About Me

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North Carolina, United States
(Allie & Harris) Wife, teacher, patient, thinker, friend, worrier, planner, seeker. These are the hats I wear on a daily basis for the roles in my life. Harris and I've been married since 1999 and we have two fur babies of the feline sort. We have a pretty good life, all things considered. But, it's not complete. Seven years ago I received a diagnosis of PCOS, a condition which has taken a toll on both my body and soul. It will not beat me though and we will be parents.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Same Coin, Different Sides...

Ramblings from my cluttered mind...

In the midst of all that's been going on, I've thought a lot about how things seem to suddenly turn on a dime.  Honestly, it seems like sometimes all of the metaphors that accompany some of life's adventures are aptly suited to be compared to money as they often are linked hand in hand with money.  For instance, despite our losses, I can be ecstatic about my friend's pregnancy carrying her twins and plan to fly up for her baby shower this weekend.  I can feel both sad and happy at the same time - same coin, different side.  There's also the way that we are able to think about moving forward with the remaining 4 embryos but wonder if it's really a gamble to use all 4 now, despite the fact that this would be our last shot for a while most likely - kind of like flipping a coin to decide on implanting 2 vs. 4 (heads = 2?).  Finally, there's the actual money part of it.  Our coins in this process have all been willingly handed over in the name of trying to have our biological child.  We choose not to update our home, replace our cars, or buy a new tv in the event that we might need to hold onto those pennies, nickels, and dimes for the sake of another pregnancy. 

So, where are we?  Well, we are here.  We are okay.  We are trying to make plans to move forward.  Harris and I are waiting to hear from someone at SCI about the different price that we'd pay for just doing a frozen embryo transfer.  Plus, we're also waiting to see how our surrogate is doing and if she'd be interested in the *possibility* of doing another round for us.  Are we sure we want to use her again?  No.  But, at the same time, she got pregnant and there was nothing that happened for her to have lost the pregnancy.  It's something we're considering.  We're also thinking about what will be the most ideal timing for this cycle because I do NOT want to receive a phone call on a school day again where I have to deal with the day and the children if it's bad news.  Understanding that there is nothing within our control in this entire process beyond the initial decisions, I'd still like to try and plan as best as possible. 

Another question that Harris and I have been tossing around has to do with whether or not a frozen transfer is the best idea for us because, frankly, I'm becoming less of a spring chicken every year.  What if this doesn't work?  We won't have the money to do this again for a while and should we try to do another retrieval so that there are embryos banked over there?  What kind of price difference are we looking at?  Is there really that much difference between the cost of a FET vs. a fresh cycle?  These are the things that run thru my mind, and I hope to have answers for very soon.  As for Harris' swimmers-on-ice over there, the storage fee is coming up soon - December, to be precise.  If we did a fresh cycle over there, maybe it would be best to consider the storage fee ($500/yr) in our overall costs.  Having fertilized embryos that we pay to store is one thing, but having only one component that we're paying to store is different somehow in my mind...I can't explain that one, but it is just different. 

So, in conclusion, we're getting on with living.  We're hanging in there, and making the days pass as efficiently and positively as we're able.  To quote one of my all time favorite films (Sleepless in Seattle), "Well, I'm gonna get out of bed every morning... breathe in and out all day long. Then, after a while I won't have to remind myself to get out of bed every morning and breathe in and out... and, then after a while, I won't have to think about how I had it great and perfect for a while."

Hopefully, that day will come soon in the form of another BFP celebration that's followed by the most boring 8 months possible, and concludes with a celebration of life heard around the world as we FINALLY get our baby.  

Monday, September 24, 2012

Something to look forward to...

Kerotyping results were returned and showed no abnormalities of any kind with the tissue recovered from the D&C procedure.  On one hand, we're relieved that there was nothing which would indicate further problems in the future for pregnancies.  But, and this is a whopper of a but, what the heck happened?  For crying out loud, don't we deserve an answer?!?!  What in the world has kept us from continuing in the pregnancies (any of the 3) prior to the end of the first trimester?  Why do things just go from great to nothing with no explanation?!?!

Beyond that, where does that leave us in the process?  We still have the 4 embryos, and we want to try again with surrogacy since they're there.  Honestly, we're just scared.  Neither of us are happy about the thought of another cycle right now, but we're also not thrilled with the idea of not doing another round.  In our hearts we both believe that we're supposed to be parents to our own biological child.  We're not suffering from egg quality issues, and the ICSI process eliminates any issue with Harris' sperm, so why do things not come to a successful completion?

As you can tell, we're also still mucking our way thru the grieving process.  Maybe we should be "over it" by now.  It's proving harder than we thought to find closure on that loss.  I did go to my MD and have him prescribe an anti-anxiety medication for at least the next little while until things somewhat return to a normal state for us (as our "normal" is a far cry from the "normal" others experience).  I resisted it, but then I thought - nah, screw it, I need the help.  Apparently Harris thought so too because he took the day off and insisted on driving me to the appointment, the entire time mumbling something under his breath about wanting his wife back and being out of Kleenex.  Hmm, and I thought I was keeping such a brave face - ha ha! 

