Thursday, July 19, 2012

NURSERY, Newborns, and Annoyances

You can't talk about domestic adoption for long without someone bringing up The Photobook.  This is what an adoption agency shows a birthmom when she's choosing an adoptive family, so it needs to be exceptional.  I'm totally overwhelmed by it, but a friend in the know emailed me some great tips.    Lots of happiness, love, and uniqueness need to be projected or you won't get chosen for many years.  No pressure or anything.  (Those weren't her exact words...I might be exaggerating.)

Somewhere along the way, amidst tips about showing how awesome you are as a couple, my friend mentioned that it wouldn't hurt to show a photo of the nursery if we have one.  The NURSERY.  OMG.  The email was chock full of serious, helpful advice, and NURSERY is what I can't get out of my head.  Must. Decorate. Nursery.

Of course, we haven't even decided for sure that we're doing adoption.  We have NO idea what agency we'd use, or how to start a home study.  But now is a good time to be thinking about nursery paint colors, right?  Because I can decorate.   I can paint a wall, hang a picture, and make a bed.  Finding the right agency to connect me with my child is a whole other ballgame and slightly terrifying.

In the vein of avoiding huge decisions like choosing an agency, I took a first step in decorating the nursery.  I dug a couple of huge teddy bears out of the closet and set them on a rocking chair with a cute baby-appropriate quilt.  They're sitting where I can see them as I walk by and I've been noticing my feelings about them.  They aren't freaking me out too much in a "wow, you're overconfident that you're going to have a baby" way, so they're staying there for now.

Will we be part of a nursery?


My new baby niece is so precious.  We were over at my brother-in-law's house for a total of 5 hours visiting on Sunday, and I held the baby for approximately 4 of those hours.  I generously let the mom hold her some, and even let my husband hold her for a tiny bit.  I was hoping that my husband's holding her would speed up his manological clock.  It's about time he felt some urgency, right? 

After I'd gotten my fill of 2-week-old baby adorableness (NOT—give me more babies to hold, STAT), we returned home to news that our neighbors had adopted a newborn baby girl.  It was a surprise to us, although not entirely unexpected; we'd speculated for years that they were fellow infertiles. 

On Monday night, we inflicted ourselves on the new parents to see the baby and share infertility war stories.  Baby was gorgeous and they filled us in on their adoption journey.  WOW.  I do not know how they persevered because they really went through hell trying to adopt, and that was after several years of infertility. 

We've been neighbors with these people for 4 years, had them over for beers numerous times, and didn't realize they going through infertility (beyond our private speculations).  It makes me sad.  Someone really needs to come up with an infertile handshake that we'd use to identify one another.

So, yeah.  Two newborns in 2 days and I've got baby fever BAD.

I am totally seeking validation in my decision to stop TTC.  People (not you guys) keep reacting as if I'm making a rash decision based on inadequate data.  I get what they're saying to a point, but People, have you not been around the past 4.5 months when I had severe pain every single day?  Have you not heard about the five different pain medications I'm taking because none are effective enough on their own?  Have you not seen my body morph from fairly athletic to soft and rounded?  Have you somehow missed seeing me shuffle around painfully?

I'm irritated because this morning, my PT refused to offer an opinion about my prognosis in terms of pregnancy.  She said we wouldn't know anything until I got better from this, just wait and see how it goes, ask your physician, blah blah blah. 

Ok, totally not helpful.  You are the person probably most intimately aware about my condition, so give me an opinion!  Yes or no!  Don't tell me I'm a crazy person for thinking that biological kids are out of the question at this point.

Obviously, I'm struggling with being in limbo.  I want decisions to be made, action to be taken, and a baby to land in our laps.  I'm sick of this waiting crap.

Update (I wrote the PT stuff yesterday):  my sister reminded me that my PT doesn't know (or has forgotten) about all the TTC hardships we've experienced, which partly explains her not understanding why we'd stop now.  She seems to see my case as being based around my last hysteroscopy, which is only part of the picture.

