Thursday, July 31, 2008

Eliminating the 'why'

My husband and I were having one of our many conversations about infertility the other day. It's kind of nice because it used to be a topic full of tension for us but I really feel that we've grown closer through everything and can really talk about things now. Anyway, we got to talking about eliminating the 'why'. There's always a lot of 'why' in infertility: why can't I get pregnant? Why can that 14 year old girl get pregnant and I can't? Why is what I want most so out of reach? And what it really comes down to-Why me? Sometimes I fall into the 'why me' trap so easily and then it's hard to not feel depressed and gloomy. And the 'why' thing is really hard to understand. I don't know why bad things happen to good people or why bad people sometimes get good things. I don't know why infertility is part of my trial package in life. I don't know why two irresponsible teenagers in the back of a car can do what highly-trained, experienced doctors can't do for me. But as Hubbie and I were talking, we came to the conclusion it's not our task in life to know the 'why'. God knows the 'why' and knows what's best for us. It's our job to do what is right and just have faith that if we continue to try to be the people that God wants us to be, things will work out for our good. So I'm going to try to eliminate that nasty 'why' and just focus on the 'what does God want me to do with my life' and see where it takes me!
And a sidenote on crying: I've decided that crying is like epilepsy. I knew this lady who was epileptic and she explained to me one day that, for the most part, she knew what triggered her seizures and could generally feel when one was coming on. But at other times, a seizure would just come out of the blue, sometimes creating very embarrassing situations for her. So this came to my mind the other day as I was sitting in a public setting bawling my eyes out. I generally know what can trigger crying for me...thinking about loved ones that I've lost, thinking about how hard it would be to lose the loved ones that I've got right now, babies, talking about babies, thinking about babies. But then again, sometimes I can be really strong. The other day we went swimming with a group of friends and their kids and my husband and I became the designated 'fun' people. We were constantly going around the lazy river and the whirlpool with kids clinging to our necks and arms. And then I got to swim and play with my friend's one-year-old baby who is absolutely adorable. She was so cute--she kept splashing the water with her hands and then scrunching up her face when the water would hit her. She couldn't figure out the connection. You would think something like that would make me cry, but I loved it too much to cry. Anyway, sometimes I know I'm in a situation where I'm about to start crying and can gracefully pull myself together or get out there before I lose it. Other times the tears just come and there's nothing I can do about it. Ask my husband about my sitting in the middle of the grocery store on a patio chair for sale and crying for who-knows-what embarrassing.
Another experience that I just had a couple of days ago. I was talking with some friends from the neighborhood and one point I said something about babies and one of the women said, "Are you trying to tell us something?" I still never know what to say so I just said, "No, I wish!" The woman kind of knows about my situation, but not too much-just the basic they've-been-married-for-a-few-years-and-yet-have-no-children fact. Anyway, she suddenly turned bright red and said, "I am so sorry! It took me six years to have my first baby and I always vowed that I would never be one of those people who ask things like that!" She was so embarrassed. I brushed it off and then we got to talking about other foot-in-the-mouth experiences. I wasn't offended and what I really want to tell her but didn't was that she gave me hope that someday maybe I will be in her category-she has three wonderful children, the youngest is in high school. And I would rather get comments like that then be treated like have a plague. I would hate it if people were constantly saying behind my back, "oh, don't mention babies or anything like that around her...she's infertile." I don't want people walking on egg shells around me. Granted there are comments that drive me crazy (see my post on what no to say to someone dealing with infertility) but I guess as long as people are making these comments, there's still hope, right?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Faith in the Storm

