Thursday, May 21, 2009

What would you do in our situation? I really do want to know. These are all potential options, although we have more or less ruled some of them out.

Option 1: Just keep trying to have a child naturally and hope and pray everything turns out okay.

Option 2: Try naturally, go through prenatal testing at 9 weeks and do a D&E if there is a problem.

Option 3: Start the adoption process ASAP. This will cost between $7000 and $20000.

Option 4: Do IVF with PGD--this costs about $15000 to $18000. Our chances for getting a normal embryo are about 78% and if we are so lucky our chances of having it implant resulting in pregnancy will be about 80%.

Option 5: Look into other options, namely using donor sperm. This will cost about $500 and will not require IVF. Whole other can of emotional worms with this one.

Option 6: Thank God we have one healthy happy baby and one wonderful daughter in heaven and leave it at that.

I hate to bring money into this. I really do, it seems so inappropriate and shallow, but it's a fact of life unfortunately. At the same time, I keep thinking of the money spent on a new car, or a down payment on a house or graduate school, and getting our family here seems so much more important than any of those, so shouldn't money be no object?

We are currently debating whether to run IVF test number 2, the $2000 one. If Zar is going to want to do IVF regardless of the results of that one, I don't see why we should bother doing the test. I've put that question to the doctor and am waiting to hear back.

Today is the 3 month anniversary since losing Charlotte. I went to the gym early today and gave a thank you card with a picture of Charlotte to the Gym Kid's Club lady who cried yesterday when I had to tell her Charlotte was not at preschool. I cannot believe I haven't been to the gym since then. To be fair they wouldn't let Ella stay in the kid's club until she was 6 months old, so what could I do?
I am doing well today. I've gotten some exercise, I ate a salad last night with lettuce from my own darling little garden, I'm going later today to pick out a font for Charlotte's headstone, and it's a beautiful day. I'm in family planning limbo, but that's okay. We'll figure it out.
Still, opinions please.


katherine said...

wow . . . i have no idea what to tell you . . . i would maybe just go for it, try naturally, the Lord's hands are in your life and whatever happens, He knows to be the best. but i do know for sure that i will keep you in my prayers so you will know what is right for you and what the Lord wants for you too! hang in there, things will work out for another little bundle one way or another!! take care.

Anonymous said...

If I were you, and had the chance of IVF potentially working, I would do that first. So many of us can't even try IVF because it wouldn't be able to help our situation. What a blessing that would be. However, you have already been blessed with two biological (and beautiful) daughters that lived; one that is healthy and thriving. So I also feel that if you and your husband choose to adopt (especially since you can possibly go the less $$ rout because of your religion), you would be thrilled with another addition to your family that way. I don't feel that trying the natural way for another baby is the best idea. You know the risks better than anyone. I am sorry you have to make these difficult decisions. Thinking of you...

Lincoln said...

I think everyone has opinions on what other people should do in life. The important thing, for me at least, is to remember the word "opinion." It's what someone else thinks. It's not what you think. Never mistake it for advice. Advice is completely different. In a situation like this, I'm sure advice (especially from medical professionals and religious leaders) is critically important. But I'd be skeptical of advice from others. So I'll give you my opinion...because you asked. But only you and Zar can decide the best course of action.

You have two beautiful daughters. One is watching over you. You're watching the other. If you're content with what you have...leave it at that. If you'd like more children...adoption seems an appealing option to me. Not only can you add to your family...but you're giving a remarkable gift to another child who already needs the help.

Good luck.

Kelly said...

The decision is a tough one to make. I haven't been reading long so I don't know if you get pregnant easily or not. That would be one factor to consider on the trying naturally route. I have the BT and was never given a greater than 35% chance of success with IVF (per cycle). If I had ever been given a 70-80% chance we probably would have tried it with PGD. Good luck with whatever you decide. I'm sure it will be the right decision for your family!

Our Family said...

Wow Erin! You have so many choices to make!! My option would be to fast and pray about what you are felling deep down in side!! But I think that it might be hard to trust Heavenlt Father that he would give you a "normal" child but he has done it before and if it is his plan he will bless you again. I UNDERSTAND this takes a LOT of faith. I also think that if I were in your shoes I would think a lot about adoption. Good Luck I think that you are amazing in how you are handling all this! Shirlene

Jessica said...

So sorry you are going through this. We are in the same boat, as you know. There is not an easy answer. Since I don't know what we will do, I'm in no position to offer advice/opinion. I am thinking of you and praying for you and your family, though. I'm so lucky to have found your story. I don't feel quite so alone in this journey.

Michelle said...


I agree with Lincoln about opinions vs. advice, so know that this is ONLY my opinion :)

I don't agree with those who say if you fast, pray and have faith, God will BLESS you with a healthy child. Isn't a child from God, healthy or not, a miracle and blessing in and of itself? The line between God and science is thin, and always difficult to understand; and, the fact of the matter is that science doesn't seem to be in your chromosomal favor when it comes to baby makin'. However, that doesn't mean you haven't been blessed with two beautiful daughters, each a miracle, each special in their own way. I think God has certainly blessed your family :)

But to answer your question, if I found myself in your situation, I'd probably try IVF seeming that science and statistics appear to be in your favor. Although it is more expensive, I would probably still choose this option.

I also agree with Lincoln however, that adoption can also be wonderful for both your family and the child you adopt. So many babies need good, healthy homes (and a big sister like Ella). And from a financial standpoint, if you're looking at buying a new home, vehicle, whatever it may be, adoption seems like a financially friendly option :)

These are just my opinions and I know you and Zar will arrive at the best decision for your family. Good luck with the decision making process!

Anonymous said...

