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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Five Days

When things got particularly rough last week with our birth mom I started writing like crazy. It is amazingly therapeutic for me so I wrote a little something every day of the week to get me through. The posts may be a little jumbled, but here they are in all of their unedited glory. You get these posts this week while I'm snuggling my brand new baby boy.

Last night we were in Isaiah's room. I was straightening up and opening new things. Josh was looking around. He said "This is my last childless Wednesday" and I wanted to cry. What if it isn't?

If this doesn't happen, not only will my heart break for me, but also for my husband.

I realize that I'm being insanely negative. I'm trying to prepare for the worst instead of thinking the best. I want to be positive, but I feel like I've forgotten how.

I've sterilized bottles, washed clothes, put them away, and I've cried. I've cried a lot lately. Everything is so uncertain. I know the verses, and I have them marked, and I've read them. I've never felt anxiety like this before.

Tomorrow I see our birth mom again. I haven't talked to her since Monday. I'm afraid of how she will act. I wonder if she will still be mad, or if she will act like nothing happened.

In the past few weeks I've been trying to keep in mind how pictures will look. I've been mentally planning how to do my hair, and what I'm going to wear. But as the time gets closer, I care less and less. I don't even care what my hair looks like any more, and I don't have a clue what I'm going to wear, let alone what the baby will wear. I don't know how we'll manage taking care of our dogs, or really anything. I'm so intent on getting to the point when our son is our son that I can barely think of anything else.

I was shocked to see how much was inside this one small box.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Six Days

When things got particularly rough last week with our birth mom I started writing like crazy. It is amazingly therapeutic for me so I wrote a little something every day of the week to get me through. The posts may be a little jumbled, but here they are in all of their unedited glory. You get these posts this week while I'm snuggling my brand new baby boy.

We are six days away from meeting our precious little guy. Six days. I have never felt a longer six days in my life.

I've never felt so uncertain. Will we actually meet him? Will we end up at the hospital and leave empty handed? Will our birth mom try to use us until we have nothing left?

What a crappy place to be.

I watched the entire series of Friends over the summer, and didn't know until the very end that Monica and Chandler adopted. I think it is amazing that the writers put this in the show, but come on, how about be a little more real.

I don't mean that, I"m just mad. I know television shows aren't real and that Monica and Chandler don't actually exist.

But in six days, our life is going to change forever. One way or another. It is completely out of our control now.

Josh and I have talked more in the last few days than we ever have about what might happen. We're both scared.

It's hard to keep washing clothes, and getting car seats ready. It's hard to keep planning the bring the baby home when this panic has set in that it might not happen. My guard is back up, and it feels like I'm back at square one. I haven't been scared about her changing her mind since the very beginning, and I wouldn't be scared now if she hadn't said the words. I want to finish putting his clothes away, but how can I keep planning on bringing him home? What do I say when people ask if I'm excited? I can't say no, but I don't want to tell everyone that I'm scared. I find myself drawn to his room though.

Will she keep him? Will she call him Isaiah like we already do? Will she be his mama, instead of me?
A small portion of the insane amount of clothing from our shower.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Hours Old

Our little guy has arrived. Our souls are complete. Our life has begun.

Isaiah J - 7lb 11oz - 20in

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

One Week

We are one week away from meeting our baby. This one week feels like it will be the hardest of any so far. Harder than all the months we've been waiting, and harder than all three years of infertility. At the end of this week, we could be parents, or we could go home again alone.

This may seem like a drastic change from the last time I wrote about our adoption, and it is. We have had what can only be described as a major breakdown in communication, and now the next seven days aren't as certain as they have been. And this is what I can only describe as the "real" part of adoption. This is where we might have a baby and we might not.

I have a tendency to only write the positive, because I generally like to be a positive person. However, I feel like I should write this, not only for you, but for me. I need to remember what this was like. I've heard that as soon as your baby is born, you forget the months of pain and the pains of labor because you have this beautiful child in your arms and it is all worth it. I firmly believe that our child is worth it, but I don't ever want to forget how hard the adoption process was. I want to say this and then be done with it. I don't want this to diminish the excitement of our first child, but to be honest, it somewhat has.

