Welcome - to ICLWers and Redbook readers!
I've been trying to come up with a bit of an introduction in case you're new to this blog. It's surprisingly hard to write a summary statement of who we are and why we're here. I guess that's what happens after four and a half years of failed fertility treatments: 7 IVFs, many pregnancies, many miscarriages, no take home baby.
I want to add yet. No take home baby yet.
I'm a psychologist; my husband Will is a physician. We married at age 35 (and started trying even before that, but don't tell our parents). You're welcome to read about all the sad details between then and now if you want, but to cut to the chase, we found ourselves last fall experiencing our sixth consecutive pregnancy loss. After this devastating blow, we spent a looooonnnng time (nearly a year) grieving, attending to our marriage, and trying to decide between using a gestational carrier or giving another IVF cycle a try with donor eggs. We are right now pursuing the latter. Our donor is a spunky and brilliant 23 year old who just like us has never done this before. We chose her after reviewing donors from a number of agencies across the United States, and she's now in the process of passing through the many hurdles of the screening process at our rather stringent clinic.
So far so good, but I have to tell you, it's been pretty nerve-wracking from where we sit. Nerve-wracking and very, very far from the 'if you ever have sex you'll get knocked up' fears instilled by 10 years of Catholic school education. Nevertheless, here we are.
So if you're new here, I want to say welcome. I also want to warn you that if you are new(ish) to the infertility journey, we may resemble your worst nightmare. we apologize for that. Your situation will hopefully turn out to be more easily handled than ours...but then again, we never, ever thought we'd be here either. Things have looked quite promising for us all along. I make tons of eggs - more than many donors - and have even had them chromosomally tested and had several normals. We've had the best medical care in the country, which is arguably among the best in the world. And yet, obviously science has its limits.
It's been a tough pill to swallow. It has been very hard to accept that between the two of us - and a village of medical staff - we couldn't make this work. And we are changed forever by our many losses. Just tonight Will used the word "scarred" to describe us at this stage of the infertility journey, and unfortunately, I don't think that's an exaggeration. We are end-stage infertiles. We used to be lighter. We used to be funny, even. But at the same time, we've learned some things along our journey that we hope will be useful to others.
It's strange, but we never thought this blog would become well-read. Having readers wasn't even the intention when we first conceived of the blog. Originally, we used the space as a frame for thoughts on infertility between Will and me. Will has gradually taken a much quieter, backseat role in the blog and I've taken the lead. And in the meantime, we have been amazed and honored to have developed a readership - especially as I have been a very negligent blogger and commenter in the past several months.
Recently, Redbook Magazine approached us and asked us to make a video about our infertility journey as part of their project, "The Truth About Trying." And they've just listed us as among the "Best Infertility Blogs." Some of you may even be finding your way here via their link. We are humbled by this. We haven't yet decided on whether we will make a video. Will and I both work in academic medicine and have pretty public lives and full research and clinical caseloads. We've always kept this blog anonymous, striving for a mix of deep honesty without (we hope) identifying details. Making a video feels very identifying...so we haven't yet taken the plunge. We're toying with some different ways to make a video that would feel genuine, preserve our anonymity, and allow us to speak via that medium...if we figure out a good plan, we'll let you know : ). I hate feeling that way, because I don't want infertility to be stigmatized and nonlegitimized (and it is both), but despite the fact that we write this blog, our story is our private story and not necessarily something we want patients and grant sponsors and fellow medical school faculty searching and finding on the Internet. Despite our personal trepidation, however, you should check out the other incredible infertility videos. Many of them are really moving, and all of them are brave.
So here we are. Longtime readers, I can't say enough about how grateful we are that you are still with us. Those newly arrived, thanks for stopping by. We hope you find something of value and that you stay for awhile.
As I mentioned, we're progressing down the donor egg path right now...and with that, here are some posts that are brewing on the horizon:
- Grief: the gift that keeps on giving
- What does an IVF clinic do when the egg donor checks out medically but the clinic just doesn't like her? (I was curious, so I asked)
- Disclosure: what we're thinking of doing with our future child and why
- Mo's versus Will's take on using an egg donor: I guess you really ARE attracted to your opposite
- Why we picked our donor - along with how surreal it is to try to choose half of your child's genetics
- Fear of failing with the donor...and fear of succeeding, too
- Known vs. semi-known vs. anonymous egg donation - what we've chosen (are trying to choose at least) and how difficult it is to navigate this maze
- Agency vs. clinic donors: why using an agency was the right choice for us (I think. Check back in 6 months and let's see what I think then!)
And you? How'd you find us? If you're a regular reader, how long have you been with us? Any questions for us? Anything you'd like to see addressed in future blog posts?
Thanks again for reading.
Mo (and Will)
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