Archive for November, 2006

Some TV Channels should come with a warning label

November 30, 2006

(Actually some probably DO) but never mind . . . my point is this: DO NOT watch the Lifetime channel. The movies suck!

I got sucked in last night. I was channel surfing like a man when I heard a flit of dialogue that included “adoption.” My interest peaked, I flipped back to see what it was about. Well, it was horrid. But, I watched anyway. The way you have to stare at a really bad car wreck. The gist of the story is that the couple was infertile and their first attempt at adoption resulted in losing the baby due to some loophole in the law and then the husband finds a new “too good to be true” birthmother who among other horrors turns out to be his ex college girlfriend and who extorts money from the couple . . . , etc., etc., . . . who writes this shit???!!!

Anyway, there is really no point here except this: don’t torture yourself with fiction that scares you about things that are scary enough in real life.

Dumb, dumb, dumb beagle. That is why the TV has an off switch.

Post Script: I did in fact turn it off before it ended so I can’t even tell you how the horror plot came out in the end. But don’t be proud of me, I’m not. I turned it off because C. came home before it was over and he would have given me a stern look for watching a show that was both drivel AND upsetting. Kind of like how he can’t get why my book club only reads depressing stuff.

Ode to my troll

November 28, 2006

Last week someone left me an anonymous comment in response to my reference to “better” laws in terms of adoption and parental rights relinquishment. (Note: I had better in quotes for a reason in the first place!) Some states have long waiting periods during which the birth parents can change their minds and take the baby back. Other states have no waiting period or a very short waiting period after which there is no turning back for simply “changing your mind.” (If there is some real and valid reason the birth parent always has rights to fair treatment and this is a good thing). The anonymous poster’s comment to me went something like this: “Better for who? Try thinking about someone other than yourself for a change.” Apparently I am selfish for wanting to adopt and not have the child taken away after we have begun to bond.

First off, I always welcome thoughtful and respectful disagreement with any ideas I post here but if you can’t even leave a fictional name with your nasty comment, you are a coward and what we call a “troll.”

Secondly, why do these sorts of people even read infertility blogs?? Go away! We have enough pain in our lives. Surely you can find a better use for your time.

Lasty . . . My thoughts on why longer waiting periods for parental rights relinquishment in adoption are not in anyone’s best interest . . . least of all the child’s:

A woman or a couple should NEVER place a baby for adoption if they are not 100% sure that the decision is the best plan for them AND their baby. Forever. Adoption is not daycare. It is forever. Adoptive parents are not evil baby-buying selfish sorts. They are loving people who want to be parents. The child is the most vital part of the adoption triangle and a birth parent placing a child only to reclaim it days or weeks or months later does the child the least good of all. No one is out there forcing women to give their babies away. (For anonymous posters with mean things to say: please educate yourselves before you make such cruel and ignorant remarks as to attack prospective adoptive parents.)

I for one do not want to adopt a child who’s birth parent(s) is/are able and willing to parent the baby herself/themselves. If all I thought about was myself then adoption would be about the last thing in life I would pursue. If all I thought about was myself then I would not have put myself through three years of infertility treatment. Mel wrote a great post about why IVF is not selfish either. Apparently people are concerned enough about this topic that it gets pretty many google hits.

Just my thoughts for today.

I am not selfish, I want to be a Mom, that’s true. Mothering is not a selfish act and having to work this hard to be one is pretty much the opposite of selfish.

I guess I’ve been pretty lucky that I’ve only had one or two trolls in my blogging career!

Note: all comments CAN be deleted. All ugly, unfair or uncalled for comments WILL be deleted.

woops!

November 28, 2006

I somehow managed to publish the last post twice. I’m leaving it that way now because I don’t want to lose half your comments.

One down, one to go

November 27, 2006

One holiday down. Check. Survived. Was even pretty nice overall. My original plan was to boycott all holidays this year but instead we opted for low key and went with the “choose the easiest relatives to deal with and see them separately” approach.

