July 31, 2006

The next choices

Posted in All ahead to adoption at 7:03 am by Erin

Several things here: first, I’ve been telling people in droves that we’re planning to adopt.  The conversation usually goes something like this:

"Are you planning on having any more kids/making P a big brother?"

"Yes, we’re going to adopt internationally, so he’ll be a big brother sometime in the next year or two."

"Why would you want to do that?  Don’t you want to have more of your own?"

So when I reveal my infertility to people, they say, "Just adopt."  When I say that we’re going to adopt without first mentioning my infertility, they say, "Why would you do that?"  Why is that?  Is it only acceptable to adopt if you’re infertile?  Why do I have to justify our plan to adopt instead of continuing to pursue more and more aggressive and expensive fertility treatments (other than medicated IUIs)?  It’s coming up more often now that I’ve stopped saying "I’m infertile, so we don’t know when or if we’ll have another child" and simply started mentioning that we’re going to adopt.  And it bothers me.  A lot.

************************************

The other day, I mentioned that I’d gotten my first copy of Adoptive Families magazine.  Like I said, it made me feel a bit sad at first to feel so far away from meeting our children.  But then I started reading it and now I’m all enthusiastic about it again.  So much so that I got over the overwhelmed "Where do I start???" that I felt after getting the info from all the agencies who work with Ethiopia, and have finally requested information from all the agencies I could find that work with Vietnam.  We’ve received it from most of them and will start looking it over soon.

Actually, the magazine had a little blurb that makes me think more and more about Vietnam.  They mentioned a "giving and receiving ceremony" that’s done to formally relinquish the child to his or her adoptive parents.  What struck me about it was that they mentioned that the birthparents will sometimes come for this ceremony, though they are not required to do so.  I can’t even imagine having the possibility of meeting my child’s birthparents–how special would that be for us to meet them and for them to know that we are going to love our child and try to give him or her the life that they wanted for the baby?

There are so many options, so many things to consider for our next child, and it does feel overwhelming at first.  Choosing a country, choosing an agency, the mountains of paperwork, etc.  Not to mention the cost–and, as I’m pretty sure no bank will loan us the money for it since my student loans are coming due, we’ll be paying for it out-of-pocket.  Somehow, we’ll earn that money.  And we’ll bring our child home.

************************************

I’ve started a MySp@ce blog to help keep my family apprised of where we are in the adoption process.  I’m not going to give out the address here because I want to keep the two separate–they don’t know about this blog and I want it to stay that way.  (If you happen to look me up and add me as a friend, that’s fine but PLEASE don’t say anything about this blog.)  But I’ve decided to make it an infertile’s public service blog also, and have been posting ways for fertiles to avoid giving assvice to infertiles, what fertiles should expect when they get pregnant from their infertile friends, and the realities of fertility drugs.  I’ve got a pretty good start already but thought I’d ask you all for some advice.  What do you wish your fertile friends knew?  What do you wish they would/wouldn’t say?  If you’ve already adopted, what was the hardest part about the process, and what support do you wish you’d had?

Thanks for all the help!

Advertisements

July 27, 2006

Getting to know you….

Posted in The musings of Erin at 7:50 am by Erin

With my need to get a job, I’ve been thinking about jobs lately.  A lot.  Pretty much constantly.

In the course of my thoughts, I’ve been remembering jobs that I’ve had in the past.  I started working at 11 as a newspaper carrier, started babysitting at 12, got my first full-time job (summers only, part-time during the school year) when I was 16, and haven’t stopped working since.  Even now, when I’m "unemployed", I’m still working 10-20 hours a week.  Which is down quite a bit from while I was in school and working that much on top of a 40-50 hour week in the lab.

So I want to know:  what jobs have you had in the past?  Which was your favorite?  Which did you like the least?

I’ve been a newspaper carrier, babysitter, Discovery Zone birthday party hostess, 7-11 employee, camp counselor/EMT, pool attendant, teacher/instructor, lab assistant, lab technician, inorganic chemical analyst, and worked in catering.  Not necessarily in that order, but I think that’s nearly all of them.

My favorite was being a camp counselor/EMT.  I took EMT training in college and got certified later that semester, and worked at a day camp as one of 3 EMTs.  I worked 8:45 to 6:15 each day and got paid quite well (for a college student).  It was a great job.  The other counselors were all incredibly nice.  I got into phenomenal shape (you chase after 6 year olds for nearly 10 hours a day with only a quick break for a sandwich, see what it does for you!).  Several of the other counselors and I even went to aerobics together at 6 a.m. 3 times a week.  We had parties on the weekends and had a great time.  It really was a fun job.

