There were numerous comments on my last post and I wanted to follow up with some of the questions that were asked and clarify a few things. It is nice to hear other points of view, well with the exception of one of the comments. Also, I had a comment from a reader who I thought was going to be another Jessica. Here goes...
-First question that was asked.
"I know you specifically want a baby girl who is genetically yours. You deserve that. If it just can't be done safely, would you at all be open to traditional surrogacy? Where it's your husband's sperm and the surrogate's egg? Then the baby would at least still be a half sibling to Max.... just throwing it out there since I didn't see you mention it specifically. I hope you are able to find peace and a solution. It's all just unfair :("
-I did comment back with this response, "I haven't looked into traditional surrogacy closely but I am not sure if it is even legal anywhere in the U.S. I guess when it comes down to it we'd still have to find someone to be pregnant for us and give us the baby in the end."
-The above commenter wrote this in response, "Maybe a donor egg vs traditional surrogacy? And in theory you may be able to find a female embryo looking for a home..."
-I don't know too much about the process of getting a donor egg or even getting an embryo. I do think you're right about the possibility of being able to get a female if we decided to get an embryo though. The thing with both of these options for us, as well with traditional surrogacy, is the big issue in finding someone to carry the baby for us. If we can find a carrier then we'd obviously want the baby to be both of ours. If our issue was just me being infertile, but could carry the baby, then I think a donor egg or donor embryo would be right up our alley. Surrogacy, no matter what form is costly, and if we do it the baby would need to be both of ours, or we'd just assume adopt at that point. I hope that answers that question well enough.
"What happens if you do get pregnant and it's a boy? It sounds like you've got your heart set on a bio baby girl and unless you're paying for IVF with gender selection and that's expensive, I'm not sure how you'd ensure that it's a girl. If you get a 2nd bio boy would that be enough or would you still be upset because he's not a girl?"
-Okay, Dereck and I have talked about this very thing. Whether we were to get pregnant again or get another carrier (which is more likely), I can tell you right out that I will be a to an extent sad if the baby is a boy. Will I love that baby boy? Absolutely. Of course I would. Ask anyone who has lost a child and not been able to get the same sex child again after a loss. It's hard and as crappy as knowing you can't or should never get pregnant again. Just the thought of getting rid of Evelynn's never worn things makes me want to cry right now. And I already hate so much that I don't get to see that brother sister relationship grow as is. I also know that no girl we have will be Evelynn, just as Max is not Liam. I want my chance at raising a daughter, and whether I get to or not, I'm pretty sure my heart will always ache for the chance, just like it will always ache for Liam and Evelynn.
- Now, if we do IVF again, which we have to do if we go with a carrier, doing the PGD testing for gender selection is out of the question for Dereck. I am all for it, and yes it is quite expensive, but it won't be happening for us. Honestly, I don't even think it'd be something worth hoping to try for anyways. I say this because we talked to our RE already about the possibility of trying to do a cycle and freeze the embryos until we get a carrier and he said that wasn't a good idea since we only ended up with 1 embryo last time. Not to mention he had us do a 2 day transfer, versus a 5 day, to hopefully up our chances of it taking. Embryos need to make it to day 5 for freezing and also to get sent out to do the PGD testing, I believe, but don't quote me. So I guess for us there is no way to ensure its a girl without adopting.
-Also, in regards to the part about it being expensive, well, it is, it all is. The way I see it is that I have known a lot of people that have gone broke or whine about money all the time over less, a lot less.
Then there was this comment.
-"I am so sorry you are having to face all of this. There is no easy answer. I'm trying to understand why Max can't be enough. You are sooooo lucky to have a living baby after all you have gone through. So many people are still waiting on their baby....it truly is such a miracle that you have Max. As you well know, life is not fair. Why not just focus on Baby Max and enjoy every minute of life with him instead of chasing after what you have lost? You really want a biological baby girl but even she won't replace Evelynn. Many people just want a baby....any baby....and you have that. Just be content in what you have and be happy and thankful for what you have after all you have lost. You are so lucky!!!!"
-Everyone is entitled to their opinion but this comment really upset me. Dereck and I went back and forth on the type of commenter this came from. Was it someone who came across my blog and has had multiple perfect pregnancies, healthy babies, and got to say when they were finished having kids? Or was it someone who has had years of infertility and most likely still waiting for their take home baby, as stated above in the comment? If it is, I am so sorry that you are still struggling, but I honestly can't believe you would judge me when you should understand more than most what it's like to have to work so hard to get a baby. If its been easy for you, then I am pretty certain you would have been beyond annoyed if someone told you to stop at one. A struggle or not, doesn't seem like any good reason for me or anyone to give up on the dream of having more than one living child. In all reality there is a lot of people out there who shouldn't be allowed to have kids or should be forced to stop after one, but they just keep on having them. Sorry for the rant. And lucky, hahahahaha, okay whatever you say, lucky is the person who hasn't had to bury their children. I suppose its easy to say this when you're "anonymous." And to add, yes, we are thinking about future baby plans already, but that little boy couldn't be more loved.
-This commenter gets it and I appreciated reading the comment, so I included it here. "With regard to other commenters, I understand that many who follow your blog have been through years of infertility with zero hope for a bio - or possibly any - child. However, I think it's insensitive for anyone, regardless of their own pain, to come here and call you "lucky" when they see Liam and Evelynn at the top of the page... Max is an amazing and precious blessing but you guys are as entitled as anyone else to pursue the dream you had for your family. I'm sure if a time comes that you need to let that go and just "focus on Max" you and Dereck will be the first to know that. Without suffering anything like your losses, I went through 8 years of secondary infertility, all the while questioning our choices as we had two healthy kids. The fact is, we'd always wanted and planned for at least two more - not unlike you and Dereck. I think your love for Max answers the question of how you would feel about another boy, as well. I will always wish we could have more kids, and have them years ago, but that doesn't take away my appreciation for what and who I've been given."
And finally the comment that I didn't publish but made my day.
-"I've been reading your blog for a really long time & my heart has broken for you. My sister is a BLM. She lost one of her twins. I've wanted to be a surrogate for someone for a really long time so if you do go that route, I'd be very happy to talk with you."
-I could not believe what I was reading when I saw this come through. We have since emailed back and forth, spoken on the phone, and texted one another. She actually lives in Illinois, which is a surrogate friendly state, and one that allows you to buy insurance to cover the pregnancy. It seemed to good to be true once again, but the way its looking it most likely will not work out for us after all.
For now, outside of this blog, Dereck and I have decided to wait until we go back to MN and ND this fall before we engross ourselves anymore in the world of IVF and gestational carriers again. We have decided at that point we will try and talk more one on one with family and friends to see if they would be willing to help us, know of anyone who would, or at least spread the word. If nothing comes of that then I guess there's always posting it on Facebook.