Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Land of Crickets Update

So we are officially on a freeze with our adoption agency, who I have begun to refer to as Land of Crickets (as in our 23.5 months as a waiting family with them we heard nothing but crickets).  We received a formal letter acknowledging our freeze at the beginning of September.  September has been crazy with back to school, starting classes and my ongoing love/hate relationship with food and other pregnancy symptoms.  So it took us a few weeks to finally process the contents of the letter.  Once we processed; however, we were not happy (to say the least).


Since the beginning we have been told that our contract is for two years, but as long as we followed their advice they would continue to offer us 6 month extensions until we had completed an adoption.  Apparently becoming pregnant goes against their "advice" as our ability to be granted an extension appears to be in jeopardy (our family will no longer look as it did when we signed on 2 years ago--apparently in the Land of Crickets they do truly believe that time stands still).  To that end, they are only guaranteeing us the final month that was remaining on our contract.


This means that there is a very good chance that we have paid them tens of thousands of dollars to do NOTHING.  Legally, I will admit, the contract we signed does cover them as it notes they do not guarantee a placement and "changing your family characteristics “may result in a longer wait time or reduce client(s) opportunities for success.”.  However, in our defense we failed to realize that "reduced opportunities for success" somehow translated to termination of services. 


However, when viewing their practices ethically, morally, and as a Christian based organization I believe they are leaving themselves wide open for criticism and the potential for negative publicity should anyone choose to make these practices known.  The next step currently is that our coordinator is going to look into the possibility of the extension review committee meeting on us sooner rather than waiting on our freeze to end.  I certainly hope for their sake that they see the light so to speak otherwise I may be using some of my newly formed advocacy skills to attempt to terminate Land of Crickets from operating with future families in the state of NC and to ensure those looking to adopt through them are aware of our experience.  I may not have a lot of spare time on my hands, but if this ends in our contract being terminated I will make time.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Darn Germ-y Kids

Oh the joys of being an elementary school principal.  One of our kinders has been diagnosed with foot, hand and mouth disease.  

Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is an illness that causes sores in or on the mouth and on the hands, feet, and sometimes the buttocks and legs. The sores may be painful. The illness usually doesn't last more than a week or so.

Hand-foot-and-mouth disease is common in children but can also occur in adults. It can occur at any time of year but is most common in the summer and fall.

If a pregnant woman gets hand, foot and mouth disease, there’s normally no risk to the unborn baby, as complications are rare.

HFMD is rare in healthy adults, so the risk of infection during pregnancy is also very low.

However, if you develop hand, foot and mouth disease:

  • during the first three months of pregnancy – in very rare cases, this may result in miscarriage due to the high temperature (fever) in the mother
  • shortly before you give birth – the infection can be passed on to your baby


Her teacher is about 7 months pregnant and I am the supervisor of her class' lunch table at lunch each day:(.  

Her teacher was headed to the doctor this afternoon.  I called our new OB who called back and said I was not officially a patient until our appointment next Tuesday.  They suggested I call my RE.  I left a message, but didn't hear back.  I am hoping everyone's lack of helpfulness is a sign that it's NBD... 

Saturday, September 24, 2016

#FWP

Choice is a celebrated privilege we enjoy in our country.  However, I (facetiously) believe that choice has gone too far.  Take a look at these two cereal boxes:



                                  


One of these boxes makes me very happy and the other makes me very sad.  Now when you look at them very carefully there are three major differences:  red bowl instead of blue, blueberries instead of strawberries, and a darker brown shade of cereal in one than in the other.  However, when you just rolled out of bed to go to the store, you are 10 weeks pregnant and experiencing morning sickness, hungry for breakfast and only Life Cereal will do AND you are currently out of Life Cereal you may or may not be thinking clearly and rationally.

Already you have to filter through the obvious imposters:   Vanilla Life, Apple Cinammon Life and Pumpkin Spice Life (WTH?!?) and once you weed through those you (erroneously) think you are safe and grab a box that does not appear to have any scary flavor variations.  But when you get home and look more closely you realize how very wrong you are:(.  

You forge ahead anyway hoping that Cinnamon Multi Grain Life tastes the same, or hoping against hope, better than Original Life.   Sadly your hopes are quickly dashed and you begrudgingly eat the bowl of yucky cinnamon crap ruined with multigrain sludge.   

Sigh, how will my day every recover?!?!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Final Progesterone Shot

And not a moment too soon!  As a life long needle-a-phobic I am still amazed that I have survived these last nearly three months of daily injections (plus blood work), but here I am almost totally on the other side.