My least favorite would have to be as a lab technician.  I worked long hours with only one other person, a much older and completely unsociable man.  The job was boring, there wasn’t enough work for 2 people to do, and my boss (who was almost never there) expected you to be working hard when he did bother to come in.  But it did get me into graduate school, so I suppose I should be glad that I took it.

So tell me about your experiences!

July 25, 2006

Half an hour

Posted in Ramblings o' P at 10:40 am by Erin

I can go get P in half an hour.  Actually 28 minutes from now…not that I’m counting or anything.

Today was his first day back at daycare.  We’ve been trying to get him excited about going back, talking about his friends and all the toys and his teachers.  He’s been saying "I miss Hannah, I miss insert name of another child in his class here" for the last week or two, and keeps talking about playing on the playground and in the "castle" in their classroom.  So I was hopeful that he was excited about going back.

Until this morning, when practically the first thing out of his mouth was "I no go class today."

I tried to get him excited about it again, told him all about how many fun things he would get to do, and that I’d be there right after nap time.  Nothing worked.  He started to tear up as we left the house, got sadder as we pulled into the parking lot, and was crying full-out by the time we walked into his classroom.  He had a stranglehold on my neck and refused to stand up at all.  One of the teachers came and got him, and he kept reaching for me and saying, "My mama, my mama!"  Let’s just stomp on my already-bruised and bleeding heart a little more, shall we?

Thankfully, most of his friends are still there.  I think he’ll be OK.  It’s just going to take some time.  I just feel like such a horrible mom for putting him into daycare when I don’t even have a job yet.  But we wanted him to have some shorter days to adjust to it at first, so that by the time I do start working, he’ll be used to it.  At this point, I could be called for an interview and asked to start in two weeks or less, so now was the best time.

But it breaks my heart to hear him cry like that.

July 23, 2006

Yesterday, in haiku

Posted in The musings of Erin at 10:00 am by Erin

Water shoots from lawn
Silver streams mixed with red dirt
Cascade down the drive

Cannot go jogging
Must call the plumber right now
Damn!  Not answering

To Temple with P
No water means no shower
No one sits too close

Home, and pipe is fixed
Dirt washed from body and hair
Dress in peasant blouse

Life gets crunchier
Pregnancy Mother Blessing
Clearly not for me

Use words like "journey"
Speak of "opening chakras"
To prepare for birth

Come home feeling strange
Not depressed and not happy
Should have had more wine

P still up at 10
Wanted to see his mama
Made me smile again

Different couple calls
Natural childbirth went great
Healthy baby boy

Feelings ebb and flow
Bringing peace and contentment
As I go to sleep

July 20, 2006

It’s back, it’s back!

Posted in TTC woes at 1:17 pm by Erin

My sex drive!  Oh, how I’ve missed it.

Ha, now those of you who know me IRL are saying "GAAAAAH!" and frantically clicking to a new page.  But I swear, I’m not posting details.

I’d forgotten that one of the major side effects of Clomid is that it kills my sex drive.  After 4 straight cycles on Clomid, I thought I was just tired of having sex on a schedule.  Which may also be part of the problem.  But this cycle, I have one again.  J is muy appreciative.  Surprisingly, I am too!  We’ve decided no more Clomid after this.  We’ll try Femara + IUI next time around, but no more Clomid.  I’m worried it’s making my lining too thin, which would defeat the purpose of me actually conceiving!

I’m not even using my monitor this cycle.  I know I haven’t ovulated yet (it’s only d16), but I have no idea how close I am to it and I don’t care.  It’s such a relief.  We may also end up taking off next cycle, depending on when/if I get a job, so that I can get into it before adding the stress of TTC on again.  Actually, we may still do Femara next cycle but without an IUI so that we have a cycle to see how it works on me.  We’ve spent very little time discussing TTC this cycle.  We have spent time discussing adoption quite extensively, which will be my next post!

_______________________________________

The other day, when it was a nightmare day, I went upstairs after P’s "quiet time" to find that he’d cleaned up his room.  Without being asked, he’d picked up all of his stuffed animals, put them into the basket, and picked up all of his books and stacked them on the bookshelves.  He totally made the day better.

