Thursday, December 31, 2009

Good-bye 2009

Last New Year's Eve, I closed my eyes at midnight and told myself 2009 was going to be the best year of my life. I was assuming it was going to be the year we would adopt our baby.

Instead, 2009 was the worst year of my life.

I am not going to do a big 2009 recap post because it can basically be summed up like this: anxiety, sadness, and then a sudden and unexpected hysterectomy.

So, from there, it can only get better, right?

Come on 2010, I am counting on you.

Middle Of The Night Panic

I had my first middle of the night "what the hell was I thinking, I can't believe I let them take my uterus and ovaries without a fight, now it's just in the hands of strangers choosing us which will never happen and we'll never be parents" panic moment.

At 1:30 in the morning I was all of a sudden convinced letting them take my uterus was my worst decision ever. That I should have thought about it longer. That I should have tried alternatives. The logical part of my brain was telling me I should just go back to sleep and that I would feel better about it in the morning. I finally gave in to the logic, and I did feel better about it in the morning.

I am sure there are many more of those moments to come. The physical part of the recovery has been dominating everything so far. I have a feeling I am going to be dealing with the emotional pain far longer than the physical pain I am feeling now.

Monday, December 28, 2009

I Feel Like I've Been Stabbed Seven Times And Had Organs Stolen

I've been crying all afternoon.

I am not even sure why.

I guess hormones could be an issue? Or maybe it's just having so much time to think about everything that has happened.

It could be that it's now been 17 months that we have been waiting.

17 months of waiting for the adoption. Almost 7 years of waiting for a baby.

I am in pain, which doesn't help anything. The pain has been pretty consistent because even though I am getting better, I am also taking less pain medicine and getting up more.

Adam went back to work today. I have been on my own for the first time. I have really missed him.

My throat is killing me. It's actually my throat, mouth, and tongue. I hope I never need a breathing tube again for the rest of my life. I think it had tiny knives attached to it.

Basically, I am miserable.

I felt like I should post something because I have not written since I first got home from the hospital. Now you see why. There is nothing going on here but pajamas, pillows, pain meds, sleeping, crying, and family visiting.

I'm going to be leaving the house tomorrow. Carefully. Very carefully. My parents are having a dinner at their house because my brother and sister in law are leaving on Wednesday to go back to Oregon. So, that will be interesting. It may be good to get out of the house. Maybe wearing pants (even if they are sweatpants) will make me feel human again.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I'm Home

I am home.

I am in too much pain to write a lot, but I did want to say I am home and everything is okay.

I was not able to get any sleep in the hospital. I was in a lot of pain and really uncomfortable being hooked up to so many things. IV in my hand, oxygen in my nose, catheter in, and plastic things wrapped around my legs squeezing them so I didn't get blood clots. Plus the nurse coming in to check blood pressure, temperature, etc. I am a really light sleeper and it all made it impossible for me to rest.

I am able to sleep more at home, but there are things I do miss about the hospital: the bed, the catheter, and the nurse bringing my pain meds on a regular schedule. I have found it's hard to keep track of pain meds when you are tired and in a lot of pain. I woke up at 3:30 in the morning in incredible pain and unable to get out of bed at all. I took some pain meds and by 5:30 I was able to get myself to the living room to sleep more in the recliner. Thanks to Kim's suggestion, I have come to realize the recliner is the closest thing in the house to a hospital bed and it's a lot easier to get out of if you need to use the bathroom.

Adam has been amazing. Helping me in and out of the recliner or bed whenever I need. Getting me anything I want. Setting the laptop up on a pillow in front of me so I can write this. He has even started keeping a chart of when I take the medications so he can keep track. And in between he has been making Christmas cookies all day!

My Mom brought me lunch and watched TV in bed with me for a while.

I am in the worst pain of my life, but I have a lot to be thankful for. I could not prepare myself for how bad the pain would feel, but I told myself if I lived through the surgery and was able to be home for Christmas, then I would be thankful. No matter how bad it was.

You would not believe the amount of support I have gotten from twitter. They really got me through this. Lots of advice from people who have had hysterectomies. And a gift basket from an amazing group of twitter friends. I will be writing a whole post about that later, including photos of the present they sent me.

My brother and sister in law are in town from all the way across the country. After my surgery my sister in law braided my hair for me, rubbed my leg after a charlie horse, and even wrote me a list of things I needed to do before leaving the hospital.

My sister and brother in law are driving home from Boston right now as I type this.

We are going to all be together tomorrow. I am going to be drugged up and wearing my pajamas in the recliner, but we are going to be together. And we can all enjoy a good laugh as we open presents and find the post-it notes I wrote.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Morbid

I am doing something completely morbid.

I am putting post-it notes on presents before wrapping them in case I won't be around when they get opened.

I know it's morbid, dramatic, and awful.

This is what happens when your surgeon does not reassure you at all that you will even survive the surgery. He made it clear things happen in major surgery and he can't promise me something won't happen to me.

