Category Archives: Healing

Adoption Aftermath

When we adopted Muppet my whole world changed. Not only did I become a mother, but all the feelings of anguish and pain caused by infertility suddenly went away. Well not totally away, I don’t think anyone who has gone through infertility doesn’t have at least a few scars, but overall she managed to cover all that hurt up. I no longer saw pregnant women on the street and felt a burning hate. I didn’t see a newborn and want to collapse into tears of longing. She became my world and the blinders she put up made me feel more normal than I had in a long time.

Eventually the blinders came off though. Not to say I’ve totally regressed, the sight of babies no longer pains me. All I see is their squishy little bodies and tiny features that fill me with memories of when my baby was that small and scrunchy. I love babies, I always have. There is something about being around a newborn that breathes life into me and now I am back to enjoying their presence in my world.

But pregnancy is a whole other story. It’s not the same as it was before. There is no hatred when I see round bellies or an announcement online. But there is a huge sense of sadness on my part. In my head this all makes sense. I don’t have a problem with babies because I had a baby. I got to experience the newborn snuggles and smell her delicious head. I got to cuddle her all day long and watch her grow with each passing day. So I don’t feel jealous of that anymore. Maybe a hope that I will get to do it again, but not jealousy.

I didn’t get the pregnancy. This is the one thing I still struggle with. I am SO grateful that I get to be Muppet’s Mama. J and I constantly ask ourselves how we got so lucky. She is everything we could have ever wanted in a child and more. She is without a doubt my child, regardless of the fact that I didn’t create her. But I still have issues with the fact that the first 9 months of her existence was spent with another. I didn’t feel her move in me or get to see any ultrasound pictures. That guts me.

Lately I’ve been having pregnancy dreams again. I haven’t had them in almost 2 years. But this week I’ve had two of them. Both of the dreams involved me being far enough along that I could feel the baby moving inside of me. I don’t know what it is about that simple thing that I crave so much, but I do believe that many take it for granted. In my mind it is so incredibly magical and I hate that I most likely will never get to experience that. Those dreams are so joyful in the moment, knowing that I have a healthy thriving baby within me. As happy as they are at the time though, I wish they’d stop. Because they feel like a kick to the stomach every time I wake and they are not real.

It might be weighing more on my mind now that Muppet is getting older too. I know many people who go through infertility and adoption decide that the one child (or pregnancy) is enough. They don’t try for anymore and raise an only child. I applaud those people. Truly. I think it takes amazing strength to make such a confident decision about your family. But I’ve never been able to reach the same conclusion. J and I both have many siblings so the thought of an only child is completely foreign to us. I honestly don’t know if I even know anybody who is an only child oddly enough. So for us it has never really been in our minds to not have a sibling for Muppet. We know we won’t do more than 2 adoptions. The cost alone makes that difficult. Add on the emotional baggage and I just know I don’t have it in me for more than 2. We want our children to be as close in age as possible, which is tricky with adoption as you don’t have a lot of control over the matter.

Most adoption agencies want you to wait till your first child is 1 before starting the process again. This is to encourage bonding and also to make sure that the adoption process ‘settles’ before starting another. Muppet turned one last month, yet I haven’t been able to convince myself to get going. I don’t know what is holding me back. Part of me is fearful that it will take over our lives and that Muppet won’t be getting what she needs from me. On the other hand I can’t fathom a situation where she wasn’t my number one priority. The mind works in a funny way.

The pregnancy dreams and jealousy don’t help. It only screws my mind up further and makes me hesitate more. I wish I was one of those women who seemed so confident after adoption. Every other adoptive mother I know seems to have it SO together when it comes to this stuff. I don’t hear any of them talk in a way that even hints that they are struggling in the same way that I am. It makes me wonder what is wrong with me. It also makes me feel ungrateful. I know how lucky I am. If I had to go through everything I went through before Muppet was born I would. Because it led me to her.

This whole thing leaves me in such an awkward spot. I’ve given myself a deadline, enjoy the rest of the year and the holidays with my amazing baby girl, the start getting our adoption stuff together and ready in January. I’m hoping that by doing this I can sort out the pregnancy issues / jealousy that is rolling around in my head. For any other adoptive moms out there – How did you completely grieve the loss of possible pregnancies? Are my feelings normal or is this something that you had already resolved by the time of your first adoption?

name

 

 

 

12 Comments

Filed under adoption, BABIES!, Depression, Healing, Infertility, Miscarriage, Motherhood, Pregnancy

Eternal Love

Last night my Grandpa passed away. He had a very hard past few years and although it is heartbreaking to see him go, I know that he is in a better place and free of all his burden. But more importantly, he is the reason I have Muppet. The fees for her where a little higher than we anticipated and it caused us to be hesitant to show our profile to her birth mom. But we felt strongly that we need to show it to her so he graciously and without hesitation gave us the money to help us make up the difference. Without him I don’t know if things would have turned out how they did. For that I will always be eternally grateful.

