Wednesday, August 7, 2013

And We're Back to Dating

There's a lot I want to write about but don't know where to start.  I want to write about the birthmothers we've talked to and why things haven't worked out with them, but I'm completely paranoid that one will find this blog.  I need this blog to stay anonymous for my sanity, and because so much of this is very private.  So I will talk in vague terms.

Adoption has been hard.  Our website has now been up for several months and I've started a Fac.ebook page, which makes me feel like I constantly have homework.  Do I need to advertise more?  Or differently?  How can I present us as the awesomely fun couple that we are?

When you're forced to come up with photos on a weekly basis (my self-imposed requirement) for how awesome you are, you realize that you are not 100% fun.  You're also grocery shopping and cleaning the garage and working 40+ hours a week.  I think pursuing adoption has gotten us to do some activities we otherwise wouldn't have done, just for the photo ops, which all in all is good.  We're getting out a little more.

How do you capture the day-to-day goodness that goes on in your life, though?  The moments where you and your spouse crack each other up for an hour drinking coffee on a Saturday morning (sedate, somewhat boring photo)?  Or you take the day off of work and manage to see a baby bluebird leave its nest (happened today and would just be another photo of a bird that anyone could grab off the internet.  Plus I wouldn't have been able to get the shot when it happened.)?  Or how you and your spouse give your 15-year-old dog pills 6 times a day and fancy prescription dog food just because you're that awesome as caregivers?  How do you convey that stuff?  I think we're really good people who will be really good parents.  We have a ton of energy and love that is waiting, YEARNING, to be shared with a kid.

I'm speaking a little bit out of defensiveness this week because we were dumped by someone we'd talked to for quite some time.  We had never matched but it was the longest time we'd talked to anyone, and it's a big blow.  Our egos are bruised and all we can say is typical insecure dumped sentiments like "I never really liked her, anyway."  Which isn't true.

Getting contacted is immensely stressful.  Agonizing over everything you say or write, triple-checking your emails for anything that might not sound awesomely maternal/paternal/parent-of-the-year-esque.  Thinking she's the one or that she's not and you will have to reject her.

We're recovering from the blow and will survive.  Worse things have happened.  (Miscarriages.  If I can make it through two of those, I can do this.)

Pain update.  It's interesting to look back at older posts to see exactly where I was.  The current status is not so hot.  My PT and I feel like I've hit a plateau and am not making improvements, or that the improvements I'm making are so incremental as to be, well, not rapid enough.  PT is trying to get me to see her less often.  I go every 2 weeks now and feel like she's my lifeline.  If I don't see her, how will I improve at all?  But I'm going to try to wean myself.

Today is a good pain day but they don't come often.  I had a complete meltdown on the phone with my dad last Saturday, wherein I cursed every aspect of my life.  Ok, mostly my job.  It is awful lately, way too busy, emails constantly and I'm barely staying afloat.  So that cannot be helping my pain.

The good news is that the pain is mostly gone from my head.  My overall pain level is still pretty bad, but I've got to acknowledge the tiny victories.  Pain is in my abdomen now from the bottom of my ribcage downward.  Still, I'm unable to describe it.  Sometimes it is burning, but other times it's just diffuse pain that feels related to the burning type.  Which I realize doesn't help you imagine it at all.

I'll see my pelvic pain doc in a couple of weeks and ensure for the 50th time that I'm maxed out on Lyrica (for neuropathic pain), there's nothing else really for me to try other than implanting nerve blocks.  They will sometimes try to make it sound like we still have treatment options but it's kind of BS.  All they can really do is watch me suffer and hope time will heal me.

I did read a wonderful memoir of someone with chronic pain.  Book is Chocolate and Vicodin.  Been meaning to email the author because her writing really touched me.  Although her pain is all in her head, literally, because it's a chronic headache, and mine is abdominal, everything she said resonated.  Reading it started a little shift in my perception of myself, and how I see this pain.  I'm owning it more.  For the longest time I expected to wake up one day and be pain-free, but I now really, REALLY know that is not in the cards for me.  I have a problem with chronic pain, and will likely have it for some time.  It's a disease; it's related to my endometriosis and the way my body's reacted to my surgeries/IF saga, and I'm not alone.  My hospital has an entire department related to obscure women's health problems like mine.  Obscure in that most people know nothing about them, but apparently they touch many women.

