As Popeye Would Say…

August 31, 2009

So I need to put this out there in the universe (who has been so gracious and kind to me these past 18 months…that’s sarcasm, just in case you were wondering…):  I can only do what I can do, you can accept that or not.

This is in response to a teeny, tiny, select group of people who seem to think that after 18 months, I should be fully capable of attending a baby shower, holding an infant or, for that matter, being in the same room with an infant.  I can’t talk about your perfect pregnancy in detail, I can’t look at ultrasound pictures.  I can ask you polite questions, I can watch your tummy get bigger, I can cheer you on when your due date arrives.  I can only do what I can do.

I need you to understand that it’s not jealousy.  I want another baby badly, I think I’ve made that clear on this blog and it’s very aggravating when people stand upwind of their husbands and get pregnant.  But I also still miss my boys.  I know you think that I should be okay after 18 months but I’m n0t.  I will be eventually but I’m not there yet.  Your ultrasound pictures? They bring up that day in the hospital when the Dr. S said, “I’m so sorry but I’m not seeing a heartbeat.”  You can’t imagine that pain and I hope you never find out.  That’s what I see when you email me your ultrasound pictures.  Your baby shower?  I can’t do it.  It’s not that I never got one.  I just can’t go and see all the tiny little outfits that my boys might have worn but now, never will.  If I hide your profile on Facebook because I can’t read any more posts about how sick/cranky/tired/whatever you are because you’re pregnant, it’s only because it would never occur to me to complain about something I loved, miss and desperately want back.  I rubbed my tummy, I sang to them, I gleefully looked forward to morning sickness because that meant I was pregnant.

I am what I am right now and I can only do what I can do. 

You can take or leave it.

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For those of you who don’t know, The Secret Garden site is for parents of lost babies to go and write about their children.  Oftentimes, we don’t get to talk about some of the things we want to because we don’t have anyone to talk about them to.  This month’s Meeting topic was something that Hubby and I thought about on Sunday in anticipation of starting the adoption process.

If you created a bedroom for your baby tell us what it was like.

We had planned to have the boys stay in our room until they were older.  Our bedroom at that house was huge so we thought a “co-sleeper” on each side of the bed would be perfect.  Then Baby A died.  We decided that we would turn the corner of our bedroom into a nursery for Baby B.  We got a crib and a changing table that Hubby put together for me to look at while on bedrest.

Did you have it ready for them before they were born?

Yes, eventhough Baby B died at 22 weeks, his changing table and crib were ready, his Winnie the Pooh pictures and decorations were on the walls.  I had folded all of his nightgowns, onsies and diapers into baskets….I thought I had more time to make up his bed and I had a baby shower coming up so I didn’t buy any linens…

If so how did you cope coming home to it without your baby?

Not well.  I came home to look at an empty crib.  I remember laying down on the bed, in front of the empty crib and changing table and sobbing to the point that I leaned over and threw up in the trash can.

Did you pack it all away?

I had to.  We were in the process of buying a house when Baby B died.  We closed on the house a week after we lost him so all of the “nursery” had to be packed up and moved with no baby.  I made Hubby take down and move the furniture and the car seat and all of their baby clothes to the new house.  I didn’t want the movers to touch any of their things.  It wasn’t rational but I didn’t care.  I took one night when Hubby was at karate class and packed all of the onsies and nightgowns people had bought me or given me, the tiny little Tevas that Hubby at gotten me to cheer me up when A died into storage bins.  I cried so hard and so loud that my neighbor heard me and came over and held me for an hour. 

What is your baby’s room now?

In the new house, we put all of the baby stuff into what will be the nursery and shut the door.  We bought the house 18 months ago and I haven’t been in there since.

If you are trying to conceive again, or are pregnant again how do you feel about setting up another room before your baby is born?

Since we have been talking about adoption, I know that we have to have a place for our baby to come home to so I know it will have to be done for the homestudy.  I worry about that.  How am I going to face walking in there and looking at things that should have been the boys?  I’m hoping that I can call on friends and family to make it something fun and joyful.  I think with more people there, I won’t be tempted to look at the sadness but focus on the happiness.  Since, we are also still actively trying, I have also thought about that.  I have it in my head that I won’t put a nursery together until I get passed 22 weeks.  Then the baby will have lived longer then his/her brothers.  I don’t think that’s reasonable because I know I will be excited about another baby and want to make up a nursery since I really didn’t get to that for the boys but I know that I will be terrified too.  I don’t know.  I guess I just want to find out…

Honest Scrap Award!

