Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Where I Am and Where I Want to Be

First of all, thank you everyone for your kind, sweet comments on my last post. I am glad you enjoyed reading it. I wrote it from a very honest place, including some thoughts/feelings that were less than angelic, so I was worried. I would like to write more "chapters" about our adoption experience, if y'all are still interested. I would like to write it all down while the memories are still fresh.

Now on to some randomness:

Where I am: Not pregnant. In transition. Confused. Fighting the blues. Prone to weepiness, but keeping it together, most of the time. Surrounded by pregnant people.

Where I want to be: Pregnant. Fat. Healthy. Happy. Enjoying every minute of a pregnancy, including morning sickness and fat ankles. Bring it on.

I want to enjoy watching my CHILDREN play together. I want to watch Handsome Man become a big brother. I want to watch my kids roll around on the floor and play together.

I want to look at an ultrasound screen and see a live baby. I want Mister to be so incredibly happy to see our baby moving on the ultrasound/sono screen that he starts to cry.


I want to start treatment. Like, now. I know it can't happen RIGHT THIS VERY MINUTE but, I'm ready. I want to get tested for Endometriosis, make sure it's not an issue (I have suspected for a long time it might be, but have been pooh-poohed on the topic by several doctors). If I have it, I want it fixed. NOW. Then, I want to do IVF. Do not pass go, do not waste any more time. I want to be pregnant with a real live baby.


I am trying to trust that God is working on all of this for me as we speak. We have gotten very good news recently: Mister was offered (and accepted) a good position with a company that he is very excited to start working with. (I am so very proud of my man. He is The Man.) Of course, we have already reviewed the health insurance plans they offer. The good news is that they DO offer health insurance, and it covers Mister and his spouse (me! yay!). We need only add and pay for Handsome Man. This alone will be saving us a good deal of money every month since we have been self-paying for our entire family for years. The bad news is that neither of the 2 health plans offer any coverage for infertility treatments. However, one plan does state that testing is covered. So, I am wondering if that would mean it would cover a lap. to determine/treat endo. That alone would be a blessing.

The other bit of good news is, that, of course, Mister will be making more money. So, once we can get some of our debt paid down, we can resume treatment.

And, another blessing, which I forgot to mention previously, is that as a "present" for HM's first birthday, Mister's parents "forgave" our debt to them. (They had loaned us a lot of money to help with our very sudden adoption, which we've been paying back monthly.) This is another financial burden lifted. I have been praying to God to help us with our financial situation, and now all these things are happening. (And yes, I have the most wonderful in-laws on the planet). So, I have to breathe and trust that things are happening. The Universe is lining things up. This is what I keep telling myself at least, when the panic or the depression starts to set in. Or when I run into another old friend sporting a baby bump. (It. keeps. happening.)

Wish us luck. Mister is actually starting his new job very soon. Much sooner than we originally thought. I'll keep you posted!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

One Year Ago...

Today my son turns one!

As his birthday has been approaching, I've been thinking a lot about where I was this time last year.

On March 19th last year, my husband and I set out on our 10 hour drive to Boise, Idaho. Eryn was scheduled to be induced on March 23rd, which was about a week before her original due date (the baby was very big already, and Eryn was anxious, and, I think, wanting to get it over with.) We wanted to get to Boise a day or two ahead of the delivery, to spend some time with Eryn, doing whatever we could for her, and just being with her, before all of our lives changed in a major way. We had made a quick trip out to Boise a few weeks earlier for our original meeting, but we just felt like we wanted more time. So, we planned to drive out on the 21st, but an approaching storm made us move up our trip to the 19th--to avoid possibly hitting snow going over the Sierra Mountains.

Good thing we left early.

At about 9 p.m. (Boise time) on the 19th, after we had checked into our hotel room, stretched, brushed our teeth, and took a minute to breath, we decided to go forage for some food. We got back in the car we had just spent so much time in that day, to go find a restaurant. I decided to call Eryn to let her know we had arrived, and to see if we could take her out for breakfast the next morning. I got her voicemail, and left her a message. A few minutes later she called back. I excitedly announced, "We're here! And we can't wait to see you!" To which she replied that, well, she was having contractions, and that the next time we saw her would be at the hospital. OMG!!!! She was at her parents' house and her mother (a nurse) was monitoring her contractions. When it was time to go to the hospital, she would give us a call. We told her to call us, no matter what time it was--middle of the night, whatever--we wanted to be at the hospital to support her, if that was still what she wanted. And, of course, for our own selfish reasons--we didn't want to risk missing the birth if it came quickly. Oh, how naive we were.

