Tag: IVF

Infertility Bets On Hold, Part 2

(If you missed Part 1, click here … )

While I’ve pretty much begun to resolve those particular grief issues, there’s still that lack of strength that I feel I need in order to go through the entire adoption process.  Because it takes someone who really has enough strength to climb over the proverbial brick wall getting in the way of having a child. And specifically, I’m talking about all the rules and reg­u­la­tions and inves­ti­ga­tions into your pri­vate lives just to raise a child that is not bio­log­i­cally your own. Quite frankly, I know that I don’t have what it takes to go through that.

Why do I say that? (And Kelly … hopefully, this will help answer the question you posed to me at one time … ) Well first of all, I just know what I’m capable of handling emotionally, and I know that I wouldn’t be able to survive any further disappointment or heartache. Or as my new favorite quote from Pam says:

It got to the point where the potential for more heartbreak was more overwhelming than the glimmer of very small hope.

The second reason I feel as if I have little strength is because I have little confidence that things will come relatively straightforward and simple to us.

Not that I expect adoption to be an easy path. If we did decide to adopt, I have this very strong suspicion that we’d have so many more walls to climb. Give me a chance to explain … and I’d absolutely love to hear what others have to say to contribute to this discussion.

Let’s start off with Domestic Adoption:

  • Hubby & I both Asian American; Filipino American, to be specific.
  • How often do you suppose any Potential Birth Moms (PBM) would look at our dossier and — just by looks alone — think that we’d make great parents when their child will (most likely) not look at all similar to the adoptive couple that they’d hope to raise their child?
  • Or that the PBM might worry that their child would face more barriers having Asian American parents?
  • How often are Asian American babies given up for adoption; especially if the PBM is also Asian or Asian American? Culture dictates that family is important. If the child is not wanted in the immediate family; chances are that there is another family member (aunt, cousin, third uncle twice removed) that is willing to raise the child. Unfortunately, that’s a situation that’s likely never going to happen to us.

Moving onto International Adoption:

  • There are stricter laws and regulations from various countries in effect.
  • Some specific countries, like Russia and Guatemala, have either suspended or have placed holds on any adoptions to the US.
  • Wait time. Even for Filipino adoptions there are certain stipulations on how and when a child can be adopted; when the child can come back to the US with the adopted parents. And quite frankly, I don’t think I can afford the three-year wait in order to adopt a child from my native country.

And finally other, all-encompassing barriers:

  • Age: Let’s face it. Hubby & I are currently pushing 40. And yes, I know that there are couples out there that are raising babies that are much older than us. But there was a reason why Hubby & I started trying to conceive within a year of marriage: I had always seen me as a younger mother; one that wanted to finish having babies before the age of 30. There was a specific reason behind that: my mother and I are exactly 3o years apart in age (sorry Mom!). Growing up (particularly in high school), not only did I deal with a cultural barrier, but I also dealt with a huge generational gap. Both my parents were pre-baby boomer, while I was most definitely a Gen-Xer. Even though after I turned 30, I knew that this was something beyond my control, adopting now — especially as the rules and regs of adoption have gotten more strict — well, it no longer seems prudent for both Hubby & my sake.
  • Energy: Along with age, this is the second biggest concern that I have. And, if I was honest with myself, the flimsiest barrier of all. Because, really this has to do with energy and stamina. It’s one thing to raise a child with the thought in mind that you’ll be young enough to (somewhat) keep up with their needs. It’s quite another thing knowing that I can no longer wake myself up in the morning without hitting the snooze button a dozen times. Would I be able to care for another life if I can barely care for my own? Like I said, flimsy … but I’m just being honest.

I don’t bring up these points to be negative in any way, shape or form. I’m simply stating facts that appear to be the most obvious barriers for our individual case when it comes to adopting a child. And that’s assuming that we would ever go down that route. And, as I said above, I’d love to hear your thoughts on what I perceive as barriers.

*****

As it is, I feel that we’ve already played our game of Infertility Roulette. We’ve already placed all the bets we wanted to at this time in our lives. And we lost that bet. With adoption (or h*ll, even if we ever decided to go through IVF again), I want something I can be sure of … something I can count on.

I hesitate using the word “guarantee” … since nothing in life is ever guaranteed, but after more than ten years of fighting the odds and now facing even greater odds against us (age, finances, etc), Hubby & I opted to get out of the betting pool.

And this is why, at least in my eyes, it’s never as simple to “just adopt.” It’s never easy to go through another round of IVF.

This is why Hubby & I have decided to “cut our loss” … or in this case, “cut the strings” … and live child-free after infertility.

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Related Links:

Cutting The Strings

Infertility Bets On Hold, Part 1

Thoughts on Adoption

Information on Filipino Adoptions

Wiki Info on the Pre-Baby Boom Generation

Wiki Info on Generation X

ADdressing Infertility

Recently, the New York Times wrote an article about a new reality series that TLC began airing strictly on their website. “A Conception Story,” a Web-only show follows the lives of 6 women as they try to conceive over the next seven months. Which, seeing that this is the same network that airs “A Wedding Story” and “A Baby Story,” makes perfect sense.

