Saturday, April 25, 2015

Birthday Week

I am exactly one week away from turning the big 4-0. I remember the year I was turning 30. I was depressed about it. I wasn't ready to leave my 20's behind. It is different now, I don't feel a sense of dread leaving my 30's behind. I am actually excited for this birthday. I am not sure why I feel this way exactly, maybe it is because of what events are set to happen in my 40's.

First, this time next year I will be preparing to start my semester of student teaching. This is my last step before I graduate and start my life in the "real world". This process has been a long time coming, full of starts and stops. I am so close to the end I can taste it. It excites me and terrifies me all the same. I just want to be a good teacher for my future students. I want to be the kind of teacher they remember for years and years because I made a positive impact on their lives.

Second, as soon as I graduate we will start the foster to adopt process. Ed and I have talked about it and we decided that we will start the application and required classes as soon after I graduate as possible. I am still struggling with wanting to have a biological child, but something in my heart is telling me there is a child or children who need two loving devoted parents, like Ed and I, to come into their lives and adopt them. I cannot explain the feeling but deep in my heart I get such a pull towards the idea of adopting that I cannot ignore it even if I tried.

Third, there is a possibility of checking one thing off my bucket list. As a graduation present to me, Ed and I, if a certain opportunity pans out will be saving up to take a very special trip. I don't want to jinx it by giving all the details. I know it may not happen because it depends on a lot of things falling into place but just the thought that it is a small possibility is so exciting.

As you can see my 40's are full of wonderful possibilities and I am so ready to begin my journey. Bring it on!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Trying to come to terms...

Most everyone knows that I had a baby when I was in high school and that I placed him for adoption. I got to pick his parents, I met them a few days before the baby was born. I named him Christopher because it is the male form of my name (Christina). I wanted to "give" him something of mine to take with him. I didn't know until after that the adoptive parents had planned all along to change his name to a name that was important to them. That was their right and I didn't begrudge them that. But I have always called him Christopher because in my heart that is who he is to me.

At the time of his adoption I confidently felt that I would have other children. They obviously wouldn't replace Christopher but all I ever wanted to be was a mother and I felt when the time was right I would get the chance. The adoption ripped me into pieces and changed who I was and how I saw the world. It was a good 10 years before I was able to look objectively at the adoption. I spent many years thinking that I deserved every bad thing that happened. It was my punishment for giving away my baby. I ended up in 2 bad relationships, and I stayed in them for way too long because I felt it was all I deserved. Christopher is now 21 and I have yearned for a child all of those 21 years. It has been over the past 6 years or so that I could think about having a child without an overwhelming sense of guilt. Guilt about moving on, about having another child and keeping it.

I had weight loss surgery 3 years ago. One of the deciding factors was wanting to increase my chances of having a baby. I have PCOS which can make it challenging, not impossible, to have a baby. PCOS symptoms are greatly reduced with weight loss. I lost a lot of weight and got healthier but my body keeps betraying me. I had a huge dermoid cyst on my right ovary, the cyst was so entwined with my ovary that it had to be removed. Then I had to have another surgery and biopsies on tumors that have been found in that same area. Thankfully they are non-cancerous but there are other issues and the obgyn gave us until my 40th birthday (which is May 2nd) to try and have a child before he wants to talk about a hysterectomy. Embarrassingly I started crying when he mentioned that word.

On top of all of that is my severe iron deficiency, anemia. Getting iron infusions every month isn't working. My body isn't kicking in and retaining any of it. It goes in and out almost as fast. All my drs agree that without getting my iron under control it would not be advisable to try get pregnant. I was just told by my hematologist that my iron issue will be a life long struggle and admitted that the past infusions have been a waste of time and offered no real help. I left my last iron appointment with the realization that my dream is over.

I will never have morning sickness, or feel a baby growing inside me again. I will never experience the joy of giving birth again. I mourn the loss of Christopher all over again. If I had known then what I know now, perhaps I would have made a different decision. However, it is what it is and I cannot go back and change it. All I can do is move forward and come to terms with the cards we have been dealt.

We have plans to adopt through foster care and through that avenue we will get to be parents. But that doesn't make what I feel right now any better.  I cannot begin to explain the depth of the pain you go through when you give up your child or how intense the desire to have another baby hits you. I am thankful to have a friend who gets it. She is a birthmother as well and understands what I am feeling right now. She has always been there to listen and sympathize and mostly just agree that it sucks. I hear too many times that "this is God's plan." or "God has something special for you." or "Oh well you can just adopt, you can still be a mother." Yes God has a plan, maybe it is special but unless you have a direct line to God you don't really know if there is something special in the future. And yes we can adopt and it is the plan but it isn't the magic word that will make everything all better and me instantly feel better.

What I really need is time to come to terms with this reality, because to me this is almost like mourning the loss of all the babies I ever dreamed I would have. The loss of the baby I can see so vividly in my head. She has Ed's beautiful blue eyes, my grandma's auburn hair with Ed's curliness and my stubborn independence.