I’m so glad he got to meet her. And I am so proud to be his granddaughter.

name

16 Comments

Filed under adoption, Family, Healing, It's not always about me, Motherhood

What the future holds

I’ve noticed lately that a lot of infertile bloggers who have found their way to their babies have come to a brave decision. That once they get that long-awaited baby, they were done. They have their babies, whether singletons or twins, and call it quits because who wants to go through that mess again? We are lucky to get our babies.

I desperately wish sometimes that I could reach the same conclusion. But J and I are in agreement that our family is not complete and we really don’t want Muppet to be an only child. There is nothing wrong with this at all, both of us just grew up with a lot of siblings so to us that idea is totally foreign. But I can’t shake the idea that we are not done.

As I mentioned in my last post, J and I have been thinking a lot about how we want to continue to build our family now that Muppet is here. If you had asked me at the beginning of this year what our plans were I would have answered firmly and quickly. We would adopt two children and consider ourselves very blessed. Done. Story over.

During this time J agreed with my plan, except he would always sneak in that we could try for a third child naturally. I politely nodded my head and told him “Yeah, maybe.” All the while thinking that there was no way in hell that I would ever try to conceive again. I figured after we had adopted our second child I would find a way to tell him that I just couldn’t go through it again. We would have our family and all would be well.

Enter Muppet. This amazing little girl has changed my life, but she has also done something I never thought possible…she makes me want to have a baby.

Crazy no? I have no idea where this feeling comes from. I was sure about never getting pregnant again, there was not a shred of doubt. So why all the sudden do I want it again?

I don’t know. Typing it out makes me feel really crazy. I just can’t shake the feeling though. I know I’d have to go into it with a very different mindset, a very depressing one. I’d have to go into it knowing that I will likely have more miscarriages. I’d have to be detached. How horrible is that?

I’m not ready now. No way. I’m still too damaged. Plus I’m soaking up all the precious moments I have with Muppet. I refuse to remember the first portion of her life being tainted with my losses. I want to remember all these moments with her in complete joy. She is growing so fast, I already miss the little baby I brought home from the hospital. But I smell her head, touch her soft skin, and I know that she won’t be my only baby.

I’m so grateful for adoption. It has blessed my life so much and I truly can’t imagine life without Muppet. I know without a shred of doubt that she was always meant to be my child. I had to go through a hell of a lot to get her, but it was always supposed to be her. But now I feel like maybe there is another baby that I’m supposed to have as well and maybe, just maybe, that child is supposed to be carried by me.

We could do another adoption. It is always an option. I have just a few hesitancies, the big one being the money. It is incredibly expensive. I know we would only be able to do one more at most. The other is the idea of having two birth moms is a little overwhelming. I love A. She gave me the greatest gift anyone could have ever given me, but that doesn’t make the situation easy.

It will be awhile till I make any final decision, but as of right now I know what I want. I want something I never thought I would want again. And that really scares me.

name

5 Comments

Filed under adoption, BABIES!, Crazy? I'm not crazy!, Healing, Infertility, Miscarriage, Motherhood, Pregnancy, RPL

National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day 2013

Today, October 15th, is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day. I took a moment to read over my post from last year and it brought tears to my eyes, because everything I said in that post is still true. I’m in a completely different place. I have the most beautiful baby girl that I could ever have imagined but I’m still that girl who wrote those words.

I’ve struggled recently to find my place in this community. Because yes, I am now a mother…but I’m still infertile. And my wounds have still not healed. I would not change a hair on Muppet’s head, but I can’t help but wish that I had carried her for the first 9 months of her existence. I know that if that was the case, she would not be the same person but I wish it was possible.

And I still miss my babies. Every day. My beautiful girl is the light of my life but although I love her more than anything, she doesn’t take away the pain of my missing children. In my mind she has a big brother. MB. Who left this world far too soon. Along with the other unknown little angels. They will never be replaced or forgotten.

My heart aches for anyone who has ever had to experience the pain of pregnancy or infant loss. It is something that scars you deeply. I can only pray that my own sweet Muppet will never have to go through the things I had to on my journey to a family, but I know that if she does I will be able to hold her in my arms and help her understand that she is not alone in this pain. The same goes for everyone in this community who has lost a desperately loved child. I want to extend to all of you my love and comfort.