August 27, 2009

Honest+Scrap
I have been given the Honest Scrap Award by Amy at Surviving the Day! Thanks! 

1. Choose a minimum of 7 blogs who you find brilliant in content or design.

2. Show the 7 winners’ names and links on your blog, and leave a comment informing them that they have won the Honest Scrap award. 
 
Uninterrupted Prosperity http://kpfeifer.blogspot.com/
Diary of a Miracle http://diaryofamiracle.wordpress.com/
Diaries of a Jaded Heart http://diariesofajadedheart.wordpress.com/
Living Without Sophia and Ellie http://livingwithoutsophiaandellie.blogspot.com/
A Fifth Season http://afifthseason.blogspot.com/
Developmental Delays http://booferd.blogspot.com/
Baby Bound http://babybound.wordpress.com/
 
3. List at least 10 honest things about yourself.
 
Hmmmm…..this is tough.  I think I’m pretty honest on my blog but here are a couple of things you may not know about me that are not necessary related to losing the boys.
 
1. I go to bed really early if given the opportunity – seriously, like 7pm is not unusual for me.  I am not a great sleeper so if I feel like it’s going to happen, I go to bed.
2. I secretly wanted to be a medical examiner – actually still do but I can’t afford medical school along with adoption fees and law school loans.
3. I played a bunch of different musical instuments in high school but I don’t play anything now.  I would love to pick up the violin or mandolin.
4. I love reading menus – I was probably a chef in another life.  I like eating food, preparing food, presenting food.  I love to see what ingredients chefs have paired with each other and see if I can take those and make my own dish.  My love affair with food began at an early age because I was a vegetarian from age 9 to age 28 and I think I started cooking out of self-defense.
5. I was bullied in junior high school and it deeply effected the way that I view myself even today, nearly 15 years later.  I have little tolerance now for adults who make fun of other people, call them names, or attempt to bully others.
6. I was TERRIFIED of Big Bird as a child – there is something SERIOUSLY wrong with a 6 foot tall bird that likes children, why am I the only one who sees this?
7. I was almost kidnapped at the age of 9 while walking home from school.  A man in a white van tried to get me in his car and that little inner voice that police officers tell you about started screaming, “run!  run!  run!” and I did. 
8. I’m make the world’s best guacamole. Seriously. The world’s best. I would love to market it and make millions but don’t have a head for business.
9. My favorite job was working for the City of Los Angeles and I haven’t had a job since that I have liked as much.  I fear that I will never have another job that I enjoyed as much as that one and that I am stuck in a job I dislike.  I am convinced that other people are completely and totally satisfied with their careers and I am very jealous of that.
10. I got “forgotten” on a school bus when I was 6 years old – new driver drove right past my house and I was too shy to speak up so I just rode the bus around for about 2 hours until my frantic mother contacted the bus yard and they returned me home.
11. I look at my husband and think that I don’t deserve him.  I wonder why he married me and how I got so lucky.
12. I am truly terrified of two things – being homeless and not holding my own living baby.

Okay, Well, Maybe Not…

August 26, 2009

We got the information on adoption over the weekend.  The amount of money required was not horrific.  The problem is that we need SOOOO much up front to even get started (I think, I can’t really understand the whole “process” since the information packet seemed to be a mish/mash of flyers).  I think we need to hear what they say at the information session.  It’s a lot of money to swing upfront and I don’t think we can borrow from family members even with the promise of the tax credit to pay it back.  I applied for an increase in my Care Credit card but I think it was such a large amount over what I had for my Lasik, they were like, “oh hell no lady…”  I also applied for a Visa from the National Adoption Foundation but I heard from the bank folks downstairs that no one is getting any credit from anywhere so I shouldn’t be surprised if it was denied…and it was….great….

