Saturday, July 10, 2010

Change in the air


So I think it might be getting time to wind down the blog.

I'm not an infertile woman pursuing fertility treatment anymore. I don't hear from people as often as I used to and I understand--it's not the same journey anymore. I miss people though, and then I obsess that I've said the wrong thing or not been supportive enough and really I need to realize that the story is different now. Maybe not as compelling. Maybe I don't speak in a language that others want to hear.

That's ok.

This place has been such a great source of strength but I just wonder sometimes if I need a break. So I'll be thinking hard about what I want to do next--keep blogging about the adoption or just fade off into the sunset. I'm not LastChanceIVF anymore after all.

Although I will always be her in part.

At any rate, before I decide I had to write this next post.

Claudia--a successful Ethiopian adopter of the most gorgeous twins by the way--left the following comment on my last post regarding why it is probably a good idea to avoid s-e-x near times of ovulation: Adoption can seem so much like 'failure' to the IF world - and this makes your baby the success baby, not the failure baby. It makes that baby the focus of what you're looking forward to, rather than the 'plan B' baby!
It's an interesting concept, I'll admit. Because the mister and I always said we'd 'have one adopt one' long before realizing we were infertile so I never thought of adoption as a second choice. Of course, back then I also thought babies and pregnancy were easy to come by and life would go according to the way I planned. I really had very little knowledge of international adoption--I have two cousins who were adopted from China and while I watched my aunt struggle through that process I really had no idea of the struggle.

At any rate, when you're immersed fully and wholeheartedly in ART and some clueless outsider mentions adoption well, you tend to cringe. You do feel like it is a second choice. And at that point, I guess that's true. If it weren't you'd already be pursuing adoption versus ART, right? So on the basis of the definition of first choice vs. second choice, for years we kept the biological baby as our first choice. We had discussed that having a biological child first, and then adopting, made the most sense--that way the adopted child would never feel they 'weren't enough' and that's why a biological baby followed. See? We were always thinking, the mister and I.

So yes, biological baby was the first choice. But it was never our only choice.

I saw the movie "Temple Grandlin" recently and her mother described her autistic but brilliant daughter as "different, but not less."

When she said those words I felt my heart and soul swell with emotion, and tears started to fall. They were not sad tears but they were tears of understanding.

Our option to parenthood is different--certainly--but it is not less.

As we traveled deeper and deeper down the road of ART for family building, as we met with more and more obstacles, more and more frustrations, more and more heartbreaks, we naturally started thinking more about adoption. In a very real sense, more as the first choice. More as the only choice.

And slowly all of the beautiful parts of adoption started to rise to the forefront of our brains and hearts.

Different, but not less.

Dare I say, different, and maybe even more?

I still struggle with feeling like a broken woman as I'm left out of countless conversations and do not have a shared identity with the fertile women who surround me.

But I am also slowly starting to see the beautiful parts of the way I will be a mother, and realize that I, too, am different.

Different, but not less.


  1. Beautiful post! I really feel like it broadened my understanding of your current perspective in regards to baby :) I really, really, really hope you continue writing about your journey. I know things are different but there is so much to come. Please don't leave altogether!!

    And many apologies because I know I am one who hasn't commented in a while. I did save your prayer post as open so I could come back with some in agreement words. But then I saw your next post saying that the first one made it to G Reader on accident :) On that, I have changed my words because I don't think that you or anyone who has been struggling with having a baby is somehow not "blessed" because they haven't. People who say that truly have not thought about the other side of the fence.

    Ok- now I am rambling. Please let me know where you go if you move! I want to keep following and supporting you along the way!! I am excited for this next chapter in your journey and I want to see Curious George in action :)

  2. That was a very beautiful post! Selfishly, I'd love to follow your adoption journey through your blog so I do hope you keep writing. Whatever you choose, I'll be thinking of you.... :)

  3. I would love to keep reading about your journey to motherhood!

    You are a great writer!


  4. Another beautiful post.

    I really hope you decide to keep writing, as you have been a true inspiration and support to me over the past year. You've made me think about things in ways I hadn't considered and reminded me I was not alone when I failed at the big bad clinic.

    Thank you for writing... and whatever you choose know that I will be thinking of you. :)

  5. Wow, that first part makes me sad. I don't want to lose your voice, I really like reading your blog. Maybe keep writing, maybe not here, but in a new space for a new adventure? Selfish of me, but that's how I feel.

