Thursday, October 1, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
Before I close, I just want to thank everyone for your support, your love, your empathy, and your kind words. I've always felt like I've been part of sisterhood of infertile friends. Thank you for being there at my lowest points and celebrating with me in the joyous times. I wish all of you the best! If you ever need anything, don't hesitate to e-mail me at email@example.com.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
I have to admit that this pregnancy hasn't been all that hard. I've had good friends who have been so sick and miserable during their entire pregnancy, some who have been bed-ridden for months. But I haven't even really had a single day of morning sickness. The first trimester I felt really exhausted and a little nauseated here and there, but that's about it. Well, there was the incident with the microwave fish sticks, but that would have made me sick even if I wasn't pregnant. What made me think of eating microwave fish sticks? Yuck! I even just went on an Alaskan cruise and didn't really get sea sick. I'm counting myself lucky and blessed. I keep telling my body, "See, pregnancy's not so bad! We're actually pretty good at it! Why did you fight against this for so long?" I get sore hips and some minor aches and pains here and there, but nothing worth complaining about!
I know some women have a hard time seeing their girlish figures go away, but I love having a big belly. I finally look pregnant, and I love when people notice. I don't mind when people pat my belly because I can't resist rubbing my belly all the time either. I've worked so hard for this and I like to show off my belly like a trophy or one of those giant heavy-weight belts that wrestlers get when they win a championship. Maybe it's partly because I've always had a little bit of a poochy belly that I've always tried to hide, but now I have a good excuse!
And I love how people treat you when you're pregnant. I'll admit that it used to make me so jealous when I would see how people would pamper and take care of a pregnant woman while I carried my own heavy boxes out the door. Now I know pregnant women need the extra care, but I used to feel a little bad because I just wanted to be that woman so badly! But now I'm living it up! I used to have 'princess days' when I would do the egg retrieval and transfer for IVF. I would write it on the calendar as such. Hubbie would get me anything I wanted to eat, rent a couple of sappy chick flicks, and just cater to my every need during those times. Now everyday is a 'princess day'! Hubbie takes such good care of me. The poor guy hasn't really eaten a home cooked meal in months (well, except for when we go to his mom's house)! He has Wingers on speed dial because I love their potato skins. He is so patient with me. We're both starting to realize that in a few months (the time is flying by) we are going to be parents. Suddenly we're realizing how unprepared we are! And it's not just getting the nursery ready...it's getting our lives and our heads ready for not being empty-nesters anymore. Suddenly I'm panicking--am I going to be a good mom? Will I know what to do? Can I give this baby everything he deserves and more? The idea of marriage used to freak Hubbie out. He was a very happy bachelor, enjoying his freedoms. When we were dating and he would get out of line, I would whip out the 'M' word to scare him. This is a guy who jeeps up rock walls, jumps out of airplanes without hesitation...I had never really seen him scared until the day we got married. He wasn't just scared, he was terrified. It was kind of funny to see this big, tough guy so scared of little ol' me. Now I freak him out with the 'B' word--baby. When he gets out of line now, I pull out a pair of onesies or chase him around with my big belly. We're both so excited yet so terrified at the same time. But I'm so glad to be facing this new chapter in life with Hubbie.
One last thing, on our cruise we had this sweet waiter named Walter. He took such good care of us at dinner each night. If I remember right, I think he is from Mexico. Anyway, toward the end of the cruise (7 day cruise), thanks to all of the yummy food, I was looking much more pregnant than I did at the beginning. About the middle of the cruise, Walter asked me, "Are you pregnant?" He was so excited when I told him that I was. He later told Hubbie that he and his girlfriend are trying to have a baby, but no luck yet. But he was so excited for us and gave us each a big hug on the last day and wished us the best of luck with everything. I hope the best of luck for him in his life!
Saturday, June 20, 2009
For example, a week after I found out I was pregnant, I had what I would call a 'moment of insanity'. It was a stormy night and my husband had a study group at 7 pm. All was well. At some point Gimli did something to get in trouble and got sent to his room. I had had a really long, tiring day and fell asleep around 10 pm. Well, around midnight, Gimli became upset to still be in his room and body slammed the door, waking me up. I was disoriented and confused at first. I let Gimli out and looked at the clock. It was midnight and Hubbie wasn't in bed with me. I looked all over the house for him. He wasn't home. His car wasn't in the drive-way. I called him on his cell but it kept going straight to voicemail. I began to panic. I didn't know where his study group was meeting, I didn't even know what direction to drive to go look for him. The thought that was running through my mind was, "He's lying dead in a ditch somewhere because I'm pregnant and nothing this purely good can happen to me!" I was debating whether or not to call his dad or my dad or the police or what. As I sat there ready to dial 911, suddenly my phone rang--it was Hubbie. They had been working on a huge project and decided to keep plugging forward until they got it done. He was going to call me around 10 but was afraid I was asleep and didn't want to wake me. I just started bawling, sobbing hysterically. And even after Hubbie got home, it took me a full hour to calm myself down.
Example #2-Even after a positive home pregnancy test and a positive blood test, I still had difficulty believing that I really was pregnant. Remember, I thought I had a tumor in my uterus that my body had mistaken for a baby. It wasn't until the first ultrasound and the doctor showing me my baby's heart beating that it started to sink in. And even now, I am an ultrasound junkie. Just days after a doctor's appointment and I'm craving another ultrasound to see how things are going. I would get one everyday if I could just to have that daily assurance that all is well. I can't wait until I can feel the baby moving!
