Monday, February 23, 2009

Perfect Moment Monday

Waking up to the sound of birds singing.

For other perfect moments this Monday, visit Lori's blog

Saturday, February 21, 2009


If you want to know what it is like to lose your only child and not be able to get pregnant again, please read this post from the Shifty Shadow.

B lost her much loved daughter, Maya, a few days after birth in May of 2006. She learned that Maya died from an unbalanced translocation and has since been trying to have a child via IVF and PGD.

Friday, February 20, 2009


How do you get a sleeping baby to wake up? Think to yourself, "Hey! I have some time to blog!"

So in lieu of a comprehensive post about EC'ing I was hoping to write, I am just going to throw out some random thoughts / observations as the day permits.

  • LB isn't quite crawling yet, but she is close. She scoots backwards pretty well and rolls around.
  • One of my favorite nurses at my clinic just gave her notice. It can't be a good thing when a nurse leaves after years with nothing else lined up. Selfishly, I hope I don't notice a difference beyond missing my nurse.
  • LB's favorite food is avocado. She will lunge for it. She hates banana and while she doesn't usually spit it out, she will sometimes shudder as she eats it.
  • I'm getting cold feet about our FET in April. We only have one embryo and there is only about a 10% chance it will make a live baby, but it is worth trying since it is more than $20,000 less than a fresh cycle and we only want one more kid. If we had a surprise pregnancy, I would be thrilled so I think the hesitancy is due more to not wanting to go back to the clinic. I was always treated well, but there is just so much stress and bad memories associated with it (with some good memories too).
  • I don't want LB to grow up comparing herself to others. It is a habit that has certainly not served me ("Why does she get a baby and I don't?"). How do you do that in a society as competitive as ours? How do I learn to stop modelling that behavior?
  • LB loves to play peek-a-boo. Actually we call it "Where's LB?!". We cover her with her blanket and shout "Where's LB?!" Sometimes she pulls the blanket down herself. Sometimes she goes perfectly still so I ask around . . . Ender, have you seen LB? Chaucer, have you seen LB? Then I find her and all her limbs start flapping! One of our favorite games.
  • 20 years ago when my mom made me my latest baby blanket (adult sized) she got enough material to make 3 more for my sisters. She never made them. One of my sisters had decided she doesn't need a duplicate of her baby blanket anymore (how crazy is that?!). I now have that material. With some slight modification I hope to make a new one for me and two for LB (or one for a sib if we should be so lucky)
  • I'm getting used to the idea of only having one child. Even though we are going to try, I just don't believe it will work. Yes, part of this is me trying to protect myself. Better to be surprised with it working then disappointed when it doesn't.
  • If I believed in a god, I would be praying for Spring or at least a good thaw. I want to ride my bicycle!
  • I love the way LB pushes herself from her tummy to a sitting position. So cute!
  • On our first plane trip with LB, I was doing my best to keep her quiet and comfortable to be kind to any fellow infertiles who may have been aboard. Shortly after a beverage service, she started to get pretty unhappy so I opted to walk her up and down the aisle to calm her. I put her in front of me facing out and walked up the aisle and it was working. I turned around to walk back towards our seat at the back of the plane and she started squealing with delight. She sounded like an airhorn from the good ship Look At Me. That is not what I was hoping for. We managed to entertain her the rest of the flight from our seats.
  • Just over two weeks to daylight savings time!
  • LB is 8 months old today.
That's all for now. Hopefully soon I will be posting about our EC experiences. For the time being a teaser . . . we almost never change a poopie diaper and haven't changed one in over 3 weeks. The diarea she had while diaper free a couple of days ago doesn't count. Oh, did I mention she was teathing?

Monday, February 9, 2009


A few days ago, I got off work at 4:00 to a fussy, sleepy and hungry baby. I quickly shut down my laptop, scooped her up from the babysitter and sat down on the couch to feed her. She nursed and then drifted off to a sound sleep. And by "sound" sleep, I mean a nap that I know could last more than an hour as long as I didn't disturb Her Nibs. Our little LB is a light sleeper and if she sleeps for only 5 to 10 minutes and then wakes up she will think she had a great nap until she gets cranky again - about 20 minutes later.

Knowing that I would be sitting there for at least an hour - maybe two, I started looking around for one of the books I have been reading. I could see two of them, but both were out of reach. Fine. Can I reach my laptop and get caught up on some of the blogs I follow? Nope - further than the books. Hmmm . . . what to do, what to do? This was going to be a long, boring couple of hours.

I let my eyes roam around the room looking for some kind of distraction and noticed the sun setting out the window. Beautiful. We haven't seen the sun much lately. Then I realized - I don't need a distraction, I need this - stillness. This time to myself that I have been longing for. Usually, when I have some time lately I am always trying to get caught up on things, feeling always behind and in a rush.

I had nothing I could do. Just sit. Not wait, just sit. I sat letting my thoughts come and go as they may, not focusing on anything for very long. I noticed the shadows changing as the room around me darkened with the setting sun, the weight and warmth of LB in my arms, the trees soon to be covered in leaves again. I admit I even spent a few minutes fantasizing about getting pregnant easily. What I didn't do is think about things I needed to get done or judge myself for dreaming about something I won't get.

