Thursday, July 29, 2010

Ok With It

So we just left the maternity ward after seeing my friend Kate* and Anthony. Just as I expected, her sister Betsy* was protectively holding him, complete with the judgmental downward look should I dare to hold him, lest I steal him, infertile friend that I am. Not fun, but ok, you don't really know me, and I'm sure I'd feel the same way towards my sister's infertile friend she hasn't seen for over 6 months, too.

Still yucky.

I don't have to be ok with it.

I'm not ok with what God is doing. But I don't have to be. I know God is a good God, and really, that is enough. It doesn't feel like it is enough as we drive through the night, headed to DH's office for some late-night work. If we had a baby like Kate does, we couldn't do that. We'd be headed home, with me very sore, and one very perfect gentle angel in my arms.

I didn't hold him at all. No one offered, and I didn't ask. Hmm, I thought, so this is how it is. Not bad, but not especially good. But then again, this infertility thing is a shark with piercing white teeth, capable of separating bone and marrow, shredding hearts and dreams.

Hope you enjoyed your time in the maternity ward, I told DH. You'll be spending the LEAST time of all your friends here, I said after he mentioned the 4 friends' babies he had visited down this same hallway.

Don't talk like that, he said.

We mailed our photo books to the adoption agency today. For those of you who don't know, these are 5 copies of the same book that different birth mothers look through to choose the adoptive parents. We made ours a literal book, as I learned photo publishing websites can do. It has pictures of our lives, our cats, our hobbies and our heartaches. A Dear Birth Parent(s) letter, the most difficult letter I've ever written, is at the front. Over 6 months of work and lots of tears, several re-writes and drafts later, and it was ready. I found myself choking back tears as I walked out of the post office.

Take care of the most personal, vulnerable package I may ever mail, I implored.

Then DH called in the credit card for our agency fee. A chunk of change like none other, the agency fee is compliments of my parents. We did some saving, the best we could on our budget after infertility treatments, to contribute. I'm conflicted, but very grateful to accept their help.

We have quite a lot of expenses to go, including travel to the distant state and the rest of the fees involved. Not sure how we're going to pay for that, but God is able.

On a humid night with no hint of the forecasted rain, I look as far out into the night as I can see. Maybe if I can see someone else's life, I can forget the emptiness, the sorrow, the ache in mine. It is raining in the world I see tonight, like it has been for some time now.

And no, I'm not ok with it. It bites. Over and over. With no knowledge of when it all will end.

I'm glad I saw my friend, though.

*not their real names

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


I've never been a patient person. Although an introvert, I am a type-A personality all the way. When something needs to get done by someone, that someone is me. Why wait?, I reason. And then there's the 'only I can do it right' syndrome. Umm, I don't suffer from THAT... no, not at all.

As a result, accepting my DH's personality can be a challenge. Who can't relate? That's why I married him! I've gotten better at letting things slide: the way towels are folded and organized in my linen closet, his messy side of the bed, the side table by his chair with papers over 9 months old. Ditto the books from schooling from long ago in our basement.

I am wondering, however, how I'll do with waiting to be a mom.

I've been waiting to be a mom for quite some time already: our first miscarriage was over 3 and 1/2 years ago. I have been feeling the 'mothering instinct' for quite a bit longer - since I was 26. That's 10 years. But it was a 'bad' time in our lives back then, with DH's schooling and my full-time pharmacist job. Even my mother-in-law said, 'I just don't know what you'd do if you got pregnant like so-and-so.' As my RE once said, she got her wish.


Anyway, today has been a day marked with lessons of patience. My good friend Kate*, who I wrote about in a previous post in January, went to the hospital today to deliver Anthony*. I had planned to go visit them today, which is a really big deal for me. My losses have been difficult to endure, and I wanted to be there for my friend, in spite of the sadness. Of course I have no idea how these things really go, but I was imagining it would be today that he would arrive. But, here it is 6:20 pm, and still no Anthony.

