Saturday, August 29, 2009

Called To ?

I have a few friends who have adopted. One has 2 children through domestic adoption and another is traveling to China September 10 to bring home her daughter. Both friends said they always 'felt called to adopt.' I don't know about the always part - maybe I put that in there. Not going into each of their stories, they each have a different path to this point. Whether through infertility treatment or deciding to not pursue that, each has a different road they took. And neither road looks like mine.

I, however, absolutely do not feel 'called to adopt.' What exactly am I called to do in this area? I have no idea.

This is a lonely path. No one I personally know has experienced multiple miscarriages AND infertility, with no living children. I know you ladies are out there, and I am grateful that you are. How I wish none of us had to seek each other out! How I wish we each never knew this thorny, boulder-filled road! What a sweet victory we will each experience when Jesus returns one day, to redeem this earth and each of us! Our stories will end vastly differently than they began.

We have the adoption paperwork sitting all organized in a designer hanging file box - one of those with pink and green flowers with brown accents. Each hanging file folder is different - one with stripes, one with flowers, some embossed. So creative, pretty - but I want nothing to do with any of it. It hurts my heart to begin this journey. Somehow I have to admit defeat. Somehow I have to admit that IVF didn't work, and though it's completely obvious, I just can't let it go.

A friend who went through this 2nd round of IVF with me and is pregnant is in a Bible study with me. Seeing her is SO difficult. She isn't showing much yet, but it's coming. Her face is much rounder, and while very nearly the only physical change I can see for now, even that pains me. She is a sweetheart, but when she told me she 'understands what I'm going through' I want to tell her, oh no you don't. Granted, she HAD infertility treatment, but for them, it was male factor infertility. Their first round of IVF was a success. She has never had a miscarriage, much less 2. I wanted so much to let her know how much she didn't understand. But I know that would be wrong.

And why does she have to understand, God asked me? I understand you, each of your thoughts, each of your tears, each of your pains, your confusion. Let me be the One who understands you. Ok, God, but sometimes I'm mad at You. That's ok, My child. I'm not leaving you, ever. But sometimes I want to leave You, God - but I won't. Don't let me.

Today my friend adopting from China had her baby shower at church. Eden, her daughter, is no longer a baby, but for my friend, having the shower meant so much. Waking up this morning, I was angry. My friend is celebrating a victory, but the more I feel her happiness, the sadder I get. So to avoid that, I just got angry. Anger and infertility go so well together, I'm afraid. I have been praying for help in this area, but so far, God is asking me to lean on Him, yet my anger remains.

I walked into the banquet hall, beautiful music playing and round tables laid out with pink decorations. I was carrying a fruit tray with the price sticker still on it. I was late, and they had to make room for my fruit. I had intended on leaving after dropping off the fruit and a gift card, the only baby or child gift I can manage to purchase at this time. For a moment, I thought, maybe I can stay, maybe I can do this. Then a mutual friend said to everyone 'oh, you're so lucky you look so good at your shower! My ankles were swollen, my belly was big, and I felt just awful at my shower!' That was my signal to exit.

I made it to my car without my lips trembling, but inside, I felt ashamed. Why couldn't I do this, why couldn't I stay? Somehow the shower being held at church felt more divinely-ordained than an ordinary shower. And yet, the very road my friend had taken to arrive here was the same road I felt 'not called' to take. How wrong did that make me?

My head felt like it was about to explode. All of my emotions were roiling, not to mention the fact that my hubby had to pick up the fruit tray because I was running late and bring it to the church for me. He was furious. Why couldn't he understand I didn't do this on purpose? When I told him my heart is grieving, he said, over what now? My hubby is really the sweetest man on earth, but he is still a man. He is lucky in that he doesn't FEEL all the feelings women feel who struggle with infertility. But dealing with the lack of harmony in this area is difficult.

So, I went to get a pedicure. There's not much that a pedicure won't 'cure.' I chose a coral-hued polish and waited. It was crowded, but nothing that a wrinkled In Style magazine from May wouldn't cure. I can read that stuff as the day is long, and be distracted I think, even from impending death. Listening to all the women (and 2 men) around me made me feel equal with them. There was no comparing child photos, child accomplishments, numbers of children, due dates. Just us and our nails.

And in that comparison, my nails looked pretty good.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Well, friends, something I'm not is... happy-go-lucky.

I wouldn't say I've lost my sense of humor, just that it's been changed.  I laugh as often as I can, because I know just how much I need to.  I value a good laugh more today than I ever have. However, I find that in my day to day existence, my innocence is gone.  I'm a little hesitant to rejoice, hesitant to be happy.  I find that contentment is difficult to come by.  I believe that one day, this will change - it will get better.

Even when something good DOES eventually happen to me in the having-a-child-in-our-lives department, I'm going to feel more like it could be taken away.  When we got pregnant with our first child, we decided to name her Grace.  My morning sickness was terrible, but I told myself, this is what women do.  It really was the change-your-life type of morning sickness, where just the smell of certain foods was enough to send me to the ladies room.  I popped Zofran like it was candy.  

The day we went for our first ultrasound, I wore a blue Life Is Good t-shirt with a small oval of the woods on it.  It reminded me of the trip we had taken to Yosemite.  My hubby joined me - and as the doctor joined us, I said, please give us 3 pictures, one for us and one for each of the first-time grandparents!  I laid back and the doctor began describing what he saw.  I had no clue what he was talking about, but he was saying the things he saw like a list.  

And then I asked, is everything ok?

When he said no ... the world fell out from under me.

I was certain I had misheard him.  But as he spoke, his voice cracked, and though I didn't know him very well at the time, I believed his emotion.  We could go the lab and have some HCG levels taken, and then come back 2 days later, he said and have more HCG levels taken.  Sitting in the lab waiting room, the edges of our reality began to fray.  I called work to let them know and to try to be off the rest of the day.  Murray called his mom, and I reached my dad on his cell phone.  

It was true - my HCG levels, though very high - over 20,000 - were decreasing.  I even missed my doctor's confirmation phone call because I was throwing up.  A D&C was scheduled for 2 days before Christmas.

This happened in 2006, and though I'd like to say I've come further with this, I really haven't.  I feel stuck in the sorrow.  We still have no living children to this day.  But I KNOW my Gracie is waiting on us in heaven, along with her brother.  (I never knew the sex of either of my children, but we have decided to accept them as a girl and a boy, respectively.)

So pardon me if I have trouble believing that good can happen to me.  Because I don't.  Please instead, believe that for me.  And pray.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


I've been having trouble sleeping lately.  Not because I haven't tried: I've exercised (ok, maybe too close to bedtime, but not usually), reduced my caffeine intake, journaled, prayed, talked to my hubby.  One night, I even took a sleeping pill.  Being a pharmacist myself, I am well aware of the addictive potential in these seemingly innocuous pills.  I was willing to try anything, however.  I discovered I'm not a fan of the after effects - dizziness, grumpiness, grogginess - the following day, even though the pill isn't supposed to remain in your system that long.  So, no easy answers here.

I am like a little processing plant trying to process where we are.  And where is that, you ask? In the land of We Cannot Have Children.  We can always attempt to adopt, but that is a separate issue.  For now, I may as well be wearing a sign on my head: "Mind Full: Grieving Miscarriages and Childlessness."

I won't always feel this way.  I keep telling my hubby and parents: one day, I'll get better.  I won't hurt this much.  But for now, keeping my head up takes all I've got.  Going to the gym takes God-strength.  Learning our new computer system at work makes my mind fuzzy. Driving past the fertility clinic makes me feel wistful.