Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Hamster Wheel of (non)Treatment

If I am to be absolutely honest with myself, the pursuit of a second never leaves my mind. That's the thing about obsessions. They don't actually let you ignore them. You can be sitting in a meeting about a student's need for behavioral services (completely unrelated to IF) and then, BAM!- you're instantly wondering whether the clinic you're looking at includes the specific genetic testing you want. And lately, these thoughts are more present than ever as I search for ways to add to our family. I look around every corner, and every corner beyond that. I have literally looked everywhere. The search is in my bones and while I would love to take a break as I know that initiating treatment is many, many months away, my heart just won't allow it.

I have long known that one of my goals in life is to eventually be a support for people facing infertility. Well, that is, when I get my own stuff in order. So, with this constant scheming and turning over of ideas, I figure it this way: I am fulfilling goals that are twofold: I'm looking for myself and I am looking for others.  Whether or not I use any of the information I've gathered for myself, I refuse to truly leave empty-handed. I can at least pass what I've learned on to someone else. For example, in the past 6 months, I have explored no less than the following:

  • Own egg IVF (before I got my DOR diagnosis)
  • RPL testing
  • Counsyl testing
  • PGD (PGS)
  • Shared cycle donor egg
  • Own cycle fresh donor egg (including the most recent live birth rates for clinics in my area and the top clinics in the country, as well as cost)
  • Finding a donor using a clinic pool vs. outside agency
  • Which clinics are open to asking the donor to sign up for Donor Sibling Registry
  • Known donor
  • Anonymity using donor gametes
  • Frozen donor eggs
  • International donor eggs
  • Open domestic adoption
  • Embryo donation (also, known vs. anonymous)
If I had to do a search in my email for clinics that I've reached out to with a list of specific questions, I would come up with literal pages. I realize that while part of this sleuthing is to be an informed consumer, the other part is to formulate a sense of control that is in reality very much missing.  I know that consciously, but right now, it makes me feel as if I'm creating some forward momentum.

I certainly won't claim to be an expert in any of the subjects above, however. After all, I just truly entered into the third party family building world a mere 5 months ago, which seems kind of nuts to me because it feels like I've been stuck here forever. I still turn to my forum ladies frequently, but I've done enough digging to be of some use to others...some day. But not today. Today, I find myself baffled and both grateful and overwhelmed that this moment in my life comes at a time when my options are plentiful. Sometimes too plentiful. I find myself vacillating between frozen eggbanks and going abroad.  Yeah, that's where I am today. Last week, it was embryo donation. The week before, adoption. Toss a coin, throw a die. It's getting to the point where I might as well do that because my brain certainly can't seem to land on anything.  And even if it could, it's not like it would be happening anytime soon.

However, I also finally cornered Mr. S (my DH) after many months of taking the subject off the table and this helped narrow it for me. While not asking him to make a decision on the spot, I requested that he start considering embryo donation. I think I knew in my heart all along that he was very lukewarm about this pursuit and he finally confirmed this. He shared that he would prefer egg donation over all other avenues (or having an only child, but that's another topic for another day).  I think a huge part of this is that it is harder for him to lose the genetic link. (I began to write about it here in detail and had so much to say, I started another post: coming soon). For one, Mr. S doesn't need to lose that link. Unlike me, he can still (with medical assistance) father a genetic child. I've long since mourned the loss of my genetics in any future children and have moved on. I am just ready to parent again, but this decision is not mine alone, so for now, we will set our sights forward on egg donation...again.

I know. A month ago I got out of line for the egg donor train and started purchasing tickets at the embryo donation station. Here I am again, trying to run along the tracks and hop onto one of the egg donor cars flying past us. Turns out, though, that the admission price is a little rich for my blood at the moment and no one is letting me on. Maybe one day...

It's funny, long before we could buy a house, I used to love perusing open houses and home sale ads. Aside from the fact that real estate in general makes me giddy (I missed my calling as a real estate agent), I figured that even if I wasn't actively buying, I was collecting information all the while keeping my sights set on a future goal, something to work towards, no matter how distant. It drove Mr. S nuts. He is of the mindset that if you're not legitimately in the market, don't bother. Our way of thinking on that subject has translated over to family building. All of this research for something that, at the earliest, will happen late next spring, is probably premature in his mind. But he is indulging me because he knows me so well. I need this. I'm happy to live in the illusion that I'm moving forward, even if I'm actually stuck in a hamster wheel.


It Is What It Is said...

First, while watching Million Dollar Listing LA tonight, I commented to my husband that I missed my calling as a realtor.

Second, I could have written this post (in fact I did, over a series of posts) two years ago. From the 'taking time off' from family building, to broaching the subject of donated embryos (although, as we are both adopted, there wasn't concern over loss of genetics as much as me being pregnant again after abandoning that pursuit some 2 1/2 years earlier).

At any rate, excited to follow along to see where life takes you.

Hannah Taylor said...

Hi! Glad to have stumbled upon your blog! I was wondering if you feature guest postings. Thanks and have a great day!