DH and I sometimes eat lunch together on Wednesdays. We went to the local chicken super-crowded place and barely got in and out before we needed to be at the bank to have some of our adoption paperwork notarized. Well, apparently, the bank is no longer notarizing. Of course I took it personally and had to look away as the very kind bank official lady apologized about why she could not notarize our adoption papers. We thanked her - me, through gritted teeth - and I went outside and cursed the fluffy white clouds against chipper blue sky. WTH... I think I needed to feel a little more cut off from society today, I really did.

It's been close to 100 degrees here off and on for a few weeks - we've had one of the hottest summers on record. The heat saps my energy and my want-to almost as bad as infertility. I forgot an appointment I had was at 2:00, even though it was written down, and showed up at 1:00. Then I dashed to T*rget to grab only a fraction of what we really needed to make use of the time somehow. I threw the bags in the house, and barely made it back to the appointment.

Aaarrgh. My mind has been full all day, wondering how I'd deal with Anthony and my friend. I cried myself to sleep last night thinking of it, but found myself waking this morning feeling much better. But my mind was still full. I'm a 'slow processor' of emotions; they take me awhile to digest. Unfortunately I feel them with the intensity of a high power wind tunnel.

So, now that DH is home, I guess it's time to make use of the evening. My friend texted me just now, poor thing. 'He isn't here yet, but I will push again soon'. Poor angel. I wish I could do it for her.

*not their real names

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Going to Take It Anymore

Friends, I am so sorry for staying away so long. Bla, bla, bla.... but you know how it is. I've been busy doing as little as possible, including going for 2 nights to a B&B with DH. Getting away from my family-friendly small city was HEAVEN. I didn't even realize just how suffocating it really was.

I'm not going to take it anymore - just being sad.

True, grief is a life event. I am so much more than my sadness. I have to remember that. Suffering from depression for over 10 years - and probably much longer, perhaps even from childhood - I tend to get wrapped around the axle about sad things I cannot change. Powerlessness is one of the worst things about infertility, but my goal is to live more fully.

I visited my friend Beth Anne* a few hours away. Aaahh, someone who gets it. She is hilarious, single for now, and a pharmacist like me. We gab and joke about our jobs and how much they su*&, though we are both grateful for our jobs. Um, yes we are. But life has not been as kind as I would like to my friend, and along with me, we are journeying down the road of Dreams on Hold.

We made a pledge to get together more often, and we should. Life is too short to be alone for long, and I've been alone about as long as I can take it.

That doesn't mean I won't be up for more solitude. Sometimes it's a bummer being an introvert, but I get energized by being alone. One of my favorite things to do is to visit our botanical garden and just walk slowly and sit for long periods of time. I usually stay about 2 hours. God and I talk, and I get a chance to listen to Him for a change, and I come away - changed. I wouldn't say I feel 'better,' because sometimes I leave with tears in my eyes clinging stubbornly to my mascara. I may leave tired. But grieving is hard work. I leave feeling closer to who I really am.

My mom, for those of you who know, is doing well. She had her thyroid removed in May and she won't have to have radioactive iodine, which is usually used to 'eat' up the cancer cells the thyroid may have sent out to the body. Her doctor didn't say she didn't have cancer, only that her diagnosis is Hashimoto's thyroiditis - an autoimmune disease. There must have been some cells that looked suspect for them to even call it the c-word at all, but WE ARE SO GRATEFUL. Wow. I feel like we dodged a bullet. Thank you, Jesus.

But, the Hashimoto's diagnosis got me thinking - maybe I should have my thyroid checked, including checking for antithyroid antibodies and other autoimmune disease markers like NK cells and antiphospholipid antibodies. Forgive me if I'm inaccurate here, but I've tried to put all this out of my mind - over $1,000 worth of tests (deductible previously met, yea!) - because they are all completely normal.

I've never been so saddened by normal lab results.

Interestingly, the nurse I had talked to that day at my doctor's office had just had this exact panel drawn after her recent miscarriage and difficulty TTC, so I didn't have to know the names of all the tests or convince the doctor to order them. She was there, validating the legitimacy of my request. That really was comforting.

Even though my one shot in the dark left to have a 'condition' on which to blame my infertility is now gone. Gone. DOR it is. Yucky, yucky.

I keep praying for that radical miracle, that only God could have done this miracle out of nowhere. For each of us. Because He can do it.

I have no idea why He might not.