So, I am writing post-it notes. I have things to say about some of the presents I am giving.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Christmas Decorations




Our mailbox with lights :)
Brinkley was watching me take pictures from the door.

Our new Christmas tree :)
Brinkley checking out the new Christmas cards in the card stand.

Friday, December 11, 2009

I Hate My Oncologist

My oncologist is an ass. I hate him.

He did not know anything about me going into our appointment. He asked why I was there and if I knew my treatment options. I said I already had surgery scheduled for the 21st. He seemed surprised by that. How did he not know that going into the appointment?

It was around this time that he apparently grew bored of me because he began looking through his phone.

I asked him if I actually had treatment options. It was my understanding my options were hysterectomy or the cancer progresses. He asked a couple questions and then tells me that there probably aren't really any other options than having the hysterectomy. Shouldn't he have known about my history going into this? I only told him a tiny bit of my history. It's very complicated and I know it was all sent to him. I feel like he shouldn't be making treatment choices based on a couple questions he asked me that don't tell the full story.

I was expecting him to talk me through the decision of whether to have my ovaries taken out too, but he just said he recommends it and there is up to a 25% chance the cancer could come back if they are left in, but it's up to me. He said this all while flipping through things on his phone. I asked about menopause and he said I won't notice it because I will be on hormone replacements. Adam asked if there were side effects to that and he said none that I would notice. None that I would notice? Plus, I thought taking estrogen put you at risk for breast cancer? Then he mentions something about going through menopause twenty years before I'm supposed to has risks like heart problems and stroke later on in life. I couldn't tell whether he was saying if I took the hormones that wouldn't happen. But, it sure did give me more to worry about. I feel like he gave me some random pieces of information rather than really talk me through the decision. He told me to let him know the day of surgery what I decide. Really?

He said he is not sure yet how he will be doing the surgery. He will try to do it the least invasive way possible and then only completely cut me open if he needs to. Which is good because if he can do it the less invasive way, the recovery time would be less. But, because he doesn't know which way he will end up doing it, he wouldn't give me any information about my recovery time or restrictions. I was so frustrated. He acted like it was annoying that we even asked.

He also refused to reassure me in any way that I will survive this surgery. He made a point to tell me people have complications from surgery all the time and he had no way of knowing if I would be one of those people. He pretty much made it seem like- well, you could die, you could live, let's just wait and see what happens.

It was my understanding from my OB/GYN that it's stage one and that after the surgery I would be cancer free. He said, "No, we don't really know what stage you are until we go in." He even said, "Since you have had problems for a long time, then things could be worse." Wow, thanks.

Not one ounce of anything reassuring or comforting.  It was a ten minute appointment and he seriously played with his phone the entire time.

As he was leaving the room, I was desperate for anything to hang some hope on and I asked him if he has done this a lot. Hoping he would tell me how often he does it and how most people come out of it fine. He said, "No, I just read how to do it on the internet today." Then he walked out. I looked at Adam and said, "What the hell was that?" Adam said, "I think there might be hidden cameras and we were punked." We stood there waiting for Ashton to come running in laughing and saying it was all a joke.

I cried through the appointment. (Not that he noticed since he didn't look at me.) I continued crying the entire way to the hospital. It shouldn't have been a surprise that they had a lot of trouble getting blood from me. They asked me if I could be dehydrated. Well, I have not had anything to eat or drink all day and I have been crying for an hour straight.

The bright side of my time at the hospital was that they had a nurse go over everything about my hospital stay with me and I was able to talk to her about my surgeon and the awful appointment. She said he is not known for being a nice guy or being good with people, but that he is really good at what he does. She said people come from hours away to have him. (Although she was very disturbed about the things I told her and she said she wants to mention it to someone at the hospital.)

When I spoke with my OB/GYN nurse on the phone, she said the same thing about him. That's he is not good with people, but good at surgery.

That's when I realized, my surgeon is Dr. House.



And if Dr. Gregory House existed in real life, I would want him to be my doctor. Even if he was an ass.

So, I am going to stick with him and be grateful that I will be asleep the whole time so I don't have to spend anymore time with him.

But, my appointment with him is going to make the next week harder on me because I do not feel reassured at all that everything will be okay. I keep trying to tell myself he was just trying to cover his own ass in case something happens, but it still scares me a lot.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Let The Worrying Begin

I have been waiting to get the phone call letting me know there was a mistake, they were wrong, I am fine and don't need surgery.

But instead, I got the call today that after my oncology appointment tomorrow, I need to go to the hospital for blood work and a chest xray. Apparently that's normal pre-op stuff before major surgery.

This is really happening.

I get bad anxiety about normal doctor appointments, so tomorrow has me very scared.

Tomorrow I will be finding out what kind of hysterectomy I will need, which can make a big difference in recovery time. I will also find out whether I can keep my ovaries, how long I will have to be in the hospital after surgery, and what this all means for me long term.

There will probably be a lot of serious faces and uncomfortable situations. And answers to questions that I don't want to know the answers to.

