All the Sun For You

A mom, two boys, a husband, and a whole lot of adventure!


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Tit for Tat

(Fair warning, this is a bit of a rant…)

I have an appointment tomorrow with my OB for my annual pap and also to figure out long-term birth control that isn’t permanent.  We were going to go with the Es.sure procedure, because it sounded so simple, but then I read about it.  Yeah, we’re not doing that.  There are a lot of side effects reported that I worry about, and the coils are coated in plastic and I am unusually sensitive to almost all plastics on my skin (even silicone nose pads on sunglasses eat my face).  The idea of a plastic device being shoved into my fallopian tubes worries me a great deal, so we’re looking at other options.  Hottie is coming with me to the appointment because he wants to make sure we select the right option for US, and I think we’re going to go with an IUD.  There are a lot of reasons for this, but the main one is that it’s not permanent.

When I told a friend about this today, her response was the same as I’ve heard over, and over, and over again when this topic comes up.

“Why isn’t he getting fixed?  You went through the IVF, he can do this for you.”

Ummm… because we don’t work that way.  Because there’s more to life than, “I did that, so you have to do this.”

There are lots of other reasons for this decision, such as 1) a vasectomy would be permanent (yeah, yeah, some reversals work, but I’m not counting on that) and an IUD isn’t, 2) I’m the one whose life is at risk if we get pregnant again, and 3) I’m not willing to let Hottie do something so permanent that if something would happen to me, that he couldn’t have children in the future if he would remarry (remember, he’s 3 years younger than me).  But the main reasons are that the IUD is simpler, less invasive, not permanent and… Hottie owes me nothing for being the one who “went through all of those shots.”

The response I almost always get really upsets me.  It makes me wonder how other people’s marriages really work.  I hear a lot of this when talking with my girlfriends.  “My husband had a guys night so he owes me a night out with the girls.”  “He won’t let me go for a weekend away because I did that 6 months ago and it’s his turn.”  “He bought that new computer so he owes me.”  “I bought those awesome boots, so now I have to let him buy that telescope he wanted.”  And my favorite, “I’m the primary parent during the week, so he can take the kids on the weekend.”  It doesn’t stop with their expectations of their own marriages and spouses, they project it onto me as well.  No one has any idea how many times I’ve been told by my girlfriends (SAHM’s and WFHM’s) what Hottie owes me because I’m with the kids all day.  I am constantly told that he needs to give me more breaks, because he gets breaks every day from the kids, and they tell me just what those breaks should be (a pedicure, a movie night, drinks on the patio, a trip to Vegas).

If our marriage worked the way that people seem to think it should, then Hottie and I would spend little time together.  I am home with the kids every single day – the weekends are no different for me than normal week days.  If I did what I’m told I should do, Hottie would be spending the weekend days from 7:00 AM – 6:00 PM with the kids while I go off and have my time.  Hottie travels a couple of nights a week, so according to my friends, he should take over all dinners, bath times, bed times, etc. for the same amount of nights that he was gone so I can be paid back for the times he didn’t have to do those things while he was away.  Instead of make, or go to, breakfast as a family on the weekends, one of us should sleep in on Saturday and let the other one sleep in on Sunday (my neighbor has had multiple day-long fights with her husband because he got to sleep until 9:00 on Saturday, and she got to sleep until 9:30 on Sunday and it wasn’t fair).  Don’t get me wrong, there are mornings when I just can’t get up when Bryson does and I sneak off to Matthew’s room to sleep with him until he’s up (7:30 at the latest), but we don’t talk about whose turn it is to do that – we just do it (Hottie has done this too).  No one feels that anything is owed to them in this household.

It’s all very interesting to me, and I find myself feeling very defensive and resentful when my friends start telling me what Hottie owes me because I’m with the kids so much.  And I find it disgusting that others think that he owes me a vasectomy because of the IVF that we put my body through.  We did IVF because we desperately wanted children, and no one went into it keeping score.  Sure, we know the reason for our infertility and at fleeting times, I was a bit resentful that I had to do the shots when I “wasn’t the problem,” but we wanted a baby so I did the shots, and I got over that resentment almost as quickly as it entered my mind.  I certainly don’t think that he owes me an irreversible medical procedure because of the pain and suffering my body went through to conceive our children.  I got my kids out of the deal, and Hottie owes me nothing beyond them… not even a vasectomy.