I have got to teach myself to quit waiting for something bad to happen, to just let this miracle be. I am so grateful and happy and so afraid to lose this! I'm like the little girl who gets a pretty, new doll but never plays with it because she's afraid to break it! I am going to allow myself to be 100%, totally unguarded happy. I will take down this wall of self-protection and let the sunshine in! I will quit worrying and being afraid. I will have more faith and hope.
I was reading this article the other day and it had this scripture from Romans 5:3-5: "We glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience, and patience, experience; and experience hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." And I thought how true that scripture is. Our hard times, our trials, our tribulation, if used correctly in life, do make us more patient. And with patience comes experience--the wisdom of having been there, done that. And our experiences should bring us hope. I look back at my life experiences and I realize that I have been so blessed in my life in so many ways and even when I don't think I can get through something, I always do. Experience has taught me what I am capable of and that the sun always rises after the darkest night, that rainbows come after the grayest storms. It sounds cliche maybe, but I can't deny that the love of God is shed abroad in every moment in my life. So I will take the tribulation of infertility and the patience and the experience, and I will have hope, and I will be happy!
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
One exciting thing, right now I am sitting at my home computer typing this. This is really big for me. Three days ago my husband and I finally entered the 21st century and got internet at our home. The journey began almost 5 1/2 years ago. At first, my hubbie had some sort of hang-up about internet in the house (I refer to this time as his kooky phase). "We have internet at work, or you can go to the local library..." Then he complained when I came home from work so late. And I complained about trying to maintain my blogs and e-mails and Facebook and all those other 21st century things while sitting by some smelly person at the library (though sometimes the smell persisted when I got home, so it's always possible that I'm the smelly person...) or some creepy looking guy who made me paranoid that he was always looking at my screen. Anyway, finally my hubbie consented that internet is not evil and that it would actually be quite beneficial in our home. Then fate started working against me. Apparently, my home is in some sort of internet-dead zone. We can steal internet from the neighbor across the street (though we would never do such a thing!), but we couldn't find a company that could get internet to work at our house. Except for dial-up which wouldn't work because 1) we don't have a land line and 2) I don't have the patience for dial-up. To make a long story medium-long, we finally found a company after much searching and much money and here I happily type!
Okay, for the really exciting news going on in our lives...
In my last post, I wrote how hubbie and I are adopting. We also had plans to do a final round of IVF this summer. Well, plans change. Basically, we put all of our cards on the table--adoption, IVF...we were going to get a baby one way or another. And then God had a card up His sleeve. On April 3rd we found out that I'm pregnant. --Pause here to allow you to re-read that last sentence--First, let me say how beyond excited we are about this miracle in our lives. Second, I have to say that I've had a hard time trying to find a way to make the announcement on this blog. In fact, I just successfully small-talked about getting the internet for a couple of paragraphs trying to think of what I really want to say. I've been Infertile Myrtle for so long that suddenly finding out that I'm pregnant has been like an identity crisis. I realize that I had become quite comfortable in Myrtle's shoes; I knew what to expect; I have a lot of experience. Being pregnant is so NEW to me. So, I guess I'll just start by telling you our story of how we came to find out and what our journey has been like so far.
April Fool's Day, Hubbie was out of town, and I was waiting for my period to start. I needed it to start soon so that I could start tracking things and getting ready for my next IVF cycle. I hadn't really been keeping track of my cycles for the past few months because I knew I was going to be doing IVF, so I figured I would worry about it then. Well, you know how you have that feeling like you should have started your period by now? So, I got out a calendar and figured it all out and I was 10 days late. I didn't think for even a second that I was pregnant. After over 4 1/2 years of infertility, you come to the point where you stop jumping to that conclusion immediately (though I do slip every now and then). I told my husband on the phone, "Good April Fool's Day joke on me...my body's messing with me again." His response: "You probably just counted wrong." And I remember being so frustrated with my body because I needed it to work right so that this last round of IVF would go well. I was so anxious and nervous about this round working. Well, two days later, on a Friday, my husband got home from his business trip. I had a class that evening and didn't get home until around 10 pm that night. And still no period. I decided to do a home pregnancy test. Again, this wasn't to see if I was pregnant--that just wasn't a possibility in my mind. I just knew that every time I do a pregnancy test, I start my period within hours afterward. So I thought I would just get things going. I did the test and waited indifferently for the one-line. I glanced at the test and there they were: two wonderful pink lines. I can't express my emotions at that moment. Even as I type this, the tears come freely because all the heart ache, all the negatives, all the hurt...and there it was: what I've wanted for so very long. And suddenly that little bird called Hope was fluttering in my heart.
I had always wanted to do something cute and creative to tell my hubbie, but what actually happened was me handing him the pregnancy test and blubbering incoherently for a long time. Neither one of us could make complete sentences. He looked at the test and said, "Does this mean...?" I nodded. And then we just sat there holding each other and crying. After awhile, we had to go look for our dog because he had run away and on the way home we stopped at Wendy's and got yogurt parfaits to celebrate. As Brad Paisley sings, "Yeah, I live for little moments like that."
