Just Adopt

It is still staggering to me just how uneducated some folks can be regarding infertility. Just when I think I've seen and accepted it all, something new comes along to blow my mind and render me speechless all over again.

This morning, I received this comment on a recent blog post.
'Just Adopt.'
(Keep in mind the fact that this comment was left on a post where I was completely devastated about potentially losing yet another embryo to a chemical pregnancy... a pretty darn emotional subject, particularly since this would be miscarriage #4.)
It's like a swift kick to the guts to read something like this - but it's a part of sharing our journey publicly, so it comes with the territory. I've never been shy in telling our story; after doing this for so long, I would be lost without the support that this community, and that my real-life family and friends have given us. With the positive though, comes the negative.
Anonymous, I ask you this: Do you think my heart would be any less broken, if we were to choose the path of adoption? 
Would it erase the pain of our miscarriages? Would it 'fix' what was broken in us, physically? Would it erase any of the pain of years gone by? Would it magically glue our lives back together? 
I've said this before & I'll say it again: We are SO lucky to have our daughter. We know it & we'll say it until we're blue in the face; we're more grateful to science than we could ever put into words. Does having one biological child mean that we aren't entitled to want to try for another? Or were you implying that we are selfish to hope, to yearn, to try, when children need adopting? It's just adding a whole new helping of guilt to an already full plate of sadness, devastation, anger and grief.
Would you tell your fertile friend to 'just adopt' when she excitedly tells you she's about to TTC with her partner? Would you tell someone who already has multiple biological children of her own that she's 'selfish' when she announces she's pregnant again, instead of adopting a child? Would you tell someone dealing with a fresh new diagnosis of infertility that she should abandon her hopes of becoming pregnant to adopt a child instead? 
'Just Adopt.'

Two words that trivialise an extremely sensitive and heartbreaking journey to so many - birth parents with no other choice but to give their child up, the children in question, adoptive parents in the process of adopting, hopeful parents who are investigating their options, and parents who desperately WANT to adopt, but can't.
Since this poster is Anonymous, I have no idea where they are located... but I can only speak about adoption from an international sense, since we're in Australia. Adoption is NOT an easy process. 
It irritates me to to no end, when people assume that adopting a child is as simple as walking into an agency & having a tiny person handed to you on a silver platter. It drives me crazy, when comments like these go ahead and assume that adoption is something we've never considered, or to imply that we're being selfish for wanting to continue throwing everything we have at the chance of being pregnant again. It makes me so sad, for all the newly infertile couples out there who have this comment thrown in their face time and time again.
For what it's worth, my hubby and I have spent more time than I would like to admit, searching for non-traditional ways of building our family. We've spent hours on the phone, going through the processes of seeking information on whether it's something that we can do. We've sobbed in each other's arms, because the 'fostering with intent to adopt' system that is prevalent here in Australia has so many loopholes in it, that the thought of being somebody's mother for a little while & then having them taken away and returned to their birth family is too utterly devastating to comprehend. We've weighed in on the gravity of the situation revolving around our daughter - knowing that we need to consider her wellbeing above our own, particularly considering that many local and international adoptions involve special needs children. Flippantly telling me {or anyone} to ADOPT! via a comment on a blog... well, obviously you don't know our family very well.
There is so much heartache that comes with infertility. You're grieving a child that hasn't even been born yet - you've lost a person that you never even got a chance to know. 
For a lot of families, they're grieving the chance to continue their own biological line, the chance for a Mother to see their own eyes staring back at them, or for a Father to see his stubborn personality shine through in his offspring. No, that's not the only important thing about parenting, but it is important; and it's not for anyone to decide but those individuals themselves.
'Just Adopt'.
Every adoption involves some form of loss. Even if it's a couple who doesn't suffer from infertility, and are seeking to expand their family in another way... there's still loss involved. Loss of identity for children in the system, loss of a child for biological parents who choose, or have the choice of parenting taken from them. There is heartache and desperation. Adoption is not as simple as it seems.
We want to be parents again. Whether that may be parents to another biological child {if we're so lucky} or parents to a child who will be 'ours' in every other sense of the word, we really don't have a preference. But that's because we are lucky - we're lucky to have a comfortable home, a secure job, the time available to offer this journey. So many others simply don't have this option at all - so by throwing the 'just adopt' comment in their face.. even if it comes from a place of compassion, you could actually be damaging them in unthinkable ways.
Something to think about. 