    As for the second part, well, it confirms what I said about the first part. Lovely, heartfelt post, and honest. I don't want to have to miss that voice. And I really want to be around when motherhood finds you. Because that will be beautiful.

  6. Fantastic post. But then, most of yours are. I'll miss reading you if you stop writing. But I'll understand.

  7. I understand your uncertainty about the future of your blog, and I will respect whatever decision you make. But, I would love to continue following your journey as I want that happy ending so much for you and Mr. LC.

  8. Yes as everyone has said, I would love to continue following your journey!! your writing has been fantastic and although I do not always comment, I read all the time.

  9. I for one would be very sad if you faded off into the sunset. Perhaps starting a whole new blog might help?


  10. What do you mean that you don't hear from people as often? You have 16 comments on your last post and nine on this one before I had a chance to post:) If you don't feel comfortable in this place/blog any more, start a new one, just like you did when you moved from your old one to this one. I would love to continue to follow you, but don't always have hands to post a comment.

    However, if you aren't getting anything out of posting any more then you should stop. You should write for you and not anyone else :) (but I would be sad not to follow you anymore:):))

  11. Please keep writing! I definitely want to follow the adoption journey.

  12. I would miss your insightful posts terribly if you quit blogging! I rarely have time to comment anymore, but I follow your story faithfully! You're such an inspiration to the IF world. I'm really looking forward to your insights on motherhood!

  13. i really hope you will continue to regale us with the stories of Mr. and Mrs. and hopefully a little LC! (and your dad, too) if i were you i would be worrying that maybe writing has been my jinx and if i just stopped sharing, that good things would finally start to happen. you and i both know that as silly as it sounds, how strongly we can be compelled to change things after they haven't worked for us. i have to say that i would love to hear about every bit of the adoption process but im sure there are reasons that you may or may not want to/be able to share. i would certainly miss you so much if you were gone completely, but i agree, lastchanceivf isn't who you are anymore. maybe a new monikker (if you stay) is in order.
    love to you

  14. I just wanted to wish you the very best of luck. Please, pull back if that is what you think you need to do to take care of yourself.
    I think that many families who move on to plan B, do so after repeated failures, but I am sure that once that baby is in your arms they are your life no matter how they got here.
    I know that adoption can be its own wild ride so please reach out for support if you need it. while I may not have those same experiences myself (yet), having shoulders to cry on may be what you need.

  15. Wonderful post. Thank you for this. My husband and I are going down the adoption road and I would love to read a blog about your new journey. Although I understand why you would want to stop.

  16. I first found your blog when I was entering the IF world. I remember reading and reading going back to your very first post and thinking to myself I hope in this journey I will/can be as strong as you. Now a year latter, I still read all of your posts faithfully. I am always inspired and touched by your words. Please do what you think is best for you and we all here in the blogworld wish nothing but the best for you.

  17. I also love reading your blog and hope you will continue, even if it is a new blog for your new adventures. I used to read your old blog too (though never commented) and will follow you wherever you go. You have a wisdom and depth that I love, and your writing is wonderful. But as others have said above, if you choose not to continue, I'll understand. But I'll miss you!

  18. I can completely understand why you feel the way you do about this blog however, I will say that although I had been going through treatments for the last 2 years I have been reading blogs of those also traveling the adoption road for just as long. I would have rather adopted than go through ART but my DH felt differently. My oldest brother and 2 cousins who were adopted so I enjoy reading about it. I know what my parents went through to finally have my brother placed in their arms so I will continue to cheer you on as you travel the same road.

  19. "Different, and maybe even more" is exactly what your blog is as you transition from ART to adoption. Maybe it makes sense to start a new blog with a title that focuses more on where you are in the process? Because I can imagine how it might be difficult to post every day on a blog that's purpose was for a phase of the process that you've moved forward from.

    Selfishly, I would love for you to continue blogging and for the chance to continue following your story. But of course the decision is totally yours, and we'll be supportive and understanding either way. That said, if you do chose to close the blog, I hope you'll keep in touch from time to time via e-mail.

  20. Ashley-
    I have been following your story for quite some time and haven't commented at all. I am sorry for that. I met you at DS and we "cycled" together for our 1st IVFs. I feel as though you keep me grounded in my understanding about women, fertility, and life. I would miss reading your story, and I know it is your life, but to me it is so much more. I am sure you have readers that don't comment, that, like I read and reflect and take your message and struggle to really understand our meaning and purpose in life. Your ability to process your thoughts and emotions is startling at times and so very real. I wish you peace during your journey to become a mother, and maybe you will miss out on the biological child, but the amount of energy and love you will give an adopted child will overshadow those thoughts. Sometimes life is not what we control but what controls us. I admire you and will continue to read and maybe comment more, because I know sometimes we want to know we are heard and maybe we need some support every now and then while we take over the world!