So now I am looking into “additional income sources” to build up the adoption fund – no people, not porn…I am a Reiki practitioner (this is a good blog that talks about Reiki if you care http://reikiblogger.com/).  I did it in college to make some extra money and that was when no one knew what yoga was, let alone Reiki.  Basically paid my sorority dues.  The more I think about it, the more I wonder if getting back to Reiki would help with my own healing.   Part of me is scared because every time I have done treatments on myself, I’ve cried a lot and had a lot of “backlash” (basically it’s the grief and sadness working it’s way out but it’s still very painful).  I’m chicken to work through some of the stuff I need to work through but I know there will be no healing without it.  If I were my own client, I would scold me but I do enough self-hating on my own so I won’t add that to the list.  Now, I just need to see if this type of thing will fly in a recession…

I also wussed out on the group therapy session that I was going to attend with http://ourbabyboy25.blogspot.com/  I couldn’t face standing up and saying, “Hi, I’m Martha, my twin boys died and I’m really screwed up….”  I couldn’t do it this month.  I’ll work up to next month.  My friend, F heard me laugh today, she said it was something she hadn’t heard in months….I realized, I really don’t do it that often anymore…I’m treating life like a river and I’m just floating down it without any expectations.  It’s a nice image but not really how I’m used to living.  I want to look forward to the future but I can’t – actually, more accurately – I don’t know how.

So I had a strange experience on Saturday – one that made me question some peoples’ parenting choices and also made me wonder when I do finally get another baby, if I will forget what it was like to want one so badly.

So to set the scene, my therapy dog, Quincy and I, volunteer at a local library as part of a program called, “Sit!  Stay!  Read!”  We spend an hour and a half to two hours with children who have difficulty reading and need extra practice.  The kids read to the dogs because the dogs have no judgment and it gets the kids excited about the library and books and reading.

We had been there about 30 minutes and had a couple of kids read to Quincy (he’s very popular because he’s big, shiny white and fluffy – he’s the canine version of a Panda bear and kids love him).  A girl, her sister and her mother approached us with their choices in books and ask to read to Quincy.  I said, “of course, he’d love that!”  Now Girl was about 11 years old, I think and Sister was probably 9 years old.  Girl pulled out “Multiple Bles8ings: Surviving to Thriving with Twins and Sextuplets” by Kate Gosselin.  I looked up for Mom and she appeared to have no problem with this…this book seemed a little odd for an 11 year old and a 9 year old but it’s not my place to comment on the book but I really, really wanted to.  Instead, I said that I thought it was a little long and did they have something else a little shorter.  Of course they did and pulled out “Eight Little Faces” by Kate Gosselin.  I said, “so, you guys are really interested in Jon and Kate Plus Eight?”  “Oh yes, we watched the show all the time, we are a little obsessed with them…”  Mom is shaking her head in agreement during this exchange…Alright, this seems like a strange show and not all that appropriate for pre-teen girls butl, I can’t argue that “Eight Little Faces” was too long because it’s essentially a picture book with a couple of words of encouragement from Kate Gosselin, so we got started….

Girl flipped to the middle and started reading about…..contentment.  Kate Gosselin was “writing” a quick, touchy-feely blurb about how difficult the first couple of months with the twins and then the sextuplets were and how she was now content with where she was in her life (granted people, this was way before Jon trucked off with someone else).  She was right where God wanted her to be and that if more people sought and found contentment, they would be as happy as her.  There was more to it but those words are what struck me….

I don’t have contentment.  I don’t have peace.  I feel like it’s easy for people who have what they most desire to say, if “you find contentment and peace, you will get what you want most.”  Now I don’t know Kate Gosselin’s struggle with infertility and I am sympathetic to that struggle but it seems to me, she more than anyone would know that contentment and peace don’t get you a baby.  She was lucky.  She could afford IVF.  All of her babies lived and are seemingly healthy.  She seems to have forgotten what it’s like to be on this side of the pregnancy test line.  And what’s worse, “writing” a book telling someone, “if you believe it, you will conceive” is just kind of mean…

I wonder, will I forget how bad this loss and this wait has hurt me when I finally get my baby?

Expanding Our Options

August 17, 2009

Unbeknownst to me, Hubby read my blog on Friday.  I know that sometimes he reads it just to see what I’m thinking because sometimes, when he asks, I’m not honest (and that’s not because I don’t want to be – I might not want to talk about it RIGHT then).

We had a long, frank discussion about adoption during date night.  He apparently had been thinking about it a lot.  He agrees with me that while we still want to carry a baby, we are ready to have a baby in our life now.  We want two (2)children and this process is taking a lot longer than I thought it would.  I haven’t been pregnant again in three (3) months (if you are new to my blog, read why that’s an issue).  I’m really worried that it’s not going to happen again, that something has occurred to make me not get pregnant anymore.

I’m also really worried about money but the information session we signed up for, seemed to make the financial aspect not as much of an issue.  Of course, I’m immediately skeptical of anything that seems to be good to be true. 