I have not gone to sleep before midnight a single night since this all started. And I get up everyday between 5-6. I am sick. I am exhausted. I am scared.

I was hoping to sleep this afternoon for a couple hours, but right as I fell asleep, the phone rang and it was the oncology nurse. I have been thinking and worrying ever since then. Now it's time to go get the kids off the bus.

I Think I Watch Too Many Crime Dramas

Last night, I went into a small shop to get a couple things for Adam's Christmas stocking and when I came out, the car parked next to mine had it's driver's side door open. I was thinking the person was just returning their cart. I looked around and didn't see anyone coming back. I got in my car and started to leave. Then I began thinking more and more about how the person still wasn't back to their car and it was weird. So I sat there and waited, then walked around and looked more. Then decided I had to call 911. People don't just accidentally leave their car door wide open in a crowded parking lot. They lock their car and set their car alarm. Especially in a nice car like that one.

I called the police and gave all the information about where I was, what kind of car it was, their license plate number, etc. They asked me to stay there and keep an eye out for the police so I can show them where the car is. I agreed to do it. Especially since the door was open and I didn't want someone to come and steal things from the car. And I didn't want to close the door in case there was evidence. (Yes, in my head, I was in the middle of a CSI case.)

So, I stood outside in freezing rain while the police took forever to come. When the officer came, he said he would take care of it. That's it? I was supposed to just leave and never know what happened? He began looking inside the car through the windows with his flashlight as I drove away.

(By the way, I didn't expect them to throw a parade in my honor or give me a key to the city, but a thank you for standing in the freezing rain for a half hour would have be nice. )

Now I admit I watch too many crime drama TV shows and that I was imagining it was a woman and as she got out of the car, someone came up from behind her and kidnapped her. Of course it is much more likely the car was broken into and they left it open. But, why only that car? The parking lot was packed full of cars. Why not mine? Mine was unlocked because I was only running into a small shop for a couple minutes. Which brought up another question, how did this all happen within the time I was in the shop? So many questions that I keep wondering about...

One thing I do know is that I had a small cold that was almost completely gone yesterday and today I am much worse. I was up blowing my nose all night and my ears have been hurting ever since standing out there. So, I hope it wasn't all for some person that somehow forgot to close their own car door!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Superior Scribbler Award

I could write about how one of the parents of the children I work with is pregnant and I found out this morning.

Or I could write about how our adoption agency called and another birth mother did not choose us.

Or maybe about how my hysterectomy surgery is two weeks from today.

Instead, I get a chance to write about something that puts a smile on my face. My blog friends. :)

I received the Superior Scribbler Award from Becca and Roxanne. Please go check their blogs out.

Becca was the very first person to ever comment on my blog. That meant so much to me. I started this blog as a way to work out my feelings about our adoption wait. I figured I would just be writing for myself and nobody would ever see it. Then Becca left a comment and gave me support and she has continued to support me. She is a fellow liberal and animal lover and I enjoying reading her blog and tweets everyday.

Roxanne is dealing with a lot. She is in physical pain everyday because of endometriosis and lupus. Then has the emotional pain of trying to conceive for three years added to it. I admire her for her ability to deal with all of that, continue towards her goal, and do it while being the sweet, loving, supportive person she is. Everybody knows they can count on her for kind words when they are having a bad day.

Thank you to both of you for this award!



Award Rules:

Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass The Award on to 5 most-deserving Bloggy Friends.

Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award.

Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog, and link to this post, which explains The Award.

Each Blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit this post and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List.

Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.



Here are my 5 bloggers.....

Sarah from Creepy Groovy
She says her blog is a work in progress, but she is an excellent writer and I love reading about whatever random topic she comes up with. I have known her since she was 6 yrs old and I used to baby-sit for her. Now that we are adults, I love that I can call her my friend.

Kate from Busted Plumbing
Kate is a new friend, but I love her already. She makes me laugh out loud everyday and she has been a major source of support. If you have not read her blog, you are really missing out. It's excellent. Smart, funny, and well written.

Libby from Libby Logic
Libby is one of my favorite people to follow on twitter. I get her updates sent to my phone and they often make me laugh out loud in public places. Her blog posts are sarcastic, smart, and very funny. She is a domestic adoption success story and seeing pictures of her beautiful baby girl gives me hope.

Liz from Inventing My Life
Liz commented on my very first blog post and has been commenting consistently ever since. She even mentioned me on her blog and I am very grateful for that. Liz is adopting from Ethiopia and has a travel date for later this month. Go to her blog to read her interesting and exciting story! She is also really good at recommending other blogs to read. I am never disappointed when I follow one of her links.

Bon from I Can't Haz Bebe
I do not know her, but I have been reading her blog. She recently had a failed adoption match and I admire her for writing about her experience. It is honest, raw, and heartbreaking.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Exhausted

This past week has been exhausting.

A week ago right now I was anxious about getting my pathology results from the doctor because I knew she would be calling the next day.