One to go. We don’t have a Christmas avoidance strategy yet.

Thursday we crossed two state lines to visit C.’s sister, hubby and tot and babe. Tot is at a fun age (3.5yrs) and babe is all smiles and giggles (9months). It was a long day because we drove down and back the same day. (Maggie the cat is declining, more on that later.) I got my baby cuddling fix and I got my play-doh sniffing fix. I also got to play “trains” and “smash the tower of blocks”. Very fun stuff.

Friday we slept in, went for a long walk, puttered around the house.

Saturday we had my parents over. No stress there (not this time anyway). Though I get all nervy about it when they come.

Sunday we slept in, went for a long walk, puttered and saw a movie (Man of the Year).

So all in all that was a nice lazy weekend.

Our original plan included an overnight (or two or three) getaway. But then Maggie was really faltering and C. found out he was on call at the last minute (damn his new manager!) (Luckily he did not have to actually work at all this weekend.)

Maggie’s renal disease is progressing. She stopped eating. We got her appetite stimulant pills and started giving her progressively more “tempting” foods. She’s eating again but barely enough. Her days are numbered at this point but whenever we think all hope is lost she perks up and has a really good day. So we’re taking it one day at a time until she lets us know she’d rather move on to her tenth life.

Nothing new on the cycle/adoption front except my dream life. For several days leading up to the IUI I dreamt of getting chosen by a birth mother. It was all full of mixed emotions for her loss and our gift but overall the dreams left me feeling at peace with this path. Then to throw a total twist into it, on Saturday night I dreamt I was pregnant. Not so crazy really except that in over three years of trying and almost three years of active treatment I have NEVER had a pregnancy/baby dream. Never.

So now Hope has reared her ugly head and I am off in la-la land with an imagination gone wild.

Realistically I think the dream interpretation goes something more like this: I am at peace with knowing I will be a Mom, one way or another. And that feels good for a change after three years of angst.

Back on topic: catching up

November 22, 2006

Last weekend C. and I went to another RESOLVE meeting, again about adoption. (November is adoption month, so there’s more going on than usual.) This one was slightly less useful than the first but still worthwhile. I should say less useful to us specifically because it was pretty general and we are getting down to specifics now. They did have some adoptive parents there to speak which was very helpful and reassuring. I got weepy several times. There was more representation for international and waiting child (meaning older) fostadopt than for domestic but that reflects the trends. We did meet an interesting woman who is an adoption consultant and she basically helps you get through the homestudy, find which adoption path suits you best and helps connect you with the “right” agencies, lawyers, whatever. (For a feee of about $2,000 on top of all the regular adoption costs.) Her emphasis was domestic private in states that have the “better” laws (meaning short or no waiting periods for termination or birthparent rights.) I’m not sure how I feel about that. I think we can do our own research and save that money but on the other hand, it might really speed things up and reduce my stress level. Also, her promise of a track record for placing in less than a year has my brain wheels turning a bit!

I’m also starting to put the feelers out with friends and associates . . . it can’t hurt. Someone may know someone who knows someone and all that.

The one library book I am reading is really good. It is helping to answer my birthparent and open adoption questions. I feel less afraid of it the more I learn.

Next topic . . . On to Thanksgiving:

We were invited to C.’s brother’s for dinner. My SIL is a bit of a wing ding and has a talent for saying foot in mouth kind of things. Their kids are great but it’s always a trade off dealing with some of the adults. SIL’s parents are wing dings too and the balance tends to tip on the wing ding side even on a good year. This year I am just having an overwhelming aversion to the holidays and family gatherings anyway. But then when we got the news that SIL’s brother and his new wife who (drummroll . . . is pregnant!) we both decided that tipped the scales too far. Just a minute bit of background: the father-to-be beat his first wife so she left him. So all I can think here, with my infertility blinders on, is the wife beater gets to have a kid but we don’t. The world is SO unfair . . . blah, blah, blah . . . Seriously though, we barely know these folks and even if he is a swell guy now and completely reformed, I still can’t handle all the pregnancy related conversation that will be the topic of the day. Oh, and they married in June and are due in February, so it’s even *probably* an unplanned pregnancy. How fitting is that. So we made our excuses and decided to boycott turkey day altogether.