After all of this, I was in total denial. Could this really be happening to me? I have the accuracy statistics memorized for home pregnancy tests, but even then I still worried that it might be a false-positive. Monday I went in and did a blood test. Overwhelmingly positive. Not borderline, you might be, but yes, you are definitely pregnant. That was exciting, but even then I still had a hard time believing that I was really, truly pregnant. I began worrying that maybe I actually had a tumor or something and my body just thought it was a baby. Yes, it sounds crazy, but this is what infertility does to you. It wasn't until our first doctor's appointment that it finally became a reality for me. The doctor was funny. I hadn't been to see my Ob-gyn for awhile (not since I had started meeting with my fertility specialist-I figured one doctor looking at my insides was enough). In fact, the last time I had seen him was when he did a laparoscopy on me. He was looking at my charts and saying things like, "Wow! You really were messed up, weren't you?!" Okay, my ovaries were cemented to my hips with scar tissue--I was messed up. Well, even the doctor was cautiously optimistic. He asked us, "So you've done three rounds of IVF and none of them worked?"
Dr:"And you just got pregnant on your own?"
Us: "Yep. We were the only ones in the room."
Dr: "Well, let's just take a look at things before we go any further..."
So he did the ultrasound and there was a baby. And we could see its little heart beating. And it looked just as a baby should look at that point. We were all in shock. The doctor kept saying, "Wow! This is incredible!" I just lay there and bawled. Granted it was just this little blob on the screen at that point, but we could see its little heart beating. It was real. It was alive. It was so beautiful. After chasing rainbows all of my life, there I was with a pot of gold. Wow!
Since then, we've had the opportunity to hear the baby's heart beat, I'm starting to get a baby-bump, and in two weeks we'll do the full ultrasound and possibly find out what we're having. Even with all of this, it is still hard for me to believe that right now I am 16 weeks (that's four months!) pregnant. We made the big announcement to our families on Mother's Day. I had had enough rough Mother's Days--I wanted to make it a special holiday with tears of joy instead of tears of hurt. Of course, everyone was in total shock! At first, everyone thought an adoption had come through. They were double-surprised when they found out I was pregnant! By the way, we're still doing the adoption thing. Hubbie and I both feel really strongly that the Lord took us down that road for a reason and that there is a very special child waiting to come to us down that road. So we'll see how things go with that.
Now, one little thing I need to clear up. As we've announced that we're having a baby, I've had to smile patiently as people have said things like:
"See! You just needed to relax!"
"I told you--the minute you went to adopt you would get pregnant!"
"You just needed to not think about it..."
What I want to say at these times is, "What part of planning another round of IVF and doing the adoption process is relaxing? And when did I stop thinking about all of this?!"
This baby is 100% miracle. There is no doubt in my mind that this was completely in God's hands. It is not because of anything I did or didn't do. Am I any more worthy or prepared now than I would have been earlier? No. Do I deserve this any more than another woman? No. It's just God's timing and His plan. I don't understand all of it and I can never predict what might happen next, but I do know that even the hard times and the good are all part of a loving Father's plan. And I feel that God loved me and was aware of me just as much when in my struggles (maybe more so in hard times) as He loves me and is aware of me in this time of joy. I never could have faced infertility alone. And even at my darkest times, I never was alone. It's funny because I feel like a soldier returning from war. I survived the battle, and even though I have this great triumph in my life, I will always have the old battle scars to remind me of the fight that I fought. Hopefully I fought it well. And hopefully when I come to my next battle, I'll be a little wiser, a little stronger, a little more patient, and a little more faithful.
P.S. And I haven't forgotten my fellow soldiers still fighting the infertility battle. Here's a shout out to you! You amaze me with your courage and strength. Keep fighting!
Friday, April 3, 2009
So, on to my big news...no, I'm not pregnant (well, I don't think I am-as we all know, it would take an absolute MIRACLE-though I'm a true believer in miracles, anyway...)! But I have to tell you I have been up to secret works...Hubbie and I are adopting!! We are so excited. We are going through LDS Adoptive Services and were recently approved. So far the journey has been a wonderful, strengthening experience. Just filling out the paperwork has brought us closer together. Right now we are in the finding stage of our journey (there's no waiting--it's all about being proactive!). Our caseworker says adoption could take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of years once you're approved because with their program the birth mother gets to pick the family for her child. The focus is all about getting the right baby to the right family. We had the opportunity to go to a training class where we got to listen to panels of speakers-people who have adopted, people who are adopted, and people who have placed children for adoption. The birth parents were especially neat to listen to because they were just so sincere and you could tell how hard it was for them and what an unselfish sacrifice they have made. But despite the heart ache, all of them spoke of how glad they were that they did it and that they know they did the right thing. I am a firm believer that God moves in mysterious ways and know that Heavenly Father will bless us with a family one way or another.
So, there it is, now you know our big secret. The next post will be some previous posts that I made on this other blog I used to write on. (I'm trying to consolidate my blogs-I have way too many!) Wish us luck (in the adoption and in the consolidating)! =)
And here is some great information and what not about adoption:
Families Supporting Adoption seeks to raise awareness of adoption as a loving choice. Adoption is a wonderful option when faced with an unplanned pregnancy. Adoption blesses the lives of birthparents, adoptive couples, and adoptive children. Contrary to what some may believe, parents who place their children for adoption are not taking the “easy way out” or abandoning their responsibility. Instead, they are placing the needs of their children before their own. Such a decision is deserving of the highest respect.
