Thursday, November 22, 2012

Time to Retire

I think everyone who reads this blog already knows that we have started the process to adopt a child from the Democratic Republic of Congo. If you didn’t already know... where the heck have you been!?! With this new chapter in our life taking the front seat, I have decided to retire this blog. I’ve had this blog for almost 6 years now! It’s amazing to think that when I started Square Peg Chronicles, I was single, had just moved back with my Mom and was a marketing specialist. Now I’m married, a registered nurse and adopting a child from across the world! Life is amazing, huh?

That being said, I really hope you will follow my new blog at There, you can find out more about our adoption journey and you can link to our Etsy store. I really hope you’ll join me on this new adventure – you’ve all been so supportive over the years!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Decisions, decisions.

It's official. We will never have our own biological children. After another failed round of IVF, it has become clear that we have run out of options. I posted a message about this on facebook. The feedback I received from friends and family was beautiful and comforting. However, it’s been a week since then and now I feel so alone. Of course, I have Mr. Perfect, but the fact is, I’m all alone in my head. I have all these thoughts and ideas swirling in my mind and it just won’t stop. We have so many choices and decisions to make regarding adoption that I can’t seem to be able to keep it all straight. I feel this overwhelming pressure to pick a path and to stick with it... but what if we pick the wrong path and end up waiting longer for a child? We’ve also been considering a pretty significant move for a while now. We really want to leave for a year and go on some kind of adventure. We are also hoping this adventure might offer us a chance to make some extra money for adoption. Currently, we are seriously considering moving to Calgary. I’m almost guaranteed a job in nursing and Mr. Perfect’s skill set is in high demand. So this is what we are looking at:

Option #1 – Stay put and wait for public adoption
Currently we are on the waiting list to do our PRIDE training. The wait time is 1 to 2 years. Once we’ve done our PRIDE training we have our home study done and once approved move to the official waiting list. Once we’re on the list the wait time can be another 1 to 3 years. Since we would like a sibling group and are open to children up to the age of 10, the expected wait is probably about 3 years. We’ve been waiting for our PRIDE training for 6 months.
Cost: Free
  • It’s free!
  • We will more than likely get a sibling group and we would really love to have more than one child
  • We stay in put
  • Access to medical records and medical history
  • The wait time is unpredictable. They say about 3 years, but we’ve heard of couples who have requirements similar to ours and they’ve been waiting 4 years... and are still waiting
  • We stay put
  • We will not get a child younger than 2 years old
  • All children are considered special needs because they have lived through some sort of trauma.
Option #2 – Move to Calgary and opt for private domestic adoption
Moving to Calgary would give us access to adoption agencies. Just reading about all the work the agencies do for you makes me feel more relaxed. I wish we would have these kinds of services locally! With private adoption (which is almost non-existent in NB), you get matched with birthmothers looking to give their child up for adoption. Wait time is approximately 2 years, but we’ve been told to prepare for 3 years.
Cost: approximately $12,000
  • The child placed with us will more than likely be younger than 2 years old
  • Cost is significantly less than international adoption
  • We get to move to Calgary, which is like an adventure
  • Wait time feels less scary
  • Access to medical records and medical history
  • Domestic adoption doesn’t seem as scary complicated as international adoption
  • We could potentially make more money in Alberta
  • We can’t start the process until we actually move to Calgary (something we hope to do in the spring)
  • If we do start this process in Alberta, we need to stay in Alberta until 12 months after a child is placed with us... which could be up to 4 years!
  • I’d miss my family horribly!
  • Career wise, I would lose my seniority each time I move. My salary would reflect my experience, but I would be on the bottom of the list for choosing my vacation and would be last in line for promotions.
  • Real estate is extremely high in Calgary which could mean living in an apartment our entire time there.
Option # 3 – Move to Calgary for a year, hope to make money and come back to adopt internationally
International adoption seems very overwhelming to me! Every country is different, their rules can change at any given moment and the costs are very high.
Cost: $25,000 to 50,000
  • We get to leave for a year on our “adventure” but still come back a year later (best of both worlds)
  • If we opt for a US adoption, it can go quickly (2 to 3 years)
  • We wouldn’t be able to do a home study until we get back to NB (adding at least a year to the wait time). From what I’ve read, agencies all require their own home study and interprovincial transfers are rare and complicated.
  • Wait times are unpredictable and countries can suddenly stop all adoptions. Wait time could be anywhere from 3 to 5 years... but it’s really not clear.
  • Choosing a country is daunting because of the rules and restrictions
  • Limited access to medical records and medical history
  • US adoption is faster, but is also the most expensive option
  • Cost is SCARY!
Option # 4 - Stay put and adopt internationally
If we were to stay put and adopt interntionally, we would likely opt for a US adoption. We don't have the savings to do this now and would have to go into considerable debt to adopt. Debt is something we are both anxious about.
Cost: $25,000 to 50,000
  • Staying put
  • We don't lose any time by moving away for a year
  • We could simutaneously keep our name on the public adoption list
  • All the cons from option #3
  • Having to resort to fundraising and major loans to pay for the adoption
We're still no closer to making a decision and definitely feel the pressure to make one. Every day that passes by is another day we aren't on a waiting list. I'm going to be 37 in two months. I've never felt old or worried about my age, but 37 is frightening The chances of having a child before I'm 40 are slim to none. Most people I know scowl at the thought of starting a family at 40! We'll be raising teenagers in our late fifties... definitely terrifying. My father was 44 when I was born and died when I was 17. My entire life I swore I wouldn't have kids that late in life because my father's illnesses and death, but here I am. :-(