Meet Kristen, one of the six women in "A Conception Story"

I mean really … what better way to bridge the “gap” between the Wedding Planning and the arrival of a newborn baby by filming a show about Family Planning?

No. Really … I’m not being sarcastic. Even though at first I was hesitant to watch the show, I must admit that curiosity got the best of me. While it’s currently just wrapped up it’s second month of video entries, I’m actually invested in watching these six women’s stories.

For those that were as skeptical (or perhaps jaded?) about watching ecstatic BFP (“big fat positive” … as in a positive pregnancy test) announcements via the web, I’ll spare you the heartache to let you know, as of today, there has been only one person who saw the two pink lines thus far. And it’s a couple that had been been trying to conceive for close to three years.

Which is another thing. Out of the six couples we’re initially introduced to, half of them have been experiencing difficulty trying to conceive. The others that are just “starting” their quest to have a baby (or add another one to their family); well, it would appear that they, too, may be finding out that getting pregnant isn’t quite as easy as the rest of the world makes it seem to be. Or as easy as the proverbial “birds and bees” theory that we were taught in school.

Speaking of the birds and the bees …

About two weeks ago, I stumbled on another article in an Austin** newspaper. It’s this article that led me to this website and the humorous, but spot-on videos about a Bird and a Bee dealing with infertility. If you haven’t watched them, I urge you to do so, if only to empathize with what any infertile couple can encounter.

Both “A Conception Story” and the “Increase Your Chances” vignettes  (also spotlighted in this article in Salon, an award-winning online news and entertainment Web site) are probably one of the first real advertisements highlighting the difficulties in trying to conceive.

The Bird and the Bee

And when I say “advertisements” in relationship to the TLC story, I do mean advertisement. Because although the stories being told in “A Conception Story” are in “real time” (as evidenced by the journals that these women write for the show), the whole she-bang is sponsored by First Response, whose products focus on all aspects of pregnancy planning. And it’s quite evident the moment you click on the TLC website for the show, that they’ve invested a lot of money into advertising their products.

But getting back to these advertising campaigns, it’s quite refreshing to know that there are companies*** out there that are willing to go that in-depth with the emotional side of infertility. Because, face it: thus far, any advertisements for infertility I’ve heard were for Infertility Clinics or Hospital Networks. And it’s typically only a 30- to 60-second spot.

Yeah; that’ll never be enough time to go into depth about the multiple layers of Infertility.

As happy as I am about Infertility getting its fair share of air time, it’s sad to see that other people still may not empathize with what an infertile couple go through both physically and emotionally. All you have to do is look at some of the comments made in regards to such articles that brought these ads to the forefront.

One person commented:

Couldn’t it be that if you can’t get pregnant on your own that it means that god didn’t want you to have kids?

[Duh. Don’t think that I haven’t already thought about that. And oh, by the way … I believe if we’re talking about one G*d, I believe it’s common respect to address him/her formally; not with a lower case “g.” I’m just saying … ]

While another person wrote:

The best way to become a parent is to chose to have your children during your most fertile years, not when you are old.

[Hmm … maybe some of us did choose to become parents when we were supposed to be most fertile? And so what if we started later in life? What does it matter to you?]

And yet another person stated the obvious:

If you can’t have babies, why not just adopt?

[Because clearly adopting a child is such a simple task. And, unlike infertility treatments, there’s no financial or emotional stress involved in the adoption process. NOT!]

But this one … for me, this one is the kicker of them all:

Infertility, especially in developed nations like the US, is probably a good thing. I think it’s reprehensible that big pharma and the medical community is encouraging people to have children.

That last statement is what probably angered me the most. Even more than the “G*d didn’t mean for you to have kids” statement. To me, this statement has the potential to dig deeper than the emotional turmoil an infertile couple can feel. As if feeling like failure for not being able to reproduce wasn’t bad enough … it is statements like that which can strip away any sense of support that an Infertile can turn to outside of the Adoption, Loss & Infertility (ALI) Community.

But that’s my own humble opinion. Because really, when *I* look at both the “Increase Your Chances” advertisement and TLC’s “A Conception Story” Web series, I don’t immediately think about running to the first Infertility Specialist I know. And I don’t make a mad dash to the drug store to pick up more Home Pregnancy Tests.

No. The first thing I think of is that it’s about d*mn time that Infertility is getting its time in the spotlight. Just like Cancer, Diabetes, Coronary Artery Disease … and pretty much every other health condition (Erectile Dysfunction anyone?) has.

Don't you think this 24 & 25 yo newlywed couple deserved to have kids? We started trying about a year after our honeymoon and kept trying for more than 10 years.

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**How much do you love me, Kate? 😛

***EMD Serono, a Massachusetts-based maker of fertility drugs, sponsors the Increase Your Chances campaign)

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Related Links:

TLC’s “A Conception Story

NYTimes Article

Increase Your Chances Website

The Statesman Article (Austin Newspaper)

Salon e-News & Entertainment Article

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