Monday, January 29, 2007


Sorry it's been so long since the last post. There's really not been much to tell you. Plan A has not materialized although the willingness to help was there. So we've got to move on to plans B and C. It's been a busy week and V. hasn't had the chance to move forward on Plan B. I was really hoping I'd have something positive to fill you all in on by now, but alas, that is not to be.....yet. If all goes well, V. may be able to make the pitch later this week. I'm trying very hard to not to nag at him about this, as it's not an easy thing to do, to ask someone to help financially. I know that he wants this as much as I do, and that he's not going to drag his feet unnecessarily.

On a separate note, I'm going to be away for 12 days with my mom in sunny Florida at a spa at the beginning of March. I'm looking forward to it for a couple of reasons. First, it's Florida in March and it's been so freakin' cold here this month, that a little warmth would be really nice. Second, this place is vegan so I should be able to shed the few pounds I put on at Christmas. And third, I haven't really had an opportunity to spend time alone with my mother in a long time. We have a pretty good relationship I think, but it can always use some quality time together. Of course when she mentioned wanting to go everything went through my head - do I say yes and assume we wouldn't have been able to start the process for the IVF by then? Do I say no on the off chance that we will have been able to secure the money and start the process this month? After all, that would mean we'd be about to retrieve and then transfer during that time. Or do I say yes, and hope that we're cycling and those 12 days fall right in the middle and don't impact anything. I basically thought reasonably positively and went with option C. I'm hoping that we're able to start with D.'s (and my) February cycles so that for the first four weeks we're on birth control pills to regular our cycles and the injections don't start until I get back (or at least while I'm away). That way retrieval/transfer will be late March early April. I hope that's how it all goes down anyway. :)

So, that's it for now. Look for an update later in the week (I hope).

Monday, January 22, 2007

You'll never believe what he did

For some of you loyal readers this won't seem like such a big deal. But to others who know V. personally this is HUGE!!!

This weekend, without my knowledge, V. put into action "Operation: At Any Cost". I was asked by some if I knew what this was. I thought it could be a few things but not what it turned out to be. I thought that he was going through with selling his beloved truck. Everyone knows how much he loves that truck and for him to part with it would truly be a sacrifice. However, that wasn't it. (LB, better sit down if you're reading this.) He made arrangements to meet his cousin R. He explains what we're doing and that we're aware of the medical risks and such (she's a nurse. I guess he also explained our financial situation and then he asked her for some help in securing financing. Just last week I found a company that finances medical procedures not covered under health plans (mostly plastic surgery) and they include fertility treatments AND my clinic was one of their listed doctors.

Some of you may not think this is a big deal asking family for help. Normally we'd agree with you, but that depends on who you are asking. In this case, this is a big deal.

So, she says yes and he says he'd email her the link to the finance company and the clinic we're using and apply online. That way we'd know right away. Well, they did that this morning and unfortunately, it's a no go. She's not going to be able to help us out which is a real bummer. So now, we move on to the next thing. Stay tuned...

I need to clarify something

I think I need to clarify something. It seems that at some point during the last week I said some thing to V. that made him think that I thought he didn't want this as much as I did. I did not say that. What I did say was that to me if felt like he didn't want it as much because he wasn't displaying it the same way that women do. Now I know he's not a woman, and thank god for that. V. is a man of few words, but when he speaks, it pays to listen. He is my rock. He keeps me grounded. He makes sure that I stay in reality with everything we're going through. And YES he wants this as much as I do. If he didn't he wouldn't have done what he did (more on that in a separate post) this weekend. Every day I thank god that I found him and we've been able to make a life for ourselves. I love him more now, than the day I married him. I can't imagine doing this with anyone else. So, I will say it here where everyone can see...

V. if you were hurt by my comment, I apologize. I would never do anything to intentionally hurt you in any way. I love you, I trust you, and I want us to be able to have a child(ren) together.

Friday, January 19, 2007

A little clarity from an XY point of view.