  21. It's a beautiful post, thank you for sharing and being so open. I'm a relatively new reader of your blog and your openness and honesty is really touching.

    If you start a new blog focusing on your adoption journey, I would be there to read it. I would love to read it.

    And if you decide to stop blogging altogether, I just want to say thank you for the words you did share.

    I like the ring of "different, and maybe even more."

    Good luck to you and your DH in the coming months!

  22. Beautiful. I hope that you find a way to continue to tell your story as I am not ready to be without your writing or support.

    Whatever you decide, I will be there supporting you. :)

  23. Please don't leave. I promise to comment more.

    I really really would miss your story and insights.

    Please don't leave. Seriously...

  24. With regard to this blog: You should do what it is you feel you need to do. But I, like so many others would miss hearing from you. I hope you can keep writing about your journey.

  25. So profound. I would really miss you if you decided to fade off into the sunset. I wonder sometimes if what I have to say is inconsequential and doesn't matter to anyone but I am constantly amazed by the e-mails I receive from people who still read my *old* blog and get comfort, information and encouragement from it. You make such a difference to your readers - can't count the number of times that I have read comments like "I could have written this post" or "You captured exactly how I feel" or something along those lines. There's a reason why 67 people have signed up to follow your journey, raw and emotional as it is. That being said, make sure you blog for yourself first and foremost, but if you choose to continue to blog in a different space, know that I will be there to follow along. We've never met but I hold you so close to my heart...there isn't a day that goes by that I don't wonder how you're doing and what you're up to. It's the journey...not the destination I'm beginning to realize more and more every day.

  26. If you choose to create a new blog, either an adoption blog or a more general one, please let us know so that we can continue to follow you on your journey through life!! Best wishes no matter what you decide to do though :)

  27. PLEASE keep writing Ashley. I have tears in my eyes at the thought of no longer reading your wonderfully nuanced posts and thinking "YES, that's exactly how it it. I'm WITH you, sister!". I know you have a lovely sister in real life but hope you know how many sisters (and brothers) you have out here in the world who feel a massive kinship with you. We need to hear about the next part of your journey because we feel your story is also ours (hope that doesn't sound selfish but jeez I'd go to Ethiopia with you and Mr LC and I'm sure there's a lot of people out here who feel the same; some of whom have followed your journey for years, others who are recent followers; some of whom have had their happy endings in whatever way they have come and others who wait too). And you'll need these posts for your book too Love Nora xxxx

  28. I really hope you keep blogging - purely for selfish reasons! But seriously, I support whatever decision you make.

    I am sure you remember that we used DS to conceive sugar and spice - and yes - biological was our first choice at the time - but these babies are ours and we rarely, if ever, think of how they were conceived. Our love for them is pure and simple and complex and amazing - as I am sure yours will be for your baby, who is out there waiting for you.

  29. Consensus is clear - KEEP WRITING. I will miss the LC chronicles very much! -S

  30. Selfishly, I want to say "nooooo...don't leave us" :) You have such a strong writing voice and and interesting perspective on life. You always give me food for thought, even if I don't comment.

    I am very curious about adoption and would love to keep following your journey. I can't wait to read your first post as a new mom (hopefully soon!) I think you still have a lot to offer readers as you embark on this new adventure. Maybe at another blog address??

  31. Well, can you imagine how sad I would be to lose your voice at this point in your story?? Maybe time for a new blog / blog name, but the writing must continue!!

  32. I would certainly love for you to continue writing, either on this blog or a new one! You have such an insightful, thoughtful voice, and I believe it is valuable to blogland.

  33. Don't leave us...please! Been following you since DS days and would love to hear more about your adoption journey.

  34. I am going to jump on board here with the others to let you know how much you and your writing mean to so many people. So many times you have put into words exactly what I'm thinking. Our stories parallel each other's in so many ways. I am sorry that I do not comment more often.

    In the past month I have hung up my needles and have moved onto adoption as well after 6 fresh IVFs, 2 FETs and 1 DE cycle. I, too, know no one in real life that hasn't had success in the IF world as long as they kept at it. I'm finally OK with it though and no longer want to continue to torture my body and am concentrating on becoming a mother instead of becoming pregnant. To me it is very freeing.