Most of my stress can probably be attributed to dread about my upcoming doctor's appointment with Dr. Fourth Opinion.  If you count the urgent care doctor who tried to troubleshoot with me, this next appointment is the fifth doctor's opinion, but who's counting.  Anyway, totally dreading this next appointment.  Dreading the unknown; will he give me new information about my condition or just reiterate everything I've already heard, making this a waste of a $40 copay and my morning?  Will he agree to take on the pain management aspect of my case?  And, most importantly, what does he think carrying a child in my irritable abdomen would do to me?

Maybe I'm most afraid of not getting any answers.  I hate limbo.  Appointment is Monday.


And now, a baby birdie photo.  These are house finches who grew up on my front porch.  They're huge and I expect most of them to fledge (leave the nest) today.  I am not kidding, our yard is an aviary.  This year, on our 0.5-acre lot, we've had visible nests of house finches, bluebirds, cardinals, wrens, and mockingbirds.  So cool.
They tend to sit with their beaks open when it's really hot.


  1. You need to make the decision that is best for you, and I don't think someone else is really in a place to tell you if it's rash or not. Really, even if they knew all of your struggles, they can't say what is right for *you*.

    I hope that Dr. 4th Opinion lends new insight to your situation and it helps confirm for you what you want your next steps will be. We'll be here to support you no matter what.

    Also - Look at those birds! So neat!

  2. Thanks. I guess it's inevitable that I'll have mixed feelings and doubts about how to move forward. Thanks for your support!

  3. I hear you on all fronts. The photobook is most certainly overwhelming to think about (we have a couple of examples to use as templates). One of the things that helped was hearing from the agencies that they each have their own format and that they would help us with this. Hence, don't freak out about it. It's a process and you will have time. Plus, once you get started it will all go well.

    Regarding the reactions from others: I'm getting this too. As much as I'd like to believe that the reactions of others don't sway my opinion, it's VERY hard to feel like you're continually having to justify yourself to everyone. First it was "just adopt," not it's "but you shouldn't give up! " So, I'm providing you with your validation: you've been through the wringer with this whole TTC process. You've done more than most people ever will. Hence coming to this decision was not one that was done lightly. You weighed the options and decided that was the path you wanted to pursue to expand your family. Was it an easy decision? Hell no. There's a lot of grieving involved with this. And, frankly, unless you've come to this crossroads, I don't think anyone can tell you what is right for you. Just as I would never, ever dream of telling someone whether or not to pursue fertility treatments and what decisions to make along the way with that process.

    I hope the doctor's appointment goes well today. And I'm glad you had time with the infants. Hang in there and know that you're not alone. And I'm rooting for you!

    1. Thanks, Cristy. It is so comforting to know that my concerns are shared and this is par for the course. YES, I'm totally getting the "you shouldn't give up" vibe from people and it totally irks me.

      I hadn't realized that the agencies will have different photobook templates. Yeah, we have a couple to use as examples, which is a huge help. I'm sure I'll be enlisting the agency to help a lot, too.

  4. I'm so sorry people IRL aren't be as supportive as you need them to be about your decision. Besides, its not like you can't change your mind if all of a sudden your prognosis improves rapidly. All you are saying is you admit this might not happen biologically. I think its wonderful that you are opening yourself to other possibilities for growing your family. You just do what's right for you and we'll support you :-)

    1. Thanks. :) I'm sure they're feeling supportive of my decision, just haven't come to terms with it yet. I'm touchy right now when anyone vocalizes anything less than full support.

  5. If our 2nd ivf was unsucessful, our plan for rebound was to decorate a nursery and persue adoption. Kind of act as if theory and keep that room open and ready for a little one to enter our lives. I just felt sure it would prepare me mentally to dive in and do what is takes for our end result. So...i think a nursery is kind of a good idea for the baby book. If its a room you could easily close and ignore on a tough day. So the question isnt if you'll be parents but when, and that would take some of the stress out of decorating when your baby does come through.