 


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Healed?

My sister, the one with four kids, left me a text message for me to call her. I noticed 3 missed calls so thought it must be important. So I called her right away.

She didn’t answer.

She called right back and to be honest, I thought she was calling to announce some big business venture. So I asked, “What’s up, buttercup?”

“I’m p..” And she cut out. Never for a moment did I expect what I thought maybe she was trying to tell me.

“What? You cut out.”

“I’m pregnant.”

“Oh, Lindsay…” I said, with a tone of concern and pity. Not because this was bad news, but because I knew she did not want more kids. I knew this was very hard for her.

I did not feel jealous, I did not feel sad for me, I just felt concerned for her. It was the first pregnancy announcement in 6 years that I didn’t, deep down, make about me. In fact, those words almost made me want to throw up.

I think I may finally be healed…


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I’ll Take It!

I can’t put this on FB.

I’ve been frantically selling our baby stuff, it’s fair to say I’m a little obsessed and not at all nostalgic. But today, I sold to a woman buying my maternity clothes for her teenage daughter who’s pregnant. When she told me this, my first reaction in my head was, “I’ll take it!”

We’re done having kids, and so 100% content with that decision. But infertility is always there, always present. It never dies.


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Not Done

I had a bad dream last night. I dreamt that I was pregnant with our third baby, and that I, somehow, forgot to go to the OB for the second half of the pregnancy. And then in the 8th month, I remembered I was pregnant and noticed I had no belly and couldn’t feel the baby moving. We went in for an ultrasound and I woke up as we were waiting to be called back, full of doom and despair because I knew we’d lost the baby. We’d lost our third baby. And having our two healthy boys only relieved the pain a little bit as we waited, before I woke up.

****

We dropped Matthew off at camp this morning, and as we waited to check him in, there was a mom in front of us with a new baby. Another mom and I marveled at how tiny the baby was, as we held our seemingly massive near-one-year olds. In that moment, reflecting on my dream, I thought to myself, “We’re not done yet.”

****

B (because of his busy schedule) will be setting up an appointment with our RE for July to discuss a spring transfer.

We’re not done yet.


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A New Decision

I’ve been struggling for about a month about how to go about baby #3. We want a third baby, but I don’t want one right now.

It’s taken me over a month to say that out loud to anyone, including B. But I just told him, and he agrees (or rather, supports me).

He asked me why. I have so many reasons.

1. I’m enjoying Bryson so much, and feel that pushing this now really forces him into the “middle child” position too soon.

2. There just isn’t the worry like last time. No fear of, “what if it doesn’t work?”. If it doesn’t work, we have our two boys and we’re thrilled with them. We won’t stim again, but for a second child we would have (and we were dealing with my age).

3. Waiting 6 months really has no impact on my age. I’ll be 39 if we do it this fall, and I’ll be 39 if we do it next spring.

4. I’d really like to get my body back for a long time before ruining it again.

5. I have no sex drive with the nursing and lack of sleep. We’d both like for that to reappear for a while!

6. I don’t want another summer baby. I plan on holding both boys back until they’re 6 for kindergarten and a third baby may not need the extra year with two older siblings. I’d like to not even have to think about this a third time.

7. I want Bryson well established in school before a new baby comes. I felt like I was sending Matthew to school so I could have time with the new baby, and that just felt bad. Of course he has loved school since day 1, but there is still guilt.

8. This is a big one – my uterus scares me. I want another full year for it to heal before putting another baby in it.

9. I want 6-12 months of having independent kids before adding more dependency to the mix. The idea of having a third with Bryson at Matthew’s current age is exciting. The idea of having a third with Bryson just turning 2 terrifies me.

10. I’m just not ready.

This is momentous for me. I feel so relieved.


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What We’ll Do…

I posted last week about my chat with our embryologist about being able to pick the sex for our third child if we have a male-female mix of normal embryos.  Honestly, I’m hoping that the normal ones all come back the same sex so that there’s no wondering what was left unused.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.

