Friday, June 15, 2012

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Has it really been 2 weeks?

There are no words to describe my life since June 16th, 2011.  A) I have a son, B) I no longer sleep, C) my life is fully complete, and D) everything I thought I knew or had figured out is now null and void.

We met our caseworker at 4pm on Friday the 16th and she handed James over.  In the hours leading up to the meeting, I started freaking out about everything (I know, a little late).  I had been so obsessed with getting him here, fighting with the state, worrying about Mary and James' potential fathers, that I had not really stopped to think about what we were actually taking on.  Not to say, I hadn't considered the responsibility (heavily), I have twin 1 year-old nephews and I have been heavily involved in their care since the day they were born and I, myself, am the oldest of 4, so I know what it means to care for a baby.  I just started questioning myself and the entire process.  Will he be hooked up to wires? Look crazy?  Be cracked out?  I had not even seen a picture of this 4 month old little miracle, so I started panicing....

...But all of that evaporated when Shelley opened the door of her back seat and there, all diapered and pacified, was sweet Baby James.

Oh my.  It was beyond love at first sight...I knew I already loved him, but...oh my.  The instant I put him in the car seat and our eyes met, he smiled, cooed, and my life was complete. 

What has ensued since then is nothing short of a tornado, a hurricane, an earthquake, and a tsunami, all rolled in to one.  Some good, some bad, some exhausting, some heartbreaking, but all amazing.  He is my everything.  I feel like I can't remember anything prior to June 16th.  Everything I thought I knew about babies, and life, for that matter, are out the window.  I don't know if I'm a good mom or not.  I feed him, I hold him, I change him, I rock him to sleep, I snuggle with him, I comfort him, so I hope I am.  Either way, it's a dream come true.

Thanks to all for the kind words of encouragement and support.  I feel so blessed.

Something I never thought I would say...

I am having a baby tomorrow.  Well..I'm getting a baby tomorrow.  It still has not hit me that this is my last day before I'm a mom.  This has been the wildest adventure/heartache/heart attack/stressor/joy of my life, thus far. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

I live my life in limbo, it seems.

My friend, Colin, likes to give nicknames.  I don't know why, but it's actually pretty funny.  He named me DJ Limbo, probably because I used to be a crazy party girl, not because I was ever quiet or reserved about any opinions or was ever on-the-fence about anything at all. 

But what a foreshadow.  Kind of a dumb thought, but this is a blog, so I noted it.

The update: we went to our hearing last week and it went wonderfully.  I actually really don't see how it could have gone better.  Our attorney was fantastic, the state agreed with us, and Mary didn't even bother to show up for the hearing, so we thought we were good.  A potential father did show up, which we knew he would, but he is an unemployed, drug addict himself, so even if he is the father, which he's not because he's not even the same color as James, he has some pretty serious hoops to jump through, so we're proceeding until we are told not to.  So the judge orders James in to our custody once our ICPC clears in Texas because it's only going to be a matter of days until that is finished.  She told the state to give the foster family notice, do what they needed to do, and the minute confirmation of a clear ICPC came back, we could go get him.  Great, right?

Well, the state is now saying that they will not tell the foster parents anything until a clear ICPC comes back.  The foster parents then get 5 days from the notice to get him ready or to object.  I don't know if they will, and I don't know why they would, considering we're relatives, but they would be really stupid to, I'll tell you that much.  Either way, the state is completely ignoring the judge's orders and dragging their feet like only they can do.

So what did I do?  Probably screwed everything up because I politely asked the state to go ahead and give the foster family notice, to which, they refused to do, so I called the person who manages operations for the state and kindly asked him to look in to this policy for me.  I hope he forgets to do this.  I really don't want to piss the state off since they were so readily in our corner.  I wasn't crazy and fired up and I complimented the state on how nice and communicative they have been with us, so hopefully that gets expressed in addition to the "what the f*ck is going on here" inquiry.  I am so impatient and I truly hope this hasn't lit and burned all of my efforts over the last month.  That would be just like me, not to be able to wait another week, and to mess the whole thing up and not get James at all.  I blame infertility for my impatience. 

