Monday, 14 April 2014

Oh Life

No, seriously - Oh Life.

Oh Life is an email service that prompts you to keep a journal - it was recommended by a fellow Bumpie.

Every day you get an email that prompts you to write a little something via the reply option. It can be used to write about anything - a journal - daily thoughts - whatever comes to mind.




I'm using it as a way to write to Puddle.

Sure, I could use a Word document, but I respond better to a nudge.

It's a nice feeling - talking to my son or daughter. Imagine the keepsake it will be!


Thursday, 3 April 2014

Wonderful 12 Weeks!

We did it - we made it to 12 weeks! Puddle is wonderful, DH is wonderful and I am an emotionally exhausted happy woman. 

At the urging of a friend, I rejoined Facebook a few days ago. When I left I removed most of my friends, so I added them back on and slowing reintroduced myself to the online world of my friends and family. It's odd. I was so far removed from it that I came to peace with it, but it feels nostalgic at the same time.

After everything our friends saw us through these last 6 months, it was wonderful to be able to thank them and show them just how far their support has carried us. 

We announced with KEEP CALM images and the response has been amazing. I have received tearful telephone calls and an abundance of offers from friends to help. One even offered to tend to our cats while we're in India in the fall! How awesome is that!!?!?!

I have to say how very, very disappointed I was when I tried to find creative ways on Pinterest (and similar sites) to announce a pregnancy via surrogate. There were some for the surrogate herself (cutest one I saw was an "extreme baby-sitting" sign) and there were cute photos but they all included the surrogate as a vital piece of the picture. But hey - ours was cute and to the point and trendy. And after the flu we've had lately we were NOT up to having our photos done!

I have a friend, another nurse, who was with me when I got the call that our first IVF worked. She's the single most level headed person I know. She's on maternity leave and her little one is 8 weeks and they came to visit today. I had the most amazing snuggle with the little guy - it was wonderful! It was needed. Honestly, I think it was the perfect way for my soul to celebrate today's occasion.

12 weeks.

I am so, so happy.

So here are the details!



 

Our scans will now be every 4 weeks. While my nerves aren't so keen on it, it means we have made some serious progress and it means less radiation for Puddle. So I am thrilled!

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

It's a nervous night

In fact, it's an Ativan kind of night. Why, you ask?

NT scan tomorrow!!!!! I'm so excited and positively frightened as well. If it goes well we will share the news on Facebook.

I'm amazed we have finally made it this far. Amazed and so very grateful. Fingers crossed for a great report tomorrow!


Monday, 31 March 2014

Public Service Health Care Plan & Breast Pumps

I talked to my health insurance today and they are likely going to be able to cover my breast pump!

The policy states that the PSHCP through Sunlife will pay for a breast pump:
  • If the baby was born before 37 weeks; or
  • Either baby or I have a medical condition that prevents breastfeeding. In that case a doctors note would be required.
So this is great news! They will cover 80%. Hopefully I will be able to get that letter easily. I'm pretty sure the inability to carry my own child should constitute medical trouble to breastfeed.

My Expressions Are Free Here

I fully acknowledge that my last post rubbed some people the wrong way.

But you know what? That's okay.

This is my blog and I fully enjoy my ability to express myself openly on it. You don't have to agree with it and you don't have to like it. Heck, you don't even have to read it (let's be fair - it's not the most entertaining of all blogs).

But you do need to understand that I don't moderate myself on here. This is my world to write about whatever I want and I do just that.

Sometimes there are things that aren't popular, sure, but that's okay.

Sometimes there are things that offend, but that's okay. I don't have a blog for you, I have one for me.

Actually, I have 2. One for my thoughts, and one that is kept more *ahem* censored because it is linked to someone else's professional blog.

There are people who write extensively about controversial topics (abortion, vaccinations, breastfeeding, war, finance, religion, etc). That's not really my style, but I don't hunt them down and try to disparage them for it. Nope. If I don't like it, that's not their problem, it's mine.

Now, after reading a couple of comments from people who offered valid alternate thoughts on my last post, I stopped, re-read and considered their position and my opinion softened a bit. But it didn't change. And that's okay.

I really appreciated those comments because someone actually took the time to read everything, think it over and share their own thoughts.

It is okay for me, having my background and my life experience, to disagree with how someone else chooses to do or not do something. That's okay.

It's also okay for someone else, with their background and their life experience, to disagree with how I choose to do or not do something.


And it is okay for you not to like whatever it is you don't like. But as I said, this blog isn't here for you. It's here for me. And I will say whatever is on my mind.


Thursday, 27 March 2014

Yes, I Am Judging You

There are certain types of people in this world that I judge.

I fully acknowledge that I am no better than others. But there are some people and some acts I simply think are horrendous.

Read this: http://doubletroubletwinz.com/2014/03/26/week-1/

This is a blog (open for all the public to see) of another Canadian couple using our surrogacy clinic. And this post appalls me. Seriously, it does.

Who would voluntarily want to leave their children at the hospital so they can get some sleep? Unnecessarily!

And seriously, if you've struggled to have children for years, how can you not want to care for them yourself?

