Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Remember Me

On the lifestyle change front, I have lost 6 pounds!!  Today marks the beginning of Phase 1.  I made it through the reset, which was a 14 day carb-free fest. I begin the exercising today......oh no. A little nervous, but I'm ready to give it a try. I also get to add back in a few select carbs. I got to eat Fib$er One this morning in coconut milk! Never have I been so glad to eat a cereal, much less a healthy one like this. Who knew? And I get to have some brown rice tonight.

On the rest-of-my-life front.....sigh. I just found out my closest church friend is pregnant. She was my one, well let's just say, person who still got it that I saw at Sunday school each week. She did foster parenting for awhile, taking care of a 4 year old and 2 year old for about 7 months last year. They ultimately were returned to the birth mom due to a change in Alabama state law. To save money, our state no longer performs drug tests on DHR cases. This means that drug abuse alone is no longer a reason to remove a child from the home. SO sad. Drugs are a benchmark of poor choices in the home, and yet in the name of money, we no longer acknowledge that. It's a development that begs for prayer and reconsideration, in my opinion.

This friend has PCOS, which is an overall much more treatable diagnosis than mine in the realm of infertility. So I knew this day would come - I just didn't expect it to come so SOON. I've lost friends over this, and this time, I prayed, Lord please don't let that happen. Even though my heart really could not be more broken than it is right now, and I feel like the face of the Lord is turned away from me (though I know this is not true), I don't want to lose her friendship. Satan has taken and continues to take from me, but I won't let him take this.

My friend did a series of IUIs (not sure how many), so she did have to see an RE for a time. They had taken a break from treatment when they decided to pursue foster parenting. This requires a lot of training, and they had hoped to adopt these 2 children. They found out right before Christmas that the children had to be returned to the birth mom, so we had both had an AWFUL Christmas together. All 4 of us had gone out to eat for New Year's Eve, and we watched the National Championship game together. She and her DH were kind of our go-to people, so it hurts. Needless to say, this is going to be right in my face for a long, long time. And I'm not looking forward to it.

The two of us did talk at Sunday school on Sunday. I have to credit her for coming up to me. I was just too sad to approach her. It might sound odd, but the truth is, the depth of my sadness actually reflects just how happy I am for her. I KNOW how much this means to her. And I know how much it would mean to me. Hence the tremendous sadness. I told her that I don't want to lose our friendship, and she said she didn't want to either. I told her I had lost friends over this, and "I think the reason I did is that neither one of us realized we could be this honest with each other. It takes a lot of courage and honesty to talk to each other like we are." She agreed. I told her I want to know how you are - so I can pray. But I cannot know the details. She nodded. I felt bad, but I know my heart cannot take it.

This is all new to me. The crushing disappointments, the encroaching despair, the desire of my heart landing right beside me, and I mean RIGHT beside me. My soul is disturbed within me. Has my God forgotten me? I know the answer is no, but it feels like the answer is yes. I have been reading and re-reading the story of Hannah. My prayer is that my Lord will remember me 1 Samuel 1:11. My Lord, please remember your daughter. Please remember me.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Back to Myself

On the 'lifestyle change' front (I won't call it a diet), I'm doing ok.  Lunch was tuna salad on a bed of lettuce with reduced everything red wine vinaigrette, and it was great.  I did cheat, and add some pickle juice and 3 baby midgies (small sweet pickles). I want to follow the eating plan perfectly, thanks to the obsessive side of me, but this is the best I can do. And it's ultimately all about making a lifestyle change.  I turned a corner last Friday, and the sore throat, utter exhaustion (so I wanted to sleep much more than usual) and headaches went away after 3 days of 'detoxing'.  I'm currently free of carbonated beverages, fast food and sugar.  Except for the pickles. Fruit comes back next week! But the exercise DVDs start in a week, too. Sigh. We'll see how that goes, but it's too far ahead to worry about. I've lost 5 pounds so far, but I expect that to slow to a trickle now. The exercise should get the weight loss back up, though. Hopefully.