The call came at about 4:00 a.m. Eryn was on her way to the hospital with her mom. Mister and I got out of bed (were we actually sleeping? Not sure if we were able to at that point, but were trying) showered (wanted to be all fresh and clean to meet our son!) and made our way over to St. Luke's Hospital.

When we walked into the room, there were a lot of people there. Eryn was in the bed, and she said in her characteristic joking way, "Hey! You guys missed the epidural!" We could tell she was in pain, but being brave. Her mother was at her side and we said quick hello's. Matt was there with one of his friends, Matt's mother and two sisters were also there. The room was very full, and Mister and I sort of felt like outsiders in a very intimate situation. But, this was going to be the birth of our son, and the person responsible for making us a family was lying right there in that bed, and SHE wanted us there, so we tried to remain calm (ha!) and quietly stand our ground. I was very nervous, and felt a little like everyone was looking at us as, "those people who are taking the baby away," until Eryn's mother came over to me and said, softly and sincerely, "Thank you, for adopting this baby." I almost lost it. I felt a surge of emotion and knew that I was in danger of bawling my eyes out. "Um, no--it's the other way around, here!" I said, or something like, that, and, probably something lame like, "This is the most amazing gift. We are so grateful." But what else do you say? It is an amazing gift, and we were grateful.

Well, little did we know but that was only the beginning of what would be a very long, long haul for Eryn. Our son was finally born by C-section at around 4:00 p.m. that day. To say we were wrecks by then was an understatement. When they wheeled her out to go into surgery, is when I finally lost it. After basically two days without sleep, and being in one of the most intense emotional situations of my life, I wept. I wept because I knew Eryn did not want to have a C-section (one of the reasons for inducing early) and I wept for me because I would not be present to witness my son coming into the world. I couldn't get him here through my own body--I at least wanted to be one of the very first people he met.

When the nurses finally brought him up from surgery to the nursery, we were allowed to ride in the elevator, but not to hold him. Matt got to be the first one to hold him, and he held him all the way up to the nursery. I know it is right that one of the birthparents should be the first to hold the baby, but Mister and I were dying for a look, a touch, and we could barely see the baby, swaddled in his receiving blanket. And Matt went into a weird place where he would not make eye contact with Mister or me. He stared at the baby, and didn't do us any favors by giving us a peek. I guess I also felt a little resentful because Matt had slept the ENTIRE time (yes 12 hours) that we were in the delivery room. Eryn was suffering for a good part of that time (after they could not give her any more epidural) and it was Eryn's mother and I who were holding her hand, getting her ice chips, whatever we could do. Mister made several attempts to wake Matt (who was sleeping on the bed next to the delivery bed that is there for 'Dads') but each time he sat up, looked around, saw that nothing much was happening and then went back to sleep. This was the guy who broke up with Eryn when she was like 6 months pregnant, and told everyone it wasn't his kid. Yes, they were back together now, but it pained me that he was reaping the 'rewards' of being a dad--proudly holding his son in his arms--while Mister and I choked back tears and emotion, just physically aching, pulsing with longing to hold. our. baby. finally, after so many years, so much anticipation, so much wanting, and so much work.

When we got to the nursery, we were not allowed in. This was a huge slap in the face because the arrangements Eryn had made with the hospital (in writing!) stated that we were to be allowed access to the baby and access to the nursery immediately. Her only request was that she be the first one to hold the baby. Rightly so. We were supposed to have wristbands that allowed us to come and go from the nursery, just like bio parents, but they had not been given to us yet. When we walked behind Matt through the door to the nursery, the nurse turned around and basically slammed the door in our faces, telling us we were not permitted in, but we could look through the window. To say that we were not treated well by most of the hospital staff would be an understatement, except for the doctor who delivered Baby Boy, who was, herself, an adoptive parent of two children.