I am not sure how many men read this blog, but if you happen to pop by, or your wife successfully prods you to read this, I ask that you weigh in with your comments. Understand that this is not to be viewed as a public argument or anything. It is being posted simply because our other points of view are posted here as well so it provides balance. Nothing here is a mystery or new to my dear wife as I have told her these things before. She just has a short memory. :)

OK, I was speaking to a friend of ours who not too long ago had her own trials with getting pregnant. She helps me, from time to time, understand the blinders that a woman develops when she is going through this process. She explains the overwhelming focus that develops and how the goal overrides all other senses and normal thought. Alright then, I get that and I understand that. Let me digress for a second.

When Pam and I started out together, we happened to go to Yorkdale mall in Toronto to get her something from a clothing store. In we walked, as I am not ashamed to hold my wife's purse and mind my own business while she shops. However, she looks at different items and asks me my opinion. I tell her what I think looks good on her to me and flatters her to me. Predictably, she then grabs the items that I specifically said that I did not like and goes and tries them on. After the second or third time, I found a chair up front and went and sat down. When she came yet again to ask me what I thought, I refused to give my opinion. I stated that she was wasting my time by asking me what I thought looked good on her and then abruptly choosing the other item. She did not need me for that process so I took myself out of it. To this day, I am very cautious when she asks and she knows not to ask me if she really does not want it.

Fast forward to present times and we have a similar scenario. We talked about having a baby; I agreed that we should go ahead and try. Things were not happening for us so I agreed to go ahead and find out why (i.e. testing). When we found out that her age may be hindering us and we need to try boosting our chances, I agreed to supporting her through the many invasive things she had to do and to my tossing off to good books and video for my part. When the next obvious step was for IVF, I supported her decision to look at the clinic in Montreal and we drove out there, went through all the hoops, did the genetic testing and anything else required of us. When she decided to go through with the surgery for the fibroids, I took the time from work to ensure I spoke directly to the doctor who knew how worried I was. I made sure that everything went right. I did my duty and left the nani alone for the prescribed amount of time to allow for proper healing. I asked that we try again to both a) try for complete family genetic material and b) obviously, reduce our costs. Now, the reality seems to be, that no matter or desire and amount of trying, it simply will not happen the old fashioned way for us. So, as originally discussed and planned out, we work towards obtaining the funds to move forward with the IVF.

Plain and simple and blunt truth is that we are pretty much broke. We made some stupid decisions earlier and we are paying for them, literally, now. We cannot go back in time so it is pointless to dwell on that. We have to seek out other options. Sorry but to be blunt again, Pam has been dreaming in technicolour concerning the sources SHE thought she may be able to get help from. I told her from day one that it was not going to happen and, as usual but unfortunately this time, I was right.

The thing that is crunching my nachos though is that I told her that whatever it takes, I will make this happen. This included selling my beloved Roo. For those not familiar with my blog, the Roo is my Chevrolet Trailblazer EXT truck. I love this truck; L-O-V-E it! I love my wife more so if it came down to it, the truck is gone. Simple. No problem. I am still not going to tell her what I am doing yet but my little brother and her will know just how deep my love goes when they find out because prior to this, you could have cut important appendages off of me before I would do this. They can explain later to you all when it is revealed this weekend.

So, when Pam writes in her post that she should not say what she was saying, that is a BIG understatement because it is not fair to me and it is downright incorrect. I can be very demonstrative (I cried when she gave me my Doug Gilmour Maple Leafs authentic hockey jersey), but I can also be VERY reserved. I am very reserved on this because I have to be everything. I am a participant in the whole process because I want to be the father of this child of ours. I am the financier because I have to develop a new method to get the funds we need. I am the therapist because it is my shoulders she has to lean on when she is feeling down. I am the rock, the foundation because when all this gets her down, I have to be the one to ensure that everything else NOT within the field of view of the blinders gets seen, gets looked after, gets taken care of and gets done. I am father, lover, husband, realist, doctor, lawyer, banker, and candlestick maker. Pam is still chief cook and bottle washer but that is besides the point.

The point is that I am involved. I am a part of this. I am excited. I am worried. I have expectations. I have disappointments, I have goals and I have bad days. It is not just one person going though this. In our case it is three direct participants (because our daughter gets affected by the mood swings and the fights and the crabbiness by both of us) and many indirect ones in terms of all of you and our family and friends. That said though, the husband/spouse/partner should never be overlooked in this matter. Janet Jackson puts on an amazing concert, but she does not handle the sound, the lighting, the costumes, the makeup, the setup or the take-down of the set. She goes through her routine, grueling and taxing as it is and her focus is getting through each performance.

