Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Know you're not alone.... I'm gonna make this place your home

The first time I heard Philip Phillips sing this song was on the radio a while ago. I remember I was driving home from work when this song came on, and as I listened to the words, it made me cry. Tears clouded my vision and I blinked them away to be able to see the road ahead.
The song was obviously not written with me in mind, and probably had nothing to do with my situation, but it spoke volumes to me. You see, we had just signed up for domestic adoption, and the lines "Know you're not alone, I'm gonna make this place your home" resonated very deeply with me. Since then, till now - this song became our "Adoption Song".

Fast forward a few months later.... and he's here! In a whirlwind of emails, texts, calls, trips and visits, we heard from a birth mother, met her, and within 2 months of the first contact, he was already ours!

Introducing Rowan! He is 4 weeks old today, and is an absolute joy. Our road to parenthood was long and rocky, but he is so worth it. The sweet boy has made all our dreams come true and DH and I couldn't be happier.

We are an Indian couple and we have a Caucasian white, grey eyed, blond haired little one. In the last 4 weeks, we've already had some interesting conversations with strangers who look at us and then look at him and look confused. But we're loving it. Proudly embracing our differences and working towards solidifying our similarities! 

I know I haven't posted anything here in a long long time, and I don't know if anyone is still interested, but I thought I should post an update, just in case. I'm not going to write here in this blog any more. I may start a blog about my adoption story and our journey with him, and once I do, I can share it with anyone who wants to stay in touch.

Thank you all for being there when I was at my lowest and for always being supportive and encouraging. Life takes us all on different journeys and I guess eventually we all find resolution - one way or the other.

Sunday, April 18, 2010


Firstly – thank you so much to those of you who thought of me, and thought of me enough to come leave a comment enquiring about my whereabouts. I’m sorry I disappeared off the face of the earth altogether.

I’m sorry for being a bad blogger, and being a bad reader. Sorry to everyone who needed my support and I wasn’t there to offer it. Really, truly sorry about that. No excuse is good enough for not being a good friend, specially in the IF world.

Congrats to the BFPs, new babies, healthy pregnancies, and everyone who is on their way to beating the IF monster in one way or another.

Me – I’m in the “none of the above” category – yet again. It seems to be the story and motto of my life. And this time I have nobody but myself to blame.

The last time I was here on my blog, we had completed our home study, and were about to get started on the outreach part of our adoption process. That was when I just started a new job, which turned out to be way more stressful than I had ever imagined. So our first thought was to wait a couple of months till I feel more settled in my job before we jump into outreach with adoption, because that was going to entail a lot of work on our part as well. We would have to make our booklet, put aside pictures for it, get letters of recommendations from friends (which we had partly done already).

We would also have to write a letter, make 3000 copies of it (yes, 3000 – and that’s not a typo), and mail it out to medical centers, OB-GYNs, Planned Parenthood clinics etc across the country. That’s part of our agency’s outreach program. 3000 copies, 3000 envelopes, 3000 stamps – undefined time, lots of money – in short, a complete 100% commitment from us.

So we decided to take a couple of months before doing this. And during those couple of months, I decided to continue to read about adoption to be more prepared as an adoptive parent.

Only, I didn’t expect my brain to do a total flip on me. It did. The more I read, the more I was convinced I was not ready to adopt. The books talked about issues with open adoptions – the questions kids ask, the grief and loss they feel, the situations that come up, and how over and over again we, as adoptive parents will have to deal with those situations. It just made me panic more and more, making me feel like I was not ready to proceed at all.

And I know one can never be fully aware of all the situations one is going to deal with in life, and I know that everyone’s story turns out to be different, but I also know that I’m tired, and I don’t want to have to deal anymore.

I feel like such an idiot to have been so sure about everything, to have moved ahead with (and completed!!) the home study, and to now realize and confess that perhaps I am not ready to adopt at all. Suddenly the option of living child-free seems more appealing.

I mean, we know how to deal with this – infertility, and life with infertility and being childless. We know how to respond to inquisitive questions – whether they are sensitive or not. Other than IF, life is pretty decent.