Monday night I got the call that changed everything.

On Tuesday I got a call from the oncologist's office to go over my appointment details. I began working on getting a surgery date around Christmas time so I could recover with taking as little time off from work as possible.

Wednesday I got my surgery date. December 21. It became real.

Thursday and Friday I had to tell all the parents of the children I work with.

I've been sick all weekend. Which came as no surprise to me. That's what happens when you spend the whole week freaking out and not sleeping.

I have my oncologist appointment on Friday. Adam already took off from work and we are leaving as soon as I get the kids on the bus in the morning. I am really scared of everything they are going to tell me. All the details. It's going to be a huge reality check. I have about 100 questions for the oncologist, but they are all questions I don't think I really want to know the answer to. I want so badly to run away and hide, but I obviously know I need to go to this appointment.

I need to start calming down and sleeping. I don't really have much experience in calm. It sounds nice. I have a lifetime of experience in anxiety and worry. I have spent my whole life worrying about everything. Most of the time I was worrying about things that didn't even really matter. Now I have something that really matters to worry about. And I have to try and be calm?

Friday, December 4, 2009

What If I Miss Christmas?

I wish my family all lived in the same city.

(I would even settle for state...or time zone.)

My sister and her husband live in Boston, MA. My brother and his wife live in Portland, Oregon.

It is obviously very rare for us all to be together, but we always at least have Christmas. That is why I love Christmas so much. We have so much fun together.

All of a sudden tonight it hit me that Christmas will be nothing like years in the past. I am going to miss so much. My one chance to be with my family and I am going to be drugged up and stuck here unable to leave my house.

When the first Nintendo came out, my dad bought it for us for Christmas and we played it the entire Christmas break. Since then, my dad has bought us video games for Christmas many times and we have great memories of staying up all night playing. Last year he bought a Wii. This year I bought a Wii game that is a newer version of a game we used to love to play. Fun idea, right? Well, that was before I knew there was no chance of me going over to my parents' house for late night Wii playing this year. It will have to happen without me.

I am going to miss so much.

I am now worrying that my decision to have surgery right before Christmas was a mistake.

All the realities of this diagnosis have been hitting me in waves all week. Like it was so huge that I can only comprehend it over time in little bits. I hope it ends soon because it's exhausting.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

I Feel Like I Cheated on Adoption

I feel bad about my post from last night. I feel like I cheated on adoption.

Adam and I are very excited about adopting. There has never been any doubt in our mind that we would fall head over heals in love with our baby. There is no question.

I thought we would adopt, then try again to get pregnant. I have always wanted a big family and was excited at the idea of having a mix of adopted and biological children. Last night's post was just me coming to terms with the fact that I will never be pregnant. And that this major change in my life is permanent.

I have gone through every stage of the grieving process at least ten times. I keep cycling through them. Thank you for the support you have all given me!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Permanent

A hysterectomy is permanent.

I know this is obvious, but the reality of this hit me hard today.

I got my surgery date. December 21. Which is ideal. I only have this date because an awesome oncology nurse pulled some strings for me. I talked to her about my work situation. I explained to her that I needed to give the parents notice so they could find other care for their children and that it would really help them if I could close over Christmas time. More of them have time off and have family that have time off so arrangements could be made. It also helps me because my family will be around to help take care of me after my surgery. So, I was really excited about the date I got.

Then it hit me that I was celebrating my hysterectomy surgery.

It also hit me (and hit me hard) that this is really happening. I can't get out of it. I have no choice. In 19 days they are taking my uterus no matter how I feel about it. No matter what I say. No matter how much it is breaking my heart.

This is permanent. I can never change this once it's done.

I will never be pregnant. Ever. Nothing I do or say in the future will change that. I can't try some new injectable medication that works amazing and is perfect for me. I will never try IVF. I will never in my whole life take a pregnancy test.

My husband is 6' 6" and I am 5' 11" and people have always joked about how tall our children will be. I will never know. My husband will never know. We will never know what that little blend of the two of us would look like. We will never look at our children and see each other. His eyes or my hair.

This is permanent. This will change my life forever. This is a major change from how I always pictured what my life would be.

Everything feels like it's happening so fast and it's all out of my control.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Quote my friend sent me today:

"I mean, no matter where you are, no matter what has ever happened, no matter how things may appear, every single moment of every single day, you're being drawn closer than you've ever been before, to getting everything you've ever wanted."

Monday, November 30, 2009

Dear Uterus

Dear Uterus,

Message received. I hear you loud and clear. Trust me, the feeling is mutual. I hate you too.

I should have known you were trouble from the time I got my first period at age 11. I was home baby-sitting my little sister and brother all day. With no way of calling my mom to get advice on what to do. It also happened to be the day of my mom's surprise birthday party. So not only was I baby-sitting, but I was cleaning and decorating, and letting guests in to wait for the big surprise. I should have known by that timing just how mean you were.

I fought for you. I gave you the benefit of the doubt. When I lost half of all the blood in my body, I begged to keep you. Even though you were on the verge of killing me.

