I know I’m not the only one with a screwy family. Many are way worse than mine, but still, it can be difficult. Which is why “family of choice” becomes so important.
I’ve mentioned one of my oldest friends (we met the first day of high school, in homeroom) who, after having her son in October, when the NICU nurse asked who I was, said I was her sister. And meant it.
Angrycanrn and I are building an extended family type of relationship for our children. Her faith in my parenting abilities means the world to me. Boy, does she want to see me knocked up! She truly feels like a long lost sister. If she needed me, I would drop everything and fly up to be there for her and her children.
One of the things I’m finding painful about the failure of this cycle is the irrational feeling that I’ve let her down. I know that’s crazy. I just wound up on the wrong side of the odds this time. I kind of felt the same way after my cycle with my own eggs and Donor Daddy’s sperm. Calling him to tell him I wasn’t pregnant was so hard. He’s family, too.
A few weeks ago I was on the phone with my friend Tessa. (Not her real name, but a short version of her user name from the IVF message boards where we met.) Tessa is an American married to a Dutch man and living in the Netherlands. Let’s just say the way the Dutch handle IVF is negligent. They barely did any testing or monitoring. They basically just said, “This is the dose we give women your age.” I think she was nearly 40 when she started her cycle. She wound up with severe OHSS. She really should have been hospitalized, but given the treatment she’d already received, maybe it’s better she wasn’t. She got much better medical advice from the women on the message boards than from her doctors. Her baby girl is truly a miracle.
But I’m rambling, back to the topic at hand. Tessa first became pregnant as an unmarried 19 year old. Her family disowned her and completely rejected the daughter she had then. She was a young, frightened girl, with a complicated pregnancy, and then a preemie with lots of issues. But she managed. Her family NEVER rose to the occasion. She met her husband when in her late 30s and moved (along with her grown daughter) to Europe to be with him. We met in person when I was there on vacation last Spring. We felt an immediate kinship. Back to the phone call of a few weeks ago. Tessa asked me if I would consider being their daughter’s guardian if anything were to happen to both her and her husband. (Her husband’s family members are too old to take on a child.) Again, what incredible faith in my (unproven) mothering abilities. They are both healthy, and I don’t anticipate needing to take her, but of course I would. I love little Claire. I would raise her as if she were my own. All the while telling her stories of her kooky, big hearted mom.
I feel at a loss for what to say to wrap this up, but I’ll try. As hard as the failure of this cycle is, I am still so lucky. My heart is full with all this love. I’m a single woman with a rockin’ family of choice! Not to mention a whole bunch of internet friends who have been there for me every step of the way. Hang on everyone. The ride’s not over!
4 days ago