6 April 2013

Here's Where the Story Ends

Yes, I am a great appreciator of all things Brit pop.

So the saga of the horrible student teacher is coming to an end. 

After a disastrous math lesson (which was not that complicated -- I had taught it two times before and it was fun and straightforward) that she did not quite understand the expectations since she doesn't have a very good grasp at the French language -- yes, she told her university and myself that she wrote and spoke French. Um, nope, not so much. 

The lesson went so badly that she almost started to cry at the end.

Now, in ten years of elementary education I've had lessons bomb. All teachers have had lessons bomb. But this was the straw that broke the camel's back.

I have quite the long list of problems: she lacked motivation, she never circulated in the class or helped me when I taught (even when I pointed out which kids needed help), she's messy (the kids had problems reading her printing), she had no classroom management (she didn't need much, my class is very well-behaved), and her language skills were extremely lacking.  And to top it off I couldn't share any of my constructive criticism because she's emotionally fragile. For example, a colleague joked to her about her poor parking job back in February and she hasn't been able to make eye contact with him since!

Needless to say, she was not a very effective student teacher. 

I e-mailed her instructor and reiterated my concerns. I had a long correspondence with her before the March Break because I was writing a very unfavourable review of her progress (which totally took my student teacher by surprise since she doesn't have a firm grip on reality), so she was aware that the placement had not been going well. I had to advocate for my wonderful students since they weren't getting taught the concepts properly nor were they seeing someone that modeled French very well. 

I got news yesterday that she is being moved to an English placement at another school and I am so relieved. Part of me wishes that I was more proactive and that I had dealt with this sooner, but I'm a fixer and I was hoping that things would get better. Unfortunately, things got worse and it was like watching a train wreck in slow motion. 

She is returning on Tuesday to finish up, although I am not going to let her teach a thing. My principal suggested making a card and wishing her well. I did send her an e-mail reiterating the concerns I shared with her teacher, but she hasn't responded. I figure she won't make any contact before Tuesday.

So how does this relate to my IF struggle?

When does someone know when to stop? Since starting the homestudy process I've been half-a$$edly doing Napro treatment -- low dose HCG, trigger shots, post-peak progesterone and HCG (yes, I am a human pincushion!). My heart just isn't in it anymore, but I continue on since my doctor is just so hopeful. 

Last July, I thought I was finished, but my doctor was so excited to see that I wasn't ovulating properly. I'm convinced that my main issue is ovulation, but who the heck knows after all this time (and money and surgeries and needles and tears and pills and supplements -- I can go on forever)? 

Our social worker said that we could continue on with treatment while we start the adoption process. There is a thought in the back of my mind that once we adopt that I will miraculously fall pg -- yeah right, dream on JB! I'm starting to feel like I need to give myself a final stop date. 

So how do I choose? Should I stop treatment when we're done our homestudy? Before? I have no idea?

So friends, do you have any advice?

 p.s. Happy 700th post to me!


  1. That was a really interesting post. I don't comment much because I'm not going through infertility and all the challenges it brings. But I just wanted to chime in and say I think you handled the student teacher misery as well as possible. Do you teach in French? Would you really tell her what to do and she just wouldn't do it? Was it obstinate or just clueless?

  2. Therese: She's both ignorant and clueless, a dangerous combination. Her teachers' college did her a great disservice by letting her do French Immersion placement without checking her language ability. And yes, I teach almost the entire day en français -- French Immersion is a big deal in Ontario.

  3. I hate being the bearer of bad news so telling anyone that they suck at their career choice would be NOT SO FUN! But, better she gets the truth now, than think she is a great teacher and has a promising career in front of her! I feel bad for you (and your students).

    As far as medical treatments and pursuing adoption, I don't think there is a clear answer. It is a deeply personal/spiritual decision and each couple has a different path they need to follow to stay in God's Will for them.

    For us, we did what we needed to do to try to get my cycle's healthy, but didn't go beyond that with intervention (drugs and such). We just didn't have the money and didn't feel called to do it. That was us. Every couple is different.

    Adoption was a clear path for us. We knew God wanted us to pursue it and then trust Him with the outcome. We had many failed adoptions in the 9 years we were childless. It was NOT an easy route, and there were times when we took a break (years even) from the adoption world. We knew it was where God wanted us, but we were not at a place to be in the midst of it emotionally/spiritually/financially at different times. The reason I say this is because you will probably "know" if you need to step away from the medical intervention of TTC. Unrelated to whether or not you are pursuing adoption...I think if you feel like you need a break from the stress of TTC, take the break and don't feel like you "wasted" months/years. God has a reason for every season in your life and He will use all for the good of those who love Him.

    Sorry for rambling so much.

