Thursday, February 28, 2013

Helping Hands

I have been told, on more than one occasion, that I am a very opinionated woman and I am OK with that. I was raised to speak my mind as tactfully as I can, and to speak the truth, again, with tact. It has come to my attention that some people feel my blog is very "in your face", and while I don't want to offend anyone, I believe I have the right to be as open and forward about infertility as I feel comfortable with. Not every has to agree with it, not everyone has to be alright with it. You don't even need to like the things I write, but they are my truths. Things I feel, and I feel that I have the right to throw it all out there if I so choose.

In the words of a truly amazing woman, one who has overcome infertility once and will again, when we discussed my "in your face" attitude on this matter, "Why not? That's how pregnant women are."

Reflection on her statement over the past few hours, some thoughts have become further cemented into my mind, or at least, the way they seem has become cemented. First, it's perfectly OK and even expected, for pregnant women to throw everything out there, every minute of every day, about their pregnancy. Maybe it's because pregnancy and growing a life is such an amazing and special thing, something special to be celebrated. The next thought that crossed my mind, is that no matter how much a pregnant woman complains or whines about how uncomfortable she is, no one in their right mind would dare to tell her to quit her bitching. Maybe we just fear her hormonal wrath or we're too afraid to make her more upset. I don't know. What I do know, is that these things do not apply to the infertile crowd.

We don't get to talk openly about our struggles to become pregnant, without fearing that someone is going to tell us to can it, because no one really cares. No one really wants to understand something as depressing as infertility, its something we hide away and take out to examine in the dark when no one else can see it. We don't get to complain about how uncomfortable we are with all of the testing we go through, all of the awkward questions about the things we do. No one wants to hear about our mood swings from the added hormones we take, or about all the excessive vomiting from the medications that happen to have the added side effects of helping the annovulatory to ovulate. (Glucophage anyone? Anyone? Vom.) When we do open up on those especially crappy days, we're more likely to hear something along the lines of "Buck up soldier. You knew what you were getting into." than something like "Aw, you know, that really sucks. Can I go get you some of that soup you like from that take out place down the street?"

No one likes a Debbie-downer, but really folks, is it too much to ask that when we want to puke our guts out you show us the same consideration you show the pregnant chick next to us? Even just a little bit of it? Don't we deserve some of that kindness, or is infertility just that scary to everyone?

We're scared, you know. Let's bring infertility out of the dark, and into the light. Help us through this. Don't leave us in the dark alone with our fears of never being mommy's.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

First Steps

You get to a point in your experiences with infertility when enough just feels like enough. Well, more than enough really. You feel like ripping your hair out until you look like a lunatic and screaming at the top of your lungs because nothing you've done has worked. You've charted your temperature and other things too gross to mention. You've stuck your feet up in the air for what seemed like hours, and tangoed until sitting seemed like a fate worse than death. Still, nothing works. Most people decide that it's time to go see and RE at this point, but, that's not really an option for us.

Yeah, sure, it would be nice. Go make an appointment, see the doctor, maybe s/he's got some magical advice, a magic drug, a magic procedure, and POOF! The Stork is at your door. Storks... who figured storks delivered babies anyways?

I digress.

Going to see an RE is not an option for us because of my defective oven. Nothing they do behind those closed doors is even in the ballpark of safe for my burners. Maybe it's my all too solid Catholic education coming back to haunt me, but I'm not sure that I would want to venture down that path even IF it were a viable option for us. I realize that it's right for some people, but we decided it just wasn't right for us. After a lot of soul searching and praying, we decided it was time to look at adoption options.

So this is where we stand now. Starting to fill out mounds of paperwork, having our lives dissected at every turn, inviting strangers into our home to pull apart every knick knack to make sure everything is baby safe. Oh, and don't forget smoke detectors. They have to make sure every floor and bedroom has smoke detectors. Even if you only have a one floor home with two bedrooms, you need three smoke detectors. The crazy things we do to become parents.