Meanwhile, I look like a complete child predator because I have so much baby crap in my house right now, it's unimaginable.  I go to Buy Buy Baby as a 113 pound woman who shows no signs of pregnancy whatsoever, with a carseat in hand in hopes of finding a stroller that fits it.  When the salesperson asks how old my baby is, I love to freak them out by replying, "Oh, I don't have a baby".  hehe.  We went ahead and started accumulating gear on the high of the judges decision and kind words for us.  I decided better to just think positively and move forward rather than get the call to pick him up and be totally unprepared.  The nursery is cute but it makes my heart hurt.  I don't have James and I am not pregnant, per my pregnancy test this morning (2 days late....grrr). 

What a strange microcosm in which I find myself.  No baby after trying for a solid year.  Then baby magically appears, ripe for the taking, and I still have no baby.  I have this overwhelming fear and anxiety that I will have to return every single piece of furniture, bedding, and baby junk I have bought and go on without him.  I can see him here, I can see our little family, and I can see my life complete, but nothing seems to ever work out like that for me.  Believe me, I'm not playing the victim card, but you don't know the countless adventures and heartaches I've had with things that are supposed to be easy and are supposed to be relatively simple.  I guess those situations have made me who I am today, but I would love love love a free pass on this one.  I would love to be able to get the call today that ICPC is all clear and we could go get him on Tuesday of next week...but I doubt that's going to happen, even though technically and legally, that's how it should happen! 

I have a phone consult with Dr. Saleh tomorrow regarding further immune testing.  I will probably do all of the testing now just so I can get some further information.  For what, though, I do not know.  I can't afford IVIg, I will not be traveling to Mexico for LIT, I hate steroids and IVF won't help me.  I guess I would just like more explanation for my own piece of mind since, in theory, I should already be pregnant, given the steps I was instructed to take.  Saleh wanted me to do micro-IVF and told me that with aspirin, intralipids, and IVF I could get pregnant.  Well, I did the aspirin and did the intralipids and we all know I don't need help with fertilization, so in theory, I should be pregnant.  But I'm not.  Of course.  So I suppose I want to know more.  TH1/TH2, TNF, cytokine ratio, LAD, etc.  All of the things I BEGGED Putman to test, but he said "no need".  Where would I be had I stayed with that idiot?  3 IUI's in the hole with nothing to show for it?  What a joke.  I can't see Saleh finding anything all that striking, considering my elevated NK's and ANA are only BARELY elevated in the first place (yet another cruel joke).  It's just so perplexing to think about how long it's been since I've actually been pregnant. 

I still never could have dreamed any part of this would be happening to me.  But it is.  So I limbo.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Waiting. A real nightmare.

I f*cking hate waiting.  Who doesn't though.  I don't think I know a single person who lists "waiting" as a hobby on their Facebook profile.  I don't know anyone who says "I just love waiting--the thrill, the excitement, the anxiety--just the best!"  If I did, I would probably punch them.  Waiting sucks sucks sucks. 

We've had so many ups and downs in this entire baby process, it's bizarre to even look back and believe it's actually my life.  Starting with getting pregnant the first month we tried, the miscarriages, all of the research, countless tears, depression, no luck in months and then James?  I am so overwhelmed with the thought of having or not having a baby here next week, it's sickening.  The whole scenery changes every hour.  Some conversations we win, some conversations we lose.  How we've even come this far, I will never know.

I have to be happy, though. How often does a chance like this just fall in to a person's lap?  Fertility struggles and then, poof!, out of nowhere an attainable baby just appears?  As much as I hate Mary for what she has done to James and two her other two children removed by the state, I have to love her, somehow, for being such a fertile monster.  I've said it before and I'll say it again:  apparently a steady, well-maintained diet of crack, meth, prescription drugs, marijuana, alcohol, promiscuous sex when high, promiscuous sex for money, and promiscuous sex for drugs may just be the fertility's best kept secret!  This woman had never taken a single pre-natal vitamin, visited a doctor, or laid off the pipe for a day and had 3 seemingly healthy children.  Life is such a mind f*ck, huh?  How?  I can't be too bitter about it, seeing I may just be reaping the benefits of her disgusting lifestyle, but seriously, how?  I believe it may be possible that my body's system is an absolute scientific opposite to Mary's.  Up until this whole fight, I hadn't eaten wheat, gluten, dairy, soy, fried foods, meat, alcohol or coffee in months (you'll notice I said "up until"...I have been drinking just to get to sleep most days now) and I can't even get a single positive BFP, much less a healthy infant!  Obviously, that's all beyond the realm and powers of my mental capacity.  Oh, and I cancelled my infusion for this month.  Along with going back to some of my normal eating and drinking habits (I WILL be going back to pizza, healthy pizza, but pizza and, of course, wine.  I haven't stepped back in to coffee, soy, or wheat, though), I figured what's the point?  A)  If by some miracle, we get James, I don't need to stress and push my body to concieve, and B) again, if we get James, it's going to be alot to deal with, at least at first, so I don't want to add stress to an already chancey pregnancy.  Wishful thinking I know, but I think it makes me feel better and I am enjoying not having to temp, check CM's, and monitor like crazy.  I realize this is similar to when a guy doesn't call you after he says he will, so you then call him to let him know not to call you anymore.  Sigh. 

