Friday, March 30, 2007

My baby boy & other updates

My baby boy Bozo had a run in this week with another one of my dogs resulting in stitches to his lower eyelid and the indignity of this cone for the next 10 days.

On a brighter note, Bozo (despite his infirmity) passed the test to be admitted into the Dog Agility Training program. His half brother is national champion so it is in the DNA.

I'm working on my realtor's license and plan to start showing houses some time next month ($$$). B* is back on May 7th and I am hoping we can come up with a DE game plan then. I am going to get him in to see the DE counselor so we can talk through any "issues" he might have. We don't have to do this, but I am going to tell him that it was strongly recommended.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Peggy Orenstein Responds

The Drowned Girl joined me in posting comments to Peggy Orenstein on the Josh Kornbluth Show Blogand Peggy responded!!! This is the power of the Internet at Work!!!

Peggy Orenstein | March 25th, 2007 at 8:13 pm
Hi, I’d just like to comment back to the two women above. You’re absolutely right that I got the miracle happy ending in terms of getting pregnant and having a baby. And honestly? I agree that the reason you see that “happy” ending and not the others is that publishers don’t think the other ones sell. That’s the bald truth. And, of course, in my case it wasn’t the story.

I felt I had a great story that was larger than the tale of the infertility itself, a really gripping yarn about a woman’s life. I also was concerned that I had the miracle ending and that wasn’t fair to a lot of women. So I worked very hard in the book to make sure that the baby wasn’t the exclamation point happy ending and that’s it, on we go. I felt that if that were the case, I would have failed.

That’s why I wrote the epilogue the way I did. I wanted to be clear that, despite having the “miracle” ending, there was a huge cost to my marriage, my life, and my finances in the process, and that there were some real questions about the infertility industry. What’s more, I don’t think I at all ducked the question of what would happen “without the miracle” as Drwoned Girl suggests. That’s the whole purpose of mulling what might’ve happend if the deus ex machina of the baby hadn’t dropped into our lvies (deus ex machina is the artificial or improbable device dropped into a literary work to create a happy endiing). I do pick at that thread, though obviously can’t draw conclusions, can’t know what would’ve happened. That’s also why I wrote the section in which Steven tells me not to get “revisionist,” that the baby does not justify the means by which we got there.

I think if there is a cautionary element to my tale (and by the way, Jade I would never have described myself as “too career focused”) it is that I forgot the things that could sustain me in crisis, the things that would be there whether or not I became a mother, the things, in fact, that feminism has given us: teh opportunity for meaningful work, the possibility of a parntership of equals, the potential to define ourselves fully and richly without being mothers. I lost sight of that. It sounds to me, Jade, that you have not and I admire you for that.

I also wanted at the end to have the opportunity to say a thing or two about fallacies about New Age and religious platitudes (God only gives you what you can stand; everything happens for a reason) and idiotic statements like, “if you adopt you’ll get pregnant.”

In those ways, I hoped the book would continue to reflect some of the experience and have relevance for those whose “ending” was different than mine: those who conceived via third party reproduction, via IVF or other technology, those who adopted, or those who decided to go on as a couple and forgo further attempts to have children.

In the end, though, this is my story and I wrote it as I experienced it and as it happened. It’s unclear to me, Drowned Girl, why you object to the inclusion of the botched donor cycle. Because you’re starting a cycle and don’t want to read about one that didn’t work out? That’s not really fair to me. I would’ve been thrilled to have had a baby via Jess’ egg, was fully prepared for THAT to be our happy ending/beginning, as I was fully prepared to become an adoptive parent if that had worked as well. But we had some very bad luck. That failed cycle, I’d wager to say, was harder for me to live through than it was for anyone to read. I sincerely hope your cycle works for you and it is certainly doubtful that you would have the same thing happen that we did!

You might be interested to know that my relationship with Jess has continued and deepend significantly over time–she is a true part of our family.

Happy to answer any other questions.

Friday, March 23, 2007

O Peggy

Ok - my comment has now posted on the Josh Kornbluth blog.

A Little Pregnantmentions the book on her site today and early this week Beaten not bowed had some thoughtful comments.