I suspect it's a couple of extreme privilege, but I am still absolutely sickened by it.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

A Story That Captures My Heart

I have no words to introduce this, only the sound of my heart strings playing a familiar tune of adoration, guilt, pain, pride and sorrow.
                                             ~ Jalara

Canadian soldier on Afghan mission: 'I'm proud'
Source

Last week, The Sunday Edition aired a special feature called “Our Longest War” that focused on Canada's mission to Afghanistan, which officially ended on March 12.

The segment prompted a large response from listeners, including an email from Ottawa resident Phil Palmer, a soldier who did two tours of Afghanistan.

The producers of The Sunday Edition asked Palmer to come into their Ottawa studio to read the letter on air. Here is the text version. 


I heard your program last Sunday morning about Canada ending its mission in Afghanistan, and wanted to share with you a most profound moment I experienced not 15 minutes ago. 

I had just finished a walk through the woods with my dog after dropping the kids off at school. It was a cold, quiet March morning. As I was crossing the street near my children’s school, I heard an approaching aircraft. This wasn’t unusual. I live under one of the main flight paths to the Ottawa International airport. When I looked up, though, my heart nearly stopped in my chest.

Phil Palmer
Phil Palmer is a Canadian veteran who did two tours of Afghanistan. (Courtesy of Phil Palmer)
Immediately recognizable to me, and approaching in a low, slow and deliberate manner in the clear, bright sky, was a C-17 cargo plane, escorted by two CF-18 Hornets. I was gobsmacked to realize that flying overhead – and very close to me – was the last flight of Canadian soldiers returning home from Afghanistan. I had heard about their imminent arrival that morning on the news, and had hoped to see the aircraft fly by. But nothing like this.

As I stood there staring, a truck pulled up to the intersection. I looked over and pointed up. The roar of the aircraft engines was hard to ignore, and the trucker got out to see what I was gesturing at. As we both stood there watching, I was nearly overcome by emotion. I waved, instinctively, in silent tribute. After the aircraft had passed by, the man turned to me and said, “Thanks for pointing, I would have missed it.”

“No problem,” I said. “They were the last of our soldiers returning from Afghanistan.” 

And then: “I was there myself, twice.”

He nodded, climbed back in his truck, and went on his way. The dog and I continued home. I choked back the tears.

The moment was profound because of the memories it stirred in me. Because it made me think hard about Canada. And because I’d blurted out to a complete stranger that I was even there. I have served multiple tours overseas, including in Somalia, Bosnia and twice in Afghanistan.

To say Afghanistan changed my life would be an understatement. My wife and I are both soldiers, and in a less than a 10-year period, we spent probably close to three years apart while on different tours — on the ground in Afghanistan or in operations related to 9/11.

That service has left us both physically and emotionally scarred, and we have dealt with issues related to operational stress.

Despite those setbacks, however, we are committed to nursing our relationship, minds and bodies back to health for ourselves and our children. We don’t want to add to the casualty count of this war. 

I lost several friends in Afghanistan. Many others were blown up by IEDs, shot, maimed, emotionally wounded and some ended their own lives after they returned home. I physically left Afghanistan in October 2008, but some part of me remains there.

I’m proud that Canadians – as we did in WWI, WWII, Korea and elsewhere - stood up for values that I believe were worth fighting for. We went to Afghanistan because our allies, way of life and values were attacked. As the conflict raged, we stood alone for a time, refused to relent and remained committed to what we started.

I’m proud that our commitment, however, wasn’t simply to drop bombs, kill and/or capture the Taliban and al-Qaeda. We worked on development, education and health. We helped Afghans see the value in sovereignty, sustainability, self-help and security.

This, I will tell my children, is why their Mummy and Daddy left them behind on multiple occasions. 

The debate about whether Canada did the right thing, accomplished enough or tried hard enough in Afghanistan will continue. For me, however, the return of that big, lumbering C-17 that flew over my head this morning signalled the beginning of the end. Farewell to the lost. Good luck, Afghanistan. For me and my family, it’s time to move on. 

This summer, Phil Palmer will be medically released from the forces after 26 years of service. He's going to university now, pursuing a degree in political science.

10 Tips for Loving Life (and Yourself!) in Your 30s

It's Sunday morning. The good kind of Sunday morning.

We were out late at a friend's place last night for a poker game. We shared our Puddle news and had a wonderful time. The game last 5 hours and it was fantastic.

I got up early this morning to get ready for the day. We'll be seeing family today and I have a paper to finish.

Part of my morning, so far, has been a day looking around the internet at fun stories. One really stood out and I thought I would share:

10 Tips for Loving Life (and Yourself!) in Your 30s

1. Embrace your physical appearance. I (for the most part) came to terms with my looks a little while ago and it was, and continues to be, incredibly freeing. Yes, I still have five pounds I would like to lose and yes, the little gray hairs are annoying and yes, I wish I was more comfortable in high heels. But I love my eyebrows and my skin behaves itself for the most part and red lipstick looks really good on me. So I wear it often. I found the perfect jeans for my curvy hips. I accept that I am much more graceful in flats. I have finally learned to embrace the looks I have been given... and actually like them.