Maybe this will take the sense of urgency away and bring me a sense of peace that I am so badly lacking.  I’m still not willing to give up on carrying a child and I’m having an issue reconciling that.  I read somewhere that once you make the decision to adopt, you need time to grieve that loss of your fertility.  I don’t feel like that applies to me because we will continue to try and carry a child but I am feeling something in making this decision.  I don’t know if it’s sadness because I miss the boys or fear as to what this decision means for our future.  I’m worried that people will look at us differently as parents, family members will judge our child or that, in general, there will some stigma attached to him/her.  People said/say the cruelest things when I lost the babies….I have little faith they wouldn’t continue to suffer from “foot in mouth” syndrome.  But then I think about a friend who is the middle child of three and she’s the only adopted child in the family.  She’s happy, healthy and seemingly well adjusted.  Is she the norm or were her parents just extraordinary?  What if I’m not an extraordinary parent?

I’m also anxious about that first discussion with the adoption counselor.  How do I convey to someone that my children died but I’m not here to replace them?  Do I want to talk about the boys in our letter to the birthmother?  What do I say without sounding like I am playing the sympathy card?  Also, we would have to put the nursery back together and that makes me so anxious.  Hubby set up the nursery in our old house as a surprise for me – to help me feel better after losing Baby A and to have something to look at when I was home on bedrest.  The nursery was then dismantled because we were buying our house when Baby B died and never put back together because he never got to live in the new house.  All of the baby stuff is stacked in boxes and baskets in the “Nursery” with the door shut.  I haven’t been in there since we moved in 18 months ago.

Maybe I am just “borrowing trouble” – looking for things to worry about.  I just didn’t think this is where I would be in my life.  Never in a million years did I think I would be the lostbabymama to two little boys, pondering adoption.

Hope…

August 14, 2009

It is a funny thing, isn’t it?  I feel like all of you understood what I was trying to convey yesterday – I really appreciate that.  I want to be positive, I want to look forward to a future where I am pregnant for longer than a minute and it results in a live birth.  I want that, I really, really do.  However, my frustration is two-fold, I think. 

First, I have issues with this idea that with a positive outlook and a smile, I can somehow influence what will happen in this world.  If that were the case, I would have two living, breathing, healthy one year old boys and I don’t.  I begged, I pleaded, I made deals with the universe and the universe didn’t care – the boys died.  I had an army of people praying, being positive, hoping that my boys would be okay and it didn’t work.  I also understand that the therapist is not blaming me for not being pregnant because I don’t have a happy outlook on the whole situation.  I don’t feel like there is any judgment.  Any guilt or anger that I feel is self-made.  My friend F and I have talked about the idea that my grief could be acting as a barrier to getting pregnant again and I agree that it’s not healthy.

Second and I think, more prominent in my emotional psyche is the fact that I start to cry whenever anyone talks about Hubby and I having more children.   I think that the therapist is thinking that the only way to work through the grief is to hope for the one thing that is causing the grief – a baby.  Except that won’t work.  My grief is caused by the death of my boys.  I’m want a baby with my husband but that’s not the reason why I cry in the shower.  I cry because I want my boys and there is nothing anyone can do about that.  I’m have that moment every two year old has when she’s given a beautiful ice cream cone with two scoops and she drops it.  Even if you replace the cone, I’m still crying over the one I lost.  I want my boys.  It’s not rational and I don’t know what to do about that.  Maybe the therapist does.

And maybe this why when I look at adoption websites, I can’t take the next step.  Or maybe I’m not willing to give up on my fertility.  There is an information session in Raleigh on September 12th for an adoption organization that would work with us in terms of money.  I’ve thought about going but I haven’t talked to Hubby.  I can’t even think about pursuing that path without talking to him extensively.  I’m afraid it would look like I’m giving up.  I’m not.  I don’t want to give up.  I want to be pregnant again and have a baby with Hubby.  I don’t want my only memories of being pregnant and giving birth to be what they are now.  But practical me also knows that this is taking a long time and Hubby and I want 2 children.  I’m not getting any younger and those screwy eggs of mine, they aren’t getting any fresher. 

But that makes it sound like I want just any baby and I will feel better if I just get A BABY and all will be right with the world.  I know that’s not the case because when I look at the websites, I think about the boys AND they are what I want. 

I can’t move forward and I can’t get back what I’ve lost and I don’t know what to do.