The New York Times thought it was great. And don't get me wrong, good work of literature and I am sure that Peggy Orenstein is delightful and interesting over cocktails, but we just don't all get her happy ending and that is the painful pill.

Girl Chat...

I had a great meet-up with my Australian blogger pals while I was away. We met for brunch and everyone brought their significant other. Ofcourse only one of the three men actually knew about our blogs so we had to be somewhat careful in not letting that cat out of the bag.

It felt like the post-apocalyptic version of Sex and the City. We are all in our early 40's in the "important" relationship - the complete otherside of the planet from NYC where the show takes place and now all having to stare down infertility and create our own families.

I was so impressed with both Susie and Sparkle. They are strong women who have already been through so much on their journeys to motherhood. Their determination and focus was truly inspiring and I hope that I can follow in their foot steps.

Sparkle is pregnant through DE and Susie reported at brunch that she has found not one but two donors and is syncing cycles in order to get started.

It was interesting to chat about the Australian laws v. US approach to DE. You cannot compensate the donor in Australia and 9 out of 10 times the recipient has to go out and find her own donor. In the US donor egg has become a huge business and it was hard for Sparkle's husband to understand how donating eggs is an altruistic act if you are being paid $6500. The standards are different in the states, people expect to be paid, but they still believe that they are giving someone the gift of a child - and they are.

Personally, I think the fact that it is a business transaction makes it all a little cleaner and simpler. This doesn't take into account how the prospective child might feel about it 18 years from now but I can only take one step at a time.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Waiting for Daisy... Peggy Orenstein, You Got Lucky.

I read Waiting For Daisy on my flight back from Australia. Sue from A Few Good Eggs recommended it as the story of a woman who experiences infertility and chooses ultimately to pursue donor egg. Well, Sue must not have finished the book because - that is not how the story ends. Now, before I give away the ending let me say, yes it is a good book for infertiles - an easy read and a way of commiserating with another articulate, professionally successful woman who chose to put off pregnancy until her late thirties and then had to deal with the consequences.

Now to the ending and how it all turns out....

The donor egg cycle is a failure. She goes on to get pregnant on her own and has a happily ever after tale after slogging through the throws of infertility. I should be happy for Peggy Orenstein who ends up successfully passing her DNA on to the next generation, but instead I felt resentful. Perhaps my resentment was exacerbated by the fact that I thought this was a book about a woman who has a baby using Donor Egg. My reader expectations were calibrated incorrectly from the get-go.

Yes, so in the end, her eggs work out fine and it was the crappy sperm all along. Wouldn't that be nice if that turned out to be the case and yet, for me, it is a fantasy.

And (insult to injury) she actively resisted having children when she was already married, concerned that it would get in the way of her successful career, now even more successful with the publishing of this latest book. Many of us have to choose to slow down our careers to deal with infertility (like me) - to make what has often been the area of highest satisfaction and gratification and secondary priority - pursuing the dream of motherhood in the hope that it will be the panacea we've always dreamed it would be.

Peggy Orenstein, I hope you know how good you have it.

UPDATE:
Peggy Orenstein is doing a big media tour for the book. I came across a blog for the Josh Kornbluth Show on KQED that invited comments - so I left some!!!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Australia - images

I am already starting to have an anxiety stomach ache thinking about going back to work tomorrow. So here are some nice memories from my trip.




Saturday, March 17, 2007

I Like Ike -

Just back from a fabulous and exhausting trip to Australia. I will post pictures later, I still need to upack and find my camera!!!
"Ike"

As for B* - things are in a much better place. Although he is enamored of Australia he is also quite homesick which explains some of his crazy behavior (it's not intuitive but what man is?). He will be home in May (for the whole summer more than likely) and may have to return for one more semester in the fall. I made him promise that we would do the donor egg before he leaves for the fall semester - and he said "yes, yes, yes, ofcourse." He even picked out a name for our future child - a boy's name ofcourse - my favorite South Park character. Ike.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Greetings from Sydney

I've landed and B* should be arriving in the next 30 minutes - very very very anxious about dealing with him right now given that he is the source of so much for me right now. But hey, I am on the other side of the planet and this is a pretty exciting place to be so I am going to try and not let our big life problems get in the way of enjoying myself (we'll see).

