Wednesday, March 25, 2009

More difficult than we ever expected

It's been a while since I've posted - we've been living in the "end of the road" malaise for the past several weeks, trying our best to accept our new reality and move on to adoption. I must say that personally, I am handling it quite well. My wife on the other hand is having a very, very difficult time. It breaks my heart to see her so down, and I worry about her every second of the day.

We have been getting educated about adoption and have sort of narrowed our choice down to Korea. The primary reasons have to do with age restrictions (my wife is only 28 and most countries require both adoptive parents to be at least 30) Korean infants are available, are raised in foster care (as opposed to orphanages) and the wait times are reasonable (6 - 18 months) All of these criteria are important to us, thus our preliminary decision.

We went to two meetings with adoption agencies yesterday - very exciting, but equally sobering. I knew this process was expensive, but when they plainly stated it will cost about $30,000 to adopt from Korea (comparable for domestic) it sunk in just how financially challenging this is going to be. I'm a financial nut ... I am very rigid about paying off debt (car and student loans), funding retirement accounts and sticking to a monthly budget. I do ALL of our finances so I have a very good idea of where we stand and what we can take on. Bottom line is this: $30,000 is simply too much for us right now. We have the cash, but it would put us so severely behind on a number of other goals and add so much stress to our lives that I am really uncomfortable moving forward with adoption at the current time. So, I have no choice but to strongly urge my wife to defer our adoption plans until we are on more solid financial footing. Fortunately I have a good job and we can get to solid financial ground in relatively short order (~8 months) but needless to say my wife is taking it unbelievably hard. Last night she sat on the couch and cried for the entire evening. I went home for lunch and her eyes were red and swollen. She is devastated not only by the diagnosis of our bleak chances at conception, but even more so at the potential three year wait we have ahead of us before we receive an adoption referral. I fear she is already depressed, and that it could get worse, and the worst part is that I have no idea how to help her, to give her what she needs, to maker her feel better. I'm giving it my all, and I will continue to do so, but calling it difficult is a huge understatement.

I've always thought that difficult times are an opportunity to prove your decency as a person. My role in this one is to be a good, supportive, patient, understanding husband, regardless of how my wife handles it. I'm doing my best, but it's hard to not feel like it's good enough.

We've wasted over half of our marriage and nearly $30,000 trying to concieve ... I need a break from it, and need to enjoy life for a while. It seems the only thing that is going to snap my wife out of this is a baby - right NOW - and here is where my best efforts will always fall short. The road ahead of us appears to be long and jagged.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


We had our post-failed-IVF-#2 meeting with our Doctor this morning. Dr. Mersol-Barg is a good man. I'm not keen on putting names into my blog, but I'd like to mention his, since he inserted so much compassion into the process. He took the edge off of the whole thing in a big way. We have no regrets about our decision to pursue the second round, and we have full confidence that if anyone was going to get us pregnant, it was Dr. Mersol-Barg. If you're in Southeast Michigan, and looking for infertility care, we highly recommend him (and we've been under the care of three doctors, so we know)

Anyways, the meeting revealed little we didn't already know. There is a "chronic egg issue" - they knew it as soon as they "cleared" the eggs following retrieval. The eggs had a yellow color, which is something embryologists don't really understand ... it might have something to do with cholesterol, but nobody really knows. Bottom line: Given this egg issue, assisted reproductive technologies can do little to help us.

He talked for a while about donor eggs. Prior to going to the meeting we sort of agreed that we weren't really interested in them, but as Dr. MB states, until you're on the edge of the cliff, you don't really know what you will decide or how you will react. He said it was his duty, and responsibility to describe the options we had available to us. Now that we're taking in the view from the cliff's edge, donor eggs are something we are going to leave on the table for the time being. I want to clearly state something: I have no "need" for a child that is genetically tied to me - that is not the reason for considering donor eggs. Technologies for egg freezing have improved drastically in the past 12 months. Our clinic is doing a trial in this area and they are seeking participants. We are candidates for this trial, and could receive some economic relief by participating. The process could commence very soon, and offers some very attractive odds for success, and eliminates variables out of your control when pursuing adoption (i.e. health screening, drug records, healthy pregnancy behaviors, etc.)

We have some talking to do, and some decisions to make. There are a lot of things to consider with either option ... how do you handle telling children of donor eggs about the nature of their "coming into the world"? Similar questions abound for adoption.

The choices are certain to be difficult ... but as the Bachelor Jason "Douche Bag" Mesnik states, this process is about tough choices. We are still going to pursue adoption, but, we might explore this donor egg thing a little bit too ... I'm leaving the decision to my wife, as I am completely at peace with any route we follow. My wife and I want a family - we know now that the path we have to follow to get there will be unconventional. Now we need just pick the flavor of unconventional we like best.

Will keep you posted.

Monday, March 2, 2009

No Go

On Saturday morning our Doctor called to say that 2 of our 4 embryos had deteriorated: 4 less 2 equals 2. Of those two, one was borderline acceptable and the other was not much better. He gave us a 5% chance of pregnancy if we transferred that day (which was day 3) We opted to hold off until day 5 (today) - this morning's call confirmed that the final two had arrested leaving none to transfer. He's calling it "a serious egg issue". We're calling it "the end of the road". Adoption, here we come ...

There's really not much left to say ... we're clearly disappointed, but we're surprisingly okay. We went into this knowing our odds were pretty grim. Even though we've fallen on the less desirable side of the fence, we at least have some certainty ... our goal is to get educated about adoption and move forward in the weeks ahead. We're expecting it to be an adventure, certain to have its own ups and downs, but at least at the end of it we will be parents, and will be able to give a great life to somebody who might otherwise have had to grow up in difficult circumstances.

As for this blog, I'm going to retire it and start a new one with more details on the journey we are about to begin ... more to come later, but for those of you who have read, commented and encouraged, thank you. I hope your path ends as you hope it to.