2. Take control of your health. It is so easy for us to let our physical well-being fall to the bottom of the priority list and if you don't feel good in your own body, how can you feel good in your mind? Get enough sleep. I need eight hours. It's just a fact. So I opt out of late-night TV and go to sleep much earlier than I may want to. I fit in exercise. Not fanatically, but I fit it in regularly. I am trying to be better about scheduling doctor's appointments when I need to. I try to eat well. I am not talking about counting calories or carbs or cookies -- I am talking about eating well. Figuring out what your body needs to feel good, factoring in the odd treat to satisfy your cravings, eliminating the things that simply don't work for you. Drinking more water. Meditating. Stretching. All these little steps have a very big impact on how you feel about your body and your mind.

3. Find a personal mantra. I used to be an "everything happens for a reason" kind of girl. Now "the things you take for granted, someone else is praying for" has become my personal favorite. It doesn't really matter what it is or where it comes from, it matters that it resonates with you and that you know you can find comfort in it when you need to.

4. Get a hobby. If you don't have one already, find a hobby. Something that really engages you -- physically, mentally, creatively, whatever. For me, it is cooking. I have no idea where it came from, but I am so happy it found me because it's something I do with genuine pleasure and joy. It's an activity I can lose myself in, without having to depend on anyone or anything else. And I lose myself in it often.

5. Seek inspiration. In this day and age, it's so easy to find inspiration that moves you. Stuff that really speaks to you aesthetically, spiritually, creatively. Go out and find it. Trust your eye and your personal point of view. Pin it. Bookmark it. Photograph it. Keep it in your mental (and literal) files for a creative boost when you need it. Better yet, create your own work and put it out there for others to seek inspiration from as well.

6. Figure out how to de-stress. This is a big one I have been working on lately. Actually turning my mind off of negative thoughts and stressful worries. It works wonders... when it works. Some things that seem to help me: warm baths, a good book to distract my mind, candlelight. For you it may be a workout. Or a call to your sister. Or writing in your journal. Whatever it is, finding a way to control your own mind and the random roads it travels down, is a really important factor in taking care of yourself mentally and feeling your best.

7. Stop comparing. This is a tough one, friends. Especially when you are in the online world the way that I am and everyone has more followers, more comments, better photography, stronger writing. But the only way you will feel comfortable in your own skin is to truly live in it... not someone else's. I know where my strengths and weaknesses are. I know that everyone has a different approach and a different background and a different means to the end... whatever the end is. And I can always go back to my mantra to remind me of it, when I need to.

8. Help others. It's not quite as simple as doing a Goodwill drop twice per year. Volunteering your time, your insight or your talents can be rewarding in so many ways. It can be as simple as being a room mom or mentoring an intern in your office or going to your best friend's house to help her de-clutter. It lets you take the focus off yourself for a little while, reminds you that your life is abundant and rich and simply warms your heart. Letting yourself be completely selfless in order to restore your spirit. You will come out of it feeling brand new.

9. Know how to say no. Or I can't. Or I don't want to. It's so important in this busy life to be able to set your own limits and stick to them, even if it means letting someone else down. If I know a new client opportunity isn't a good fit, I decline. Even if the money would have been nice. If I am invited to a social outing but would rather be home with my kids, I skip it. I know what my limits are and I stick to them -- politely, of course -- and it allows me to say yes to so many more important things in life. Learning to make choices and stand by them -- even the tough ones -- without hesitation is a sure sign of inner strength.

10. Buy the handbag after all. Or whatever it is that makes you happy. In moderation, of course. But buy it. Indulge yourself. Treat yourself. Reward yourself with the little things that bring a little sunshine into your day. For me, it's cookbooks, fresh flowers, a proper mani/pedi and weekend getaways whenever possible. If there is something I am really coveting, I usually get it. It's me telling myself that I am worth it, I deserve it, I work hard for it and I have every right in the world to enjoy it.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Late Update!

We had a glowing Puddle update on Wednesday. I'm one proud Mama!


Puddle has graduated to fetus!

Today, I had a wonderful day with my sister. As previously mentioned, she's expecting a little girl in July and we had some shopping to do!

Not only did we shop, we also spent 2 hours+ working on our registries with scan guns - those things are so much fun! You have to do it - it's a must! That plus a fun lunch makes for an amazing

I found this amazing cradle at a little boutique and it is perfect!


I really like how the cot itself can come out and transfer to the crib when you are ready to transition baby so they can slowly adjust. Plus, it's reminiscent of a cradle which I have always wanted (I had one for my dolls as a  little girl).


I also bought a car seat! Since we already have a stroller (that we had purchased for the adoption) I had to find a seat to fit it. It turns out that any Graco seat would so I picked this one up today - I love the colour!


Needless to say, it was a great sister day and I am shopped out and exhausted!

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Maybe Not The Right Night

The night before our 10 week scan.

Well, really, then night before any scan is horribly stressful. So far, at 10 pm I haven't taken Ativan -- this is a first.

I should know better than to try to do anything on the night before a scan. I was working on some class stuff tonight - I lost my marbles (and a frustrated way, not an angry way) when I realized I already handed in the assignment.

So why we chose tonight, of all nights, to go through our adoption stuff to organize it all so we can return it tomorrow.

Let me tell you, it sucks.

With my previous pregnancies we always bought a blanket or two, but that was something any baby could use.

But we had everything we could for our toddler sweetie. Toys, booked, equipment, stuffies, furniture - you name it, we have it.

Some of the stores have agreed to take things back. Others I'll have to see about.