Below are links to an adoption video and adoption articles. The more we all become educated on adoption, and dispel myths and misunderstandings through sharing accurate information, the more lives will be changed for the better. This is especially true for adopted children when they are surrounded by adults who understand, appreciate, support, and speak to the child in terms of the loving decision of adoption.
“Adoption and Abortion” You Tube video
Listen to the journey of a birthmother through adoption.
This article explores adoption from the point of view of the birthmother, birthfather, birth grandparent, and adoptive child.
This article explores adoption from the point of view of the adoptive couple.
Based on a true story, a young child learns about the loving choice of adoption.
For more information on adoption, go to itsaboutlove.org
For more information about Families Supporting Adoption, go to familiessupportingadoption.org
The Journey-September 27, 2008
My husband and I are filling out adoption papers. There, I said it. My heart is full of so many emotions that I don't even know where to start. I have another blog at infertilemyrtlesblog.blogspot.com where I've been pouring out my emotions and thoughts about dealing with infertility. In November, my husband and I will have been trying to conceive for four years. In January we'll have been married for five years. But looking back over the years, I don't feel like the years we've spent trying to have a baby have been any harder or easier than that one year we had not worrying about it. And I definitely feel like the struggles of infertility have really drawn us closer. We are so different in so many ways, but this battle has given us a common cause to fight against together. Just a quick synopsis of our ttc battle so far: I have endometriosis, but didn't find that out until a couple of years ago. We tried on our own for a year, with fertility drugs for a year and a half, and have since done three rounds of IVF. I'm starting my fourth and probably final round of IVF in a couple of weeks. And now we've decided to also begin the adoption process.
I don't know why I don't want to write about these new developments in our journey towards parenthood on my other blog. But I do know that I need to write about things. I'm very comfortable in Infertile Myrtle's shoes, but for some reason, I feel like keeping my IVF and adoption separated for now. Like maybe they won't get along?
Well, here's how it all started. Lately, I've been thinking about adoption more and more. We had a possible adoption fall through a few months ago which was totally devastating but ever since then it has been like there have been adoption signs all over the place. We're at a concert and Rodney Atkins suddenly stops and gives a beautiful speech about his parents who adopted him and how thankful he is for them and how much encourages others to think about the great things they can do through adoption. A song about adoption comes on the radio. We meet some new friends and they introduce us to their beautiful, little girl that they've adopted, and she is just so beautiful. One of my student's parents are going through the adoption process to adopt another child. And suddenly it's like we're surrounded by adoption. So I'm thinking about it a lot. And I have this feeling that I need to talk to hubbie about it. So one day we're driving home from visiting my parents and I decide to bring it up (I was very hesitant because there have been times that topics such as adoption could cause heated discussions). But this time, hubbie says, "yeah, I think we should look into it. Just look." So we decided to pray and fast about it the next Sunday. So we prayed and fasted about adoption and that this next round of IVF would go well for us. And then we talked about it again. My husband has a cousin who adopted a child and then while she was going through the process of adoption for a second child, she did another round of IVF and ended up pregnant with twins. In the end, she ended up with four children all under the age of 3. We don't neccessarily want that but we figured she's been on every side of all of this and would have a good perspective for us. So, I called her and we ended up going to her house and talking with her and her husband for hours. We didn't leave until just before midnight! She and her husband gave us a lot to think about. She talked about how hard the waiting period is and how overwhelming the adoption process is. She talked about how emotionally hard it was to meet the birth mothers and then take the baby from them. But she also talked about how beautiful it was. She said that every mother should experience adoption, because there is no other feeling like when they put that baby in your arms and you think of all that you went through for that moment. And she talked about how adoption blesses so many people-the birth mothers are just so grateful that someone is willing to raise and love their baby for them and the adopting couple is just so grateful that someone is willing to give the responsibility to love and raise this child to someone else. Anyway, one of the last things she said was that doing IVF and adoption at the same time was actually a blessing for her. They helped her not get too obsessed about one or the other. IVF helped distract her from the waiting anxieties of adoption and going through the adoption process helped distract her from the anxieties of IVF.
Well, after talking to her and talking with each other some more, we decided to do it. I've been thinking a lot about all of this. All of the alternatives. If this round of IVF doesn't work, then we'll still have the adoption process going. If this round of IVF does work, then I hope they will allow us to continue the adoption process. My biggest fear is that they wouldn't. Or what if I ended up with an adopted baby and one or two babies by birth? I know it would be extremely difficult. But I really think I could do it. I've been training to be a mommy all of my life, and I think I have enough love stored up for a hundred babies!! Women have multiple babies quite often and strong families. One of our friends who had twins from her first pregnancy said that she didn't see it as more difficult because she just didn't know any different.
There are so many other factors-money, getting the house ready, getting myself ready, getting our marriage ready, hubbie's in school right now getting his MBA...but the most important thing is that I want to do what Heavenly Father wants me to do. So far the biggest lesson I've learned is that everything is on God's timetable and that I just need to have patience and faith. However, I'm a really slow learner. I know I have faith in Heavenly Father. I know that He answers prayers and that He loves us. Faith in myself is where I fall short. I don't have a lot of faith in myself in recognizing His answers to my prayers. I think that this is the right direction, so I'll go forward but then sometimes I start getting doubts. It's been like this with every major decision I've made though...which college to go to, going on a mission, getting married...I've basically had the attitude that I think I'm going in the right direction, but if I'm not God will have to strike me down. And sometimes I don't know if the obstacles that I face are God's way of saying I'm going in the wrong direction or if they're just the obstacles that come with everything in life-you know, the best things come with a price or the 'God-gives-us-obstacles-to-make-us-stronger' thing. I know what I need to do though--I need to strengthen myself spiritually. Daily scripture reading and prayer. Slow things down in my life so I have more time to listen to what God is saying to me. Serve others. Open my heart to the Holy Ghost for guidance and follow that guidance. I have a feeling that I still have many hard times in front of me and that I need to get myself spiritually ready. So here we go! The journey continues...
