Our journey through infertility, failed adoptions and now parenthood through the miracle of embryo adoption/donation.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Highlights of 2011

My last post lamented the bad of this year, but in truth there was much good as well. So I thought it only right to go over the good of 2011 as well.

*Celebrated our 13th anniversary.

*DH survived sepsis, a horrible infection and an allergic reaction. All of which could have killed him.

*I heard a word that I never thought I would hear: Momma

*Good friends of ours are pregnant via IVF and have had a terrific pregnancy.

*Other good friends of ours moved near us.

*Maddie celebrated her first birthday.

But I am still looking forward to 2012!!! ;-)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

ready for 2012

I am so over 2011. I will be glad when it ends. It has been a very stressful year, one that I hope to leave behind and start fresh in January. This year has been one of financial setbacks, health issues for Maddie and hubby, and just......hectic! Don't get me wrong, I have much to be thankful for and truly I am! But I have not had the time to enjoy my blessings. I feel like I rarely have to just sit. Yet I never get anything done. Go figure! I don't even know how that is possible.

Next year looks to be crazy too, but I am prepared for it. Hubby is coming off the road (travels for his job) and will be working from home. This will mean a pay cut and perhaps more financial stress, but it is necessary. We needs to get his health and weight under control and doing that on the road is impossible. He has a large lymphodema on his leg (caused from 8 bouts of cellulitis) and it has grown to the point that walking is becoming a challenge. We have been seeking help from medical professionals for years now regarding it and have yet to find answers. We think that we have found some answers in the form of lymphatic therapy as well as a new integrative doctor that does both traditional and natural medicine. She is an M.D. and not just a quack that read a few books and calls herself a doctor. We are excited to meet her this Friday and be able to get started on living a healthier life.

Next year I am also going to get organized. When I worked I was borderline OCD about my workspace. Okay, who I am I kidding? I was a total control freak and completely OCD about things. If you moved something I went all psycho on you! Yet at home I don't have that same dedication. And it drives me crazy that my house never looks clean or organized enough. I don't want perfection, just de-cluttering and a spring cleaning.

While I am ready for 2012, I am also hoping that it passes quickly. Most of time I am wishing that time would slow down because Maddie is growing so quickly. But I also want another baby and it looks like it will be 2013 before we can try again. This makes me sad. But it is what is best for us right now. That may change but for now our ttc plans are on hold for another year. When I will be nearing 36. Gulp! Did I just say that?!?!? Man, that sounds old! LOL

So what are your plans for 2012?

In Loving Memory


Today we said goodbye to an amazing woman, my mother in law, Terry. She was 81 and one of the godliest women I have ever known. She was a prayer warrior like no other. She had a true walk with God. She had Alzheimer's and dementia and has been declining over the past 4 years. Other than that she was completely healthy. The past week she began to seriously decline and they called the family in last night. We are 10 hours away and could not make it there so we FaceTimed her. My hubby was born when my MIL was 39 and they were very, very close. She had not been responsive for several days but last night had asked for my hubby by name. She never opened her eyes but she did talk to hubby last night and it will be a precious memory. He told her that it was okay to go home. And she did just that. As we say goodbye heaven says hello. She will definitely be missed.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

My feelings about meeting my father

A few posts ago I wrote about my father contacting me asking if we could meet. The first time since he and my mom separated when I was a year old. I reluctantly agreed to meet him but not until after Christmas. I just could not deal with the emotions of it all before that. Now it is after Christmas and I am not sure that I am ready. Not sure if I will ever be truly ready.

As a little girl I always wondered about my father. My step dad loved me like his own and I adored him, yet I knew that he was not my "real dad". He and my mom got together when I was two and I called him Gary until my sister was born almost 2 years later and then he became Dad. I must have always remembered that because no one ever made me feel like I was a step child. Ever! But there was something in me that was curious about the man whose DNA I shared. When I was a teen I located him and called him. He refused to answer the phone at first but finally spoke to me. I was hurt and decided I was not going to do it again. About 10 years later I tried again. I am not sure why, I just......wondered about him. This time he talked to me but there was no connection, no warm and fuzzy feelings. My last contact with him was 2 years ago when I needed some medical information. It was done via Facebook messages and it was cool and impersonal, which was fine with me. At that time I thought it was over and that part of my life was over.

Now he decides that he wants to meet me.

There is a part of me that is curious about him. My step dad left when I was 11 years old and between the two of them I have a hard time trusting men. There will always be a scared little inside of me wanting her daddy's love. That will never go away. That little girl scares me. She is sad and lonely. The rest of my life is fulfilled, all but this part. It is hard for me not to get my hopes up that this man will be the daddy I longed for. Yet I know that he won't be. He never has been and never will be. Yet the longing is still there.

When I decided to meet him I also determined that he would not hurt me. Yet, hurt I am. But it is my fault for having expectations. We corresponded for a few days and he was prompt in responding every time. He also commented on Facebook a few times which he has never done. So on Christmas day I thought for sure that he would wish me a Merry Christmas. But all was silent. And I was hurt. It shows me that this will not be easy for me to do. I will still meet him, but I will have to do a lot of praying to prepare my heart for this.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Maddie loves Elmo!

