Monday, July 23, 2012

Winds of change

On Sunday July 22nd, Grey and I landed in scientific Mecca.

Since my childhood, "Boston" has always passed people's lips with a sense of awe when talking about opportunity. For a brief period of time, I dreamt about what it would be like to wander through this town as more than a tourist. Those hopes were dashed, though, as it was very uncommon for anyone to leave the midwest. In high school, many of my classmates attended universities/colleges that were only a few hundred miles from home. Following receiving their degrees, the same crew moved home to begin families. In a way, it makes sense. But, because of this, few break the mold.

Following my college experience, I moved home to live with my parents. Like many, I found work and quickly settled back into a post-college life-style. Though I talked continually about this being a temporary situation, I don't think many believed that was the case. And as the weeks went by, I quickly became comfortable with the security associated with not breaking the pattern established by so many.

On October 3, 2001, I was given a choice to break the mold. A friend-of-a-friend was moving to the Pacific NW to start a new life. I remember looking into graduate school options, wondering if I had a chance to get in. I'll be honest and say that my family was about as supportive as they could be, but I also believe they didn't presume that too much would come from this. In their minds, Pacific NW journey was suppose to be round-trip, with me returning after a year or two. So they patted me on the back and gave me the "we'll see" grins.

Still, I had hope. As we drove towards the setting sun, chasing a dream, I prayed that somehow this would all work out.

Fast forward 11 yrs. And all that has changed.

Neither Grey or I were never suppose to come to Boston seeking employment. The institutions here were suppose to be unreachable. And yet, Grey and I are acclimating quickly to the city. I have an interview and Grey is utilizing his contacts. The heat and the sunshine have been healing to us both. We both can sense an opportunity for change.

It's not about prestige or pomp. It doesn't matter if we simply traveled back to the midwest. What this is about is doing something many, MANY people have told us we could never do. That we shouldn't dare to dream and should simply live with our lot. And it's hard not to wonder, as I prepare for my interview on Wednesday, if we can do this again. That our non-traditional way of life for our careers is also how we are suppose expand our family. All the naysayers are once are trying to talk us out of this simply because they are hiding their own fear or failures.

That maybe this is a sign that we need to be a lot more creative with the adoption process. That we need to try things that aren't as well charted, finding the path that has been less traveled.

Who knows. Because it is very likely that everything can come crashing down. That we could very well walk away from all of this, never to return and with dreams dashed once again.

But there is change in the air. That energy I felt so many years ago as this friend-of-a-friend and I chased the sun across the North Dakota plains. And with that whiff of change comes the promise of hope.  And though desire/hope is the root of despair, it also gives us strength. Because that one time it all works out, especially when it's been worked towards for so long, is like seeing fireworks for the first time. It's like falling in love all over again.

Wish me luck.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Role playing

Today was my visit with my new primary care physician. Since starting the whole fertility diagnosis/treatment journey, I haven't prioritized seeing anyone to talk about my general health. Partly due to the assumption that that would come after treatments resulted in pregnancy; partly because my life was already filled with enough doctor's appointments. Once Grey and I made the decision to stop treatments, I knew it was time to see someone. The drugs have taken a huge toll on my body and it's time to be monitored by someone who is going to look at more than my uterus.

The appointment was a quick one: the patient scheduled before me was a no show and because I had arrived early, they decided to see me right away. First came the usual routine of getting basic information: weight, height, blood pressure and an update on current medication. Following the whole TCM blowup with Grey, I decided to bring the herbs with me to talk with new doctor. After a few more questions, the nurse left me to grab the doctor.

Dr. M is a younger physician with a great bed-side manner. One of the reasons I picked her was because she had done some extra training in osteopathy and it was clear when she entered the room that she was going to work with me to help me meet my health goals. What was also clear is how quickly information passed on to the medical staff can be misconstrued: when asked for a reason for the appointment, I said that I had finished fertility treatments. Dr. M came in the room prepared to talk about what one needs to do to start that process. So when she took one look at me, I think she was prepared to have her work cut out for her.

Once it became clear I wasn't there to talk about IVF, but instead recovering from multiple failed rounds of IVF/FET, she immediately settled into helping me generate a plan. We talk quite a bit about the adoption process and how important it was to keep her in the loop so she could help provide medical information for the process. We also talked about diet and exercise to help me recover from the physical tolls of treatment. In addition, she looked at the herbs and declared them "safe" for use, though was quick to add that she couldn't guarantee any benefit. But she suggested that I give them a try.