I Have Been Struck Down-October 6, 2008
In my last blog, I said that I have a God-needs-to-strike-me-down-if-I'm-going-in-the-wrong-direction attitude. Well, I find myself 'struck down' in a sense. I was planning on doing my last round of IVF this month. I was getting everything in order and then, suddenly, WHAM-O! I get pneumonia. I felt fine until last Saturday when I woke up with a cough. By Sunday, I was so sick I could hardly think straight. Suddenly plans change. I canceled my round of IVF with the doctor, canceled my drugs with the pharmacy, and now I'm drug-free (except for the two antibiotics running through my blood) and fancy free. The next available round of IVF will run into mid-January. I'll think about that when it gets closer.
As for other things, we've turned in our papers to the bishop to fill out. I have the other initial form ready to turn in tomorrow. I am going to walk into the adoption agency for the first time tomorrow. Wow! Wow! Wow! This is such a new world to me. I've been doing a lot of research about adoption, yet don't even know where to start with my questions. I'm excited and nervous all at once. I guess it's just one foot in front of the other and we'll see where this path will lead!
Baby Steps--October 11, 2008
Baby steps...literally. We've taken our first baby steps toward adopting a baby. I turned in the first application papers this week. I found the adoption agency without too much hassle...that's a good sign! I'm starting to get really excited about things. (It helps that I'm starting to get over my pneumonia too!) Hubbie and I will go to an orientation meeting in the beginning of November. So, I guess we just chill until then. I'm starting to have baby dreams again which I think is a good sign. I used to have baby dreams all of the time, but I think my mind subconsciously stopped allowing those dreams because it was sometimes too painful to dream about having a baby and then wake up to a silent, baby-less life. The fact that I'm having baby dreams again maybe means that my mind is opening up to the possibility that something is going to work and that my dreams can become a reality someday soon. Re-reading that sentence that I just wrote makes me think I missed my calling in life--I should have been a psychologist or something like that, I think! A couple of nights ago I dreamt that we had this beautiful dark-haired baby. I think the baby was a girl. She was asleep in the other room, and my husband and I kept going in the room just to look at her. It was like we couldn't believe she was really ours. I hope my dream was a vision of things to come! But for now, baby steps...
My Fortune in a Cookie-October 30,2008
My fortune cookie today said, "A miracle is on your horizon." Here's hoping. I could really use a miracle right now. Some unexpected and unavoidable expenses have come up recently, and now I'm not sure when we'll be able to do my next IVF cycle or if we'll be able to continue the adoption process right now. Money is just so tight, and I hate that making/getting a baby has become such an expensive experience. I hate that I feel like the miracle I want most in my life has dollar signs in front of it. But I guess I'll just have to keep giving what I do have-hope, faith, and endurance-and hope that that is enough in the end.
Dear Birth Mother...-November 8, 2008
So, we have an orientation meeting this Friday, our next step in continuing this process. I'm really excited to be moving forward.
One of the things that I've heard you need to do is write a letter to prospective birth mothers looking to place their baby for adoption. And I've been thinking about just what I would say. So, I just thought I would do a rough draft here, throw out some of my thoughts and feelings, and start thinking about just what I want to say to the woman who will carry my baby for me for nine months, and then give that child to me.
First, how do you start. Dear birth mother? Dear Wonderful Woman? Dear Person?
Then what to say?
I think it takes a lot of courage and that it must be one of life's most difficult decisions to place your baby up for adoption. I can't imagine how hard that decision must be. So many factors-how your family feels about it, what your friends think, what's best for you, what's best for the baby, how the father feels about it, what your heart is telling you, what God's plan is for you, what the spirit is saying to you. And there are probably so many emotions-heartache, fear, shame, guilt, disappointment, hope, faith, love...In a nutshell, what is the right thing to do? And no one can make that decision except you. No pressure. I think you're courageous, and I wish I could just wrap my arms around you in a big hug and tell you that I have confidence in you and that I know with God's help, you'll know what to do and that everything is going to be okay for you. But I also have to be honest and say that I hope that the answer is to put your baby up for adoption. If not, that's okay, but I still hope. Because I can't have babies. My aunt once told me that I have a mommy's heart and that I'm a mom; I just don't have a baby yet. I know those emotions of heartache, fear, shame, guilt, disappointment, hope, faith, and love. And I know what it's like to spend so many hours praying and pleading with Heavenly Father. And right now, I'm just hoping that maybe we can be the answers to each others' prayers. I am learning more and more everyday that God truly does move in mysterious ways. How I think things should be done, isn't always how God does things, but I do know that the way God does things is always better than how I would have done them! I know that God has a family waiting for me, to be raised and loved in my home. I know that I will be a mommy someday, and I know that, while I will make mistakes, I will be pretty good at it. Everything I have done in my life, I've done in training to be a good mother.