Fast forward to this week . . . we find out that C’s sister’s husband’s grandfather just died and so BIL will be out of state at a funeral. So the SIL that I actually like will be home alone with a baby and a toddler. New plan: we’re going there. I’m good with that. She has been one of the more supportive people during our three year ordeal. Also, I *lurve* my niece and nephew and I just bought fresh play-doh for Xmas which I will of course just give him NOW.

Later in the weekend we will do dinner with my folks. They are transplanted German Canucks so they don’t care as much which day we do T-giving. (Canadian Thanksgiving is in October anyway which is what we celebrated all my childhood years.) We are also ditching all tradition and eating a pork roast at SIL’s and beef with my parents (rouladen & knoedel, a German thing . . . Yumm . . . ). No turkeys for us! I am making homemade apple pie and a butternut squash dish I love with fresh spinach and dried cranberries. (And I SO hope that spinach is no longer “bad”!)

Oh and on a final note, no more turkey friends for me either. I wrote a succinct note thanking her for her assvice, errr . . . advice and I AM taking care of myself and that is why I have to sever this toxic friendship. Good Luck and Good-bye.

Serving up a main course of sadness(and other bullshit observations)

November 17, 2006

If you’re busy or in a good mood, skip this post. It is not reflecting one of my finer moments. I just need to vent my excess negativity. Other than the fact that this shit still haunts me, disproportionate to it’s actual relevance in my life, I am actually not in a “bad” place rght now. C. and I had an interesting weekend and I will blog about that too, later! Why later? Because I can’t form a clear thought until I clear this crud out of my brain.

Remember the best friend letter? Well, I did send her a reply. (I know, stupid, stupid, stupid!) I did wait about five weeks so that I could write a fair and non-hostile reply at least.

And as thanks for my trouble, here is the reply I got from her. Is it just my unbalanced “diet,” my incredibly foggy lenses . . . or is she mainly writing so she can announce her pregnancy? She “apologizes” by blaming anything and everything on time and distance, on my provoking her, on who knows what.

I still feel like she still just doesn’t get how and why living through infertility makes a person sad and colors ones view of the world.

I feel like such an ass that this still bothers me as much as it does but it has really, really gotten under my skin. I just cannot understand why she can’t understand and why on top of that she has to be so fucking cruel.

So here is her note to me with my internal commentary in blue. Again, feel free to skip this post. I just need to write it for my own sake. I don’t want to pollute anyone with my negativity! It’s just that the hurt and anger are making my head ache.
***

Hi there,

Let’s just start out by acknowledging that Email isn’t the best way to communicate all the time. It’s not E-mail’s fault you that called me an asshole. Unfortunately, it is what we are pretty much limited to. Um, do you own a phone? It’s great for keeping in touch, but I think we both have forgotten that we send and read messages that are only a temporary reflection of our own reality. You may not realize how much venting and negatively focused messages you have sent to me over the last few years. (My e-mail account saves two years worth by the way and less than 25% of what I sent her was sad, or negative or even remotely infertility related.) I’m not criticizing, really? just pointing this out. how helpful of you On the other hand, I know that I have screened my messages to not include too much negative maybe that’s because your life is going along pretty smoothly, in order to not burden you further you are SO thoughtful! –to the detriment of better communication. Of course, there have been exceptions to this (Like the time you called me an asshole?), but I think that this might be the general gist of things. As a result, you don’t necessarily know where I am really coming from (my own fault), (wow, she admits something is her own fault??) and I don’t really know where you truly are at. now that is a fucking understatement! As a result, we end up miscommunicating and hurting each other. (How have I hurt you exactly??)

