Thursday, December 22, 2011

Vitamin D and adoption are unrelated topics

I continue to sit at work with not much to do. Today, I have scoured etsy for last minute Christmas gifts, I have written emails to friends with whom I have not been in touch in a long time, and I have tried to read a very dry, but very relevant (but very dry) book on Learning Disabilities. I am struck by the contrast from my last job where 11-12 hours each day wasn't enough to get my work done. It's funny how it's so uncomfortable to have things out of balance, in either direction. I suspect I will be very  busy again before I know it.

So, while I have some time to spare, dear reader, let me entertain you with thoughts on disparate topics.

1) Vitamin D: If you have not come across Jay's blog at Stork Stalking, I strongly encourage you to check it out. Through reading her blogs and generous comments on my blog and others' blogs, I have come to appreciate the relevance of vitamin D in health related matters, not the least of which infertility. For a thorough explanation of the impact of vitamin D deficiency in infertility, start with her tab on the science of infertility and continue on by searching for through the vitamin D label. Jay has such a great ability to make complex scientific information accessible, and I feel very grateful for how willing she is to share her knowledge.
After reading some of the info on vitamin D deficiency, I started to supplement with 2000 iu per day. I thought it couldn't hurt. After about 2 months of this, and after my trip to Cuba in the sun, I visited my family doctor and asked her for labs, including vitamin D. Since I have osteopenia, she was all for it and sent me off to get this tested, along with the usual suspects (tsh, CBC, glucose, iron). The only thing that came up as low was, you guessed it, my vitamin D levels. I was advised to supplement with 1000 to 2000 iu per day, but I sometimes go up to 3000. And perhaps I should go higher. I have to say that I am hoping to improve my chances for the next round of treatments by making sure my D is in the happy zone.

2) Adoption: I have not given many updates on our adoption process here, so I thought I'd update you now. We did finish our home study in November and our social worker Gretchen said she would have the report done in January. We did the adoptive parent training intensive back in Sept/Oct. We are technically at the point of being a "family in waiting". Except that I have not signed us up with the agency or any licensee as of yet. I thought about doing that when Gretchen suggested we call up the agency and put our names on the list, but I think it's the wrong time right now. On one hand, I would like to put all our sticks in the fire and just see what happens. But on the other hand, it would mean that if the agency wanted to present us to birth parents, we would have to say no because we are in active treatment. And I think that knowing there are birth parents who could potentially chose us would really mess with my mind. Especially if the subsequent round of DE IVF failed. As awful as it is, I experience regret and guilt often in my life and I would find a way to regret and feel guilty for the fact that we said no to being presented. Can you see the mindfuck implications?

I still experience a conflict inside about the adoption versus the treatment route. I am and have always been very open about adoption as an option for creating our family. And I am and always have been wanting/hoping/praying to be pregnant one day.  

There is a very disentitled part of me that doesn't entirely believe we deserve the gift of pursuing treatment at a US clinic. Fortunately, there is another part of me that knows to take the gift simply because it is being presented to us, and to just be thankful. The disentitled part of me says that I should just accept my medical condition and stop trying to have science perform miracles by making me pregnant. (I know, that's quite a statement to make to a group of infertiles, but that's me, ready to shock at any hour). Move on and...wait for it... just adopt (you know I'm being sarcastic here). I realize that this makes adoption sound like the consolation prize, but that is not my point. My point is that there are babies being born from women who can conceive but cannot parent, and that I can parent but cannot conceive, so I should maybe focus on trying to parent such a baby, instead of insisting on defying the odds through a medical intervention.

But then, the 'what ifs' start bubbling up. I got pregnant last time, what if I were to get pregnant again? What if this time, I didn't have a miscarriage? What if by some miracle, I got the baby to term and we had a child through DE? Well, that would be swell (note the apt use of a euphemism).

And what is the advantage of DE over adoption for us? Well, we're not too concerned about whose genes reside in our child. Of course, we would like to avoid things like Huntington's or other such awful genetic diseases, but frankly, it doesn't make a huge difference for Mr. A or I to have our child share his genes or not. Not at this point in our journey. I know that might sound discrepant from your experiences, but that's where we are at. If the door to using your OE slams in your face, you orient towards other options. We want to be parents; that is our main priority. Then it should not make that big of a difference whether we focus on adoption or DE. The difference for me is that the pregnancy itself is a very important part. I want to be pregnant. I have had numerous dreams of being pregnant, I've always believed I would be pregnant and if there is any possibility that it will happen, I feel like I have to pursue it. I don't think it's better than adoption, I think it's just that all things being equal, I would prefer to start with our child from the very beginning.