What I don’t know is if I am ready for yet another roller coaster. A lifetime of “age appropriate information” to the child, a lifetime of questions, and inquiries and situations.

Adoption can help fill our need to parent, but it will not fill the void infertility has caused, nor will it heal the wounds and gashes that are so deep. And I don’t know if, for fulfilling our parenting need, we are ready to take on so much more at this time.

DH feels I may be right, specially since our adoption would be transracial (and that in itself will cause several more unique situations). He feels like we should really think this through before we take any further steps, and maybe even wait till we are eligible to adopt from India.

So here we are. In my head, living child-free seems like a tempting option. In DH’s head, not so much. He feels we should parent, but he agrees that we should not jump in when we are not totally ready. Therefore, we have put the brakes on the process for now. I don’t know how this will resolve, and like much of our life for the last 9 years, we shall see.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


So often, what you get out of your job depends on your manager. If you’re lucky to have a good manager, you can concentrate on your work, and life goes on. If you get a moron for a manager, life will chase you down to your workplace and mock at you.

My manager, as we’ve guessed by now, belonged to the latter group. Grade A moron. Right from assuming that I was childless because I chose not to have kids, to assuming that my in-laws probably hate me because I chose not to have kids, to making comments about how it didn’t matter where I live because I don’t have kids, to how he realized the value of a woman only when his wife was in labor during delivery, he demonstrated his clueless-ness over and over again.

I did my bit in keeping him informed about my situation (specially when we were going to Denver for my FET), and then also told him when the cycle didn’t work out (because I was a mess and wanted to leave work after I got the BFN call).

This background will explain why the following incident left me both seething in anger, and shaking my head in disbelief.

This happened maybe 3 weeks after my BFN (so yes, even the timing was absolutely wrong!). He called me to his office and gave me a piece of paper and said “Can you help me write something for this?” I was expecting this to be some sort of a marketing / sales related announcement or something, so I picked up the paper and read it. Before I make any further comments about it – here you go, read it for yourself. The picture is not very clear because I took it from my phone camera and my hands were shaking too badly to get a steady shot!

He wanted me to help him with a letter to his 5 year old daughter’s kindergarten class???

Needless to say my jaw fell to the ground, my hands went cold, and my throat went dry. 10 million thoughts raced through my head at the same time. What kind of idiot does this? This was wrong on so many levels – just so wrong on so many levels!

a) He knew of my situation, and my fresh, recent BFN. How wrong of him to even think of asking me to help with this!
b) Forget the IF, even professionally this was so wrong! I am / was not his secretary! And even if I was his secretary, I am sure it would not be part of my job to write personal notes for him and his kids!

My first thought was to say No. But I was just so stunned that I couldn’t say anything. I stood there and looked at him, and right then, his phone rang. He picked it up, and I walked back to my desk, paper in hand.

I IM’ed my DH and told him what had happened, and what assignment I had been given. He was LIVID! Like, ready to come there and – in DH”s actual words - “kick his a$$” DH told me not to write it, and that starting that day I “should be on sick leave – just imagine you have the flu or something” till I could find another job. It’s sweet to know that my DH totally has my back when in comes to situations like these. Here’s a man who is in touch with the emotions of IF, and is man enough to accept the emotions!

After my heart stopped racing, and my hands stopped shaking, I thought about going back to my manager and explaining why it was inappropriate of him to ask me to write this letter. Then I was like – he’s never going to understand. I mean - he didn’t have enough EQ in the first place, because if he did, he would never have asked! He would never get it. It would just be all the more painful for me to be talking about my IF to such a clueless man.

And the more I thought about it, the more it seemed to me that it would be easier for me to just write the note, than to try and explain myself to my manager.

So I did it. I wrote the note. I just made believe that I was writing it to my imaginary kindergartener.

PS: And to complete the story – no, I did not go on sick leave after this incident. I went back to work and carried on with my usual work as always. I waited till the time was right for me to leave, and I left on good terms. He will never know that he subjected DH and me to so much turmoil that day.

PPS: To redeem him a little, he did say this when I resigned earlier this month “I hope 2010 is your year. I hope your adoption match comes through because I can’t see you wanting a baby so bad, and I hope your career takes off the way you want it to” (His language is not as smooth as this, but this is what he meant)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Where am I?

