Monthly Archives: June 2014

Our Family Goes On: Fertility Journey

It is a mess going on between egg donation program down south vs. the embryo donation program out West.  Yesterday, was my first day back at job #2.  My first job follows the school year, but there is no benefits.  So, when I left job 2 for job 1, I accepted a fill in position.  I have had job 2 since my daughter was 5 months old.  So, I know them better.  Many people were with me as I lost my daughter, cancer treatment and the death of my mother.  At times, we had the chance to catch up.   I talked about the family trip to Washington DC and the flight to the West Coast last April.   My husband at this point is planning to call the West Coast program at this point.  The coordinator has a nasty side.  I seem to find it.  I nicely asked her, because she keeps saying September, so I asked if there was a problem finding egg donors in the summer.  I didn’t do this to offend her.  The clinic is in a college town and we know some of the egg donors are college girls.  He accepted the job offer from another Bank.  He was able to negotiate a week in August off.  I am trying not to stare at my email.  Some days, I can’t help it.  The family’s patience is dwindling.   It’s possible you will be on meds by mid July.   The first week of July is next week.  I feel our application was FORGOTTEN when the first coordinator went on maternity leave.  I am angry.  I was told the profile would come in June.  Now the first coordinator is gone…  June is too.  At this point we are going to go over the new coordinator’s head.  She keeps bringing up a profile was offered in April.  My job follows the school year and there is no benefits.  It cost us about a $1000 to make that trip.  I earned no money during Spring break.   We needed to save money.  All that we have is earned. 

That phone call two weeks ago, made me angry.  I talk to be to open the lines of communication.  I was trying to explain that I was waiting on taking trainings and other events.  She say, “we aren’t telling you that you can’t.” She just didn’t say that to me.  She is yelling at me that I turned down a profile in April and that the program is a one to three month wait. 

Then in the second call I said outright, “I am not trying to give you a hard time. I am trying to get an idea so I can make some plans.” 

I almost died.  She told me that I was okay.  I didn’t think I wasn’t.  Could you please apologize for speaking to me rudely like the first call. 

I wasn’t frightened to travel alone like I did in April.   I talk for a living, so it was hard to board a plane where I knew no one and fly for 10 hours.  Some of my internet friends texted me.  It really helped.   Thank you!   One lady at the airport, who’s  family was from Boston, had me say some Boston words.  Boy, was she disappointment.   I appear to have a mid west accent at times because my biological father was from the Midwest. 

Plane one had two famous people on board.  One was a politician and another some sports figure.  The way I am due to my losses etc…  I was more concerned about the ultra sound/doctor’s appointment.  The Queen of England and the President could have been on board and my brain would have been thinking about the ultra sound. 

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, the doctors had just approved me trying to get pregnant again after my first baby died.  So, when my body was strange, I took these signs of a pregnancy.   When I found blood, I thought it was a milk duct infection since my baby was just stillborn a few months earlier.   It wasn’t, the cancer tumor had grown enough to cause problems.  It was tough on me to return to the same hospital in Boston, where my baby was born still for a second opinion on the breast cancer.  I was in denial.  I was waiting for the hospital to tell me it wasn’t cancer like what happened with the thyroid cancer when I was 19 years old.  I will never forget hearing I had breast cancer again.  It really sunk in.  So, I get back on the elevator with my husband.  I am trying to figure out a life of surgery, chemo and radiation.  I wanted to work and stay active.  How was I going to do it all with a child.  I figured it out.  So, it ends up that day, something was being filmed at the hospital.  I ran into a famous medical editor.  I couldn’t remember him, because my brain was absorbing the reality of our family’s life back then.   The point is I hate medical tests.  I don’t know too many, who agree to volunteer for anything medical. 

My friend has summarized this to me.  “Ellen, you have your daughter and isn’t like you can pull her out of school whenever.”  School did get out last week.  Two months fly by quick!   I know parents do it, but I don’t.  We are scheduling a visit to the southern program.  I have lost all HOPE with the West Coast program.  If they come through, okay it is a surprise.  It’s going to take until the end of July/early August until we can visit.  I need to go back on the birth control pill.  I was so happy to have a plan in April.  That’s gone now.  I am so angry…   I shortened our trip to Washington DC to come home and fly out to the West Coast.  We spent $1000 doing this.  I missed time with my family to travel alone.  Meanwhile, summer continues.  We are going to enjoy places.  Lots to do in New England in the summer. 