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Deja Vu

I’ve been writing this post in my head for over a week. Somehow I just couldn’t bring myself to write it... almost like if I don’t say anything it’s not really real. We are currently in the middle of our second and last IVF cycle. As you might remember, we were told our chances of IVF working were greatly diminished because of my low ovarian reserve and the only chance we had was to do their most aggressive protocol. So here we are... cycle day 8 of the new aggressive protocol.

I started injections a week ago with a small dose of Suprefact twice a day (0,04ml). Then on Thursday I started stimulation injections with Menopur (3 bottles), in addition to evening shots of Saizen (human growth hormone). My daily baby-making routine involves taking 13 pills and 5 injections using 11 different bottles!

It feels very different then the last time. It fact, it doesn’t feel like it’s really happening. The first round was all excitement and hope while this one is uneasiness and fear. Knowing this is our last chance to have a biological child is a very daunting. Other than the new protocol, I am doing a few things differently. For one, we aren’t really talking about it as much as last time. Close friends know we are currently doing a cycle, as well as my sister and Mr. Perfect’s family, but I haven’t talked about it at work, or to my mother. The last time was just such a crushing disappointment that I don’t feel like going through it publicly again. The other thing I’m doing differently is taking time off. Last time I took 2 days off and that was it. This time I’m taking 3 weeks! It’s weird not working while you are actually feeling fine. Until the egg retrieval, there is no physical reason I shouldn’t work, so it’s just weird. My doctors and medical team were very insistent that I take some time off because of my work related stress and to put all chances on our side.

That being said, I’m not responding as expected once again. On cycle day 6, my E2 level was at 94 when last time it was at 124. It should be at 200 or 300 by then. Today we got a new shocker... I have ZERO eggs maturing and my E2 level has actually gone down. It’s devastating news. Our doctor’s suggestion is to cancel the cycle. I can’t believe this is it... we will never have a biological child. My brain can’t even process it right now.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Just Type.

