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Why don’t you just adopt?

This post.  Man, this is a hard one to write.

I have been MIA on the blogging front mostly because in writing my 50,000 word novel, my hands have been hurting since I am also typing on the computer all day at work.

We had our appointment with Dr. K. this past Wednesday.  We had so much cleared up, and it was a very informative meeting.

We talked to him about our frustrations with the lab and our embryos.  This last cycle, we were told we had 5 embryos (yes, the official number is 5, since initially we were told 4) that were growing normally, “but they were just a day behind.”  This was not true.  Dr. K. had no idea that this is what they were telling us. He told us that they were not growing normally, and we should have been told that things were not looking good on day 5.  Two embryos initially were mature out of 8 (this was not what we were told) Three more matured the next day with rescue ICSI (injecting the sperm into the egg). We were not initially told that rescue ICSI has very poor outcomes.  All of them were behind and slow growing (this is not what you want to see).  He told us that these are lab techs making the phone calls and this call should have been handled by him.  I think he was really surprised at all this, and made it seem like he was going to address this with the lab.

We are most definitely looking at an egg quality issue.  As of right now, we don’t know where we stand with Attain.  We will know in a few days if we are still officially in the program, or have been booted out because of my shit-for-eggs.

Assuming we are still in Attain, we will do a final cycle using my own eggs.  He is going to completely change the protocol again. He is going to try an antagon protocol, with the double shot of HCG, and push my eggs further.  Instead of looking at 20mm for maturity, he is going to wait until they are 22-24mm.  The problem with this, is they could then die off.  We are still doing ICSI, and he wants to try a steroid, dexomethasone.  I am also taking CoQ10 400 mg twice a day, 800 mcg of folic acid, 4,000 mcg Vitamin D, and drinking green tea in hopes of improving some of my egg quality.

That’s the last one.  If that gets the same response as the last two cycles, or if Attain decides to kick us out and refund the money in a few days, we are faced with the next step.

Using donor eggs.

What does this mean?  We take another woman’s eggs, fertilize them with Chris’ sperm, and do an embryo transfer.

It means a 75% chance higher of a successful pregnancy.

It also means I will not have a biological child.

Why the title, “Why don’t you just adopt?”  I have had this said to me multiple times.  Easy.  Why don’t you guys just adopt?

My go-to answer was always simply, “Because we aren’t there yet.”

But now, this.  All through these cycles, and especially this last one, donor eggs were not far from my mind.  Every cycle made me think, Is this truly going to work?  I’ve been thinking it; it’s another thing entirely to hear it from my doctor.

That’s tough to hear.  Could I still be pregnant?  Yes.  Will I still get to experience childbirth?  Yes.  Will this child be mine?  Of course.  Genetically, no.  Biologically, no.

Chris and I had a long talk Wednesday night.  Throughout this cycle, we have been on the same team, the same side.  And now, we have come to the first thing that divides us.  He would have his biological child.. and I won’t.  And we shed a lot of tears over that.

Let me paint a picture.  You have given birth.  Your husband is next to you, and you are holding your newborn baby.  Maybe friends are there, or your parents.  Everyone is laughing and studying this little baby.

“Look Mama,” someone says, “She has your eyes!”  or “He has your lips!”

And the lump forms in my throat when I think that, this won’t happen for me.   There will be no features of my baby that I can pick out related to me.  My mom can never look at me and say, “Risa, he or she is so wild, just like you were when you were little!”  That will never happen.  That’s a hard thing to deal with.  Our baby will have some of Chris’ features.  My son could take after him.  That’s a comfort, but it’s still hard.  I wanted my baby to look like me.  And I need to come to terms with that fact that they won’t.

And right now, even as the tears are falling down my face, I still know what decision we will make.  We will move forward.  We will have a donor.  Because what is my ultimate goal?  A biological child?  Or a child that is mine?  I can still experience a pregnancy.  This is such a gift, this technology we have.  My eggs are not going to bring me a baby.  Even if we do one last cycle with my eggs, I am facing the fact that it won’t work.

