Saturday, August 20, 2011

Pissing in the ocean: our latest steps to babymaking

I started a mega pumped up cycle last weekend. Those descriptors are to characterize the amount of estrogen I am taking, and certainly not how my spirits feel about it. There won't be an IVF or any other attempts at pregnancy during this cycle, but instead an endometrial biopsy on labor day weekend. Something to look forward to, indeed.

Dr. RE put me on 8mgs of est.race (which includes a nightly vaginal dose resulting in bright green discharge the next day. fun). I am also on an estrogen patch (oes.clim). I change the patch every 3 days and I feel a bit dizzy on the first day of the new application. I wonder if he shouldn't have also prescribed estrogen eye drops, an estrogen nose spray and estrogen bath salts, just to make sure we had all the routes of entry covered.

What's the point of all this? Dr. RE wants to look at the cells of my endometrium to see if they look normal and to rule out serious lining issues before we try another expensive, time consuming, emotionally draining and third-party involving method of having a baby.

Like all of you, I am a very good patient. I am a doctor's dream. I am compliant; I ask good questions, but not too many; I don't pester the clinic; I understand directions readily and follow them to the letter; I avoid investing my medical team with powers they do not possess; I am polite and friendly. This buys you squat in the babymaking department. But this is the mode I find myself in right now. I'm not questioning it and not thinking about it beyond the immediate pill-taking and patch-sticking. I am apprehensive about the biopsy. I had a cervical biopsy many years ago and it hurt like hell.

A negative outcome of the endometrial biopsy is the end of road in terms of ever trying to have a baby through pregnancy. Thus, the end of the road might be near. There is also the other outcome: an inconclusive one, an outcome where we go ahead and contemplate another donor egg or donor embryo cycle, knowing all too well that the chances of success are far from favourable.

This is what led us to get on with the adoption process right away. We had a consultation with an adoption counselor in July and discussed our options. We already knew that our preference was for private domestic adoption, but the consultation confirmed it. We heard hard things during the consult: only about 80 newborns a year get placed with adoptive families in this province through domestic adoption. The average time it takes for couples to be chosen is 2 years. I would have liked to know the standard deviation, but I didn't want to appear like too much of a geek. I might have also been afraid of the answer. Mr. A with his deep well of optimism thinks that we will be chosen right away because we are so awesome. Ha! I'm not so sure about that, but it's nice that one of us is optimistic. 

I realize that efforts made towards having a baby are not in vain, but it just fucking feels like they are. Still, I worked on a farm for long enough to know that if you don't plant any seeds, you will not get any lettuce or tomatoes. So these seeds need to be planted, no matter how crummy my spirits feel these days. 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Session one

He said: "This doesn't have to look like anything"

I said ok.

I cried. That's what I do in his office, ever reassured to see 2 boxes of tissues in his office upon my arrival.

I told him I am a bitter, angry woman.

I do my yoga practice (sometimes) and omit the closing prayer. I am inconsolable, uninspired, and have lost faith. I just keep getting up and doing what I have to do and going back to bed.

He said: "This doesn't have to look like anything"

He means my grief.

I am not reaching out to friends. I respond when they call on me. I'll even meet them for breakfast, but I don't have much to give. I don't initiate.

I am concerned about losing my friends. And I can't make myself do more to connect. I am remote. To them, to myself. 

I am tired, exhausted from working, and from holding it all together.

This doesn't have to look like anything.

My grief, he means.

There is no right way or wrong way to do this, he means.

There is just this moment. And the next. I wake up and do the laundry. I drink water. It's Sunday and I'm supposed to call my father. I don't want to talk to anyone. I don't call. I feed Chicken, change her water. Start hand washing my cobalt top to wear at work this week. Roll out the yoga mat. Take off Dona Farhi's book off the shelf and do a backbending practice. Mr. August is at our friend's birthday brunch. She is not only having a birthday but also having a baby any minute now. Their place will be packed with happy people. I notice my mind getting busy with the problem of my absence at that party. And then I let it go. I'm not there. I'm here. In this moment. This doesn't have to look like anything. Yoga ends in savasana. I go down to change the laundry. I make coffee. I eat brunch.

In the next moment, I am lost. What comes next on a Sunday? On this Sunday? There is cleaning, walking, making supper, talking on the phone, reading The Globe and Mail. What order do they go in?  

Oh yes, I remember now. This doesn't have to look like anything. I can just make it up, jerry-rig it together with chicken wire, and call it a day, call it a grieving period. I can just do my best. My best, he says, will be good enough.