Just Us Girls

Just Us Girls

...one SMC's adventures in single motherhood.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Today is better.

As I mentioned in my last post, the way I feel about our mom-and-daughter family being "it" varies by the day, and today is no exception.  I look forward to feeling "done" and feeling good about it, able to look forward to the future and watching my girl grow.  Just for fun, today I was looking in the Craigslist ads at RVs, of all things!  I could totally see a mom-and-daughter RV trip in our future, maybe with one of K's friends along.  I would love to have a pop-up trailer, even though I'm pretty sure our current car wouldn't be sufficient for towing it.  Not one of those huge fifth wheels or anything, just a little trailer.  And don't even get me started on the "tiny house revolution" I keep hearing about!  I LOVE those tiny houses!  And would I realistically be able to envision one with me and TWO kids?!  Highly doubt that.  We are looking forward to skipping town on Wednesday night, heading for NY for my parents' fiftieth wedding anniversary, and one kid is pretty easy.  Two kids, probably a bit more challenging.  So there it is.  Today is better, thank goodness.

I think my friend J might be having a bit of a harder time with being "done"...maybe not...she is currently looking into FET with donor embryos in New Mexico: $450 for the initial visit, they do have embryos "in stock", and the FET is $6500.  But that clinic does require several visits, so if I were to actually consider pursuing it, I'd have to check out the driving distance from Colorado.  And who would watch K?  Plus, the cost of FET at our current clinic is $3000, so it's more than twice as much.  Decisions, decisions.

For today at least, I just want to feel HAPPY.  I have hated waking up lately, because the moment I wake up in the morning, it seems to take a few moments to remember that my FET and second-baby dreams have most likely died, and then it hits me all over again like a ton of bricks.  But then I just have to look at this sweet face, and my spirits start to lift...

Monday, June 15, 2015

I want to blog...I don't want to blog...I want to blog...

For some reason, tonight seems to be the night.  I have a few things bouncing around in my head that I really want to get down on paper...I mean, the screen.  I actually have a lot that I *should* get done, as we're heading out of town to the east coast on Wednesday, but in all honesty I have a lot on my mind.  Strangely enough, I am finding myself pretty much back at the same place I was when I last posted, back in November 2013.  That sounds like such a long time ago!  It really was--my girl wasn't even four yet, and now she's five years and three months old, and headed off to kindergarten in August!  So hard to believe.  She's changed so much!  I'll attach a few pics at the end of this post.

So.  I haven't blogged in a long time.  I think it's because I was pretty profoundly sad about not being able to add to my family, not being able to give my daughter a sibling.  I also feel guilty about feeling sad...the truth is that I am so, so grateful to have my amazing girl, and I *should* be completely happy, perfectly content to be a mom-and-daughter family.  On a lot of days I am.  But it's been a rough week.

I started on a new journey this past March: I found an embryo donor.  (I wasn't actively looking for one; a friend who was actively looking for an embryo donor found her, and things just kind of went from there.)  I also had to find a new clinic, as my former RE retired around Christmastime.  This donor lives in Portland, and she really has an amazing story.  Before she underwent chemotherapy and radiation, she chose to create embryos with donor sperm, which resulted in 26 pre-embryos that weren't quite to the blast stage.  After successfully completing her chemo and radiation therapy, she met someone, and now has a beautiful six-year-old son with him.  So...what to do with the embryos? 

To make a longer story a bit shorter, I got fully checked out by the new clinic...physical, complete blood work, hysteroscopy.  The donor did tell me and my friend when we started this journey that she was *done* adding to her family.  But we have both speculated that as things progressed, it all became more real to her, and she realized that she isn't sure she's done adding to her family.  Even though she has a partner, she wants to keep some of the embryos for herself "just in case."  My friend and I do understand.  But because she doesn't know how many embryos she might need for herself, she really doesn't know how many she has available for someone else, much less two someone elses.  Her embryologist has told her to expect anywhere from three to seven blasts out of 26 pre-embryos...they have to be thawed, grown further, and then transferred (her clinic would prefer to do a fresh transfer instead of refreezing them).  So she most likely doesn't have any to spare.  I found this out on Wednesday.  And here the journey ends, at least this particular journey.

I have definitely considered looking for another embryo donor.  But I keep coming back to the fact that I am not a childless couple.  I am a single mother by choice who already has a kid.  When it comes down to it, who would it be more likely for a prospective donor to choose?  There are many, many people out there who are looking for and hoping to find embryos.  And the plain truth is that I am 45...I highly doubt anyone would allow me to do IVF with my own eggs, and donor egg cycles are that much more expensive.  So this week I have done some grieving.  I'm pretty sad.  I am trying so hard to focus on the benefits of having only one child, of which there are a lot!  Some days are easier than others.  Tonight has been kind of hard, probably because I got to spend time with my cousin today, among other family members, who is lucky enough to have two precious children.  I really, really wish I could have two.

