Saturday, February 28, 2009

The infertility train...part 2

Well, after swearing up on side and down the other that i would NEVER do IVF.....i'm doing IVF.

After a lot of talking, crunching numbers and praying we decided that IVF would be the best way for us to try for baby #2. After talking to our agency and realizing that we had to start everything all over (paperwork, fingerprints, writing checks) even though they never placed us with a baby - we were annoyed and frustrated. Aside from the fact that financially we just don't have another 25,000 dollars to adopt again right now. Sure we could pull savings and cash in some stuff but after calling our insurance and realizing that IVF at John's hospital would be pretty much free - we just couldn't risk draining our savings, especially in these economic times.

I feel like i made the decision and hoped on the train blindly. It does seem like a different ride this time though. We have Jack, and he is amazing, so the pressure of that crushing desire to have baby is a bit dissipated. We want Jack to have a sibling, and we want another child, but if it takes a while or doesn't happen through IVF, we will adopt again. We at least had to give this a chance.

So - after a morning of meetings, blood test and some measuring of my uterus which sent me to the ceiling- with the Doctor asking "are you ok?" feels like you jammed your stick through my uterus so it's a good thing you are measuring it for future reference. We are ready to go. We have decided for the time being to have SET (single embryo transfer) - unless there are some other circumstances once we have a retrieval that would point us to transferring two. I do not want twins. At all. Of that i am sure, so if it takes a few more months to work, i'm ok with that.

When John walked in the door with a huge bag and box of all my medication and supplies the reality hit. There are still times I question all of this - but way down deep there is a tiny flicker of hope that I buried so long ago - a hope that I might get to be pregnant, feel a baby inside me. The idea of it astoinishes me. I might get that moment - you know the one in the hospital where you look horrible and everyone comes to see you and tells you how amazing you look and you sit holding your baby and your just beaming. Husband by your side, family all around -and I get to add to that fantasy now - my beautiful son clamoring to get on the bed to see his baby brother or sister and hug his mama. That picture alone brings tears to my eyes. To think I might be blessed with that moment and the all the moments ahead as a family of four - is just too much to hope for right now.

Now - I just want to get through the progesterone shots in the ass without being a big baby.

So the schedule: though I was suppose to start shots March 1 - I put everything off by a few days so that I could still go on my trip to Aspen on March 14. I am spending 4 days with wonderful friends skiing and relaxing - my first time away from Jack for longer than 2 days. I am looking forward to using the time to really prepare myself mentally for this journey ahead. I will sleep, read, relax, ski, drink great wine, meditate and just prepare. Then....

March 8 - Start Lupron
March 18 - First u/s & blood - if everything looks good - start Gonal (stimulating drug)
March 22 - Check up u/s - adjust meds if necessary
March 25-April 1 - Retrieval
3-5 days later - Transfer

We will know by Easter this first time if we are pregnant or not. New year of fertility, new life, new chances....

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

What a difference a year makes!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

"I'm coming home...."

The morning after our first meeting we meet K & S for breakfast, had some more time with Jack, and then headed home with promise of contacting attorneys and being back as soon as we could. On that long drive back to Chicago, my arms already felt incredible empty and longed to hold Jack again.

The next week was filled with dealing with attorneys and doctors, getting all the paperwork together, putting the nursery back together (!), and packing up to head back. Once we had the go ahead from both attorney's we headed back to Ohio. We left on a Mon and the plan was for K to sign the paperwork on Tuesday. When we got to Ohio we went straight to K's and Jack was back in our arms. I had some time to talk to K one on one about some concerns that were weighing on my heart. I wanted to be sure that this was her decision and she was comfortable and confident with it. I told her that if she wanted to parent that we would not abandon her, but help her find resources to be the best Mom she could be. She told me she was certain that this is what she wanted. I was so happy that she got to parent Jack for 8 weeks. I think that helped her not only bond with him, but also cement her decision. We hugged and I told her that our adoption would always be open, that it is important to us that Jack know his birth family.

The week didn't go exactly as planned, signing day was postponed because it came out that Jack was 1/16th Native American, and we needed to get tribal clearance. What!?!? Seriously, I was freaking out, because if there was proof of a connection to a tribe we would have to petition that tribe for his adoption. Was everything unraveling? When we arrived Monday, K & S asked us to take Jack with us back to the hotel. I think they were ready to start to let go and wanted us to have time to bond with him. I can't even describe that first night in the Comfort Inn, John and I spent hours just staring at Jack on the bed, in complete shock that within days Jack would legally be ours. We had a lot of firsts the few days - our first sleepless night, our first bath with him, first trip to target, people stopping us to see him. It was incredibly amazing and surreal at the same time. Just a week or so earlier, we were still waiting, and had no baby, and now here were at the bookstore strolling our son around. I was still a bit cautious as the paperwork hadn't been signed yet, but each hour, each minute I spent with him, my heart filled with a love I never understood or thought possible.

Finally we had clearance, and the court date was schedule for February 15th. We ended up driving with K & S to the courthouse and we dropped them off with Jack so that they could sign all their paperwork. John and I sat at a McDonald's waiting to get the call we could come back. I remember being so terrified K would change her mind, 4 short days Jack had been with us and I couldn't imagine losing him. I looked at John and said: are we seriously sitting at a McDonald's waiting to find out if we are going to finally be parents??? Then the phone rang....