July 18, 2006

Did you ever have one of those days?

Posted in The musings of Erin at 11:31 am by Erin

Where you wake up early and go out jogging, leaving the man and the boy asleep in bed, and feel like an exhilarated blob of sweatiness at the end of the 30 minutes.  You jump right into the shower, getting clean and refreshed, still feeling like a million bucks.  You take your time getting dressed, because you have an interview.  You blow-dry your hair and it behaves itself for once.  You put on make-up…MAKE-UP, people!  You dress carefully in a lavender silk shirt and sensible gray skirt, pantyhose, trendy shoes, and appropriate jewelry.  You look lovely and professional.

Before you leave the house, you ask your beloved spouse, who is by now awake and reading a book with the boy, to please bring upstairs the load of clean laundry that is already out of the dryer and sitting in a basket in the laundry room.  And then to kindly put another load of laundry into the wash.  You figure that he’ll have plenty of time to do this since you’ll be gone at least 2 1/2 hours and P will be watching Sesame Street for one of those, and eating breakfast for another 30 minutes.

You leave for your interview at a military boarding school for boys that ends up being a full hour’s drive even though it’s against traffic.  Your exhilarated mood starts to wane…but no matter, you have an interview!  And health insurance is required to adopt a child, so you must find work.  You meet the principal, get toured all around, and meet the head of the science department.  You learn that you’ll be wearing an Army uniform if you get the job, which will certainly save you money on the wardrobe you’ll need to buy for a non-military teaching job.  You inwardly snicker at the idea of yourself in an Army uniform, as you looked pretty silly in the fatigues that you wore for drills while taking a military science class in college.  But you look OK in olive-green, so this would be better.  You appreciate the lovely views of the mountains behind the school, the pretty campus.  You feel that the interview goes well.

Then you drive home.  And hit traffic.  And the hour-long drive takes, well, longer than an hour.  And it’s hot, even with the air conditioning.  And then the "service engine soon" light goes on.  In the car that has just been to the mechanic only two weeks ago because the "service engine soon" light was on.  The car that has 99,600+ miles on it.  And is the lower-mileage vehicle of the two cars.

You come in, 3 hours after leaving, to find the boy in time-out for refusing to eat his lunch.  Still wearing his pajamas, though it is after noon by this time.  And not only that, but still wearing the diaper that was put on him before he went to bed last night.  Despite the fact that he is potty-trained and wears underpants during the daytime.  He tells you that he not only got to watch Sesame Street, but a Thomas the Tank Engine video and part of The Lion King.  Which means that he has been watching TV basically since you left and has done nothing else.  Which means he’s now wired and will not go down for quiet time later (in fact, you hear thumps and footsteps from his bedroom above you as you blog).  Because he watched more TV in one morning than he normally gets to watch in 2 days.

So you assume, since your beloved has clearly abdicated any responsibility for taking care of the child, that he has at least performed the laundry duties that you requested.  But then you find that those haven’t been done.  In fact, all he’s done has been to unload and reload the dishwasher (one of his regular tasks)–what he calls "cleaning the kitchen".  Apparently, "cleaning the kitchen" does not include wiping down counters, sweeping piles of dog fur off the floor and mopping it, or putting away the applesauce containers that are sitting on the counter.

And then he leaves for work.  And you’re left with the results.

If you’ve never had one of those days, THANK THE HIGHER BEING IN WHICH YOU BELIEVE.

July 15, 2006

Surprising thoughts

Posted in The musings of Erin at 5:52 pm by Erin

There are times, few and far between, when I almost feel like primary IF was a blessing in disguise.  I can assure you that I would be very unlikely to feel that way if I hadn’t managed to get pregnant and have a baby after primary IF, but I was one of the fortunate ones.  And because SIF is proving much more difficult to overcome, I sometimes feel like primary IF was a good thing.

I really was one of the fortunate ones.  My biggest pregnancy complaint in the first trimester was that an almost complete lack of symptoms that, coupled with the sometimes-significant spotting, was pretty scary.  I started feeling P move unquestionably at 14.5 weeks and started feeling good kicks on a (very) regular basis by 16.5 weeks, which helped reassure me that there really was someone in there and that he or she was still alive.  The Braxton-Hicks contractions that started at 15.5 weeks, 2 weeks after going off Metformin, were scary but were managed fairly easily.  I got to have the birth I wanted and came home with a healthy baby.

