Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Putting the Baby Making on the Back Burner

For a few months now, I have been introducing myself on here as someone who is pursuing egg donation. I've been frequenting egg donor forums and have spent countless hours in my head picturing my life as a mom via egg donation, so, at least for a short time, that began to work its way into my identity. But then, something happened. It wasn't an epiphany, just a slow, gradual building of wanting to no longer be consumed over how and when we would get the money to make this happen.  I guess I just longed to set it aside and not actually be pursuing anything but living.  And in the midst of that living, I found myself relishing a freedom I hadn't felt in a long while.

Don't get me wrong. I am absolutely still grief stricken and I still think about becoming a Mother again many times a day, but I'm not sick with worry over it. I'm not hyper-focused on getting to that place. In the back of my mind, I am always wanting, always scheming, always feeling the ache of absence, but it is more or less background noise rather than a blaring theme song to my every step.  I am not letting myself live solely in that space and it's everything I've needed.  As much as one can take a break from being drug around by their dreams, that's what I'm doing.

Perhaps it's just that I am getting to another phase of grieving. That's the thing about infertility-you are always grieving. It is never done, but where you are in the grief is the key.  Acceptance for me? Not yet, but the intensely present misery is not directly in my face. It still visits, but it's more of a weekly visitor than daily.

I suppose this all comes about, too, out of necessity. I can't obsess about where I will get my next child because I'm not in the position to do so. My only options are out of financial reach at this point, so I have two choices: to worry about something I can do nothing about or to put it on the back burner. I chose the latter.

I've also been toying around in my head with other ideas beyond egg donation. I've revisited adoption, embryo donation and having an only child and my once strong opposition to all of the above is softening. This might be naive, but in some ways, I feel like one day it will become clear to me, that my destiny will show itself and instead of being completely frustrated by the unknown, part of me is excited to learn how it will all play out. The usually very proactive me is confused by this stance I'm taking because, especially in the land of family building, things don't 'just happen', you have to make them happen, and with great effort. But somehow I feel like it will just be realized. I don't believe I'll stumble into another child ("here, have this free IVF donor cycle!"), but that it will be made possible to either embrace parenting an only child or pursue adding to our family again (whether financially or otherwise). I don't know how, but I have the belief that it will happen.

I'm still not in a zen place with this IF business, though, despite what it seems above. The unknown of timing is what I'm having the hardest time with. Seriously.  My kid's gonna be 30 before he gets a sibling (if he ever does). While it's getting easier to withstand the onslaught of pregnancies and babies being thrown my way, I still find time to be a little envious, snarky bee-yotch about it. But at least I'm able to live and breathe and enjoy the here and the now and that's better than I could say a few months ago.


S said...

Because you are not in a position to take action at this time, I think that putting things on the back burner makes complete sense. That doesn't mean that you can't explore options or toy with ideas, but focusing a lot of attention and energy on something about which you can currently do nothing doesn't sound healthy to me.

The nice thing about using donor eggs (or embryos): your eventual success with them will be wholly unrelated to your age. You may have other reasons for not wanting to delay long, like wanting to have your children closer in age, but your own "biological clock" is no longer one of them once you are considering these options. (The same thing is true of adoption, too, actually.)

AnotherDreamer said...

I understand putting things on the back burner, that's what we did while we were waiting financially to pursue options. It is a kind of nice reprieve.

I agree with S too, in a way with your options you have more time. That doesn't mean it hurts less, or that you don't want it to happen sooner, but there it isn't as time sensitive biologically. I know it still has to be hard though.

Aaryn Rubin said...

Any chance of finding an "open" embryo donor who just doesn't want to use their embryos and they will just give them to you? My friend was fortunate to fall into that situation...

Shelby said...

I have very seriously considered an open embryo donor, Aaryn. My husband and I have discussed it and agreed that it is an option definitely on the table and that with this arrangement, my issues with anonymity that is so often in egg donation would disappear. However, on the surface donor embryo seems cheaper, but the embryos are generally not as high quality as egg donor (generally, unless they originate from egg donor cycle) and may then require multiple frozen cycles. I'm tempted to write more, but I'm seeing now this requires its own blog post!

Victoria said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
It Is What It Is said...

I wrote a post similar to this when I had no idea if or how we'd have #2 after years of trying with my own and donor eggs. It was a coming to terms.

The pursuit of a baby is all consuming. For 6 years, even when I took a break, I was always in pursuit, scheming as you said.

Living your life is paramount to your mental health. If you aren't in a position to act, then now is a great time to do so.

And, I completely agree that, over time, your path (even if that is to stop the pursuit), will reveal itself.

I NEVER intended to be pregnant again. I closed that door, we moved on to and threw ourselves completely into domestic adoption. And, 2 1/2 years later, wouldn't you know that a visit to my RE put us on the path to used anonymously donated embryos and now, my 2nd son, is 6 months.

Life is what happens when we are busy making plans.

Good luck and peace of mind and heart to you.

(Here from the Round-up).

Aaryn Rubin said...

Shelby-my friend connected with someone on a forum and this couple has 3 kids (I think a singleton and twins) and has some top quality embryos left over at CCRM so they donated them to my friends and she will undergo her transfer in July!

I shared her story on my blog

Shelby said...

I read her story on your blog, Aaryn. I hope this is the one for her!

Sarang said...

Being in the here and now can be a wonderful feeling, yes, my Monkey Sister? I, too, think one day your next path will become clear.

Love always, Sarang

ps - still dying to know my secret plans for tomorrow, eh? ;>

See you in a week, m'dear! XOXO