Monday, September 28, 2009

Fertility, Take Two

(1998, near Damascus, Syria) -- Several months later, we finish our contract with the school and pack up and leave Syria.

(1998, Denver) -- Back in the US, I can’t bear to go through fertility treatments again. I can’t bear to hope again.

We keep ourselves occupied by fixing up our old Victorian home and getting re-established in our jobs. Forgetting the sting of Hope (that bi+ch), two years later we dip our toes into IF waters again and check with a Denver reproductive endocrinologist. After all, there may have been medical advances since our first try, and we may not have received top-of-the-line treatment by our German-educated Lebanese embryologist in Syria.

But no such luck. With single-digit odds of success, all donor material, lots of meds, hassle and moolah, we might be able to achieve pregnancy -- if you factor in a miracle. We have only one wad to shoot (financially speaking), and it looks like deciding on another IF treatment would be like betting your 401K on a ground sloth that somehow wandered onto the track at Belmont.

I am still so sad that I won’t get to see what a mixture of Roger and me will look like. From the day I met him, I envisioned passing on his beautiful blue eyes to our baby. My talent for music, his sense of adventure, our love of books. I have melded our features together in my mind and come up with dozens of dazzling permutations.

This dream will never be realized. This dream will never be realized. This dream will never be realized.

I have to keep telling myself in order to let go. Such a firmly rooted dream is not easy to pull up and discard.

My pillow is wet for months on end.


Kathy said...

Wow Lori!

This part of your post broke my heart,

"I am still so sad that I won’t get to see what a mixture of Roger and me will look like."

That and you having to repeat that mantra about your dream to be able to let it go...

Wow. Just Wow.

MissOhKay talked in one of her Time Warp posts today about spending a summer crying behind her sunglasses and that line really struck me. The last line of your post here hit me in a similar way. I have done both (crying behind sunglasses and wetting my pillow with tears) throughout our journey through secondary infertility and loss, most recently as I have worked to make peace with our decision to be done trying to expand our family.

As much as the paragraph you wrote about trying to let go of the dream of having children that would share Roger and your physical features was sad for me to read and imagine you writing. 15 years later I love that I have gotten to meet Roger, along with your beautiful daughter and handsome son. Though they may not have shared physical traits of their mom and dad, I know from spending time with them and reading what you share on your blog in recent years how much they are an incredible combination of Roger and you in their personalities and the way they live their lives.

It is a gift to be able to see the big picture of your family building journey and know now, 15 years later, where it led you, with a book to published next year about open adoption and knowing how many people you have helped (including my sister/family) through their journeys with adoption. xoxo

Esperanza said...

Oh Lori, this and all three of these posts just rip my heart to shreds. I can't even imagine what it was like to go through all that. Devastating doesn't even begin to describe.

I barely recognize you in these words; the woman who writes to me when I'm feeling hopeless is so distinct from the woman who wrote these posts. It's amazing how much you have grown through your impossibly difficult journey.

It also reminds me that this is just one stretch of the path of my life, and some day I'll look back on it from a very different place, and someday, in what feels like the very far away future, this moment won't hurt as much as it does now. It's important to remember that. Thank you for the reminder. And thank you for sharing the hard relationship you had with hope. Thank you.

missohkay said...

These posts are so sad that I'm relieved to know how things "turns out." I'm also in awe thinking of the Lori-sized hole there would have been in the adoption community if things had gone differently.