I'm trying to see the gifts this pain has given me.  Before you puke at how O.prah self-helpy that sounds, bear with me for a second.  I've spent a lot of time feeling robbed of my previous healthy life, when I could (gasp) run half marathons and do triathlons.  Sure, I wasn't doing that right before my the end-all-be-all surgery—it was more in my 20's—but I could have done it.  I had planned to run again.  And not weigh every decision about how it will affect my pain, and should I skip such-an-such social event because I'm just not feeling well.

Back to gifts—it's similar to the "gifts" of infertility/miscarriage (again, gag about them being called gifts, but lacking a better word at the moment :)  ).  I feel like I've gained compassion.  And that I realize even more, I'm reminded every day, that our bodies are fragile and we will all die someday.  So carpe diem and all that. :P


To end on a lighter note, just a shout-out that I hope everyone's doing well.  I'm taking today off and really loving it, even though my car is in the shop getting major repairs.  It's just me and my old doggie and I'm loving it. :)

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Adventures of Adopting Sans Agency

The short version of this post is that we haven't matched yet.  The long version follows.

There have been A LOT of ups and downs.  Amazing-sounding birthmom emails--cue WE ARE GETTING A BABY running constantly through my brain.  Said amazing birthmom suddenly stops responding to emails, cue WE WILL NEVER HAVE A BABY.

When we posted our website, I'll be totally honest, I thought we would match within the first couple of months.  Totally wishful thinking, which I also employed liberally during infertility struggles.  It's the adoption equivalent of "next cycle will be The One."

I hadn't expected ever having to turn a birthmom down.  We have done this more than once and it's horribly guilt-inducing.  Heart-wrenching.  I have to keep telling myself that these babies will find loving homes, because they definitely will, but it feels horrible.  I instantly become attached to birthmoms and the idea of parenting their baby, and telling them we aren't a good match feels like a break-up with someone you really like but can't see a future with.  It hurts.  And when you don't use an agency, you have to be the one to tell them.  With an agency, you probably would not have shown your profile to the person.

I tend to feel my best—no surprise—when we're communicating steadily with someone and it appears to be heading somewhere.  We feel like we have been close to matching a couple of times but have been turned down along the way—birthmother decides to parent or she simply stops communicating with us, which could be for any number of reasons.

My sense for how this is different from using an agency is that the ups and downs are more frequent, but I could be wrong about that.  It just seems that in being in closer contact with birthmoms, we talk with them earlier in their adoption plans when they are more likely to change their minds.  I'm still fine with not using an agency because we will most likely save a lot of money, and we kinda like having more control over the process.  Our lawyer has been great about answering questions, which has been key.

There you have it, our story so far in a nutshell.  It is really hard.  But it feels very different than trying to conceive, which is a welcome change.  The sense of waiting is less intense.  I feel a little less like I'm hurtling to old age and death, that I will die before I have a baby (yes, that is morbid, but I'm not the only one that feels like old age is imminent, right?).  I know we become less attractive to birthparents as we age, but I'm convinced that we can do this, and hopefully twice, before we get out the walkers and canes.  At least, today I am convinced, and I will enjoy the optimism today because it's certainly not a frequent visitor.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Please Pick Me

Our adoption website went live last week and it's rather terrifying.  TOTALLY did not expect to be so emotional.  I confess that when I heard of the adoption wait as being difficult, I pshawed.  How could it possibly compare to the torture of waiting, cycle after cycle, to see if a period arrived?

It's not really the same beast.  My body isn't involved at all, thank God.  I usually have no idea what cycle day I'm on.  I don't obsessively examine every twinge in my abdomen and hint of nausea.  No need to worry about having sex on certain days.  No more RE visits.

The wait still sucks, though.  Truly.  Since we're doing domestic newborn adoption, we have to wait for a birthmom to choose us.  And day to day, when I go to bed, I feel a sense of rejection that we have not been chosen that day.  Not even been interviewed by phone.  Not been emailed.