And why we chose tonight, of all nights, to sort through it all is beyond me. Doesn't seem very smart to me.

As if I needed more emotions tonight.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

From the International Space Station - Chris Hadfield!
 

Saturday, 8 March 2014

This My Screen

When I am watching television with my husband.

When I'm studying.

I surf the web and keep it open in another window.

It is a little sad.

But it's as real as I'm going to get.

It keeps me a little bit closer.


This is the screen.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

8 Weeks!

Today's scan went well and we are 8 weeks today!

The wait today pretty much drained me so I'll share some details on the surrogacy specific blog and more over the week, but for now - her you go!



Friday, 28 February 2014

Screw You.

PAL = Pregnant After Loss
PAIF= Pregnant After Infertility

This is HARD. Really hard.

Waiting for email updates with no contact in between is torturous. I have no idea if she has cramps or if she's sick or what her instincts are telling her.

Don't get me wrong - surrogacy has been an amazing journey so far. I am so happy and I feel it was truly the right move. There's a weight lifted because it's not body. But.

But.

It's hard! I thought we'd feel better once there was a hb and we did - for about 20 minutes and then the worry came back. Now I can't wait for our scan next week at 8 weeks . . . but there are still so many stories of people who lost a baby after the 8 week scan was perfect.

We planned on booking our accommodations early (super early because of Diwali celebrations while we're there) but I can't even bring myself to do it. Not now. It's too much. Even though we can cancel it just seems like too much expectation.

Expectations. That's a loaded word right there.

Sometimes it blows my mind that my life ended up bringing me here. I knew from a young age that my reproductive experience would be an adventure, but never would I have imagined we would have gone through our trials of the last few years.

Loss is evil. It affects you. It changes you. It changes your perception of the world. It even changes other people.

Infertility is just a kick in the teeth. Repeatedly. There's nothing like finding out your body can't do the one thing it was designed for.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

6w0d - And a heartbeat!

There's a heartbeat!

You all saw how I was feeling last night - it wasn't good. Both Hubby and I spent the night bargaining with ourselves. "Okay, so as long as the there's a fetal pole we will try not to panic and they'll check again next week," or "As long as we can see *something* we won't panic, we were measuring 5 days behind last week so maybe the pregnancy will keep with that and be a bit behind so we'll know more next week."

Seriously, the gestational sac last week measured 4w2d instead of 5w and we have a lot of experience with measuring early. It's isn't good.

But we knew that FETs are generally a little slower to get started and will catch up, which is exactly what happened here.




 And finally . . . Puddle :)

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

The Night Before

Tomorrow is our 6 week scan. We have never had a heart beat at 6 weeks. Ever.

I know it could be different this time. I think we deserve to have it work out this time. But the odds are not in our favour.

I hate how realistic our pregnancy history has made us. Made me. It's tragic and unfair. So many people have it so easy. They have no idea. I have no idea. It would be almost magical to have that innocence.

I have been a super active member of The Bump's October 2014 Mom board. This is our 3rd pregnancy with an October due date. I've enjoyed it. I've really revelled in being an expectant mama.

Then there is a chance that there won't be a heartbeat based solely on the fact that it's too early. FET babies tend to take a couple of extra days in the first few weeks of life. But then I'll be spending the next week in excruciating limbo. Limbo sucks. I hate limbo. And it never ends well.

It's an Ativan kind of night.


Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Scan #1! 5w0d

One beautiful little sac.


Do you see the little *something* on the right? 
I think that might be the beginning of the yolk sac and baby.
Next scan is in 1 week!

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Beta #3

767.52!
Up from 302.69
That's a doubling time of:
35.7 hours !!!
If I check the doubling time from the first beta it's
34.26 hours !!!
Life is good.
First scan sometime this week!!!

Friday, 7 February 2014

Beta #2!

302!

Up from 110

That's a doubling time of:

32.94 hours !!!

This is the first time one of my beta's have doubled in the 48 hour window. Ever.

Life is good.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

XP: Beta Is In

cOnGrAtULaTiOnS...!!! 

We would like to inform you that as per our schedule we have done the Beta HCG test for Suri. 

We are happy to inform you that her beta value is 110.45, which is good. Please find the attached file for the same.  

We would like to congratulate you as you are pregnant now. 

We will now do a USG scan for her within 1 week to check the pregnancy sacs. Once her scan will be done, we will get back to you at the earliest.


SCI wishing you good luck for this beautiful journey ahead.



So, for those that have follow me on this blog, I'll give you some more details. Above you can see the colourful words. This is how SCI sends good news. The colour and the excitement really come through (as much as they can from the other side of the world).

I was hoping the beta would be a bit higher, but it is average and considered safe. It was done at 10dp5dt and we've requested two extra betas - one Friday and one Sunday. We'll know more then.

As the news was due in this morning, DH had to go to work. The plan was that I would pick him up for lunch and tell him then. I decided to go with a celebratory attitude. It turned into a day of balloons, dinner and shopping (what else). Our baby, this baby, now has some clothes!
I know a lot of people don't feel comfortable shopping at this point, but it's what I do. I want every child of mine to have something that was his/hers. And eventually, when they get worn or used, it will honour our past children in a way that only DH and I can feel.
The balloons I picked up to surprise DH with.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

An Adventure

For those that are on TTCAL you've already read the story and this is just a copy and paste from there, but it's still a pretty wild thing here at home so I thought I would share.

