Having Second Thoughts?

She sat across from him, sipping the last drips of coffee.   As she leaned over, she asked, “What do you think about our new life?”

“What do you mean?” He asked.

“You know,” she said. “You moved job because of me.  Do you have second thoughts?”

“Well,” he claimed. “Everything has its trade off.”

“Your assessment?” She asked with her head down.

“You seemed happier.  Then, it is worth it.”

She looked up. A tear dropped from the corner of her eye. She smiled. After all the failures and losses they have experience, 3 IUIs, 3 IVFs, and 1 infant loss, they stayed together. It could be very different…

She wiped her tear and got up, “Looks like the storm has just passed.  Let us go home.”

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Embryo Adopton?

Randomly looking through the news feed, I came across this news below.

Meet the Families Who “Adopted” Their Kids – As Embryos

After going through three IVFs and knowing how some would have many surplus, I always wanted to know what happened to the embryos they cannot use.  I knew lots of them are being discarded like garbage.  It is a relief to know that there are programs to donate the embryos to others in need.  To me, this is not any different from adoption.  It is just you would have them much earlier if you can host her/him.

Would I do it, personally?  I do not know.

I cannot wait to share with my cyber friends and am eager to know your thoughts on this.

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A Golden Boy

She got up early to pack her lunch. As she putting the sandwich into the stylish black and white striped tote, she smiled.  It was her first week at a new job — A job she has been waiting for almost a year, after humiliating rejections and 5 years of infertility treatment ended in a pregnancy loss.

“Can I ever re-start my life again?”  She asked millions of times.

Today, she finally found a starting point. She put he rings and necklace on to complete the ensemble and walked out.

It was early in the morning but the sun already out and birds were chirping.  She took a deep breath and looked around.  As she glanced over her neck, she felt something wrong. The necklace chain was loosely dangling on her neck and the pendent, missing?  She touched her neck again.  Not there.  Where could it be? On the walking path, in the car, or at home? She clearly remembered putting it on. She panicked.  She walked back to the path and looked into every cracks of stoney path.  Once in the parking lot, she searched inside and outside of her car few more times. Still nothing. Looking at her watch, she was already 20 minutes late for work.  She decided to go inside of the building.

The entire day, she could not concentrate.  She kept thinking where could it be. She wished it were just a regular pendant. But, it was not.

“Look, what I got for your birthday.” Joo tossed out something dazzling in front of her.

“Let me see. Let me see.” She couldn’t wait.

It was a sterling silver necklace. The pendant was a shape of heart, decorated with tiny diamonds and rubies, on each side. Resting on the top was a female stretching her arms to reach out to a gilded baby.  It took her breath away.

“See, the little baby there?” Joo added.” He is your golden boy.”

“A golden boy…” She knew exactly whom he meant, their lost child, Kevin, the one and only.

Her voice quivering, “This is… special.”

“Yeah,” he said. “It took me quite a while to find this.”

“Yes.” she nodded tearfully. “It must have.”

Sitting at her desk, thinking how she got the necklace and what it meant to her. She could not contain her tears. Like a broken faucet, they were pouring out. It was so bad that she lost her child to pre-eclampsia. She had to lose the symbol of her child, the golden boy as well?

“I am useless! I could not keep any of my boys!” She was mad.

By the end of day, she decided to search the path again, this time the grassy edges. It was the only place she did not look in the morning. It was 5 o’clock and still bright outside. As she moved her eyes inch by inch on the grass, she found rocks, ants, and acorns. No way I could find it, she thought.  Half way toward the end, the grass was less dense. She saw something shinning. It could be just a dime. She picked up and her face lit up. It was her golden boy!   She jumped.

Then, she softly kissed the golden boy, carefully wrapped it in a napkin, and walked toward the parking lot.