My first day at a new pharmacy was yesterday. It went ok. The usual crazies, and I got pretty mad, but then again, it's just the way it is. Doesn't mean I like it, though. As you can probably tell, my truest desire is to quit my job and switch to the hardest, most rewarding job in the world - that of being a mom. My boss has been giving me fits lately, pressuring me to work more hours. I don't want to because I have a lot of stuff I'm dealing with, and working 8-12 hours a week is all we financially need (for now; no idea for the future). Thank you, Lord that You are holding me up and carrying me through! Please let it be over soon..... but I've been praying that for over 10 years now.

We have one of those digital photo picture frames. I've been praying to be able to put pictures of my kids in that thing for what seems like forever. For now though, it sits in our dining room, and we watch it cycle through while we eat. We have pics of trips we've gotten to take - to Yosemite, San Francisco, Disney and the beach, as well as family pics and pics DH is always taking. I always run a time line in my head of 'when was this? was it before the first miscarriage (in Dec. 2006), before my infertility diagnosis (April 2008), before we learned we apparently cannot have biological children?'

Of course, I've gotten 'older' - only ever so slightly ;) - but my face looks so much less tense, emotionally lighter and innocent, really, in these pictures. Here's a few:

This is DH and me after we moved to our current Alabama town, taken in 2005, so that makes it before any of this. At the time, I didn't know when we'd start a family, but I knew this was the place they'd come home to, since DH was finished with school and residency. After living in San Antonio, we were glad to be back in Alabama.

This is the whole fam, except DH's brother, taken in May 2005 at a surprise dinner we had for my mom to celebrate her 'retiring' from full-time teaching. This one is in our adoption photo book, to give the birth mother a chance to see all of us at once. I remember feeling really happy here because we had successfully planned a surprise. I had no idea that the feeling of failure would become a predominant part of my life a year and a half later.

Here I am, getting ready to go in for my embryo transfer during my second IVF cycle in July 2009. I am of course SO hoping it will work. DH gets to go in with me, so as usual he just has to be taking pictures. I remember the hope I had, that this time it WILL work, that we CAN have biological children, that we WILL have embryos left over to freeze and get a sibling. None of that happened (except the leftover embryos, which we did have, but our 2nd FET using them was a BFN).

Just for reference, here we are at the baby shower that DH's office staff threw for Isaac's adoption in November 2011. Of course, the adoption fell through, and though I was afraid it might at the time (not for any specific reason, only because domestic adoptions fail more than international ones), so much so that it was a bit difficult to enjoy the shower, we never imagined the adoption REALLY would fall through. I'm a little down on domestic adoption right now, understandably.

This is really more of a noticing on my part than anything else. And although all of you may not be able to tell anything (I hope you can't actually, since all I want to be is beautiful ;) ), it's amazing what we can see in a photograph sometimes when we are familiar with the background story, especially if we've LIVED it. More than anything, I know that God can create in me that which I cannot comprehend. And since He is full of lovingkindness Psalm 103:11, I know that what He creates will be better, truer and lovelier than anything I can devise. Until then, it hurts. A lot. And I just want to get back to myself, back to the real me. I'm changed forever now, and that's ok. But I wonder: how will happiness feel now? And when will it get here?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Anything for You

That Gloria Estefan song popped into my head as I finished my shower. Not every lyric applies to how I feel with the failed adoption, but a lot of it does. Mostly, the title.

Anything for you
Though you're not here
Still I can't figure what went wrong.

I'm doing the PINK method diet that was on Dr. Phil. Yep, so I'm laying that out there. It starts with a (for me, depending on your starting weight) 14-day reset, or cleanse. Sigh. This is the first time I've done one of these in my life, other than a few weeks of no carbs, lots of meat and cheese before a friend's wedding. I have a shake for breakfast with whey protein powder, almond milk and fruit, then a 4 oz portion of protein, enough to fit in the palm of your hand, with unlimited vegetables for lunch and ditto for dinner. Simple enough. Carrying out, not so simple.

