Wednesday, April 1, 2009

CONFLICTED (no, not impatient any more)

Reasons My Body Is Defective, Also Infertility Is Crap

So I did lots of reading in my book. Then I did some reading on teh internetz. First, I was optimistic that I have low progesterone (I do have quite a few symptoms for that). I figured that could be treated. Then the system could rock back to balance, and the IF might be taken care of. (Note I did NOT say I would get pregnant. We are not interested in pregnancy around here...we are interested in not being sick or defective any more. Thank you.)

But it seems that I can't find anyone who says that taking progesterone could lower slightly elevated FSH levels. Other than the Eastern Medicine folk who say you can lower your FSH by taking supplements and avoiding sugar (if I do this, it will not work, and I will be angry about the self-deprivation. I'm fine with fasting for religious reasons, exercise, and dieting in some applications, but moral judgments about how I'm destroying my vocation because I ate a cracker - no. I did anorexia part-time in college [and I don't want to hear it about the killing of my eggs, 'cause I didn't], and NO MORE with the food crazies, is all I have to say. It's bad news). Everyone seems to be agreed that slightly elevated FSH levels for more than one month mean late-end of your fertile years, a little higher is premenopause, then perimenopause - bad news, no ifs, ands, or buts. So I'm absorbing that. Not happy, but, you know, I'm going to insist on some more bloodwork. And we'll see.

Also, and I am about to lash out in hysteria over this, I JUST realized I forgot to send the medical information release form to my old OB/GYN for my appointment Friday. I'm going to call both offices tomorrow and see whether I can do the whole transfer of records thing by scans and email, but already I have lurid visions of my current clinic asking me to spell "email" and explain why I would assume they have a computer in the office. I kind of don't like them, I think, but I'm not making up my mind 100% yet, because I could either love or hate the specialist. Anyway.

This I'm definitely mad about, though: I have a consent form because I asked for one specially, long before my appointment (I actually asked for it in conjunction with my annual). No way the nurse gal remembers that I have it. And did they ever ask me to make sure I sign a release (let alone notice that they do not have records for me)? No, they did not. My previous clinic had me sign it while I was standing there, of course, 'cause they actually practice medicine there, or something. Seriously. Patients don't think about things like medical releases. The clinic staff are supposed to remember all that, right? So, anyway, remind me tomorrow, or something, that my highest priority for the day is to call the clinics - repeatedly, if necessary - and persuade them that they can, too, give me their double-secret email addresses, and do something immediately rather than waiting a month. Or not doing it at all.

By the way, did I mention that I am ragingly PMSy right now? It's crazy. I'm depressed and upset. About everything - you know the drill. But right now I am convinced the clinics will both be evil about the records and mock me and then on Friday the specialist will say termites ate my reproductive organs, and I will go on a killing spree. It could happen.

And Adoption Is Stupid Too

So, I was busy having the Week of Too Much Information (when I have tried for so long to protect myself from the ravages of information - any information), so I looked online to see what Catholic Charities does with adoption. The Archdiocese of Baltimore apparently gets into it in a big way, and Baltimore is driveable. I started reading. I tell you what, that the minimum age you can be before they'll consider you is 25 - it made my heart glad. Maybe I'm not a dried-up old hag yet, you know? And you have to have been married at least three years. We're going on four. Maybe that's not forever without kids.

But I read some other things too. First of all, you can't specify the gender of your child, unless you have exactly one other (and then you can only pick the opposite, I think). I mean, that's not horrible, since you can't do so in nature, either, but what, do they assign you a child? Drop it on your doorstep and arrest you if you don't take it in? Because correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought the adoptive parents had to approve the adoption too. And while they'd figure it out if you happened to reject all the boy babies, don't you get to have an opinion?

They do international adoption with Russia and Eastern Europe, which is appealing, because I'm Polish. But those are the only European countries (er, areas. Actually, why "Eastern Europe" but not "Asia"? They specified Korea and China. Why does everyone think all white people are fungible?) from which they adopt, so I'd be picking only the white babies. I'm sure they love that.