It was the attorney, and she told us K had signed everything and it was our turn to come and sign. We were taken to a separate room to go through all the paperwork, I just kept signing my name over and over again....knowing right next door was now officially OUR SON! When we were through we went into the other and just hugged and cried with K & S. I knew in my heart that as I was filled with joy, this was a day of sadness too for people we had come to love.

We all went to lunch together, and I gave K a charm bracelet that I will add to each year from Jack. We talked about what open adoption meant to each of us, and the expectations and commitments around our life long relationship. It truly was a day of celebration, and I truly believe that K was happy in her decision.

The next day K and her family and friends threw Jack a going home party. It was the amazing, gracious, awesome gift they could have given us. They not only completed our family, their made us a part of theirs. There was food, friends, gifts, four-wheeling, and through it all baby Jack slept peacefully in all of our arms.

It took 10 more days in Ohio to get clearance to come home. We spent time with K, and her family. Jack had a procedure at the Cleavland Clinic for his heart and K stayed with us and Jack at the hospital, we had the last few days alone in Cleveland which was so wonderful to be just the three of us for awhile. All through the time in Ohio, everytime we turned on the radio, Daughtery's song: I'm coming home came on. It became our song with Jack - and truly as we finally hit the road with interstate clearance - the song came on once more. As we crossed the Ohio border, we sang along, all the while Jack slept peacefully in the back. We were going home, finally, as a family of three.

At the hotel watching Sports Center with Daddy
First Pediatrician appointment

Signing Day - It's Official!

**I hope to blog someday about open adoption becuase it has truly been a blessing in our life. This story is obviously told from my perspective and I recgonize that K and her Mom S had very strong feelings about this process as well. Throughout it all we respected where they were emotionally and what needed around this major change. They loved, cared for, and parented Jack for 8 weeks, and I couldn't imagaine a situation any better than that for Jack, and for all us.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Meeting Jack

I feel like this story is so hard to tell. Each time I read through what I've already written I realize I have missed so many details. I hope to get it completely down one day for Jack. it is one year since we went to meet Jack, I can't believe how fast it has gone and what an amazing year we have had. And now the final chapter to Jack:

It was a seven hour drive to Ohio to meet S, K and Jack. John and I made small talk, I slept, we listened to the radio, not really wanting to talk about the enormity of this visit and what it meant. Though K had already decided that she wanted us to parent her baby - we had been down that road just a few months before and 12 hours before placement of D, her mother changed her mind. I was cautiously optimistic but my heart was definitely guarded. For John I think his reservations had more to do with Jack's heart condition and how he healthy he would be. Not that he wouldn't want him with his condition but there were so many possibilities of different issues.

The plan was to meet at a restaurant/truck stop cafe. It would be K, here mom S, S's boyfriend and the cousin that sent the email that started it all. We arrived and they were all there already. I remember hugging everyone and though I was overwhelmed, I instantly felt comfortable with them. As we shared breakfast we talked and got to know one another, it sort of feels like an audition but K & S were so warm and confident and funny - our personalities just meshed. We had brought a gift for Jack and they in turn had a gift for us. When I opened it, I was shocked. It was one of those pillows that you can put a baby's' name, DOB, weight etc...The name was listed as Jaxon Lawrence Ancona (we had decided to keep the first name that K picked out because we loved the name Jack, and they agreed to let us change the middle to my Father's Lawrence, since he had passed away) and on the bottom it said: Proud Parents: John and Dianne Ancona. It was so incredible to see in print. In heart though, I was still cautious, this was just the first meeting and anything could happen. From there, they asked if we wanted to meet Jaxon. We drove to their friends house where he was and I had the most surreal experience of my life. We are standing in the middle of this living room, with all of these people (these strangers) looking at us and S says, do you want to hold your son? My son? really? So there we stood holding Jack, who for eight weeks was still so tiny, and every picture I have this look on my face like a deer in the headlights. We got to spend time with Jack and S's friends, I just couldn't believe that after all this time, I was holding this baby that could be my son. To them, he already was, but to us....we had to make it to the signing day, and still talk to K and make sure she was absolutely firm in her decision.

The rest of the day, we spent with K, and some of it with Jack. That night we took K out to dinner and to a movie and by the time we dropped her off at home it was 11p at night. We drove to the hotel in complete silence, each of us lost in our own thoughts. Sitting in the parking lot, I said to John, ok...what is your gut? Are you ready to adopt him? He turns to me and says.....No...You? and I said Yes. He kinda just looked at me and I said, it's a Yes with a disclaimer. I said: I'm terrified of the whole thing. You can think, breath, pray, hope for adoption and when that baby is in your arms, suddenly the reality hits. Can I do this? Can I manage an open adoption? I didn't love him the second I held him, is that wrong? I had room full of strangers staring at me and he was so tiny and I just didn't feel immediately that he was my son. I scared it's going to fail, I'm scared that I this other family will forever be integrated in our lives, I'm just overwhelmed but I truly believe this baby was meant to be ours. John looked at me and said that I spoke everything on his heart and that as look as we were in it together we'd be fine. It didn't hit me till later in bed with the lights off what that truly meant. I sat straight up in bed and asked: Does that mean we are moving forward? Jack is going to be our son? And like a typical male, John rolled over and said Yes - we already decided that. I burst into tears and starting jumping up and down on the bed.....we were finally going to be a family.