First of all, I am very sorry for being a terrible blogger, and a worse commenter! I keep thinking of topics to write on my blog, and I keep thinking how much my blogosphere peeps must be missing me (though I’m sure I’m not missed half as much as I would like to believe I am!)

So where have I been? In a variety of different places actually. This post is just a list of updates on various parts of my life in the last few months.

Where am I in life?
In life, in general, I’ve been in a good place. I’m at peace with myself and with what has been and will be. I give huge credit to my hypnotherapy session and tape for helping me come to this calm place in my life. For the most time, I’m at ease with myself and I’ve been a lot calmer recently than I have been for years.

That is FOR THE MOST PART. And then there are sudden incidents, or parts of conversations, or reminders that come up, and bring everything back to the surface again. A commercial or show on TV will bring a sudden lump to the throat. I’ll go to a blog, and read something that will touch my heart. Lastchance posted a video on her blog, and it made me cry. It was the story of my life, only cuter. She and her DH are so adorable! My DH and I would a) never look so cute, and b) never have thought of documenting our IVF journey so well! No regrets wrote about the “Losses of IF” and reading that made everything come back again. But I realize that’s how life is going to be. I think I’m going to be able to move on, by and large, and once in a while, I will HAVE to revisit everything, acknowledge the deep gashes that IF has left on my soul and on my life, and accept that even with the gashes and the scars and wounds, I still have the strength to walk on. I have to have the strength to move on.

Where am I with TTC?
Nowhere, really. Our frozen embryos will remain frozen for now. I know I don’t have it in me to do an FET just yet. Maybe I will at some point. Or maybe we will try having my cousin be a gestational carrier for us (she had offered last year, but I am not counting my eggs before they are hatched (literally!!) )

Where am I on the adoption process?
We’re doing pretty well on adoption actually. We selected the agency we are going with – and we chose the agency that called us about that potential birthmother back in October. We thought they stood out amongst the other agencies because they reached out to us when they had no obligation to. They were very responsive and supportive through our scurried attempts are putting our booklet together, and have been very proactive throughout. So we chose them and began our home study. And we’ve been happy with our decision so far. No regrets.

As of right now, our home study is almost complete. The social worker came home twice. One visit was for him to see the house, and to talk to both of us at the same time. The second visit was for our individual meetings with him. Our finger printing, medical certificates etc have all been done a while ago. We are now ready to pay up for the outreach part and get started! So very soon, it could be any time that we may get matched!

Where am I with my job?
Some of you may remember the crazy stories about my manager. If not, here you go, and here you go again! There have been more stories, including one that made me seethe in anger. But that makes for another post, and I will post about that incident soon. So I decided to find myself another job, and leave as soon as I could.

I also decided that I was no longer going to put my life and career on back burner because “this could be the month”! 2010 is going to be the year where I take control of SOME of the things in my life.

I interviewed at a couple of places, and got offers that I could choose from. I quit my job last week, am taking 2 weeks off, and starting at my new job on 1/25!

So all in all, 2010 so far has been good to us. It’s only been 12 days, so I hope I don’t speak too soon! But I’m determined to live my life the best I can, while I wait for things to fall in place. Because I believe it will happen. Some day, somehow, it will happen.

Monday, December 28, 2009

The year in review

Dec 31, 2008: We arrived in Denver for IVF #5. CCRM was going to be the answer to our prayers! New Years Eve was spent taking my injection and getting settled into the hotel room which was going to be home for the next several days.

Jan 2009: The first half of the month was spent in CO. I went through my 5th ER – 31 eggs were retrieved! Yes, CCRM did seem to be the answer to our prayers! The rest of the month was spent in waiting for fert reports, growth reports, PGD reports (we did a freeze all cycle). We have 4 PGD normal embryos!

Feb 2009: I started prepping my lining for FET. My lining didn’t seem to be growing very well. Almost the entire month was a whirl of lupron, estrogen patches, delestrogen injections and ultrasounds.