Are We Traveling To The West Coast or The Southern State: The Fertility Journey

Last night was a battle with the computers and printers for one medical release form my old RE sent.  Something that should have taken 15 mins. turned into an hour.  Curse both printers, gmail and Windows 8.  I emailed back and forth with the coordinator from the Southern program.  I know the West Coast said I would may be on medication mid-July.  I grow tired of hearing another 2 weeks.  I have noticed that I am staring at my email account.  Next week is July.  Nothing.  The cursed release was faxed official requesting my medical record to go to the Southern program.  No issues with the faxing process. 

It ends up the Southern program would require me to go on medication.  This is the same medication the West Coast doctor took me off because of my previous history of breast cancer…  Looking at the calendar.  I am attempted to schedule the u/s late July as a long weekend with the family.  It’s impossible sometimes to manage three schedules.  It’s me who takes the responsible a lot for going to things.  So I am going ahead and scheduling that appointment with the southern program.   That’s where everything stands.  It’s been a tough week because of schedule changes.  Tomorrow, I am starting the official summer schedule and working.  I have a bunch of reports to write tonight. 

South or West?

I feel like I in the Indigo Girl song Get Out The Map.  We are applying to the Southern program.  Last week, when the first phone call went bad, I wished I had taken the time to fill out the releases.   Remember when the scare crow in the Wizard of Oz crosses his arms and says, “They went that way.” This is exactly how I am feeling today.  

We are waiting for a job offer for my husband.  He was able to negotiate taking a unknown week in August off due to a family matter with the new job.  I don’t have any family on West Coast, so that trip in April was bad.   I talk a lot for a living.  Thank you  to friends who texted me during it.  It was a 10 hour trip both ways to a place I don’t know.  I wasn’t anxious about it!  Thank God for GPS.   I saw a Walgreens, Toys R US, Barnes Nobles and Burger King.    We have those places here too. The city we are going to is like our city in many ways, except for palm trees.  (Never try to plan a day trip to the West coast from the East Coast.) I think I slept for two days.  I don’t want to go alone again.  I don’t want to take a red eye again.  For the ultra sound trip, it was okay. 

Today was crazy.  It was the last day of school and a early release day.  Tomorrow, my daughter starts the summer camp at the gym.  I am unpacking the school bag and packing the camp bag.  Child care is still not covered in August because maybe the West Coast program will pull through. I have until mid July to pay for it.   So, why would I pay for camp and a possible vacation if we don’t need both?  In the summer, my major job dries up.  This year, I was more proactive.  I cut my hours at the major job.  I will be returning on a rotational schedule for the hospital job.  Between the schedules in the house, it’s good I can set my own schedule.  Sadly, I took a pay cut and no benefits.  It enables me to complete fertility treatment. 

I have to get everything to the Southern program such as my mammogram report, medical records from the old RE and the assessment from the mental health counselor.  Any time you choose to use donor egg, donor sperm or embryo donation, they require a mental health assessment to be completed.  I think it is to ensure you have really thought this over for your mental health and the mental health of the possible child being conceived.  This morning, I needed my Reiki. So, that’s what I did.   I came home later after everywhere is closed.  Now places are sending you releases electronically.  I didn’t go to the gym to get this stuff done.  I clean out my email a lot, which I am not going to do anymore.  The releases are gone. 

I have a theory.  We were told our first coordinator went on maternity leave.  I feel forgotten. They were offering me a profile for May.  Of course, I don’t get paid for days off.  It was spring break.  I had to turn it down to raise the funds.  My first coordinator was on vacation, when I flew out on a crazy day trip.  I had explained it to her.   What happened to our accepted application after that is unknown.  Did it sit somewhere? 

