Thursday, March 13, 2014

And now for something completely different

My stats tell me that I haven't posted in three years. THREE YEARS! I have been alive, and have done stuff, and some of that stuff is post-worthy, and Eggbert has been alive, and done stuff, all of which is post-worthy, and Mystery has been alive and, well, you know. Yet I haven't posted. Go figure. It turns out that I am just an infertility blogger. Not a mommy blogger. With infertility-related stuff, I feel a compulsion to write about it. With everyday life, I do think about posting, but those thoughts get lost in the shuffle among all of the other things that I think I should do, and even want to do, but don't actually need to do. So, if anyone is reading this (could there be? after THREE YEARS?), you might have already guessed that I am here to write about infertility. Or actually, not so much about infertility, since what on earth do I have left to say about THAT? Rather, about fertility treatments. Category: upcoming. Category: scheduled and paid for. Category: exciting! We meant to do this years ago. We decided to do this years ago. We didn't do this years ago. One thing happened after another. The money wasn't there. Then the money was there but the time wasn't there. Then the money went away again, taking the time with it. Then we said "screw the money! we'll take out a loan!", then there was a family crisis. Then another. Then finally, we realized that if we kept waiting for the perfect time, we would never do it. So, we picked a donor (she's AWESOME!). We paid a deposit for her screening etc. We rearranged our schedules to clear just barely enough time for the necessary travel. And now we wait for the word "go!" from the doctors. One good thing about waiting for SO long is that we've had time to process all of our feelings, and I think I'm being honest with myself when I say that I feel nothing but excited about the idea of a donor-conceived child. No grief. Just excitement, and a little fear that it may not work. I really hope that it works. Correction: apparently it has only been two years and four months. Still, that's a long time!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Spot the error(s)--a geography lesson

At the pediatrician today, I had to fill out a form about Eggbert. All was fairly routine until I ran into the following question:

"Race/ethnicity. Check ONE box [emphasis in original]:

White/caucasian___ African-American___ Native American___ Hispanic___ Other____"

Now color me sensitive (what, me?), but I think that asking a child to choose to acknowledge only one side of their ethnic heritage is wrong wrong wrong. It's like saying who do you love more, mommy or daddy?

Also, I have to wonder if they teach you about the existence of this place in doctor school. I heard it's kind of big and a lot of people live there, and the last time I checked, it wasn't called "Other."


Eggbert had her 4-year checkup today, and officially measured in at 37 inches! Take that you heightist bastards at I*kea!

Sunday, December 11, 2011


Some part of me always knew this was going to happen one day, but I thought we had a few more years.

Eggbert do I put this kindly...freakishly small for her age. She was under the 3rd percentile for height (well, length, I guess, in a newborn) when she was born, and around the 10th for weight, and she has stayed pretty close to those numbers throughout her life so far, floating between the 3rd and 10th percentiles for height (but mostly sticking closely to the 3rd). Good things come in small packages, right? At age 4, she is just barely over 36 inches (91.5 cm) and 30 pounds (13.6 kg). So, if she were only 3, she'd still be on the small side (the 41-42nd percentile for height and weight), but for a 4-year-old she is tiny. She doesn't seem to have noticed yet that her classmates at preschool tower over her, but I have certainly noticed the other parents and even the teachers sometimes grouping her in with the 3-year-olds, or even the 2-year-olds, when they are talking about ages. The "up" side is that this makes her seem wildly precocious--people often tell me how well she speaks, for example, as if being able to communicate effectively at age 4 is an unusual accomplishment, but the down side is that she is often babied and not challenged to act her age.

Anyway, a few days ago, we went to I*kea. We live in the middle of nowhere, so this is an epic journey for us--over 2 hours each way--but necessary in light of a recent move and the subsequent discovery of how little furniture we actually owned. So off we went. And I'll tell the truth. I was excited. It's not that I*kea is my design ideal, but I just find the bright colors and do-it-yourself attitude enchanting, and the prices are affordable enough that I don't agonize over purchases there like I do over most things. Our plan was to arrive there around lunchtime, have lunch in their cafe (one of rare venues that has something that each of the 3 of us really likes), then take Eggbert to the playroom while Mystery and I shopped.

At first things went off without a hitch. The drive was good. Eggbert was cheery, Mystery and I were happy, and we made good time. Lunch was reasonably enjoyable, and we trotted off to the playroom with eager anticipation (Eggbert), and only mild misgivings (me). There was a queue, so we waited our turn. We watched the staff check in child after child, and then it was Eggbert's turn. We got to the front. The staff member frowned.

"They have to be potty trained!" she said. "

Of course she's potty trained!" I said.

"They can't be wearing a pullup!" she insisted.

"She's not!" I said, beginning to feel annoyed.

"She's too small!"

I took her up to the "children below this height cannot enter" sign and showed the staff member that Eggbert was right at the line.

"Take off her shoes!" she crowed.

We did. She was about 1/4 inch below the line. The woman said "see! we can't take her."

I whined "but she's four!" The woman just shook her head.

A lively conversation ensued among the parents behind us. "She's four? There is no way that child is four! Is she really four? How could she be four?"