It was a nice hour and a half. I was almost sad when Brad came home, the dog went crazy and LB woke up. But then it is always nice to get to say, "Daddy's home!"

For other Perfect Moments for this Monday, click on over to Lori's blog.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A few more answers about having a donor egg baby

I am finally getting back to answer the questions asked in my delurking post. Please see the rules at the beginning of this post before continuing.

JenniferK asked:

How important was it that the donor look like you? Were there certain characteristics you would have insisted on? Why? Now that you're on the other side do you think a resemblance is more or less important than you thought it was then?
The look of the donor wasn't really that important to me. I wanted someone close enough that it wasn't obvious that our child was conceived in a less than traditional way. I was much more concerned in finding someone who matched in personality. In terms of personality, I thought if I could find someone I could be friends with than it was probably a good match. The only thing I insisted on was that she liked to dance. Quite by accident our donor does look quite a bit like me. You can see a picture of us on this early post. I'm the one on the right.

I don't think I have changed my mind in this. I have lots of friends who don't look anything like me, yet we have much in common. Off the top of my head, I can't think of a single friend where we don't have similar interests, views, intelligence, etc. I wanted to make my relationship with our child(ren) as easy as possible. One of my early childhood experiences with adoption, my very conservative aunt adopted a very wild redhead. I thought their relationship was strained because of the difference. I don't know if that was really this issue for them or how their relationship is now, but it gave me someplace from which to start. Now, I look and act a lot like my mother, but we agree on almost nothing, so you never know.

Squarepeg asked:

How often do people comment that LB looks or doesn't look like you? Your DH? How to you answer or handle the comment/question?

When/how to you plan to share LB's story with her?

I don't get that comment very often. Everyone knows she is not my genetic child so they probably didn't feel comfortable saying it even if they thought it.
There were times, early on, when I longed to have people say that LB looked like me. I have, on occasion, had strangers make that comment and it wasn't really satisfying. In my head I always thought, "Well, she doesn't. Not really." I did have one humorous occasion where a very lively waiter kept looking between Brad and I trying to peg where LB got her eyes. First it was me, then "no, it is your husband" and back again. We were dining with friends so it was fun to share this inside joke. It left the waiter completely baffled.

As time has gone on, I have changed the way I have answered the question. I'm still not quite comfortable with my response. With strangers, I just say, "Thanks." or "Do you think so?" or something equally non-committal and polite. With family members, I have said, "But she doesn't." or when that didn't feel right, "Really? You think so?" but that doesn't quite work either. I'm touched that they keep looking for similarities between me and LB (both in terms of appearance and personality) and forcing the issue when I deny responsibility.

As for telling - early and often. Well, not overly often. I don't want to make LB's conception a big deal, but I want it to be part of her story. I understand if you tell a child before she is 4 she will never remember being told so it will definitely be before then. I imagine telling her about her conception the way other parents tell children about their birth - lots of happy images and making her sound like the most special kid on the planet (which, of course, she is!). As she gets older, I will throw in more details because at first I'm sure she won't understand what it really means to be the product of a donated cell even if she knows about it. That's the plan anyway. We shall see how it turns out.

Julia asks:

I find that while I adore my baby girl to pieces, I still do wish that she were genetically mine. And not because I wish she were different in any way, just because there's all this stuff that goes along with it that I am sometimes not sure I am strong enough to deal with. This is all such new territory. Does that make sense? Do you ever feel like that?

I absolutely feel like that sometimes. When she was new and still pretty generic, I found I still wished I could go back in time and redo everything. Maybe if we went right to an RE, we would have never conceived a soon-to-be-dead baby. Maybe we would have had a successful IVF right out of the gate. I would love to have erased the heartache, pain and regrets in my life. Now that she is more of a little person, it isn't so easy. If someone came to me right now and said that I could go back in time and be guarateed a (relatively) easy conception and birth of healthy babies (2 please, 1 at a time) I might be tempted. It would probably all sound very good until the moment when I would hold LB for the last time. I would have to say good-bye and know that I would be un-making her and un-knowing her. I wouldn't do it. I love her too much. She is the child I want to see grow up.

One other revelation I had recently on this subject. Originally I had asked my younger sister to donate her eggs (she wasn't comfortable with the idea). I felt that her genes would be my genes, just a circuitous route. I have three sisters and we are all very much alike although we are also quite different in important ways. I don't recall what brought it up, but I was reminded that I might have used my sister's eggs. "Oh!, " I said as I held LB tighter, "I'm glad she doesn't have my sister's genes!" It sounded odd even to my ears because I was sure I wanted LB to have my genes and I was sure my genes were the same as my sisters.

It is complicated sometimes and I don't know how I will handle every situation. Sometimes I worry about being strong enough too. Recently there was an anonymous comment pointing to a set of blogs against adoption, ART and donor gametes. It made me uncomfortable to think that LB wouldn't be happy with her conception in the long run. I know some adult children aren't, but there are also many adult children who are happy even though they were adopted or the product of donor gametes. My goal is to love unconditionally and help LB be a happy and well adjusted adult. I don't think her conception is as important as how we raise her. I do think it is important to be honest with her about that conception and I am glad we have a known donor in case she ever wants to meet her genetic contributor.