Today, I was running errands at the mall.  I kept running into things that remind me of my fertility journey such as cute baby shoes or a cute baby dress.  At one point in line, I became sad.  There is almost newborn baby in line with her two other cute siblings all about 2 years apart.  My daughter has told me recently how sad she is that Addison died.  The class had watched the movie Nemo, which appears to have set her grief off.    I think a major piece of it is the anxiety of new school next year and the new Girl Scott troop.  Sometimes, when there is a bunch of transitions going on in her life, the grief of her sister Addison resurfaces.  We had a couple of conversations last week.  The saleswoman to repeatedly tell the siblings how cute their baby sister is.  I looked at my daughter.  I could feel the tears collecting in my throat.  I asked my daughter to go look at something near by.  The woman left the stroller in a way that was in my way.  I felt trapped.  I felt like snapping at her.   Tomorrow is a new day of camp and my new schedule.  I don’t want to wait another month to see that the West Coast program fell through again.   Even through it is more expensive, two times the cost, they seem to have their act together.  We have an email with an outline of the program.  The problem is the cost is close to the quote of New England.  Since it is a egg donation program, we would need to pay for the sperm donation.   I am being proactive and creating plan B.  In July, it will be 7 years of trying to have a child, our 15th wedding anniversary and the 20th anniversary of my husband and I meeting.  I haven’t had an IVF cycle since February.  There is no trying on our own due to the chance of conceiving another child with rare disease.  People in the face to face world try to jokingly tell me to just get drunk, go home and just do it with my husband.  Then I will get pregnant.  Do they think?    What kills me is I am trying to do the right thing here.  All I have is these fertility treatments.  So, I will try not to stare at the phone for the email of profile matches.  I will try to pray or send Reiki to it. 

A Beautiful Soul…

Last January, the dance school teacher, Ms. Julie died at age 39 years old after multiple battles with cancer.  She was a young girl, when she was diagnosed.  I met her after I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  I had always wanted to go to dance classes growing up.  My mother was a florist.  She would make all the recital flowers for my cousins.  I would never ask because I knew it was expensive at a young age.  My daughter at a young age happy danced.  At age 8, she still does.  So, when my own daughter was 3 years old, I signed her up.  It was instant love for my daughter.  It is not uncommon her to be dancing behind me where ever I go.  When I diagnosed with breast cancer, I wanted to try it and signed up for tap.  No experience at all. My daughter’s dance school at the time didn’t feel where I should try this. 

I met Ms. Julie.  I am like someone is going to look at me 36 years old, diagnosed with breast cancer, facing chemo and say no.  I had no idea what surprise was there for me.  Ms. Julie danced her way through cancer multiple times, which I did not know.  So, I brought a pair of tap shoes.   My daughter was 5 years old.  I brought DVDs to practice.  We even have a homemade version of a portable dance floor.  It’s a piece of plywood with an old yoga mat under it.  A friend said to me jokingly, “tap at 36? Aren’t cancer survivors suppose to go skydiving or something.” Every Friday, I went to chemo, dressed for dance school with a pair of tap shoes in my bag.  Sometimes chemo ran late and I didn’t make it.  Later my daughter transferred into the school. 

Ms. Julie had a radiant soul.  She ran classes for adults.  Her presence was inspiration.  My first day of chemo, Ms. Julie took me out for coffee.  It kept my mind busy to learn tap.  The school grew and moved a few times.  I saw Hope grow with her.  At first it was… my mother made me switch.  Then, it was her love as well as mine.  As the fertility treatments for me went from IUI to IVF, it became too hard for me to continue.  After last year,  I gave my daughter my tap shoes.  Sadly, Ms. Julie was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer.  She lost part of her lung.  In January of this year, she passed away.  Ms. Julie sent me an email thanking me for my daughter joining the school prior to her death.  My daughter has joined the competition team.  She tried to stay at work.  The week before she died, she was there.  She was so strong.  Her strength inspired everyone from age 2 to 99 years old.  That was one of the signs at the old school, dance lessons for everyone from 2 to 99.  The dancers at the school have continued.  There is a hole in our hearts.  I like to imagine Ms. Julie dancing with Shirley Temple, since she died this year as well.   She was our local heroine, who died too soon.   The family still runs the school.  She left behind a 10 years old daughter. This year, we miss her…   I think of her often.  She was a few months younger than me.  As much as I didn’t want to celebrate being 40, I did because so many do not reach 40.  My daughter and I took it so hard.  We made a memory box for the family. 

