Thursday, January 27, 2011

IVF? Fostering? Adoption?

Month 20, Cycle 17, Day 6

Shaun and I spent some time with his parents last night. We hadn't seen them or talked to them much since Christmas. They don't have the internet, so anything that happens with our fertility, they learn only from our sharing details with them. So, while we sat in the veteran's bar having tacos and beer, I didn't want to say, "hey, we tried again last month and failed once again, but we are trying again this month." It is tough enough to write out my feelings here on a public blog, but to be THAT vulnerable, that frank with two people who hurt similarly that we have trouble conceiving and losing babies is difficult to say the least.

So, somehow I forced a joke into the conversation about not having kids yet -- a way to get the giant elephant in the room that all was ignoring, a voice. Shaun's dad didn't catch the humor in my tone and said, "Well, I know you don't want me to talk about this, but my wife and I have been talking and we want you guys to know that we know that it might not happen and if you want know...then we will accept them and love them just the same." I smiled and quickly changed the subject.

I am not sure how I feel about this. Essentially, Shaun's dad gave us permission to adopt, which means that their hope for us to have biological children is gone. We never wondered if they would accept an adopted child as Shaun's brother has an adopted child, foster children and biological children and we all love all of them just the same. Even the foster kids who were given back to their biological parents, we still feel love and acceptance for them. That has never been an issue. But, the fact that he has given up hope for our fertility hurts. Even when I, too, feel hopeless.

So, this has caused me to do some more research on what my choices are:
1-to pursue having a biological child through continued hybrid cycles (insurance covers the costs and I believe I am limited to these 2 last cycles for now)
2-to pursue having a biological child through IVF (approx. $15,000+ with a 30% success rate per tranfer, additional frozen transfers $3000 each)
3-to adopt through an agency (approx. $15,000+ with a much higher success rate)
4-to adopt through foster (approx. $2,000+ with a lower success rate and bio parents potentially having their child returned)
5-remain childless

Sad fact remains that my husband is unemployed, about to not receive any benefits, has 15 months left of school to finish his program, and this year we will make 1/2 of what we made 2 years ago. So, the options requiring financial burdens are low on the priority at this time. We feel it is important to not have debt for any reason but our home. At this time, we have a mortgage, minimal student loans, a 4-6 month emergency fund, and two small retirement funds.

Once these hybrid cycles are done...42 days from now, then we have to make another decision. I am leaning toward IVF, because I can't bear being childless. I had never planned for any of my married life to not have children. I wanted to be pregnant from day 1! Because I knew that marriage was a compromise, I allowed a certain period of time to go by without begging Shaun for children, but once that time period passed, I was angry that he still wasn't willing to compromise. He enjoyed not having children, but it was devastating to me. So, I bullied him into trying. Once we were close the end of my pregnancy, almost 4 years after we were married, he decided that he was comfortable to become a dad. And then when our child died 5 days after his birth, that left me in a traumatically ill position, we just didn't want to think about having kids. The doctor advised waiting 2 years and we did. And then we needed to make absolutely sure that the trauma wouldn't be repeated. And still we weren't ready. One year later, and 7 years after marriage, we still hadn't had children and I was not happy. Life was about existing, only. So, I bullied my husband again and we learned quickly that I was infertile. The last year and a half have passed with two more losses and months of wasted fertility drugs. I cannot imagine my life without kids, because, in almost 9 years of marriage, nothing fulfills that emptiness that childlessness brings. And finally, Shaun is devastated by this. So, the option of remaining childless is only an option of INDECISION. I will not CHOOSE childlessness. It has, thus far, chosen me.

So, IVF? Fostering? Adoption? Anyone have any thoughts about these options? Help me consider all angles as I need to have a plan in place IF the next month and a half go by without success. I covet your thoughts.


  1. A family friend went several years of trying and they were going to adopt and lost a lot of money through the agency and such. She is 44, and they did IVF and the first time worked. They have a very healthy 7 month old little boy now. What ever you decide to do, you will have tons of prayers and support. I can not say I understand how it feels to be in your shoes, as I do not. But I can say that I am continuing to pray for you and I will always be praying for you Sunshine! You are an amazingly strong woman and you are such an inspiration!

  2. I can not say I know how you feel since I have not gone through the loss that you have. But I can sympathize with you as I too know how devastating facing this is. I have always wanted to be a mother and thought it would come with time, but alas here we are years later and still no children. I found out today that I have PCOS and its devastating. I thought having a diagnosis would help but, honestly I feel the same as I did not knowing. I know that no one can make the decision for you but I really do understand about having these options and not knowing what to do. We are trying clomid to see if it will jump start me to ovulate, I am also going to start taking metformin. We are taking it a month at a time since nothing is covered by insurance. Our plan for now is to try the met/clomid, then do IUI which is $1500 a try. Luckily we have been saving and are both working. But if that doesnt work than we will be in the same position. I would like to try IVF but, with the cost and success rates its a big risk without a promise at the end. I will be praying for you that whatever the lords plan is for you it will bring you the peace that you so desire. I know that you and Shaun are going to be great parents. I am so glad that you have decided to share your journey with me. It makes me feel like there is someone out there who understands what I am going through. Praying for you.

  3. Sunshine, I wish I could help you make that decision easier, but it's a tough one. Personally I know I would try the hybrids first to make sure you've completely exhausted that avenue. Being with the money situation, it appears adoption and IVF are relatively about the same price, so on that note, if it were between those two, if you wanted to try for your own biological child first, then I'd do 1 round of IVF and if it doesn't work, move on....that way you at least know you gave it a shot. I have totally thought about adoption as an option, because I got to thinking that really I wanted to make a difference in a child's life and be a mommy and you can achieve both of those in that aspect. I myself don't think I could foster, only because I would be petrified to get attached and have them taken back away from me. However, in the meantime you would still be a huge part of making a difference in a child's life, even if for a short time. This is a tough choice and it all depends what works out best for your needs/wants on both of you becoming parents. I hope and pray this decision is made easier for you both. All you are trying to be is God-loving parents to children that you so badly desire, so I hope that one way or another this wish/dream comes true for you.....soon!! I love you friend!! I am praying as always for you both and can't wait to hear whatever decision you make and what your future holds!! :)

  4. Thank you all so much for your comments. Jodi, I emailed you, babe. Lissa, I totally agree with you, kid! Love your advice! Kinda along the same lines I was thinking. But, at this point, I just can't take just making a difference in a child's life. I work with adolescents, volunteered with preschoolers, try to influence my nieces and nephews, but the kind of impact I want to have on children is so much greater than a couple of hours here and there. I want to be a mom who can influence her child to better the world, not just make life better for themselves. You know what I mean? Anyway, hopefully all this speculating about what would I do if I don't get pregnant these next two months is a non issue. Thank you all for your support. And to you too, Brandi. I appreciate you!