So.  I will definitely do an update post next, since there is a TON of other news to report other than the thoughts that are currently living rent-free inside my brain.  (Get OUT, negative thoughts!!)  My life is NOT just about wanting two children.  But that is what's on my mind tonight. 

Here are a few pics of my sweet no-longer-a-preschooler:

I am such a lucky momma!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


Yep, you guessed it, that latest IUI was not successful.  Honestly, I wasn't surprised since it was such an incredible long shot.  I haven't really wanted to blog about it, to be honest, but I can't just say NOTHING about it, now, can I?!  Not after mentioning the IUI in the first place.

So, yeah.  It didn't work.  And I'm definitely disappointed, but I can't really say that I've been consumed by the disappointment, either.  Too many other things to do!  I'm kinda-sorta leaving the door open for a possible IUI in February, BUT I haven't talked with my RE yet, so that's just really, really questionable.  I really want his honest opinion first.

Right now I'm focusing on just enjoying my almost-four-year-old, looking forward to the holidays, and trying to picture us as a mom-and-daughter family.  A family of two.  Gotta watch some more Gilmore Girls...   lol.
As far as kids are concerned, I really do feel like with my daughter, I won the Kid Lottery.  She's just absolutely awesome.  Not all the time, of course, but generally speaking?   I just really, really love her to pieces.  She's a lot of fun to spend time with, and I live for the weekends when I can spend the MOST time with her.  Sometimes I really can picture us as a fantastic family of two.  Other times I feel like there's a missing family member, which is really how I've felt up until now, ever since K was born.  There's supposed to be somebody else in our family!  Two kids, one mom, that's always how I've pictured us.  So I've just been trying to re-envision our future together...

It's not easy, especially when I find myself wishing I had started this SMC process sooner.  Maybe I could have had two kids after all.  But K is just so meant-to-be that I can't imagine any other kiddo in her place.  In my eyes, she's absolutely perfect.  And I KNOW there are many, many advantages to having an "only" kid.  But I still get to be sad for a little while longer.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

One week down, one to go.

The title of this post basically says it all.  I'm now one week into the two week wait, with one more to go.  Not going to comment on any "symptoms" since I honestly don't trust anything my body might or might not be doing right now, as my brain has made it all up in the past, so who really knows.  Suffice it to say, I just want to KNOW one way or another.  Tomorrow is 10dpiui, but I am going to try my best to resist the POAS nonsense until at least Friday.

In other, more exciting news, Miss K had an absolute BLAST on Halloween this year!  We practiced saying "Trick or Treat!" together for a day or two beforehand, and for the most part she did really well remembering what to say when people opened the door, as well as "thank you" after they gave her treats.  We stayed out for an hour, walking around the townhouse complex where we live, and that was just enough for the both of us.  Needless to say, she asks for a "treat" from her plastic pumpkin after every meal, breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Not that she gets one every time she asks, but I give her credit for her persistence!!

Here she is in her monarch butterfly finery--the wings were easily put together with cardboard, paint, and construction paper, but it was a bit hard for her to fit through doorways!!  She was pretty happy after all, though.  Definitely hard for her to settle on a costume idea, but eventually she did, and all was well.

I just love this kid.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

1dpiui (and a bowling mishap)

Yep, the deed is done!  I had my sixth iui yesterday...it took three tries to conceive Miss K, and this is my third (and probably final) try for numero dos.  All told, I did a total of six days of Folli.stim (150), five days of Fem.ara before that, and one ginormous (at least it felt that way) dose of Preg.nyl for my trigger shot.  With a huge needle, no less.  I ended up with one very big follicle, two medium ones that might have been viable at the time of the iui, and quite a few smaller ones.  More than I've had at other iui's, so maybe that's thanks to the Folli.stim.  Everything else my RE said looked great: my lining, the "specimen", my CM, all of it.  I don't think I could have asked for any better conditions, so here's hoping the stars were aligned in my favor.  And now...it's time to sit back and wait.

I can honestly say I pulled out all the stops with this try, and did everything I could, short of IVF.  Last week I was at the clinic on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, AND Friday.  Thank goodness for a fabulous colleague who covered part of my first period class on Monday and Wednesday--I had very early appointments--and refused any kind of compensation for it.  He's getting cookies, though, and he's not allowed to turn them down! :)  My Thursday appointment forced me to miss forty five minutes of parent conferences, and luckily I only missed two that my amazing student teacher covered for me.  And because we all made it through sixteen hours of parent conferences, four after school on Wednesday and twelve (!!) on Thursday, 8 am until 8 pm, we had no school on Friday, my iui day.  I am still so glad for that, since I felt like absolute crapola afterwards.  I don't remember feeling so awful after my other ones: lower back soreness, and achiness that was kind of like mild cramping.  It lasted all evening, and I spent yesterday evening curled up on the couch.  Thankfully I feel a lot better today.

