Wednesday, October 1, 2014

October First

Dates are very meaningful to me. It always surprises people when I remember their birthday. But I do. For the most part. I have intricate maps of information in my head, which is how I remember a lot of things. Dates are located on a rounded square depicting the calendar year, and in my mind, I literally travel that rounded square each year as we go through the weeks, months, seasons. I'm just a psychology nerd.

October First. Two Thousand and Nine.

That's the day when things went from maybe to NO. It was unequivocal: no babies would ever come from my genetic material. I couldn't make a baby from scratch. It was NEVER going to happen. It's not that it would have been possible before 10/01/2009, because my ovaries were inactive and un-stimulable before then. But that's the day it became crystal clear.

There were two terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days during my awful journey through infertility. October first, 2009, and May 25, 2011. I can't tell which was worse, and rank ordering them is moot.

Both involved a drive from Fertility Treatment Town to Pleasantville, neither of which I really remember. Neither of which were entirely safe for me to do alone. But I look back now and I feel those two drives were emblematic. Alone, and empty handed. The first, without eggs to make a baby. The second, without life inside the baby inside of me.

I remember the Santa Cruz Lemonade jar on the May 2011 drive. I was pregnant, thirsty and craved lemonade. I had it in the car. I drank it awkwardly on highway 401, at 125 km per hour.

I thought about it a lot today. October First, two thousand and nine. I remember getting home and lying down on the couch and sleeping and losing a lot of time that day. My body was NEVER going to make eggs. My body was NEVER going to make a baby.

When at supper on the evening of Oct. 1, 2009 Mr. A asked what I was going to do the next day, I could hardly fathom the question, let alone make up an answer. I think I said I would try to get out of bed. A part of me died on that day. What are you supposed to do the day after a part of you dies?

10/01/2009. That was five years ago now.

This evening, I rocked my baby to sleep, like I do most evenings. My body did not make this baby. My body grew this baby. This baby is my baby. She will never need to know about October 1, 2009. She will only need to know about June 23, 2012 (the embryo transfer) and February 28, 2013 (her birthday). The sorrow which lay ground for her existence is not hers: it is mine. Her life is hers, with its joys, its tribulations, its constant learnings, its intensity.

I think about genetics very little these days. What I think about is how to give my girl everything, EVERYTHING she needs to grow up strong, and healthy, and smart, and strong. Our mother-daughter genetic disparity is part of her story, part of mine. And that will be the subject of interesting discussions, and meaningful soul searching on her part in a few decades.

October First, two thousand and fourteen. I have a daughter. I am someone's mother.


  1. This made me cry.

    I'm also very much in tune with dates and I've been thinking about 5 years too. It's so long ago and so close all at once.

    Just occurred to me I'm going to be in your country in a few weeks and I'm trying to remember if I know what city you're near...would love to meet you if we could swing it.

  2. It made me cry, too, Augusta. You're absolutely right. On all of it. It's something I think about a lot, as well - that time before...well, it was BEFORE. It was hard but it was my burden. Now is much more interesting.

    So glad you are her mother.

    (Still here though a terrible, sporadic commenter).

  3. It's so long ago and yet just yesterday at times. Great post.
    I agree. My story is mine and her's is just getting started. And her's is wonderful and miraculous!
    Thinking of you!

  4. This made me beautifully written and so true. I'm so happy for the life ahead for you and for Gummy Girl.

  5. Ditto to tears. Blarrrrgh, dates. I had to stop thinking of those to make it. I very much recall that May, and our bizarre star crossing as I found myself in the same spot that June.

    A very brave and strong mama, indeed.

  6. Beautifully written. We do have the oddest things from those horrible days seared on our brains. I can't remember dates, but I will always remember that pile of laundry I had left unfolded on my bed before I went off for the ultrasound that told me that my first baby had no heartbeat. I had to come back and fold that pile of clothes that night....And yes, that awful, fateful journey to our babies is our buden, not thiers, but I imagine I'll tell Gauri about it one day, and I imagine we will shed a tear over it all. And yes, genetics counts for nothing...that wonderful warm body to snuggle and comfort and love, that is everything.

