Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Dignity. Always dignity.

Elle is very, very busy these days with two things:

1. Sitting up.
2. Finding her voice.

The fact that she can't really do #1 doesn't stop her from trying one bit. She wants to be UP! UP UP UP! She isn't even rolling over (she can; she just doesn't) but darn it, if she's not sitting up, you are MEEEEEAN.

Girl's gonna have some nice abs.

She's a chatty little thing, as well, so #2 is a lot of fun. She'll talk to just about anyone and, often, anything.

In church this past week, she was chatty. My favorite moment, though, was in the middle of a very quiet moment when she let out a belch that was likely heard far and wide.

That's my girl.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy 2011

Happy New Year! I hope 2011 brings happiness and health to you, wherever you may be.

I know someone in one of my groups who has had a long and difficult road towards motherhood, and is now waiting to be matched for adoption. You can feel the yearning for motherhood just pouring off every word she speaks; it's defining her life-- her existence-- in ways it never defined mine. I get the impression, too, that it always has, but the difficulty of her journey has intensified it (for obvious reasons).

I wanted to be a mother, yes, but it never consumed me like it does her.

For some reason I was thinking back over all of this, and realized again how unusual (lucky) I have been. At my advanced age, I had my first visit with a RE (reproductive endocrinologist) in May 2009, and after a little cleaning up of things, was pregnant on my first IVF attempt in October of that year. Healthy daughter born in 2010.

That's still just... bizarre to me.

Now, the fact that I went straight to IVF was certainly a factor. If I'd played around with IUI at my age, I might have been dealing with a tiny/narrow window that ended up closing before I was successful. If there's one thing that's clear from my experiences and the experiences of other women I know (single OR married, it makes no difference), it's that you can be perfectly fertile one month, and fall off the cliff the next. (Especially when you're over 40.) I know so many couples and singles that had no trouble catching pregnant with their first child (or two), but after that simply weren't able to be successful without intervention. And sometimes they weren't successful even with intervention.

Fertility is such a gamble. Heck, there are 28 year olds who don't have viable eggs. You never know.

I was sure I wasn't going to get pregnant and would move to adoption, so I was ready for my IVF journey to end badly. And, if you read back, my insurance would not have covered further attempts, so I was pretty much going to be done at one. I might have tried a few IUIs, but I don't even know about that. I also never had any interest in donor egg/embryo, so that wasn't an option. For me, it was IVF -> possibly an IUI or two -> adoption.

So I was pretty matter-of-fact about the whole thing. I had always felt called to adoption (I still do, honestly, and if the universe plopped 40K in my lap, I'd start trying to adopt #2, however crazy that may sound), so I thought that's where the universe was going to lead me. I tried IVF because I wanted to rule it out so I didn't look back and wonder someday.

I guess I don't have to look back and wonder, hm? ;)

Anyway. It strikes me, sometimes, as unfair that my journey was so... concise. Straightforward. (I will not say easy, because there were points that were definitely not easy.) But it was a fairly straight line from A to B(aby)... for someone who never wanted it with the intensity and urgency that this other woman does.

Shouldn't she be a mother, she who wants it with every cell in her body? I know that has nothing to do with anything, but it still seems off. And I understand why I haven't seen this woman in person at gatherings for a long time; it must be incredibly painful for her to be in a roomful of people who have everything she's ever wanted, and often got their wish with little, if any, suffering involved.

I'd like to think her road has been long because, when she's finally matched for adoption, that baby is the baby that's meant to be with her, and the universe simply wouldn't accept anything less. I hope that's the case.

And part of my mind wonders if any baby is going to be able to fill that great longing within her. Because motherhood, while amazing and terrifying and spectacular, cannot in any way fix what's broken, or fill all of our empty spaces.