I love to listen to Sweet Home Alabama and Get Out The Map in her memory.  Both songs were in my first dance recital.  So, it is recital day again and it is our first year without our heroine… 

Giving Thanks For My Life Today:

My daughter’s school in the next town over runs first grade to third grade.  She was lucky to be chosen by lottery in first grade to attend.  I started reflecting on the early years of my daughter’s education.   There are things we dream of that as parents we will do.  Her mother missed her first parent conference ever in preschool, because our baby was born still.  A month before her preschool graduation, I was diagnosis with breast cancer.  The death of our baby daughter and my breast cancer diagnosis were six months apart.  I struggled when I looked into my living daughter’s eyes.  She had to understand so much in a short time.  While kids were catching up on the alphabet, shapes and colors, I was talking to her about her sister’s death and what breast cancer was.  

I was suppose to start chemo before her 5th birthday.  I delayed it, we went away and celebrated her birthday. My first day of chemo, my daughter ran to me refusing to let go.  She told me, “don’t do it Mommy, that’s bad medicine they are going to give you.   What kind of medicine makes you loose your hair?”  A friend who was a hair stylist helped me.  When it was done, I looked in the trash and spit out my gum.  No tears.  I had been ready weeks ago.  The hospital I was in treatment had a parenting program to help me with the explanation.  I am forever grateful to the hospital our daughter was born still and that I had cancer treatment in.  (This is indifferent to our disagreements about when to restart fertility treatments.)     

Kindergarten was a tough year.   I just remembered to school shop a few weeks before kindergarten.  We had promised my daughter private kindergarten.  (I was thinking my daughter would go half day and I spend time with baby and my daughter.)  Sadly, the baby died and the promised was made.   How was I going to do it all and be in cancer treatment?  We made it.  My daughter made it.  She was in a small private kindergarten, which she needed.   Lately, she tells me that she was truly scared in kindergarten.  There were a lot of sad events in the course of one year.   Halfway through chemo, I was the one to discover my mother died from natural causes.  I had gone to her house, because her cat was dying.   We had adopted him.  She had died hours earlier.  I wanted her permission to put him asleep.  The cat died a day later.   

Either my brother or sister comforted me after her death.  My siblings refused to see me, when I was diagnosis with cancer.  My brother called me the next day.  I reached out to him.  I couldn’t get the images of my mother death out of my mind.  He hang up on me.  They took over the funeral arrangements.  My brother yelled at me that I was “medically incompetent!”   Medically incompetent?  I worked full time, checked kindergarten homework and cooked diner.  I was in medical menopause and chemo.  Every morning, I worked out at the gym.  Wouldn’t someone had noticed?   

I didn’t have the energy to fight them.  I didn’t believe my mother would have wanted us to fight.  So, I let them take over.  I always regret how my mother was buried.  The church was kind enough to allow me to read a poem at the funeral.  When radiation ended the day before, another family pet died in the early morning hours of cancer.  There was a lot to be afraid of.  It was like watching parts our lives burn down.  Months after the cancer treatment, I would like get these anxiety attacks that someone I loved died.  When my daughter was graduating kindergarten, my hair was just starting to come back.  Yes, we are still trying to have another baby.  We don’t know where we are going or when we are going. Today, I had a bad hair day!  I am thankful for bad hair days.  I celebrated today as if she was a Hollywood star.   It felt so good to celebrate my daughter’s transition to fourth grade and the next school today!  Dreaming out loud, I plan to be there when she graduates medical school!  A geneticist?  An RE? A cancer doctor?   Wouldn’t that be cool?  Just joking!  She is free to be who she wants! 

 

Massive Headache and Update on Waiting on the West Coast

My husband said his second interview went well.  So, there I was in the parent pick up line.  The first phone call to the West Coast didn’t go well.  Some things said stuck me badly.  I hang up the phone and my daughter jumps in the car.  Please God, I just wanted to cry.  What’s wrong Mom?  I am just having a bad day.  I hated it when you know those tears in your eyes want to come out and can’t.  The I want to cry headache is building.  I was trying to seem normal.  Anyways, hubby meets us at the yogurt place.  We don’t get to this much on a Tuesday.  The headache is burning.  What to do!  The manager is so awesome at our frozen yogurt place.  My daughter walked away spoiled. 