Last Wednesday night DH was returning from a business trip. His flight was due in at 9pm and was horribly sick. We had a storm that day/evening so the roads were absolute crap. DH took a  taxi home because I was not up to picking him up. I was sick.

DH buzzed up at 9:35pm and I let him in. He was finally home! I missed him. And . . . I needed someone to take care of me. I was a puddled mess on the floor. :(

We were sitting on the chair in the living room and we heard something - it was loud and sounded like metal colliding with metal. Half a breath later there is a collision and the apartment shook hard. And then another. The crash was two-fold.

So here's the story, written on The Bump,while my adrenaline was still pumping:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

A car crashed into our building! I mean - into it.

A young lady drove across the intersection, flew across the ditch and then went uphill (didn't level off at all) and went through trees into the 2nd story of the building. Approx. 6 feet from where I was sitting.

As it turned out, the 2 crashes we felt was her car going into the building, and then her car falling out. The hood of her car was untouched - the car was destroyed from the bottom up.

I was there in less than a minute. No fatalities (thank goodness). The young lady is in serious condition and is being treated at the local ER.

Some young teenager that was nearby had a knife which I had to take from him to cut through airbags to get to the girl. My lungs are on fire. The fire truck later gave me O2 once the adrenaline wore off because I got hit with a shit ton of toxins and fumes and had trouble catching my breath. Moving on...

It took us 30 minutes to get her out of the vehicle. It was -10C, I had on PJ capris and a hoodie. I was in a good position to hold her so we had to wait for the fire fighters to gain access on the other side and rip off the ass end of the car to get in. That was nearly 2 hours ago and they are still trying to figure out how to get the vehicle out through the trees, fencing and snowbanks. We've been cleared to stay in our apartment for the night but have been warned we'll likely have to go elsewhere for a few days later this week. There is serious damage to the building.

I'll post a photo of the damage tomorrow once it's light out. The photos below are from Google maps. Needless to say, it's been a hell of a night here! I am so happy my husband is home. Now if only I could stop shaking . . . and coughing. Breathing is hurting right now.

Please send T&Ps to the young lady - I don't even know her name. But I promise you she needs them.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 
 



 

Monday, 27 January 2014

Trasfer Complete!

So after pacing, not sleeping and being a total crazy case, I heard from the clinic via M. Ofcourse, this was after emailing her at 3:30 am (my time) to check when I should expect to hear something. After telling to calm down and go to bed (went to bed, didn't even nap) I heard the news.

3 embryos survived the thaw and were transferred. I've been told I'll get the full written report tomorrow at some point.

So far I'm most relieved about the embryos surviving the shipping adventure. I didn't actually really believe we would have 3 to transfer. But this is good news. Really good news.

Blood test is in 14 days! ( . . . right? That is when it is, isn't it?)

I swear if this works I'm having my baby shower at a bar.


Saturday, 18 January 2014

"Looking In"

One of the ladies from The Bump posted this. It's true and very beautifully written.

Source: http://funnylittlepollywogs.com/?p=626

Looking In

There is a beautiful chateau in the middle of the woods.  As I approach it, I am smiling.  I can see the warm glow from within.  There’s a chill in the air and it is starting to rain, so the comforting glow is more than a little inviting.  I am drawn to the chateau.  Its magical and charming.  Maybe this time I’ll be allowed inside.  I feel the chill in the air deepen and there’s a familiar voice in my head telling me to turn around, that its not worth it.  But, if I don’t try to enter, I will never know what awaits for me inside.  Don’t misunderstand; I have seen what awaits me. It is glorious.   But, for some reason I am not allowed to enter.  I have looked through the glass and what I have seen keeps me coming back for just one more try. 

There have even been times when I have found what I thought must be the key.  I usually stumble upon these keys after I have been searching for quite some time.  Just when I think that all hope is lost, a key will appear.  I think, “This is it!  This MUST be it!”  I usually run as quickly as I can to the chateau.  I have been waiting to enter for quite some time, for years in fact.  I run right up to the front door, I insert the key, my heart is so full of joy and hope that I feel as though it could pound right out of my chest.  ”This is it!”  I attempt to turn the key, but there is nothing.  Not a click left or right. Nothing.

I sit down on the little bench outside of the window and I look in.  In these moments, when I was so close, when I’ve allowed myself to believe,  I feel most alone.  The rain is picking up and I am glad. This way, they won’t see my tears.  I can see most of the women I know inside.  They are all there.  My best friends, my beloved family members, my colleagues, my neighbors, they are all inside.  I can watch them enjoy the warmth.  I am happy that they get to experience it, of course I am.  If I were jealous, that would be ugly of me, and I am not an ugly person.  I can observe the glow from afar but, for some reason, I have not been  granted entry.  I put my hand to the window as I sit and watch, all alone, tears rolling down my cheeks being met by raindrops.  ”Why am I not allowed inside?” I don’t understand.