So there was Matt (reeking of cigarette smoke, by the way) in the nursery, on the other side of the glass, with our little man. Going through the APGAR testing with the nurse. This was the first time that Mister almost lost his cool. We both felt that since we were going to be this child's parents, and responsible for his care and well being, that WE should be appraised of his APGAR. And we started to get scared. Really scared--because Matt had this like 20-yard stare going. He would not make eye contact with us, and we knew he was having second thoughts.

I tried to prepare myself for the possibility that we might not be coming home with this baby.

Finally, we got our wristbands from Nurse Ratchet (that's what we called her). And we were (grudgingly) allowed in to the nursery at last. Eryn was still under anesthesia, and had not been brought up from surgery yet. And even though we were dying to hold this little guy, we decided to wait. To wait until Eryn was up in the maternity ward and could hold him, 'first'.

Our poor son was blue and purple all over from hours of banging up against Eryn's coccyx. He had a huge lump on his forehead above his eye, and he had a little bit of jaundice to boot. He looked pretty awful, but I couldn't get enough of looking at him. To me, he was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen in my entire time on earth. And at that moment as we bent over his crib, tears falling in big glops from my face, my husband and I chose his name. We had been waffling between two, and picked the one that sounded the strongest. Because he was a fighter. It was obvious he deserved a strong name to go along with him through life.

And there he was. Our handsome man. The most beautiful creature alive. Bruises and all. It had taken us so much to get to that point. It almost didn't feel real. I felt like I was watching a movie, and this was all happening to someone else, at times.

We have come so far over this past year. It has been an amazing year. I have seen him grow from a tiny infant who needed us for everything, to a boy--a child, who tells us what he wants or needs (in his own, pre-verbal ways) who laughs, who giggles, who interacts with the world. We have an amazing son. He is so sweet and gentle, yet brave and fearless and strong. I know he is only one, but his personality is already fully asserted. He's not my little Baby Boy any more! He is our Handsome Man!

One whole year as a family. One whole year as (gulp!) a mom!

Today is a day to celebrate, and to remember, and to give thanks. Today I will call Eryn to see how she's doing, and to honor her, and words will fail me again, I'm sure.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patty's Day

Since I haven't left the house all day (at home with a sick baby) I almost forgot....

It IS St. Patrick's Day, isn't it?

Get your Irish on...

Love this song. Enjoy!Link

Yes, I'm a big dork.

Warning: Boring Post Ahead.

I guess Mondays are the only days I get to post these days. Especially when my husband steals my lap top all weekend! The poor man had his lap top completely crash at the end of the day Friday, and he was supposed to spend all weekend working on his resume. Which he did. On my computer. He got his computer back today from the repair guy, but they weren't able to recover much data. Ack. He didn't need this right now. Ah well...

So Mister is applying for a bunch of jobs already. For reasons I can't really get into (ahem, grrr....jerko business partner) my husband will be making his "exit" from the business sooner than he had originally planned. It's complicated. But, the good thing about it is that he can start looking for work now. And there are a few opportunities out there right now that he is trying to jump on.

But it's scary. One of the jobs is in a city quite far from us. If he got this job, we would have to eventually move. He could do the commute for a while but not forever. I know I'm putting the cart before the horse, but I've spent a solid 5 years establishing myself as one of the "best" floral designers in a certain region. If we moved to another region, I'd have to start all over again somewhere else. I dunno. I'm trying to stay calm.

In other news, we had a little birthday party for Baby Boy on Saturday out at grandma and grandpa's house (Mister's parents). BB's birthday is actually this coming Thursday, but next weekend won't work for a party because 1. I have an event on Saturday, and 2. Sunday is Easter.
The party was so nice, and we had a great time, despite the fact that BB had the runs all day. Poor kid. He seems to have picked up another stomach bug. He's still sick today and I don't know what I'm gonna do if I can't bring him to daycare tomorrow. I have SO much work to do! As usual, I'm feeling overwhelmed. And, with my husband being virtually GONE during the week, (in to work v. early, back v. late) I'm feeling strained. The house is a DISASTER. Ah, well. (Deep breath). This too shall pass. My husband keeps reminding me that once he gets a new, better paying job, we can finally afford a house cleaner. That will be awesome. A huge load off of me. Running a business, taking care of a child, and running the household are more than I can handle most days. I am amazed by all those women out there that do it all. Well, I do it all, I just don't do it all well simultaneously.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Life, Love and the Pursuit of Happiness