The progesterone shots have definitely been the toughest.  When we started mid July we used the bigger gauge needle so it would go faster.  It didn't hurt any worse during the actual injection, but we realized it was making the muscles really sore afterwards.  I also had some pretty decent sized lumps from the shots regardless of which needle we were using.  I followed the advice of the good people online and we used massage, walking and the heating pad (my favorite part!) afterward to try to minimize the lumps and the discomfort.  On a related side note I am almost all the way through the Office on Netflix for like the 10th time because I watch an episode while I am laying on the heating pad.   Misery loves comedy;).

After changing the needle gauge things got better.  There were still lumps, but very little soreness and despite the lumps there was plenty of real estate to work with so to speak.  The injection didn't hurt and there was minimal discomfort afterwards.

Then all of the sudden about 2-3 weeks ago out of the blue I started getting really sore again.  I checked with J.T. and he was still changing to the smaller needles, so that wasn't it.  I was also noticing that beyond the lumps my muscles were hardening, in protest I guess...they are ready to be done!

The last few days have been really rough.  Because everything is so hard the injections have started to hurt-a lot:(.  Also both sides are sore regardless of the location of the previous night's injection.

But that all ends tonight with one last final injection- hallelujah!

That still gives me 7 months or so to gear up for the mother of all needles-the epidural...gulp...

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Soooooooo tired

Sore boobs?  Check!

Food Aversions?  Check!

"Morning" Sickness?  Check (still nausea only, thankfully!)

Fatigue? Until Thursday the answer was-nope!  I thought I had dodged that bullet.  Then suddenly last Thursday--bam--if I am not actively doing something I am practically sleeping with my eyes open.

I have taken a nap each day since (I have taken more naps in the last two months than I have in the last two decades-I am not a napper).

I can't decide whether my classes are a blessing (because it is something else that keeps me busy) or a curse (trying to do classwork is soooo hard when I just want to sit and do nothing).

I have my own office; however, practice a literal open door policy and I think it would look weird if I started closing my door (and my blinds!) so I could nap.  Though if this keeps it up- I might be tempted:).

This week should be interesting...

Friday, September 16, 2016

More Happy Tears

Another successful ultrasound:).  Even got to see some kicking feet!  Feeling very blessed (and very tired!).

Monday, September 12, 2016

Singleton

I rarely make grandiose predictions.  I may have some hopes or even think I may see where things may land (though I do tend to hedge my bets), but rarely do I make firm pronouncement.

Ever since transfer I have been confident that I was growing two tiny babies.  When I think about it, I always picture two.  When I talk to J.T., I always refer to "them".  Even when I talk to my belly (that's not weird, right?!?) I envision myself talking to them as a team.

I was so ecstatic when tiny baby's heartbeat came echoing through the room, however I kind of held my breath until the doctor finally pronounced that it was in fact a single heartbeat and that the duo I envisioned was a strong and healthy solo act.

Now I am fully aware that there are many, many women who have walked the path we have walked and do not get the fairy tale moment of joy of life with which we have been blessed so please take what I am about to say as simply an honest expression of my feelings.  It took me a while to get to this place, but I do want to take a moment to acknowledge the sadness I felt that the second embryo did not make it.  To me s/he was life and for that life to not have taken form hurt my heart.

I am over the moon happy to be carrying tiny baby and watching him/her grow; however, I do wonder what the conversation will be like when one day s/he comes across the photo of the two embryos and asks about the other.

On a lighter note, when talking about the second, J.T. and I will sometimes reference this scene from The Office:

In a weird way it helps me to think that tiny baby has an extra boost from the brother or sister or wasn't meant to be.



Saturday, September 10, 2016

Things Are Becoming a Little More Clear

So it should come as no surprise if you have read through the bulk of this blog that our lives have been pretty uneventful over the last few years.  Once I got my school up and running and once J.T. finished school and was gainfully employed again, life was pretty routine.  A lot can be said about routine.  It can be comforting.  It can be relaxing.  It can be peaceful.  While I did not always appreciate that time as much as I should I now have a better understanding as to why God led us though that particular season.  It was providing us rest because He knew what was to come.

Pregnancy has treated me pretty well for the most part.  Beyond needing a new bra (growing and sore boobs), being tired and not knowing what food I am going to be able to eat in a given day (this week the only hot food I could eat was pizza, everything else had to be cold or it made me queasy-what?!?!?) I have been fortunate.  There has also continued to be light cramping here and there (but no spotting or bleeding), but that seems to be able to be chalked up to dehydration (didn't know until this week that I should be drinking 12 glasses of water a day instead of my usual 8-that's a LOT of water!).

