we can continue to defy odds. You helped me realize that I need to work on myself.  I'm trying!  You helped me realize what I want to do when I grow up.  You gave me the desire to help others who have a hard time building their own families.  You, Baby Roberts, you did so much, and we are so proud of you.  I love you forever.

Your Mommy