I'm an emotional eater - see my last post. So giving up chocolate, chips, Zax#by's, Die%t Coke, you name it and well, it hurts. I've had some headaches, dizziness, felt very tired, but really, it's not too bad. The scale says I've lost 3 pounds, and while I know that's water weight, at least I'm not carrying it around.

I'll be honest, this lifestyle change, which is exactly what I plan for it be, scared me. What if I fail? And I feel that way every day. But, I had come to a crossroads, not only in my heart but in my 'food life'. I could tell that if I didn't make a change, I was going to throw caution to the wind and gain 20 or more pounds. Food was becoming a closer friend that I needed it to be. We were essentially living on fast food, which when I have my children (thanking God for them before they get here!), is no way to live. DH is on his own right now, poor thing. He did try some of my cauliflower and carrot soup, and graciously ate his Wend*y's in the car before coming inside. :) I'm simply too vulnerable for him to bring it in the house.

After the 14 day reset, then you get to slowly add back in certain specified carbs, like a pear. Oh that pear! I can hardly wait! Fruit was always my go-to when I tried to eat healthy in the past. Then, and this is the kicker, you do the exercise DVDs that come with the PINK kit. I've heard they are tough, and they require a daily routine. !!!! However, I'm taking this one meal at a time, and that's too far down the road right now.

My goal is to lose 25 pounds. Oh, boy.

And I'd do anything for you.
In spite of it all
I've learned so much from you
You've made me strong

This pain has been unlike any I've experienced before. I'd never allowed myself to dream of my child like I did Isaac, wash baby clothes, read books on parenting. We took parenting classes at our local hospital (how I longed to just be able to go THERE to get my baby - instead of hoping someone would place their child in my arms 15 hours away). DH's office staff held a baby shower on a Sunday afternoon for us, complete with games and the cutest cake. We took so many pictures. I got to write a lot of thank you notes, thanking them most of all for being a part of such a special time in our lives.

My pain was and still is, ever before me. It taunts me when I reach into my SUV's back seat and see the car seat base there. I walk past the closed nursery door still. My arms long to hold a little one. It's easy to hate my body for 'letting me down' - expressed in my life through infertility and miscarriage. Yes, my heart has been broken more than I ever thought possible by all of this, but my body is a temple of the Holy Spirit 1 Corinthians 6:19. And I have been bought with a price 6:20. So since I have a few weeks of less hours at work, it just seemed like the time to do this fell in my lap.

Maybe He's the one singing Anything for You - to me.

Friday, January 13, 2012


Today is just one of those days. I'm still wearing my pj's, eating m&.ms by the handful out of a one pound bag, nursing a cold and blubbering/crying on the phone to our local social worker.  We are using an adoption agency in Texas, while the agency who performed our home study is local. DH had emailed her a few weeks ago to tell her of the failed adoption.  She called to check on us, and it was a few days before I felt like calling her back.  Of course, it would be on a day like this that she'd return my call.

I'm uncomfortable showing my emotions, especially on the phone, especially with someone in a 'service capacity', translation: not as a friend.  Maybe that's just it - maybe she is a friend.  But I have to say, I am having SUCH trouble trusting anyone these days.  My faith in humankind is decimated. And no remnants remain.

I've never found it easy to trust anyone. My father was a very angry person when I was a girl, and his unpredictable outbursts of anger chased my tomboy-like desire to connect with men - especially my father - and eventually to connect with any human, out the window. I'm great with pets. When I go to someone's house, I connect with their dog better than I do with them at first. And if they don't have a wandering or pet-able pet (fish don't really count), it takes me longer to open up or feel comfortable.

Work has been a bummer lately. I'm a pharmacist at a large grocery store chain, and I had earned FMLA leave for the adoption, starting in late December and going through early February. When the adoption failed, I called my boss and he graciously said just call me in a few weeks and we'll work out when you want to come back. Perfect. It was almost Christmas, and my mind couldn't have been further from work.