    Also, you can call ttc finished but you dont really have to be finished. You dont really need to close that door on yourself. Ignore those that need answers and dont understand your pain. Its not a black and white issue.

    We finally have a dove nest right outside our back window. I am thrilled! I love doves and have been shoeing away those crazy skittish robins in hopes that the doves would settle down. :)

    1. How cool about the dove nest! It's so fun when you can watch through a window and not scare them too much.

      Yeah, I have trouble with issues that have shades of grey. I think I'm a Myers-Briggs "J" for judging--I want decisions to be made. It's hard for me to enjoy this in-betweenness.

      Oh yay, I'm glad that you were going to decorate your nursery if you pursued adoption, too!

  6. Limbo is so hard... especially when others are telling you what they think you should do and whether to stop of keep going. I find it hard when others IRL give me their opinion without knowing anything of what I've been through. I hope your next opinion goes well... and brings some answers. Follow your heart and you can't go wrong. Thinking of you xoxo

  7. We just started the adoption stuff so I understand. We turned in our paperwork and I've got most of the book done. I just about finished the room (need a bed spread) but the rest is done. You can do this, it'll be ok!

  8. House finches! Nesting. Like you. :)

    Really, though? They need pictures of a nursery? I wonder how ManyManyMoons did this ... they just successfully adopted their precious baby girl just a few weeks ago.

    Sending you strength! And deep breaths for your Dr. Fourth appointment.

  9. O.M.G. Those baby birds are PRECIOUS!

    Full support on this front. I've seen the pain, though I disagree about the "athletic but now rounded" part. When you get rounded is when I'm described as obese. And I'm not there yet. ; )

    Hang in there. I think everyone's support comes at different times. We all want to help and don't always know how. Hugs.

  10. I wish people in general had a better understanding of how to show love and support in these kinds of situations. Because what's right for one person or couple is rarely the same for another person/couple... Even if you have walked a similar path.
    Just because you are giving your body a much needed break and a chance to heal, and moving on to a new road to motherhood (another detour?) does not mean that a bio baby is out of the question at some point!
    But since adoption is certainly not an easy path to follow, some support around each step in the process would be nice, wouldn't it!? I can't speak for the IRL people, but I know you have that support here... Anytime!

    As for the nursery, if it distracts you in a positive way and helps you think of your baby in terms of "when" and not "if", go for it!
    Nursery pics in the photo book are optional, of course, but some birthparents like to see them because it helps them to visualize "their" baby in that space... makes it real, and more right, for lack of a better word. That was the case for me and many of my birthmom clients, anyway. But certainly not a requirement for a great photo book!

    I'll be thinking of you on Monday, hoping Dr. Fourth opinion has some answers for you... Or at the very least, some relief.

  11. The in between of anything sucks. I say, if your ready to jump, jump. Dont worry what anyone else says.

  12. The adoption stuff is so overwhelming but you will make your way through it because you are so strong! I have heard several very positive adoptions stories lately so I think all will be well. Interesting about your neighbor! Only you know if your TTC decisions are right for you. And I think, time will tell what ends up being the right path. But I'm here to support you!

  13. Sorry people in real life aren't being supportive. I think it is totally something you cannot understand unless you've gone through it yourself. I am excited to hear about your adoption journey and am wishing you lots of luck as you go through the steps.

    PS - Um. I love the idea of a secret infertile handshake. Who can start that up?

  14. There is nothing wrong with wanting to move on to something better for you. If putting your body through treatments only hurts you more, you need to pursue other options. I think it takes a big strenth to move onto adoption and decide to put your health and peace of mind first. You are doing a great job. Don't let anyone tell you that you are moving on too quickly. Some people decide to adopt who aren't infertile and no one feels the need to question them.

  15. Visiting from ICLW. We recently became parents through domestic adoption. Regarding the photo book, we had a couple photos of our house, but no nursery photos. We did not finish the nursery until after we got home with our daughter. It helped me to think of the photo book as a scrapbook of our favorite moments as a couple. Took the pressure off and made it fun. Best of luck to you, wherever your journey takes you!