    I would love to hear about your journey but understand if you are tired of putting yourself out there. I so want to see/read about your happy ending when you are joined together with your daughter so I really hope that you continue sharing.


  35. I understand that you have to do what is best for you. I imagine sharing so much of your life could take an emotional toll. You've been at this for such a very long time, after all. But I would miss you, that's for sure! Not just for your support (which I greatly appreciate), but for your honesty about your struggle. Yours is one of the first blogs I found late last year, and it was at that time that I finally found people who felt like I did. I certainly did not get that kind of candor or support from my doctors or nurses.

    I for one do find your new journey compelling. It's so neat to see your new excitement. I will always be rooting for you and would love to see pictures of your beautiful new baby some day :)

  36. I know it can't be easy to put yourself out there all the time and totally understand if you need a break. I just want you to know that I will miss your thoughfulness and ability to put into words what so many of us feel. You have a true gift. I'm hoping you keep us around and let us enjoy you becoming a mother but if you'd like to keep that for you & Mr LC I understand. Either way, you have touched my life and are always in my prayers.

  37. I have been following your journey for awhile but have never commented here on your blog. We met on DS. You are such a great writer, and I would love to follow your adoption journey. ART failed me as well, and we are considering adoption. Please let me know if you change blogspots, but please don't quit writing. Thanks, JulesH123

  38. I hope you keep putting yourself out there. I enjoy reading. But more than that, this path is one that is not commonly talked about openly and needs to be. I was reminded of that today when I did 4 WWE for 40+ females, all G0P0 and all with a different story who were amazed I even asked. It's 2010. We need to change this. You are a part of that change.

  39. I have written about my feelings on adoption being "second choice" too. To me adoption feels like a different path to the same outcome. Like you said, "different, but not less."

    I'd miss you if you stopped writing. I feel like we are sort of in the same place in terms of IF and international adoption and there aren't that many of us out there. Would you consider starting an adoption blog? I'd love to hear more about the adoption process from Ethiopia.

    If you do decide to step back from blogging, I understand. It is tough to put yourself out there at times. Thanks for keeping it real though, I always appreciate a blogger who is honest about their feelings and experience.

    Take care.

  40. NOOOOO! NO. No. No. I am stamping my feet and throwing a mini temper tantrum because I'll be so sad if I can't read along with your journey. Obviously I don't think you should keep blogging just to make others (including me)happy, but I definitely think you should consider it! Please.

  41. I've been wanting to tell you that I hope you don't stop posting.

    I like it that you're an intelligent, successful person and you write such insightful posts.

    I admire your decision to adopt, as I will someday join you, although I'm not there yet. I really would love to read more -- not about the actual process as much as the internal experience. (Though I don't want to diss the logistics --I'm sure I have a lot to learn.)

    I am still in my pre-IVF days, but with tubal infertility I can't hope for that miracle BFP. Maybe that's why I gravitate towards blogs like yours; you have weathered the storm and you light the way.

    Whatever way you go from here in the blog world, I wish you all the best. You have been a help to those of us still slogging through the mire.

  42. I don’t normally do things like this - I’m normally the ultimate lurker, following other people’s blogs but never seeming to be able to find the words to share any experiences of my own. But your blog has been breaking my heart every day since I discovered it a little while back, and when you started talking about your decision to adopt, I felt like I had to get in touch and tell you about my experience of becoming a mum, and how it changed my ideas about adoption. Probably what I’ve got to say won’t tell you anything you don’t already know, but if there’s a chance that it might help in some small way, then I’ve got to say it.

    My partner and I went through 3 years of IF hell, including 3 operations, 8 months on Clomid, removal of both fallopian tubes and 1 failed IVF cycle, before we finally found success with IVF #2 and our daughter was born in December 2009.

    But in my darkest days, after our failed IVF cycle, when I was starting to confront the possibility that we may never be able to have kids of our own, I thought alot about adoption, and whether it was something we could consider if treatment didn’t work for us. I didn’t have anything against adoption per se, but I just wanted a biological child so much, and the truth is I did think adoption was second best. I worried about whether I could love and bond with a child that I hadn’t carried and that didn’t share my genes. I had this idea that when you have a baby, you fall in love with it the second you lay eyes on it, and you form a bond right there in the hospital that lasts for the rest of your life, unchanging.