Attain views donor eggs as a new variable.  Therefore, if we get booted out, or if we withdraw after this next IVF, Attain, according to our doctor, will welcome us back with open arms, because they view donor eggs are a MUCH higher chance of getting to keep our money.

So there it is.  We have a plan and we are moving forward.  Adoption is a wonderful choice for many people.  But until you really understand what it may mean for someone who has cried, begged and pleaded for a biological child to face that loss, please, please, do not ask this.  It is not as simple to “just” adopt.  Any infertile will tell you, adoption is VERY expensive and not a guarantee.
And as with an egg or embryo adoption, there is a loss that needs to be grieved before moving on.

I need to grieve the fact that my own biological baby will never be.  But I am thankful there are options.  So, once again, we are taking one more shot at this, but I feel in my heart the time has come to move on.  And it’s ok. 

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32 Comments on "Why don’t you just adopt?"

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wherethebleepisourstork
Guest

Sending you a huge hug. I know how hard this choice is. I know where you are coming from. I completely understand your pain. I hope that you don't have to go there- and that something miraculous happens before then…. I wish I had a magic wand….
Hugs.

Jennifer
Guest
I am so sorry you are going through this. I hope that your next cycle is successful. I read this book not long ago – What's Going On In There? – and one thing I found really interesting was the discussion of nature versus nurture. I had always thought a child adopted at birth would experience all the nurture from the family who raised him, but I learned from the book how important the pregnancy is as well. I know my heart would be broken if I was in your situation, but I also believe that you being able to… Read more »
Anonymous
Guest
Not sure if you'll find this helpful or reassuring, but actually, you are wrong. If you use donor egg, the baby will still be yours biologically, just not genetically. And surprisingly, the baby could still have some of your features since it is created out of your blood and tissue, even though the dna is not yours. My donor embryo son does have some of my features, which to be honest I was not expecting or prepared for when he was born. I mourned for 9 months that my baby would not look like either myself or my husband when… Read more »
Katie
Guest

I am sorry that you are having to mKe this tough decision. I just finished my last cycle with me own eggs and we are also now going forward with donor eggs. It took me a long time to come to terms with the fact that my eggs are just not going to work despite my youngish age (30). I agree with the above comment that I think donor egg and embryo babies can end up very similar to their parents despite the difference in genetics. Look up epigenetics…it's very interesting. I wish you the best!!

Katie
Guest

Similar especially in mannerisms and personality!!

Jennifer T
Guest

I hate the adoption question because it is not that easy as people act like it is. I am so sorry you are going through this. I also agree with the above comments and you baby most likely will still take on your mannerisms and other characteristics you have because that is YOUR baby, regardless of its DNA. I know that doesn't take away or help with all the hard decisions you have to make about this. Hang in there! One day you will have so much joy when you hold your beautiful baby! Hugs!

Kasey A
Guest

Big hugs! Praying this IVF is the one and you get to have your own biological child, but if not donor eggs are a beautiful thing out there. Praying for you guys!! Xo

Not Pregnant And Pissed!
Guest
Don't grieve until you have to my friend. You never know what may happen before you reach that point. Is there anything you can do for 3 months to build up stronger, healthier eggs before you do another retrieval? I completely understand wanting to have your own biological child who looks like you, talks like you, rolls their eyes like you etc. Being able to still experience pregnancy and birth would be so amazing though. And that baby is growing inside YOU for 9 months, not anyone else. While you can't change the DNA just think about how YOUR hormones,… Read more »
Aubrey
Guest

Oh Risa, I just want to give you a great big hug right now. Please know I'm thinking of you and that I'm praying your next cycle will be the one. xoxo

jAllen
Guest
Oh Risa, I am so frustrated for you and Chris. The WTF appointment is supposed to discuss the larger issues of what went wrong with a cycle/transfer not OMG, does any one at the lab know what the fuck they're doing? I know it doesn't make any difference now and probably isn't work getting worked up over, but seriously? Okay they were lab techs, but was it their first day on the job? Anyway, moving on, as you are doing. I echo and support all the comments by others above, but I'll share that i have a friend who delivered… Read more »
jAllen
Guest

That's little girl's arms around her mother's neck or the look of pride in the father's eyes..
Damn autocorrect!