March 2009: I was still on Lupron! It had been almost 7 weeks on Lupron and I was going insane. My lining was not growing, and nothing seemed to budge it. I tried acupuncture, “bone soup”, hot foods, delestrogen, estrogen patches, estrace suppositories and everything else I could think of. But no luck. I called off the cycle and decided to take a break.

April 2009: I was on a break, and we were in need of a salary coming into the house. I started looking for a job, found one and started working. My uncle (mom’s brother) in Nashua was very sick and I spent a week there with him and his family. It didn’t look good, and he didn’t look like he would make it much longer.

May 2009: When AF came, we decided to get back on to the FET bandwagon. I started Lupron and all of the same insanity again.

June 2009: My parents came from India – to be with my uncle and help him and his family out. Uncle was deteriorating. In the meantime, my lining was doing the same “no growth” pattern as before. I was now on heavy doses of delestrogen and patches and suppositories. My FET date kept getting pushed out because my lining wasn’t good enough. At the end of the month, my uncle passed away.

July 2009: Most of the month was still spent on Lupron and estrogen. By the time it came to FET at the end of the month, I had been on Lupron for about 8 weeks! Crazy? Yes, absolutely! My lining barely made it to the minimum required level, and we decided to proceed with transfer. We transferred two beautiful looking grade AA blastocysts.

August 2009: BFN. Not much to note for the rest of the month. How many people do you know who are childless even after 5 IVFs? Besides me, I can count maybe 2-3 others. Not a whole lot. It’s a sad, sparsely populated club to be in.

September 2009, October 2009, November 2009: Honestly, it’s all a blur. I can’t remember much of what happened in these three months. Somewhere along the line, we started talking seriously about domestic adoption. DH is the project leader for our adoption program. He did all the research and we finalized on the agency we want to go with. We also got a potential birth mom situation that made us so excited.

December 2009: Here we are, at the end of a year that I hoped would bring us the answers we needed. CCRM did not turn out to be the answer to our prayers. We are on the brink of 2010, and we are still looking for answers. We still have 2 frozen blastocysts but we are out of steam. I also am not sure my lining will cooperate any time soon. Most importantly, I am not ready to stick another needle into me – not for the foreseeable future. We have filled out our application forms for domestic adoption and have sent them in. We are waiting for our home study to get done. We are trying to be hopeful for 2010, but have been let down and disappointed too many times before to put much hope into our hearts. We are more realistic now, more cautious with the dreams in our minds. My motto is: Hope for the best, but expect the worst. Who knows, life may pan out somewhere in between.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

It was good while it lasted

Nobody said the adoption process was going to be smooth sailing, but after 8 years on a stomach churning, vomit inducing roller coaster ride called infertility, I was secretly hoping we’d get a break and the universe would put us into the “preferential treatment” category. A girl can dream, can’t she?

It all started 2 months ago. When I wrote this post, we were close to finalizing which agency we would go with, and we were close to initiating the entire paperwork. We wrapped our minds around bringing home a baby of a different race, and started visualizing in our minds a baby in our arms, a baby that we would love unconditionally – our baby.

And then we got a call – from the same agency that we were finalizing to sign up with. Hold your breath – they told us they had been contacted by a social worker in Nevada, who had been contacted by an Indian family. There was a young girl in this family who was pregnant, and they were considering placing this baby up for adoption.

As you can imagine, our world did an instant flip flop! The agency said they remembered us from our conversation with them, and since it was rare for them to come across an Indian baby up for adoption, they thought of asking us if we would be interested.

IF we would be interested??? Of course we would be interested!!

Mind you, we weren’t even signed up with the agency yet, so they really had no obligation to bring us this potential match! So in our na├»ve minds, we started believing this was meant to be! This was the universe’s way of cutting us a break, and making something easy for us. We couldn’t stop smiling!

The agency gave us less than 2 days to prepare our “Dear Birthmother” letter and our profile booklet. We worked like insane people on a mission! Writing, selecting pictures, creating the profile, printing, binding, rushing to the agency etc.

And then the wait started. I literally had my phone attached to me like an additional appendage all the time. How cool was this! Unlike other couples who usually don’t get the chance to “customize” their profiles and letters to the birthmom’s situation, we had been so lucky to have some information about the birthmom. We knew she was Punjabi (ie, from around the part of India my family is from), so our pictures depicted our Indian roots more than we would have initially imagined. Our letter was written in English, and I also wrote out a copy in Indian! Our profile literally was screaming: “Pick Me! Pick Me!”