I'm a letter writer and a picture taker, I can keep you updated as little or as much as you would like. Just let me know.
I feel like the little kid on the playground as teams are being chosen. I'm the one jumping up and down and shouting, "pick me! Please, pick me!" Is there anything that stands out about me? Anything that makes me worthy to raise your child? Not really. I'm just an ordinary (if not sometimes a little quirky) person who will love your child with all of my heart. And I'm just a girl who has faith that if this is the right thing for both of us and for the baby, God will direct our paths and touch our hearts, and we will know.
I don't know you. I've never met you. I've probably never even passed you on the street. But I already feel such love and appreciation to you for reading this letter, for taking a minute to consider me as a possible adoptive mother of your child. I've added you and all of the other young mothers like you, to my prayers--you can never have too many prayers being said for you!
How do you end a letter like this? Sincerely...With regards...Yours truly...Love...
Anyway, these are just some of my thoughts. It's very rough draft. I'll keep thinking and praying about it. For being a wordy person with a lot to say, I'm having a hard time finding the right words to say the unsay-able. How do you ask someone to give you her baby? How would I ever thank someone for giving me her baby?
Orientation-November 22, 2008
Well, we went to the orientation meeting. Some friends who have been through this process warned us that it might be a little discouraging, but Hubs and I agreed that we actually felt really encouraged in what we're doing. It just feels right! One of the things that I really liked is when one of the other couples asked how long it usually takes for an adoption to take place, the adoption services lady responded that there are certain things (like the mounds of paper work) in the hands of the couple, certain things in the hands of the case workers and the adoption agency, certain things in the hands of the birth parents, but overall, it's all in the hands of Heavenly Father. That this is just another way for Heavenly Father to get babies to the families that they're supposed to be in. You can't really put a time-line on that.
So, I've begun all the paperwork. It's so good to have something to do right now. I'm not saying my life isn't crazy hectic busy, but in the trying-to-start-our-family part of my life, I was feeling like we were kind of at a stand still. It's good to be doing something, to have something that I have even just a little control over-even if it's just writing my name down on a piece of paper and addressing envelopes. And it's been nice to reflect on Hubs and myself-our relationship, how we met, how we've grown from the beginning, what we're doing to prepare ourselves to be parents. I've enjoyed reminiscing over our past and planning our future.
We also met with our case worker. She is an intern and is so nice. She is friendly and up front about things, and I think she's a great match for working with Hubs and I. So, onward we go!
Today this friend of Hubs and me showed me some pictures of a baby he and his wife are adopting from Ethiopia. He is such a beautiful baby. And somehow the fact that we're looking into adoption just came tumbling out of my mouth and then this other friend heard and asked me about it later. Hubs and I have been kind of trying to keep it on the down low-we want to surprise our family and friends with the good news and not make them go through all the hard times too AND we want to avoid all the well-meaning but annoying questions (Have you heard anything yet? How's the adoption going?). I haven't even mentioned anything to my parents. I think we kind of got this way after the first round of IVF. Our first round of IVF, we told everyone (well, I told everyone), and we had family fasts and prayers and I showed everyone the pictures of the two embryos that we implanted. And then it failed. Everyone was so supportive and loving and comforting. But it was so devastating in itself, and it was even harder to let everyone know that it didn't work. One, I hated confirming the failure over and over again, and two, I knew that it hurt their hearts too and that hurt me even more. So the next couple of rounds that we did, we didn't really tell anyone. Well, I told some people just because I am a social creature by nature and have to talk things out with someone other than Hubs sometimes. Hubs has always been very supportive and has been my strength in all of this, but sometimes a girl needs to pour her heart out to her girlfriends. And sometimes I just have to vent to whomever is around me in that moment. Anyway, not telling everyone made it a little easier when we got the bad news. Hubs and I would retreat for a day and cry together and then bolster each other to face the next day and then the next and then the next. And it was much easier to refer to the failures much after the fact: "Oh yeah, by the way, we did another round of IVF a couple of months ago and didn't work. Just thought you should know." And by then I was able to be strong for others and help them through the bad news. With this adoption journey, Hubs and I are kind of torn in when we want to break the news. We were saying the other day, wouldn't it be cool if no one really knew and we got a baby and told everyone to come over because we have some exciting news, and out I walk with-SURPRISE-our new baby...
But then we also realize the need for the love and support of our family during this process. So many times I've wanted to just tell my parents, "Hey, by the way, Hubs and I are trying to adopt." Because I would love to have my family on board with preparing for having a baby and what not. And those extra prayers and fasts never hurt...
Who knows? The jury's still out on this one.
Trudging-January 22, 2009
So we're still trudging along through the process. There is so much paperwork! I thought I would have the paperwork done in a couple of days. I'm more realistic now. Questionnaires, background checks, more questionnaires, financial reports...I'm glad that this process is the way that it is for the safety and welfare of the children being adopted, but I just wish I could get through it more quickly! I have to say that some of the questionnaires that Hubs and I have filled out have turned out to be nice sentimental journeys for us. It's given us the opportunity to go down memory lane of our own childhoods, to look at our families and what we love about them, and to look at our own relationship. It's been nice analyzing our relationship-how we met, what made us fall in love with each other, what our strengths and weaknesses are. I'm really trying not to get so focused on the destination that I don't enjoy the journey. And so far, the scenery hasn't been too bad!
