February 25, 2006

A Very Bad Idea

A lesson I learned the hard way today: Never, ever ask a man to buy feminine hygiene products on your behalf.

You would think this would go without saying. Or at least, that I would have clued in to it a long time ago. Alas, no.

A few months back, when I was getting low on pads and R was heading to the grocery store, I asked him to pick up another package for me. What kind? he asked. You know, the kind I usually get – with wings, I replied. After all, he’s got a good memory for detail, and he’s been seeing them in our bathroom cabinet for the past 10 years.

He did not come back with the standard length, ultra thin pads I normally buy. Instead, he brought me a package of extra super long, triple thick pads. They are ones that, were I ever to find myself on a sinking ship, could serve quite nicely as a lifeboat. For me and about four other people.

However, they did have the wings I requested, and the ultra-shy R was very proud that he managed to survive the checkout process without passing out from mortification, so I simply took them from him, offered effusive praise for his ability to buy the kind with wings, stuck them in the cabinet and quietly went out a few days later to buy the ones I normally use.

I was running low again recently, and not being one to make the same mistake twice – at least not this same mistake – I planned to stop by the store again soon. I figured I still had some time, as my last cycle (if you can call a small amount of light spotting a "cycle") was less than three weeks ago.

My PCOS-plagued ovaries have never really been a fan of the whole 28-day cycle concept, usually finding it entirely too taxing to cough up an egg that frequently. This time, though, they apparently sensed that I was out of supplies and decided to have a little fun with me, because cycle day 1 has made an early, rare, non-drug-coaxed appearance.

And the only thing I had left in the cabinet was the package of lifeboats. Thank God for baggy pants.

February 17, 2006

Moving On…Or Not

This past week, I’d been feeling like I was moving on to the acceptance phase of this whole yucky process.

Not just accepting that our most recent attempt at adoption failed, but also accepting where we are in this journey – that despite our best efforts, dozens of needles, tens of thousands of dollars and an unquantifiable amount of heartbreak, we’re still not parents. And we may never be. I can even type that without dissolving into a puddle of tears.

It’s not that we’re giving up, because we’re not. But rather than fighting against infertility, railing against the unfairness of it all and feeling like I was trapped in someone else’s nightmare rather than my own life, I think I’ve finally started to accept that this is who I am and this really is my life, for worse – and in some ways, for better. And that while this is a huge part of my life, it’s not the only part.

I need to start living my life again, to find pleasure and joy in aspects of it that have nothing to do with children and parenthood. To find enjoyment in my career again, to travel to all the places I want to see. To set goals for myself – attainable goals, instead of the “create life” one that seems to be always just beyond reach.

Then I was watching the Olympics tonight. The women’s skeleton races were on. Skeleton, in case you aren’t familiar with it, is a sport in which the competitors push a sled in a running start, jump onto said sled stomach down, and go flying head first along a winding, icy course at oh, say, 90 miles per hour.

German racer Diana Sartor, age 35, was about to make her second run when I tuned in. The sportscaster was gushing about Ms. Sartor’s performance during her first run. Then the sportscaster mentioned an announcement that Ms. Sartor made during the Games yesterday: she’s nine weeks pregnant.

As I was struggling to make my brain rewind what I thought my ears just heard, Ms. Sartor slammed her stomach onto her sled and went barreling headlong down the course to do her second run.

It’s nice to see that not every pregnant woman worries that their pregnancy will come to an untimely end, even if their normal routine involves doing belly flops onto heavy metal objects several times a day.

My time in the Land of Acceptance was a brief one. I’ve taken a detour onto the Barren and Bitter About It Path, which apparently circles back to another trip through the Angry with the Universe phase of the grieving process.

February 06, 2006

Thank You

Thank you all for your kindness and words of support. We are doing okay.

If it was just me going through this, I think I could accept that maybe I’m just not meant to be a mom. I’d love to be a mom, I want desperately to be a mom, but I could understand that somehow maybe I’ve done something in my life to tick God off enough to make him say, “I’ll show her – she doesn’t deserve children.” (I think I’ve mentioned in a previous post that my faith has been suffering a bit lately.)

That’s not to say I’m an axe murderer in real life. Actually, my wild side could be described as “beyond dull” – a cigarette has never touched my lips, R is the only guy who’s ever seen me naked, I’ve never been drunk. (Though I did get a bit tipsy one time several months back when I forgot you’re not supposed to mix Metformin with alcohol and had a rather strong pina colada at a party.) But for all my boringness, I’m certainly far from perfect, and it’s hard not to feel like I must have done something, said something, thought something at some point along the way to make God very, very angry with me.

Except that there’s R. He is my other half, definitely my better half. There is no question that we are meant to be together. And there is also no question in my mind, not even a teeny, tiny little shadow of a shred of a doubt, that he is meant to be a dad and that he will be a fantastic dad.

So, because of that, somehow I will pick myself up, dust myself off and keep going. He deserves to be a dad, and knowing that all the way deep into my bones is what keeps me moving forward every time we get smacked back down.

This weekend, while I was at a training session for work, I called him to see how his day was going. He was at home, baking carob brownies for our dogs from a mix that he had bought them as one of their Christmas presents.

What I just can’t understand is how there are thousands of men sitting in prisons across this country because they beat their kid, shot their kid, raped their kid, strangled their kid, and then here is a man who 1) buys Christmas presents for his pets and 2) BAKES. THEM. BROWNIES and yet God or the universe or some sick, cruel, sadistic version of fate keeps dangling parenthood in front of him/us and then yanks it out of reach. Again.

Apparently I’m still in the “anger” phase of the grieving process.

February 01, 2006

It's Over

The birth father was served with papers this week notifying him of the adoption plan and his rights. Today, his attorney called our attorney. He's definitely going to fight it, and he's in a position to do so, so there is no point to us continuing to pursue it.

So far, we've spent about $20,000 trying to adopt and still have no baby to show for it. Not that this process is all about money, because it's absolutely not. But financially, we can't keep doing this forever. We're feeling very, very discouraged right now.

Please keep the birth mom in your thoughts and prayers. She didn't want this to happen. She's going to have to figure out a way to parent, and she's in a very difficult situation right now. This is painful and devastating to us right now, but it's even more so to her. Our hearts go out to her.