Now, now is the time to start squeezing every penny and to find funding for the crazy fees we'll need to pay to find our baby. Adopting here, in New York State, is insane. Between homestudy fees, lawyers fees, agency fees, you are looking at potentially upwards of forty thousand dollars. In NY, the birth parents also have the legal right to change their minds up to thirty days after your baby comes home to you, and nothing you do can stop them from taking your baby back. You are left with nothing. Nothing but a big, gaping, black hole and the knowledge that you now need to start all over if you can find the strength to do it all again. You find youself right back at square one, looking for thousands more dollars to find your second child, and praying that this one will stay home where they belong.

While discussing all of these things, my husband and I came across a crowdfunding website called GoFundMe, and several friends and family members told us they thought we should see if we could make it work for us and our journey through adoption. So if you are reading this, check it out. Copy the link and send it around to your friends and family for us. Take this trip with us, help us find our child.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Sensitive ... Swipes?

Sure, everyone loves to hear your good news and to see your "bump" pictures, even when the "bump" is really just bad gas from that burrito you just had to have last night, and then share with the whole world that you threw back up. Don't get me wrong, we're happy for you. We really are. However, just because you are happy (and you should be) does not mean in anyway - shape or form - that we want to hear about your cravings, farts that gassed your husband out of bed at three in the morning, or that your pants don't fit anymore ... ALL the time. Because, lets face it. It hurts us. It hurts a lot. No matter what we say, do or how many happy smiles and thumbs up we give you, it still hurts because in our world this is you rubbing your success in our faces and reminding us daily that we don't function properly. You may not mean for it to come across like that, but that's how the message is being received.

Not only are our ovens broken or damaged in some way, but the radio tower that keeps us in tune to the world of baking around us is jacked up too. When it's supposed to receive the message that, oh say, you want to go shopping and need a pal to tell you if blue makes you look like you should go see Omar the Tent Maker for clothes from now on, that tower is really getting "Hey look at me! I'm too big to wear my size two's from Gap anymore, so come with me while I rub my belly button and get dreamy eyed over maternity pants that probably won't fit for another couple of months." Hear me out - it's not just broken one way. When we say things like "Sorry, I can't today" we are saying more than just "I can't go shopping today". We're really just at a loss on how to say that we really mean "Sorry, but I can't take the emotional drain of looking at everything I want and will probably never have, today". This is an honest case of "Its not you, it's me."

Sometimes our radio tower is really screwed up, and it gets that way, especially when too many buns start baking at once and all the messages come in together. It gets hard to keep things straight, like really hard. Crazy hard. Sometimes we say things that come across as really harsh sounding, or just cry for no apparent reason. Just know that there is a reason, and we just have a hard time verbalizing it. We're dealing with a huge loss here and every time we see what we're missing, it's like we re-experience that loss all over again. We're like Alzheimer's patients. It's a brand new pain all over again.

If we come across as catty, or bitchy, just take a careful swipe when you go all crazy-momma-bear on us - chances are good that you got a messed up radio signal from our jacked up towers. We're just hurting.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Be careful what you wish for

When I was a teenager I was told having my own kids someday would be difficult at best because I was struggling with Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), Endometriosis and Hemorrhaging Ovarian Cysts. All I cared about when I was fifteen was making the pain and discomfort go away, so my reply to this was to tell my doctor to "take the sucker out", referring to the whole reproductive mess we discovered. Both my Gyn and my parents said they wouldn't do it because someday I would be an adult, and someday I would want little versions of me running around.

I fumed the whole way home and argued that my parent's knew nothing, I didn't want kids and I would never EVER want kids. They screamed. They pooped and puked. They ruined your life. My mom laughed and said to give it ten years and I would change my mind. A week later when another cyst began to hemorrhage, I told my dad it was his fault I was in so much pain, and to bugger off with his idea that I needed all my organs in their respective places.

It took a good six years before hormonal control methods stopped working to control the three diseases and I eventually needed surgery. Six months later, I needed another surgery. And one more two years after that, just because, you know, cysts the size of oranges on an organ the size of a pea aren't really a good thing to keep around. After my last surgery, my husband and I were hopeful that we would be able to have a family of our own, because true to moms word, after you grow up, kids don't seem quite so yucky anymore. Things change. People change. Ideas about our futures change.

Organs ravaged by hormonally caused diseases do not.