Finally, as we were wrapping up, she told me something that made me do a double-take. "I want you to live like an expectant parent." I think the look I gave her betrayed all the pain and sorrow I had been living with, because she quickly pushed herself back from the computer and faced me to explain. "I'm not saying that if you improve your health that you'll magically become pregnant," she said, "but if you continue on their journey to adoption, you will need to prepare yourself, both physically and mentally, for your child."

I think she could tell I have my doubts about the mental piece. For me, I've closed the door on the idea of ever being able to become pregnant and carry that pregnancy to term. 2.5 yrs, 3 failed IUIs and 3 failed rounds of IVF/FET solidified that one. But she encouraged me to try. "I'm not suggesting that it will magically happen overnight, but it's amazing the power of the mind."

On the drive home, I thought so more about this conversation. The importance of being well for the upcoming process completely makes sense to me. But mentally I'm still struggling. After so much pain, it's hard to envision a future that's any different from the one now. Logically I know things can change, but I'm not fight the logical part of my brain. As I thought about this, I thought about Mo's post too. And I thought about my recent sessions with David and Dee; how mentally I could be sabotaging any path to a child based on my inherit belief that I don't desire to be a mother.

What I wonder is if the universe is telling me it's time to put away these destructive thoughts and to start playing the role I want for myself and my family. I see the signs and am reading the message, but what I've fought is believing that it's possible. In short, maybe what it's about is finding the courage to once again dive blindly into the abyss that we call hope. To open myself to the chance of being hurt all over again.

Monday, July 16, 2012

7-day detox: FAIL!

On Saturday, Belle posted her 7-day detox, detailing a plan for getting her body back into a normal state. With this plan came the invitation to join her. Though I'm well aware of detox diets I've never done one, so this seemed like the perfect time to try one as Cristy's body and Cristy's mind are currently not liking one another.

Good intention; poor follow through.

I should have known I was doomed following the Saturday go-around Grey and I had. Still, I thought I could do it. Then came Sunday morning with Grey insisting on making breakfast: homemade buttermilk pancakes, fresh fruit and coffee from Lighthouse Roasters. This was followed up with cuddling in bed (yes, we literally climbed back in), more coffee and then dinner with pineapple chicken stir-fry (equally good with tofu, btw). The finale involved me making and canning raspberry mango jam.  Day 1 was a complete flop.

Still, I figured I would rebound with Day 2. Except Day 2 started earlier than usually (no morning meditation), involved yet another fight and then involved a crazy day at the office. Considering my interview is in a week, I can't find reagents, I'm trying (and failing) to mentor my students and attempting (and also failing miserably) at writing a first draft for a grant, I decided to cut my losses and try to make do. I ended Day 2 with two pints of Chocolate Stout and a burger. I'm certain Belle is shaking her head at me.

My problem is a simple one: there's too much shit going on at the moment. I'm trying to navigate adoption, while planning a potential move, while preparing for an interview, while teaching, while planning for the fall semester, while trying to regain my health. All while dealing with the fallout of stopping fertility treatments and realizing that biological children are not possible. Could I have set myself up for failure any better?

The snap back to reality came this afternoon from Mo. After venting to her via email, she pointed out that I'm being too hard on myself. 
"If there's one thing I learned from two years of this hell is that there is only so much that you can do at once. Trying to detox, get rid of the bloat, looking into adoption, moving, and all of this self-improvement stuff? I get why you're doing it but you're setting yourself up for failure by biting off more than you can chew. You don't need more reasons to feel guilty, or self-loathing right now."
And I realized, she's right. So I dropped everything and marched my butt to the pool for 45 minutes of lap swimming, which I haven't done in 11 yrs. And while moving through the water, I began to remember what it felt like to connect with myself, my body. To know that there were things that I could do.

Later in the evening, between the first and second stout and a game of chess, Grey and I talked more about all the fighting and where we were at. For him, he's tried and worried. Worried that we're beyond exhaustion from all the recent events. He's also nervous for this upcoming trip too. Though we'll get to see friends, we are not naive about the business aspect of this (my interview and the wedding). Even though I will be directly in the trenches business wise, he is fully intending on networking and assessing his options. Plus there will be the family aspect. G_d save us both.

So, after some discussion and a through ass-kicking at chess (mine, not his), I decided modifying the diet. I figure I'll detox after my interview in Boston (spiritually, mentally and physically), but for now there are things I can do that will help me prepare for the week ahead.

