It’s tomorrow!

I got the smiley face on my OPK today, so the IUI will be tomorrow!

I was hoping for it to be much earlier, because we were scheduled to go to our annual family camp today. It’s Danish Folk Camp, but almost nobody is actually Danish. It’s a three and a half hour drive to a tiny town in southwestern Minnesota where we stay in a dorm for a week with 150 other people, including my mom and in-laws. The Dad’s first time going was 21 years ago, mine was 7 years ago, my mom started coming 4 years ago. Every day we have three meals and two snacks, two singing sessions, at least one dancing session, a discussion (or playing on the lawn with the little kids), two craft sessions, free time in which I often take a nap, and something special right after supper. There are games and chatting until the wee hours of the morning, but I usually just go to bed for 8 hours sleep, so that I stay a pleasant person to be, and to be near. Thursday free time I usually volunteer to help silk screen the year’s logo onto about 200 things, mostly t-shirts, but pillow cases, bags, and tea towels too. I always teach a craft, this year, it’s attaching glass beads to headbands with wire wrapping. The Dad’s craft to teach is coffee roasting, both with his special coffee roasting machine, and air popcorn poppers. We will end up being at least 24 hours late, since the earliest appointment available is 11:15 tomorrow.

I was planning on the IUI coming sooner, since I am on day 15 of a cycle that started 4 days late. The babycenter due date calculator says that if I conceive tomorrow, my due date will be March 14th, 2016, five years and one day after Josh’s due date.

Our doctor said there’s a 15% chance it will work each try, so after 4 tries, more than half of patients are pregnant. We will definitely be on vacation for an August ovulation, current predicted start date is the day we leave for 2 weeks. A July ovulation may be overlapping with a weekend away seeing plays, but only if my brother-in-law needs us to change when that is currently scheduled in order for us to attend his wedding. They haven’t set the date for sure yet. September, October and November look fine, but with my cycles varying in length between 24 and 30 days the last 4 months (less variation than the first 6 months after the failed IVF), who knows?

Someday, we will get to meet our kid(s).


Big step coming soon

I am waiting for the morning when my ovulation predictor test gives me the smiley face. It’s cycle day 13, and so far no luck.

We met with the counselor two weeks ago and made sure we were prepared. The two major things we learned were:

1. Children conceived with donated genetic material usually like to have the option to contact or learn the identity of the donor. Even if they don’t want to use the option, they resent having that possibility taken from them. This option generally comes as a facet of the donor profile, whether he or she is willing to have his or her identity and contact information available to the child at age 18.

2.  These children also appreciate that if they have a sibling, having a sibling with the same genetic lineage. This means for us that it would most likely be better for our second child, if we have one, to have the same donor.

She signed the required document stating that we know what we are getting into.

I also got the lab result back that I am negative for CMV. What is CMV? This surprised me, since I’m pretty sure I’ve had every cold or flu virus that was ever near me. We’ve decided therefore to choose a CMV negative donor.

We have chosen the donor, purchased one vial, and it has been delivered to our clinic. These steps in the process are incredibly expensive and not covered by insurance.

When I get that OPK smiley face, I will call the clinic and we will schedule an IUI (intra-uterine insemination) for the following morning, and get everything ready.

According to the first day of my last period, if I get pregnant this cycle, our fifth child will be due exactly 5 years after Josh’s due date.


The next thing to try

Tomorrow we meet with a counselor, actually a PhD psychologist, to learn all about the emotional aspects of building our family with donor sperm.

My therapist, who specializes in baby loss, infertility and parenthood after, reminded me last summer during the IVF to consider donor sperm as a possible back-up, so I wasn’t pinning all my hopes on the IVF. I didn’t want to do it, I did pin all of my hopes on the IVF working, and I was devastated when it didn’t. The massive amount of pain from the extra blood that had hemorrhaged into my abdomen didn’t help.

I have been trying to come to terms with this idea since then. I didn’t want to give up on having a child that was genetically related to my husband (The Dad). There is so much about him that I admire and treasure and hope he passes on to our kids, and I wasn’t willing to let that go. I would have been much more able to give up on passing on my DNA to our kids. That’s mostly because of what my mom has always called “defective brain genes”, the hereditary Persistent Depressive Disorder I get from her.

The Dad was much more willing to move towards donated sperm. He is very logical and patient. He knows that he will be the dad, he knows how incredibly influential environment is for people, and he knows that experiencing, and especially watching me experience a fifth miscarriage would be extremely painful for him.

Last fall we met with my therapist’s clinic partner to talk about being ok with it. She had her children through egg donation and help us through a lot of the conversation. But I still wasn’t convinced. It just seemed like giving up on full genetic siblings for the children we had lost, which seemed like a betrayal.

What finally did it for me was something an OBGYN said to me. I only saw her because I needed urgent appointments and couldn’t get one with my regular one. I had some crazy pelvic pain, (which is being successfully treated as related to the crazy upper left quadrant abdominal pain I’d been having) and some strange bleeding from cycle day 23 to 28 last cycle (which appears to have been weird and undiagnosable, but nothing to worry about).

So I saw this doctor, and she said, “You’re 33 and you want to have 2 kids, it’s time to start trying something different.” I told her my issue with it, and she said it didn’t have to be the end of the line for trying to conceive with The Dad’s sperm. If we had one with a donor, and tried again naturally after, a loss would probably be less traumatic. It would no longer be all of my children. I wouldn’t be a generally-unacknowledged mother. I know I wouldn’t have as hard of a time pulling myself out from under when the most important person in the world needed me.

Technically one of my brothers is a half-brother and one is originally a half-brother, but adopted as a full brother, and they’re my brothers. I never mention the half-brother part, except on those rare instances that I’m explaining why I just mentioned my brother’s dad. There’s no reason it should be any different for my children.

We have already decided that this will not be a secret. If we do successfully have a child this way, we want him or her to know their history without shame. There are medical reasons he or she should know about it. Finding out later in life is often traumatic, and we don’t want that.

Our children are ours, they are loved, and we want them to know that.

P.S. This OBGYN, who I’m 90% sure I’m switching to, said something else that has made a difference. I said I wasn’t sure my antidepressants were doing enough because I was still so sad. She said that I had been going through a lot of stuff that just sucked, and it was reasonable to be sad about that. I liked that. Not the fact that it’s true, but the validation.