It feels like I’ve forgotten how to type... it’s been that long since I’ve updated! I have no excuse other than having a hard time articulating what is going on in my life. So what has been going on in the last two months?
  •           Our house still hasn’t sold and we’ve only had 1 offer which fell through at the last minute. Our realtor says there is nothing wrong with the house it’s just the current market. It still sucks
  •           We put a conditional offer on a new house, but we need to sell ours first. So far the new place is still available and we’re hoping it stays that way until we can sell ours
  •           Work has been grueling with overtime almost every shift. :-( I’ve been in oncology 7 months now and have finally found my groove. However, half the department is pregnant or on mat leave which practically makes me “senior staff” and with it comes more responsibility. It’s really a sink or swim kind of department and right now I’m treading water with my head just barely above the waterline. There’s a new job in pediatrics, but it scares me to apply... as silly as it might seem, I feel like I haven’t learned enough in oncology to go back. Plus, I’ve just completed my training to administer chemotherapy and I feel like I “owe” them.
  •          We’re tentatively planning another round of IVF in the Fall, but nothing feels certain.
  •           Mr Perfect is trying to sell his Mustang as well, but it has been up for sale for 4 months and nothing.
  •           We were at the vet 4 times in less than 3 weeks with Bentley. Once he swallowed a bee and scared us half to death, while the other 3 times were for a badly cut paw. He had to be sedated twice and had lots of stitches. Thank goodness it is finally healing
  •          I feel very ho hum about life these days. It just feels like so much crappy stuff is going on and I just want a little break. I see pregnancies all around me and now it seems people who started trying when we started are on their second pregnancy and it’s just not fair! Why can’t it work for us? Why must we constantly go through all these hurdles? Am I just being negative? I just wish I could see a light at the end of the tunnel, you know?

I’ll end things on a happier note. Even though I feel like everything is doom and gloom these days, we have had a beautiful summer and have tried lots a new activities. So far this summer we’ve been canoeing, horseback riding, yardsaling, hiking and had a 2 day vacation to the island with the dogs. All in all, we have tried to make the best of things.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Second Chapter

It’s been a little over two months since my last post and I’m not even sure where to start. The last few months have been a bit of a roller coaster of ups and downs. The last time I posted was the day we found out the IVF didn’t work. I can say we definitely have been dealing with it very well, but other challenges have since presented themselves.

We had our follow-up appointment at the clinic a few weeks ago and it wasn’t great. Turns out my husband isn’t the only one with issues. Apparently I’ve got the ovaries of a pre-menopausal 45 year old. The doctor has a new protocol to suggest, but he says that even with the max amount of drugs he doubts we’ll get more than 4 or 5 eggs (we had 4 last time). He says our odds of conceiving with a new cycle is about 25% (last time it was 40 - 50%). We enquired about embryo donation but it’s next to impossible in Canada. Now we have to decide what to do next. If money was limitless we would do a new cycle, but we need to be smart about our money because international adoption is crazy expensive.

We’ve been on the “adoption train” since our last failed cycle and wow is it depressing and overwhelming. We attended a training/information session in April for international adoption and it really opened our eyes on the challenges we will have. First of all, a whole bunch of countries are closed to us because Mr Perfect has had a divorce. Seriously? Ugh. The only country which might be an option is the most expensive one: the US. Blarg. As for local public adoption, we’ve also hit some roadblocks. Since we speak French at home, we can only have French children placed with us and of course, the pool of francophones is limited. :-( When we attended the international adoption info session we met couples who had been waiting 3 to 4 years for public adoption. We thought that our chances where better since we are willing to accept sibling groups and children up to 10 years old, but other couples were willing to accept the same. :-(

We’ve since attended an info session for public adoption as well. Turns out we are on the waiting list to BE on the waiting list. Ugh. We actually haven’t even applied for adoption yet. We have to wait to take our PRIDE course and only then can we actually apply for adoption. Getting the pride course can take years and then the actual adoption process can take another couple of years on top of that. It’s depressing. Mr Perfect was encouraged by the session, but I can’t get over the long wait to meet our children.

We went to see a psychologist last month since we had a free session included in our last cycle and we thought we should take advantage of it. The positive thing that came out was that we are in good shape emotionally. Honestly, we probably didn’t need the session, but it was good to bounce back some of our thoughts with him. We are both on the same page and are willing to go to great lengths to have a child. The psychologist also made us realise how the need to have a child has been weighing on us. Even though we've been trying for less than 2 years, we have both been on a quest to have children long before we met. So in reality, we've both been waiting for this child for a good 6 to 8 years... even if we've only been together for 3 years. That really struck a cord for me.... the realisation that this has been weighing on us for a very long time. He also pointed out that we need to accept that we might never have children and have to start living our lives as a couple without kids. Of course, we aren’t there yet and still have a lot of routes we want to try, but we do need stop putting all our focus on one day having a child and start living for today. I mean, we need an identity outside of “potential parents”. We can’t put all our self-worth into being parents because that’s an awful lot to ask of a child.