Clean Eating Diet: 
  • 80 – 100 oz of water daily
  • 1 – 3 cups green tea daily
  • Eat breakfast
  • Eat lunch
  • Afternoon snack: tea with fruit
  • Dinner: 1 serving lean protein (chicken, fish, tofu, lean ground beef) + 2 cups steamed or sautéed veggies + quinoa + 1 healthy fat (olive oil, avocado, seeds)
  • Dessert: Some small sugary treat.


  • Too much coffee – 8 oz morning latte is okay. 
  • Excessive amounts of grains: Wheat, rice, amaranth, couscous, pasta, etc.
  • Excessive amounts of dairy: milk, yogurt, butter, cheese. 
  • Too much sugar. Limit to dessert if possible
  • Too much alcohol: no more than 3-4 drinks this week.


  • Meditation/yoga once a day. Needs to be for  at least 15 mins.  
  • Daily exercise: Jogging 2-3 miles/ lap swim for 30 mins/walk around campus everyday simply to get sunshine. 

Positive reflection:

This detox is about more than nutrition and activity. During these 7 days I want to spend time daily reflecting on things in my life that I should be thankful for. To do this I will:
  • Make time for pampering – Scheduled haircut and eye-brow shaping for Thursday. Mani-pedi scheduled for Friday. Acupuncture is on Saturday. 
  • Watch the sunset every night - did I mention that it's FINALLY sunny.
  • Blog daily about positive things in my life.
  • Unplug- Radio shows and music are okay.
  • Play with my cats – Jaxson and Daisy are going to LOVE this. 
  • Start "how was your day" conversation with Grey by talking about 3 positive things that happened that day. Encourage him to do the same.  

Okay, some positive things for today:
1) I finished the outline for my talk (part of the interview process). Thursday I give lab meeting to practice. If I can't convince 7 undergrads that my thesis work was awesome, then I have some serious work to do.

2) Grey and I came to an agreement about the TCM herbs. Basically, his concern is that I'll hurt myself. So I've agreed that if I feel "off" for any reason, I will stop them. The formula I'm on is the "Free and Easy Wanderer Plus" blend. The big concern is the Dong Quai, which isn't safe for pregnancy. So, in addition, if I'm "late," I will stop the herbs until told otherwise. That said, Grey acknowledges that there could be a benefit to all of this. So, if I'm feeling better, we will reassess than. I start the herbs tomorrow.

3) Did I mention I got to go swimming for the first time in 11 yrs?!? I taught swimming lessons for 6 yrs and practically grew up in the water. But when I moved out to the Pacific NW, I couldn't find a pool that didn't have some crazy restriction to it: the pool at my grad institution had this weird circle swim set up paired with hyper-competitive men who would swim over the top of people.  After witnessing one guy remove the Speedos of another, I knew it was better to put away my swim cap. Today I got the whole fricking pool at my new institution and I rediscovered why I love being in water. 

5) Grey and I played chess. We haven't done this since we started to try to expand our family. He beat me swiftly, but I still managed to capture some of his pieces. On Wednesday, he wants me to teach him how to play Mills

6) Raspberry-mango jam. 

7) Jaxson got a new squirrel. Which meant my evening is being spent watching him run happily around the house and nuzzling his new toy. Almost like watching a child play. Almost. 


This past weekend was one for the records. Grey and I have had our fair-share of bad weekends since starting this TTC journey, but not one this bad in a while.

It started on a sour note. Friday at 4 pm we learned that one of the agencies we had applied to had rejected our application. The reason stated "we simply cannot accept everyone into our program based on sheer numbers." It doesn't take a genius to read between the lines and figure out that the real reason is religious views. Still, it wasn't what we wanted to hear, but both of us were quick to pick up the pieces and make plans on moving forward. We even had a good time watching a performance of "The Winter's Tale" in the park with friends. 

On Saturday, everything fell apart. The trigger was me bringing home some TCM herbs from my acupuncturist. Following the stories of relatives of friends hurting themselves due to improper treatment, he's become incredibly cautious about TCM. Based on this, the issue snowballed into a full-fledged argument where it became clear that TCM was simply the catalyst. None of it was pretty.

The truth of the matter is there's been too many people in my life telling me what I should do and feel for far too long. Though I trust my REs, the drugs I put into my body have wreaked havoc on my system resulting in weight-gain and me feeling very disconnected with it. Grey and I are continually being bombarded with other's opinions on our situation, ranging from those urging us to not give up hope and to try again to others going so far to say that adoption could result in me becoming pregnant. Even this stupid argument about taking the herbs has come down to control over what I do and me trying to regain some control over my body. All of it overwhelming, all of it feeling like I'm being disregarded. 