I've had surgeries and procedures and taken hormones that made me sick for years.

The only thing I asked from you in return was a baby. Was that so much to ask? It's your only job!

I've given you plenty of chances and you have done nothing but try and kill me over and over again.

Endometrial cancer? Really? That's a low blow. After all I have done for you.

You know what?

I am going to let them take you now.

I am breaking up with you.

I am too good for you anyway.

Sincerely,

Lisa

P.S. You suck.

Friday, November 27, 2009

A Christmas Tree That Tells A Story

I love decorating the house for Christmas. Especially putting ornaments on the tree. It's a fun trip down memory lane. Some are from my childhood, some are from Adam's childhood, and some are from our life together.


This is an ornament that I picked out when I was only a toddler. I was at Sibleys with my Mom and Grandma and they told me I could pick an ornament. This is what I chose.


This ornament reminds me of putting ornaments on our tree growing up.


My Mom gave us this ornament because when we are all together, we love to have fires in the backyard and make S'Mores.


My Aunt gave us this ornament at my wedding shower.


This ornament is from the first Christmas after we were married.

This is the first ornament Adam ever bought me.


I got this ornament as a present the year I started baking cupcakes and doing cake decorating.




This is from the year we bought our house.



This is an ornament of Layla and Lilly. It was Lilly's first Christmas.


This is from Brinkley's first Christmas.


I can't wait to buy our "Baby's First Christmas" ornament.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

I am Thankful

I am thankful for Adam. We have been through a lot in the past nine years and he has been amazing through it all. He deserves his own post.

I am thankful for my cats. I love my babies so much.

I am thankful that my family can get together and have a really good time together. Interesting conversations, lots of laughter, and so much fun. I am really looking forward to all of us being together at Christmas.

I am thankful that my parents live only 20 minutes away and we see them on a regular basis. I am also thankful that Adam enjoys spending time with my parents.

I am thankful for my doctor. She was stuck giving me my biopsy results over the phone, but she did a good job. She gave me her personal cell phone number to call her if I needed to talk about it more. How many doctors are willing to do that? Then she sat down and talked to me right before my surgery and made sure I was okay. I had tears streaming down my face during the entire conversation, but she made me feel like I would be okay no matter what happened next. She is really supportive and I feel like she is doing everything she can for me.

I am thankful that we have medical insurance. We are very lucky.

I am thankful that I was able to start a business from home so when our baby comes, I will be home with him/her.

I am thankful for all the parents and children I work with. They are really good people. I am lucky.

I am thankful that I have a mom that I can tell anything to and who is always there for me. She is my best friend.

I am thankful for my adoption friends. It is so nice to have people who really understand. They are so supportive and even though they have already adopted, they are still there for me. They are still giving me pep talks and reminding me that my time will come.

I am thankful for our house. It took us a long time to save up and buy a house. It's not big or fancy, but I would not trade it for any other house in the world. I love it.

I am thankful for all my twitter friends. So much love and support. So many laughs. I love you all.

I am thankful for Facebook for helping me keep in touch with old friends. Even if it is sometimes hard to look at baby bumps, sonograms, and birth announcements everyday.

I am thankful for my TiVo. I love it. I am sorry if that is too materialistic, but I do. Also, my lap top.

I am thankful that my sister and brother married awesome people. And that all 6 of us can get together and have the BEST time together. I just wish it could happen more often!!

I am thankful that Adam and I chose adoption. That we are homestudy approved and it's only a matter of time before our baby finds us.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sunday Night Stress

It's Sunday night. Time to get ready for a new work week. The only thing good about Sunday nights is watching Brothers and Sisters and that isn't even on tonight.

I am completely overwhelmed. The stress of everything this week is getting to me.

I am really scared of my surgery on Tuesday. Really scared. Scared of going to the hospital, scared of being put completely out, scared of the surgery itself, scared of what they will find. I've had this surgery three times before, but it's been 4 years since the last time. And my Mom can't come this time and that makes it a little scarier. (It's probably scarier for Adam too since he won't have back up if I run away in my hospital gown at the last minute and refuse to have surgery.)

Thanksgiving is this week. That brings out a whole bunch of feelings I don't want to deal with. Thanksgiving day is 16 months that we have officially been "waiting." Holidays always make the wait a lot worse for me. I can't believe we are going to have another Thanksgiving without our baby. A year ago right now we were being profiled for the first time. I was so sad when we were not chosen, but I knew the chances of being chosen the first time were slim. I told myself not to worry and that by next Thanksgiving we would probably be with our baby. Since then I have learned not to tell myself things like that. (Or at least I try not to anymore.)

I am really missing my siblings. When they are home, everything is so much fun. We have dinners together and hang out and play games. But, they are only here a couple times a year and that makes me so sad. This was a really bad weekend. I spent the whole time being sad and anxious. It's times like these that I wish they could be here. They can't come home at all for Thanksgiving this year.

