May 16 – It’s that Time of Year Again

It’s that time of year again. We celebrate mother’s and everything they represent. Unconditional love, supportive, caring, etc. It is one of the hardest times of year for infertiles. The pain in our hearts as we watch and celebrate others who have the one thing we want. The other hard part is being a foster parent. It can be so hard to watch a kiddo mourn the fact that they are not with their biological mother on this holiday. Everyone is making their moms’ cards in class, sharing stories and they are wondering why they cannot see their mom. They may act out or withdraw. It can be hard to be a mother figure for a kiddo who is hurting.

This is also the time of year where I become a fly in the boss’s stew as I drum up another letter pleading for my company to add infertility coverage to their insurance. The HR person in charge of benefits knows me by name. This will be my fourth request in 2 years.

My strategy this time is to speak to the competitors who offer this coverage, while we do not. I am also asking people who supported me last year with this to write up something to submit with mine. I know they will continue to ignore me and try to sweep this under the rug, but I will not give up. All I can do is continue to ask right? I mean what’s the harm?

We all mourn this holiday in our own way. I mourn by advocating. I have to do something to not feel useless. If I can try to get coverage I feel like I am impacting lives of people at my firm that I have never met. I am hoping that I can help them and me!

In addition I applied for the Baby Quest Foundation grant this month. I am open to any avenue possible to try and have a baby. They do the grant twice a year.  A lot of people apply, but it has better odds than the lottery right?

We are still on a break from fostering. We did get a call for a kid, even though we were not on the list, but the kid was accepted by someone else faster. It is funny how fast you can feel attached to a little one that you have not yet met. In both pregnancy and fostering.

I hope you all made it through the weekend with your heads held high. Mother’s Day can be tough. But we are tougher! Infertility can’t keep us down!

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May 7 – Been a long week

This week has been a weird one. I had taken us off the open bed list for fostering a couple weeks ago as you’ll recall. We got a call mid-week about a foster kiddo and they were really, really pushing us to take them. We said yes, but I guess DCS (department of child safety) chose another family. They were really pushing us because there was a high probability that the kid was going to go up for adoption. I felt really bad that we did not end up with the kid.

My hubby’s best friend’s little sister (did you follow that?) had her baby and then needed her appendix out (rough week for her) sooooo we were morally obligated to go visit her and meet her baby. We brought lasagna and a leftover box of diapers (from fostering). It was an awkward visit. Her mom was there. They are incredibly religious and fertile people. The mom had 10 kids. They asked all sorts of questions about fostering, making inappropriate comments on the bio parents (which was not great). Then we mentioned our IVF and miscarriage. That is when it happened, the “maybe if you just relax, because we know this family that…” I looked over at hubby and tried not to roll my eyes. I thanked her for saying that. It took everything in me to not say “gee, my doctor says we have less than a one percent chance on our own” or “yeah after two rounds of IVF maybe we didn’t actually need it and should just relax.”

It’ll be a long time before we go visit them again. My oh-so-charming mother-in-law called and insisted we do something for Mother’s day for her. Now we are stuck taking her out to brunch. Ugh. She doesn’t know about the IVF and miscarriage so maybe if she did she wouldn’t ask these things but I am too afraid to tell her. She isn’t the most supportive person. In fact, she is quite insulting. I didn’t want to hear her say something about it being my fault or maybe it is God’s will.

We decided last minute to apply for the IVF grant again. Nine pages of bearing your soul to complete strangers in the hopes that they will give you one more shot at IVF. Trying your best to stand out against other poor couples who are in the same situation as you. I really hate the process, yet I still put us through it.

Next week is the dreaded Mother’s Day. I wish I could just bury my head in the sand. This year has been easier by far emotionally to deal with. I wish the constant commercials, Facebook ads, promotional emails, store signage and everything else would stop already though. I hope that with each year it will be easier. Or maybe hopefully someday we will have or get our baby.