I realize I am being slightly ridiculous because our profile has only been up for one week at this point.  And....we have already received one call.  She was perfect and wonderful and I immediately fell for her.  For some reason, I had expected to keep some sort of distance from birthmothers when they called, some kind of protective barrier to keep from being hurt.  The barrier was promptly smashed and I don't think I can possibly hope for distance anymore.

The birthmother called on Friday night and hasn't called again.  I don't have her contact info for various reasons, so I just have to wait.  It feels like waiting on a guy to call times 1000.  Miserable.

Even if she doesn't call back, I know I learned a lot from the call and am better prepared for others.  When she called, we spent most of the time chatting and getting to know one another, and I didn't ask a few critical questions.  Like, will the birthfather sign the consent forms?  Huge question.

So there was that call on Fri, and a hint of a call on Sat night.  Someone from a nearby area code where a lot of birthmoms live called but didn't respond when my husband picked up.  I was gone at book club.  We're realizing that I'm the key player here, not my husband.  We knew the focus would be more on me, we just hadn't realized how much that would be the case.  Which makes rejection even more personal.  UGH.

One reason I hadn't been adequately prepared for the wait is that my sample size of people using this website is very small, and some friends of ours got several calls very quickly.  They're young and awesome and in demand, obviously, and had a baby ONE MONTH after posting their profile.  Yeah.  So it's hard not to feel some bizarre sense of competition, and feeling like we're failing.

Ok, pity party over.  Called my psychiatrist yesterday and we have a plan to deal with my heightened mood lability (ie, crying a lot).  I'm 100% confident that I'll feel a bit better soon.

My heart is with Boston.  This atrocity is so hard to comprehend.  I used to run a lot of races, including half marathons, and made a lot of runner friends.  This is hitting so close to home for them, as many of them have run Boston or aspired to.  I just can't believe this happened.

We posted our adoption website on Facebook and it's so uncomfortable.  It feels like a big declaration of my uterus being faulty (no, have not resolved my anger towards my body), and like we're asking people to endorse us as parents.  Other people get to have sex and then announce a pregnancy a few months later, and  I have to ask people to vote for me as a parent.  Great.

Ok then!  Could not stay our of pity territory for long, oops. :P

Part of my plan to get through the waiting it to stay busy.  My policy is not to turn down any social opportunities, plan lots of weekend activities, etc.  And relish finishing up the nursery.  It is getting close--apparently painting a mural is easier said than done--and I want to enjoy the last of our decorating time.  We WILL have a baby to occupy it, and it will hopefully not be too long from now.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Of a Nursery, Recovery, and Anniversary

Much activity is taking place around the Detour household:  we are pursuing adoption!

I'm shocked that this is actually happening.  Since I last posted in early January, Mr. Detour abruptly announced one morning that he was ready.  The previous day, we'd met with a couple who successfully adopted through a popular website (plus an attorney), rather than an agency.  (They were so successful that they matched within 2 days of posting their profile.  The birthmom was 8 months along, so our friends were parents within 1 month of going live.)  The idea of independent adoption sat better with Mr. Detour than using an agency, and that led to his proclamation of being ready, I guess.  Whatever it was, Thank You, universe.  As you know, I've been ready!

We had our two home study visits in February and are now just waiting for our social worker to write up our biography.  We'll be approved by the end of this month.  So I'm obsessing about getting our profile written.  While I worry about time-critical concerns like that, Mr. Detour obsesses about the nursery.  Yes, we are decorating it now.  It is absolutely beautiful so far.  I will post pics when we're further along.

I'm firmly convinced that we will have our baby by the end of this year.  I refuse to allow thoughts of waiting beyond that.  That strategy—being recklessly optimistic— got me through infertility, so I'm going to continue with it.  We have several friends who have adopted within a few months, so who's to say it won't happen for us?  I won't think too much of our neighbors who waited 3 years.