Wowee. It seems like there is just no time for blogging these days. I've been really busy with work stuff. And, there's other stuff going on, too (which I'll get to in a minute) causing my husband to like, neeever be at home (ok I'm exaggerating a little). But seriously, he's been leaving early and getting home late most nights (nine, ten o'clock at night), and that means I've been getting a small slice of what life would be like as a single mom. Meaning, I have no time to blog, folks! (Props to all the single moms out there. I know you are rolling your eyes and saying, 'you have nooo idea.' I know).

I've been up and down a lot lately. But at the moment, pretty ok. I saw a friend of mine last week for lunch. A friend I haven't seen in over a year(!) She is my one and only, in real life friend, who is dealing with infertility issues. She is younger than me by about 5 years, but she and her hubby have been trying for something like 6 years. She just came through a failed IVF cycle. It was so good to see her and talk IF stuff. What a relief to have someone who understands. I really think it IS the best form of therapy. We REALLY need to get together more often!

On the whole, I've been thinking a lot about my life. Having to take a forced break from treatment has been not a totally bad thing. I know we had just gotten started, in a way, with the whole treatment thing, but stopping and having to 'soak' in the reality of my life has brought on some interesting thoughts, or realizations.

Okay, so I am not one of those "Life gives you lemons, go and make lemonade!" people. But, I am pretty sick of being so incredibly sad all the time. I've come to realize that this IS my life. I AM infertile, and I've had to think, what will my life be like if nothing ever changes? Yes, getting pregnant is something I've wanted terribly for so long, but, what if it just never happens? Am I going to let my life slip by me and be miserable the whole entire time? Baby Boy is almost one year old, and I have spent the entire first year of his life obsessing over trying to get pregnant. I guess I thought that somehow when our adoption happened so unexpectedly quickly, that our luck in general had changed, and the floodgates would open, and that somehow things would change for us in the fertility department, too, and our cup would overflow with babies and good fortune. And when that didn't happen, I got frustrated and sad. (Though after already going through 3 years of infertility--now almost four--frustration and sadness were nothing new, but you know what I mean.) So, with infertility having such a tight grip on my heart, mind and soul, I have not been able to fully enjoy the life, the gifts, the miracles that are here now. Namely, my son.

Don't get me wrong. I have been loooooving being a mom. And, I don't think it's possible to love this kid anymore than I do. But, when you're basically depressed, it's hard to really let the joy in. You can't really fall down on the ground and roll around in the joy of the present moment, if you get my gist.

Yesterday I was doing something silly and Baby Boy was giggling. He has the best laugh. And it made me laugh, and my heart just filled up. And, for the first time in a long time, I could really feel it--joy. And I thought, hey. I've been missing this. It was there--it was just buffered and diluted by all the sadness. By all the looking over the fence to see what the other side was doing. By all the wishing things were different. That's just wrong. And I thought, I've been missing out!

That's not to say that we don't still want another baby one day. And yes, I would STILL really like it if I could be pregnant. We would like to try more fertility treatments. And that brings me to the other stuff, in a round about way, that's been going on. See if you can follow along.

After two, going on three years, my husband and his business partner have decided to disband their business. They have put in a lot of effort, talent, thought, and hard work. They have had many successes. But, to put it bluntly, the money is just not there. Mister and his business partner aren't making any more than what they are having to pay some of their employees. And things aren't changing. As you know, Mister and I have money problems, and he decided that he would like to be in a better place, financially, at this point in his life. While we are not super materialistic people, it's hard not to notice when all of your friends have bigger houses, nicer cars, and less debt and bigger savings accounts than you do. And less worry. Two self-employed people in one marriage is, well, scary. Less so when you are child free. But, with a kid? Super scary. And, between the two of us (Mister and I) he is the one who, if he went out and got a job working for the Man, would bring home a bigger paycheck. So, that is what is going to happen. In a couple of months or so, Mister will be (hopefully) bringing home a bigger paycheck. And....hopefully....benefits. Which could mean, if we're lucky, no more of this self-pay, crappy health insurance that doesn't cover ANYTHING. Which could mean, again, if we're super lucky, some ability to get back on the Treatment bandwagon.