Our birth mom feels that we are being unfair, and that we owe her some form of compensation for carrying the baby for us. She told me as much. I've explained that we are bound by the law, but she thinks we should find a way around it. No matter how many times I explain things to her, she doesn't retain what I say. I have explained the adoption process to her more times than I can count. I keep track of what her doctor says because she doesn't.

I feel used. What I thought would be a very amicable situation has turned into something that makes my stomach churn. I'm having a hard time being excited because I'm in survival mode. In short, I've never felt so helpless in my life.

I've been spending a lot of time with my bible lately, because I truly feel like it is the only thing I can do. I've found solace in Matthew 6: 25-34 and Psalm 23.

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
So, if you pray, or you send good thoughts, we would appreciate them, and hopefully we have good news to share on the other side.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Congratulations! Your Life is Changing!

I plan to follow this up with an AB (after birth) post. This one is obviously BB (before baby) and I want to get out there everything I don't understand about life after birth.
  • Your life is over.
Obviously, people aren't saying those exact words, oh wait, yes they are. For some reason everyone thinks our life as we know it is over. I suppose it is, in the way that we aren't going to have the free time that we do now. We won't be able to go out to bars every weekend, even though I can't even tell you the last time I went to a bar, as that has never been how we've chosen to spend out time.
  • Are you sure you want kids?
This comes from people with three kids and it makes me want to hug their children, and adopt them too. I should include that I work with all men, and they're the ones who say this to me.
  • You'll never see your friends again.
Why not? Our friends have kids. We see them. My parents have kids. We see them.  The people who state this very statement have kids.
  • Your marriage will never be the same.
I suppose I can get on board with this. I agree that our marriage won't be the same, but I think it will change for the better. I know some people think that having a child can fix the problems in their marriage. I'm not there at all. What I'm saying is that if we can make it through infertility together, I think we can make it through anything.
  • Your Xbox time is over.
I don't have Xbox time anyway, but Josh does, so this comment comes from his friends. He told me that the other night he was playing and someone he was playing with told him that his Xbox time is over.
  • I will become Josh's manager.
This one also comes from his friends. Unless I'm going to undergo a major personality transplant, I don't see how this one is true. My mom always says that I let Josh get away with everything. She's exaggerating of course (I think), but I am pretty laid back. Truth is, there is very little that he does that bothers me. We always discuss changes before he springs them on me. We may not always agree before it happens, but I trust him, and everything always turns out alright (even the time I had to help his dog deliver her puppies). We have had one discussion where I pointed out everything I've been laid back about and explained that the issue at hand is one I will not waver on. He respected that, and we're fine. I have no desire to manage my husband, and I don't see how this would change after the baby comes.  We're both happier this way.

How did your life change after birth?

Friday, February 15, 2013

Infertility Breeds Insecurity

And that is a scientific fact. You may not be able to make a baby, but you can make yourself so insecure and bitter that you don't even know who you are any more.

You start to wonder why infertility has happened to you, and feel like less of a woman. You get mad at those who undesirably get pregnant (usually those under the age of 18) and wonder why a loving couple like you can't create the miracle of life. You get jealous, crabby, bitter, and you change.

Not only are you at war against women who get pregnant, you're also at war against other infertile women. How lame is that? You want to be happy for them when they beat infertility, but mixed with your happy tears for them are unhappy tears for you. You want to know when it is going to be your turn. You feel like you don't have a right to be upset because you haven't tried as long as the girl who has been TTC for five years. You dread baby showers, and sometimes you avoid people who have children because seeing them hurts too much.

Personally, I've never felt the need to distance myself from pregnant women or mothers, because children are a fact of life. Just because I haven't gotten pregnant isn't going to erase all children in the world, and it would be selfish of me to think so. However, many women feel this way, and that is their right. I have bailed on more than one baby shower though. Baby showers are hard, and I think it's understandable to skip one. True, your friendship with the mother-to-be might mean a lot to you, but you also have to think about your own feelings. If it is going to add stress to you, and cause a lot of emotional pain, politely decline the invitation.