My mother’s birthday was this week. I sent her a gift and a card and a Facebook post, but that wasn’t good enough. She wanted me to call her. I hate calling her. All she does is talk about my brother. My horrible example of a human being. And his baby. And his baby mama. And their drama. I have asked numerous times to not talk about it. No boundaries are listened to or respected. I actually haven’t spoken to her in a while. Per my previous posts I have been trying to cut back on speaking to my family for exactly this reason. After this month I won’t have to speak to her until … maybe my birthday? Wouldn’t that be nice? HAHA.

Well to all you not-yet mamas stay inside, hunker down, get some chocolate and wine, cry, laugh, snuggle your significant others and furbabes. Don’t let this “holiday” beat you down. Some day, we will be at peace. Either with our baby, rainbow baby, adopted baby, or being at peace with childlessness.

For you lucky mamas who got your miracle, enjoy the day. Snuggle that little miracle and your significant other. Enjoy the breakfast in bed, the homemade card, the gifts, the fuss. You’ve earned it.

Happy Mother’s Day to everyone!

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April 29 – Interesting News

As of a couple of weeks ago we turned our open bed off (came off the list as they say) for fostering. We were very close to just saying we are done and closing our license permanently. My neighbor asked me to come over and chit-chat. We usually catch up once a month or so.

We are sitting there talking about she can barely contain herself. She knows someone who might be able to get us placed with a foster kiddo that will most likely end up in severance. Basically what that means is we would be placed with a kid who has a greater likelihood of us being able to adopt.

Of course I have mixed feelings about that. Of course we would love to bring into our home a kiddo that we could possibly adopt. I just feel guilty feeling excited about that because of course the parents have to not being doing what is right by the kiddo. Apparently in this specific case the siblings are already severed and going up for adoption with their foster parents.

I reached out to the person who can possibly make this happen and waiting to hear any news.

In the mean time we keep hoping and wishing that we can afford more infertility treatments. We are more closely decided on embryo adoption I think. I mean if we somehow win a grant or something very lucky we would love (I use that term loosely, LOL because all know IVF is no picnic) to do another IVF round. But finances being what they are, embryo adoption would be more affordable. Plus we have no problems loving a child that is not biologically ours.

For now, we play the waiting game. Waiting on a foster baby or waiting on funds for more infertility treatment.

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April 16 – Easter

We have taken ourselves off the foster care list. It was a hard decision but easy at the same time. We were on the list for almost ten weeks without a placement. With my needing to be in the office for training this month I thought it wise to come off the list.

This month we had a wishful moment. My period was late. We have all been there right? Period’s late. We hold out hope that by some miracle we got pregnant. Take a test, it’s negative. Ok well maybe it is too early (knowing full well that by the time you are late it should be positive). Wait a couple days, take another one. Still negative, still no period. Then I start feeling really sick. Smells make me gag. Seriously I was cooking with fresh lime juice and it was awful to me. Normally I love it.

So I make a doctor appointment. Still negative they tell me my stomach issues are probably nothing (even though I mention I had an ulcer last year).  They said doing a blood test would not be more effective than a urine test for pregnancy.

Still nothing. I secretly hope that all of it is wrong and I am pregnant. Foolish dreams. Then I get my period. Day 41 of my cycle.

So despite being foolish and tortured all week, what does this tell me? Well I guess it showed me that I was being foolish. Not for having hope, but for thinking I was ready to give up on having kids.

I think my transformation will be getting focused on how we can accomplish that. There is another grant deadline coming up in May. I wasn’t planning on applying again until December because I was trying to lower my BMI. Since I haven’t lost a single pound, even though I have lost 8 inches and it is noticeable, my BMI remains the same. I know there are a lot of ways I could hurry my weight loss along but I am trying to work on my eating habits instead of dieting. No pills, no powders, no special drinks. Just eating better and working out. It’s harder than I want it to be, but I think it is the right way for me to lose weight.

Other than some miracle grant giving us another shot, we talked about doing other stuff too. Maybe getting a second job or working more overtime. I am trying to sell some crafty items I made on Etsy. I think we will not do another crowd-funding. Our friends and families have their own money issues. Since we only raised 350 bucks on our last one, I don’t think it is going to explode up if we try again.

I guess I will be holding out hope that some miracle will help us along.

Happy Easter everyone.78431723_XS

 

 

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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