Friday, May 8, 2015

Blessed or Lucky? It's Life...

Blessed or Lucky!  I can't think of two better words to describe what has happened to our family over the years.

I met my husband, Rick, in 1997 and we dated for 7 years.  I remember sitting in his dorm room one night asking him random questions. We didn't know much about one an other and we just began drilling with questions.  We have all done this on dates, asking where have you gone on vacation or what is your favorite food, or how many girlfriends have you had!  Sometimes it gets us in trouble but it's only natural.  It is amazing when you first start dating and the love you feel with all that adrenaline running through your blood.  One of the questions that came up was if we wanted children.  I would say it is a common question when you first start dating someone even though the answer you give is probably some half assed not thought out statement. My stupid answer was that I didn't want kids, that having cats and dogs was my dream in life.  You have to realize I was in my 20's so pretty much wasn't thinking about anything but going out with friends and drinking.  The conversation didn't last long after I told him no kids but I didn't  care.    

I never would dream that my life would be filled with heartache and pain from NOT having kids. We got married in 2003 and our journey of infertility started right away.  Getting pregnant on the first try scared us both.  By the time I got married my idea of cats and dogs running around the house changed only a little.  I knew Rick wanted kids and I thought I would just oblige him and just "give" him a kid.  I was so naive and no where near ready to have a family.  I think god knew that too.  I lost the baby on the 7th week.  The miscarriage took over a week with contractions and pain that I will never forget.  

We moved on!  So we thought.  We tried to not think about it much knowing we were not ready for the permanency of a family.  About 8 months went by and we realized it was too painful to watch others get pregnant with #1 or #2 or even #3.  So we tried an infertility doctor in Beverly Hills.  I watched as celebrity after celebrity would come and go in the same waiting room as me.  Watching us all give blood and samples and feel violated in every way.  I won't scare anyone with gory details but IVF simply didn't work for us! 

We made the huge decision to move from CA back to NY to be with family again.  We were there for 8 years working in the TV/Film Industry but our hearts were breaking and we needed support!!  

When we got back to NY we tried IVF one more time and OMG it worked.  But this time the doctor told me at my age and past experiences I should rest and not do much.  That was fine with me!  I was too scared to find a job and needed the time to figure out how to deal with whatever was going to happen - miscarriage or even having a baby!! I watched all 8 seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer while sitting on my bed "resting".  It was a great distraction from my reality of what I was going through.  On the 3rd month my water broke and I went into labor.  The pain was too hard to bare.  I think knowing in my mind I was doing this for no reason made the pain worse.  I couldn't control my body and I couldn't control the overwhelming fear I was going to die.  Looking back I now know I could have died from the complications but I didn't know the severity then.  

What I didn't know was that my life's journey would be led by traumatic events and they would bring me loss and also joy.  As I was being wheeled into  the operating room, I remember looking up my my husband and saying "Now can move on to adoption?"  His poor helpless face watching me in pain and he replied "I will have the paperwork ready when you get out!"

Well that started our adoption journey! I couldn't do that to my body anymore.  I needed a light at the end of tunnel to be there and this was obviously not the right tunnel!   I always tried to explain my journey of infertility as a race - picture a track and all your friends are in a race to the finish line.  All of them finish the race and start packing up to go home and then there is you - driving in your car to the track and you get stuck in traffic or you get a flat tire.  You never seem to be able to get to the track!! EVER!!!

Adoption was a different type of journey.  In the infertility world you try to keep that part of you private and you don't tell anyone what is happening BUT in adoption the more people you tell the better!  The transition from IVF to adoption was hard.  You have to grieve the past to be able to move to the future.  The only way I was able to do that was not from family and not from my husband, it was an accidental meeting of my now closest friend Josette.  I joined a support group! I was so not a believer in groups.  I belonged to one before dealing with endometriosis but it never gave me what the adoption group did; lifelong friends that understood me.  

My adoption journey was hard and I won't lie I didn't like it.  Who could blame me.  Every call I got was a scam - mostly emotional scammers.  Every time I got a call I would pick up the phone and call Josette to be a bouncing board, my light, my friend.  My husband was amazing through the 18 months we did private domestic adoption, but unfortunately on a day to day basis Josette understood more of the roller coaster ride than anyone - the adrenaline that you feel when you make a mistake or when you have a failure or get a potential EM or heck even a missed call freaks you out! 

Our private adoption journey came to an end in June of 2009 when we finally were working with an EM and she changed her mind after we traveled to Chicago and spent the weekend with her.  It was hard knowing I had to move on and this time I decided I couldn't do it through private adoption anymore.  I couldn't trust that the person calling me was real or a scammer.  I was too emotional and wasn't doing very well.  None of this was any ones fault, it was just hard on me and when Josette adopted her son in March of 2009 I lost my light and my friend. She was a tired new mom and she couldn't pick up the phone as much as I needed her.  I needed a lot of attention and support.  Basically I was falling apart! 

In September of 2009 we signed up with an agency so I didn't have to deal with phone calls anymore.  It wasn't fair to anyone if I were to pick up the phone and answer.  I was not a nice person!! We were only with the agency 6 weeks before we were chosen!  Only 6 weeks!  Our beautiful son was born on New Years Day 2010!  I guess God had a plan for me all along and I just had to wait patiently for the end result!  But how do you stay patient!  Who knows! Each person is different.  But if it wasn't for my lifelong friends in the group I don't know what I would have done.  Our journey of adopting came to an end that New Years day but now the REAL journey started....
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