I am sorry for all the sad blog posts lately. I will be writing a list of things I am thankful for later this week to make up for it. I do have a lot to be thankful for. And if you are reading this, you are one of those things I am thankful for!!!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

This Wasn't Supposed To Happen

I had a plan. I was taking a break from everything fertility. I had three normal biopsies in a row. I had an IUD put in that was supposed to be a treatment for abnormal cell growth. Everything was supposed to be fine. My doctor said she wanted me to have another biopsy in a year just to be safe. Nothing to worry about, right?

Meanwhile, my uterus was plotting against me.

They already know from the biopsy that the cells are back and they are worse than ever. They have crossed over from being annoying and hard to get rid of to being dangerous. There are a couple different ways things can go after the surgery on Tuesday and none of them are good.

At the very least I will be on hormones to kill the cells. I have done this before and can do it again, but it's not fun. There are a list of side effects and I get them all. I am sick and pale when I am on them. My mom can look at pictures and pick out which ones were taken while I was on it.

Worst case scenerio is that the oncologist decides I need to have a hysterectomy. Not exactly what a 31 yr old who has never had children wants to hear.

I am trying to slowly come to terms with the fact that I am probably never going to be pregnant. A lot of people come to terms with this before they begin the adoption process, but my situation was a little different. I always thought we would begin with adoption and then have a mix of adopted and biological children. At 31, I am not ready to just close the door on that possibility.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Biopsy Results

I got a call from my doctor with my biopsy results.

It's not good. The abnormal cells are back and they are worse than they have ever been before. I have to have surgery Tuesday morning. They will be doing a D&C and then sending everything to the oncologist to see where we are at.

Based on what they know so far, there is a real possibility that they are going to find cancerous cells and I will need a hysterectomy. Which would save my life, but obviously mean I can never have children.

When she told me, all of a sudden I felt like I was in some dramatic made for television movie. Like this could not possibly be my real life.

So far I have cried, told Adam and my Mom, and called all the parents to tell them I need to close on Tuesday (I hated to do that because I have never closed for anything other than holidays before.) Oh, yeah, and then cried more.

My doctor was really nice. She apologized for telling me on the phone. She thought if she asked me to come in right away it would scare me and make it worse. She was right. She gave me her personal cell phone number in case I need to call her this weekend. That was really nice of her.

What is amazing is that this is the first time I have ever not worried about getting my biopsy results. I told myself they would be normal and everything would be fine and didn't even worry about them. My last three biopsies were normal. I was allowed to wait a whole year before getting another biopsy because I had three normal ones in a row. This wasn't supposed to happen.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Doctor Appointment

I was a grown up and went to my appointment today.

Which was a good thing because my doctor found the problem and I should be doing better within the next couple weeks.

Ever since I stopped fertility meds, I have to be on some kind of hormone at all times or else I bleed to my death. I know it sounds dramatic, but it's true. My body will just keep bleeding until I have no blood left. One time it got the point where I lost half of all the blood in my entire body. So, now I am always on something.

For a while it was two birth control pills a day. But, even with that I still had bleeding and cramps every day. For two years. Every day.

I finally got a new doctor who put in an IUD and it worked. I had no bleeding and no cramping until recently when I started bleeding again.

Today when she came in the room she said, "Well, it worked for over a year. That is impressive for you." I agreed. It was nice to have a break from it all. We talked a little about what else we could try next. I was already preparing myself for years of daily bleeding again.

But guess what....

We didn't have to try anything new because it turns out my IUD had become detached and that was causing the problem! She took it out and put in a new one!! Yay.

I had to have a biopsy while I was there because I have a history of abnormal cell growth. It was really painful and I was cramping all afternoon, but now I am feeling better and happy it's over with. Breathing a huge sigh of relief.

I just want to take a moment and thank everyone for their support. You are awesome. It really made a difference. I was sitting in the waiting room surrounded by magazines about babies and pregnant women, pictures of babies and pregnant women, and actual pregnant women. I had tears in my eyes and felt like a crazy person, but I kept thinking of so many of my twitter friends who have talked about how hard all of those things are for them. Made me feel less crazy. Thank you.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I don't want to go. You can't make me.

I have to go to the doctor tomorrow.

I am freaking out about it.

I have been bleeding for over two months straight. I know I need to go in and find out why.

But, seriously, I just don't want to deal with it. I feel like there should be a pause button on my uterus. I am not using it right now. Can't I just put it on pause until I want to try again to get pregnant? My focus has been completely on adoption. No fertility worries. Apparently, my uterus did not get the memo.

The appointment tomorrow will bring me right out of my adoption frame of mind and put me back into the fertility hell. I am really scared. I don't want to find out what strange thing is wrong this time. Or even worse, have them tell me they have no idea why it's happening.

I am so uncomfortable with these appointments. I know nobody is comfortable there, but I get really freaked out about it. It's so awkward and embarrassing. And as soon as I walk into the office, it brings me right back to all the times I have left there crying because I was given bad news or I was in pain from another procedure or biopsy.