In short, I'm frustrated. I'm frustrated that I can't become pregnant like most of the general populous (prenatals and timed intercourse is such a luxury), I'm frustrated that with each attempt at adoption our road becomes blocked, I'm frustrated that the pain we're both living with is STILL minimized by our loved ones (apparently BIL's fever is more of a concern) and I'm frustrated that I'm getting resistance for trying to get my body back to a state that I don't loathe.  

On Wednesday I have an appointment with my PCP. And I fully intent on unloading all of this on her. Because something has to change. The nightmare of living in this limbo has got to stop because it's killing me. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

One step forward, two steps back

On Tuesday, Grey and I attended our second adoption informational meeting. Unlike our first meeting, this meeting felt much more relaxed and inclusive. One of the staff sat us in a circle and outlined their program, the process and their philosophy. Both Grey and I really liked the agency and the work they are doing. There's just a couple of problems: 1) their wait time has been extended and 2) if we went through them, we would need to complete a whole new homestudy.

After the meeting, we went out to dinner to talk about what we had learned and we both came to the same conclusion: though we really (REALLY) liked this agency, if we move, this is not going to work.  It would be one thing if we could start the process and update our homestudy, but it sounds like they are unwilling to accept previous homestudies or ones that do not meet their criteria. In addition, their wait time is much longer than most agencies because they are pro-choice. Out of ~250 women they counseled last year, only 15% decided to pursue adoption. These are sobering statistics for anyone considering this process.

Where this leaves us is waiting on another agency and determining where to go from here. The application we submitted on Sunday is currently under review (with one of the most unflattering pictures of us as a couple), but Grey is struggling with trusting a group that he may never meet in person.

All of this came to a head yesterday morning with Grey suffering yet another migraine. The despair and sense of loss was so evident in his voice that I couldn't help but cry when he called me at work. This has been harder on him than either of us anticipated and he's struggling to find meaning and hope in all of this. Struggling because he's been hurt in so many aspects of life because of this.

I'm going to be honest: I'm lost at what to do. I lot of this has to do with the fact that I'm more trusting of people and want to believe that only good things can come from this. The other part comes down to the fact that I'm tired of trying to control everything. We did it with treatment and look at where it got us. We've also done so in our everyday lives. But I also understand where Grey is coming from. We threw caution to the wind in 2006 and purchased our condo. That decision is still punishing us to this day with the end of all this nowhere in sight. In addition, we need to proceed cautiously in this process as it's all too easy to be scammed.

I'm frustrated. And edgy. And wishing that there was finally some clear answer to all of this. Why oh why can't expanding one's family be as easy as everyone says it is?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

New beginnings

First off, as you probably have noticed, there's been some changes. Thank you Fran from Small Bird Studios for this lovely new blog design! And thank you to Dandelion Breeze for making it possible!

This past week has been one of new beginnings. Early in the week, Grey and I began collecting signatures for release of medical information and background checks. We also had a fun time at the police station getting fingerprinted (the ladies told us that they wished most of the people they saw had half our humor and cheer). After my meeting with Dee on Friday, Grey and I began looking into private adoption more. Grey's conversation with Patience (aka P) resulted in her referring us to an agency that does national searches. So, after much debate, we sat down on Sunday morning and submitted an application. Tonight is an informational meeting with the original agency to determine if all the information we were given is accurate, allowing us to determine if we will continue with them or not.

But probably most importantly, this weekend marked the beginning of me actively dealing with my personal hang-ups, trying to acutely make changes vs. running away from them.

I have a long history of running. As a child, whenever I encountered someone or some situation that was making me feel minimized or worthless, my default was to become quiet and hide. I spent a lot of Friday evenings holed up in my room as a teenager and tolerated far more bullying than was healthy, all because I believed I was the problem for feeling like an outcast. This was promoted by my family, with "don't judge" being a quick answer when I voiced the pain of feeling excluded in favor of family supporting the offending party. Being the outcast is damaging, especially when it goes on for years. The problem is you can only silence an outcast for so long before they begin lashing out. Granted, my lash-outs haven't been overly spectacular (nor news worthy for that matter), but they've been bad enough to give people cause for labeling me "crazy."

