Strange Dreams – April 10th

Last night I did not sleep well. I had the strangest dreams.

My first dream my hubby and I went to some fast food chain where he ordered some meal and I ordered apparently a chicken sandwich. He got his order and then my order never came. In my dream I remember yelling how it had been an hour and I hadn’t gotten my food. Then another half an hour went by and I flipped out. I was screaming, yelling and being ignored.

Eventually the dream resolved when the owner (I think) gave me my seven dollars from his own wallet.

My second dream was my hubby, my sister and brother (who were not the correct age, they always seem to be the age of when I moved away from home. Sister is 16 and brother were 12 when I moved away) were out eating (apparently food was on my mind). I went home to get my wallet and the house was on fire. We own a two story and in my dream the upstairs was the only floor on fire. I grabbed trash bags and was trying to grab important items for everyone before the fire spread. After the fire got too crazy, we sat outside with our two dogs and a third dog (don’t know this dog). I was thinking in my dream I should have grabbed their leashes while the fire fighters were working on the house.

I looked up being ignored in a dream and it says I am overlooking some aspect of my life. And my house on fire is recognizing I need to go through a transformation.

I think perhaps my mind is telling me what I already know. I think I am done fostering. We received three calls in the last 9 weeks of being on the list. One was for 2 toddlers. One was for a newborn with a heart condition. The last for a toddler. Our age range is zero to three months. We are not trained or licensed to handle more delicate medical needs either. None of these calls was a good fit. I still felt terrible saying no. Especially to the newborn. I just knew that I wasn’t going to be able to bring the kiddo to the specialist as often as needed. It also involved medicine administration every 6-8 hours. Didn’t sound like the kiddo would be able to go to daycare at two months like we would have needed.

I think knowing also that the state has been trying even harder than usual to keep kids with families (which is a great thing) it isn’t great for us.

I think I might need to come to terms with the fact that we might end up childless. We are going to see a urologist in July. But honestly I am not optimistic. Every person I have met with our same condition has the same result. Needing IVF. Our only other option to have a pregnancy is embryo adoption. Which is cheaper, but still 10 grand at our clinic.

I think I need to adjust to the idea of never having kids. It has been hard. Especially trying to say it out loud to friends. Our friends only want what is best for us. They can’t believe there is no other option. Short of coming into money suddenly, I don’t see how.

I guess my mind is trying to burn down my old ideals of life, so that I can rise from the ashes and start anew. Pretty powerful advice.

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March 8 – Feeling Down

blue-images-7This week has been exceptionally difficult, emotionally. My family has been going off the deep end with the drama. We still don’t have a foster baby. There are about 5 pregnant ladies in my Facebook feed.

It took everything in me today to not comment rudely on one of the Facebook posts. She said “My legs hurt so badly, I can’t wait until this pregnancy is over” a day after posting how pregnancy is the hardest thing she has ever done. She is 20. Twenty years old. Married barely a year. About eight months pregnant. I really wanted to say that I would do anything to be able to complain about pregnancy leg pain. But it isn’t her problem, it’s mine. People are pregnant every day. People has aches and pains they want to get sympathy for. I am the one upset by it. It’s “normal” to have kids. It isn’t normal to be infertile.

One of the bosses in my department announced her pregnancy this week also. I was trying to talk to her about quitting a committee she is the leader of, because I am feeling overwhelmed and I need to cut back. I casually ask how her kid is, and she answers with I’m pregnant. It was so sudden I don’t think I fully recovered.

I wish I could feel less hurt by the happiness of others. This week I haven’t been sleeping well. Ok, ok you caught me. It has been much longer than a week. No joke I started groaning in my sleep. Been waking myself up. I looked it up and it is a real sleep condition called catathrenia. It is a general condition where one makes noises in their sleep (other than snoring and talking). Last year it was a pew- pew noise. Now it is just a groaning/sigh thing. Apparently stress induced.

I’ve been trying lots of things to reduce my stress and help me feel less depressed and anxious. Working out three times a week, eating better, doing things, hanging out with friends, etc. Not much help. Unfortunately.

Oh and the family drama. My brother and his girlfriend moved out of my dad’s house. They have an almost two year daughter. He has a drinking problem and she has a drug problem. They have been fighting. A few nights ago, my brother was telling everyone he wanted to kill himself (apparently a desperate attempt to gain attention from his girlfriend so she would come home from her mother’s). She came home drunk/high today to fight with my brother and my mother (who was there trying to help). Cops were called and my brother was asked to spend the night elsewhere.