I had a hard time complaining about any aspect of my pregnancy.  Not because there was nothing about which to complain, but because I felt like I had no right–I had desperately wished and prayed and hoped to be pregnant, so what right did I have to complain?  Aruond 32 weeks pregnant, I finally came to the realization that a little complaining about the sciatic nerve pain that had plagued me from week 13 on and made it difficult to walk near the end of my pregnancy, or about the fact that my ankles swelled to beach ball proportions by lunchtime, didn’t mean that I didn’t want my baby or wasn’t deliriously happy to be pregnant.  It just meant that I was hurting. 

Coming to that realization was very freeing.  I stopped feeling guilty that I even wanted to complain.  I still didn’t do a lot of complaining but knowing that it didn’t reflect on how I felt about my baby helped.

But even when I was feeling lousy, I reveled in my pregnancy.  I knew how lucky I was, how special it was to be pregnant, and tried to take nothing forgranted.  I talked to my belly from the week that I knew I was pregnant, even when I thought I was about to miscarry, just describing the scenery as I was walking or telling the baby about his or her family.  J used to come home from work to find me laying on the futon and putting things on my belly just so P would kick them off, and laughing each time.  I thought it was hysterical when my belly button flattened and then became an outie.  J often told me to stop pestering the baby when I would poke at any and all strange lumps that showed up as P pushed out his hands and feet and knees.  I loved it.  Even if I never get to experience another pregnancy, I’ll never regret that I didn’t experience that one as fully as possible.  And I don’t think I would have nearly so much if I hadn’t been aware that I might never get to do it again.

July 13, 2006

Poignancy

Posted in Ramblings o' P at 7:00 pm by Erin

Overheard at the registrar’s office as P and I left after he had charmed everyone: "He’s so sweet, he makes me want to have another one."

My thought:  "Me, too."

_________________________________________

Last night was my last Bradley class with one of my current classes.  They’ve been by far my favorite class.  I don’t know what it was, but something just gelled with them and we had a fabulous class–they talked openly about all kinds of things and got very close to one another.  They even gave me a gift certificate for a one-hour massage–I’ve never had a class give me a gift before.  (The moms said that since they got so many massages because of me–we do a lot of massage practice for relaxation–they felt that I deserved one.)  Normally teaching a childbirth class as an infertile makes me feel sad but I do it because a) I want to pass on what we learned since it made such a difference to us as a family; b) it makes me feel a little better to talk about our experiences with pregnancy and birth and being new parents, and remember how great they were; and c) the extra money is awfully nice.  But with this class, I really looked forward to each class.  I didn’t feel the melancholy before each class and I am so excited for them to have their babies.  But I am a little sad that their class is over, since I’ve so enjoyed the last 12 Wednesday nights.

_________________________________________

The last class is about bringing home a new baby.  I bring out all of my slings and soft carriers, show them how to use a Boppy for proper nursing positioning, show how a breast pump works, and demonstrate diapering and swaddling a baby.  I was practicing my swaddling technique on one of P’s teddy bears before they came over and P loved it.  Now he keeps wanting me to swaddle his "babies", then he holds them with such gentleness.  I so desperately want to see him holding an actual baby brother or sister.  I never realized how that would make me feel.

_________________________________________

I got my first copy of "Adoptive Families" magazine yesterday.  I haven’t had a chance to read it yet but just seeing it in the mail made me realize that, while we will have more children, it’s at least a year away.  Probably more.  And since that was followed up by P’s newfound love of holding a swaddled baby, it made accepting that a little harder.

July 12, 2006

It keeps you running

Posted in The musings of Erin at 9:54 pm by Erin

I celebrated two weeks of jogging today, apparently in the company of other joggers.  I don’t think I enjoy the actual jogging itself yet but I do enjoy the feeling of not just sitting on my lazy ass all day long (all day minus 30 minutes every other day is plenty, thank you very much).  I performed my celebration with a ritualistic "wearing of the new sneakers", which were purchased yesterday specifically for the purpose of today’s celebration.  This traditional ceremony, begun, I believe, by the ancient Mayans, was unfortunately not preceded properly by the traditional "visit to an actual running store".  Instead, it was preceded by the lazier energy-conservation approach: "visit to Sp*rts Authority since it’s on my way to another errand", where the only thing that the salespeople could tell me was that they didn’t have the two types of sneakers I wanted in anything smaller than a 6.5.  One even said, "You wear a 6, so it won’t be too big on you."  Not quite the helpful, knowledgeable staff that I should have gone looking for.