I’m sorry that my letter hurt you. Because of the hurt I felt at your previous message, the one that seemed to say this friendship was over (I said no such thing, I did say that I was tired of putting all the effort into maintaining it. Oh, and so it’s MY fault you called me as asshole? I provoked you to say it? Wow.) I think I overreacted. Is this her way of saying she’s sorry she called me an asshole and telling me I needed to me hospitalized for suicidal behavior that I was not exhibiting?? We have both said hurtful things, again, I ask, what hurtful thing did I say? and I know that I regret that. My intent has always been to support you (by denying that infertility is real and painful and making it all about you, all the time?) and I apparently misread your situation. I’m happy to know that things are better than I had assumed (referring to my not being suicidal as she has thought, in her professional opinion) and I hope that things continue to go well right, because things are going SO well for me. But you have to know that, when it seems that meals are generally served with a main course of sadness and frustration (as I largely take your Emails for quite some time now), with occasional side dishes of ‘doing better,’ it is hard for me to know what is really going on. Um . . . I’m enduring three years worth of fertility hell, that’s what’s “going on” and I’m sorry that you can’t see that my life has been a main dish of sadness and in a real friendship expressing that honestly would be expected, not judged as too negative. So I, mistakenly (again, did you mistakenly call me an asshole??) and unfortunately hurtfully, responded.

We have both been wrong and been wronged (I still don’t get how I have wronged you, you selfish bitch) …just a side effect of time and distance? (Good idea, blame your inability to be a friend on geography!) I don’t know. I know you don’t want to hear the excuses from my end, which is fine. I do want you to know that I am pregnant (no surprise) and it sucks to tell you this way (what “way” is that?) and I hate that I am telling you at this moment. (What “moment” exactly??) But, so it goes. I can’t undo not telling you sooner, which I would like to have done. (Right, but the infertile girl can’t handle it?) I really hope that you are pregnant too, (Wow, you ARE delusional!) if not today, then very soon. If the magic genie (there is no fucking genie!) showed up tomorrow, that is the first of my three wishes, more than anything else. (Right, because you are so selfless.)

I’m sorry for hurting you…it’s not what I ever intended (So what DID you intend to accomplish by calling me an asshole?) I wish you well and would like to try to improve our communication and rescue this friendship, if you are open to it. Perhaps we will enter a new dynamic (psycho babble bullshit?) one that is better than before (It can’t actually get much worse). Meanwhile, take good care of yourself and know that I still have love for you. (Please feel free to take your version of “love” and stick it up your high and mighty arse!)

****
Are my lenses really that foggy?? Or is she just a self absorbed, self important bitch?

To be clear, I may be jealous of anyone who can get pregnant while I cannot. But I am not upset with her for announcing a pregnancy. That is not what hurts. What hurts is her utter lack of empathy and compassion for my loss, for my pain, for what C. and I have been through. I am mourning the loss of our fertility, our biological child, our hopes and dreams of creating a family the way most everyone else does. I am recovering from intensive, costly, difficult treatments. Three years worth. Is it so hard to understand why my e-mails are not full of “fun” themes?? Besides, she kept asking whether this or that worked yet. What should I have done? Lied and pretended I was pregnant when I was not just so she could read “happy” e-mails? Saying I am not pregnant when I want to be is negative by defination.

I realize (honestly I do) that this is futile. I just can’t stand the idea that she thinks our friendship ended because I am sad that she is pregnant. Or even that I am sad that I am not pregnant (I am sad but it has nothing to do with her). The friendship ended because she cannot empathize. It ended because she has no compassion. It ended because she called me an asshole and can’t bring herself to apologize. It ended because living through a life crisis teaches you who your friends are. Thankfully each and every one has been supportive except for her. And is it really such a great loss? No. I will not miss her. I think I just have some stubborn need to “make her see” that she is wrong in all her shitty assumptions about me.