On a final note, my cousin died last week after a short and intense battle with cancer.  By the time they discovered it, the tumors were thru her entire body and she only lived about a month.  She was barely 50, and so close to her family that her only regret would be not getting to spend more time with them.  She had truly lived the life she wanted, and that point was shared by all who spoke at her funeral.  What a powerful statement.  How many people really get to do that in life???  While it was the hardest funeral I'd ever been to (because I was grieving two losses in addition to that one), it also made me start thinking about where we are in our lives right now.  Things I've been putting on hold - like grad school, replacing my 15 year old car, and traveling to places that aren't India - suddenly shifted back into focus.  I love my husband, and I love our life together with the one exception of the child-free living situation.  I don't want to lose the intimacy of our life together for the sake of trying to create a life together.  Does that make sense?  We have to make plans for something that doesn't revolve around making babies or traveling to get what we need to make babies, etc.

In that spirit, I am going to work on plans for a trip somewhere that has clear water, palm trees, and drinks served in coconut shells with little umbrellas.  I think we both desperately need to get away and ESCAPE from it all.  In the meantime, I'm feeling up just looking thru the places on the beach in faraway lands.  I can almost feel the sunshine on my face now...and this is the song in my head.

Monday, September 10, 2012


I've started writing blog posts several times over the last 10 days, but nothing I started ever seemed to get finished.  Maybe that's how it goes sometimes when you're grieving?  Harris and I are still grieving the loss of our 2 little ones, but we are working and trying to hold it together as much as possible.  There are moments, like tonight at Bible study when the leader prayed that God help us to remember that His plan is perfect, where I want to rage and scream because I've recently had a heart to heart with God that said just the opposite.  Or, moments when a friend tells you (in the midst of same Bible study) that her daughter miscarried over the weekend - BEYOND hard not to tear up in that moment.    Nothing about this loss has been easy, and I can't sugar-coat it just to make it seem like we're doing well with everything.  In fact, we're not always doing well with it.  Sometimes we're downright furious/broken/terrified/lost in the wake of recent events.

Remember that our other 2 miscarriages were not pregnancies that we knew about until I was losing them - there wasn't the same amount of time to bond and celebrate little milestones like the arrival of eyelids or elbows.  That said, I wanted to share a few things that are helping on our journey to heal this time around. 
  • Emails from others in blogland with phone numbers and offers to call them to talk if I need to.  That's beyond-words generous in spirit, and I am so humbled by the willingness to let someone call you just to cry or yell or whatever.  It's a rare gift to have people who are open to being that vulnerable with you.  THANK YOU!

  • Words from a friend who, in the midst of her own emotional rollercoaster, somehow made time to email words of compassion to me along with her new cell phone number attached - how in the world did she manage to find time and strength to comfort me when she's dealing with so much herself???  You continue to amaze me, and we will see you all next month when we get up to VA!

  • Friends met thru surrogacy in real life who I feel a connection with so deeply that it's my honor to be a part of their lives.  To have lost a child yourself, handled it with such abiding grace and respect, and be willing to share that tender bit of your heart with me is more than I would have ever asked.  I can only hope for Harris and I to come thru this with a fraction of the grace you've shown.  Ethan is truly a lucky little boy to have the two of you!

  • The comment that struck me in both the heart and the head from that last post:  "Make yourselves do something each day which you enjoy, though I expect you may feel like punishing yourselves, try to limit that."  Never, in my entire life, had anyone pointed out to me that the things I do to deal with grief are punishments I impose upon myself.  I have always known that I carried blame for things around me - what child from a dysfunctional home doesn't - but to have someone actually say that...wow!  It was truly freeing, and I actually was able to put somethings together in my mind, and more importantly my heart.  This really is NOT my fault.  This just simply, is.  Thank you for saying that - it's because of that comment that I really feel like I am grieving now instead of wallowing in guilt and punishing myself for this loss.  You will be happy to know that I have slept, watched mind-free tv, read a book about acrylic painting, started a new novel and looked at painting classes in my area.  I am trying to be kind to myself!!!

  • Music has also helped.  I've always been more likely to watch a movie or read a book than listen to music.  But, there have been a few songs that have been marking my transition thru grief stages.  Obviously, I started out with Louis Armstrong's "Nobody Knows" (because I still have a sense of humor buried deep inside somewhere).  Now, I've moved on to "Let It Hurt" from Rascal Flatts, and soon I hope to be all the way to Fun's "Carry On" because I do recognize that little glimmer up ahead as the light at the end of the tunnel.  
THANKS FOR YOUR KIND WORDS!  They are truly a great comfort to both Harris and I as we continue trying to heal because we know we're not alone.  

We may be down, but we're not out...