I really, really don't want to go. I feel like a two year old on the verge of a major meltdown. Can't I just kick my feet and stomp and yell and refuse to go?

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Rough Day

We heard back from the adoption agency about the case we were profiled for. We were not chosen. I asked for feedback about why, but they didn't have any.

Another one of the children in my before and after school program was just diagnosed with H1N1.

I also found out today that a couple from our adoption homestudy classes just adopted their second baby. Two babies. All within the time we have been waiting for one. I really am happy for them. They are a great couple who have always been so nice to us. It is, however, hard to be reminded how long we have been waiting. There always seem to be reminders.

The good news is that I don't have any crying left in me. I got it all out this afternoon.

It's not this particular case that I am mourning the loss of. It's the idea of a baby at Christmas. I honestly don't know if I have it in me to celebrate another Christmas without a baby. When I was packing up our Christmas stuff last year, I kept saying to Adam that the next time we see all that stuff it would be with our baby. I really believed that.

This will be our 7th Christmas since we started trying to have a baby. That first Christmas, I was taking fertility meds and I was supposed to be ovulating on Christmas day. I remember driving around looking at Christmas lights with Adam and talking about how amazing it would be to get pregnant on Christmas day. Turns out I was not ovulating at all.

I love Christmas. I love seeing my family. I love all the traditions we have. I love that in 2001 Adam proposed to me on Christmas Eve.

I just don't know if I have it in me to have another Christmas without children.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Toddler Formula?

In the beginning of our wait, we made quite a few baby purchases. We even registered our car seat in case of any recalls. We also got a subscription to a baby magazine. Because of those things, we were put on baby mailing lists.

It started with getting things in the mail about pregnancy. Then we got some samples of newborn diapers and formula. A few months later we got some coupons for older baby things like "cruiser" diapers for when they start crawling. We also got baby food coupons and flyers about introducing your baby to solid foods.

It has kind of been a painful reminder of how much time has gone by and how old our baby would be if we adopted right away. Or if I had actually been pregnant like they assumed I was.

I opened the mailbox yesterday and saw a sample of toddler formula.




Toddler formula?

I guess my wait is now a toddler. They grow up so fast.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Thursday, October 29, 2009

We're being profiled again!

We just got a call from our adoption agency. They said that they have not heard back from Texas and they may never hear anything. Turns out a lot more people were being profiled for that case than I originally thought. Not just families from our agency, but people from other agencies as well. Basically, we have a better chance of being struck by lightening than being chosen for that case. And we will probably never hear an answer because if the birth mother chooses a family from somewhere else, our agency will not be notified.

But, the good news is....they had another case to tell us about! And after listening to all the details, we agreed to be profiled!!

There are between 10-12 profiles going out for this case, so I am trying not to get my hopes up. (Who am I kidding? It's been 15 minutes and I am already picturing Christmas with my new baby.)

So, now it's time to wait for an answer........

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Being Profiled

Yesterday we got a call from our adoption agency. When I saw their number on the caller ID, I got butterflies in my stomach. I don't know why, but most calls about a profiling opportunity come on a Friday afternoon. So, I had a feeling that was why they were calling.

She asked if I was ready to hear the details and I said yes before I even had pen and paper so I had to scramble quickly as she began talking. It had been so long since we got a call about a case. The last time was in April! I don't think we have been profiled at all since May.

I was very excited until she said Texas. Texas?

For the first six months, we weren't even open to being profiled for cases outside of NY because of the added expenses. This makes me very nervous because they said they don't know the fees yet, but had to get profiles out. They said we could change our mind once they find out how much it would cost. So, there is a chance even if we are chosen, that we couldn't afford it. And that is just fees. Then there is traveling to Texas.

So, I spent the first few hours being scared of this case.

Then the hope and excitement started to creep in. I looked up how long it would take to drive to Texas. And started thinking about having a baby by Christmas. Why do I do this to myself??

So, now it's time to wait for an answer. Waiting. Something I should be used to by now.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Bathroom Renovations

Bathroom renovations so far:














































Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Poked, Prodded, and Violated

Someone I follow on twitter was talking about a procedure she needed to have done in order for her doctor to sign off on her homestudy physical and she said, "...feeling violated, but you gotta do what you gotta do." That really hit home with me because that's what I have been living for 7 years. First with fertility treatments and now with the adoption process.

Trying to get pregnant was one disaster after another for me. It started with going off of birth control a few months before we got married. My body decided to revolt by growing polyps and abnormal cells and bleeding for two months straight. That was just the beginning.

I was always really shy about being examined. I remember when my gynecologist sent me to a fertility specialist I was upset that I would have to have "that" exam by another person. Little did I know within the next couple years I would be seen by so many different doctors I would lose count. Ten? Twenty? I really don't even remember. I also lost count of how many procedures I have had done. Biopsies, internal ultrasounds...it all became common.