    But although I did form a bond with my daughter straight away, what I didn’t fully realise was how much that bond would keep growing stronger with every day that I spent with her, simply through the process of being a parent, and the blood sweat & tears it takes to be her mum.

    The bond that I have with her now, as a 6 month old, has very little to do with DNA and everything to do with watching her little personality start to emerge, her likes and dislikes, her funny little habits and quirks, whilst at the same time knowing that everything I say and do is shaping her in some way - and the sacrifices I make to try and ensure that those formative experiences are good ones. It comes from the quiet time spent just me and her at 4am when the rest of the world is sleeping, and from watching her open her eyes smiling each morning, so happy to find herself at the start of a brand new day. It comes from the wonder of watching her faltering attempts at skills that come so easily to us as adults we forget we ever had to learn them, and from seeing her eyes wide with amazement at some small thing so ordinary I wouldn’t even have noticed it. It comes from the privilege of introducing a brand new little person to the world and the joy of seeing it afresh through their eyes. And from the way it feels when she’s upset or hurt and holds out her arms to me, because a cuddle from her mum is all she needs to feel better.

    And you won’t miss out on any of those experiences. Not a single one.

    I’m not trying to say that adoption will completely take away the pain of IF, or that it will stop you from missing your biological children, because I know you know better than that. But what I do know is that carrying a child and being genetically related to it mean so much less than I thought they did before I had one. I guess what I’m trying to say is that being a parent is something you do, not something you just are. It is so much more than just genes and hormones.

    I’m so glad that you finally found your way home after everything you’ve been through, and so, so excited for you and Mr LC that this amazing adventure of parenthood is just about to begin for you.

    I for one would be so sad to see you go if you decide not to carry on with the blog, but I think you’ve got to do whatever feels right for you. I hope you decide to continue writing, but if not then all the best for the future, and thanks for your words which have meant so much.

    Jen (UK)

  43. p.s. I thought you might like this poem, that I came across in a magazine a long time ago, by an adoptive mother for her children:

    Not flesh of my flesh
    Nor bone of my bone
    But miracles still, my own
    Never forget for a single minute
    You didn’t grow under my heart but in it.

  44. I think it's clearly obvious... you can't quit. We'll all come looking for you! ;)
    you can always change your name, but everyone is here because we want to hear YOUR story- baking, running, ART'ing, adopting- whatever it is! It's YOU that we are here for, not just the reproducing! :)

  45. I have a feeling that wanting to move on has more to do with not wanting your identity tied with "LastChanceIVF". You are right that you have moved on, so perhaps a new blog is in store? I know reading adoption blogs has helped me. Seems like you have quite the readership. I know that during the summer, people don't comment as much. Heck, you get way more comments than I ever do!

    "You do feel like it is a second choice. And at that point, I guess that's true. If it weren't you'd already be pursuing adoption versus ART, right?" Can I say "wrong" here? I wanted to adopt before ART, but my husband was against adoption. I've been thinking about adoption since my mid-20s. For me, ART was the second choice. I didn't want to put my body through that. It all felt so wrong to me, but I sucked it up.

    I once read a story about a woman who had a Down-Syndrome baby. She used this analogy of her journey... You decide that you are going to take a vacation to Italy. You get all the books about Italy, and you even take a class to learn Italian. You learn where you will go to eat, what sites you will see, and the Italian customs. You book your vacation to Italy with a travel agent for a tour of Italy. The day comes when your flight is leaving for your vacation. When you land, you find out you are actually in Holland, and not Italy. You are completely unprepared for this country's language, customs, or even weather. You don't have any option to get a refund on your package vacation or change flights to Italy, so you decide you might as well make the best of it. You get books about Holland, start to learn some phrases in Dutch, and start enjoying the sites in Holland, even though you didn't know anything about it before.

    I don't know that I got the story as well as the woman did it, but you get the idea.

  46. I forgot the ending of the story. The woman said in the analogy that the vacation (journey) ended up being different, but not less than the original vacation (life) they planned.

  47. I have a post almost just like this sitting there waiting for me to push the publish button. I think it's not about not writing anymore, but that a new story needs it's own context.

    I have no doubt that you'll keep writing, and I hope you'll let me know how to keep up!

  48. I hope you keep writing. You really are a beacon for people who are just starting the process.

  49. Please keep writing. I would like to continue to follow your story...

  50. Maybe start a new blog with a new identity, but come on, we don't want to miss out on the happy ending!!! Hugs!