Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A New Point of Reference

For my 27 years I've been told that I was a scientific miracle. The product of my mothers eggs, the sperm of a Mexican genius, and a surrogate mother. I've been told that the procedure was performed in Mexico and the surrogate delivered in Fort Walton Beach, Florida where I was promptly "adopted" because the state didn't have rules for such things.

This was in 1982- the procedure wasn't even done successfully in the US until 1981. My mother was 50 and egg cryo-preservation wasn't done successfully until post 1982. Given that my dear wife is 44 and they give her very low statistics with her own eggs and IVF- when thought through, the story gets less and less plausible.

As we've progressed through our own fertility process, I became more and more skeptical. I don't look anything like my mother. I don't look anything like my siblings.

I remember finding the adoption info one day when snooping through a folder with my name on it in my mother's filing cabinet. It gave some specifics about the height and weight of the birth mother, I vaguely remember a first name. At the time, I simply attributed it to the story mentioned above.

I had been thinking of asking my brother or sister for a DNA test just to confirm or deny my suspicions. I never got around to it, and instead, mentioned it to my niece this weekend while we were on vacation in DC. *Side note- my niece and I are the same age* She came clean with me- they had all known for years. Based on my niece's recollection of the story, my sister had been an acquaintance of my birth mother, who apparently got pregnant by a sailor (Pensacola NAS and Eglin AFB are both close- so very plausible). My mother who was teaching at the local university reached out to one of her college classes- communicating that she was looking to adopt a child and if they knew anyone in a 'bad' way, to make contact. Out of respect for my mother and the secrecy she was sworn to, she can't give me any additional info- but I was directed to friends of the family and my brother. I send my brother an email and haven't heard back yet- hopefully he will have some interesting or enlightening comments.

I've gone through a few stages of emotion. The first was thrill that I was correct in my doubts. Next came the thrill that I'm not biologically related to my mother- who is often cruel and manipulative. Then I was angry. How dare something something so basic be kept from me? While it doesn't change fundamentally who I am, I have a right to know medical risk information- especially now as we embark on this journey. Now I'm simply curious and amazed. There might be someone else in this world who looks like me or has my same obnoxious laugh, or anything else. My curiosity has led me to take steps to get the non identifying information from the state related to my birth. I wish my memory were clearer, but I really don't remember all of the details from the first and last time I read the info in 9th or 10th grade.

I think I will probably attempt to search for my birth parents after I get the info. I doubt they have ever looked for me as I've looked on several of the adoption/reunion websites and have found no traces of someone looking for a baby girl born on my birthday. A friend said that the worse thing that could happen would be for them to:
a. be in jail
b. not want to make contact
In either case, I wouldn't be any worse for the wear than I am now.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

For the love of beer

Since meeting MBW, moving to Texas, and visiting Eno's on a regular basis, I've become an amateur beer lover/taster. Just like wine, I can taste the different notes- honey, florals, hops, etc. Also, unlike wine, beer never gives me a headache afterwards. After mentally making it ok in my mind to be a beer lover, I've jumped off a beer cliff. Since starting Weight Watchers to get both my weight and blood sugar under control, I haven't imbibed much, mostly due to knowledge that when drinking beer, fattening food like pizza is normally involved.

Well folks, I found the best blog entry ever! First, its super fab to find a beer blog written by a woman, second, she has calories/ww points with them! I can enjoy without guilt now!

We're off to the Irish festival this afternoon with MBW's brother (A) and sister in law (J). Now I know that I can enjoy a Harp (versus a Guinness, which I always thought would be better for you- go figure) and a walk! Now I just have to stay away from the food, which shouldn't be a huge problem. I was never a fan of the food while I was in the country itself or at the Festival...

And for no real reason- my favorite Beers/Ales

New Belgium Mothership Whit
New Belgium Blue Paddle
Dales Pale Ale
Pyramid Apricot Ale
Brother Thelonious
Blue Moon
Left Hand Milk Stout

What are your favorites/recommendations to a newer lover of beer?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Not this month

To start off with, a few things that made me happy today:

  1. I initiated a refinance on the house. For our current payment, I can refinance the house house for 15 years instead of 30. Score!
  2. My blog was part of the latest post on LesbianFamily.org, one of the first websites I found when I started researching the pregnancy process.
  3. I enjoyed a tortilla with local honey for dessert.

MBW had jury duty today- I didn't think she would actually be picked. I'm not sure I've ever met anyone who was selected for a jury- but then, I count amongst my friends a high number of lawyers and book throwers. She was picked- for a case involving sexual assault of a minor. I don't know details of the case- and I'm not sure I want to unless, after the case is over it will help her process. Given the nature of the crime she will be rendering judgement on- and the psychological/psychosomatic impacts it may have, we decided tonight it would be better to not inseminate this cycle. I'm some mix of relieved and let down. There is something thrilling about seeing the ovulation line on the OPK and the third bar on the CBE monitor, followed by the excited call to the doctors office. On the other hand, I'm relieved to not have to confront a potential negative ending for another month as well- or the thought of the 6 to 10 k cost of IVF later down the road. We have one more vial of our hunky East Indian Scotsman on ice- just waiting for another chance for success.

What good things happened to you today?