We had a fantastic vacation. The kind that really fills your cup. I hardly thought about our infertility. We took a tour with a travel company and also explored independently. We went to England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. We met some amazing folks on the tour and our guide was awesome. We never thought we would be back to that part of the world so soon again, it felt like such a blessing. The canceled cycle last month meant that we could take advantage of free flights because of some volunteer work that D does. It sweetened the blow from last month significantly.
One of my favourite parts of the trip was getting to meet three people who have fostered children. One couple from the USA and another from Australia. Last month, D has asked me to consider this as an option again. When he did, I shut him down. It was a poor response. The timing was off, I wasn't in the right frame of mind to discuss it after our last canceled cycle.
There are a few things that freak me out about fostering. In order, they are:
1. When the the child has to be taken away. By a country mile this is by far my biggest fear. I feel like this is exacarbated by infertility. It would be hard for anyone. After 5 years of desperately trying for a child, and my emotional bank account is very sensitive/low in this area. I don't know if I could take the hit.
2. Fear that I wouldn't have the experience/ability to handle the emotional issues that the child has in an adequate way. That I would get in over my head. Hmm... now that I really think about it, if I'm really honest, this fear is probably right up there with number one.
3. Loss of my personal time, space and freedom. I don't like admitting that, but it's real.
In talking with one of the other couples on our trip, I learned a few things. The one couple has fostered many children over the years, including what they say were some children from high profile cases. They've been through some difficult stuff. What I took from our conversations:
1. That when the first child leaves it is often the hardest.
2. That you can stay in touch, and remain a positive influence on the child's life. I don't know why this is such a revelation to me, it might seem obvious but for me, this was a huge weight lifted.
3. That you can ease into this, and have an honest communication with the social workers about what you are prepared to handle and not handle in terms of emotional issues with a child.
4. They take lots of breaks in between children.
5. She talked about how she feels they are making a difference in the world. She told me about how she gave an 8 year old his first ever birthday party. This gives me a lump in my throat.
I won't say that I'm totally ready to move into fostering, but there was a huge shift that happened for me. I've always thought that seeing different perspectives was one of the most enriching parts of travel. Who knew it was going to be regarding foster care in a pub in Dublin?
I haven't discussed any of this with D as of yet. I want to digest it on my own for a while.
Oh! And today is cycle day 2 again. Baseline ultrasound revealed a cyst again. It's likely the same one, but it about 1/2 the size as last month (1.2 cm x 0.80 cm). My estrogen is low (in the 30s), so it's not an estrogen producing cyst. I won't hear until this evening from CCRM about what the plan is.
To add a little complication to things, on cycle day 21 is the wedding that D & I are standing in. Looking at previous cycle's instructions from CCRM, they estimated a tentative retrieval date of cycle day 11. Which seems like a lot of leeway. But, the only other time I did IVF at my local clinic, I stimmed for 16 days while on close to the max dose (300 units of follistim). That cycle has many medication differences, a big one being that I didn't start stims until cycle day 6, and CCRM would have me start tomorrow (cycle day 3).
A lot will be decided in the next couple of hours.