Tuesday, May 31, 2011

It's Not the End of the World

Sunday afternoon I popped over to the corner store for milk and the following headline: "Will & Kate's Baby Heartbreak - She Can't Get Pregnant" caught my eye. In fact I bought that trashy magazine because they put a story about a Royal Family member's possible infertility on the cover.

So, there I was checking out and doing the debit thing when suddenly the teenage girl working the cash checks the headline and makes a comment: "Oh, my God! Isn't that awful? I hope it's not true because that would just be terrible not being able to have children." It was like she hit me in the mouth. I didn't know how to reply to this as she just described my life situation as terrible and awful, so I just nodded and said, "Oh, yeah." Whatever. I was shocked by her negative reaction to infertility and I really did not feel like pouring my heart out to someone who can't legally purchase alcohol.

What I should have told her (if there hadn't been three people lined up behind me) was that it is terrible and awful not being able to get pregnant, but it is not the end of the world. My heart has been shattered but it still beats and I still love my husband with a love that grows with each passing year. In fact, I had no idea that I could love my husband this much when we got married, but infertility has brought us closer. It is awful not being able to create and give birth to a baby, and I thought I would die from the grief of five pregnancy losses, but it is not a death sentence. I don't have Cancer. I will live.

I should have told her that even if Kate Middleton has problems conceiving her husband's family will be able to afford the top fertility specialists that money can afford. With their oodles of wealth they can pay for endless rounds of ivf. If they end up with twins (wink, wink) we'll know they had a bit of help.

I should have told her that not being able to have children is not the end of the world, but it's the beginning of a new adventure for those not faint of heart.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Rainy Day Monday

The last time I posted Aunt Flo had just paid a visit and now I'm waiting for another visit. She's late but I'm not expecting any miracles this month (or at least I haven't bothered to test) as I've had a few hot flashes -- and I've come through a stressful month -- so, it's just a bad mix of hormones and stress.

The evening after my last post I phoned an old friend hoping to chat and to ask if she might be able to provide a letter of reference for this other adoption agency. She finally got back to me the week after Easter. We caught up on each other's news and I vented about the big international adoption agency in town and mentioned how it was 'driving me crazy.' Her reply was: "Well, you could have a baby and going crazy too." Hmmm, wasn't expecting that retort. Then I told her about the out-of-town adoption agency and how they want five letters of reference, and asked if she could possibly write one. Her reply was: "Well, I don't know." I felt like someone kicked me in the stomach. I came back with: "But, you told me last summer that you had written numerous reference letters for other friends applying to adopt; couldn't you just use an old one and change it to fit DH and I?" Her reply was: "But, I don't live in the same city as you two so it's not the same." My heart sunk into the pit of my stomach. We've known each other since 1976 when we were in grade 2 together. She's one of two friends that I've poured my heart out to regarding my infertility.

I quickly changed the topic of conversation and we talked on the phone for another hour and I did not mention adoption again. For a week I felt rejected and depressed. How could she not recommend us as parents? I realize she lives in another city now, but we've kept in close contact by phone and she's heard everything about my relationship with DH from the moment we met through our struggles with infertility, and now trying to adopt. DH told me I was taking it too personally, but how else can I take it? Yes, I am personally insulted that this old friend cannot write a letter recommending that my husband and I would be good parents.

Now DH and I will have to ask a few other friends for references. The problem is that throughout our infertility struggle (almost 9 years) we have kept our troubles to ourselves. Most people don't ask us anymore about babies because they assume that we do not want children. When we tell people our situation then we can't take it back because it's out there and I do not want them to pity us. I am afraid they will be constantly asking us about how the adoption is going and why it's taking so long (as my sister and brother-in-law already do). When I bring this up with DH he is pragmatic and says we should just go ahead and write the reference letters and then send them to our friends to sign.

A week after the telephone chat with my old friend I was feeling better. The tv show 'Glee' had an episode featuring music from the Fleetwood Mac album 'Rumours', and there's nothing like the song "Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow" to make one feel better. The next day I woke and was ready to start preparing our profile and birth mother letter for the out-of-town adoption agency. Then, while I was on the treadmill, my Mother left a message telling me to phone her immediately. I knew by her voice that something was wrong...someone had died. I automatically thought of her two older brothers who both had suffered strokes within the last ten months. When I phoned her back I was shocked to learn it was another uncle who had been in hospital for a procedure and had died the next day. The family still doesn't know the cause of death, although the coroner did request an autopsy. Very sad news. His funeral was the weekend before last and many more tears were shed.

These past few weeks have been stressful, sad, and difficult. Oh, and I forgot to mention that DH and I invited our families over for dinner just this past weekend: his parents on Saturday evening; and my parents, sister, brother-in-law, niece and nephew on Sunday. Oh, and for some strange reason on Saturday morning DH accused me of not wanting to adopt anymore. Huh? I have no idea where that came from except that when I am depressed I lose all interest in everything except eating comfort food and watching movies. I was offended, but told him frankly that I had been: freaked out about my mammogram just after Easter (it was okay); depressed by my old friend's rejection of me becoming a mother through adoption; sad by my dear uncle's death; and stressed about entertaining both sets of parents that weekend. Then I added that I was not a robot and that I had feelings. Finally he understood...I think.

Today is a new day and, apart from the endless rain, I can see bright sunny days in our future. They may not be here now, but their time will come, and until then I will try to be optimistic.