Good thing for church. To be honest, I wasn't really feeling like going to church today. I've come to the realization that I am the only one in the age group from 18 to 100 who doesn't have any children at my church, and I wasn't feeling up to facing all of those beautiful mothers. Granted, everyone is super nice. It's just hard sometimes feeling like an outsider and not really having anything you can do about it. Anyway, I finally convinced myself to get over myself and go to church, and I'm glad that I did. This one guy talked a little bit about faith and he gave the example of when Jesus and his disciples were on a ship and there was this big storm. And during this huge storm Jesus slept and the worse the storm became and the more Jesus slept, the more worried and fearful his disciples became. Finally, as the ship was covered with the waves and the disciples thought for sure the ship was going to sink, they woke up Jesus. Then Jesus stood up and calmed the sea and the winds. And he said to his disciples, "Why are ye fearful? O ye of little faith?" (Matthew 8: 26). This hit home for me, and then to make sure I got it (God knows that I'm a slow learner) we talked about faith in Sunday School too. The teacher was talking about how faith isn't blind, and I got to thinking about how faith is seeing things with our hearts and spirits and that having faith in God doesn't mean that we'll never fall, it just means that God will always be there to give us the strength to get back up again. And I got to thinking how faith really is a good cure for the infertility blues. I was starting to panic and let those fears of never having a family and fears that everything I've been doing is for nothing and fears that God had maybe forgotten me...all those fears that creep into my heart sometimes. So today I said to myself, "Why are ye fearful? O ye of little faith!" Just because I'm in a stormy part of my life, doesn't mean that Jesus Christ isn't aware of me and the He can't help me. He won't let me sink! And I know that I've got to have strong faith because that is the only thing that conquers fear. I have faith that God loves me and hasn't forgotten me and that one day some how I will have a baby. It's like a garden, I can sit back and let the weeds of fear and despair grow or I can work to plant my faith and watch it blossom over time. But it definitely takes a lot of work!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Adoption Fiasco

Well, I was sitting in church the other day and this other woman was talking about how she had taken in foster baby that they wanted to adopt. Unfortunately, three days after they got the baby, the court decided that the baby should be returned to her biological mother. The woman was expressing her emotions on how hard it was to deal with such a blow and it got me to thinking about my own adoption fiasco and I realized that I hadn't written about that. In April, during a dinner with my family, my mom casually threw out the question, "so do you want a baby?" Duh! She already knew the answer. It turned out that my aunt, who works with teen mothers, had a 15 year old girl who wanted to put her baby up for adoption and was interested in doing a private adoption. Hubbie and I kind of shrugged it off but both of us started thinking about it a lot. After a weekend of thinking about it, both of us agreed that we felt strongly that we needed to look into this. My husband used to be very anti-adoption. He had this idea that the only babies put up for adoption were crack-babies. So it was a huge step for him to go in this direction. We spoke with my aunt who agreed to be our third party in communicating with the mother and we contacted an attorney. I was surprised how easy it is to do a basic private adoption--a case worker needed to do a home study, the attorney would take care of all of the paperwork, and we needed to have the baby in our home for 6 months before we could legally adopt. So we began to get all of our ducks in a row. We were told the baby was 3 months old, absolutely beautiful, good natured and loving, half spanish/portuguese, healthy, and well-taken care of. I asked a lot of questions because, as a teacher, I've seen the affects of bad beginnings on my 8th graders. I had a student who had a lot of issues as a 14 year old because he wasn't held as a baby or another student who has major anger issues because of how he was treated until he was adopted as a one year old. The mother was 14 years old when she got pregnant and had her baby and had just turned 15 years old. She had originally wanted to get an abortion but being Catholic, her mother made her carry the baby. She had then wanted to give the baby up immediately but her friends convinced her that it would be fun to raise a baby. So she tried for 3 months but realized that she was just too young to be a mother. She was being raised by a single mother and her family was on welfare. So she turned to my aunt for help. Dad was older and wanted nothing to do with the baby and had been deported to Portugal.
Things were looking good and running very smoothly at first. We were setting up a time to come down and meet the baby and preparing our home to possibly have a baby in it in the next two weeks. I got the paperwork to get time off from work and everything was ready. Then everything fell apart. My aunt called the girl's home to set up a time for us to meet the baby and the girl's mom answered, let's call her Grandma Meanie. Well, it turned out that the grandma didn't know anything about the adoption. She knew that her daughter wanted to put the baby up for adoption but didn't know that she had done anything about it. Grandma was furious and went ballistic on my aunt. She declared that the baby wasn't up for adoption and never would be. The worst part was that it wasn't because she was so attached to the baby. She told my aunt that "she wasn't letting her daughter off that easy and that she needed to learn her lesson." I flipped out when I heard that. She wanted to use this baby to teach her daughter a lesson? I didn't know what to do. I wanted to contact a social worker, get a team of lawyers...something. Meanwhile, the girl was asking my aunt if it was true that if she left her baby at a hospital or church, that they would take care of him. Finally, I decided to write a letter to the grandmother apologizing for going over her head, telling her about myself and my husband, and asking her to reconsider. But before I could deliver the letter, the grandmother had a huge blow out fight with her daughter, and the girl and baby moved out and moved in with her grandparents in Durango, Colorado. And just like that, they were gone and I had no way to contact the girl. I hope and pray that this poor girl and her baby are okay. Even though I never met them, they are deep in my heart. The hardest thing was that originally we were told that the baby's name was Gage but later found out that that was his middle name and that his first name was Wyatt which was what Hubbie and I have always planned on naming our first born son. I saw it as a sign that this was meant to be. There seemed to be so many signs that this was meant to be but...dead end. I had a hard time dealing with it at first, it was like a failed round of IVF. I wondered if God really saw me as such a terrible candidate for motherhood, that he had to block every route. But I healed eventually. I know that I'll make a wonderful mother someday and I know that God loves me and has a plan for's just all about timing. And it was a good learning experience. I at least know more about adoption and my husband has opened the door to that possibility in his mind, and I hope that that young mother and her baby are in a better environment because of all of this.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Official Bad News