I don’t want to be friends with anyone who thinks I am an asshole. Especially not when that person IS the asshole. Even so, I would never tell her that to her face. That is the difference between she and I. I don’t go out of my way to kick people when they are down. Instead I drive my own self crazy with the frustration of dealing with the likes of her.

I am pissed off at her that is true, but I am much more pissed off at myself for letting her get to me the way she has. When will I ever learn that life is not always fair? When will I learn that not everyone strives to be kind or fair or do the “right” thing? Some people have “issues” that render them unable to be reasonable. I need to let it go but my mind is stuck obsessing over it. Part of me does want to respond with “go to hell” but the better part of me refuses to stoop to her level.

Now . . . How do I stop obsessing over this ridiculous non-“friendship”??

Blogger’s block

November 15, 2006

I have just not been in the mood to blog. I was so consumed with the show thing and making my wares that this month kind of got away from me. Thank you all, by the way, for your kind comments about my work. I am contemplating an etsy shop. We’ll see.

Now I am so behind on infertility blogging that I don’t even know where to start and the thought of catching up wears me out! I have also had this silly idea that I am no longer readable. IUI is just not as interesting as IVF and people would rather read something interesting. Maybe Adoption will be more interesting . . .

Two days after writing this chirpy post, I realized that I had spoken too soon. My period showed up and then suddenly I KNEW what cd it was! The good news is that my cycle was 32 days on metformin. This is getting pretty close to “normal.”

The bad news is, well, obviously I am not pregnant. And the relevance of it all? Is there any? Is having a shorter cycle going to change anything? Likely not.

Now what?

I am doing a cycle right now. Why? Because I like pain? I don’t know why. Because the drugs were already in my fridge? Because I need a reason to cry over the holidays? My IUI will be Friday and my beta will be the week after turkey day. I have a lot to say about T-giving but will save that for a separate post.

Well, I had already decided to go ahead and send in an application to the adoption agency just prior to AF’s arrival. So I am going ahead with that. C.’s schedule will allow for no days off until after the holidays so we can’t actually “do” much, but I figure if I at least send in our application it gets the ball rolling and we can jump right in come January.

I have been wanting to write about my feelings about adoption for some time now, but they are still too muddled for words in many ways. It’s not so much that I’m not excited about the possibilities that adoption offers, it’s more about being too tired to be excited about anything at all. I spoke at length with our counselor about this yesterday. I go between reminding myself that there are options and choices but then I get all stuck on being upset at having to choose from a menu of really difficult and really expensive family building means. So while I am grateful that I am not at a complete dead end, I resent that I have to go so far above and beyond “normal” to have a chance at something most people take for granted and get to have easily (a family). But bitterness will not lead to motherhood. All I can do is forge ahead and choose the option that is most appealing (or least upsetting). Either way it’s just so hard!

I have really struggled with some of the adoption issues. First and foremost that C. and I disagree on domestic vs international. He is dead set on domestic and I was dead set against it. After investigating it all a bit more (and realizing that if I want to do this then I had better let go of some of my more limiting ideas.) I have made my peace with the idea of domestic. This is not to say that there are not things about it that bother me or scare me silly, but I think I can manage to work through them. I’ve been thinking a lot about the pregnant women who choose to place their babies for adoption and how hard this must be. It puts what is hard about this at my end, into perspective. I have also tried to imagine it all from the child’s perspective five or ten years down the road. I believe open adoption is a good idea, it is just putting it into actual practice that I struggle with. We 100% plan to tell the child their story, their history. We are 100% willing to send yearly photos and updates in the form of a letter to the birth mother. Where we both get really uncomfortable is when the issue of a yearly visit comes up. This bothers and scares me on so many levels. Can we really do it? Would choosing a lesser degree of openness limit the number of birth mothers that would consider us? (The social worker at the agency says yes.) Then there is that. Being chosen (or rejected). How will we handle all of that after the emotional pain of infertility treatment failure? Am I up for that? How will we fund all this? We have spent in excess of $45K on failed treatements and now we are facing another $25K+ to adopt. Then of course we have the usual finanacial adjustment of enlarging our family. Everyone harps on how expensive raising a child is these days. Yes, well, I was prepared for that. I was not prepared to be $70K poorer before we even buy the first pack of diapers or a crib or a stroller!

