Doubt

It’s not an especially articulate day for me today, so bear with me.  I need to ask, up front, that any comments be supportive.  Anything intentionally insulting will be deleted.  Feel free to share opinions – but don’t be a jackass about it.  That said, I’ll move on to the main topic.

I’m not usually into regrets when it comes to my decisions.  I make a decision, stick with it, and rarely look back and doubt myself.  But lately, for whatever reason, I’ve been doing just that.  I’ve spent the last few weeks reevaluating my quest for motherhood.  

To recap, I started thinking about becoming a mother on my own about seven years ago.  I initially wanted to adopt from China.  I wasn’t ready at the time to become a parent, as I needed to finish my degree, get established in my career, etc.  Over the subsequent five years, I did those things.  I did them well.  I graduated with honors from college, first in my class from PA school, got a job, got a better job, moved, bought a house.  During those years, I read about adoption, donor sperm, single parenting by choice, the works.  I discovered a deep desire to be pregnant, to give birth, to have a genetically-related child.  

In May 2005, I started my first TTC cycle.  Most of that journey is in the archives for the morbidly curious, but the short version is that I tried at home for three cycles (resulting in three presumptive chemical pregnancies) then switched to the RE, where I tried four more cycles (one BFN, one low-level chemical pg, two anovulatory cycles thanks to Clomid.)  

By that time, it was April 2006.  My options were injectibles (and possibly IVF) or moving on to adoption.  I was sick to death of TTC, and the Vietnam program with my agency looked like the “sure thing” I was hoping for.  I didn’t want to risk multiples, or to pour more money down the drain with no certainty of success.  I had crummy health insurance (self-employed) and needed to save back about $10K for prenatal care, as it was entirely excluded from my coverage.  (Sucky, I know, but that’s another post.)  By the time I considered the costs for an injects cycle or two, plus that $10K, adoption was looking like the most financially logical option, given my need to, y’know, work for a living.  Plus, I’d originally come to the SMC idea thinking I’d adopt, and it seemed like a good fit.   

Fast forward a year.  I submitted my dossier in August and began waiting.  I requested a girl, on the theory that I might wait a tad longer, but given my primarily-female family and my single status, I was better able to raise a daughter than a son.  The trickle of referrals has ground to a halt for months at a time.  The agency is now saying that they don’t have any idea when more infants will be available (there are none available now.)  I’m #10-ish on the “girl” list, and would be #1 on the “boy” list if I hadn’t declared a sex preference.  (This is where Elaine wants to strangle me, because she sees where I’m going with this.  Simmer down, darlin’.) 

So here I sit.  

Two years.  

No baby.  

Four “probable” chemical pregnancies.  My heart says they were pgs that didn’t stick.  My head doesn’t have all that much objective proof of that, but thinks that immune issues could well be involved.  I don’t have any structural issues, and no proven hormonal issues, although mild PCOS is suspected.  TTC wasn’t easy, and continuing with it wouldn’t be easy, and would almost certainly be expensive.  

One dossier in Vietnam.  No certainty that I’ll bring home a baby with this agency anytime in the foreseeable future (although it seems more likely if I switch to an either-sex preference.)  A fair bit of $$ committed to that process.  Other Vietnam agencies are out there, although most of the ones I’d call “reputable” most probably have greater than one year wait times, if I stick to the “girl” option.  I’m not sure switching helps me out too much.  

Random bits that factor in, although I don’t know where to put them:  

One, I honestly think I’d be comfortable parenting either sex of child, although I admit to a girl-ward bias, particularly wrt an adopted child.  There’s no logic there, so please don’t look for it.  It’s just my knee-jerk feeling.  

Two, I’m blessed (note the sarcasm) to have two extremely conservative, moderately to very judgmental parents.  They’ve told everyone and their dog about the adoption, and were always very tetchy about TTC.  (The tetchiness is with the single/donor/TTC concept in the abstract.  They didn’t know I’d actually TTC’ed until after I’d quit and was paperchasing.  And I’m pretty open with my parents in general.)  They think it’s immoral, basically.  I can’t express exactly why, but my guess it’s the “stranger’s sperm squickiness” combined with “you should just get married,” along with a healthy dollop of “Playing God.”  Because lovely, fertile men are available at the Husband Store for TwentyandThirtyish Singletons.  Humph.  They’re more or less (mother more, father less) okay with my “rescuing an orphan” though.  Gah.  Their approval isn’t essential, but it does make family holidays more pleasant.  I’m certain that any news about changing the direction of the adoption (new agency, new sex preference, switching back to TTC) would be met by “but we’ve already told everyone!”  And in the case of TTC, “What are we going to tell them about you being, gasp, pregnant?!?!”  

Three, I’m feeling a strong pull to be pregnant, to give birth, to see what a child from my body would be like.  I want to carry on my genes.  I know that probably sounds weird, or egotistical, or heaven-knows-what.  I can’t explain it.  It’s not an intellectual “I think I’m wonderful, so there should be more people with my chromosomes” sort of thing.  It’s primal, basic, something far below my logical brain.  It feels more like an emotion or a physical desire than anything to do with my cerebral cortex.    

Could I adopt now, and TTC later?  Of course.  I’m only 27, for pete’s sake.  But do I want to?  I really feel that if I adopt, that’s my family-building choice for the duration, barring a marriage.  That probably seems ridiculous, but it’s my feeling on it.

Four, there’s inertia.  I’ve told quite a few people about the adoption.  Most are family (thankfully, other than the parents, they’re supportive as long as I don’t go about murdering people with chainsaws.  They’re of the Whatever Makes You Happy, Dear sort.  Love them to pieces.) as well as a women’s group of which I’m a member.  The family would get it, the women’s group could be managed relatively easily, but there’s still this “but you’ve told everyone you’re adopting a girl!  Shouldn’t you adopt a girl?” there. 

Five, I’m starting a new job next month.  My orientation (and therefore hire date) is in May.  I’ll have health insurance, good group health insurance, starting 6/1.  I’ll have maternity coverage.  I’ll have FMLA available next May.  And the ability to take a leave of absence for maternity leave at any time before then, if needed (for adoption or birth.)  That’s a huge change financially, and I have to consider it. 

So there it is.  I’ve laid out my thoughts and feelings, some of which I’m unwilling to admit to most of the people I know IRL.  Tell me what you think.  I don’t know what I’ll do.  I’ll probably keep thinking for a few months, pray a lot, see what the agency does, start my new job, all that.  I may go see a counselor that I met with once when I was starting with the RE.  She’s a very reasonable person, and would be good counsel, I think.  I’ll keep you all updated, of course.    

Damn, that was long.  I’m going to go sit in the recliner and watch a Grey’s Anatomy disc from Netflix.  And I might just order a gol-darned pizza for supper, WW be damned. 

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