Friday, January 9, 2009

Recapping the Week

Remember how it felt when a bunch of kids got invited to a party, and you didn't? Or maybe that year when the pretty girl next to you in 2nd grade got a ton of valentines and you only got a few. (All for me? Oh my gosh...) Remember that time when your friend forgot your birthday?

That's kind of how it felt yesterday when we found that yes, the local newspaper from the area where I was born did indeed publish birth announcements (along with the school cafeteria menus, volunteer schedule for the hospital, and who visited whom after church the week before). All there in black and white (so strange to see how things were pre-HIPAA): A baby girl born to Mr. and Mrs. Blah of 123 Blah Lane of Blahville....All there.

Except for me.

Not that we expected the baby girl born to a 16 year old who would then give her to Catholic Charities and hope for the best to be celebrated in the evening news. But it still kind of stung. Where's my big "hello"?

But now, we have names of people who ostensibly spent time in the hospital with my birth mother. That is, if she was even kept on the maternity ward and if she was allowed to commiserate with other patients.

Cue image of young girl in hospital robe surrounded by strict looking nuns in full regalia yielding rulers, encircling her and preventing other patients from seeing or talking to her. Ok. Well, that's the image in my mind....

Anyways, we have names. I don't know what to do with them. But it feels like something. Something more than we had. Not like it gets us any closer to knowing anything. But still.

Some things that could get us closer is registering with the Soundex Registry and putting together our petition to the courts to get more than just non-identifying information. I've also sent all of the girls' vital info to the person in M's family that puts together the genealogy - he has promised that Iso.bel and Jo.vita each have a branch on that family tree. Forever. And that feels wonderful. That's what we've been doing this week.

Among other things.

Yesterday was our visit with the RE. And that was good in a number of ways. Never mind that I had a near anxiety attack in the waiting room. What's taking so long? Or another one trying to figure out insurance stuff. What do you mean my coverage isn't verified and you can't use our new coverage (which just might pay for our next cycle) until I drop my other one? Once we finally met with our doctor (and our Nurse and the counselor) we were reminded that this is one of those rare places - one of those places that feels like people know your history, and know the path you've been on so far, and know the victories and obstacles and want more than anything to see you with a baby in your arms.

We brought birth announcements for our doctor and Nurse. And there were some hugs and tears. But not without hope for the next time. And our doc felt pretty darn good about our odds for the next time. Or the next time.

She had questions about the reports from here, and asked many of the same questions we asked the MFM specialists. She had her own theories and thoughts and wants us to meet with her hospital's MFM dudes to see what they think. No problem. She also wants me to have an HSG to ensure that there isn't any scarring from the curettage. But she wants that to be done at her place as well. Also, no problem. In fact, if we could just do everything up to and including a delivery where she is, that would be great. But distance doesn't really make that feasible. Alas.

So, an HSG is scheduled for Feb. 5. As is a meeting with their MFM. She admitted that she is not too crazy about the idea of doing a cerclage "just in case" the next time. Because that's not without risks, and she's just not convinced my cervix was the issue. Her theory: that there was some sort of trigger that caused my body to go into pre-term labor. The size of my uterus? The fact that it may not stretch as well as others due to radiation? The fact there were two little ones in there? Hard to tell, but in her mind, it seemed like labor started first, my cervix started to open, infection came second.

And, this is ridiculous, and it's small consolation, but that did console me. This infection thing (what did I do? What did I not do?) has been driving me batty. The idea that this was not under my control was, for once, a small mercy.

Whatever happened, she felt very strongly that the biggest risk factor was the fact there were twins. We talked about next steps and where to go with this knowledge.

The good news? Of the 3 remaining embryos, we have a straw of 2 frozen together. And 1 solo. We are going to thaw Han Solo first. If he grows, we'll still have 2 embryos to try the next time. If not, we can try to thaw the 2 we have left and see which one grows the best. If they both progress to blastocyst, we could refreeze one.

We talked about using our 3 ice pops vs. starting the process of finding a new donor and starting a fresh cycle. She felt very strongly that there was no reason not to use the 3 on ice - especially since we had such success with other members of the cohort. I'm not sure if M. feels better about our odds, but I do.

The counselor that we met the very first day we ever visitedthe clinic happened to be in the office yesterday and Nurse wondered if we'd like to see her? Sure. Why not. We had declined offers from the bereavement counselors at our hospital, but this was someone we knew and liked. We weren't sure what exactly we were going to talk about, but we said, sure. Send her in.