Kate Payne
Guest

I read up a lot about epigenetics in regard to donor eggs as this was our agreed upon next step…. either way though that little one is 100% yours and your husbands no matter where the genes come from. This website has some interesting info though if you're a reader and a researcher like mecomment imagetovlife.com/epigenetics

Hope your next protocol works for you though, sounds like its a good plan. Thinking of you always!

Kimberly Q
Guest

From my experience, it does take time to grieve that genetic connection. I had the same thoughts as you – people who don't know will say the baby has my eyes etc, and that may be painful for me. My famiky will know that they don't have my chin, nose etc. so take the time to process that. And cry about it. But please don't think that they can't have your personality! You will raise them! I am quite retain they will pick up your traits, interests, and parts of your personality!!!!

Isabelle
Guest
I get what you're going through and I have the same thoughts going through my head. I am a lot older than you are so the chances of me getting pregnant are slimmer. I have Plan B to Plan F if Plan A doesn't work. I also go through the thought process of biological vs. genetic vs. no tie at all. I agree with you that people who don't know or who haven't experienced this do no understand that it's not as easy as "just adopt". Everyone's path is different. Some may choose to go the donor egg route, some… Read more »
Nina S
Guest

You're totally right! Every progression of stages has to be grieved properly. First we all grieved not conceiving naturally, some grieved that their IUI's were never going to work. I'm grieving the fact that I make great eggs but my uterus is uncooperative. Is surrogacy in my future? Right now, I'm not ready to consider that. Maybe we'll end up adopting but these decisions need to be made in due time and will only feel right when you feel we've exhausted all other resources.

Aramis
Guest
Oh Risa. I'm going through the exact same thing right now. If our FET doesn't work, this is where I'll be at. Some days I think I'm ok with it, and other days it hits me how much I'll be losing if this is the route we end up going. For me, I just try to think that at least this way I'll get to experience the bond of carrying a baby and being there from its first breath. But it's hard. And I'm still hoping that neither of us will need it in the end.
belovedburnttoast
Guest

This is a tough one, I'm really sorry that you're going through this. I'm actually really inspired by all the comments above… so much great advice and first-person experience. I hope they've fitfully inspired you, too. I know that I would feel the same as you… and it's definitely OK to mourn the loss you'd be experiencing. That said, this new protocol could make all the difference. You just never know how it will work out.

Hoping the best for you!

Cristy
Guest
Doing this from my phone, so I apologize fit autocorrect now. First off, my heart hurts with this news. To be facing this decision is never an easy thing and in a lot of ways is very similar to what someone going through the adoption process faces. Hence you need to grieve this loss. Years ago Keiko Zoll wrote a letter to her biological child that she would never have. She talked about how important and healing writing that letter was. If you truly ate closing this chapter, I really recommend doing something to help you say goodbye. Secondly, I… Read more »
Jen
Guest
I wanted to also remind you of donor embryos, which would likely be significantly more affordable than using an egg donor. Just a thought! I go through what you mention still with my little ones (and am trying to figure out what to say/do when people say things regarding them being related to me). But as you mentioned, you still do get to experience the pregnancy and being the one that brings your child into the world. And you may be interested to know that your womb will actually affected a baby on the cellular level, so a baby would… Read more »
Amber
Guest
Someone already best me to it; but I wanted to tell you what someone once told me. While you are correct that using donor eggs will not give you a genetic child, you WILL be their biological mother because you are the one providing life and actually growing that baby. This brought so much comfort to me when I realized the truth of that statement. You aren't providing the genetic genes, but you will be providing the biology – LIFE! I can also share with you, based on my own experience, that once you are pregnant, see that baby in… Read more »
inconceivable12
Guest

I'm so sorry that you are being faced with this decision. Wish there was more I could say or something that would make this better, but I know it's a painful, difficult decision no matter what. Thinking of you and Chris and hoping for the very best for you.