Then there is the waiting aspect. Some of youmight have notived that I am not a patient woman. The 2ww seems like an agony to me. But the adoption wait can be 2 years! How will I cope with that? I can’help but do the math and freak out about the fact that I may be well into my 40th or 41st year before I hold a baby in my arms. (There are worse things!) The thought of never holding one at all is just not an option for me.

I want to clarify that that it is the process of adoption that feels uncomfortable to me. I know full well that I will love whatever child we end up parenting. I have no “second choice” type feelings about parenting an adopted child. But the process is definitely NOT my first choice. It is not my first choice to be evaluated, scrutinized, marketed, chosen, rejected, etc.

I also have some very unsettled feelings about the sense of baby buying that comes with some of this. They emphasized over and over that the money is for the services, the counseling, the legal fees, etc. But then why are African American kids “discounted”? A mixed race adoption needs the same counseling and legal work, does it not? Yet it cost half as much. It made me a little ill to see the different fee schedules for a less wanted ethnicity. It all just makes me cry inside. It also makes me cry inside that in order for me to be a mother, another woman has to give her baby away. I need to make my peace with that. It is a very difficult thought to come to terms with.

I hope this ramble offends no one. I am simply trying to sort through my thoughts here. It is all very simple on some levels and so very complex on others.

Above all, I need to make peace with the fact that I have to do this at all. I still haven’t made my peace with our infertility. That my beautiful strong healthy husband makes antibodies that kill his own sperm, that despite medical technology helping us have what look like good embryos, the IVF’s and FET didn’t work. That maybe my body can’t sustain a pregnancy even though they can’t find an actual problem with it. It all looks so helpless, and even so, I continue treatments.

I am not sure how to find my way through all of this. I am sure I will find my way, but right now the fog is still pretty thick. I realize that this post is a very glass half empty sort of post. It’s where I am right now.

See this post for an interesting take on the glass half full!

Some kind of success

November 13, 2006

After all the fertility failures, it’s nice to have some kind of success. My show was a success. Sales where good and I got a lot of nice feedback about my work. I also got a nice mention with a photo in our local newspaper. That was a real morale boost.

I just wish my success in the creative realm weren’t limited to clay.

I want to create a life. That just sound so lofty, I know, but it is such a basic human need. One that most people take for granted and most attain easily.

I admit I used to have very specific wants in this department. I wanted my first baby by a certain age and the second 2-3 years later. My ideal would have been two boys, but I would have been happy with any combination of genders. I am not feeling at all fussy about those details now. I don’t even need more than one child any more. I survived being an only myself, and while that was never my preference for my own family, it’s not so bad really. I want so badly to create a family, even a family of three, and still that seems to be such an elusive goal.

Am I asking for too much?

I have much to be grateful for: a loving husband, a strong marriage, a comfortable home, four sweet and funny feline companions, numerous good friends, a few rewarding hobbies, two healthy, living parents, a steady income . . .

So is it too greedy to want a family too? Is one sweet little baby just too much to ask for?

God, I sure hope not!

It’s November 3rd . . . do YOU know what CD it is?

November 3, 2006

I don’t!

This is so refreshing. I can’t remember how long it’s been since I didn’t know my cd more clearly than the calendar date!

Maybe it’s partly due to nothing going on treatment-wise, maybe partly due to last minute panic getting ready for my show (9 days and counting, I do know THAT number)! Whatever it is . . . I am not obsessing every minute about what my body is doing or not doing. How odd am I?

Have a great weekend everyone!

That last post

November 1, 2006

Just got me a google hit about spanking children.

Oh brother.