At the store where I work, there are 3 other pharmacists. One is full time, and the other 3 of us used to all be part-time, so we would split the rest of the hours. Jenny* had a really rough year: her also pharmacist husband became her ex-husband after he had an affair with his technician. Jenny then became full time. Now, I thought well, she'll just go to a store where there are full time hours, and that will leave us with the rest. Donna*, the 3rd part-time pharmacist, was on maternity leave at this time, however. So that added hours to the pot. Jenny told our boss she wanted to stay at that store, so she then became full time there. Meanwhile, I worked most of Donna's shifts while she stayed home with the baby.

Donna told me before leaving to have her baby that she wanted to work 12 hours a week when she came back. Great, I said, then I'll take the last 8 hours left since Jenny has gone full time. However, Donna came back from leave during the few days between when I called my boss to tell him the news and when I called him to say I was coming back. Donna took all the hours.

I called the pharmacy manager at that store and said, I'm not sure if Donna meant to work all these hours but she said she'd work 12 hours a week when she came back. The way pharmacy works, and I'm sure all other fields, is the person with more seniority gets to decide. The manager said, as far as I know she wants to work all those hours. Now, I've been a pharmacist longer that Donna (14 years this year), but Donna has been with this company longer. So it was her choice, and she took it.

What this means is that I can become a 'floater' pharmacist where I travel to all of our stores (6 in this area, including some up to an hour away) and work to cover their vacation. I did this for several years when I worked with another company and when I first started with this one 5 years ago. But floating is hard. I hate it. And everyone knows that. Add to that the fact that we got our schedule unexpectedly via email yesterday, and I was not scheduled to work any hours that week (2 weeks from now).

So, needless to say, I hate Donna right now. She knows there is not one thing I can do about her decision, so that just encouraged her to do it. DH and I had discussed this all at length, and decided to try and see how my working these hours would go. I'm angry at her for not thinking of anyone but herself. I'd love to be a SAHM, but that isn't the way my life is turning out/we need the money right now.

DH is a medical professional. Anyone married to one of them knows, you have loans, loans, loans to pay back. Loans from professional school, loans from residency, loans from starting a practice. That's what is holding us back right now. DH has applied for an SBA loan, a government loan for small businesses that would, if we were approved, allow us to pay less per month and extend those payments over a longer period. (if you work in this field, I know I just didn't explain that right) Suffice it to say, it will help us each month. But the amount of paperwork he had to fill out was absolutely incredible, and it took him over a year to do it. We just turned it in right before our (supposed) adoption. And we have not heard from the loan people yet.

Phew. So that's why my life sucks right now. So much is in the balance, so much is out of my control, so much is not going the way I'd like. Hey, it's got to get better...

*names have been changed to protect the guilty/innocent

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Broken Heart

We had loaded the SUV up with everything - baby clothes, baby bottles, a bassinet, a swing, car seat, clothes for us for a month - we had it all.  We were on our way to Austin to meet our son!  It felt so strange, doing everything for the last time.  We had enjoyed our last dinner out, savoring our steak and dessert.  We had set up a pediatrician. We had seen our friends for the last time, amidst well-wishes and promises to pray for us everyday. We had walked out of our house for the last time without a child.

Absolutely nothing, even in hindsight, stands out as a sign the birthmother would change her mind 5 days before the scheduled c-section.  We had chosen to name him Isaac Antonio, and we had to tell the adoption agency the name we had chosen so they could transcribe it upon all the legal documents we would be signing at the hospital.  We had told only a few friends his name, preferring instead to announce it when we announced his arrival.

I'll never forget DH's reaction - he was driving, and we were about 3 and 1/2 hours from home, heading to see our family for the last time before we brought home our son.  He just threw up his right hand and said, she's changed her mind.  My heart pounded.  We were in a lot of traffic during rush hour and we needed to pull over so he could finish talking with the social worker.