  7. This must have been so monumental, I can't even imagine.
    And you're right about the before. I'm not quite sure what and how to tell Strawberry Baby about it. Because while it's not her story, it still is her family's story.
    I'm so glad you have gummy girl now, and get to give her everything she needs.

  8. *Uses laptop to wipe away copious tears* I'm so sorry you had to live through both those days. And so awed you had the strength to drag your heartbroken carcass towards the dim possibility of something better.

    I have a tough time with the inherent conflict between being glad about certain things that ARE (that you and I are friends, that we have the babies we have) and being so sad about the things that never got be (Owlet, all the phantom babies your eggs would have yielded...). I guess that's part of the story--how glad you are that she's the daughter you have, that you're the mother she got...

  9. Beautiful post! Thank you for sharing. So wonderful that such a tough beginning turned into such a wonderful miracle. Love that. Very easy to relate to this and grateful for our ending/beginning as well. Love your posts and hope you are doing well. Gummy is one very lucky girl with such a wonderful mom in you.

  10. I do the same thing with dates and associations- kind of a bittersweet time warp. It's October, the Giants are in the post season and the air is cooling off, all like when I had my second loss. Years later now and leading a very different life with my kids. Wishing you and your family all of the best.

  11. I like your blog! My congrats with your successful de ivf. Your daughter is super cute) I think every mom has such thoughts) I'm not an exception!) But we should control ourselves. To be honest, at first I was completely against de ivf. I thought it’s unnatural and I won’t be able to love a baby of another woman. How stupid I was! This procedure was my only chance to become a mother so I persuaded myself to do it. Now I have no regrets. I look at Sammy and I consider him as my son and no one else's. We had an opportunity to give our doctor list of features we want to see in our donor. We mentioned hair color, nose and face shape, eyes, lips, etc. I should say everyone tells me my son looks like me! We told everyone, even our family, that we had simple ivf. No one can ever tell we used egg donor. Of course I’m grateful to our doctor and that girl, who donated her eggs. I will never forget what they’ve done for us! But I really have no feelings like my son is not genetically related to me or I feel differently toward him. Absolutely no! I love him with my whole heart! As soon as I knew I’m pregnant all my doubts faded away. I carried him, I felt him inside my stomach, I had toxicosis, I sang for him and read fairytales for him, I gave birth to him! He’s my son and only my! We decided we’ll not tell Sammy about egg donor. I think he doesn’t need to know that. I’m his mom and I’ll do everything for him so there will be no need for him to look for donor. We had de ivf in Ukrainian BioTexCom. We had 2 attempts in general. I’ve got pregnant from the first one. The clinic also offers «packages» with 1 or 5 attempts. So we’ve just chosen «package», which suited us the most. Hun, I wish you and your little princes all the best!

  12. Initially when I looked at clinics for embryo donation biotexcom responded very quickly to my queries and had the shortest waiting time. My coordinator called me and gave me all the details of what treatment involved, and answered all the questions I had. She also has very good English so there was no communication barrier at all. This process was a lot easier than I anticipated. All contact made through email and at all times my emails were responded to quickly and thoroughly. And the cost was not too much either. I was sent a treatment plan which was very clear and easy to follow. I was given my transfer date well in advance so I had plenty of time to plan my flights and accommodation. When I attended biotexcom on the day of transfer I was impressed at what a spotlessly clean clinic this is. All the staff was extremely friendly. I met my coordinator who was so friendly and kind and put me at ease before treatment. I spoke to the embryologist and the doctor before treatment. Procedure was very quick and efficient by the doctor performing procedure. After years of infertility treatment I am so glad I made the decision to go with embryo adoption. It is not easy to decide to go to another country and have treatment. I can’t believe how smoothly and stress free this process was. After years of tears and heartache they have helped to make myself and my husband’s dream of having a family come true. I am so grateful!