In the $$$ category of issues I have decided to reactivate my real estate license and do a little moonlighting on the side. I've talked to a realtor friend of mine and she is totally pumped to have me work for her showing houses to potential buyers and if I make the sale I get part of the comission. If I sell three houses that $12,000 right there. She has more business than she can possibly handle and is grateful for the assistance.

This way I am not dependent on B* for the mortgage, and I can start saving for my own fertility fund (with or without him). GIRLPOWER plain and simple. I am actually quite excited about making the extra dough and I like looking at other people's houses.

While in Sydney I am hoping to hook up with IF and the City and
The Journey both of whom are pursuing motherhood - one now successfully with donor egg. We are hoping to meet for brunch in Manly on Sunday. Very Cool!

More later, ciao from down under.

Monday, March 05, 2007

My Heart is Breaking

My heart is really breaking today. I called the Donor Coordinator and told her we are not ready to move forward with Donor Egg - B* does not think our finances are sufficiently in order to take on an additional $24,000 in debt. I also told her that I am concerned that he is having larger commitment issues with the whole thing.

So I am not in the queue for a donor. And I am fighting sooo much with B* that we barely have a relationship. He says all I do is nag and complain and he can't stand talking to me (remember he is in Australia). He also isn't sure when he is coming back. For a visit in May, but then he will be there through the summer and possibly the fall semester.

I have started looking at options without him. I am not sure I can do it, it feels really really scary. I am pretty certain at this point that I like Embryo Adoption. And it's cheaper - it's the fee for the embryos ($2500) and the cost of an FET cycle.

I told him about this option - and he asked if I was threatening to do it without him - I said I was trying to point out a cheaper option for us - the next thing I remember is that he hung up on me.

He told me today he is not looking forward to seeing me and my trip is an unnecessary expense - and this is just another example of how I don't listen to him. Not about spending money on a vacation, or that we need to pay off our debt and get on surer footing before doing donor egg.

I feel very lost right now. I thought I had this grant plan and now I'm feeling like I imagined the whole thing because he was never really on board.

I leave tomorrow for Australia....

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Where is my baby?


I haven't been posting because I am starting to feel like my baby might be slipping away. Sounds dramatic. Well, remember that B* went to Australia and was not honest about how long he will be working over there. It is now sounding like 6-9 more months (ie end of Dec. 2007). So that sucks.

But here is the real kicker...he doesn't think we are ready to take the leap forward with donor egg because our finances are so f-ed up.

True, I have enormous credit debt that I need to get under control and little in short term savings. I do have retirement and home equity but have not considered touching either one. Additionally, B* has just recently gone through personal bankruptcy - so his cash situation is quite retched. I think he hopes to parlay the Australia work into big $$$ but he's not there yet.

I've discussed this with a therapist and she (and many of my good friends) don't think that B* is ever going to be ready. We've been on the verge of getting married for 5 1/2 years and that still hasn't happened (commitment issues on his part - and then the discovery that his divorce of 14 years ago was never finalized!). He is in many ways a train wreck and yet he is my train wreck if you know what I mean.

So here I am with a man who may never be ready to have a baby (he is 45 and I am 42). The therapist suggested I develop a scenario that doesn't include B* and start working towards that. It makes the donor egg plan a little odd - if there is no B* i have the option of embryo adoption or I can adopt. I've been so fixated on being pregnant which might sound ridiculous. THe therapist tried to convince me that it is really not that great and adoption is much more logical given my age and the B* situation.

I feel like a boat adrift. As far as the RE's office is concerned, I told them we were putting it off until May when B is back in the states. I asked him if September was a good alternative, and he wasn't willing to commit for certain. I've got this donor in the que and if I lose her I guess I can find another but this is just all making my head spin.

I'm home sick and I've been watching those Discovery/Learning channel shows that show the birth of a baby which is what I have always dreamed of. Am I doing this by myself? I've lost my compass...

I am still going to Australia next week and hope to get alot of this sorted out. I hope I don't have to choose to do this without him, but that is a possibility.