I ran through the rain to the Bible book store I had found on my phone.  It felt both comforting and strange to be there.  I had wanted out of the car as DH got all the details.  My heart was breaking, and I didn't want to hear his breaking too.

I found a devotional book by a noted Christian author.  I wasn't sure even then how much I would read it, if at all.  But I needed to reach out to the only thing that made sense anymore - God and His love.  I was tempted to grab the first book I saw and run to the register.  I didn't want to be in public while I began to process these emotions, yet I was sure the book store would have something to offer me, like a Biblical bandaid.

I expected DH to come into the store and find me, but he did not.  When I found our parked car, he was still on the phone.  I knew that was bad news.  I ran out to him anyway, headed to the truth at least.  It was brutal truth, but my life was happening at that moment and I didn't want to miss it.

He filled me in - basically, the doctor's office had "accidentally" faxed the birthmother's medical records, which we did have the right to see, with some critical information to the adoption agency, namely that the birthmother said she was not placing the baby for adoption, and to not tell this to the adoption agency.  We were paying her bills at that time, so it was to her advantage to do this.  Of course, the social worker immediately called the doctor's office to confirm this information.  We were driving that day with all our baby's things, and the social worker knew that.

At first HIPPA regulations prohibited them from confirming the information, but they did ultimately confirm that she did state this but "you didn't hear it from us".  Attempts to contact the birthmother were unsuccessful after that time, even though the social worker HAD BEEN COMMUNICATING VIA TEXT WITH HER THAT DAY, TELLING HER WE WERE ON OUR WAY. At no time did she state any of this to the social worker.

Wow.  F-ing wow.

So, telling our parents blew; it absolutely blew.  Here it was, 4 days before Christmas, and we had to go in and say well, I'm sorry but the birthmother changed her mind, and you will not be having a grandson this Christmas. For my parents, this was their first grandchild, so it was especially devastating.  I told myself there is no way I'm sleeping - it's gonna be a long f-ing night.

We texted all of our friends, and one by one started getting responses of shock, utter disbelief.  We had told everyone at this point, and my husband had told all of his patients at his practice.  I had earned FMLA leave off from work, and had told my boss and everyone at my workplace.  We had purchased plane tickets back from Austin so DH could return to work while I stayed with the baby.  Friends had been so generous and used their awards points to book us a hotel room for part of our stay, with the rest of our stay being at a friend's house, for over 2 WEEKS.  It all just seemed to be falling into place, not perfectly, but happening nonetheless.

That's why our shock continued for some time after the news.  We kept our former schedule, only instead of leaving for Austin 2 days later, we returned home.  Home with all of the baby clothes, baby bottles, a bassinet, a swing, car seat, clothes for us for a month - all of it.

DH unloaded it while I went into the house. I knew that was gonna be TOUGH. There were so many triggers there, and while some I had anticipated, others I had forgotten about.  Like the baby album DH had bought off my baby registry.  I grabbed it and threw it into the nursery and slammed the door.  The nursery door is still closed, with every single baby thing in the world completely filling it.

Yep, this from the birthmother who told us to our faces when we met, 'I will not break your heart' and 'when I decide to do something, I don't change my mind'.  Over the course of the next week, we learned of several lies she had told us over time, indicating she had made this decision quite awhile before it was 'found out'. Wow.

So that's basically it in a nutshell.  I would love to hear from some of you who have gone through failed adoption and come out on the other side.  We would love to have some hope right now, but instead, we will let you have that for us.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Worse for the Wear

Hello, all.  I know.... I am so sorry to be gone so long.  Truth is, I was hoping I wouldn't 'need' this blog anymore.... at least in its current state.  Since I've been gone, we've had a failed adoption.

We were matched on September 27.  Our son's due date was December 26.  We found out the birthmother had changed her mind on December 21.

We had decided to name him Isaac Antonio.

Needless to say, Christmas feels like it hasn't happened yet, it was so bad this year.

Of course I have so much more to say, but I'm not ready to yet.