FET #8 - Dare to Hope?

So yesterday morning, I deemed this cycle a bust. I ripped apart the pregnancy tests, deleted every image from my phone, threw a huge tantrum and rage-cleaned my bathroom. It was a meltdown, and it wasn't pretty. I ended that fit of destruction by lying on G's bed and sobbing my heart out - thankfully, she was at daycare, so I could safely let it all out.

After picking her up later that afternoon, I decided to do ONE more pregnancy test. I wasn't going to, and I was kicking myself as I was doing it, but I did it. And you know, there was a more visible line this time. It's still fairly light for 6dp5dt - or 11dpo - but it was a TONNE better than the morning's ghost.

Maybe that was a sign that this pregnancy isn't all over?

I promised hubby I wouldn't pee on any FRER sticks today, because he thinks I'll drive myself batty overanalysing a line, or panicking if there isn't enough progression. (Yeah, he's right.)

I didn't promise to not use a digital though. Loopholes, you know.
7dp5dt - or 12dpo. Could this work? Might this work? PLEASE WORK.

FET #8 - Probably Another Loss

Well, all my optimism has failed me... and I was doing so well. It looks like this FET is also going to be another early loss.

Yesterday (5dp5dt - or 10dpo) was early to start peeing, but I've had squinters in the past - and surprise! We had a squinter this time too! It's hard to see, but it's there - when hubby can see it, you know you're not imagining things.

This morning's however, is even fainter than yesterday - which doesn't bode well for this one. One squinter on its own? Well, okay.. every pregnancy has to start somewhere. Two squinters, with no progression? Yeah, we know where this is headed.

I've decided I'm done with stick peeing. I can't handle the disappointment of another early miscarriage every single time I use a pregnancy test. All these losses have just sucked the joy straight out of this process, and it leaves me with dread instead.

Beta is next Tuesday, the 9th. My gut is telling me that little Olaf will have either a) fizzled out by then, or b) be barely hanging in there. So long as this loss doesn't drag out like the last one did, I guess that's that.

I'm really frustrated, you guys. This brings us over 2 years of TTC #2, 3 full IVF stim cycles, 8 transfers, months of endless waiting around - and still no closer to a baby. What do we have to do to get pregnant with a sticky baby? Are we doomed to sit and watch everyone else move ahead without us? Why does this keep happening?

I'm angry at my clinic. I want them to try new things, to throw some steroids at me, to do some more testing, to try and figure out what is going wrong - obviously my body is trying its hardest to get pregnant, but something has to give. Are the remaining 6 frosties we have even worth using? I can't do 6 more cycles, 6+ more months of endless miscarriages or negatives. We want to do whatever it takes to have another baby, but I'm just feeling so broken.

Anyway... if I'm quiet for the next week, you'll know why. No false hopes anymore, just resigned to wait for the week and get the official result from the bloodwork when we get there. This just sucks. :(

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FET #8 - I Hate Speculums

We have a blastocyst on board! Meet Olaf. :)
They thawed it last night & it grew from an early blasto into an expanding blastocyst. The embryologist rated it a grade 4AB.

Surprisingly, it looked very different to this picture when we saw it on the live screen before transfer. Even though it was tiny, I could see a really clear Inner Cell Mass - whereas on this image, I don't see it clearly at all. I'm assuming that this image was captured a little earlier in the day and that it had continued growing up until the transfer time, which I hope is a good thing.