It's funny but when you're going into adoption, you start to pay attention to adoption related things much more closely. For example, there have been so many times that I've met someone or there are some people that I already know, that I wish would have placed their child for adoption. An eighteen-year old girl in our ward has a beautiful 5-month-old boy, and, while I'm happy for her, I still also wish she would consider adoption. Or there is this really cute 5-year-old little girl that is currently being raised by her grandparents, and I have dreams that Hubs and I have adopted her. Or, sadly, I'm a middle school teacher and know of a couple of girls who are pregnant. And it's funny how adoption just keeps coming up. When Hubs and I first started thinking about adoption, we were praying and fasting whether it was the road for us. Then it was like the Lord had adoption signs all over the place (like Road Work Ahead signs in Utah, they were everywhere!). Songs on the radio, our home teacher tells us that he's adopted and about his experiences, Hub's cousin starts talking to us about adoption (she's adopted two boys), TV shows, friends, and the best example-We're at a Brad Paisley concert and Rodney Atkins is opening for Paisley. Right in the middle of his concert, Rodney Atkins stops and talks about how his parents adopted him and of the great impact that that has had on his life and then he encourages anyone who might be considering adoption to do it because you could really change the life of someone.
We also have some friends that are leaving next week to go to Ethiopia to pick up their little baby boy that they're adopting. We went out to dinner with them last week, and it was neat to get to be a part of their excitement. They have pictures of the little boy, and he is absolutely adorable! It's crazy (and frustrating) because there are so many babies and children in the orphanages that need good homes, but it's so expensive and there is so much red tape to adopt from there. Our friends have had to wait over 6 months since they knew which little baby they were going to adopt. They were approved, but had to go through all of the legal procedures while 6 months of their baby's life went by. But their on their way within a few days and will very soon be meeting the newest member of their family. So exciting! I'm extremely happy for them!
Getting There-January 28, 2009
We're getting there, slowly but surely. I just attended a panel tonight on foster care. It was really interesting. I often feel that that's a road Hubs and I are supposed to take someday. There were three different couples there tonight who spoke of the trials and challenges of foster care, but also the blessings and joy. One couple was very honest and said that you would get your heart broken. The state really tries to bring families together and to return children to their biological families as much as possible, so it is very possible that you could get really attached to a child and then have to let them go. They talked about how hard that is but how you heal. I also liked how they said that the best way to get through it all is to have faith that what is meant to happen will happen-whether it's returning a child to his/her family or having them become part of your family. I was really impressed with the couples. I think it would take a certain strength, patience, and love. I would really like to look into foster care someday, but as I drove home tonight, I had the feelings that foster care isn't quite the road to take now, but maybe someday. There is so much good that you can do for children through foster care, I hope to have that opportunity one day.
So we've got most of our paperwork done now. We've got a rough draft of our birthmother letter and some possible collages. Our online work is almost all the way completed. Today we had our home study with our case worker. I was so nervous for some reason. I think when I'm nervous I talk way too much, so I was babbling like crazy today. Our case worker is so sweet though. She answered our questions, looked over our paperwork with us, and took a tour of the house. In a situation like this, you start to notice every little imperfection about your home. It was crazy! Hubs says I'm just paranoid and that our house is just like every other house out there, but how could he miss the cobweb in the corner?! But, despite my anxieties, it seems to have all gone really well. Now we just need to attend an adoption class and wait for approval. I can't wait!
So here's something random, Hubs had the idea to go on the It's About Love website and type in our criteria to see what adoptive couples came up. So I did, and, as I was scrolling down the page, all of sudden there was this guy who was one of my good friends my first year of college (and on whom I had a secret crush for the longest time). It was so weird to see a familiar face. I almost wish I could contact him and his wife (who I've also met) and wish them luck or something. Or say, "Hey! I'm doing this too! How's it going for you?" Anyway, I just thought it was so interesting with all the couples there that I would find an old friend!
Thursday, March 12, 2009
I got this in an email today and liked it, thought I would share. (By the way, I took the picture shown above, and I am so proud of my amazing photography skills to capture not one, but two beautiful butterflies in this photograph!) =)
'To get something you never had, you have to do something you never
When God takes something from your grasp, He's not punishing
you, but merely opening your hands to receive something better.
'The will of God will never take you
where the Grace of God will not protect you.'
Anyway, it's been nice having some puppy-love in the house. We're so excited! And if you don't hear from me for awhile, it's because puppy-training is a 24 hour job!
Friday, February 27, 2009
Here's the lyrics to the song Sounds Like Life to Me:
( Darryl Worley, Wynn Varble, Phil O’Donnell )
Got a call last night from an old friend’s wife
Said I hate to bother you
Johnny Ray fell off the wagon
He’s been gone all afternoon-
I know my buddy so I drove to Skully’s
And found him at the bar
I said "hey man, what’s going on?"
He said "I don’t know where to start-
Sarah’s old car’s about to fall apart
And the washer quit last week
We had to put momma in the nursing home
And the baby’s cutting teeth
I didn’t get much work this week
And I got bills to pay."
I said, "I know this ain’t what you wanna hear
But it’s what I’m gonna say...
Sounds like life to me,
it ain’t no fantasy
It’s just a common case of everyday reality
Man, I know it’s tough but you gotta suck it up
To hear you talk you’re caught up in some tragedy
It sounds like life to me."