I held it together and dropped my daughter off for her last dance school class.    My cell phone goes missing.  I am pulling the car apart.  At my job, I drive place to place all day long so there is only a billion bags to look through.  The cell phone is not in a bag but on the floor.  Lime green case?  How do you miss it in all black interior car?  So, I pulled over again.  I couldn’t stop thinking about the first phone call.  This isn’t sounding right….  So I called them again…  This time the conversation was better…  I may start medication in July.  August maybe?  I think we have an understanding.  Look I am not looking for the next valedictorian at MIT or Harvard of class whatever… Just a healthy baby with a close photo match. 

My life gets complicated most often.  After cancer, I figured out what I want to do, when I grow up in my field.  Yes, at 40, not quite grown up!  I also know I want a baby.  I don’t have to go back to school.  I could, if I had the time and money.  It is possible to just get the other license.   It’s just a different type of license same field.  There are trainings I need.  After my last transfer with my own eggs local, I was running into a training class and the lecturer was not happy.  I did contact the association to let them know the circumstances.  It was okay with them. 

Then, I need to finish signing up my daughter for camp to cover child care.  She attends two different camps.  One is all about art and dance.  She loves this one.  The other one our gym runs.  It’s more sports.  She detests it.  Is about three weeks and her friends are there.  The art one doesn’t cover the entire summer.   My daughter is turning 9 in August.  I wanted my children close in age not 10 years apart.  My brother and sister are 6 to 7 years older.  We are not close.    After this blog, I am signing up for the training class.  In a few weeks, I will be cutting down my hours at my main school year job and returning to the hospital job with a rotational schedule.   My life seems to sway in directions…. fertility, career and family.    

Let’s Talk About Rainbows (Children Born After Loss)

(Please note this is a secondary infertility story.  Living child mentioned.) I love summer.  I have been pregnant six times with various times of infertility.  Five pregnancies ended in loss.  Our first daughter Avery died a day after birth.  We had to choose to end life support and she died in our arms.  I have lost so many pregnancies in the second trimester.  When I go to an infertility support group, I will give the summary of “I have experienced 5 different pregnancies losses from an infant, who died a day after birth to a miscarriage at 6 weeks of pregnancy.” Recurrent pregnancy loss is infertility. I am also careful to check out the crowd so to speak before I mention we have a biological child.  Technically speaking, I never experience Primary Infertility.  We struggled after Avery died.  Our story starts with recurrent pregnancy loss, male infertility, genetic problems and ends up with neither my husband or I can genetically be a parent to another baby.  My fertility was lost due to a combination of age and cancer treatment.  I am 40.  When I was 36 years old, six months after our daughter was born still, I was diagnosis with breast cancer.

My friend and I talked.  She is my biggest supporter, who knows the exact reason for the trip to the West Coast.  We have decided to seek embryo donation through a program on the West Coast.  She says, “I just can’t wait for you to have a baby!”  She started asking me questions about maternity leave.  Biggest heart!  I had to explain to her that my head can be a negative place due to the losses and the failed treatment.  Since both us work with individuals, who are traumatize, she was open to hearing me.  I have had since returning to fertility treatment with the okay, I had negative IUI’s and negative IVF’s.  My body doesn’t wait to delivery the news for a negative pregnancy test.  I was notified within a few days before the pregnancy test.  Cycles are getting shorter and shorter.  I am starting to accept menopause is going to come sooner for me than it did for my mother.  I was never quite given a direct answer if this is due to chemo, age or a combination.

There are times, my head says, “what if you never get pregnant again.”    A positive pregnancy test will not mean for me to start putting together a nursery.  Yes, we have isolated all the factors that contributed to my recurrent pregnancy loss.  We hope.  It took years, because we were the first documented case.  Some days, I regret not saving any eggs prior to cancer treatment.  We didn’t know that we would know the reason.  It was suppose to be a mystery for life.  Well, the answer came and I was in chemo.  Fertility preservation is not covered by insurance.  I made the best guess based on the information given.  I have noticed many people go for second opinions.  I am choosing not to go.  I had IVF once as a 35 years old.  I get the message through lab results and ultra sounds.  My body is not responding.  I am tired of the pills and diets.  I can not fix these eggs.  After loosing two children to a rare disease do I want to?  Embryo donation seems to be a choice for us.  We will never be the baby’s genetic parents, it will be our child.  The child will hear our voices at same point.  It will be my blood through the placenta.  When he or she cries, it will be us who comforts him or her.