And we were blabarific. It seems we had a lot to talked about. We talked over each other, finished each other's sentences, veered into all kinds of topics well beyond Iso.bel and Jo.vita, but still connected. Before we knew it we were talking about our morning, our mourning, our search for my birth parents, expectations around grief and grieving, everything. It was great. It was great to say things to someone other than Michael. It was great to hear him talk to someone other than me. (Not that we don't talk to other people, but we usually don't do it together). It was great to hear some perspective on the search, the process, the possible results, and the rationale behind some things that were frustrating us beyond explanation. I'm glad we saw her. Glad we stuck around.

Before we knew it, it was nearing rush hour and we both cringed at the thought of the traffic we might be facing on the way home. But it wasn't bad. And we still managed to squeeze in a stop at TJs and make it back home in time for a birthday dinner for M's mom (and dad who had his birthday earlier this week). We met at a BYOB French restaurant none of us had tried before and realized midway through the meal that it had been a very long time since we enjoyed a meal out like this together. It was wonderful. The food and the company.

And now the final match of Smackdown is happening. And you now know I can't miss it.


Skerry said...

I am so glad that your visit to the RE's office was a productive and positive one. It makes me happy for you that your medical team is so supportive and ready to help you & M as you navigate the next phase of this journey but still acknowledged the birth of and your loss of your girls. I know it doesn't take your pain away, nothing can do that, but you have options and possibilties for the future and I can imagine that that must give your heart and mind a little peace and encouragement. I'm also excited about the little bit of info you received in your quest to find your birth parents, everyone has a right to know their origins and if I were in your shoes I would really want to know how I came to be and why I was placed up for adoption. Keep me posted, I swear I am interested and not just being nice...or nosy..haha

Sue said...

I'm wishing you the best of luck with your search and with your frozen embryos. I'm glad you're so pleased with your clinic and that they are taking good care of you and M.

Anonymous said...

AWESOME!!!! That ROCKS! I'm SO happy you guys made the journey and that you were able to celebrate the girls with THE people who have intimately (!!!) been involved since the very begining! AND I'm thankful that your experts were confident in both why and how things happened with your early labor and that future journeys will be successful.

I'm also encouraged that you found some more information - inconclusive though it may be - about your birth mom. Between you and M I'm sure you can find something more to get you to the answers you need. If anyone can do it you guys can!


Mick said...

The worst is "What did I do?" "What did I NOT do." My wife repeated this again and again. It's so hard to get through to her that she did nothing wrong. The worst for me was "Nature/God knows what to do..."

F*ck that

Good Luck

Two Shorten the Road said...

That's some good detective work you're doing. I'm sorry your birth announcement wasn't in the paper, but I'm impressed you even thought to look there!

I did a lot of research on cerclages bc of my jacked-up uterus, and my doctors didn't think it was necessary without a history of preterm labor. Then, when I went into preterm labor, they couldn't get me to stop contracting enough to put in a cerclage. And here I lie now with my incompetent cervix just hanging wide open. The fact is, if you get a cerclage put in prophylactically around 12 weeks, the risk is much lower than if you wait for the cervix to shorten (when there's a higher risk of infection). Also, if you have a cerclage and get an infection, it seems you're more likely to get an early "tipoff" that something's wrong as your cervix tries to open (in casae of infection, etc) and the cerclage causes some bleeding. If I were pregnant again, I would choose to have one. It's definitely an individual choice, though.

m said...

hey nutmeg, I really appreciate your 2 cents on this. I was wondering if you had one done as a precautionary measure and what your thoughts were on it.

I guess another piece to add to this is that the first 2 IVFs we did, I had a stitch put into my cervix - not a cerclage, more like the string of a balloon, so a doc would be able to pull my slightly curved uterus in place for a smooth transfer. Both transfers were smooth but resulted in nada, which got us thinking perhaps my insides didn't much care being f*cked with and then being asked to help a little embryo attach and grow. I'm wondering if my RE isn't thinking that agitating my cervix, even at 12 weeks, would bug my body enough to make it go into pre-term labor (again). We will def see what the RE's MFM specialists have to say (ours here say cerclage, definitely)

dana said...

So, it looks like a little plan is coming together, huh? I think it's great that you were able to leave the office feeling good and able to enjoy the evening with family.

I am very optimistic and hopeful for y'all; 2009 is going to be an awesome year. It just has to be, no?

Anonymous said...

Wish you all the best and good luck!

stacyb said...

im still catching up...really glad you both got to talk to someone. cathartic. seems like the medical team at your RE office is supportive. Really great that you have options and a plan.

really interested in your birth parent investigation i too am excited for you and the information you did discover.

i am so rooting for you in every way possible M.

Kami said...

Oh so much going on! I'm glad you are making traction toward finding your birth parents. Happy that one happy embryo may be taking up residence soon too.

I never realized there was a plot line in wrestling!

Oh, sorry about that OB visit. I'm especially sorry that you will never know if things could have gone differently.