That brought us to the decision to sell our house. We have been putting it off for a year now because we might get pregnant, we might have to do another round of IVF, we might have to adopt and all this time we’ve been putting our life on hold. So after 6 weeks of grueling work on the house, it is now on the market! YAY! We have found some potential homes and hope to put an offer soon. I’m exited to start the next phase of our lives. :-)

As for doing another round of IVF, we’re still on the fence with that. I want to do another round because I feel I will always regret not doing one more if we don’t. I also feel that between his dazed and confused sperm and my old lady ovaries, it would be best to do it sooner, rather than later. I also feel incredibly strongly that I’m meant to be pregnant. Maybe it’s just wishful thinking, but I can’t help believing that we are meant to have children. I guess the thought of never carrying a child is something I need to grieve and I’m just not there yet. I just feel so strongly that I’m meant to do another cycle…. Let’s just hope I’m not just in denial about our situation. :-(

For now, we will see what happens with the house and then decide what our next steps will be. Cross your fingers for a quick and lucrative sell!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Someone get me a drink STAT!

It's official - we aren't pregnant. :-(

Time to regroup and figure out our next step. We have a follow-up appointment on May 25 to see what they think went wrong and to figure out if another cycle would be worth doing. I hate having to wait 2 months to find out what went wrong. :-(

We aren't done yet. We WILL have children...  we just have to go through some more hoops to get there. It just feels like way more hoops then anyone should have to go through.

In the meatime, we are proceeding with the adoption process. We were already on the public adoption wiating list for a newborn (a 9 year wait list), but are now completing the paper work for a public adoption of an older child or a sibling group. We've also started to work on international adoption. We might still do a second cycle, but since the first was such a craptastic failure we aren't sure it's worth trying again.

Thanks for all your support. I'm actually doing really well. I've known (in my heart) for over a week that it didn't take. I could just feel it. I haven't even cried today... I'm just so ready to move on.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Moving On

We still have 6 days until we find out whether I’m pregnant or not, but we’re both feeling very strongly that it didn’t work. It’s not that we are pessimists, but we know the reality of transferring grade 3, 5-cell embryos and the odds of it succeeding aren’t very good. I think we both started grieving when we found out the other 2 embryos didn’t make it. Reality set in and we stopped believing in miracles. People around us are all “don’t stop believing”, “Stay positive, it’ll work”, “It’s not over until it’ over”… but I don’t think we have it in us to start believing again. Having hope means setting ourselves up for a crushing disappointment. I just know I can’t bring myself up again just to fall back down.

In the meantime, we’ve been looking forward to all the things we’ll be able to do when we find out I’m not pregnant: drink alcohol, diet coke and coffee, have sex and smoke cigarettes! Sure, we don’t really smoke anymore, but at least we could if we wanted too! Of course, Mr Perfect can do all those things right now, but he can’t really enjoy it with me glaring at him. Hah!

So now we’re looking at our options. Do we drop another dime on a cycle or do we bow out and move on to adoption?  Of course, it all depends on what the clinic tells us. Why it didn’t work, what they think are our odds of having a second cycle work. That being said, it will still remain a big maybe. Dishing out more money on a “maybe” sounds depressing. That’s why we are seriously exploring adoption. We are already on the waiting list for an infant, but the wait is 8 to 9 years. So now we are moving on to international adoption and adopting an older child or a sibling group in our province. It’s a little overwhelming of course… we’ve been told over and over again how “damaged” these kids are. :-( But maybe that’s what we’re meant to do? Maybe we are supposed to adopt a child in need? When I found out I was being transferred from paediatrics to oncology (and was being all pouty about it), one of my friends said: “maybe it’s not about you or what you want Changa… maybe you are going to oncology because there are families who can truly use the care and guidance of a wonderful nurse.” This really struck a chord with me.  So maybe we can’t have kids on our own because our child is out there waiting… maybe this child has been waiting for us as long as we have been waiting for her/him?