One of the things I have learned from these past 2.5 yrs, though, is that I'm not crazy. Infertility is a soul-sucking, energy-draining, grief-inducing disease. Miscarriage/infant loss adds to the crazy, as so many people ignore the pain of losing a child, rationalizing that "it wasn't meant to be." Take this and layer it on top of any insecurities/rejection issues your average person has and you've got the perfect recipe for a socially defined lunatic. What I've been learning over the past few months is that my grief is real, just inconvenient for many. Though my pregnancies were brief, those potential children did exist. I've also learned that anyone who tells me otherwise is actually the crazy one. Toxic in fact. And as I've worked through my grief and pain, I began to wonder what other "truths" about myself were actually false. What lies I had accepted because it benefitted someone else.

Basically, I've decided to stop running and hiding. As strange as it may sound, losing my children has given me the courage to confront the abuse I lived through and to make decisions to end the cycle. It hasn't been easy as there's a lot of programming that needs to be undone, but I'm working on it. I trying to become the mother I want to be to my future children.

The current exercise in this involves me dealing with Grey's family. At the end of the month, we are traveling to the Boston area for the wedding of one of Grey's cousins. Since our second miscarriage and the news that BIL and his wife were expecting again, I've dreaded this event. Initially my response was not to go, with Grey traveling alone. Then we moved to a plan where I would attend the ceremony and skip out on the reception. Problem with both options is two-fold: 1) I'm hiding and 2) I'm isolating myself further from his family, making myself an utter stranger. The problem has been that I've been having a very difficult time expressing to Grey why I feel the way I do; why I've been so hurt by their silence and isolation. Each conversation about this has frustrated him, ending with him accusing me a of being jealous or acting like a child because he feels that I'm attacking them. What became obvious was that we needed someone to help us better dissect the situation.

Today David helped us with this. Replaying our concerns and worries, he helped us dissect the root of the problem and began to help us work towards a common goal: a united front. As we talked, David was able to communicate how important it was that we validate one another and gave us tools to undo the damage of past behaviors. Basically, he told us that we need to get rid of our assumptions about one another regarding this issue. That instead, we needed to start fresh, focusing on being a support to one another vs. looking at the other person as a child. We have homework and a follow-up meeting in a week. 

The point of all of this: I'm trying to admit that I have stripes instead of spots. I'm trying to rebuild. Though the decision to stop treatment was a painful one, I've been surprised to feel a weight that's been lifted from it. The worst has happened, with all the things I assumed being torn from me. Now it's just a matter of removing the debris and beginning anew. 

Friday, July 6, 2012

Just when you think you've got it all figured out . . .

Today I had an appointment with Dee. Following the news on Monday, Grey thought it would be worth mentioning to her what we learned about the agency we had chosen to see if she had any suggestions. Honestly, we both expected her to give me the this-is-the-way-things-go speech. So you can imagine my surprise (and delight) when she looked at me cross-eyed.

Dee: "16 months? Really?"

Me: "Yep"

Dee: "Why so long?"

Me: "No clue, other than a number of couples that had been on the wait-list for so long finally were picked. Oh, and they told us to hold off on the homestudy until after we move."

Dee: "Meaning hold off for a year. So, instead, the process would take you ~ 2 yrs"

Me (fighting back tears): "Yes."

Cue eye-roll from Dee.

Before I continue, I need to take a moment to again point out how amazing it's been to have a therapist who specializes in infertility/loss and adoption. Dee has helped me through both miscarriages and a failed FET. I shudder to think about where I would be mentally and emotionally without her help. In short, this woman is awesome. I really didn't think she could get much better.

And then I saw what came next.

Following recovering from her eye-roll, Dee launched into a lecture about "homestudy updates" and how this agency's reasoning was probably wrong. During this time, she fished out her laptop and opened up her contact list. After doing some typing, she looked at me.

Dee: "Cristy, have you and Grey thought about private adoption?"

Me (gulping): "Yes. But all the stories I've heard have been scary. The scams, the possibility for getting yourself into legal trouble quickly. The fail rates. We figured it would be better to go through an agency. Why?"

Dee: "Because I think you two are great candidates for it. It's faster, it's a bit more hands and, with the right people, it can be a very positive experience. Just as it was for my husband and me."

Dee then shared her adoption story with me. I knew she had adopted and is a huge advocate for the process. But I didn't know the details. When she finished, she pulled out her notepad and began to write. Within 2 minutes, I was staring at two names, A and P, and contact information.