Clearly they want me to enter.  Some of them come to the window and put their hands to mine, but we can’t really touch. For I am outside and they are in.   I see others holding back the tears in their eyes, trying to be strong for me.    And then, there are those who would trade places with me in heartbeat if they could.  But they cannot.  I am on the outside looking in.  I want to scream, to pound on the window and shake the door, but I can’t.  I just don’t have it in me.  My shoulders slump and I shake and sob.  For some unknown reason, I am not permitted to come inside, to experience what seems to be their given right.  It has become apart of who they are.  It is part of what defines them as women, yet I am forced to sit, and watch, and wonder, and wait.  Alone.
 

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Well that was a hell of a day.

Friday was a roller-coaster.
Read with caution AL'ers.

Thursday night my sister and her boyfriend came to stay the night because she had an ultrasound at the woman and children's hospital. As a reminder, she is AMA and high risk. First pregnancy.

Being the nurse in the family, and the one with much too much pregnancy-related information, she wanted me there. This is scary for her, and I agreed for a three reasons. The first being that she's my sister and has been my champion in the family for many years. The second was because it would be the only chance I would have in my life to see a live ultrasound of a living child. The third because I can't imagine her not having me or our mother there in the case of bad news. Having received bad news many times myself, I couldn't not be there just in case.


The day started early. Really really early. Apparently I had been snoring through the night, which is odd for me. DH woke me up a few times but I didn't realize - to me I had been awake most of the night, but apparently I was just nodding off and not realizing it. DH got up at 4 to try to sleep on the sofa. That had never happened before!

I woke up at 6 worried about him and found him up, dressed and ready for work. Turned out he couldn't sleep. But me? I had 2 sore ears, a sore throat and nasty head pressure. I was sleepy and weepy. Not the best way to start a day.

He left for work and I showered and got ready for the day. My sister got up and we had breakfast and chatted for a while. While she got ready I got on the internet to check a few things out. TB (ofcourse) and Facebook.

Now here's the thing: I left Facebook about a week ago. But Hubby is still on it and what I wanted to see is if a couple we know would be at the hospital having had their twins. Their second set of twin girls in 4 years. Yup - they are the type that are considered a huge win for the IVF world. I peaked at it and there was no mention of it. Good.

We left early, and were there with plenty of time to spare. There was another spot I needed to to go while we were at the hospital. To the Family Newborn unit. Let me explain:

I was there for my nursing preceptor-ship and it's where I've always wanted to work. There's a strong chance that I will never have a newborn, but I've always loved tiny babies and working in that department is the reason I became a nurse.

I had applied recently and the manager and I talked briefly on the phone afterwards. She was excited for my application. But since we were travelling to India I didn't want to miss the formal invitation to interview so, in an effort to 'stay connected' I dropped off my professional portfolio for her to review that is choc full of awesome baby/nursing/maternity stuff.

But, for whatever reason, I hadn't received a call for an interview so, after my portfolio being there for 3 weeks I needed to be sure to pick it up - and I was hoping to be able to chat with her in person. When I got there she was in a meeting so I said I'd come back in a little while, after we were done with my sister's appointment.

So then we went to the waiting room for the 10:00 appointment. She registered and we waited for a bit more than an hour. During the time I was surrounded by many pregnant woman and one little toddler who had the most adorable outfit on and was being a crowd-charmer. Turns out he has the same name as DH.

Eventually she was called in and her boyfriend and I went with her. It was rocky at first as the doctor started the conversation by discussing down syndrome. As it turns out her pregnancy was dated wrong so it wasn't as bad as it appeared to be.

But watching the heart beat and the baby swim around - it was a lot. Too much. But the difficulty didn't stop there.

Next it was on to maternity clothes shopping. Yes, this doesn't seem like something I would need to be there for, except that I was the one to take her because she had no clue where to go. There are no stores that sell maternity clothes where she lives, or in the surrounding area, so I took her.

We ended up at the same store that I shopped at. It was hard and I hated every minute of it. I had flashback after flashback of my husband and I shopping there.

Ok - no more detail with that. I can't write anymore about it.

Then it was home for her to have a rest. We made nachoes and were watching TV when there was a knock at the door.

Surprise! A reprieve from the day!

Our medical visas for India had arrived!

Yay!

My sister and her BF headed out and DH arrived home minutes later. We had plans with a friend and her kids later (explanation coming).

So, he gets home and hops on the computer to unwind a bit. Turns out the friends that were expecting the twins had them while I was at the hospital with my sister.

Cue tears.

So, our plans for the night involved see a friend and her 2 kids. They are military friends and the husband is currently deployed so we do what we can to help out and be there for her. Plus her kids are ADORABLE.

These kids are what you want kids to be. They are polite, playful and fun. They are thoughtful sweet. I wasn't sure what to expect.

But it was wonderful. They cuddled up with us and hugged us and kissed us and held our hands. They fell asleep laying on us.

I don't know what it is about them, but these children heal my soul a bit.

And then we left to go shopping at the Walmart which is 24/7 right now. We needed to get my parent's stockings in order (they are in need of necessities and depend on them each year).

And we got home at 1am and fell over.


But as I was unwinding I logged on to this blog to to check a new comment I received. I was flabbergasted. And I just couldn't take it. Not that day.

You are not entitled to a child. You may think you'd be an amazing parent but the universe doesn't owe you a baby -- especially not somebody else's!

The fact that you can't be happy for other people who get pregnant or have kids is telling -- it suggest you believe kids are a zero-sum game. That somebody else having or adopting a kid takes away from your chances of the same!