Back to why I love summer, one day, pregnancy did work.  Our daughter was born.  She is 8 years old right now.  One day in August, a miracle came.  We were told if both us tried to become genetic parents again the risk of the rare disease returning could not be calculated because it would be so great.  If I had known that, I would have never tried after Avery.  It worked once.  She is completing 3rd grade and her dance recital is this weekend.  I always cry seeing the recital.  Would Avery and Addison have danced, if this rare disease had not taken their lives.  A few people remember my living daughter’s pregnancy.  All I can say is it is a day to day process.  I spoke to no one, but a few friends.  Some days, I had the thought, the baby died.  Very few people understand this.   All of us have some sense of safety in our lives, when something bad happens, of course we are going to think it will happen again.   So back in the old days, my answer was turn the radio on and play loud happy music.  I love watching my rainbow dance.  She is always in her head practicing her ballet, tap and jazz.  Every time, I am in a store she is practicing.  People love it.

So this journey to another child is long.  There are still no profile matches.  In the back of my mind, I get anxious.  We are taking out loans, etc…  You get the picture.  I am scared of flying out 10 hours and not getting pregnant.  Just today feeling like my life is on hold.  My daughter goes to two camps.  The director was asking me a question.  Again, I grow tired of this.  Yes, we haven’t signed her up for the last two weeks.  We have personal business on the West Coast and we don’t know when we are going.  I feel like a DVD on pause.  I want to go to trainings and make plans….  I can’t.  It is really getting to me.  Hopefully, soon.

I think I need to focus on my relationship with the word pregnancy.  I need to mental prepare a little.  Rainbow pregnancies are not instant happiness, which were zapped by a magic wand.  It’s a second to second process.  It doesn’t mean you are sad all the time or happy.  There are going to be anxious monuments and happy times.   My rainbow!  I need to reconnect with rainbows.

Sometimes what people say to us is them not thinking.  This is my example  As a cancer survivor, people accept I am anxious about cancer returning.  However, as a woman with experience in with infertility treatment/recurrent pregnancy loss, people don’t always get it.   When Addison died, few people were supportive.  When I had breast cancer, people talked to me more often.  There are some people that when I try to go to them for support, I might as well just take my shoes off and drop a dictionary on my big toe as hard as I can.  It’s like trying to make a cactus into a cute cuddle teddy bear.  You don’t hug a cactus!  People are who they are.  You are going to get hurt every time. I know this.  After 11 years, I keep a few friends, who have earned my trust.   For the others,  keep everyone else right now on a surface level in the face to face world.

Funny story, my long time friend who lost her son to the same rare disease compares it to being hit by lighting.  Two days, after the birth of my living daughter, we had a storm and it was serious.  I was holding my rainbow as the hospital that was being repeatedly hit by lighting causing the fire alarm system to go off.  The hospital began to flood.  After it was over, my rainbow was in my arms!

Hope the profiles come soon…… Did I tell you we are going on vacation and we have no dates!

Father’s Day: A Different Perspective

(Secondary Infertility Story) I have said this a billion times. My mother was my saving grace in my life. She had a dream for her daughters called college. Sadly, she had a husband who was abusive to her. He was my biological father.

My husband and I are infertile. Many times, I would turn to my husband and tell him, “I wish it was my father who was infertile.”

I was born the youngest of three children. There are 6 to 7 years between me and my brother and sister. He was entrusted with the lives of three beautiful children. In his angry moments, we were told repeatedly in so many words why our lives were a mistake. Part of the reason, I hated my birthday. I could never understand this, I was an A and B student in middle school and until junior year in high school. Since I was the “last” he made my mother make a choice. It was either him or me. My mother choose me. I was 18 years old and I had a year left to high school. (Due to a serious life threatening illness at 18 months of age, the school system and my mother decided I should start first grade not second. This one is a different post for another day. I didn’t stay back.)

