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Anything is Possible if you Dare to Dream

May 24, 2009

How I Became a Special Needs Mother - Chapter 3

I have been very remiss in my blogging.

As you all know, I vowed back in March to blog once each week about my evolution as a special needs mom. Well it's Memorial Weekend, 2.5 months since my last chapter, and I have no one to blame, except Twitter.

Twitter is a viciously addictive and hopelessly easy method of communicating for those, like me, who are socially handicapped. In my case, the jury is still out as to whether I am physically or voluntarily handicapped. Nevertheless, I have spent the past 2.5 months tweeting my heart out 140 characters at a time.

And so, back to my story. . . where was I. . .oh yes.

Upon returning from Jessie's 4-year birthday cruise, Dh and I decided to adopt. A decision, which changed our lives forever, but not in the way you probably think.

We researched adoption agencies, secured our finances and jumped in head first with the Independent Adoption Center.

And by head first, I mean to the tune of $16K, with the hope of adopting a second child within 18 months from the date we signed.

NOT

It took us a good 6 months to get completely approved, even though we paid all our fees up front, and then the waiting began.

After a year, I began to wonder. Shouldn't we be higher on the list by now? Shouldn't we be getting calls from potential birth moms?

Apparently not, and by the way, you owe us another $2K for an annual home study update, but you can speed up the process by going on the last minute call list.

The WHAT list?

The jump on a plane at the last minute and be prepared to spend a couple of weeks in the middle of nowhere list at any cost.

After 18 months of waiting we were ready to jump on a plane to Timbuktu. We just wanted another baby.

Friends be careful what you ask for.

What I got was the answer to my prayers or so I thought.

A prospective birth mother, due in 4 months, from a neighboring state.

We paid to bring her to our home for a visit, arranged for a deposit on a trailer, because she was about to be homeless, paid for a phone line so she could call us, sent a grocery gift check so she could eat and agreed to provide her with an old vehicle to drive.

Oh and did I mention the attorneys' fees we paid up front, because our agency was not registered in that state. I could have sworn they said they would associate with one.

A couple of days before we were scheduled to drive our old truck to the neighboring state and turn over its title, we g0t a call from our agency. Apparently our birth mother had been shopping her ultra sound to other couples as well, including other IAC couples.

We contacted the authorities, cancelled any future payments and walked away $6K poorer, but a heck of a lot wiser.

A couple of weeks later I got a call from a woman in NY, who wanted to know about our experience with this girl. I said she scammed us, but the couple in NY were prepared to take up all of her payments through birth. Why call me if you don't want the truth? I'm sure the woman was desperate to be a parent, but I sincerely doubt that girl every actually gave up her child.

Still, I tend to forget that God works in mysterious ways. After the adoption scam fiasco, we ended up right back where we started.

Yup that's right, Fertility treatments.

And on that note, I must digress a bit.

My Christmas 1999 miscarriage started a chain reaction in my body, which quickly resulted in a diagnosis of Stage 4 Endometriosis. Somehow my former doctors missed that diagnosis when I underwent a laparoscopy at age 21 for unexplained bleeding and pelvic pain.

My RE had ruled that out as a possible explanation for our secondary fertility, because it wasn't mentioned in my prior medical records. And yet, when my RE performed my laproscopic laser surgery, he found extensive scar tissue dating back at least 15 years.

After my surgery my RE told us that my Endo would go into remission, if I got pregnant, so he encouraged us to try again. At the time, we were still set on adoption. After all we had nearly $20K and 18 months invested in our quest.

So we waited another 5 months, endured the ill-fated birth mother fiasco, over Christmas and New Years, and then did what all people do after two miserable holidays.

We went on another cruise, for Jessie's 5th birthday.

And, yes, she was sick on that cruise as well. Another incurable ear infection, which led to pneumonia, but once again I digress.

We decided while on that cruise that we might as well go forward with the recommended fertility treatments. We were convinced that we had to endure the treatments and the inevitable failures, so that we could go forward with an adoption knowing we had tried everything.

We tried two rounds of cheap Clomid, which resulted in. . .more cysts, a very bad mood for both of us and no baby.

Then, with my mother's financial assistance, we proceeded with more expensive treatments. Three rounds of IUI via high-powered, very expensive fertility drugs.

Each month I endured twice daily injections and traveled to the doctor every other day for blood draws and ultrasounds. I responded so well to the drugs that my RE asked how we felt about multiples, because he was sure I would get pregnant with twins or more.

NOPE NADA NOTHING

Month after Month.

So, finally, with insurance paying for another $12K in fertility drugs, my mother kicking in a good $10K and us covering the rest, we did what we swore we would never do.

Yup that's right.

In Vitro Fertilization or IVF for short

After trice daily injections and all the other IVF "tortures," I produced more than 30 follicles, 12 eggs, and 11 fertilized embryos and we waited, not so patiently, to see if we would go forward with a 3-day transfer of 3-4 embryos or a 5-day transfer of 2 blastocysts.

In the meantime, I shared my experience with a group of other women going through IVF at the same time in INCIID's IVF Waiting Room.

There I found the support I had been looking for all those years. The women and men I met through INCIIDs various infertility, IVF, pregnancy and parenting boards provided me with the on-line support network I needed to endure the IVF process.

And so, on day three, I was able to post on the IVF Waiting Room that the doctor had informed us that we were GOING TO BLAST i.e. two more days until my embryo transfer and a much greater chance of success.

Two days later, the RE transferred Taz and his twin blast and I entered the 2ww (2 week wait).

For the next 9 days the IVF waiting room was my only life line.

Day after day, I posted in the waiting room, 1dp5dt (1 day post 5-day transfer), 2dp5dt and so on, until I couldn't take the suspense any longer.

On the 9th day I sought out my stash of HPTs (home pregnancy tests) and waited breathlessly, while I watched it turn blue. I thought I was going to faint, but somehow managed to get back to my computer and post that the HPT was positive at 9dp5dt, one day before my scheduled blood test at my REs.

After all that time and all we had endured, I was pregnant again, and I am still in awe of the moment when Dh came home from work and I was able to tell him that the rabbit died.

I still have that silly stick stuffed in a drawer some where and it's still blue after more than 7 years.