You know, I feel really good about everything.  If K asks about a sibling later, I can definitely say that I gave it my all.  If it doesn't work, I know with 100 percent certainty that we will be JUST FINE.  No regrets either way.  Yeah, I'll be sad for a while, but I know that there are a LOT of advantages to having an "only".  I can already tell, though, that it's gonna be a LOOONG two week wait!!

PS:  We had a bit of a scare today at a birthday party for one of K's preschool friends.  It was a bowling party at a nearby bowling alley, and she had an absolute BLAST.  After cake and presents, the girls wanted to bowl some more, and K was right there with them.  At this alley there was a metal slide-type thing that you roll the ball down, which gives it momentum down the lane.  During the whole party K was easily able to pick up the child-sized bowling balls and carry them, with arms underneath, over to the slide.  But unfortunately, this time either she slipped or dropped the ball, and landed on it face-down.  You can always tell by that scary cry that she's definitely hurt somehow.  The ball landed on (or rolled on) her hand, and my first thought was that maybe she broke her wrist or her hand.  Thank goodness it's fine, just a little sore.  She also got a bruise and a cut under her chin, and a tiny cut in her mouth, which I never was able to see.  But I tell you, it's no fun seeing blood coming out of the corner of your little girl's mouth and on her chin.  I ended up getting napkins and a cup of ice from the snack bar, and it all looks SO much better now.  Scary, but with a happy ending.  And to think I was considering having her birthday party in March at the same bowling alley!!  Yeah, I'm still considering it, though...we'll see.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Probably my last T42 attempt...

Yes.  Things are really picking up speed in this could-be-last Hail Mary attempt for number two.  (no offense to Catholicism intended, I swear)  I don't know whether I have another attempt in me, though I'm so completely thankful my RE is willing to go ahead with this try.  He actually seems to have NO problem with it whatsoever, possibly because I really don't have any fertility issues other than advanced maternal age (oy), and because I actually managed to have a healthy baby at the ripe old age of forty.  Forty!
He likes to say that I am in the rare one to two percentile category on the bell curve, which I guess is kinda flattering, maybe.  He also has a sister, Nancy, who had a baby naturally (!!!!) at age forty-seven, so you might say he knows that crazy miracles can happen.

  • I just finished five days of letro.zole (Fem.ara), and not a moment too soon.  I swear I had a low-grade headache nonstop for all five days.  I don't remember any side effects from last time, but then again, I can't deny that I'm getting older...
  • I did my first Folli.stim injection tonight, and it wasn't too bad at all.  Thank goodness I had a video to follow along with.  The injections 101 appointment with the nurse at my RE's office took a full hour and a half, probably because although she had watched the injections process taught to someone else, she had never done the teaching by herself before.  It all worked out fine because we just went over the instructions booklet together, but holy buckets, that appointment was long.  I have two more injections tomorrow evening and Sunday evening.
  • My next ultrasound appointment is bright and early Monday morning.  He's going to check the state of my follicles, and decide when I should do the Ovi.drel shot to trigger ovulation.  Insem day might actually be this coming week!  Yikes!
  • I turned forty-four on the eighth of this month.  Great birthday, but sobering as well, considering what a long shot this is.  But somehow I feel really, really hopeful, too.  I don't know why.
So there you have it.  I have a BIG week ahead of me.  I keep trying and trying to prepare myself that in all likelihood, this attempt probably won't work.  But it's hard.  Really hard.  I still feel hopeful, maybe because I've never done injectables before and now I really am doing the absolute most I can manage (can't afford IVF, after all).  I really want this to work.  Like, I can't even put into words how badly I want this to work.  And this blog space is pretty much the only place I can be completely honest about that. 

It's going to be a very, very sad day for me if it doesn't work.  But I also know that I'll just be sad and move on, because I am lucky enough to have the world's most awesome 3.5 year old girl who brightens up every little corner of my world. And that's no small thing.

(Another post all about her is coming soon.)

Here is a pic of my beautiful new niece, Piper Rose, whose one-month birthday is this Tuesday, October 22nd:

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

I'm an Aunt!!!!!

SO happy over here that I have a new baby niece!!  Piper Rose was born yesterday, September 22nd, at eight pounds, five ounces, to my brother and sister-in-law!  I haven't even seen a photo yet, but I'm completely in love with this tiny girl already.  Up until now, K has been the only grandchild, and now my parents can use the word "granddaughters"!  It doesn't quite register with K that she now has a "Cousin Piper", but at some point it will.  So over the moon right now!!!!