You women are going through a grueling, taxing, emotional and physical rollercoaster and we cannot take that ride for you. However, understand, remember and appreciate the supporting cast behind you, in the wings, in the shadows and yes the very quiet ones, that enable you to stay focussed on your task, that do for you what you cannot, that are there unconditionally and without falter. We are the unsung ones and though we do not necessarily care for the limelight, we simply ask to show up in the credits once in a while.


Thursday, January 18, 2007

Stuck on an island, and no it's not Exile Island

Do you ever feel you're alone on an island with no way to get off? Boats pass by and people wave, so you know there's life off the island, but you haven't found a way to get off that island? Well, that's how I've been feeling lately. V. and I have done everything we've been asked/required to do over the last 2, almost 3 years, as we try to have a baby. We've both had the endless blood tests or semen analyses, I've been poke and prodded by various medical professionals, I've subjected myself to endless encounters with the cooter cam/dildo cam/love wand (call it what you will, but it's still someone sticking a camera up you're hoohaa), I've gone through several cycles where I've had to give myself daily injections, I've had surgery to remove fibroids, and we've had the imposed waiting period following surgery. V. too has had his own trials, maybe not as invasive, but still trials. It can't be easy for the guy to have to produce a sample on command. I know that the doctors provide a room for the men to do their business, but is the ambience really conducive to that? I won't go into any details here as I think V. has described it at some point previously. Regardless, we've both lined up and volunteered for whatever has been required of us, and look where it's gotten us. Stuck on the *&^(&^% island because we haven't got the funds to buy a ticket to get on any of those fancy boats that are passing by.

We haven't been entirely alone during our island stay. We've got friends and family who've come by and visited, albeit from their own boats (after all they wouldn't want to get stuck out there too). And we appreciate all of the love and support they've given us. But right now, it sucks. I'm totally discouraged that we aren't going to find the way out of this. I'm not ready to give up yet when we haven't had the chance to even try. It's like someone is holding the prize just out of reach and I don't know what task I'm supposed to complete this time.

Ever feel that fate has it in for you? No matter what you do, there'll be another roadblock to get past before you reach your goal? In this case, our goal isn't a live baby, it's just the opportunity to actually go through with the IVF in the hopes of eventually getting that ultimate gift. What do they say? "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger". Well, for anyone who's listening, I'm ^%%#^%$ strong. Let's get on with this finally.

So, V. wrote his post below, I think because of a conversation we had and how I've been feeling and such. I don't know what it is that he's referring to where he's going to have to (figuratively) bend over and grab his ankles, and I know that if I ask him he won't say. I do understand that it's something difficult and very big for him to do. So, I trust him. At times I've felt I've been alone on that island because V. doesn't focus on this quite the way that I do, or women in general I think. It's not fair to him that I say that, but it's how I've sometimes felt. I've always got this whole IF thing in the back of my mind and when I'm idle at work, it just finds it's way to the front. It reminds me that I'm 46 and my donor is 37. We've got a small window of opportunity as she likely won't be considered a donor when she turns 38. So I'm extremely worried that we're going to run out of time and then what? We'd have to start again, maybe look to a clinic overseas which means more money.

However, V.'s post has made it very clear that he's just as committed to this as I am. So he will move forward with whatever his plan is, and I am looking into other options in the hopes that something will happen for us. I just hope we can get started in February. I hate this uncertainty and waiting and wondering.

So, if you find yourself passing by the island, say hello. We do wave back. :)

The other side of the coin.

Based on recent conversations and events, I thought I would open up a discussion that is not necessarily wanted or pleasant but required and truthful. Basically, two questions come up when one has been trying as we have, "What do we do now (when the current path hits an impasse)?" and "What do we do if/when things do not go as planned?" By no means should you take this as Pam and I giving up or no longer fighting for the family we want. I just tend to be the realist in the family and I try to be upfront and deal with things in a very frank manner. Not everyone responds well to this approach and, well, TS.