We skulked off. Eggbert was crushed about not being able to go to the playroom, although she didn't really understand the reason. I was furious at myself for putting her through that, but also furious at the staff for being so unbending. On one level I get it, they don't want kids of too many different sizes playing together because someone might get hurt, but the upper limit was based on age, not height, so apparently they will let in 6-footers that are 7, but not 3-footers who are 4, so it's not just a size disparity issue. Ultimately, I'm sure they have their reasons, but that knowledge doesn't actually make me feel any better about the fact that my child was excluded based on a physical feature that she has no control over.

Sigh. It probably won't be the last time.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The end of the world as I know it

OK, fess up! Who taught Eggbert to read? I have a bone to pick with that person. How on earth am I supposed to be able to talk right in front of her about topics like "i-c-e-c-r-e-a-m" or "the p-a-r-k" or "s-e-x" without her understanding me if she can spell?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A curve ball

I went to the RE on Sunday (yes Sunday! My RE works on Sundays, or rather, my RE's staff and colleagues work on Sunday), and they ran some tests, including FSH, estradiol, AMH, and an ultrasound with antral follicle count. Since I had to drive 2.5 hours each way for my date with the cooter-cam, I was just pulling into my driveway when the nurse called with the results. She said that the tests of ovarian reserve were all really good, and that the doctor thinks that all options should remain on the table, including cycling again with my own eggs, or even trying injectibles with IUI. I was not expecting this. At 42, I have already grieved the possibility of a genetic connection with my second child, and moved on to being pretty enthusiastic about donor eggs. I don't really know why I agreed to having tests of ovarian reserve at all, given that we were planning on DE. I guess that either my RE is very persuasive (true) or that I was assuming that the results would be bad, thus confirming that DE is the best (and only) option for us (also true). So, I really don't know what to do with this. I do NOT want to do another failed cycle. I am tired of BFN's and want something to work. We can't afford to continue to throw money away on failed treatments, and we don't want too big of a gap between our kids. All of this points to using DE. But... it isn't just about what I want. The one thing that continues to worry me about using DE is that I don't know how any child that may be created will feel about being donor-conceived, especially given that Eggbert is my genetic offspring. Will #2 FEEL like #2? Having the option of putting the donor out of the picture and still maybe possibly perhaps having another child dangled in front of me has really thrown me and I just don't know what to do. Meanwhile, Mystery has come down with a terrible case of Whinging Cough, and has officially declared himself unable to even converse about any topic of seriousness until he feels better or expires, whichever comes first. So, I am counting on you, dear internets, to help me process this. Any thoughts? All advice, sage and otherwise, is welcome.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Still here

I don't know why I haven't posted an update in a while. It wasn't that I didn't have anything to say. In person, I very rarely don't have something to say. I've just lacked inspiration I guess. Or time. I don't know where all 24 hours of each day go, but they sure do go there quickly, wherever it is!

Anyway, all is well with me, Mystery, and Eggbert. We've been busier with usual with activities (dance class! swim class!) and we are in the process of buying a house, which is surprisingly (to first-time homebuyers) time-consuming, but all of it is going well, so no complaints there.

The event that inspired me to post was our return to the RE after a one-year-plus break. We had to drive a few hours for the consultation, which was kind of annoying, but it gave us a chance to go shopping for our house in the "big city" at the same time, which was kind of nice. The RE visit itself was anticlimactic. I told him right off the bat that we were interested in being evaluated as candidates for donor eggs, which I had thought would mean a whole slew of testing, but as it turned out, the only tests that he has ordered so far are tests of my ovarian reserve. Yes, you read that right, MY ovarian reserve. At age 42. He seems to think that I am giving up on my own eggs too easily. This is so not what I expected that I don't know how to process it. Isn't the donor egg speech pretty much standard for infertility patients over 40? Honestly, it's kind of hard for me to imagine paying for another IVF cycle with my own eggs, given the age-specific low odds of success, but unfortunately, Mystery picked up on the doctor's optimism, so if the test results are good, we are going to have to at least discuss the option of trying again with my eggs. How weird is it that I find the thought depressing, rather than inspiring?

The big disappointment of the visit was that as it turns out, my clinic only has a completely anonymous DE program. No photos, no potential for identifying information to be made available to the child at age 18. Nothing. That takes away just about any incentive to cycle there, since the cost would be about twice that of cycling in any of our other target countries. I had been thinking that I was willing to pay substantially more to both cycle closer to home and to have the option of identity release, but without the identity release option, I really don't see any reason to pay twice as much for what is essentially the same service. Of course if I could find my own donor, open donation would be possible, but I really have no idea how to go about finding a donor. So, I think we're now on the path of an overseas DE cycle unless the testing reveals any surprises (and probably even then).

In other news, Eggbert is 3.9 going on 16 these days. She is suddenly competent at a broad variety of tasks that were way beyond her abilities just a few weeks ago (Putting on the seat belt in her car seat! Going to the fridge and making her own snacks! Balancing the checkbook! Well, OK, not that last one, but she can now count to 100 in both English and Mysterious, and occasionally gets simple math problems right, so I think I will be able to put her to work as my accountant soon.) She continues to delight me in a million different ways. I am very lucky.