Anyway, that's not what severely irritated me. Nor was the fact that they won't take you if you're currently in the process of infertility treatments - but the only reason I'm not livid about that is because I already had read about that on someone else's blog, so the shock has worn off. What made me angry is that they will not adopt to you unless you're infertile. You can have one child of your own - but that's it. They come right out and explain this as a demand issue - they have to allocate a scarce resource. I recognize that this philosophy actually favors me. I'm young. I'm married. I have a pretty good job. I'm healthy - well, my reproductive system is a writeoff, but once I get rid of that, I should keep running forever. I don't have ANY KIDS!!!

But it makes me really angry, because, well, who are they to make these decisions? And presumably this means that if by some miracle you get them to part with two babies, you just can't adopt a third. Can somebody tell me what is so Catholic about having either one or two, but under no circumstances three or more, children? I've always wanted a big family and I'm never going to have one. So I guess I should get kicks out of other people being denied one too, but actually, I don't. Have these people read the Catechism? No? Well, I'll fill you in.

Memo to Catholic Charities of Maryland:

BOTH having large families AND adoption are defined as "heroic" (meaning, virtuous, but not morally required) in the Catechism and JPII's writings. They come, of course, from exactly the same virtuous habit - openness to life, which is an aspect of charitable love and generosity. You want the people who adopt your wretched little orphans to be all about life, family, babies running around, abundance, joy, self-gift. But you have regulations that say they can have exactly one boy and one girl, presumably so they can have a three-bedroom house close to the city, send the assigned children to private school, and buy them each an SUV at sixteen.

If those are your values - go for it. Do what you believe is right. Seek the truth always, and act wholeheartedly on a clear conscience. But even people living under rocks know those aren't Catholic values. Seriously, who in heaven's name are you people? EVEN THE REPLACEMENT RATE IS MORE THAN TWO CHILDREN.

Love and kisses,
the misfit

But Infertility Is Still Worse

Oh, yeah. I almost forgot. If I have lots of blood tests, I have to take off work constantly, don't I? I'm actually just not willing to do that - even for (fictional) kids (who only happen to other people) - because I refuse to be barren and ridiculous and sad.

Well, maybe the urgent care facility nearby can do all my blood draws at 6AM, or something.


  1. I'm not sure what your entire story is since I just stumbled upon your blog. I'm so sorry you are having to go through so much. I was just wondering if you had looked at other adoption agencies. We are working with Luteran Social Services (no we are not Lutheran) and they have been amazing. I think they have offices all over the country. Just a thought...good luck!

  2. Usually, unless you're doing an FSH (injects) cycle, you won't need day upon day of blood draws (though I hear that Napro folks do sometimes...right?). To start, they generally ask for a day 3 draw, and then perhaps a draw 7dpo to confirm ovulation and check progesterone levels. Depending on your schedule, you shouldn't necessarily have to take off work. Or at least I hope: that could get very old, very fast.

    There were times when I got bowled over by info, and just didn't know what to think. I bet your heart will speak more clearly once you've digested what you've learned and get more data from your RE. It takes time to get to the bottom of these things.

    You'll be in my thoughts tomorrow.

  3. Leah - I have heard wonderful things about Lutheran Social Services/Lutheran Family Services, and I may take a peek at their website next. I ranted about the Catholic Charities stuff at my husband, and he asked me what I was thinking, looking at an institution run by Catholics - they run EVERYTHING abysmally. (We've run into this with schools, businesses, what-have-you. The more people share my beliefs, the more unpleasant it is to depend on them to provide a good service or product.) By the way, in case this is unclear - I'm Catholic myself, and it's not the Church I have a problem with. Sigh.

  4. I really hope your appointment goes well. I think that you just need a little tweaking. Don't forget the male side of things, I wish we didn't wait so long to pursue it.

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