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!

Friday, October 26, 2012

I Ruined My Body

My guilt factor is sky high lately.  What if I hadn't had that surgery, what if I'd had another doctor do the such-and-such surgery, what if I'd had no surgeries at all?  What if I'd factored in my health first?

It's just overwhelming to live in constant pain, pain that's a direct result of (in)fertility treatments.  (Side note:  I feel like an imposter saying "fertility" treatments because I really only went through one medicated treatment cycle). 

When we were TTC, any guilty feelings were centered around what I wasn't doing:  not eating/drinking the correct things, exercising too much or too little.  I shouldn't have eaten that goat cheese! I probably killed my embryo!  Etc.  Or feeling wishing I had started treatments earlier.

I can't stop thinking lately about all the infertility-related choices I've made in the past few years.  I chose the crappy RE to do my initial IF workup.  Since the crappy doc suggested a laparoscopy to see how "messed up" I was inside (his words) and I didn't trust him to do it, I chose an outside endometriosis-specialized physician to do the surgery.  During the lap, the endo guy also did a hysteroscopy and said my septum wasn't large enough to be a fertility issue, and he didn't see any other problems.

Enter the good RE, who eventually found scar tissue in my ute and thought my septum was an issue after all.  Two surgeries later, my life was turned completely upside down by chronic pain.  I don't blame her surgical skills—I blame the damn balloon—but my life changed dramatically on 3/9/12.

I'm trying to forgive myself for everything.  For not seeing the good RE first, for not doing more research before I started having surgeries.  For trusting that any type of hysteroscopic surgery was minor.  After all, I'd had laparoscopic surgery already.  Why would I flinch at something less major than that?  It's like doing injectable IUIs after Clomid ones; eh, not that big a leap.

Now that my TTC chapter is closed, I can look at it as a whole and see the flaws and horror more clearly.  I'm not wrapped up in next steps and cycle days, which is AWESOME, don't get me wrong.  But reflecting on that period of time is rough, and I guess the TTC chapter is being drawn out in a way because I'm still physically feeling the effects of my treatments.

I feel like I've ruined my body.  I mentioned on my last post that I used to run half marathons.  Running was a huge part of my life throughout my 20's.  I ran 5Ks, 10Ks, and half marathons.  Before that, in high school and earlier, I was as dancer.  In my 30's, I took up yoga and practice almost daily.

That's where I was, physically speaking, on 3/9/12:  lean and mean from many hours of yoga.  I felt great when I practiced and was strong enough to do some pretty tough poses.  I was flexible for the first time in my life.

I can't even take a walk now.  I risked my body's wrath today by walking for about 20 min at lunchtime and I'll probably suffer the consequences this weekend.  I feel completely defective and it's embarassing to talk about; how do you tell your coworkers that you can't walk because your pelvic floor muscles are fucked up?  Who wants to say "pelvic" anywhere in the vicinity of work?

My body is mushy now and 5 pounds heavier.  My pants are getting tighter and tighter.  Surprising fact:  if you don't move around at all and keep eating as if you do, you gain weight.  I want to move.  I crave exercise.  I want to stretch and be flexible again and not feel my hamstring clamp up when I put up my leg while shaving.  I've tried stretching; I really have.  It turns out that your pelvic floor muscles are connected to EVERYTHING and hence EVERYTHING hurts to stretch.  Want to stretch out my pinkie finger?  Can't.  Connected to the pelvic floor.  My PT tells me to do what I comfortably can but not to do anything painful at this point, so I'm left with nothing to do except a couple of measly exercises she gave me.

So, to summarize:  my lady parts are fucked up because we tried too hard to get pregnant (see what I mean?  Impossible to talk about without getting into areas all sexual-like).  I hate my body and hate that I ignored the warning signs.  I already had pelvic pain before all the IF shenanigans started.  Why did I screw things up more down there?  Blah.

Hmm, that was all over the place and not at all what I set out to write.  Funny how that works.