Also, just because someone has had a hard road with infertility doesn't make them any more entitled to sad feelings than you. When you want a baby, that is all that matters. When you're doing everything right, I don't care how many cycles you've gone though, infertility is hard. When we're super bummed about our infertility, perhaps we need a dose of perspective. We're alive. We breathe, we live, and we have much to be grateful for.

I know, I know. Easier said than done. Be strong, lady. You won't be in this stage forever. 

Friday, February 8, 2013

Perks of Not TTC

I have to admit, these past four or so months of not trying to get pregnant have been pretty amazing. Don't get me wrong, if I were to end up pregnant today I would be incredibly happy and thankful, but I'm rediscovering things I sorely missed.

  • Cold medicine and ibuprofen.
 True story. Every time I would have a sinus irritation I would have to deal with it. Suck it up, yo. We can't be drying out the cervical mucus that may produce a pleasant experience for your future child. And I don't know about you but Tylenol does nothing for my headaches. The only way I can get rid of my headaches is with ibuprofen or naproxen. And cramps.

  • Not being a crazy person.
I'll be the first to say it, My name is Angi, and I do not tolerate hormonal change well. All of my doctors told me to beware of Clomid. For sure that stuff will make you crazy, they said. Warn your husband, they said. What they didn't say was that Provera (progesterone) would not only make me a crazy person, but a flip out off the wall, yelling about tortilla chips kind of person. Ugly stuff. By the time we got to the point where we decided to take a break, we actually needed the break.

  • Acne
I got really, I mean really lucky  to have had clear skin all through high school. Occasionally I would have a pimple here and there, but for the most part, I didn't. And then you hear the classic story of the girl who went off of her birth control at the old age of 23 and became the worlds oldest pizza face. (I'm a little bit exaggerating, but you get my point). Can we just discuss for a moment the complete injustice of this? We stop taking birth control in order to get pregnant and we get cursed with acne? It's like birth control has this big conspiracy against us and won't let us be great.

  • Wine
Ha. Just kidding. I never went without wine.

  • Caffeine
I started Metformin as an attempt to control my PCOS. What it did was made it impossible for me to drink caffeinated beverages, including my favorite thing in the world. Coffee. However, I decided that enough is enough and I'm proud to say that I am completely addicted to caffeine again. It's been a long road, but I made it, and I've never been happier.

  • Planned sex.
I won't go into any more detail on this since this is a family blog. But yeah.

  • Peeing on sticks.
Worst. Thing. Ever. Even ovulation kits got horrible. You want to talk about something awful for your self esteem? Try failing a test every single day for three years of your life. Good luck with that one. I wouldn't have believed a positive even if I'd seen one.

Trust me, I'm not complaining. I gave up and did all the things above willingly. I wanted it so bad, that I probably would have given up eating if I had to. While I have all the faith in the world that someday I will get pregnant, right now isn't the right time for us to resume fertility treatments. If it happens, it happens, and we will be overwhelmed with joy, but right now I'm going to sit here and enjoy my wine, with a side of cold medicine.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Babies R Us Makes Me Drink

ETA: I wrote this post mid-December after I consumed the bottle of wine pictured below. I just found it as I was looking through my drafts folder and decided not to edit or add anything to it to preserve my original drunk-white-girl-ghetto talk. Enjoy.

For the entire time between the first baby shower I was ever invited to and now, Babies R Us has always held a special piece of hatred in my heart. Even before I had any idea of our infertility, I hated the store.

I don't know why, but I thought that maybe, just maybe, since we're going to be parents now, that I might enjoy the store. I thought it would be nice to see the nice baby stuff. I mean, Walmart has the baby section, but it isn't the same.

So I decided to go.