When my first daughter died Avery, I so wanted to look him up and tell him what he missed. She only lived for a day. I didn’t. I found myself grieving her death and a father that I never had. How I would have given my life for my children! God, where is justice? Infertility has been a double edge sword for me. I couldn’t have the father that I wanted. I can’t have the children I want either.

I followed my mother’s and my dream and went to college. I liked it so much I went to grad school too! My mother wanted us so bad to become teachers. She was heart broken, when that wasn’t my dream. My sister was the first to graduate from college in our family. I am the first to graduate grad school. Father’s Day hurt, when I was younger. There was no father. He took off in the middle of the night in my junior year of high school. My mother loved the three of us without end. So, last December on my husband’s birthday, I got the call that I knew would come someday. My Aunt told me that he had died around my second daughter Addison’s anniversary of her death in November. I couldn’t stop crying for an hour.

I can’t confirm any of the information that my sister and brother are saying. My husband’s aunt is trying to prove it. Instead, we learned he illegal married in 2006. My parents remained married. My mother sadly died in 2010 in the middle of my breast cancer treatment. Maybe I am in denial. It took some serious time for me to accept I needed an embryo donation to become a parent again. I don’t feel a need to dug up records and prove it. I am busy trying to make embryo donation work right now. I am sorry if he is dead and we never found peace. I have put this on hold, when I ready I will look up the death certificate. My mother never dated or found someone else. She was faithful until the end. She taught me as a young child family first. She worked so hard at the flower shop making ends meet. I love going into a flower shop and the smell. It reminds me of my mother. My father couldn’t be trusted to be there for afterschool care.

I love my cookie jar. I have had the same one for almost 15 years. When my father got angry, the cookie jar was broken repeatedly.

So this year, I am choosing to celebrate my mother’s life on Father’s Day. I made my husband wait 5 years until I finally married him. In July, it will be 20 years I have known my husband. I celebrate my husband, who has survived two of his children dying from rare disease, a string of miscarriages, another failed IUI/IVF, trips to the geneticist and his wife’s breast cancer treatment. I love to tell my daughter that there was only one Prince Charming and her mother married him. Every day, I tell my daughter how beautiful her birthday is. Her life is different thanks to the hard work of all of us. I also tell her how lucky she is to have a father. Sadly, many children do not have a father on father’s day. Someday, hopefully, my dream comes true and I will have another child to tell how special he or she is.

Peace and Cracked Windshield

I went to a fertility conference several years ago. When a female’s eggs are deteriorated, they look cracked under the microscope. Let’s tie the two together. Last week was an emotional tornado for me due to the news that the West Coast program was talking longer than expected.  My car’s windshield is cracked.  I have no clue how.  Not a large one, but one large enough to drive me crazy.  Part of my job to drive place to place for 6 hours.  A truck can not meet me. I can be anywhere in the city I work in. Monday is my day off. So, Monday I had an appointment to have the windshield replaced.  Only to find out the windshield company booked the appointment for another day.  Can’t you just take the day off?  If I didn’t have so much other stuff like a job or a fertility journey…  Twice in one week I am the victim of miscommunication?  I am calling windshield replacement places and fertility clinics!  What a combination!  Jokingly I say to myself cracked eggs and windshields.  Some days, I can joke about the eggs.   The dealership said, “we will take care of it.” After 3 hours of wondering around and shopping, I had to get my daughter from school.  It ends up the windshield was never replaced.  It will be done Saturday.  In my time of wondering, I sent an email to the West Coast program.   Then, I called the program down south again.  Our original coordinator from the West Coast program is on leave.  The new one and I never seem to get along well since she covered the old one’s vacation one time.  I sent a copy to my husband as well.  Tuesday came and went no message back.  Wednesday, my husband called.  I looked at him last night and said, “they aren’t calling us today.”   It’s 7:30 EST. 

The phone rang 8:30 EST from the West Coast.  He spoke to them and said they are matching profiles and we will hear in 2 to 3 weeks.  Immediately it was we are going to move forward.   One of my friends, who knows the story was ecstatic.   I will keep the information from the south program just in case.  After the profiles come, we choose our donors and dates can be set.  I became really happy.  Today, I am tired and the world from my car still has a crack in it!  I feel at peace.  I just needed to know I wasn’t forgotten in our fertility journey.