I'm tired of the headaches.  TENS helps with them so we're going steady again.  The headaches almost make me feel cross-eyed at moments, like I can't focus for a second because of the intensity.  It's really weird, but I can tell that the headaches are part of the neuropathic pain, and my doc concurred.  It's like the pain comes up from my pelvis (hate that word and must find a new one), through my core and spreads out in my head.  Caffeine and painkillers don't touch it.  Lyrica is pretty much the only thing that works, that and TENS.  I'm going through 9V batteries like a fiend.  It turns out that rechargeable 9Vs aren't as readily available or as high a quality as you might think.

In the interest of ending on a high note, I had a major victory today.  <drumroll> ...I did not cry at a coworker's pregnancy announcement.  I cried at her last one but shrugged off this one like a champ.  It helped that my pregdar went off big-time when I saw her this wasn't her body, it was her smug pregginess.  And I'm sure I will love the upcoming meetings when she will turn work-related conversations into something about her baby. 

But anyway.  No tears!  Victory! :)

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

I Never Want to Be Pregnant

Under no circumstances do I want to be pregnant.  I do not want to have an oopsie baby after I adopt. I do not want to have a surprise pregnancy at age 43.  I do not want to do another letrozole cycle.

This does not mean I don't wish things were different with my body.  That I don't wish I had another body without a pain syndrome and uterine issues.  I still long to grow a round belly, feel kicks and punches from a little one inside me.  The desire, the longing, is still there.  But it's like wishing you hadn't broken your arm; it's broken and you have to deal with it.  Maybe you have to stop playing tennis forever.  Maybe the break is so bad it will affect you the rest of your life.  You can spend your time wishing you weren't limited physically or you can adjust your expectations. 

My decision to forever stop TTC didn't happen overnight.  A few weeks after my surgery in March, even though I was still in extreme pain, I was scheduling a 3D sonogram appointment to prepare for my next letrozole cycle.  I was optimistic.  I didn't know this kind of pain syndrome even existed.  Who has heard about pelvic floor muscles unless you've given birth or are 80 years old?  I hadn't been aware of mine.

Needless to say, I had to cancel the 3D sono appointment, which was just one of the many things that has given me pause since March.  If I couldn't schedule it at that point, then when?  The next month?  Three months from now?  (Correct answer is none of the above.)

My thinking shifted gradually.  I'd felt unsure about trying for pregnancy #3, anyway.  Pregnancy #2 ended around 7 weeks last fall.  The chromosomal testing came back normal, and my doctor thought the miscarriage was related to a structural problem with my uterus.  Supposedly the structural issue was fixed by my last (catastrophic) surgery, but who really knows?  Why tempt fate?  Why put myself in the position to lose another baby when my heart has been shattered twice already?

As the months ticked by after the surgery, I stopped planning for my next RE appointment.  I had a brand new, all-consuming shitstorm with that wasn't TTC-related:  chronic pain.  But in spite of that, I started living again.  I ate what I wanted:  suddenly, soy is ok again!  Dairy is not evil!  No need to go gluten/nut/coffee/sugar-free for fostering the ideal environment for baby to stick around!  I didn't know what cycle day I was on.  I didn't cry in the bathroom when my period arrived and then fill my grief with baked goods.  Not TTCing has been one of the most freeing things in the world.

Before The Surgery to End All Surgeries, I'd had difficulty conceiving and two miscarriages, and I hated TTCing.  The IF blogosphere is filled with people like me who keep trying, understandably, for their take-home baby.  Chronic pain is what did me in.

I'm kind of an old pro with intermittent pelvic pain.  I've had horribly painful periods since I was a teenager, which turned out to be endometriosis that was probably contributing to my infertility (huge surprise—not).  But the painful periods were only for a few days a month.

The pain I have now is all the time.

I've never experienced any kind of chronic, day-to-day pain other than run-of-the mill tendinitis or other exercise-related aches.  This is completely new.  If I hadn't gone through infertility and loss, I'd say this is the hardest thing I've ever gone through.  So it's a close third.  The pain tries to shatter me.  Not one aspect of my life is untouched:  my relationships, my job, my sleep.  My sanity.