I looked into it quickly and PGD testing is covered by our insurance, so I’m assuming they’ll cover PGS as well.  If it’s not covered, I’ll see if they can just do PGD testing on them, but I’m not sure they do that.  But I bet they do.  But I don’t really know.  Anyway, because it’s looking like this testing is covered by our insurance, and we’re quickly burning through our deductible and OOP max with Matthew’s weekly speech therapy appointments, we’ll for sure do the testing.

There are a few things to really, really think about here:

  • Do we really want to know what the sexes are of the normal embryos?
  • Do we want to pick which sex to transfer first, second, and so on until we’re successfully pregnant or out of embryos?
  • If we choose the sex at time of transfer, do we want to tell anyone that we did so?
  • If we choose not to select sex, when do we want to find out what the sex is of the one they transferred?
  • If we hit the jackpot again on the first transfer, and there are more normal embryos remaining, do we want to know their sexes?
  • When would we tell people the sex of the baby?

So starting at the top (Do we really want to know what the sexes are of the normal embryos?), we don’t think we want to know the sexes of the normal embryos unless they’re all the same sex.  We just don’t want to go in knowing that, say, there are two girls and a boy, and then start thinking about them as little people who may, or may not, be lost in the whole game of implantation, embryo development, miscarriage, etc.  Like I said, if all of the normal embryos (and I use “all” loosely because we could have none, we could have one, we could have a few, but we won’t have 5!) are the same sex, sure, tell us ahead of time.  But if they’re not all the same sex, I don’t want to think about the ones that may be left in the freezer or wonder if we should have chosen which sex to transfer.  In this situation, I don’t want choices.  I don’t know why I would want to know if they’re all the same sex, but I do.  I think when they’re all the same, it’s not as easy to view them individually.  I’m not sure that makes sense.

Do we want to pick which sex to transfer first, second, and so on until we’re successfully pregnant or out of embryos?  I guess the answer to the first question answers this question.  We knew, from the beginning of this discussion hours before I blogged about it, that we would NOT choose the sex of the embryo to transfer.  There are MANY reasons for this.

First and foremost, had we had the option with Matthew, we probably would have chosen to transfer a girl – and look at what a mistake that would have been!  I mean, yes, we would have loved that girl as much as we love our boys, but I believe I was truly destined to be the mother of one, then two boys.  Fate knows me better than I know myself, and she knew that boys were right for me.  If we’re meant to have another boy, then fate will tell us that.  If it’s our turn to have a girl, she’ll tell us that instead.  I believe we truly get what we’re supposed to have, so we’re leaving this up to a higher power (including the embryologists!).

Another reason we’re not selecting the sex is because we just want them to transfer the best embryo on transfer day.  I am sort of over this whole IVF bullshit, in all honesty, and the idea of the anxiety of it just rattles my brain and my heart.  I say, give us the best one from the get-go so hopefully I can be done with this process.  I’m getting too old, and too hardened, to keep going through it (but I will keep going until the normal ones are used up in our quest for Baby #3).  Now, there is a flip-side to this working the first time and that’s having normal embryos left over.  Without PGS, I could have convinced myself that the remaining embryos probably weren’t viable anyway, but with PGS, we’ll know if we have normal, viable embryos left.  So maybe I don’t want it to work the first time.  I don’t know.  My feelings on that will change, I’m sure, once we know how many normals we have.

If we choose the sex at time of transfer, do we want to tell anyone that we did so?  Hell no!  Well, maybe we’d tell someone, but definitely not many people.  We for sure would not tell my family, or B’s family, or friends who have already expressed their opinions that choosing the sex is a bad idea.  I’ve actually felt out a few people on this topic just to see what they would say, knowing full well that we weren’t going to pick the sex, and the responses have been dramatically different from person to person.  I still stand by my thought that, ‘hey, someone is picking the sex (the embryologist) so why shouldn’t it be us if we want to?’ – but we don’t want to.  Not everyone sees it the way we see it, and that’s OK.  But knowing that, there’s no way we’d tell most people that we did pick the sex if we decided to (which we decided not to do).

Now for the questions that do apply to us since we won’t be picking the sex on transfer day.

