Sunday, March 30, 2008

Looking Forward to the Future

Okay, some of you have asked why we are adopting, what was our turning point? Well, Ken and I have been on the Infertility Train for over 6 years now. We have done just about everything we could do to have our own but unfortunately we can’t. The last straw was back in November when we had told ourselves we would only try one more time and then go to a surrogate. Well,
we got pregnant and we knew there were probably more than 1 because my levels came back so high. We kept on our daily regimen of nightly shots…given by darling hubby… and daily steroids, baby aspirin, big prenatal vitamins, and some other antibody blocker. You see, after 6 miscarriages we found out a little bit every time about what was wrong... #1 I am RH negative and Ken is RH positive so we have an RH factor where my body fights the pregnancy, #2 I don’t produce enough progesterone to sustain the pregnancy so I got nightly shots of progesterone, #3 and #4 I have some antibody thing a ma jig so daily baby aspirin and steroids were needed, #5 we weren’t sure what happened there... I was pregnant for 12 weeks and one day we went in to see how many we were pregnant with… there was nothing…. # 6 I was 2 months along and miscarried the day I found out my brother and his girlfriend were pregnant. So that leads us up to the last straw… Ok... so we knew we were pregnant and we knew there was probably more than one. We had told no one in the family because of fear and each time we miscarried we just told less and less people about it because it is just more people you have to inform later that it didn’t work again. I started spotting right away but I was having daily blood work and sonograms and they kept telling me this is the best you have ever looked and to just take it easy. Everything looked good and I slowed down. In the middle of the night I woke up with severe cramps and heavy, heavy bleeding. It was about 2:30 in the morning and I called my Dr. He told us to go to the ER. By 7 I was in surgery for an emergency ectopic pregnancy (tubal pregnancy). After several weeks of follow up and tons and tons of blood work and other tests the Dr. told us we were pregnant with 3 all from the same ovary. What he thinks happened was all 3 were traveling like they should down my fallopian tube and the middle one ruptured and blocked the 3rd one from passing through. The 3rd one was growing and that is why I had such horrible pain and bleeding . The 1st one was attached to my right ovary and was growing there. It was causing my hormone levels to fluctuate up and down. I was put on heavy heavy antibiotics and steroids and had to take a shot to get it to stop growing because at the minimum it could make me lose my ovary but at the worse I could lose everything. I was on meds and got blood tests done every other day until Mid January and finally I was cleared. We had had enough.

I also found out at my dermatologist appointment… I had to go every 3 months since my skin cancers were removed… that she thinks all of the hormones and meds I was on actually stimulated my pigments or moles to malform into cancer. GREAT!!! The reason she suspected this is because I had been off my hormones for months and all of the moles she had marked on her chart as suspicious were no longer suspicious. Well this made Ken and I reconsider surrogacy because I would have to get back on hormones and much heavier doses. SO THAT LEADS US TO ADOPTION!!!

We thought long and hard and I cried many tears trying to wrap my brain and heart around the fact that I was not going to experience pregnancy like everyone else I know. I was not going to be able to give Ken a child of our flesh and blood. I was going through this “mourning” as my brother and his girlfriend were going through their unplanned pregnancy… and let me tell you it was and still is hard for me. My relationship with my family is strained because I am dealing with my losses and they are dealing with “New Baby” . No one can relate to how I am feeling because they haven’t gone through it themselves. Don’t get me wrong I do get support but it is very hard to get through a day without seeing or hearing about pregnancy. IT was everywhere for me and when you are going through this you don’t want to see pregnant teenagers or watch the news and hear about moms killing their babies. Everywhere I turned I was flooded with the reality that it wasn’t going to happen for us. BUT Ken and I want kids and a family of our own so our final option is adoption.

We have decided to go with an agency in Houston called Alternatives in Motion or AIM. WE went there Thursday… we left here at 5 in the morning and we got stuck in Houston traffic for 2 hours BUT the minute we walked into that place WE KNEW!!! We knew we weren’t the only ones going through this and we knew this was the place we were meant to be. Two wonderful ladies ( Ann and Jan) run the agency and they were the ones that gave us and 9 other couples the orientation. The orientation consisted of them explaining their history and the agency’s history. Everyone that works for AIM is either adopted, an adoptee, or a birth mom… which we thought was very comforting. We were there from 9:30 to about 12:45 and got a lot of information that put our fears and reservations aside. We don’t know what it is, but AIM is where we are suppose to be. At the orientation were 2 couples that were returning to adopt again… that says a lot… we think. Jan is going to be our social worker and we made our follow up meeting for May 9th. Again we have to drive to Houston but she scheduled us at 1:00 so we can leave around 8. We also have another meeting May 15th with the same couples from our 1st orientation. This meeting is going to be a more detailed, question driven meeting but it will be all day, starting at 9:30. Some statistics they gave to us regarding them as an agency were also comforting… they have been around for over 30 years and have adopted out more than 1400 children. Last year, more than 50 kids were adopted. They also informed us that the average birth mom's age is around 26, which we thought was high. They said that usually when teenagers or young 20 year olds get pregnant their parents convince them to keep it because they will help raise it. That makes sense. These 26 year olds usually were pregnant teenagers and have 1-3 kids at home and then decide they can’t support and raise another baby… so they give them up for adoption. The agency’s youngest birth mom was 13 and the oldest was 44. The 44 year old birth mom (BM) was actually the BM of one of the returning couples at our orientation… they thought it was funny that their BM was the oldest.

The BIG question you probably have is when do you get a baby? Well... that all depends... we have another lengthy application to fill out. We also have to get fingerprinted, floorplans of our house, copies of DL and SS cards, proof of insurance on house and baby, and a few other things I can’t remember right now. Then we have these 2 follow up meetings to go to and then Jan has to do a home study where she comes to our house … all day … and looks around and talks to us about being parents and makes sure we have room for the baby. If you saw our house now you would say NO because we are in the process of DEEP cleaning… for the home study… and that means I make a huge mess and then it gets A LOT better. After the home study, which we don’t know when that would be, we submit a Birth Mother Book ( I’m already in the process of making it). A BM Book is a book you make with lots and lots of pictures of us, family, friends, travels, hobbies, anything and everything. You even put in a letter to the BM. This book is given to BMs to look through to help them pick the perfect family for their unborn baby. So if a BM that is 3 months pregnant picks us, we will wait for 5-6 months AFTER she picks us. BUT if a BM delivers in the hospital and then decides I don’t want a baby we could have 48 hours to wait. The couple with the 44 year old BM was called one night and had their baby home 3 nights later. When you go through an agency the baby becomes yours 48 hours after birth. IT is yours legally... BM and BF can’t come back and say anything unless you are unfit (abusing the child or something extreme like that). After 6 months you have a court date and the birth certificate is changed into our names and the original is sealed.

BUT I think we will go into the PILE (submit our BM Book) probably in June so that is when we will start waiting. Usually you start the wait 3 months after you 1st orientation. BUT I will keep ya’ll informed. At the agency they said the couple waiting the longest is from their February of 07 orientation but they didn’t get their BM Book into the agency until July…. 6 months later. All the other 6 couples in their Feb 07 orientation already have their babies as do all 7 couples in the following orientation. So it is very important to get your BM book in ASAP and I am working on that!!!!

Well I think I have said A LOT~ hopefully I have answered a lot of questions and I know writing about it helps me deal. Ken and I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel and are excited about this journey. I will update you soon.