Now for the pain update.  Not a whole lot to report, but things are definitely on the upswing.  It's about half and half:  around my period, for around 2 weeks, I feel really bad.  But not as bad as 6 months ago—the pain isn't constant.  I don't always wake up and go to sleep in pain.  The other 2 weeks of my cycle, not around my period, I feel...pretty good.  The pain reminds me that it's still around, waiting to strike, but it's not too bad. 

So you'd expect my pain, originating from whacked-out pelvic floor muscles, to be in my pelvis, right?  The worst pain now is actually in my head.  Crazy.  I don't fully understand it, but it has to do with pelvic nerves telling other nerves to freak out and before you know it, every nerve in my body is on fire.  So my head hurting—it's not like any headache I've ever experienced, and comes from the center of my body, like my core, right under my solar plexus.  It's almost like I can feel the pain coming up from the pelvic nerves to my brain.  And the pain isn't the burning type of neuropathic pain I'm used to, and I have no good words to describe it.  Definitely not aching.  Maybe dull but with a burning component.  There's just something about it that so different from non-neuropathic pain.

I can't remember if I've posted this before, but I'm allergic to TENS now.  The little sticky things that attach the electrodes make me break out in a rash.  Not good at all.  I have a history of problems with adhesives and thought I'd snuck around it, but sneaking only worked for so long.  So TENS is currently not part of my pain strategy.  It really sucks and increases my reliance on meds, but I have to focus on the good:  I'm getting better.

I'm no longer held hostage by pain.  I can run errands without hesitation, and I take walks three times a week.  About a mile or two each time!!  Shocking.  I've come really far.

That's where I am now.  Oh, and I have a big anniversary tomorrow.  The day of my surgery last year, THE surgery that started this whole mess.  I've felt really emotional about it, similar to other crappy anniversaries like miscarriages or due dates.  What if I hadn't had the surgery?  Well, duh.  I wouldn't be in pain now.  But there's no way I could have known.  Trying to come to terms with that decision.

So, Crappy Anniversary to me.  To celebrate, hubby and I are going to the beach for 5 days, leaving tomorrow morning.  Hopefully it will not be gloomy and cold there and we'll actually be able to get out some.  And if not, we'll have even more time to work on our profile and get it in decent shape.  It's hard to sell yourself...where do you start?  How do you sound sincere and not completely cheeseball?

I'm trying to keep up with the blogosphere but admit I've been a little lacking on that front.  Sorry for my absence and hope you're doing well!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Much-needed Update

Hi guys.  Happy new year to you all and I am trying to catch up on your blogs.  My absence was due to a very boring reason:  work.  For the past several months, I have worked like crazy and collapsed in front of the TV at night.  It's been a crappy, unhealthy cycle, and blogging has had to take a backseat.  The especially bummy part is that I'm not sure when work will slow down.

In addition to feeling blahsville about work, my Get a Baby plan is completely stalled.  I am 100% ready to begin adoption proceedings and my husband is not.  I can't make him be ready, and trying to talk to him about it more and more is veering into coercion territory.  I hate that we're in this position; it's a huge strain and I've never felt more at odds with him.  There is so much more to the story that I won't get into here, including his denial that I'm finished with trying for a bio baby.  Please tell me we aren't the only couple who goes through this when deciding to adopt.  I have heard that many couples go through this, but I can't rid myself of this feeling that we're the oddballs.  And that this will never happen for us.

The holidays have really stalled any progress we were making in the adoption direction because we've had so many trips and family visits.  A week with my parents at Thanksgiving, and now we're in the middle of 2.5 weeks of solid family time.  I KNOW.  It's a looong time. 

This month, I'm hoping to meet with three different adoptive couples (with the hubster present, of course, since he needs this more than I do), one of which used instead of an agency.  We're really intrigued by that and want to learn more.

The good news with me is that my pain is getting MUCH better.  I cannot believe the progress I've made in the past few months.  I'm actually getting teary just thinking about it.  I still have good weeks and bad weeks; I'm in the middle of a good one and I've practically been Mary Poppins singing and dancing my way around the house as I entertain my little nieces and nephews.  It's like I'm another person.  I don't really know who this person is, but I like her.

I feel like I have so much more to say, but can't quite put it into words.  I hope to be back here soon and better in touch with you guys.  I've been thinking of you often!