  4. Wow...that was some interesting experience you had with that student teacher...shouldn't there be some kind of reprimand by the teacher's college for her lying about her qualifications? At my university where I got certified..I would have been thrown out for lying. It amazes me that she's getting a second chance in a full English inclusion room.

    There is no right answer for knowing when to stop trying. Just pray about it and ask God to help you to discern. Each couple is very different.

    Praying for you too!

  5. When I was going through my struggle, I decided that Napro was God's answer to my prayers (it is miraculous that there are licit options out there for faithful Catholics!), I trusted Dr. H, and I would rely on his opinions and continue treatments until there were no other things to treat. It was exhausting and emotional but I always felt like, Ok, God, I know I have to do my part, so if this is what you want of me, I will struggle on, and I will trust you to use Dr. H to tell me when to stop. One thing to consider is that adoption is an option built into the napro philosophy once all medical and surgical options have been tried. So, my thought was that if he believed further treatment was futile, he would have told me it was time to stop.

  6. Happy 700, wow you blow me out of the water!

    I don't know if there's a right answer to your question. You stop when you stop. If you feel peaceful stopping, stop. If you feel peaceful doing some treatments, but not others, do that. And if you feel peaceful going full-out treatments for x more cycles, then by golly, go that route.

    I think the more important question to ask here is when you should fully invest in the adoption process. I sense hesitancy in you still, and I understand the fear involved. But you should take the same approach when it comes to adopting, go with where the peace is. If the home study process makes you anxious right now, slow down. It's not a race to some imaginary finish line, but a path paved for you by God... Trust, especially today, that He will lead you down the peace-filled path, and follow where He leads!

    Love ya!

  7. Wow, what an ordeal with this student teacher! I think it's good you gave her a chance but yeah, she needed to go. What an unpleasant experience for you and your students!

    Regarding stopping TTC... I agree with others that that is just so subjective to you and your Dh. I don't know what I would do. Maybe try phasing TTC out slowly, seeing if each step feels right (if not, adding more treatments back in).

  8. I think I had something half-intelligent to say, then I read Amy's comment and realized she said it all better (as usual), so I'll just add my prayers and encourage you to take Amy's advice.

    I guess I do have something to say though not really advice, I find myself asking this same question these days. Wondering what should come next and how long. Just wanted you to know you are not alone!

  9. Of course, I agree with TCIE :).

    And, personally, I think there is a value in having a stopping point. That is, keep on doing whatever treatments are necessary for your health (mental and physical), even if those have an incidental benefit to fertility (hahahaha. Fertility!), of course. But I have found that, at some point, it's healthy to stop focusing on any way of thinking (or treatment) that leads you to a "next month could be my month!" thought pattern. Because we all know that means EVERY month, and how much emotional energy it takes out of us that we need (at some point) to invest in healing and getting on with our lives. I don't think there has to be a hard-and-fast "date" (though I was targeting my 30th birthday because I had thrown so many years at IF and I was so, so, so tired of hearing treatment suggestions from everyone and being told how "young" I was by doctors who were staring at my early-POF numbers and should have been shot for saying such things), and I think you can do it gradually. Like Amy said, follow the peace. But IMHO, that peace will always elude you as long as you're treating for fertility and actively TTC (even in your own mind). As far as I can see, when you give up completely is when the real healing STARTS.

  10. I don't think the answer is the same for everyone. We were continuing TTC while we were waiting. I figured we would do our part and God would decide how he wanted to build our family. So in the middle of my 4th ultrasound series (it didn't look like I was going to ovulate then either) we got the call for C. I really had a hard time - feeling like I was "giving up", but it was also somewhat peaceful because I was letting God choose. Now... I don't know that we will ever go back to TTC. Adoption is what I know. It's how I became a mom. Would we welcome a pregnancy? Sure. But we're not actively trying to pursue it - aside from, well, you know. :) No meds, doctors appts, etc.

    I will pray for your peace!! Hugs!

  11. Julie's comment, "God has a reason for every season in your life and He will use all for the good of those who love Him." and TCIE's comment (the entire thing) have some great words of wisdom. Me ... not so much. :-)
    We kept TTC during the homestudy process (like Isaiah), hoping that God would build our family the way He wanted to, even if that included a miracle PG. If something doesn't feel right, don't do it. But I will say that it is unsettling to do something new (adoption) & explore a new path that is not IF related treatment. I'm sure there is a hesitancy on your part. There sure was for me. But if you feel uncomfortable, don't do what makes you feel uncomfortable!!! You know there are so many people praying for you (me included) for peace during your journey to be a mom, however it happens. And it WILL happen! ((hugs))
    What a bummer about your student teacher being so fragile ... she's going to have a hard time in life!