Anyway, we're working like mad to get the states to communicate with one another so we can move James across state lines.  I love that whole we're taking him half-way across the globe to Zaire or something.  Isn't Texas almost the same state as Oklahoma?  I mean, really.  On a positive note, I have learned so much.  I am actually pretty articulate about this process and can even hold my own against an Oklahoma Department of Human Services supervisor in a custody discussion.  Who knew?  A degree in Communication Disorders and one Rookie of the Year trophy for a Fortune 500 may have actually paid off.  Anyone out there who needs help navigating the ICPC process when trying to adopt a child across state lines, just give me a call. 

Meanwhile, the nursery is not finished.  It's hasn't even started.  I don't dare buy a single item because, while things aren't secure and solidified, I know the pain.  We started setting things up last time we had a baby and when I lost it, the room was forever known as "the baby's room" and I just do not think I can deal with that again.  Do I know exactly what colors and theme I want?  Do I know what pictures I want framed above his crib?  Do I know exactly which crib? Have I spent countless hours pouring over modern baby nursery pages, IKEA, and Etsy for ideas?  Yes, I'll admit, I have.  I know EXACTLY how I want this nursery to look and EXACTLY the mood I want to set.  I have every single little element picked's going to be so cute!  If we could just get permission to pick him up this weekend, I would be able to easily pass the time for the next few days by running all over town to get his room set up.  Or, if we knew he was coming on Tuesday, I could spend this long weekend preparing and making this absolutely perfect....

....But I don't.  Because we wait.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

6:14 a.m. and more (lack of) baby woes

It's early.  But my mind is definitely switched 'on'. Pretty normal.  Before TTC, I slept pretty well and my mind could relax somewhat.  Now, no dice.  From the minute I get up to pee, around 4:15am, I'm in full-swing. 

I am so troubled and confused lately about why I am not pregnant.  I've gone over and over it my head, but I just don't get it.  Yes, I have made many mistakes, but those were different times and things are better now.  I can't wrap my head around why I was able to get pregnant in August and haven't really been able to since.  I was not dreaming the positive POAS, it really happened.  So, why can't I get one now?  At this point, I don't even think I would get ahead of myself and think "baby" if I saw one, but would simply be relieved that I am, at the very least, capable of conceiving.  And the intralipids.  Been doing those for 2 months now and still nothing. I go back and forth with the whole prednisone thing.  Some say it works, some say it's terrible, and I couldn't get a straight answer from my doctor if I was holding my .380 to his head.  Saleh says prednisone isn't even necessary with ANA's.  In fact, Saleh says that with aspirin and intralipids, and of course IVF, I should have an 80% chance of conceiving.  So, in theory, if the aspirin and intralipids are the answer, I do not, technically speaking, need the why the BFN's?

In other news, we are still in the fight for Baby James.  Cautiously optimistic, but in it, nonetheless.  We have a hearing on May 31st, where our agency says we have a strong chance of getting custody of James, but like I said, cautiously optimistic.  If infertility has taught me one thing (well, 2938745 things), it's taught me not to get my hopes up.  So, it's a bit hard to stay focused and plan on having him here when there are no real guarantees and when I have no control, whatsoever, over the state of Oklahoma, ICPC, or even my private adoption agency.  So, I wait. 