The money you list on the Russian adoption -- you gambled and lost. The ban was a long time coming had you spent 2 seconds with google. Heck, State Dept posted warnings as early as January 2011!


Needless to say - I wasn't in the mood for it, but I replied and then went to be.

Merry Fucking Christmas.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Let me count the ways . . .


So well said.



Friday, 13 December 2013

Another Christmas

This year was supposed to be different. We were supposed to either have our LO home or be in the final stages of bringing her/him home.

Instead we have packed up our nursery. We are looking at all the wonderful Christmas items in the store that would make our first family Christmas magincal - and we just walk past them.

Oh, and I forgot to mention: our agency is closing. No more adoptions for us. $25,000 gone into thin air and not a damn thing to show for.

Well . . . except for an empty crib and unused toys. That we can't afford to get rid of because we couldn't afford to re-buy them, and we can't return them.

We're starting a surrogacy journey, but we're starting it purely because we are too scared to waste any more precious time.

We aren't healed. We aren't ready. I cry often and no body will ever understand it.

I hate my life. I love my husband, but I hate everything else in my life.


I wish I could sleep the next month away.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Awesome Canadian Humour!

Early Christmas Gift for Hubby

Saturday, 30 November 2013

We Made It To Delhi

Super exhausted, can barely move, but we're here!


Friday, 29 November 2013

Packed Up & Ready To Go


We are packed and ready to go (for the most part). Our plane leaves tomorrow afternoon and we will arrive in Delhi Saturday night (or Saturday afternoon in Canada).

I'll drop a line once we're settled.

Wish us luck!

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

We're Packing!

We are leaving in 3 days for Delhi! I am over the moon excited.

I'm nervous, but I'm ready.

We went shopping for the little things tonight - hand moisturizer, sanitizer, gum, eye drops, etc.  A few more things and we'll be set to go.

Tomorrow night we are going out for Indian food. I've never had Indian food - how crazy is that? I'm going to India! apparently, though, it's super easy to be gluten free in India so I am thrilled about it.

I can't believe we're doing this. I can't believe I'm hiring someone from another country to carry my baby. It's all very surreal. A couple of nights ago I had a a minor panic attack about the whole thing. But I think the grandness of this venture is hitting me.

And for the first time in a l o n g time I have hope.

And this hope come from an online friend, A. A is so supremely optimistic that has worn off on me. I have heard of things like that happening but I was beyond skeptical. Seriously? Positive thinking wore off on me! This woman is amazing - seriously. She's incredible. She gave me hope. I am actively hoping for embryo success.

This better fucking work.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Visa & Family

So this post is two-fold:

#1 - our passports arrived today, complete with travel visas intact!

#2 - my sister is pregnant.

It may not seem like a big deal, but it is a HUGE deal. She is almost 39 and has fought infertility her whole adult life. She had one husband who was an ass who wouldn't entertain interventions, another who had a vasectomy and said he wanted to have it reversed . . . for 6 years. For 6 years he led her on and she finally left him for a man who wanted more kids.

And now, after trying for 6 months (only 6 months!) she is pregnant. At near-39. After years of fertility issues.

AND I AM OVER THE MOON. This is awesome.

She really, really deserves it.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

What NOT To Say To Someone Struggling With Fertility

Source: http://www.apluslife.net/2013/05/what-not-to-say-to-someone-struggling.html
Special thanks to jbsore1123 for showing me this!

What NOT to say to someone struggling with infertility
 
So, what do you think people would say to you if you were paraplegic instead of infertile? (author unknown).

1. As soon as you buy a wheelchair, I bet you'll be able to walk again!

2. You can't use your legs? Boy, I wish I was paralyzed. I get so tired of walking, and if I were paralyzed I wouldn't have to walk anywhere!

3. My cousin was paralyzed, but she started shaving her legs in the other direction and she could walk again. You should try that.

4. I guess God just didn't mean for you to be able to walk.

5. Oh, I know exactly how you feel, because I have an ingrown toenail.

6. Sorry, we don't cover treatment for paraplegia, because it's not a life-threatening illness.

7. So... when are *you* going to start walking?

8. Oh, I have just the opposite problem. I have to walk walk walk - everywhere I go!

9. But don't you *want* to walk?

10. You're just trying too hard. Relax and you'll be able to walk.

11. You're so lucky... think of the money you save on shoes.

12. I don't know why you're being so selfish. You should at least be happy that *I* can walk.

13. I hope you don't try those anti-paralysis drugs. They sometimes make people run too fast and they get hurt.

14. Look at those people hiking... doesn't that make you want to hike?

15. Just relax, you'll be walking in no time.

16. Oh do my legs hurt, I was walking and walking and going up and down the stairs all day.

17. I broke my leg skiing, and was on crutches for weeks, and was worried I'd have a permanent limp, but I'm 100% healed.