Side note: I have a huge amount of guilt about breastfeeding. Everything I read, and everything I see lists the benefits of breastfeeding. It is the best option for your baby. It is the healthiest thing you can do for your child. If you love your baby, you'll breastfeed. True story. I had always known that when we had children I would breastfeed if I were able (I hadn't planned on adopting), because it is the best thing you can do, and cheaper, yo. Joshua and I were both formula fed, and we're just fine, but that doesn't seem to matter to my brain.

Can we talk about how expensive these clothes are?
The first thing I see is a giant aisle of all breastfeeding stuff. I don't even know what it is. So I keep walking, and for some reason I have this anxious/embarrassed feeling. Like I shouldn't be there. Like it is an exclusive-to-pregnant ladies store.

So I leave. And I go to Walmart. And the night ended like this.
Cheap, yo.


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Not Ready Today: Part Two

We had another false alarm this weekend. Birth mom thought for sure she was in labor.

It turns out that she was not, and the doctor said that she won't be for a few more weeks. Good for baby.

She was having some pretty intense contractions though, so they gave her some medicine and we waited. While we were waiting we talked quite a bit. She told me more about her personal life, and about the birth father. They are no longer together, and she was telling me a lot about their relationship. She also told me about her childhood, and how it wasn't exactly pleasant.

She grew up in foster care, and unfortunately wasn't well cared for. We met with the doula two weeks ago and while we were talking the birth mom started crying. She told me that it wasn't that she was changing her mind, it was just that she has fears for her children because of the things she experienced in foster care. She knows that we will be good parents, but she cannot help but worry.

I told her that just as she worries about that, even though she knows we won't be those parents, we worry that she will still change her mind. In our hearts we know this is for real, and that she is serious, but in the back of our minds, there is always that chance.

I think getting to talk to her helped us to understand each other a little more.

She has stated before that she wants this to be a closed adoption. She thinks it will be easier for her and her other children to move on if there is no contact. I wonder now though if that will be harder for her because we have been talking so often. I will respect her wishes, but I wonder if she will change her mind when it comes down to it.

This is our baby:

Friday, February 1, 2013

No Phone Zone

Josh and I have discussed cell phone usage in the past. When we go on vacation we don't use our phones. We leave them in our room or take one (turned off) with us when we're somewhere we may need it for an emergency. The first time we ever had a no phone vacation was on our honeymoon. I would turn my phone on at least once a day to make sure there were no emergency voice messages and then turn it back off. We did the same thing on our past two trips to Florida.

Our family hated it. I find that we enjoy our time so much more by living in the present.

I will admit that it is hard for me. I find myself itching to check my notifications, but once I'm far enough away from it and can forget it, it is an extremely freeing feeling. I love not feeling weighed down by my phone. Joshua is the complete opposite. He loves being without his phone. Loves it. I think the only time he uses his phone is when he wants to use the internet.

I have always hated when people will hold phone conversations when there are other people in the room, but when I think about it, checking messages, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and whatever else is out there is not any better. We're distracted.

I've been thinking off and on about how to manage my connectedness with the baby. For a little while I was very focused on increasing my blog traffic and spent quite a bit more time working on my posts and planning content. I don't know if it was a phase or what, but it was fairly exhausting. I like blogging. I do it for fun, not for work. And I do it for me, not for anyone else.

Today I was reading Nurse Loves Farmer and she wrote a post about Hands Free Parenting. The post the inspired her post is How to Miss a Childhood. I encourage you to read both of those posts.

Reading these posts has really convinced me that I need to have a plan for phone free times. I think turning off notification tones and only keeping my ringer on in case someone needs to call me will help me prioritize. I want to make a commitment to live presently with my family. I don't ever want my children or husband to feel less important, but I'm already guilty of doing this to Josh. However, this morning there was an incident near our house and I wouldn't have known about it if I hadn't had my phone on me. So I'm conflicted on how to handle my phone. Obviously it isn't going to be an all or nothing transition, and it will be super handy to have around to snap quick photos of the baby.

The only place to go is forward. So if you don't hear from me immediately, don't take it personally. I'm living.


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