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“.

 

 

How to Dress for Winter Cycle Monitoring (add to my list of things I wish I wasn’t an expert in)

In order to investigate the mystery of the immature eggs, I’ve been doing a fair amount of cycle monitoring.  At my clinic, this means going in early mornings before work for blood tests and ultrasounds (internal and external).

I’m finding that the blood test/ultrasound combination can make for tricky wardrobe considerations.  Here’s what I’ve come up with:

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A.  A short sleeve dress or tunic.  This allows me to walk around with my knickers off without walking around naked… I guess I’m not that European.  I don’t have to walk that far, but sometimes the distance from “Get Your Pants Off Chair” to “Stirrup Bed With Courtesy Paper Sheet” seems really far. The short sleeves allow for easy blood testing.  Pockets are a bonus.  It’s somewhere to keep my phone  – I use my phone to do crossword puzzles as a distraction while I wait for my turn with a full bladder.

B. Tights (leggings even better but mine were in the wash).  Easy on, easy off.  No zips or buttons.

C. Slip on boots or shoes.  Why waste time with laces or buckles? Let’s get this over with!

D. Cardigan.  Short sleeves make blood testing easier, but it’s chilly in the winter!

E. Headphones.  I’ve added this accessory since my first December visit.  Someone thought it would be a good idea to pump Christmas music all through the clinic (even the ultrasound rooms). I’m so not in the mood for Christmas.

And THAT my friends is how to dress for cycle monitoring in the winter. Now let’s take care of these immature eggs!