They are going to end up losing their daughter at some point. It is the saddest thing I have ever heard.

I am going to try to cut back on the amount of time I keep in touch with the family. They are incredibly dramatic and toxic and despite my asking to not talk about my brother (we haven’t spoken in almost two years because of what he said to me after my miscarriage) I hear about him EVERY time I call, as you can tell from my in-depth knowledge of what happened this week. I moved across the country for a reason. I never come home to visit my friends for this reason. I don’t want to cut them out of my life, but I feel like I need to. My youngest brother is now 16.  I don’t need to be there providing his school supplies, parenting advice to my mother and making sure she isn’t dying (she is a hypochondriac and is dying of a new condition every year). As far as I can remember my mother has always had some condition that was going to kill her.

On a positive note, I had my hair redone with the blue highlights. The last salon didn’t do a great job so I was glad to get it redone. People keep telling me how awesome it looks. I am pretty happy with it this time. Hopefully I will feel less sad next week. That’s all we can do right. Make it through one day at a time. Hopefully you all are having a better week than I.

Feb 14 – Does the Pain ever go away?

bunch-of-pink-roses-wallpaper-gxpqtumoHappy Valentine’s Day!

Ah, a day about love. You think it would be a welcome distraction. But to me it is just another reminder we are childless.

My husband and I have been married over 15 and half years. While we have our moments of tension, we are pretty happily in love. I feel so lucky to have him. Is he perfect? Nope. Am I perfect? No way. But we work together. I just feel like we would be amazing with children too. We have so much love to give. We actually like each other. I feel like we would be great role models for our kids on what love is supposed to look like.

Growing up my parents hated each other. They fought like cats and dogs. My mom cheated on my dad while my dad was working nights. Every relationship she had after that thrived off of alcohol, sex and violence. My father swore off dating (it was his second marriage) and literally has not even dated since.

My husband’s parents had a huge age difference. His mother is a real bitch and his dad was too love-struck to see it. She broke up the family and dragged my husband and his brother around the country. Every two years when she wracked up too much debt in an area she would move again. My husband went to 3 different high schools. After the divorce he didn’t see his dad until he was an adult. His mom never had a real relationship after the divorce. They remarried when his dad’s health was going downhill so that she could get his pension.

Sometimes I really wonder how we even turned out remotely normal (or maybe we aren’t but at least no one says we are crazy to our faces). We feel like we could show kids how love is supposed to be. Patient and kind. Forgiving. Getting through fights without breaking glasses or punching walls. No broken bones or trips to the hospital. No fleeing from the area when things get too intense.

I just wonder, does the pain ever go away? Will I ever be able to swallow the grief that comes from losing our only pregnancy, losing the foster kiddo we were told we might be able to adopt, or from the fact that we can’t afford any more IVF and may end up childless? How does someone ever get over that? Anyone who can must have super human strength.

 

Jan 26 – Feeling Defeated

This morning I am writing a letter to my congressman in the hopes that he will vote down the newly proposed personhood bill. If this bill passes, IVF will be illegal in the US. I’m hoping it won’t pass, but who knows in this political climate. Without IVF my husband and I were told we would have a zero to one percent chance of having a natural child. Embryo adoption would also be illegal. We would have no medical options, short of flying to another country. I get so nervous with that. Sure I could pack a bag, fly to India and do IVF. It makes me nervous because I don’t know about the medical standards in another country. Who knows what could happen?

In other news, my foster care agency sent out an email late on the 18th telling us they were ending their foster care and adoption program. They told us to choose another agency and then we could transfer. Problem is, we have been trying to transfer for a couple weeks. After we hadn’t been able to get ahold of anyone at the agency for over 2 weeks, I could see the writing on the wall. The new agency can’t get ahold of our current agency to get the paperwork on file with them.

In addition to that, we have to go through the interviewing process with the new agency all over again. Plus resubmit some of the paperwork we have already done. Short of the training classes, it feels like we are starting all over again. Our initial interview isn’t until Feb 3rd with the new agency. If we have to do the entire four hours of interviews, plus the home study again who knows when we can open our bed and have kids again.

I feel so defeated. Are we not meant to be parents? I feel like we have every possible obstacle working against us. We keep trying different paths to parenthood and are getting completely shut down every way we turn.

We have decided to sell our home in the hopes that if IVF stays legal we can afford another treatment before I get too old. I know 34 isn’t “old” but in the fertility world, we are just this one year away from decreased odds at getting and staying pregnant.