Today I remember my lost babies, just as I remember them everyday. I love them, forever and always.

name

3 Comments

Filed under adoption, Healing, Infertility, Miscarriage

It is known

Back in December when we discovered that my last pregnancy was ectopic there were a few thoughts that came into my mind. Most of them where along the lines of “Why me?!?!?” but one particular though was “Shit, this means I’m going to have to do the HSG test again.” Sure enough, it was something my doctor recommend a week later. Then everything blew up, I landed in emergency surgery again, and it was discovered that the reason for my ectopic was clear, my tube had formed adhesions which had caused it to become stuck to my abdominal cavity in a looped shape. My surgeon again told me I needed to have the HSG test done. She tried her best to un-adhere the tube and get it in a normal shape but because of the delicate nature of fallopian tubes she had to be very careful, therefore she didn’t know if she was completely successful or not.

But I knew I was done. I knew as soon as I saw the positive pregnancy test for the 4th time that if it didn’t turn into a take-home baby, I was finished. I was broken at that point. I couldn’t even be excited about my BFP, I was so emotionally detached from the whole thing in order to protect myself. Then of course it was found to be ectopic and I was even more sure that I was done.

Right after my surgery we immediately began pursuing adoption. We poured ourselves into pamphlets, websites, and paperwork. So why bother with the test? Who cares if my tube was looped or damaged? I had no intention on using it again so why go through it all over?

The recommended that I have it done in March. But March came and went and I didn’t do it. By this point though, it was starting to creep into my mind. The “what if” of it all. I was firm in my decision to adopt but I felt like I couldn’t fully let go of the past until I knew for sure if it would ever be possible for us to naturally conceive again.

There were 3 results the test could give us:

  1. The tube was still looped inside my body making any naturally pregnancy that would occur an ectopic pregnancy.
  2. The tube was no longer looped, but the strain from the surgery and the ectopic pregnancy caused it permanent damage making it not viable.
  3. It was fine. Normal shaped, healthy and ready to go.

I can say that my instincts were screaming at me that the answer would be number 1. I felt positive that because of the surgeons less than confident attitude towards it made me feel that she was unable to un-loop the tube. I felt SO sure about this that I started discussing with my OB a more permanent form of birth control. Mainly an IUD. I told her that I can sometimes get careless with my BC and that if more ectopic pregnancies were in my future I had no plan of ever getting pregnant again. (To be truthful in my mind there will be no pregnancy regardless of the outcome but more on that later.) Her answer was simply “We need to do the HSG test”.

I needed to close the book on this chapter of my life. I have whole-heartedly accepted that my family will be formed through adoption. I feel no resentment over this, only excitement. But I still needed to know.

So I finally set the appointment. I went in feeling sick to my stomach. My first go at the HSG was not a pleasant experience. However this time, it wasn’t as bad. That may be due to the fact that I gratuitously took pain-killers that were left over from my surgery, but I digress. Unlike the first time though, the doctor did not give me the results straight away. He told me he had to take the films and magnify them, to really get an idea of what was going on. I had a good idea what was going on, but I thanked him and left.

Tonight I got a call from my OB with the results. My tube…is perfect. It is not looped, it is not damage, and I am in shock. I am still at a higher risk for and ectopic than most as I have already had one, but still…if I wanted to I could try again.

Right now, we don’t want to. Our adoption process is moving along beautifully and we have no desire to change our course. But guys, we have options now. Coming out of this, I did not expect to have any. Its odd getting good news for once.

name

10 Comments

Filed under adoption, Celebration, Ectopic, Healing, Moving On

28

This past weekend I turned 28 years old. Now before you all start throwing virtual dirty looks my way, I know that is not old. But it doesn’t change the fact that I started this journey when I was 25. If I was a “normal” person I’d probably have a 2-year-old and be thinking about a second child.

We spent my birthday in Michigan visiting J’s family. We hadn’t seen them in almost a year and a half  due to my latest foray in the operating room. It was good to spend time with them and generally just relax. Parts of it did make me sad though because we had planned to visit Michigan this summer with MB in tow. There are still times that shadows of what my life should have been pop up and take me unaware.

But on to happier things. While we were there, we stopped by the local Salvation Army. I have to say, SoCal thrift stores blow. Seriously, they are more expensive and generally don’t have much. But this one, I hit the mother-lode. I had to refrain for buying up all the cute girls clothes as I have no idea what gender our baby will be.

I did get 8 onesies though. All in excellent condition (some don’t even seem to have ever been worn) and all gender neutral. The best part? I got them all for a grand total of $4. Score!

So yes, I have started doing some *light* shopping. At first it was really scary and actually had me in mini-panic attacks. I never allowed myself to look at baby stuff so the idea of buying some sent me into a tailspin. But then I reasoned with myself. The fact is, I don’t get to do the normal pregnancy bonding thing. And I NEED to feel connected to this adoption. So the onesies have entered a small pile of clothing that I have started collecting when I’ve come across some amazing bargains. I don’t think I’ve spent more than $10 but still. I’m a work in progress. Also J got me a glider for my birthday. It is perfect and will be something that I know I will eventually make great use of.  And if for some reason it doesn’t end up in a nursery it is an awesome reading chair. Yup, I went there.