And I know the pregnancy may never happen again. The 12 weeks we had last spring may be it. But it feels like I have to give it a good try. It doesn't put adoption off the table for us. We are thinking that a second child would come to us through adoption and it is something we both want.

I worry about this post and whether I've offended anyone in talking about where I'm at with all this. Please know that this was not intended to offend. It's just me working through all of my thoughts in writing. I think it's very tricky to straddle the ART and adoption worlds. People tend to be in one camp or the other (or one camp after the other might be more accurate). Yet, some of you straddle the two beautifully. I'm not there yet. I'm in the messy phase of sorting it all out.


  1. Hi Augusta, what a real, real post. I love your honesty. With regards to wanting to be pregnant using DE, you summed up my thoughts during the process perfectly. It was the pregnancy that gave me a child that I really wanted. Given that I couldn't use my OE, just having a pregnancy would have been such a gift. I, too, thought about what it would be like to be pregnant and wanted to experience that. I was open to adoption, but something kept pulling me to DE, and since we live in a state that insurance covers some of the cost , we took it as a "sign." I remember feeling selfish for wanting a pregnancy and worrying about what other people thought of me.

    I know it does seem strange, and may be it is, to be able to "divorce" yourself from the genetic related part, but still want to carry a pregnancy. I can't say that it isn't selfish, or egotistic or whatever. I CAN say that you are definitely NOT the only person to feel this way. We were fortunate and had twins via DE IVF. I was horribly sick throughout the whole pregnancy. And, truly, I don't regret a minute of it. I hope that you get to experience pregnancy as part of your family building effort. And no matter what happens I wish for you clarity and peace.

  2. I have been through this thought process before and it's such a highly individual thing and depends on the factors in your particular case. For me, it came down to the one way being much more of a financial gamble. Take as long as you need to process it! Thinking of you!

  3. I think it is great that you and your husband are open to both options, DE and adoption. Having more than one path you can take just makes it that much more likely that you will reach your goal of parenthood, in my opinion.

    I would've been fine with either adoption or DE, but my husband (for a variety of reasons) could not get on board with adoption. . . so we did DE IVF instead. We were fortunate that it worked for us on the first try, and I am now 30 weeks pregnant with twin boys.

    It sounds to me like you are thinking logically about this and approaching it in a sane manner. Good for you!

    Happy holidays.

  4. I totally get how you feel about the pregnancy part, ever since I learned where babies come from I wanted to have one, to experience pregnancy. I was dx with stage 4 endometrosis when I was 20 and even then DE were brought up, so it's an idea I got comfortable with way before my DH was. We ended up not needing to go that route but the point is when as you said the door is slammed on your OE it's like ok now what? As for Vit D I'm not sure how low yours was but if it was much under 20 you may want to ask your doctor about a script for 50,000 unit D once a week for 8 weeks then recheck.

  5. As for the adoption vs. DE...its a calling. My true belief is its a calling which way you go. Sure, DE might not work and then the whisper of adoption becomes stronger but at this time the whispers of DE are louder than adoption. Thats how I look at it. No need to justify your situation to anyone but your self...

  6. Thanks for the vitamin d plug, its great that you are trying to promote awareness!

    I really love your comments on my blog, you are such an incredibly kind person, and it comes across in everything you say.

    I struggle with what my path to my child should be as well. One philosophy, espoused by my mom, calms me down. She told me a while ago, the universe has a baby waiting for you. It will come to you by whatever way it is supposed to. So just pursue whatever path you want to, and things will happen way the universe has willed will work. It's a great way to think IMO. Just pursue whatever options you practically can, and feel comfortable with, while believing that something/somebody will make the final call. Practically, it makes complete sense not to put your eggs in one basket, so to speak. :)

  7. As for vitamin d, when I found I was deficient, I took 60000 iu/weekly for 2 weeks, then went to 4000 iu/day

  8. I FINALLY caught up on contact notes and treatment plans, so I'm kinda in that not-much-to-do mode right now. Trying to enjoy the peace until the next crisis!

  9. This is a very thoughtful treatment of massively complex issues, and I think your honesty is crucial. I wager there are a lot of women struggling with similar questions who will profit from reading the post.

  10. I am been out of cyberspace for awhile w/ holidays, family, etc. Hope you have a good holiday. I see no reason why anyone would be offended to read your post. Your sincerity and honesty in conveying your thoughts is wonderful to read. Straddling the hopes and fears that both pregnancy and adoption bring is hard to do, and I have felt many of those same feelings you expressed.

    I hope your dreams of parenting come to fruition in this new year.