I used to think people who said they could hear the biological clock ticking were crazy. They aren’t. Surely I don’t hear actual ticking. But the anxiety and pressure of age and fertility weighs on me. I am worried we will never become parents.

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Jan 11 – Having to Change Agencies

I tried to reach out to our foster care agency in December to let them know January 3rd we wanted to open our bed again (make our home available for a foster kiddo). My email was sent back as unknown receiver. I knew immediately that the reason we hadn’t heard from our agency in a while is because the new foster care person had left/was fired.

I called to confirm. I was told that was correct. My initiation reaction was annoyance. How could she leave and not tell us? I thought that perhaps it was because we were difficult when we had the toddler. Still. No excuse for not telling us, or letting us know who would be the new person. I was told the name of the new person and said I was just emailing the person to wish her a happy holiday (only partially true).

So January 3rd I try to call and get back in touch with this new foster care person. She isn’t available so I leave a message. I say we want to open our bed for a newborn to three month old, no gender or race preferences (yes that is a real question). I don’t hear anything. I try calling two days later. The agency doesn’t answer their phone. I let it ring for about 5 minutes and then hang up. I call back later and I am sent to the voicemail again.

I call back two days later again. I explain we are just trying to open our bed and the receptionist tells me that they are so short-staffed that the foster care and adoption people were working the front desk and couldn’t get back to me until the next week. They also tell me that the person I initially left a voicemail with, was not the correct person. They try to get me to the other front desk where the foster care person is supposed to be covering. They don’t answer.

I decided at that moment to change agencies. I already submitted the paperwork to the new agency, but surprise surprise they need to get in touch with our old agency to get our licensing paperwork that’s on file. LOL. Good luck!

This whole process has frustrated me. We can’t have kids on our own, can’t afford IVF or adoption. This was really our last way to have kids in our lives and I feel like the universe is working against us. It makes me wonder if I am a bad person or bad parent. Am I not supposed to have children?

Well I guess we are in for another weekend kid free. Maybe I’ll actually get to painting the hallway, like I have been saying I will for months! HAHA.

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Dec 30- New Year, New Me?

As we approach the close of 2016, which many people have acknowledged as not a great year, I look back and wonder, was it such a bad year? Sure, we didn’t get a grant. Money was a bit tight so we didn’t end up saving as much as we wanted. I got rejected for infertility coverage at work, twice.

Highlights. We were able to provide a home for three foster kids. I got my first tattoo. Our dear friends bought their first home. I got a promotion. I’ve been able to work from home quite a bit. My dad doesn’t have testicular cancer, which he was afraid he might.

A lot of good things happened this year, despite the bad. Maybe I need to be more positive. I am starting to trend that way. Sure I have moments where I break down and cry. Who doesn’t? I need to start focusing on what I can do to improve my situation, instead of focusing on the hardships we already faced.

I will always be sad that we didn’t have the baby we were pregnant with. That will always haunt me. But what can I do to put myself in a situation that we an afford another round? I know we have gone over those options before. We have decided to sell my husband’s beloved truck. It is a great sacrifice, but it the only vehicle with positive equity. Who knew trucks held their value so well?

I am still looking at job options with insurance coverage. Bank of America and now American Express have insurance options. We also are asking a realtor friend of ours about housing in Massachusetts. We are seriously considering selling our home (or renting it) and moving to the east coast to get insurance coverage as well.

Last but not least we are opening our bed for fostering again next week. Only taking in newborns. We like that stage best so far. Already bought diapers, formula, diaper genie refills and I couldn’t resist. I got one of the valentine’s onesies. It says “always loved.” I didn’t want to pick one that was too gender specific so that worked out perfect.

Other than working on having a baby, one way or another, we are working on our health. We signed up for a gym membership two weeks ago. We have managed to go three times a week so far. I imagine it will be more difficult once we have a little one, but I think we can make it work. We are both sick of being unhealthy. I even did meal planning! Hopefully we can keep it up. That way when we apply for the grant again in May, hopefully we will be slimmer. I want to do anything to improve our odds.

So no resolutions. No proclamations that 2017 will be a great year. Or our year. It is just another flip of the calendar. Happy New Year!

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Dec 20 – Didn’t Win

705327_4844975851531_69202289_oWell I got the dreaded “We’re sorry to inform you email” from the grant committee. I knew it was a long shot, but I was hoping our journey would be inspiring enough.