But the good news is this morning I got an e-mail from our social worker with our completed home study. I won’t lie, I teared up (while at work) when at the bottom it said she recommended us for adoption. I mean, I knew that. She told us that. But seeing it in writing was a great feeling.

This weekend I will be filling out all the paperwork for our adoption agency while our social worker’s supervisor approves the final draft of the study. The paperwork for the agency is minimal in comparison to the home study. They’ve told us it only takes a few days to get everything completed, so my goal is to start having our profile shown by the end of the month.

J and I have become obsessive baby spotters. More specifically, black baby spotters. Every time we see an African-American baby we immediately point them out to the other person. J calls them “fuzzies” and tells me how excited he is to have our own fuzzy.

I never thought 3 years later these things would be happening. But they are. My life didn’t turn out the way I expected when I was 25. But I am sure excited to see where it is headed.

name

12 Comments

Filed under adoption, BABIES!, Celebration, Family, Healing, Home Study, Living Life, Trans-racial adoption

Do infertility blogs have an expiration date?

This is a subject that has been on my mind a lot lately. For the most part I feel that the ALI community has generations of sorts. When we start out we find blogs that are roughly around the same part of the process that we are, or who are also starting to navigate the waters of blogging. We band together and form attachments to these people. We follow each other’s stories with hopeful hearts and understanding spirits. But along the way something starts to change…people start to resolve.

All those who struggle with infertility eventually resolve. Some will have their miracle babies, some will turn to adoption, some may even choose to live child-free. But we all do it. We find a way to move on with our lives and create a universe where our infertility no longer defines us.

So then what happens to our blogs? In all honesty I know very few blogs that have managed to resolve while still remaining true to its infertility roots. The two main things I see happen are 1) they step away from their blogs and stop writing once they resolve; or 2) they become mommy bloggers.

Let me state for the record: I do not see anything wrong with either of these options. Trust me, I can imagine how hard it would be to write about the woes of infertility while your adorable baby is sleeping soundly next to you. I also know how much joy it would be to write about that child that you worked so hard to bring into your life. Who doesn’t want to both brag about your baby and also describe the more difficult aspects of motherhood? I get that.

I also understand those who decide to walk away from their blogs once they have resolved. For those who decide to live child-free I can imagine it is because the blog would be a constant reminder of what you have had to endure. It is not easy to move on when something that big is still staring you in the face. For those who have children, you may feel as though you are no longer part of the community or that you are being insensitive to others who are still in the trenches.

I know for me personally, as a blogger who is pursuing adoption, I find myself in a difficult position in the infertility community. Because yes, I am still infertile. And yes, I am still trying to bring a baby into my home. But it is a very different path, one that I don’t see many bloggers follow.

My generation of the community has grown up. The women whose blogs I still read have all found a way to their babies. Only 1 has not become pregnant or given birth, although for now she is building a new life for herself and I couldn’t be prouder of her. I still follow every single blog. I read all the birth stories, the pregnancy fears, the sleep training, and breast-feeding dramas. I still care deeply about every single one of these women who have made such a deep impact on my life the past 2 years. I beam with joy at every safe delivery and reach of viability. Because you all deserve this happiness. More than anyone.

But I’m still here. I know I’m closer now than I have ever been, but I’m still not there. This Mother’s Day was probably one of the most difficult days of my life (other than my miscarriages of course). It was worse than MB’s due date believe it or not. Maybe because on MB’s day it was not in my face, however with Mother’s Day it was all anyone talked about. I fought tears all day long thinking how unfair it was that I didn’t get to hold my babies on that day. J was super sweet though, and brought me home some flowers. He said to me “Happy Mother’s Day. Thank you for being so good to our babies.” Which of course made me feel incredibly lucky and incredibly guilty at the same time.

But I digress. My main point is, it seems to me there comes a point for all of us where we have to make big decisions about where our blog is headed. I have felt myself already starting to pull away from this space, though it has been a unconcious decision. I haven’t meant to go so long between posts, but I feel as though there is not much for me to say. Adoption is so different from cycling. There is no constant change or revelations made. It is mostly just waiting.

I hate to jump to conclusions and say that once we have a baby in our home that I will stop blogging, because this space has been such a source of comfort and strength for me over the years, but at the same time I don’t know if I can imagine posting a lot of information about our child. Especially given how adoptions can be a little tricky to navigate in that area.

So for those of you who have resolved – How did you make the decision to either keep blogging or step away?

name

11 Comments

Filed under adoption, BABIES!, Healing, Infertility, Living Life, Moving On, questions