Dearest Erin:
It seems as if you are doing all the right things to assuage your grief. Please know that it just does take time. Yesterday I was weeding my garden and heard a helicopter hovering overhead, then landing at Lakeview Hospital, just where it did some 25+ years ago to pick up Derek after his head injury. Had to have a moment of silent tears.

When I first started work at Primary, I had to go over to University Hospital. The moment I stepped into the hospital 10+ years after D's 2-month stay there, the same butterflies entered the pit of my stomach that I got every day I was there. It took many, many trips to U of U Hospital before they stopped.

I can highly recommend the grief counseling group at Cottonwood Hospital for anyone who has lost anyone. It is free of charge, led by very capable facilitators, is a small group, and very, very helpful, BUT, you have been doing many of the "grief work" they recommend.

You are always in my thoughts and prayers.

Love, Carolyn H.

Shannon said...

Wow Erin- those are all really tough options. I also agree with Lincoln about the whole opinion/advice thing... and frankly- I can only really go off of my own experiences too. I would go the adoption route. I know that you desperately want more children- and from a financial standpoint...and frankly a statistic standpoint as well- it just seems like a good option. While 80% is great with IVF...adoption would be 100%. That being said- I have never given birth- I don't know the bonds that a mother would feel actually carrying a child throughout pregnancy- or the experiences and joys of watching a child who is a perfect blend of myself and the love of my life as they grow and change. But- I will say this... as you know- I couldn't love my children more even if I gave birth to them- and I know that they were meant to be mine from the beginning. I don't feel like I am missing anything by not carrying them myself. I have seen you with people that you know and love- and also seen you with perfect strangers, you have an incredible ability to love. I know that if you adopted- you would feel the same way that I do. Either way- we are here for you and would support whatever decision you make. And we will love whatever child comes into your family- just like we love Ella and Boo.

Anonymous said...

My dear Erin,
This may come as a shock but I am in favor of option #2. Lincoln is 100% correct in his statement about advice and opinions. And you bravely opened yourself up to "opinions" so you are getting them. You are very good at getting pregnant and it doesn't seem to be a lengthy process for you.
Because of your chromosomal disadvantage, I feel it would be important to test by ten weeks and do the D&C. It's nobody's business but PLEASE know that if that were your choice NObody is going to criticise your choice. If you needed emotional help with that or a support group or psychiatrist, or ANYthing--well, almost anything, you must pamper yourself and do it. This is such a deeply personal decision that if it is something you absolutely cannot do then please delete this message. Just please know you have "permission" and every right to go ahead and "plan" your healthy family and have a procedure in place to do that. You have much support in anything you choose but you and Zar make really cute babies and it's fun to have your own when you can. We love you.

Anonymous said...

This is not anonymous this is Mac, I just don't have a blogger ID, this is the first time I have ever responded to a blog post.

Just another opinion as many have said.

Obviously if you absolutely wanted another biological child then I would suggest go for it in which ever way you decide. We are there for you.

That being said, I am absolutely and hopelessly biased to adoption. I was not necessarily always that way, in the beginning I wanted to have children the "natural way" or biologically and see bits and peaces of Shannon and I in them. But Nature had a different plan for us and I had to learn this through my own process. I am a million times a million times and forever will be glad that our decision was adoption. I think that everyone who can adopt would benefit from it in ways that they can't understand even if they can have biological kids. I call it the miracle of adoption because it is a miracle that someone who is expecting a baby would be willing to give it to a stranger and have this act be able to help two rough situations. It is a part of the Atonement and Plan of Salvation that I had not seen or understood before I went through it, this process with all the emotion with it can help and heal the heart ache and painful situations on both sides of the adoption. Even if it is very emotional for both sides.

In addition the fact that even though there are a lot of people out there who want to adopt there are still some babies that go from whomb to foster care. When Kennedy was being born, they called us and told us that this baby needed a home and wondered if we wanted it, if not it may go into the foster system. We were like Wahoo! But to know that some do go that way (most don't but some do) and how us and them would benefit from this adoption miracle.

And by the way, I do see peaces of myself and Shannon in Kennedy everyday, and I will in Elijah.

We are here for you with whatever you decide.

We have Angel Wings said...

My Dearest Erin,

I write this with tears streaming down my face, because I can relate to your situation. I can relate to the money, the heartache, the sadness, and everything else that you're faced with.

I'm writing from my heart, but as Lincoln said - these are OUR opinions.

I personally would do the donor sperm route if you and Zar are comfortable with it.

Here's my reasoning: With DS (donor sperm) you really have nothing to worry about. They have been drug through the mud to insure that there is nothing wrong with them and they are the best of the best. The money isn't "that" bad and you don't run the risk of spending thousands upon thousands of dollars only to be told that none of your embies are normal.

I'm struggling with this on my own journey and this is just my opinion. Being a parent is far more than the genes that we come from (as you know) and I wish that our Donor wouldn't have backed out on us, and I'm so afraid that we're going to get to CCRM only to be told that all of my embies are unbalanced and they will die. I hate that fear and money play a huge part in our decisions, but I guess that's the reality of it.

No matter what you decide we're here for you, loving you, caring for you and cheering you on. These are tough decisions, but I know in my heart that you'll make the right one for you and your family.

All my love,


kkabb100 said...

Erin, I have no opinion on what you and Zar should do. But I do know that living in a state of Thankfulness is good for the soul, for relationships and for decision making. Perhaps waiting, griev ing, gathering what Charlotte has left behind for you and tucking it all back inside yourselves and being thankful for all she and Ella have added to your the what should be done. And I think a good decision is then likely to come. I know, too, that the best of things often come from unlikely places, and when we aren't on the search. I am confident that one day, when your heart and mind are quieter, your answer will come. Just wait...