If we choose not to select sex, when do we want to find out what the sex is of the one they transferred?  This is tough.  Really, really tough.  Part of me thinks I won’t be able to control myself and will ask right after transfer – like seconds after they put him or her in (see what just happened there – it’s no longer an “it” and now is a “him or her”).  The logical me says to wait until we see a strong, solid heartbeat at the 6 week scan.  Then the crazy me pipes in and says, “at transfer, and no later than at the rising beta.”  B would like to wait until the ultrasound, and I think he’s being sound and logical.  Therefore, our goal is to wait until the first or second ultrasound.  I can’t stand the thought of knowing what was transferred, and thinking of it as “him or her,” and then getting a BFN.  I think the loss would feel compounded if I knew I lost a boy or girl, rather than a mass of cells.  Those blasts are so full of hope, but to view them as pink or blue just adds even more hope to them, and consequently more disappointment if they don’t implant.  So yes, at the 6 week scan.  Please remind me of that in November.

If we hit the jackpot again on the first transfer, and there are more normal embryos remaining, do we want to know their sexes?  No.  No, no, no.  We already view those embryos as babies, even though we know that statistically, only 40-50% of them are even normal (so 2-3 of our 5, if we’re lucky).  Here’s the thing that gets me.  Bryson was frozen – he was in the freezer for exactly 2 years to the day.  Gazing at him, I know what that freezer may be holding.  I know the babies that they could become.  Because this will be our last baby for good medical safety reasons, I can’t know what we won’t be using.  I can’t view them as boys or girls.  I can only view them as the gifts they are to us in the state they’re in.  They are the potential for life, and if they remain after we successfully deliver our third child, they will be transferred into me, off-cycle, where they can live out their remaining time where they truly belong.  I can’t spend those hours and days thinking of them as more than the gift of hope and promise that they were and will always be to us.  (Just writing this makes me tear up.)

When would we tell people the sex of the baby?  Well, this one is easy.  Because I can’t keep my mouth shut, as soon as we know, we’ll tell people.  It will actually be fun to be able to tell people at 6 weeks what we’re having.  I’ll even tell people that we had the option of selecting gender, but that we didn’t do it for the reasons above.  I’m an open book, and I have no problems sharing how this whole IVF thing works.

Honestly, if I could pick the perfect situation for us, I’d hope for just one normal embryo that will transfer well, implant nicely, and develop into a perfect, healthy baby.  But we all know how IVF works – there are no guarantees even when the embryos are perfect (we’ve now lost 6 “perfect” embryos) and having embryos in reserve is the insurance policy we all want.  Because we’ll be done building our family with Baby #3, I truly hope we have no embryos left when we’re all done with this.  If we have more than one normal embryo when we start, I almost hope we fail the first time so that we can get to the one(s) that remain.  I truly believe that things happen for a reason, and if we would fail with all of them, as much as that would break my heart, at least I’d know we gave them all a chance.  Not giving a perfect, normal embryo a fighting chance has to be an awful feeling that I ‘m not interested in feeling.  But I may have to.  But I may not.

So there you go.  The answers to many complicated questions that surround this whole thing.  It’s wild to think about.  But fun too.  But scary at the same time.

 

 


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What Would You Do?

I just spoke with our embryologist about how we’re going to handle trying for baby #3. Because I can only transfer one at a time because of my uterine situation, she thinks our doctor will want to do PGS testing on our frosties so that we’re only transferring normal embryos. Makes sense to me.

So she said, “and we’ll know the genders of each one if you want to know.” Whoa! Game changer! We can request genders for transfer, or let them just work down the list of normals.

We’ve already decided what we’re going to do, but what would YOU do?

By no means is this being asked to start an ethics debate with one another, I’m just curious what you would do if you could choose gender, and only transfer one at a time. Would you pick? It changes everything when SOMEONE (you, or the embryologist) has to pick one. (If we could transfer 2, I would request one of each if we had them. Easy decision!)

Also, I got good news from them about doing a “compassionate transfer” if we do end up with baby #3, and remaining normal embryos. HUGE weight lifted!

(I would setup a poll but I’m typing on my phone.)

And a follow-up question: she said if they choose for us, that we could find out at any point after transfer (even moments after) what the sex is. Would you ask, and when in the process would you ask and why?

Okay – GO!