Well, we did the blood work on Saturday and it's official that I'm not pregnant. Now comes the 'what went wrong and where do we go from here' appointment with Dr. B and another round of IVF looms in the future. Oh well, what can you do? I'm actually in Montana with my husband right now on a little vacation of sorts and that definitely helps--a little get-away from it all. This morning as I was watching CMT in the hotel room Martina McBride's music video for Anyway came on. It really hit home so I thought I would put the lyrics here.
Martina McBride/Brad Warren/Brett Warren (BMI)
You can spend your whole life buildin'
Somethin' from nothin'
One storm can come and blow it all away
Build it anyway
You can chase a dream
That seems so out of reach
And you know it might not ever come your way
Dream it anyway
God is great, but sometimes life ain't good
When I pray it doesn't always turn out like I think it should
But I do it anywayI do it anyway

This world's gone crazy and it's hard to believe
That tomorrow will be better than today
Believe it anyway
You can love someone with all your heart

For all the right reasons
And in a moment they can choose to walk away

Love 'em anyway
(Repeat Chorus)
You can pour your soul out singin'
A song you believe in
That tomorrow they'll forget you ever sang
Sing it anyway
Yeah sing it anyway
I sing
I dream
I love anyway.
So even though I know it's hard to keep trying to have a baby, I'm going to do it anyway! Maybe Martina Mcbride should add a verse to her song about infertility...

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Bad News! =(

Well, I did a pregnancy test today and it came out negative. I'll do the blood work on Saturday but, I'm pretty sure it didn't take. I've been getting cramps all week and have just felt like it didn't work. It's just not my time yet. Though I wonder when it will be my time? I'm not giving up or anything, it's just really hard initially when you get the bad news. The idea of facing another round of IVF is hard, but I'll do it. I'll probably do the other round in October, give my body and heart a chance to recuperate. I was talking to my husband about this yesterday, that I didn't think I was pregnant and about my fears that this might all be a dead end. What if I don't get pregnant after four rounds of IVF? He said that we've been following our hearts on what we should do and that he would rather follow his heart and do what he believes to be right and reach a dead end than to take the other road and always wonder. I totally agree with him (but that doesn't make the road any easier)! What can I do but keep trying though? What is that saying-the best things in life don't come easy...hopefully there's some really cool things in store for me in the future!
My cousin and his wife have been trying to have a baby and just announced last night that they're pregnant. You know the mixed emotions--happy for them but frustrated and jealous that it's not you. But like I told my husband, she's not build tough enough for the infertility battle. I'm tough enough. I'm tough enough. I'm tough enough...
Anyway, I think I'll go curl up with my dog now and have a good cry (he's a good cuddler and he licks my tears away =)! Life is hard but it's all worth it in the end. I've got to just keep repeating this stuff to myself!