And then there's the whole custody thing.  Of course I will be overjoyed to have James here, but is he even mine?  How to deal with the fear, everyday, of having him taken away just as quickly as he got here.  Do I: go all-out with the nursery , have a baby shower (which I so deserve), send out announcements, play like he's mine?  Chances are he won't go back to his POS mother.  She has taken care of that all by her junkie self with the 9 substances she decided to pump in to her system prior to James' debut, so she most likely will not be scheduling playdates or his birthday parties any time soon. 

Everything seems so out of reach.  Nursing school, pregnancy, James, adopting any other babies, happiness.  Good news is J is getting a raise and has another job offer if he doesn't get the number he wants, so it looks like we're going to be okay in the money department.  Now if we just had a baby to blow it all on...

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Two Steps Forward, Two Steps Back.

I still can't believe that I am even writing about our journey for a baby...well, someone else's, that is.  Thing are progressing surprisingly well.  We have had a ton of obstacles and, if I survive this, I am most likely going to write a book.  I will probably say this thousands of times throughout this struggle, but this is, by the furthest of far, the most insane thing I have ever done or will probably ever dream of doing.  I know, from the bottom of my heart, that we are the family for James.  He was doomed from his first breath, he was bound to become a lost child, and I know, with everything in me, that I can change that.  We have decided to utilize a private adoption agency.  How we found these people, I will never know.  We just so happened to find the only state-funded, no-fee adoption agency that I have ever even heard of.  They are based in Houston and they have, so far, been a miracle in this situation.  She has basically assured me we will have him in about a month.  I am not completely sold on that and am trying not to get my hopes up, but if that's the truth, I feel like every dream I have ever had will have come true.  I wish I could go to bed tonight and wake up and it's the day I get to paint the nursery or go shopping for baby clothes, or even the day James gets here.  I already love this child so much already, I don't see how it's possible. 

Besides the downside in all of this, the countless phone calls, new bumps and barriers, the waiting, and the courts, I will say that my biggest disappointment in both the TTC and TTA (trying to adopt) thus far is my friends.  I am far from perfect, in the past I have betrayed people, I have been dishonest, I have done nasty things to people I care about, so I'll just get that right out of the way.  But I have been a good friend to the people I love.  I listen, I support, I defend, and I uplift, I advocate for, I mourn with, and stick by my friends when they need me.  I don't believe I'm a person who puts myself first when a friend is hurting.  Unfortunately, these traits have not been reciprocated...not even kind of.  My friends are all busy with their own children, busy with their own single lives, or have been just plain disinterested.  I honestly have heard more appalling things and observed more bad behavior in this year than I have in my entire 32 years.  The upside is that I now know who to trust and who will never get a single minute more of my time, the downside is, it hurts.  I struggle with writing F-off letters on pretty much a daily basis.  My friends will ask how I'm doing, but they don't care.  Just today I spoke with one of my best friends from college and told her about the new developments with James.  Brief history: she and I got pregnant 4 weeks apart.  I lost the baby a month later, but she did not.  She had her beautiful, happy, healthy boy and has not stop complaining about it since.  She complained throughout the entire pregnancy up until the day she delivered, she complained about the delivery and she hasn't stopped complaining about the infant.  And it's not like she doesn't know about my struggle with losing a baby that would have been here by now and it is not like she doesn't know about my struggle with infertility.  So, when I told her about James and the whole insanity, she couldn't have cared less.  She even told me she "hopes everything works out" in the most lack luster manner, I probably would have shaken her had we been in person.  Hard. 

I will never, I repeat, treat a friend like that.  It's appalling.  If it was one person, okay, I would maybe look within and find a reason I deserve that and try to take a lesson from it.  If it was two, three, okay.  But no.  Every single friend of mine with kids couldn't possibly care less.  I will never, ever, ever, ever forget may struggle and I will never treat someone the way I have been treated.  Good thing I don't mind writing people off and even better thing I have a new built-in group of friends with my RESOLVE group. 

But I will not be writing anyone off before I have a huge, gigantic baby shower and I will invite EVERYONE.  I will have a ridiculously large registry without a single milligram of guilt.  I can't wait to pick which "friend" I will inconvenience by having her throw it.  I will make it extra long, I will guilt every friend who says she may not be able to attend, and I will make it promptly at noon, right smack in the middle of a Saturday, just as they have done with all of their little showers past.  <3