In the meantime, this transition is scary. Change, and the unknown are always so. And, until the business is properly shut down, Mister is going to be working like a maniac to try and wrap up projects, and to bring in as much money as possible, to pay off all their existing operating debt. And, they are going to have to start laying off employees, so there will be fewer people to do all that work. So, lots of early mornings, late nights, and stress. And, on the weekends, he will continue to work on his resume, and read all sorts of books (the sort I could never understand one paragraph of) to make sure he is up to date in his field of expertise, so that he will sound very smart during interviews. It is a lot of pressure on him, and I am feeling for him. But is is a lot of pressure on our family on the whole. It means some added responsibility on me, to hold down the fort, so to speak, while he is either at work, on the computer, or has his nose in a book about programming or some such.

And, so. I'm trying to focus on the here and now. My life. What do I want? Who's in charge here? Oh yeah, ME! (And God). So, it's decision-making time. What is going to make me happy? I mean, what, that I actually have some control over, will make me happy? This shake-up with my husband's career has made me start thinking about my own business, and how it relates to my happiness in general. There are good things about it. A lot of good things. But there are a lot of things that suck my energy and don't bring me joy. I am looking for more joy out of this life. And, you don't get what you won't give to yourself.

The wheels are spinning...stay tuned.

Monday, March 3, 2008

I Love Mondays

Mondays are typically my day off. Being in the business I am in, I normally work on weekends. Even when I don't have as many events (like now, during the winter season) there are always clients who want to meet on weekends. This weekend in particular was stacked up with meetings. (It's a good thing, but I didn't get to spend any time with my family over the weekend). I also helped out a fellow florist friend on Saturday afternoon (some one I used to work for quite a lot while I was getting my company off the ground) to earn a few extra bucks. It was fun to just work and not be responsible for the success or failure of an entire event. If that makes sense.

Anyway, Mondays are nice because I get to stay at home. I try not to do any work stuff (though I can't help checking my work email). I allow myself to be lazy if I want. And, I get to spend the whole day with Baby Boy. I get him all to myself. It's great. So, for me, "having a case of the Mondays" is something completely different.

So, on to the news: Just found out the other day from Big Event Planner that they booked an event in St. Thomas (Virgin Islands) with Big Corporate Client. And, Big Corporate Client approved the bid that Big Event Planner put in to bring along their "own" floral designer to handle all the floral work for the event. Guess who that floral designer is?? ME!!!!!! So, I get to spend AN ENTIRE WEEK in St. Thomas, all expenses paid, and, I get paid for my work, as well. In addition I get to bring an assistant, and I am taking along my dear friend (and wonderful floral designer) Susan. She has worked for me on and off for years, and even though she is now living in PA she came out to California to work with me for 2 months this past fall, and then went back to PA. So, I miss her a lot, and it will be so great to be able to hang with her. Of course, we will have to work, but I know there will be down time as well. And, heck, I'll be in paradise! Yeeaaah! Mister might also try to tag along (on our dime, of course) if we can swing it financially and logistically. My in-laws are already on-board for watching Baby Boy for the week if that happens. This is all happening in mid-May. I feel so fortunate, and so excited. I really needed this. Yippee!!!

I'll have to make this post another shortie, because it sounds like BB is waking up from his nap. I have loads of other stuff I want to write about, so hopefully I'll get to soon.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

A Quickie

Just wanted to write a quickie to say thanks for all the supportive comments. Aw, shucks, you guys!!

Things are looking a little better. I seem to be feeling better day by day. I don't know, guess I really hit a low point. But I seem to be inching my way up. I've had a lot of feelings/thoughts/"aha moments" I'd like to write about, but will have to wait.

Very busy with work at the moment, I've got my whole weekend jammed up with client meetings. Bad side of that is I don't get to see my family too much, and I don't have any time to blog (hee, hee). Good side is that it potentially means more bookings=more work=more income.

Also got some VERY good news the other day (no, not that.) But I want to tell y'all about it when I have more time to write. It involves travel. Woo-hoo!

Have a great weekend, and I'll hopefully be checking in with all my bloggie friends come Monday when I get a day off.