Lilee Davey
Guest

I'm sorry you're facing this. There are so many tough decisions around infertility. For us, we've decided that we'd rather adopt than go through IVF (if it comes to that)–but we know it's not "just adopting." There's a reason we haven't started the process yet. It's just as expensive, frustrating, and heartbreaking as infertility treatments. And we know there's no guarantee. We know it's the right choice for us–but that doesn't mean it's an easy choice. I pray you find that right choice for you, and find peace with your decision.

Non Sequitur Chica
Guest

Echoing J Allen's comment- WTF lab techs? What a freakin mess!!

And I agree with Not Pregnant and Pissed- maybe the egg quality supplements will do their job and you will have some kick-ass eggs with this next cycle! You never know, so while it is good that you are thinking about Plan B, don't give up on your next cycle before it even happens. BTW, my RE had me on a bunch of egg quality supplements- you might want to check into these as well (http://nonsequiturchica.blogspot.com/2013/01/doctor-recommended-supplements.html).

Sarah J
Guest
I'm so sorry you are at this point, but I hope you will get the one more chance at your own genetic baby. It sounds like you are doing everything you can to improve egg quality and quantity. And while I don't know a lot about donor eggs, I found the other comments really interesting and would echo that that baby would be a part of you, even if not through DNA. Not that it changes how you feel or makes up for uncooperative eggs. Hang onto hope this last cycle! And OMG the lab techs, seriously? I can't believe… Read more »
Lisa {Amateur Nester}
Guest

This is tough stuff. I'm so sorry your'e facing this. Praying that this last IVF will be "the one."

Jenni Moore
Guest
I remember my sister asking me several times to go to adoption workshops, etc at her church, and my response was always "We aren't there, yet." The worst for me was "why don't you just use a surrogate?" Umm, because the doctor didn't tell me I couldn't carry a baby. I don't need some woman to say "You can't do it but I can." I know that's infertility irrational thinking at it's best, but that's how I felt. Plus it's way more expensive than IVF and can even be more expensive than adoption for no better chance at success. It… Read more »
Bren38
Guest
Risa, my husband and I have just made the huge decision to use a donor egg. We are scheduled to do IVF with a donor egg in January. I felt/feel every emotion you have mentioned. But in the end the final result is holding a baby… maybe even twins! 🙂 My husband is wonderful, when I expressed that our baby will have nothing of me… not even the small gap I have in my front teeth, that my grandma/mom/sisters all have – he said we could take the baby to the dentist and give them the gap! LOL Hang in… Read more »
Stephanie
Guest

I am so hopeful that you will have your biological baby! I hope that Attain didn't kick you guys out of the program! I am praying that we can be cycle buddies again in January…or maybe you'll luck out and be able to do a December cycle! 😉

Baby On Mind
Guest
Hi Risa, I can relate to you in many ways. I also went to CRM and also had crappy egg quality. We did 4 rounds of failed IVFs and was not on the Attain program (we had some infertility coverage). We also looked into doing donor eggs, but with me being Asian, there is a long wait for a donor. We also looked into egg donors overseas where it was cheaper. It took me a bit of time to decide it was OK to have a child that was not genetically related to me, but has my husband's DNA. In… Read more »
Stasy
Guest

Oh Risa, I'm so sorry and I'm sorry that people keep throwing adoption in your face like it's the perfect solution for everyone. HUGS!

Anonymous
Guest
I just wanted to share a bit about my own experience with donor eggs. After our first IVF was cancelled due to bad quality eggs, we moved immediately to donor eggs. I was already 38 and we had been trying for a year before attempting IVF. For some reason, I felt ready and donor eggs felt like the right choice because at least the baby would have my husband's genes. I do/did care about the genetic link but I didn't want to pass down my genes that much anyway. Long story short, our 3rd IVF with frozen donor eggs worked… Read more »
Shannon
Guest

I've been where you are at in so many regards including adoption in two ways. We used donor sperm for a procedure one time and I thought the same thing. In the end we ended up adopting because I could not get pregnant. Adoption isn't a journey that is made for everyone but we view it as the way God intended us to build our family. Amazingly enough our oldest son looks just like both of us so I never wonder what my smile/eyes/laugh would look/sound like.

Good luck on your journey!

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