We were so sure this was going to work! I mean, how couldn’t it? There had to be karma involved in this, right?

One week went past. No phone call. Two weeks went past. No phone call. We followed up with the agency. They had not heard either, and they promised to follow up with the social worker. They came back saying the social worker had not heard anything either.

One month went past. No phone call. Now it’s almost 2 months. I’m not carrying my phone like it’s my lifeline anymore. The agency never heard anything back. They feel no news means it didn’t work out. And I’ve stopped hoping too. Yes, there is that tiny little sliver of chance that MAYBE, just maybe, it will still happen, and that the birth mom and her family (her dad was the one driving the entire conversation with the agency in the beginning) may still call us. But then there is the very real and probably more likely possibility that we will never hear from them.

We don’t know if they didn’t pick us, and picked someone else from another agency, or if someone within their family / friend circle offered to take care of the baby or if they decided not to put the baby up for adoption after all. Who knows what their reality and situation is at this point.

But it was good while it lasted. The shine and sparkle in our eyes was worth it! We allowed ourselves to hope so much about this working out that we actually had conversations revolving around me taking time off from work, and us having to figure out day-care etc.! Pre-mature yes, but it was a huge first for us.

We had never before come within touching and feeling distance of a baby like this! This birth mother is due on Jan 27! If this match had worked out, we really would have had to have all those conversations and decisions in place by now!

But I guess it’s not so simple in my life. The universe and karma and fate and whoever else is not cutting me any slack. The adoption ride may turn out to be as crazy a roller coaster as our IF treatment ride. Hop on and hang tight!

Saturday, November 28, 2009


It’s been 2 years since that fateful appointment with my RE. I can remember every minute of that appointment like it happened just yesterday. Him smiling when he came into the room, telling us that was our last appointment with him, asking us if we had made an appointment with a perinatologist for subsequent visits.

And then the ultrasound when our world came tumbling down.

The RE’s shaking hands as he tried desperately to find that heartbeat, to dismiss his suspicions. His voice, higher pitched than usual, saying “There is no heartbeat”.

Numbed silence from DH and me. No tears, no words, no nothing. What could we say? Then the whole whirl of things – someone saying “Let’s schedule the D&C”, someone coming and hugging me, saying “I’m so sorry”. DH and me looking at each other, holding hands, still numbed and silenced by the events.

Two years to the day.

They say time is the best healer. I think time just dulls the pain. The actual pain remains forever. The loss remains forever. All time does is make memories dull and faint. I can feel the choking lump in my throat as I type this right now. The pain is still there, right at the surface.

If anything is fading, it’s my memories of how it felt to be pregnant. That was the only pregnancy I felt anything. Not being able to sleep on my tummy as I usually do, because my breasts hurt so much. Not be able to stay awake past 8 PM because I was just SO exhausted. Wanting to eat meat that was cooked with a lot of spice. I am not a beef eater – I didn’t even know how it tastes, but I swear, watching those steakhouse commercials on TV at that time would make me want to go eat steak right then!

But those memories are fading away. Every week, every month, every year, I am further away from the time I was pregnant.

I’ve been working very hard at accepting the cards that have been dealt out to me. I got tired of being angry at the universe. But then it’s days like today when the floodgates open, and everything comes pouring back in. Why us? What did we do wrong? Our baby would have been almost a year and a half old today. We should have had a home full of toys, and baby clothes and diapers and formula, and baby food. Instead, it’s just us, 2 more years older, no closer to having a family now than we were then!

On this day last year, as I wrote a blog entry, I was getting ready for my CCRM IVF. I still had hope. If my uterus was the problem, we had "fixed" it. If DH's translocation was the problem, we were doing genetic testing anyway. The cycle at CCRM HAD to work. Well, it didn't. We all know how that IVF cycle turned out.

Today, I feel miserable. Simply miserable. We did all we could, because we had the ability to hope, and we had the stamina to keep trying. We lost.