Dee: "I've known A and P for 20 yrs. They are highly skilled and I think they've started an agency. Contact them. I think you and Grey would really enjoy working with them."

I spent the rest of our session alternating between laughter and tears.

Following my session, I texted Grey. Within 5 texts, he called me, surprised about the information. At one point, he asked if I was certain about my information. When I told him, "it's coming from Dee," he stopped and started to laugh.

This afternoon, both Grey and I got into contact with A and P (I called A and he called P). A and I chatted for 20 minutes and she asked if we would be willing to meet her in August. Grey talked with P and, in addition to sending him some resources, told him that she'd be more than happy to do our homestudy. 

So, as of today, we are no longer on hold. At the end of my session, I promised Dee that we wouldn't push the process and that we would also focus on healing. But now I feel like there's a purpose. 

Aw, life. How I love you. Let it never be said that it's been boring.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The good, the bad and the ugly

Change. The very nature of the process is scary. With change comes uncertainty, risk and vulnerability. Because of this change is stressful. Though there's always the promise of a good outcome, there's also the threat of messiness and loss along the way. These past couple of weeks have been one filled with lots of change. Grey and I have been busy making plans for the future, focusing on healing and transitioning for the next steps. With all of this has come an emotional piece that neither of us were truly prepared for.

There's been the good. Therapy with David and Dee has been helpful at identifying key issues and allowing us to work together as a couple. What we're learning is how strong our bond is and how both of us have not only the same fears and worries, but also the same dreams and goals. With the help of David, we are learning how to communicate all of this better and to find ways to overcome the damage caused by external stressors and toxic individuals. In addition to this, Grey and I started working on the paper work to begin the adoption process. We've been sorting through forms and triaging importance and attention. Some of the forms have been fairly straight forward, requiring only basic information or needing us to make appointments with others to help us complete them. Others have required more thought, answering questions about lifestyle, parenting plans, hopes for the future. In a lot of ways, these exercises have been beneficial as they've allowed us to work together and verify how many values and life-views we share. Granted, there's also an underlying sense of invasion and the realization that most parents don't give any of this much thought when they decide to expand their family. Still, we have both been trying to embrace the knowledge that there are many benefits to these exercises.

But with the good, there's also been the bad; the moments of frustration and grief. Grey and I are working daily on coming to terms with our new reality. Since making the decision to stop treatments, there's been an even more present feeling of isolation and exclusion. Friends we know in real life who had struggled with infertility have become absent, being silent since our last miscarriage. It's like their pregnancies cleansed them from infertility, so they are now quick to cut off any reminder of that time. Equally frustrating has been online support, where group members who are now pregnant or parenting after easily becoming pregnant complain about their current lot, wondering aloud about the "could-have-beens" when they have what Grey and I are breaking ourselves for. Yes, I know that life is difficult, but some if this feels superficial and makes us both feel even more isolated then we previously were.

And then there's the ugly: the things so few want or are willing to talk about. The past year has been spent putting our faith in modern medicine while putting everything else on hold for treatment. With the realization that modern medicine would not be the answer to finding our children, we began to start making plans to live again, pursing our dreams and goals. Yesterday we learned that by moving forward on that end, we may have to put the adoption process on hold. The agency we are looking into currently has an extended wait for matching birth parents with adoptive parents, with an average time now being 16 months instead of the 10-12 months. On top of this comes the knowledge that if we relocate outside of the state, we will have to complete a second homestudy because of this. Our initial path on this part of the journey is now blocked and we are at a loss for how to proceed. 

Last night while trying to calm myself, I came to the first of many ugly truths on this: I'm no longer willing to sacrifice everything for this process. I've been beaten up and ripped apart for the past year as we underwent treatment, all for 2 losses and a lot of heartache. I can't continue to do that and hope to be a fit parent. So I'm committing the ultimate infertile sin: I'm making a choice for me by pursuing career options that could result in putting adoption on hold. I'm keeping my interview and we will assess what needs to happen based on this information. Is it a good plan, hardly, but I think it's the right decision given what information we have. G_d knows this hurts, though, and with the hurt comes the envy towards those who will never have to make these choices. 

All in all, we're alive and we're trying to move forward. But the reality is, unlike before, our path is a much more rugged one, filled with many more obstacles and pitfalls. I'm sure there will be a day when we both can look back on this time and laugh, marveling at how naive we were and how we shouldn't have stressed about this or that, but being in the thick of it makes me wish we had some sort of a guide or even a more defined roadmap.
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