one of the things that helps to illuminate those dark places in my head is travel. since little sun died, there hasn’t been enough of it in my life. i could (and should) write more about the eight different countries i’ve lived in or the many others i’ve had the immense fortune to visit. but there is a plane to catch in about 12 hours and a 12 hour car ride ahead of us the day after tomorrow, so for now i will share some images of our very brief (but nevertheless uplifting) sojourn in the land of Helios and Athena.
so why did i come back after all this time? why did i return to this strange little cyberworld that i’d completely abandoned nearly two years ago? i suppose you could say that a book brought me back. to be more precise, L’instinct de vivre a book by Laetitia Lycke, another woman who belongs to the club that no one wants to join. if you can read French, i can’t recommend this book highly enough.
but the story of my return to the babyloss blogosphere (and of how i even came to read the book in the first place) is a bit more complicated than that. it actually started with Skype. Continue reading
i’m still here…somewhere.
i’m trying to find my words, or perhaps to liberate them, but it’s not an easy thing. silence has been my stony refuge these last two years, and i’m not sure how to chisel through these walls that i’ve constructed out of desperation and self-protection. but i will try…i must try.
a lot has happened, since i stopped posting on this blog. there have been new jobs. there have been too many trips to other countries….for embryo transfers and tests and surgical procedures. there have been more than a few negative pregnancy tests followed by excruciating (but required) blood draws to confirm what was already painfully clear. Continue reading
a fellow babyloss mama and friend, the incredibly lovely Sadie from Invincible Spring, is dealing with the unimaginable right now. her rainbow baby is in the hospital and very ill. some of you reading here know her story and know about her harrowing pregnancy, her daughter’s preterm birth and all of the medical complications that have come in wave after unrelenting wave. we’ve watched from too far afar as Sadie and her husband have had to go through these battles alone. Sadie’s little Girl Wonder has been a fighter from the start, and i know that there are people scattered all over the globe cheering for her and desperately hoping and praying that she will pull through and finally go home for good with her adoring but very scared parents.
just nine days after our trip to Barcelona, an email came:
“we have good news! we have found a good donor for you…”
despite their laid-back appearance, our friends in the Catalan clinic work fast. the email also contained instructions on when to stop taking the birth control pills i’ve been on for nearly a month and when to begin putting on the estradiol patches that should make my endometrium into a nice fluffy nest.
since then i’ve exchanged several more emails with them in an effort to work out whether or not we can use little sun’s donor instead of a new one from a sperm bank in Barcelona. it’s not the most straightforward process, as little sun’s donor is from Denmark, and we know nothing at all about him….not even the name of the sperm bank or his donor number. our doctors in Belgium are the only ones who have that information, and because of the very strict anonymity laws of that country, they can’t pass it on to us. so this American in France wrote to Belgium to ask if they could check Denmark for the donor’s availability. the Belgians wrote back and said that, yes, he’s still available, but that they needed Spain to contact them. it’s a bit of an international fertility clusterfuck (maybe that should be the title of this blog), but it looks like our new clinic is going out of their way to try to make it happen. now we just have to see if we can afford the extra costs of shipping the sperm from Denmark to the clinic in Catalunya.
when i told my mother that we were trying to use the same donor, her response was, “but what if he was the reason that little sun got sick?” and of course that reawakened the little nagging doubt that’s been in the back of my brain since he died. what if he got sick because his genetic make up made him vulnerable? there are so many questions surrounding why he got sick and how he got sick, and i don’t think we’ll ever have any real answers. what i know now is that nothing in this life is guaranteed…nothing except death. even with perfect genes, even with all the pretty ducks in a perfect pretty row, it can all fall apart in an instant. so instead of worrying and stressing about the donor, i’ve decided to see what works out. if we can afford to use little sun’s donor and our clinic can arrange the shipment, we’ll do it that way. if not then maybe we’ll have a pure Barcelona baby. as much as i’d love for our future children to have that connection to our first born, our sweet, dearly missed little sun, DNA is not what matters most.
although, we won’t know for sure until we get a bit further into the process….until our donor’s ovaries are plumped up with lots of fat follicles and my lining is looking welcoming, it appears that we’ll be going back to Barcelona in less than a month for our fresh embryo transfer.
somewhere in Catalunya right now there is a young woman preparing to put herself through hormonal hell so that Froggy and i have another chance at having our family. i find myself thinking about this anonymous woman whose ovaries might hold our future in them, and my thoughts about her glow golden and warm. i send her love and sunshine, and i whisper over and over again, “thank you. merci. gracias. gràcies,” hoping that whatever her language, she’ll somehow feel the gratitude of an anonymous woman a country away.
…a country away and hoping for a lot of luck and a few good eggs.
we left in the dark, our plane ascending until the city became nothing more than a collection of tiny amber lights. everyone around me, including Froggy, dozed as we slid across the sky, but even though i’d slept fewer than four hours the night before, i was too excited to close my eyes. Continue reading