Instead, I purchased a pair that looks like Barbie vomited on them.  I was specifically looking for sneakers that had more cushioning to help with the mild knee pain I get when jogging faster than I would walk.  These are cushioned, but I don’t think they are really what I needed.  I think I just wasted $40–at least they were on sale.  And what in G-d’s name possessed me to buy pink and white sneakers?  I’ve never particularly liked pink.  I don’t look good in pink.

But they do match the very attractive burns on my arms.  I was making baked potato soup last night and went to add the potatoes to the lovely boiling milk/flour base.  Since I am a bit on the klutzy side, I dropped the heavy glass bowl (full of the already-mashed potatoes) into the pot.  Whereby the laws of physics applied and since two objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time, the boiling thickened milk vacated the pot and splashed all over the stove, the counter, the floor, and my hands, which had been holding the bowl up until it tried to make a break for it.  I immediately turned to the sink and run my arms under cold water for 15 minutes, took them out, whimpered when the air hit them, and put them right back under.  All the while thanking G-d that P wasn’t in his usual place of right by my knees but was instead across the kitchen when this happened.  He could have been seriously burned otherwise.  He did kiss my arms "better" when he saw that Mama got hurt.  I gritted my teeth while he kissed them and told him that they felt all better.

Then I spent the rest of the evening slathering on aloe and whining.

The inside of my left forearm has a burn about the size of a dollar bill and various splash mark burns, and hurts when the breeze from the fan hits it.  The right one, which was further away, escaped with only a small burn about the size of a nickel that’s just a little sore.  Neither one blistered, but they are very bumpy; kind of a near-blister.  I think that’s due to my absolute refusal to take them out of the soothing cold water diligence in keeping them under the water for so long.

But you know what?  I still went jogging this morning.  Now THAT’S some dedication for you

July 9, 2006

Housekeeping details

Posted in The musings of Erin at 12:25 pm by Erin

I realized that I’d never actually said that my period started so, lest you thought that maybe it was just random early pregnancy spotting and I hadn’t told you, I’ll just burst those bubbles by saying I’m on cd5.  But it wasn’t so terrible, since I only had a few hours of bad cramps.  Of course, I happened to be out shopping with P when they started, at B*bies R Us, no less.  It was just adding insult to injury.

I’m feeling better now, though.  Taking this cycle off is a good idea.  I had sushi for lunch yesterday–tuna and salmon rolls, my two favorites.  I even decided to take a week off my Metformin (yes, I know I’m not supposed to do that) and J and I have had margaritas a couple of times in the past few days.  The Met makes me feel nauseated when I have alcohol, and it’s been lovely to actually enjoy a beverage.  I’m hardly a lush but I do miss a glass of wine or mixed drink now and again.

I’ve spent today feeling very domestic.  My kitchen is more spotless than ever.  My laundry is almost entirely done.  The waterbed is cleaned and ready for its new mattress tomorrow.  I baked oatmeal raisin cookies.  I’ve got the chicken cooked for making chicken enchiladas for dinner.  I even baked the potatoes to make baked potato soup for dinner tomorrow evening.

I had to get P re-signed up at his daycare the other day, since we had to give them at least 2 weeks notice.  He’s starting again on the 24th.  I know I’ve had an incredible treat in getting 5 months home with him, and that I didn’t particularly want to be a SAHM before that, but now I don’t want to have to go back to work.  I enjoy staying home with him.  I’ve loved getting to know him better, to watch him develop–and he’s changed so much in the last 5 months!  I’m glad that I’ll get summers with him since I’ll be teaching, but it’s going to be hard to go back to work.

But on a related note, I’m getting very concerned about my complete inability to find a job yet, given that the school year starts in a few weeks.  I’ve only had one interview and, while I thought it went well, I never heard from the people that the principal said would call me for follow-up interviews–clearly, I didn’t get the job.  So now I’m resorting to blindly sending my resume to each and every private high school in the area.  We’ll be OK in terms of normal living expenses if I don’t get a job, but we’ll have no health insurance.  None.  And we wouldn’t have the money to continue IF treatments, or to pursue adoption.

I’m trying not to think about it too much.  It just stresses me out and since I know I’m doing all I can to get a job, getting stressed won’t help.  But it’s a concern.

Next page