I had to have three surgeries to remove polyps and abnormal cells. When I woke up from the first one, my bed was shaking and I couldn't figure out what was going on. Someone came running over and put a bunch of warm blankets on me and that's when I realized it was *me* shaking. The next surgery I woke up to someone yelling at me to breathe. I was tired and just wanted them to go away. I was apparently too tired to breathe. They needed to wake me up enough for me to start breathing again. I think they gave me too much anesthesia that time.

You know what really creeps me out about the surgeries? The fact that there were so many people there. As I would go to sleep, I would look around and see more and more people coming in. So there I am half naked on a table with a crowd watching and I am completely out so I have no idea what they're doing or saying. Talk about feeling violated.

I actually did not spend very much time on fertility treatments. Most of the time was spent dealing with my body reacting badly to every hormone I took. The fertility specialist sent me to an oncologist because the abnormal cells got bigger and badder over time. Before the fertility specialist would do anything, she would need to check with the oncologist each time. I was a mess. The hormones made me gain weight. A lot of weight. And I was sick and pale all the time. I finally got cleared to do injectables and I ended up being allergic to the medication. My injection sites were red, swollen, and hot to the touch. I never complained though because "you gotta do what you gotta do." It was working and that was all I cared about. Turns out, it's not okay to ignore it. I started running a fever and that's when they realized I was allergic to it and it gave me a systemic blood infection. I had to stop immediately. Yet another freak reaction keeping me from moving forward. (There were lots of jokes about writing a case study about me. I think they were only half kidding.)

Unfortunately, stopping the fertility meds so suddenly caused an even bigger reaction. A couple weeks later I started bleeding. The bleeding quickly turned into hemorrhaging. I was very pale and completely out of it, so my husband and mom took me to the hospital. Good thing since it turns out, I had lost half of all the blood in my entire body. That 3 day hospital stay was full of poking, prodding, and me feeling completely violated. In so many ways. Including being violated by the health care system in general.

Due to my near death experience, my husband and I chose to stop trying. For the next two years, I had bleeding and cramping every single day. All while taking large amounts of hormones to keep me from bleeding to death. We eventually decided to do some research on adoption. We went to an orientation and we knew this was right for us. It was a light bulb over our head kind of moment. Adoption. Of course. Duh.

The adoption process is a whole other version of poked, prodded, and violated. It has not been an easy road. But at least now I know we are on the right road.

I still do hold out hope that someday we can try again to get pregnant. I was allergic to that one kind of injectable medication, but there are plenty of others to try. I don't know if we ever will, but I think I still need to keep that hope. For now, I couldn't be happier about our choice in adoption. I know this is right for us. That's why I am willing to let them do as much poking, prodding, and violating as they need to do.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

14 Months

Today makes 14 months that we have been "homestudy ready" and waiting for a match.

In the beginning, it was exciting. The idea that at any moment we could get "the call" and be parents.

We started buying things here and there. It began with a onesie and then before you know it, we were buying a crib.

A few months later, we had a full nursery:















Once the excitement wears off, you are just left with the waiting.

Our agency was going through a slow patch for a while and in the first 6 months of our wait, we were only profiled once. In 2009, things picked up a little bit and we were profiled more. It helped that we have made changes to all our grids. For those of you not familiar with the grids, there are 3 of them. One of them is medical- possible special needs of the infant, and the medical histories of the birth family. Another one is which races and ages you are open to. The third one is what degree of an open adoption you are open to- pictures, letters, visits, identifying information, etc. Over time, we have made changes to all our grids. Going over and over things and researching as much as we can. Agonizing over every decision. I am happy with where we are at now in all our grids. I wish we had started out as open as we are now because I am sure we missed many opportunities in the beginning. I guess that is all part of the journey.

We have also made changes to our profile. Switching pictures, background paper, things on our "favorites" page....all things that will probably make no difference, but make us feel better. When we are chosen, it will probably be for some completely random reason that we could never have guessed.

I think one of the hard things about a 14 month and counting wait is the people that avoid bringing the adoption up. Like they don't want to remind me I am still waiting. (I am thinking of it everyday whether someone reminds me or not.) It's nice when I get to talk about it because it makes me feel like people are excited for it. That there is still a feeling of hope. I need that to keep going. Even if I sometimes doubt it myself. One of my favorite days in the last 14 months was when I went to garage sales with my mom to get baby clothes. Not because of the great deals we found, but because it was a day of hope. It was a day of imagining a baby wearing those clothes.

Another difficult thing is being left behind by your other waiting friends. It's the best moment of their life. You know their story. You know how hard their journey has been. You are filled with happiness for them. But...you know you are being left behind. It's very lonely.

We have not received a call from the agency about a case in months now. We kind of have an understanding that they will profile us for cases that are a good fit without calling me each time. Getting invested in every case was too painful over time. This way has been a lot easier on me. Although I do miss hearing about all the cases and knowing how often we are being profiled.

I need to keep telling myself that my time will come. I just need to be patient. If I had to wait another year, it wouldn't kill me. Even if right now it feels like it would.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009