This whole process is not an easy one and not for the faint of heart or with a lack of will. One is essentially telling mother nature/God/deity of choice "screw you, we are doing this anyhow". So, the going will not being easy when you have told the celestial forces to perform an anatomical impossibility. It's even more rough when you are going it alone without support. Thankfully, we are blessed in that regard because so many people want this as much for us as we want it ourselves. My mother and father have called with various "remedies" and helping items that is supposed to elevate fertility (nothing has worked yet, obviously). My brother wants a playmate for his little lad. My sister loves the thought of being an auntie again. We have friends jockeying for position to be his or her Godparents (a pseudo-role since our child will be raised Jewish). We have a friend who upon hearing of the start of our quest, stepped up and volunteered to provide the second component of life; a mental, spiritual and physical donation and sacrifice that goes beyond words. We also have lots of cousins with children of their own that really want this for Pam as much as anything. All that support is a real bolster.

So, with all of that behind us, it does get hard when obstacles arise and things appear stagnant and it just seems like the negative celestial forces are winning the battle. This is the test of our mettle and our resolve. We may be weak and despondent from the struggle but we will persevere to the very end. I really believe in miracles and I do believe that some come through hard work. So, I am sounding my battle cry for renewed strength and resolve in our quest. Personally, I will have to exhaust some areas I had hoped not to have to visit but in our quest, I will have to grease up, grab my ankles and take one for the team, so to speak.

I'll let you know how Operation: At Any Cost enfolds once it is enacted. Stay tuned dear readers. This is about to get interesting. :)


Monday, January 15, 2007

A few items...

In case some of you wonder, the reason I do not blog more here is due to several reasons. First, I do not have much to say on the subject. Anyone that knows me well knows that I tend to operate from the shadows, silent but deadly like a Splinter Cell agent. I do a lot of instigating and then I sit back and enjoy the show. However, that is for a different forum and a different blog. It took a lot for my wife to get up the courage to write about this very personal topic so I respect her space and leave her to it. I am here for support, the odd correction and humour when I can add it (though you already know, I am more than a little off center in that last regard).

So, today I am posting for a couple of reasons. I was reading some of my wife's previous posts in order to catch up (as I bug her to read mine all the time). What caught my eye this time was the post concerning the multiple births in British Columbia, Canada's first sextuplets. The part that I am concerned about was with reference to "selective reduction" as the medical term is used for what this Christian knows as abortion. I am not here to get on a moral or religious pulpit; I just cannot stand fancy terms being made up simply to conceal the true nature of something or to make something unpleasantly more palpable to those dealing with it. It is what it is and that is selective choosing which of our potential children lives and which dies. Now, being Roman Catholic one would think this is black and white for me, but it is not. If there is a chance that all children will have issues or we could lose more or even the mother, than it is without question that I would sanction the action. If, however, the doctor believes that we could bring them all to full term, then that is the ONLY choice we will have in my view. If we do not want the large number, then we do not transfer more than we are willing to handle; plain and simple. I am quite a balanced fellow at times so forgive my wife for forgetting that I do have some very high standards and rigid views on certain subjects.

The other reason I am posting is to welcome my extended family to the viewing of our blog. Saying the word "extended" seems funny to me because I do not view Pam's side as anything less than "family" because that is how they have treated me. Just know and understand that while you may not agree with certain things we have decided or will decide, and we do expect you to feel free to voice your concerns and objections, we do expect in the end that you will respect and support our decisions. As much as family is important to me, I can say it may even be more so for Pam. As independent as she is, she really wants to know that you are happy for her and there for her and that she can speak to you when I am the last person she thinks she can speak to. My advice going forward on this blog is that you read, absorb, participate but never assume. As I have told many a person, ask us a direct question and we will answer you with a direct answer. If you appear to be fishing for something else, then you will catch something else. In essence, don't be shy (as if you all could be) and don't be shocked. There is nothing going on in here but the pursuit of new life. Now how bad can that be? :)

Again, welcome and enjoy your stay. And do drop a comment in from time to time.


Sunday, January 14, 2007

Welcome Mum!

Well, I've done it. I've given the link to my blog to my family, that is, my mother, both my brothers and my sister in law. I've been thinking about it for months, not sure what they'll think, afraid they'll not like it or understand. I'm hoping they will read this journal and that they'll get a better understanding of who I am, or maybe who I've become over the last year because I know I'm not the same person I was before we started this journey. I think V. has changed a bit as well because of what we've been through, although he may not admit it.

