A Look Back and a Plan for the New Year

The last few years have been very difficult. Holidays like Christmas, New Year’s Eve, birthdays, Mother’s Day even Halloween always remind me of all that I have lost.  For years now I have suffered through “the worst Christmas ever”, only to have it trumped the following year.  On New Year’s Eves I have put the pain of the previous year behind  looking forward to a “fresh start” only to face another difficult series of events.

Christmas was hard.  It’s impossible not to think about what might have been, what Christmas in my home SHOULD be like, the celebrations that are happening  in the homes of my friends and their new families and where we could have gone on vacation if we hadn’t have spent our money on a failed IVF.  I got through it.  There were tears, arguments with my husband and loneliness but I got through it.

I got through New Year’s Eve too.  I thought a lot about last year’s New Year’s Eve reflection.   I knew last year that 2013 wasn’t going to be a good one.  I wasn’t being pessimistic, I was being realistic.  This year is a little different.  This year there is actually a chance.   Not a guarantee, but at least a chance.

My husband and I were approved for adoption over a year ago.  The original estimated wait time was 18 months.  The numbers have gone up and down since then, but it does mean that REALISTICALLY, we could be matched with our child this year.

As frustrating as the fertility treatment fails were, I’m glad that I did them.  I can say with confidence that I tried “all the ways“.  It doesn’t mean that I’m not mourning the loss of that potential biological child, but it does mean that I need to shift my focus towards the adoption.

Unlike fertility treatments, focusing on adoption alone feels much less productive.  There are no calendars or early morning appointments.  I had to consider what “focusing on adoption” meant to me.    I think it’s going to mean the following:

  • getting into shape to prepare to run after a potentially terrified running toddler (I’ve heard stories about this from other adoptive parents)
  • taking care of myself, continuing acupuncture and mourning my losses so that I’m ready to be a happy parent
  • continuing and possibly increasing my involvement with the adoption agency. ( I currently write for the newsletter)
  • saving money so if I get my referral the trip to Vietnam and time off work won’t put me into enormous debt.

That’s a start. If the adoption doesn’t go through this year, none of those actions will be a waste. They’re all positive things.

My husband wants me to start considering that our life may not include children.  I’m not ready to think about that.  For now I have to assume that I will have a child. I just “can’t choose when“.

 

 

Now what?

Just a quick update because it’s still a little raw to write about.  My pregnancy test was negative.  IVF didn’t work for me.  It feels like a loss in so many ways.  My heart is broken.  Now I need to figure out how to move on.  Today I have an acupuncture appointment and lunch with a great friend planned.   I guess that’s a start.

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Prepping (grumbly tummy and sobbing at acupuncture)

I have an appointment to set up my IVF protocol on October 4th.  In keeping with my summer resolution, I’m doing all I can to prepare.  I’m working on getting healthy and I’ve started going to acupuncture.  All a part of feeling “productive” I guess.

I have friends that have gone through IVF (some successful).  Several of them went on a “fertility diet” to prepare for the procedure.  No dairy, no soy, no wheat, no sugar, no alcohol, no caffeine.

The alcohol and caffeine are the easiest to cut it out.  I feel like I’ve been pregnant so often in the last couple of years that these have been cut out most of the time.  Dairy, soy, wheat and sugar…that’s another story!  I love bread. I love bread with cheese on it!

I’m not going to go 100% on the fertility diet.  I think that would be setting myself up for failure.  I also think it would take away from some of the joys I do experience in my life. My husband works long hours (this month he’s on nights and we don’t even cross paths until the weekend).  Our time together is important.  We like to go out to restaurants. Cutting out all of those foods all the time would mean cutting out the restaurants (or at least the good ones).  I have to find the balance, so I’m cutting those things out Monday to Friday and doing my best to cut down on the weekends.  Did I mention I’m also a vegetarian and my kitchen is under construction?? It hasn’t been easy, but I’m managing (grumble grumble).

My favourite part of preparing has been the acupuncture.  This is something I have always wanted to try. The only thing that held me back was the expense. It’s still expensive, but considering the cost of IVF I want to do everything that will work in my favour.

The Naturopath that I’m seeing does a combination of acupuncture and CranioSacral therapy. I didn’t even know what CranioSacral therapy was before I started and admittedly I was kind of a sceptic.

On my first visit, after a full medical check up, the doctor placed the acupuncture needles in me.  For the CranioSacral therapy, she told me that she’d be placing her hands on parts of my body.  At first I didn’t feel anything beyond good old fashioned relaxation.  She held my feet, she held my legs, she held my arms.  Then she placed her hands on my hips.  I was instantly overcome with sadness.  A knot formed in my throat, tears rushed down my face. It took everything in my power not to full-out sob.  Next, she placed her hands on my shoulders, back to relaxation. The tears were gone. Then she placed her hands under my head, lifting and supporting it  – the sobbing started right back up.  To clarify – I’ve had my head held before, I get my hair washed at the salon – this was different, I can’t even explain it.  When it was over I felt that a huge weight had been lifted.  I feel like I should have done this ages ago especially after the losses.  This might be exactly what I needed to help me let go.

I have gone back once more since the first visit and had a very similar reaction.  Relaxed most of the time and this time the tears started when she held my pelvis.  It’s no coincidence that these areas are what are bring the sadness forward. Time for me to heal.