Some Background

Note: This post originally appeared as a note on my Facebook page on October 28, 2009.

Ever since Phil and I got married, I have been dreaming of raising curly, red-headed children. We laughed about our heritage (German and Scots/Irish) and coloring (or lack thereof) and declared that any children we had were likely to be clear, have large noses, and be meticulous drinkers. I wondered whether they would spend hours reading the way we do; how they would do in school; who they would like; who they would take after. I spent hours wondering whether I would make a good parent. I was assured by anyone I talked to that I would do fine.

Once we got settled in Michigan and I finished law school, we had been married 8 years. We had “the talk” and decided it was time to start a family. We talked about what we wanted and made sure we were as close to being on the same page about everything that we could. We talked about how to rearrange the house to make a nursery. We picked names. And we waited. I had read tons of literature and knew that since I was under 35, we were supposed to wait a year before we freaked out. I diligently waited my year and then went to the doctor for testing. After another year of testing and various drugs and more waiting, I was scheduled for surgery to take care of endometriosis—surgery is the only definitive way to diagnose it, but I had all of the symptoms.

During the surgery, the doctor was also going to do another tubal dye study. I had previously had an HSG which had looked okay, but on further review they couldn’t tell whether the right side was blocked, so they were going to do another one while I was already there. The surgery went well and the doctor was able to remove scar tissue. However, the tubal dye study revealed that both tubes are completely blocked. The right one was likely blocked at the time of the HSG and, whatever small opening that had been in the left one was now well and truly closed.

We now find ourselves left with four options:

1) Have surgery to try and open the tubes. This surgery is unlikely to be covered by insurance, increases the risk of ectopic pregnancy twenty-fold, and provides a 5-50% chance of success, depending on where and how severe the blockage is.
2) IVF. Also not covered by insurance. This is our best bet at bio kids, but it appears that it may be more than we are willing to do, given the emotional, physical, time and money commitment it requires.
3) Adoption.
4) Childlessness.

Rather than rushing into any of these choices—or ruling any of them out—we have decided to take the time to strengthen ourselves, and our relationship, while we ponder the alternatives. We are working on gathering as much information as we can and prayerfully figuring out where we are, what we want, and how we can best go about doing that. In the meantime, we are grieving the death of a dream. Even if we have bio kids using IVF, we have lost the spontaneity and surprise. If we choose adoption, we have lost the dream of seeing ourselves and our family in our children. If we chose childlessness, we lose the dream of being parents. So, please bear with me, as I grieve the loss of this dream, and learn to dream a new dream.

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