Last week I decided to get Maddie the Let's Rock Elmo. I wasn't planning on it but she saw it in the store and loved it. Then I learned that it was on sale for $30 and I had a 25% off coupon and they were giving a $10 gift card with purchase. Being the frugal gal that I am I could not pass up the deal. It took a few hours, 3 stores and several phone calls but I finally found one. The last one within a 30 mile radius too. And the hunt was worth it. Maddie loves her new Elmo!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas!

This is a photo of a photo so not the best, but you can still see all of her cuteness. She loved meeting Santa! I was glad as most kiddos her age tend to cry. We ran out of time and did not get actual Christmas photos so this is it. Just wanted to share!


Thinking of those that are hurting

For 11 years I had a love/hate relationship with the holidays. I loved getting together with family, Christmas lights and music, the whole spirit of the season! Yet it was all a reminder of what was missing in my life. My arms always felt emptier, the burden heavier. Each year it became more and more difficult to enjoy the holidays and I know that for many you are feeling this right now. Please know that I am thinking of you and asking God to lift your burden. I am also asking that 2012 be a year of many miracles.

If you are on the "other side" of infertility this year please take a moment to encourage one that is still waiting. If you pray, lift them up in prayer asking God for strength for them during this season. Just take a moment to tell them that you love them.

Monday, December 19, 2011

meeting my bio dad

I have never met my father. My mom was from a crazy abusive home and she wanted to escape and thought that getting pregnant and married would solve her problems. At 16 she did just that. I was born when my mom was 16 and my dad was 18. My mom grew up pretty quick once I cam along but my father did not. He was a selfish, spoiled child and it was the 70s and he fully embraced the era. He drank and did drugs and when high was not a nice man. My mom got tired of the drug houses they stayed in and not having anything to eat because he spent all of the money on booze so she left. He refused to give her anything, not even her clothes or my baby stuff, but she left anyway. It was difficult but with little more than the clothes on her back she took me and went back home. She saved up money for a year and moved out on her own. She later met my step dad and that is the man that I called dad until he passed away a few months ago.

My father never tried to have any contact with me through the years. It hurt a lot as a child but I have since forgiven him and moved on. I tried contacting him when I was a teen and once when I was about 26 years old. We spoke but it was not very warm and fuzzy. Then about 2 years ago her friended me on Facebook and I accepted but he never initiated any contact other than that. I finally messaged him some health questions right before Maddie was born and he responded but it was rather stilted and formal.

The other day I posted Maddie's Santa photo on FB and he commented and stated then that he wanted to meet me and Maddie and that he had been afraid to contact me until not. Well, I call BS on that one! He has had ample opportunity, all initiated by me, to talk to me but he chose not to. I was irritated that he did this on my public page and not a private message. My mom hates this man and here it is for all to see. I responded in a private message asking him "why now?". He claims that his health is not good and while he can't change the past he wants me to forgive him and give him a chance. I have decided to meet him, but I am honestly not looking for a dad. Maddie could use a grandpa but I don't need him as a dad. He had his chance and blew it. I do forgive him but I won't allow him to hurt me again. I have a lot of feeling and emotions over this whole situation but I won't post it now. I hate when people have uber long posts so I will refrain from doing so and will save it for another post.

Please pray for me as I meet him. I am nervous and a bit scared. I hate the unknown!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

adding to the misconception

We have all, at one time or another, been on the receiving end of the comment "just adopt". I have heard it many times over the years and always from very fertile people. I recently read it on a parenting forum discussing IVF. Many women came out and posted about the absurdity of the comment. The whole thing made me wonder why we have this completely insane view that adoption is easy. Why do people toss it around like it is fast, easy and inexpensive? I realize that if you have never actually researched it you may not understand just how complex and expensive it can be, but do people really assume that it just costs a few thousand dollars? Do they think that there are hundreds of babies waiting to be adopted? Adoption is a wonderful thing, but it is sad as well. While it is a great option for infertile couples there is a loss involved for the child and the mother. Adoption is in no way 'easy". So why do people think that it is?

Today I was watching the last 2 episodes of King of Q.ueens. I love this show! It reminds me so much of me and hubby, though I am not quite as thin and hot as Carrie is. Almost, but not quite! ;-) In earlier episodes they suffer a miscarriage and then the inability to conceive which endeared the show to me even more. But the last episodes ruin it all for me. They decide to adopt from China and within a week or two they are matched with a 4 day old baby and are on a plane to pick her up. While there they learn that Carrie is pregnant. All wrapped up in a nice little package. The inaccuracy is outlandish. In what reality is anyone ever matched in an international adoption in just a few weeks? And getting a 4 day old newborn? Not possible! While I can overlook the predictable pregnancy after adoption I cannot the fallacy of the adoption scenario. Yes, I know that it is TV show and that everything happens quickly, but they could have made it more believable. Why not a 6 month old baby? Why not wait a few months? Just give me something believable if not accurate.