J.T. has jumped right into his role as an expectant father.  There are three books on his night stand-  The Expectant Father, The New Father, and Calm the F*&! Down:  The Only Parenting Strategy You Will Ever Need.  He rotates through the first two each evening and has opened discussions about prenatal testing, baby gear, and health needs.

So if pregnancy was the only thing we had added to our routine we would still just be bebopping along.  But, as God knew would be the case, pregnancy is not the only introduction we have had to our lives as of late.  Which is why I think He ensured we had plenty of rest before we got here.

For me, I already knew I was pretty close to being burnt out at doing my job.  Added to that are a few disappointing things I have learned about the powers that be for whom I work.  Nothing cataclysmic, just disheartening.  On top of that I have my doctoral classes.  The content of which I love and am very passionate about, but the work load is quite a bit more than I recall my Master's coursework having been like so that has certainly been keeping me busy.

For J.T., a ghost from the past has reappeared and, even though he has tried to tuck it away, I know it is eating at him.  On top of that he was approached a few weeks ago by a consulting firm offering him a 25% increase in salary, but the trade off is the potential for less stability.  They made him an offer the Friday before Labor Day and they have given him until Monday to make his decision.  I am supportive either way, but know the decision is weighing on him heavily.

If just one of us had a lot on our plate, the other one could shoulder more of the day to day and emotional load we are carrying.  With BOTH of us shouldering so much, it is very clear why God's plan worked the way it did.  He is a clever one that God, isn't he?

Monday, September 5, 2016

Happy Tears

Warning:  If we are friends IRL this posts contains a spoiler alert.  I would love it if you would stop reading here, BUT don't know if I would have the will power myself if our roles were reversed:).  So, please just keep what you read on the DL for now-thanks!



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I have been trying to write this post for three days now!  However, I am truly beyond words at this point so I will just post the highlights below:
  • I was afraid I was going to be like Rachel on Friends and not be able to see anything, but clearly saw one tiny baby which the doctor confirmed.
  • After a scary moment or two (stupid technical issues!) we very clearly heard our little blueberry's beating heart-133 beats per minute.  
  • Doctor let us know it is still early, but there are no red flags at this point-yay!
  • I will stay on progesterone and estrogen for three more weeks.
  • We will come back for another ultrasound in two weeks.
  • Happy does not begin to describe how we are feeling this weekend:).







Thursday, September 1, 2016

Lifetime of Worry?

Ugh, so I spent a healthy part of the summer fearing and worrying about the unknown (what if we don't get any embryos?  what if they don't stick? what if they stop growing?).  You may recall right before I went in for the first beta test, I made my peace with God and left in His hands.

Well it has been two weeks to the day since our last beta and I have once again allowed the fear and worry to snowball.  Late last week I started getting food aversions and some low level morning sickness throughout the day.  While it has been annoying it has given me some comfort in the absence of medical feedback that all is well with our little friend(s).  Tuesday and yesterday I had long periods of feeling ok and the cramping has returned off and on, so I immediately began to worry that something was wrong.

Compounded with that craziness I have also been googling miscarriage statistics.  It has again provided some superficial comfort that given where we are at the rate of miscarriage is only somewhere around 10%.  However, that still has not been enough to keep thoughts of not hearing a heartbeat at tomorrow's ultrasound at bay:(.

As I was driving to work this morning a terrible stream of thought dawned on me...

IF we get through tomorrow successfully will I continue to google statistics and question every symptom or non-symptom until the end of the first trimester?

IF we get through the first trimester successfully will I continue to carry this fear through trimesters two and three?

IF we get through trimesters two and three successfully will I fear a stillbirth?

IF we through delivery successfully what will I fear next?

I am setting myself up for a life of obsessive fear for my child(ren) and that is no way for any of us to live!

Yes, fear in small doses in certain circumstances is healthy.  Fear of a million WHAT IFs is most certainly NOT!

So my prayer to God this morning was once again (I am so glad he is a patient and forgiving God because I seem to be messing this one up a lot lately!) to help me turn to him in times of stress for I can only find true peace in Him.  Also to help me focus on evidence and not conjecture.  To this point in time all evidence points to a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby(ies), so I need to stop wasting this joyful time by borrowing trouble that is not mine!

Today was better.

7 Weeks