Well his face turned red and he shook his head
He said, "you don’t understand
Three kids and a wife depend on me
And I’m just one man
To top it off I just found out
That Sarah’s 2 months late."
I said, "hey bartender set us up a round
We need to celebrate!"
Sounds like life to me,
plain old destiny
Yeah the only thing for certain is uncertainty
You gotta hold on tight just enjoy the ride
Get used to all this unpredictability
Sounds like life...
Man, I know its tough but you gotta suck it up
To hear you talk you’re caught up in some tragedy
Sounds like life to me
Sounds like life
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Anyway, my aunts asked me to put together a slideshow for his funeral. At some time last night I heard someone mention that my uncle had an account on MySpace. So, just a little bit ago, I looked him up to try to get an idea of the style of the slideshow and what music he liked. I have been estranged (is that the right word?) from my uncle for a long time, and right now I'm feeling such guilt. Reading his profile and looking at his favorite things and reading his blog, I realize how much we have in common and how many things we could have talked about and enjoyed together. Opportunities missed. What really broke my heart was on the blog entry in October when he announced his diagnosis with cancer, there were no comments. No encouragement to be strong, no sympathy...nothing. Now I realize that I can't be aware of every blog out there or anything like that, but I wish someone would have. And I wish I could have found that opportunity to reach out to him.
So, I guess, to close this entry, I'll just end with a few words for my Uncle:
First, I know you made some mistakes.
I forgive you. I forgave you a long time ago.
Know that I really do love you.
And I'm sorry I waited so long to say that.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Anyway, back to infertility and the Ghost Whisperer. So Melinda (Hewitt) and her husband have finally decided to try to start a family. For the first few seasons, Melinda wasn't too keen on having children-she had some unresolved issues, one of which was how to deal with seeing dead people and having a baby at the same time. But then they started to try and get pregnant but were having difficulties. Then all of a sudden, in one of the episodes, Melinda finds out that there is a pill that she can take that will make it possible for her to have a baby. So after that episode, I felt a little angry with the writers because they made it too easy. And I worried that maybe some other women dealing with infertility would get more frustrated with their situation because it wasn't that easy. I know, I know, it's just a show, but these are the things that go through my mind (to think I watch TV to relax. Ha!). So this is what I was thinking, and I was getting ready to give up my Ghost Whisperer addiction, but then I decided to give it one more chance and in the next episode, they kill off Melinda's husband. Then I was extremely angry because just when things were going to get better for her, she was going to be able to have a baby...it was a low blow. And then I was fuming. She's been dealing with dead people's problems for years now and then infertility and then they kill her husband?! Why do they have to be so hard on the poor girl? Have the writers no mercy? If you haven't figured it out by now, I think I'm a nutcase. These are truly the thoughts that go through my head at any given moment...sad.
Let us move on to other examples of infertility in the media. The Practice deals with quite a few infertility issues since that's what some of the doctors do on that show. But I don't watch that show very often...it's up against another show that I love. And I've heard that on a certain soap opera there's been a some different infertility issues with some of the characters. I've just heard this from a friend of a friend, mind you. I would never waste my time watching that mindless, trashy stuff. Though if I did occassionally catch a couple of hours, I would have to admit that I find Sonny from GH very sexy...or so my friend of a friend thinks, anyway.
Well, the other day I was watching another one of my addictions, ER, and they have one of the doctors going through infertility. She lost a young child a few years back and she and her husband have just begun to try to have a baby. Because she is older, her chances were pretty slim, so she decided to go with IVF. This past week she went through the egg retrieval. It was heart wrenching because she told her husband that if it was bad news she wanted to hear it from him. And so just when she wakes up from the anesthetics, her husband comes and holds her and breaks the news to her that the retrieval was unsuccessful. The acting was incredible-I recognized the pain she was portraying. I know that hurt. I had to remind myself, again, that it's just a show so that I wouldn't do something crazy like send a letter of condolesences, a tub of icecream, and giant stuffed animal off to Angela Bassett (the actor who plays Dr. Banfeld).
Anyway, now you know what's in my head. I could go on and on. I haven't even touched on movies yet...Baby Mama...Juno...but I think I'll call it a night!
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Have yourself a very fertile Christmas...
I'm dreaming of a fertile Christmas,
Just like the ones the other girls know...
To name a few. I had rantings and ravings about this and that. I wanted to write poetry and inspirational stuff. But, alas, time flew by and here I am too tired to really remember what I wanted to write about when I began this entry a few minutes ago. Oh well.
As for the baby-front: I'm trying to decide whether or not I should do another laparoscopy. I'm planning on doing my 4th and final round of IVF this summer and really want everything to be in tip top shape. And my periods have been getting more and more painful like they were in the past. If I decide to do it, I should probably do it soon so that I'll be ready for the summer. But then part of me remembers the last time...the worst part is the gas they fill you up with. And I remember the first time I woke up at home and tried to use the bathroom...not a pleasant memory. And then I feel a little guilty because my poor husband sacrifices so much. For example, he has this dumb broken tooth that he keeps putting off getting fixed because I tend to use up all the money for my medical bills. But then I think that if this is really going to be my last try at IVF, I really want to know that I did everything in my power to make things work. Maybe I should just talk to my doctor and see what he thinks...
For now I think I just need to go to bed.