I've used about 130 hours of sick leave for the pain since March.  I missed my nephew's first birthday party and my niece's summer ballet recital.  My demeanor has been irritable and prickly for the most part, even if at first I appear pleasant.  A smile or pleasant conversation does not mean I'm not in pain or will not suddenly lash out at something.  Or just lose track of what you're saying as I plot my next attempt at pain relief.  My pain level is usually pretty high but I'm trying, trying ever so hard to pretend it doesn't exist.  The irritability is usually unleashed on my husband, and when I immediately apologize and explain that my pain level is really high, he is understanding.  But he doesn't deserve this.

I go to PT weekly and usually have one other doctor's appointment during the week; it's a big time-suck.  At these appointments, I've asked about my prognosis, of course.  My healthcare providers don't like this question because they don't know the answer.  They hem and haw a bit, and say we'll have to wait and see, "ask me again in a few weeks."  The two physicians I've asked are both pelvic pain specialists, and both have predicted that I would "probably" be fine with a pregnancy.  That pregnancy hormones tend to have a calming influence on my syndrome. 

Fine.  But what about the ENTIRE REST OF MY LIFE AFTER THE PREGNANCY?  Will the changes wrought by pregnancy and childbirth wreak havoc on my already fucked-up body?

The physicians haven't given me a real answer for that.  My PT has given it to me straight, though.  She says she's seen it both ways:  some people with my issues have a pregnancy that goes ok and they feel fine afterwards, and some do not.  I didn't ask her to elaborate much because I don't even want to hear about patients who have it worse afterwards; I cannot imagine their pain.

I'm not a risk-taker.  Not that anyone knows statistics for outcomes of women with uterine abnormalities who have undergone surgeries and go on to develop chronic pelvic pain and then go on to have pregnancies, but I've thought a little about what kind of odds I would bet on:  at what odds of worsened pain in the future would I consider getting pregnant again?  What if 50% of women like me felt ok during the pregnancy and then, postpartum and beyond, felt even better than before the pregnancy?  50/50 odds.  No way in hell I'd do it.  What if 90% felt great afterward?  Nope, still wouldn't do it. 

I cannot conceive (pun intended) of a future filled with this kind of pain.  It's been going on for 7 months already and I don't know how I've done it.  People comment on how strong I am to have dealt with this for so long, but I don't feel strong.  I just feel like severe pain.  It's day-to-day living now.  I try not to plan too far in advance.

If I can't find a way to decrease my pain level before I have a child, I cannot be the kind of mom I want to be.  I physically could not handle the sleep deprivation that comes with a newborn; less sleep = more pain.  I would be glued to the couch, not on the floor playing with my baby or walking around to soothe her at night.  I couldn't take her for walks in the stroller or teach her to ride a bike.  I would have trouble attending her soccer games; sitting up for a couple of hours hurts too much.  Worst of all, I could not be the emotionally supportive, stable, fun type of mom I want to be.  It would not be possible.

The decision not to TTC is easier knowing that adoption is a possibility.  But even if adoption wasn't on the table and our remaining option was childfree living, I would have to choose childfree living over TTC.  Why in the world would I choose *possibly* having severe pain the rest of my life?  My (hopefully) future children would be worse off for it, my family and husband would struggle with me, and I would constantly fight the pain demon.

When I started this post, I'd intended to write even more, tell you about how in my previous incarnation, I ran a half marathon at an 8:10 min/mile pace.  Now I can hardly walk a mile once a week.  I'd wanted to tell you that I do still grieve for the loss of my husband's and my biological child, the little blonde boy who looks like his dad.  Also, I could write for days about how you don't know until you've been there what kind of decisions you'd make when you've had pain that reaches an 8 every day, sometimes staying there for hours at a time.  And it goes on for months and months, possibly years.  But I've written enough for now. 

For all of these reasons, I will never pursue pregnancy again.  I love myself too much and won't knowingly put myself in harm's way.  I want more out of life than appointments, pills, and this seemingly endless gnawing, burning pain that is trying to eat me alive.