After sulking about that I was going to let our agency know to open our foster bed again Jan 3rd but the email came back recipient doesn’t exist. I gave them a call and our agent no longer works there. Who knows how long since she left. She was there less than two months. That puts us at 4 agents now since we started this whole process. Not promising.

Turned 34 this month. One more year of good fertility then our number start decreasing. I wish life would help us out a bit on this whole having babies thing. It is getting hard to keep having hope that we will be able to afford it.

Sorry to be such a downer, enjoy the holidays folks.

 

Nov 28 – Surviving the Holidays

thanksgiving-mantel-decorWell hello there readers. I hope you are all surviving the holidays. Thanksgiving has come and gone. I hope your went well.

My brother-in-law flew in for three days and we ended up taking him and my hubby’s mom out to dinner Wednesday night instead of cooking. Thursday we did absolutely nothing! It was great.

Friday was a half day for us, so we were incredibly productive and hung our lights. Since we have a two story house, it was quite a challenge. I’m glad we did it on a weekday though. Last year people stopped driving down the street to watch my husband on the 32 foot ladder stringing lights. This year there was barely any traffic.

While the sting of not having a baby is still there, this year seems easier. I am still slightly depressed. I have to force myself to do things sometimes, but I was able to decorate the house. I even managed to get my cards all sent out by Black Friday (my goal every year). I did a fun little movie trivia insert in my cards this year. We didn’t have any good or exciting news to share, and with everyone we know being Facebook friends I thought it would be a welcome change from the yearly recap letter (nothing against them, I just didn’t feel we had much to say).

Today was supposed to be court for our first foster care placement. I was all set to go, but it dawned on me this morning that no good could come from it. I would either hear that things aren’t going well and be worried OR things were going great and I would be happy for them, but sad for us. Not that I thought we would be lucky enough to have her come back to us, but I had hoped it. I need to move on. I will always love her, but she will always be a adorable two month old in my mind. It is, strangely, like she has died to us. Because we will never see her again. I am sure I have said that before, but it is the only way to explain it. I have said to people, I have had four children. We have had three fosters and our angel. Yet we have no children. It is a weird kind of limbo. We don’t seem to fit in anywhere.

I was right about being lepers once we went back to being childless. Our neighbor who was coming over at least twice a week to chat over coffee, hasn’t popped by in two weeks (since the last kid went home). I have offered. She is now “too busy” with errands and such to visit now. Oh well.

Oh and some good news. After a year of empty promises by my work, I am finally getting promoted! Dec 1st is the big date. Same amount of work for more money! HAHAHA suckers. I might have to do more extra projects but that is the kind of stuff I enjoy.

Well I hope you all survive the upcoming holiday season with minimal tears and maximum laughter!

 

Nov 8 – Two Weeks of Pure Hell

hell-pictureThe last two weeks have been pure hell.

You would think I was talking about the dreaded two week wait, but no. I am talking about our third placement coming and going.

It all started with getting a DCS call asking us about a “one year old.” Technically the kid is eighteen months old. Homeless. Heartbreaking. I have no reason to say no, except that the kid is older than we wanted. So what do I do? Like an idiot I say yes.

Kiddo arrives with lice. We knew that ahead of time. I had bought the lice killing shampoo. They had already done a treatment at the DCS office. I do another one when they arrive. Turns out the kid hates baths. Screams the entire time. I try to make it fun with bath toys and singing. Nope. Screaming. I finish up quick and get the kiddo dressed.

I feed the kid a snack. Fruit and cheerios. Whole milk in a sippy cup. Kid doesn’t know how to use a sippy cup. Change to a bottle.

We watch baby TV. Suddenly the kid realizes no one is coming to take them back to their parents. Ensue screaming. At the top of their lungs. For hours. Until they pass out. I move the kid up to the crib. There they sleep. They wake up every couple of hours screaming. We rock them back to sleep.

The next day, more eat, scream, sleep. All day. I barely get three hours of work done (SHHHH don’t tell my boss). Now this night the kid won’t sleep in the crib. Won’t stand being left alone. We try the cry it out. We keep checking on the kid, telling them it is ok while they scream and scream and scream. After a couple hours we cave and take them out of the crib.

This starts the sleeping on the couch. We can’t leave them alone, so hubby and I alternate sleeping on the couch with the TV on for background noise. Thankfully the kiddo starts daycare the next day so I can actually work.

I beg our agency to move the kid to be with siblings. Kiddo obviously very upset about being removed but I thought if they are with siblings the freaking out would be less. The case manager needs us not to move the kiddo because they were working on other things.