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Quack, Quack, Quack

Quack, quack, quack. I followed the sound and looked out of the window: a little toddler was wiggling on the sidewalk with a pair of new sandals. He was little chubby, tried to balance his weight from one foot to another. He looked like a cuddly duck. Followed him was a woman in her 60s, 10 steps away.

“Be careful! Slow down, Cary,” said she.

Something sharp pinched me. A grandma? A grandson? I would never have a chance to…

Quack, quack, quack. The noise was closer, under my window. The cuddly duck stopped and looked up. I took a step away from the window. A cloud just moved above me and a wound inside opened up. I went back to my room to lick it.

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A Pair of Walking Shoes

“Honey, are you ready?” He called again from the car.

No response.

He slammed the door open and walked into the house.

In the entrance, he found her sat on the floor, staring at a pair of old walking shoes, with tears running down her cheeks.

“What happened?” asked he.

“Shoes… Blood… Baby…” She could not put the words into a sentence.  Memories of her lost baby captivated her.

It was summer of 2013. She was happily pregnant for six months after a long journey of IVF. On night of 26th of June, she started to have frequent urine and in the evening after she wipped herself, she saw a drop of blood in the toilet. They rushed to the hospital and were sent to the birth center. The nurse checked her vital signs and said, “the baby’s heart beat was weak.  We are sending the doctor.”

Had another urge of going to the bathroom, she put her walking shoes on, and slowly moved to the bathroom. After she got up, more blood came out. This time they were thick with clumps. They were on her shoes.

“I am scared, very scared” she said to him.

The next morning, her baby died. She suffered Preeclampsia and almost left this world without knowing what happened to her….

“I am so sorry,” he wrapped his arms around her. They both sat on the floor and stared at a pair of old walking shoes, crying.

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Back to Zero

“Mom, why does not Li’s family have any kids?” I cannot help asking mother about our neighbor when I was little.

“They just do not,” Mother put it simply. “Maybe they cannot. I do not know. They sure are a good couple.”

Of course, mother’s answer did not satisfy my curious mind. From time to time, I stop by at their door and peeked inside. Unlike everyone else, their apartment was always clean and quiet. Sometimes, few students would come to study, as they were both teachers. It sure felt different to me. Why some married couple would not have children and it may not be their choice. I never thought this would become my reality.

Becoming a mother is natural to many.  For me, it is a quest of five years, from have to have-not. In this journey, I had endured many lows and highs.  On my lows I dragged myself in and out of infertility treatment clinics, from U.S. to China, from western surgery to eastern herbs, from IUIs to IVFs, from one time to three time treatments. I was determined. I believed as long as I gave my 100%, I would succeed, like most things in life. Why not?  Isn’t what nature intended? But, I was so wrong.  Pre-eclampsia robbed me clean, took my child away, and threw me back into infertility.  After five years, I am back to zero….

Maybe I was peaking into my life, when I was little.  Maybe I were her, 30 years later.

(National Infertility awareness week 4/19-4/25)

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The Best Weapon

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Mad as a Hatter.”

I have a brother, few years younger. He was a favorite child in the family.  Being naughty was his best work and he got all the attentions from my mother. I hated that. I kept thinking there was something I could do to get noticed, better looking, better grades or all around better. But, whatever I did it was not enough: Father was rarely home; mother catered to my brother at her every waking moment and was exhausted.

I wished I could have a big brother who would protect me and play with me. That feeling never left me. Instead of growing up, I became a shell, hosting an inner child inside who constantly looked for approvals from others to validate her judgment and feelings. Although she was insecure, she was kind and sweet.

These all changed, when I lost my premature baby, Kevin, to Preeclampsia. That day, the inner child walked out on me. I became a hollow body. I screamed, asking why and why me. I begged, wanting for have both children returned to my body. But, there was no use. My wounds were bleeding. Exposed under the eyes of unconcerned strangers, they added more deep cuts to the fresh ones.

Crushed and suffocating, I shouted, “It is time to face the reality. I would never have a big brother! The best weapon is I.”

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