It was a nice experience, except for the part where my cervix decided to disappear and play hard to get. We had a different doctor this time around doing the transfer who was lovely, and I think I'll request him for future transfers. It took him six (!) attempts with a speculum to get the ball rolling, but he was very gentle and very thorough.... and most of all, very kind.

Come on Olaf, lucky #8! Please stick. Please, please, please. Let this be a magical start to 2016. :)

FET #8 - the date is set

The ball is rolling for 2016's first transfer.. and I'm a combination of petrified and excited.

My lining is at 11mm this time around and all hormones are fine; so we are doing a transfer in exactly a week - 2pm next Thursday.
Since this is a day 4 embryo, I rang them and asked if they could thaw it the day before, to attempt growing it out into a blastocyst, should it be suitable. They have agreed, so that led me to take a sigh of relief. Hopefully it's a lovely embryo... I think we're due for a lovely embryo after all this time!
Part of me has already written these embryos off - they picked the best one of the bunch to transfer last year, and that ended up in a painful extended miscarriage. What does that say about the remaining ones?
But part of me is still trying to be hopeful amidst the doubt. We've all heard stories of folks putting embryo after embryo back, and the last one happens to be the magical one they need. Maybe one of ours is the right one, and we just have to wait for it?
It's all out of my hands now. One more week of waiting, and then we'll take a look at this next embryo that we're throwing all of our (somewhat dwindled) hope towards. :)


CD1. New year, new cycle, new chance to try again.

We're back to a FET progynova cycle, popping those oestrogen pills & using up one of our remaining few frozen embryos.

After a horrendous few months of being forced to sit on my hands and wait, it feels good to get moving again - even if the idea of more disappointment/loss is terrifying.

Come on 2016... don't let me down! It's GOT to be our turn soon.


Written as part of #MicroblogMondays on Stirrup Queens.

2015: The Year That Was

Last year was a tough year. Losing our first pregnancy, followed by the pregnancy later in the year - it really shattered us. 

But this year? This year was even tougher. There was more loss, more disappointment, more frustration. If 2014 was hard, 2015 topped it. This year would have been the toughest one I've faced in my entire 31 years. It's humbling, really. But.. we got through it. I got through it. And that's about the most positive thing I have to say about how it has all progressed.

I'm following the same format as years gone by to keep it simple - (2006200720082009, 2010, 201120122013 & 2014)

1. What did you do in 2015 that you’d never done before? 
Lost another pregnancy. Parented a toddler. Had our first overseas family holiday. Swapped IVF clinics. Lost my faith. Sent my little one to daycare.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I said I was going to be more positive.. and I think I failed. Being knocked down over and over again makes it pretty hard to do. I'll make another one or two, but I won't promise I'll hit them!

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Yes. 

4. Did anyone close to you die? Yes. We lost my Nanna suddenly in June.

5. What countries did you visit? We visited Fiji in February for our first family holiday.

6. What would you like to have in 2016 that you lacked in 2015? The same thing I hoped for this time last year - a healthy pregnancy with no complications. A sibling for G.

7. What dates from 2015 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? February, when we hopped on a plane and flew to Fiji. March 4, when we would have welcomed our little man into the world. A sad day. March 19, when my sweet little nephew was born. March 30, when we celebrated Georgia's 2nd birthday. October 20, when we found out out we were pregnant again. November 2, when we found out we had lost that baby too.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
 Admitting defeat and asking for help. There comes a time when things get too hard, when the struggles are becoming a daily thing, and when my usual coping strategies failed. This year, I realised my limitations & took steps to look after myself - to support myself through a really, really hard time. Keeping it together and being the best parent I can be to my daughter is one of the things I'm the most proud of.

9. What was your biggest failure? Jealousy. Infertility and loss brings out the worst in you, and turns something joyful for (seemingly) everybody else around you, into something that makes you crumble.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Not this year.

11. What was the best thing you bought? We bought a new car in October. After waiting for ages, hoping our family would expand so we could justify the expense, we decided to just do it. Best decision we've made!