The car ride to the daycare is more screaming. The more I try to soothe, the more screaming happens. Week 1 passes pretty quickly. Screaming, screaming, and screaming.

On top of the screaming the kiddo is shy around men. So they are having a hard time warming up to hubby. Which means I am doing most of the caring for during the day. I’m exhausted. We have family and friends help take care of the kiddo on the weekend so we can get a break. We take the kiddo trunk-or-treating Saturday before Halloween. The kiddo seemed to enjoy it, until we get into the car. More screaming.

Week two starts and I can see the writing on the wall. The aches, the chills, the stuffy noses. We get a mild flu, just hubby and me. I start feeling better by Thursday, then Friday the worst thing ever. I come down with massive vomiting. I couldn’t even drive down the road to pick up the kid from daycare. I go to urgent care. They think I picked up a bacterial stomach infection. They give me antibiotics and a steroid shot to calm my tummy.

I beg the agency to talk to the case manager to find out what has been going on all week since we hadn’t heard anything. Saturday I sleep all day. My mother-in-law came over to help with the kid (not out of the goodness of her heart, mind you, we paid her). All she does is “clean” our house and semi-ignore the kid and fight with my husband. Oh and bad mouth us to our neighbor. She offers to stay the night on the couch with the kid. We accept (because at this point we are both super sick and exhausted). She stays through most of Sunday doing the same. Kiddo is screaming because they want me to care for them but I am too sick to even move.

Today the kiddo is being moved to another placement, sadly not to be with the siblings. I am so conflicted because I am really relieved that they are being moved but feel guilty because they aren’t going to the siblings. I know that isn’t my fault. There are other reasons for the move than I am listing here (privacy and such) we were never going to be a permanent placement. I sent a giant bag of all the toys and clothes we had for the kid. The case manager asks us if we really want to send it. Of course I do! This kid lost everything already.

My husband told me this week that he had a dream that I got pregnant and he was so relieved we didn’t have to do foster care anymore. I think I am taking that as a sign that we are done with fostering for now. I had a hard time arguing with the behavioral health people and the case manager about how important it was for this kid to be with siblings. I felt like my opinion didn’t matter. I was feeling done with it too.

Somehow I found time to apply for the grant for IVF too. It is a long shot, but I can’t help but hope. Maybe we will get lucky.

Have a toddler really got my thinking about how old our baby would have been if we hadn’t miscarried. Our baby would have been 22 months. About the same age as this placement. It hurts thinking how different the last two years would have been without the miscarriage.

Halloween also got us thinking about our first placement. I wonder if the family put the kiddo in the costume we had bought for them when we thought we were going to have them through Thanksgiving. It doesn’t help that the case aides keep calling us asking us questions about visits for that kid even though they left us over a month ago.

So this election day, we elect ourselves. No more case workers, no more state involvement, no more being ignored. We elect to hold on to the hope that we can afford more infertility treatment in the future and until then enjoy sleeping in our own bed, together!

 

Oct 20 – Reflecting

I have spent a lot of time thinking about our future. You can’t look to where you are going, without considering where you have been.

I have been picturing what our lives would be like if we hadn’t miscarried. I know, a dangerous game. We would have a 22 month old, so almost 2. Would we dress him or her up and go trick or treating at that young of an age? Would he/she have my crazy curls? Or my husband’s brown eyes? We would be deep in the terrible twos stage. How would we be dealing with it?

It is hard to not picture. I always imagine we have a little boy. Ever since we were married, I have dreamed of a cute little mopped brown-haired boy with brown eyes. He is the cutest little thing. He always wants to be just like his daddy. Some of the dreams feel so real.

I dreamed last night that I was pregnant. /sigh. It always puts me in such a funk the next day. Because obviously I’m not. I guess too many pregnancy story lines on TV lately. Or maybe the fact that I am filling out an application to try to win an IVF grant has my mind stirring with the possibilities. I hate to get my hopes up that we might get lucky and be chosen. I mean how many other deserving couples are out there? Who am I to say pick us over them? I mean it doesn’t seem fair. Although I guess infertility never is. I put my best effort into a two page letter. Picked out some photos of us. Haven’t decided which two I am going to use yet though.

I have been checking into jobs with confirmed infertility benefits. Some of them are real possibilities. I haven’t decided yet if we are going to move to the East Coast, where most of the mandated coverage states are. It seems like a big move to try to have another shot at having a kid.

Keep us in your thoughts as we apply for this grant. Maybe we will get lucky!

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