So family, pull up a chair, stay a while. Make yourselves at home. Would you like a beverage?

Everyone else, say hello to my family.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Dear Want Ad...

Okay - I saw this today on a free advertising website, one that V. and I use all the time. It's basically a Canada-wide buy and sell type site. Has items for sale, job listings and such. I was browsing the job listings and found this. My guess is that she really wants a live in babysitter, someone to care for her baby. Wouldn't you agree?

Surrogate Mother

Need someone to carry our baby.
Should be in good health.
Non-smoker and non-drinker.
Can provide a place to live with us and food.
Amount of Money to be discussed.
A Single Mother with a child is the best.

Contact xxxxxxxxxx at xxx-xxx-xxxx

Thank You very much God Bless You

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

National Delurking Week

Apparently it's National Delurking Week. Who decides this? Where is it posted? I found this out because one of the blogs I read said it was. So I googled it. And it seems all kinds of people know that it is, but there's nothing anywhere to tell us novice bloggers this.

So, in honour of National Delurking week, for those of you who just come back to check up on us quietly, or if this is your first visit, please post a comment and say hello. Sign the guest map to the right as well, and make your mark. :)


Monday, January 08, 2007

Woman gives birth to sextuplets in Vancouver: reports - Yahoo! Canada News

So it seems that Canada has a first. These are the first sextuplets to ever be born in Canada. The last report I heard said that they were all just over 2 pounds and they were all looking pretty good, but tiny. (duh!). Let's hope that they can all hang on.

It's likely they were conceived using fertility drugs as it's apparently 4.3 billion to 1 to conceive sextuplets naturally. And sadly, the odds for all six surviving are even greater than that. Case in point, this family in 1973. I would like to hope that 24 years later that physicians are able to determine when someone is carrying more than 2 babies BEFORE she is about to have them. But I also have to say that in this day and age, why would any RE put a woman in a position where it was possible that she could have more than 2 or 3 embryos fertilize?

So what would you do if put in that same position? We're all trying desperately to have baby (or two) but what would you if you found out you were carrying seven or 6 or even 3? I know a lot of it comes down to the woman's health and such, but if it were me, I think any more than three and I think V. and I would be looking at selective reduction, as difficult as that choice may be. I think in my mind I've already decided that if, after we finally are able to go through the IVF, and my RE had transferred three embryos (she's said she'd do that given my age and my donor's), if all three embryos implanted I would not choose selective reduction at three.

Things that make you go hmmmm.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Happy 2007!!

I hope that everyone has had a good holiday. For V. and I it's been really really busy, and somewhat exhausting. I can't say that my vacation was very restful, but it was definitely enjoyable. We may have done a lot of entertaining, but being able to visit with his cousin who was in from Trinidad and my BIL and family from Ottawa was great. My expanding waistline indicates that the food was pretty good too. :) However, it's back on the wagon to get those pounds off again. Financially though it's been a pretty expensive December for us. With our move from hell at the beginning of the month, and then Christmas, we are running very lean right now. I know it will get better, but man I hate this right now.

I have to say I may have told a fib in my last post. I mentioned how nothing came from the last cycle and we've moved onto the next, herding cows with abandon. However, I mentioned that I didn't feel affected by the negatives each month because I don't expect this to work for us naturally. Sitting with V. the other day, having a quiet moment for ourselves, I found myself feeling melancholy and sad that another year had gone by and we were no closer to our goal. There I am with tears running down my face and V. not sure why. All I could tell him was that I didn't see how we were going to be able to do the IVF and I wasn't ready to give up on this yet. Yet I can't keep on as we are knowing that it's such a long shot that this may work. Some may disagree about us not being closer to our goal and say that we are closer I don't have the fibroids to deal with anymore. But all I see is a large mountain in front of us because I can't see where we're going to be able to find the money we need to move forward. D. is still willing and waiting for us to say go ahead. I just need to find that proverbial money tree or at least a willing lender . :)

Anyway, I hope everyone's Christmas and New Year was good. And I wish you all a happy, healthy, and (re)productive New Year!