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration? Jase. My husband is basically the most amazing person I know. He's the only one who has seen me at my worst and who supports me unconditionally. I love him more than he'll ever know.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed? My own.

14. Where did most of your money go? Fertility treatment.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Swapping clinics! I really hoped that after so much disappointment, we'd get lucky this year with our new clinic behind us. It didn't pan out that way, but oh well. I also got to meet my sweet little nephew man. :)

16. What song will always remind you of 2015? 
Don't Be So Hard On Yourself - Jess Glynne

I came here with a broken heart that no one else could see
I drew a smile on my face to paper over me
The wounds heal and tears dry and cracks they don't show
So don't be so hard on yourself, no 
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
(a) Happier or Sadder? Sadder. 
(b) Thinner or Fatter? Fatter.
(c) Richer or Poorer? About the same.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Travelling - but finances didn't go in our favour.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Hibernating - but that's been my coping mechanism of choice this year.

20. How did you spend Christmas in 2015? With our little family. It was a bittersweet one this year.

21. Did you fall in love in 2015? I stayed in love. :) 

22. How many one-night stands? I'm too old for these questions now, I fear.

23. What was your favourite TV program? Game of Thrones, again. X-Files. Melrose Place. I went back to the old school shows this year.

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? Nope.

25. What was the best book you read? Furiously Happy: A Funny Book about Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson. Do yourself a favour: read it.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery? Re-discovery? Lifehouse! We saw them again this year and they were brilliant, as always.

27. What did you want and get? To celebrate every moment I have with my daughter.

28. What did you want and not get? A baby. I have three sad memories, but no new baby.

29. What was your favourite film of this year? Mockingjay.

30. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I turned 31. Nothing exciting this year. In fact, a lot of folks forgot it even existed this year.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Having a pregnancy stick around. Being able to watch G growing up with a sibling. Not feeling like the only person who's missing out on things.

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2015? Summer dresses.

33. What kept you sane? My family. And my fur-babies.

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Meh.

35. What political issue stirred you the most? We got rid of Tony Abbott, so that's something.

36. Who did you miss? I (still) miss my Nanna. I miss old friends. I miss far away places. I miss feeling like I fit in somewhere, rather than feeling like I don't belong.

37. Who was the best new person you met? My miscarriage support peeps. They get it.

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2015. You're stronger than you think.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. “There will come a time, you'll see, with no more tears. And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears. Get over your hill & see what you find there... with grace in your heart & flowers in your hair."

40. What are your resolutions for 2016? We will get pregnant in 2016. WE WILL.

Happy New Year, friends. Props to you all for sticking around through what has arguably been one of the toughest years of my life, and for accepting the hard days along with me. Being able to blog, to share my fears and my disappointments, to help people realise that they're not alone and to be heard; that's a big gift, and it's one that I'll continue to utilise as long as I can. 

Thank you for helping me feel less alone.

December By Numbers

days worth of anti-anxiety medication stored in my bathroom to get through the hard times this season.

months since we've been trying to add another baby to our family.

different tiny presents that have been lovingly wrapped and stuffed in a Santa sack.

great grandchildren that my Pop has all up, keeping him busy on his first Christmas without my Nan.

batteries powering up our pretty indoor signs this year.

days since our real tree went up, and it's still looking as lush and green now as it was then.. the perfect tree.

secret Santa gifters in my family... and nearly all of them know who's gifting who. Secret? Ha!

pills of Letrozole finished, to try and at least have a natural-ish cycle on this month off.

ornaments on our tree to remember our wee ones, even though only one of them is here with us.

hours that hubby spent assembling Miss G's Christmas gift.. and it's delightful.

parents who are sad, happy, tired and everything in between this holiday season.


incredibly excited toddler, who is loving everything about the holiday season! :)

Different Ways People Learn: Sponsored Post

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This sponsored post is in collaboration with The Print Group - all images are my own. If you are interested in a product review or sponsored post content appearing on Breathe Gently, please email me.

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