While I do not "blame" TV for the flippancy in which adoption is tossed around I do think that they could help educate people on just how complicated that adoption really is. Or if not, then just leave it alone. There is no need to perpetuate the myths that are already out there. Maybe if they showed adoption in a more true light people would begin to see how "just adopt" is not something to throw around to infertile couples.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Two years later.....

It is hard to believe that Maddie was just a tiny little snowflake, waiting in a freezer. It was 2 years ago today I got the first positive pregnancy test I have ever seen. It was the first of many. I took nine that week!! After many, many, many negatives my brain just could not compute that I was seeing a plus sign. I used a 2 line one, a plus sign one and a digital one just to be certain. And sure enough, it was true. We were really having a baby!

Two years have since passed our little embryo is 2 1/2 feet tall and climbing on everything! I still marvel at our little miracle. At times I have a hard time believing that she is really ours. Though it took us 12 years to get here the past 2 years have made up for it!



Friday, December 9, 2011

Hubby is Home!!

After a week in the hospital hubby is finally home! My last post told of his leg infection that sent him to the ER where they admitted him. They finally determined that the infection was not in his blood as originally thought but it did go through his leg all of the way to his muscle. It was because of this that they had to keep switching his antibiotics to find one that would fight this severe of an infection but also not raise his muscle enzymes any more than the infection was doing. So today they released him with an RX for an oral antibiotic and when we went pick it up it was our highest copay. I knew that it must have been an expensive drug as we rarely have to pay our highest copay. I later looked at the paperwork and the retail cost was......wait for it.......are you ready? For a 2 week supply, 28 little pills, it was two thousand, nine hundred and ten dollars. Yes, you read that right! Praise God for good insurance! We have 4 copays: $10, $25, $45 and there is a 40% one that I am not really sure what it is for as we have never had to use that one. Had it been 40% we would have been a heap of trouble as we could not afford over $1000 for the RX. And this is not the full RX as our insurance denied the full amount. So we return to the specialist after the 2 weeks to see if he needs more or not at that time.

This experience made me so thankful for having insurance. We went 6 years without it and it was scary. However, it also made me realize just how ridiculous our health care system is. Why in the world would any antibiotic cost this much?? It is just wrong! But I am thankful that some drug company makes it as it has saved hubby's life.

I am so glad to have hubby home again as is Maddie. It has been a super long week and I am glad that it is over. Thank you for all of the prayers!!

Monday, December 5, 2011

thought I was losing him

The past few days have been....interesting to say the least. My hubby has been hospitalized and last night I thought that we were going to lose him. It all started Saturday night when he started running a fever so he took some aspirin and went to bed. At 1:30 am he woke up with fever and chills. I got him some Tylenol this time and something, God I am sure, prompted me to find the thermometer. His temp was 103.9. While he laid there waiting for the meds to kick in I grabbed my phone and sought Dr. Google's advice. I decided to give it an hour and see if the meds brought the fever down and it did, but only to 102.6. During this time I checked his leg. Several years ago he had 8 rounds of cellulitis (skin infection) on his leg. Though it has been 6 years since his last bought of it we thought it may have it again. I saw no obvious signs but was still concerned.

Sunday morning I decided that he needed to go to Urgent Care. Even though he was not exhibiting symptoms of cellulitis other than fever I feared that he still had the infection. His previous infections have been bad and he was hospitalized twice, once almost dying from an allergic reaction to his antibiotics. This was not something to play around with. We planned to go to Urgent Care, get some antibiotics, and go home to heal. Instead we were sent to the ER and then admitted to the hospital. They had run some blood work and it showed that the infection was in his bloodstream and they feared that he was septic.

Last night his fever went from 99 to 103 in less than an hour. They maxed him out on Tylenol (can't give him ibuprofen as he is allergic) and placed a cooling blanket at 60 degrees on him and placed ice packs under his arms and his groin. His fever refused to come down and his breathing was very rapid (40 breaths per min) and his BP was not good (159/52) and his HR was 118. This lasted for 4 hours and the staff was concerned and discussing placing him in the ICU. Thankfully he stabilized and has been doing much better today. But these hours last night were very, very scary!! I honestly thought that things were taking a turn for the worse. He was borderline on his vitals and they kept getting worse. And then it all just.....changed. If I didn't believe in the power of prayer before, I do know! I know that God was there and He changed the course that hubby's body was taking.

Today I picked Maddie up from a friend's house and just hugged her, thankful that her father is still here and able to watch her grow up. He may not have been close to death but the whole situation was dangerous and anything could have happened. Now that the danger has passed it has hit me just how bad he was last night. I want Maddie to know her daddy and the thoughts of losing him just terrified me. Today I am thanking God that he is okay.

Please continue to pray for his recovery. We are hoping that he will be able to come home on Wednesday. Leaving Maddie every day is difficult and she is now pushing me away and it hurts my mommy heart. I just want my little family all safe at home.