18. I'd ask you to be in my wedding party but the wheelchair will look out of place at the altar.

19. You're being selfish, not coming on the hike with us, and looking at all of my track & field trophies.

20. Don't complain, you get all the good parking places.

21. If you just lose weight your legs will work again.

22. If you would just have more sex, you could walk!

23. You don't know how to walk? What's wrong with you? Here let a real man show you how to walk!

24. You are just trying too hard to walk. Give up, and then you'll walk.

25. Here, touch my legs, then you'll walk!

26. Just take a vacation, and the stress-break will be sure to get you walking!

27. When *we* were young we only had to worry about having to walk too much.

28. And I bet a paraplegic going to a bookstore doesn't find books about paralysis stacked next to all the books on running...

So here's a little hint. If someone you know tells you that she's trying to get pregnant and it's taking longer than expected, DON'T tell her to just relax. Don't tell her to adopt and then surely she'll get pregnant with her own child. Don't say, "At least it's fun trying!" Scheduling sex with the person you love isn't fun. Getting vaginal ultrasounds every other day and intramuscular injections in your derriere twice a day isn't fun. Finding out every single month that - yet again - it didn't work this month either is Just. Not. Fun.

DO tell her that you're sorry she's going through such pain/grief/frustration. Do tell her that you're glad she told you. Do tell her that, even if you don't bring it up (because you want to respect her privacy and understand that she might not feel like talking about it sometimes), that you're there for her if she ever wants to talk or vent.

And DON'T feel that because she told you that it's okay for you to tell your other friends, children, co-workers, neighbors, cousins, mailman, whomever - unless she tells you that it's okay to do so. Your need to share news pales in comparison to her need to maintain a shred of privacy and dignity.

Friday, 15 November 2013

The Mindy Project

It is crazy how much I smile when I watch The Mindy Project!

If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it. 


Monday, 11 November 2013

Lest We Forget

Thursday, 7 November 2013

The Ever-Illusive Parenthood


Sunday, 3 November 2013

What Comes Next

The last few years have been about options. What are they, how to evaluate them and which ones are best suited to us at any given time.

When we made a choice, I would write about it and chronicle our way through the ups and downs.

When you think about it, as we've been forced to do time and time again, there are relatively few ways to become a parent. You can:
  1. Have a baby;
  2. Marry into a family;
  3. adopt; or 
  4. use a surrogate.
Since we have failed at options 1 through 3, we are left with surrogacy.

As you know, we've dabbled with surrogacy before. But at the time we ultimately felt adoption was a better choice for us as we couldn't bear to gamble with biology any further.

Well, look how that turned out.

So we are back to surrogacy.

Our previous surrogate is unavailable, and we had an offer from someone else but it's not a practical fit. Yes, I know I should feel lucky that someone has offered, but when doing this it has to be right or it won't work and lives will be turned upside down.

So, as you may have guessed from my last 2 posts and the addition of a SCI badge on the right side of the blog, we've decided to use a surrogate in India.

Yup! There's an incredible clinic there that has a stellar reputation. I've spoken with many of their former clients and we are comfortable.

Afterall, it's the only option left for us.

So I have started a surrogacy specific blog (see photo below) that all of you are welcome to visit. I will post that occasional post here as things move forward (similar to how I made the occasional post about the adoption), but most of the details will be on the other blog as the surrogacy community devours such blogs.

It is not lost on me that it was this time last year that we started the intricate adoption process. Hopefully something will come of this route.

Indian surrogacy is a very controversial topic in some circles, and we are not blind to it. But we are comfortable with out clinic and have utter faith in them.

I'm happy to answer any questions any of you might have about it as we go through, so don't be afraid to ask.

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Happy Diwali!



Diwali, or Dipawali, is India's biggest and most important holiday of the year. The festival gets its name from the row (avali) of clay lamps (or deepa) that Indians light outside their homes to symbolize the inner light that protects us from spiritual darkness. This festival is as important to Hindus as the Christmas holiday is to Christians.

Diwali, celebrated in October or November each year, originated as a harvest festival that marked the last harvest of the year before winter. India was an agricultural society where people would seek the divine blessing of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth, as they closed their accounting books and prayed for success at the outset of a new financial year. Today, this practice extends to businesses all over the Indian subcontinent, which mark the day after Diwali as the first day of the new financial year.

Indians celebrate with family gatherings, glittering clay lamps, festive fireworks, strings of electric lights, bonfires, flowers, sharing of sweets, and worship to Lakshmi. Some believe that Lakshmi wanders the Earth looking for homes where she will be welcomed. People open their doors and windows and light lamps to invite Lakshmi in.
Over the centuries, Diwali has become a national festival that is enjoyed by most Indians regardless of faith: Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, and Sikhs.

Hindus interpret the Diwali story based upon where they live:

  • In North India they celebrate the story of King Rama's return to Ayodhya after he defeated Ravana by lighting rows of clay lamps.
  • South India celebrates it as the day that Lord Krishna defeated the demon Narakasura.
  • In western India the festival marks the day that Lord Vishnu, the Preserver (one of the main gods of the Hindu trinity) sent the demon King Bali to rule the nether world.
In all interpretations, one common thread rings true—the festival marks the victory of good over evil.

Non-Hindu communities have other reasons for celebrating the holiday:

  • In Jainism, it marks the nirvana or spiritual awakening of Lord Mahavira in Oct. 15, 527 B.C.
  • In Sikhism it marks the day that Guru Hargobind Ji, the Sixth Sikh Guru was freed from imprisonment.
Five Days of Diwali

On the first day of Diwali, housewives consider it auspicious to spring clean the home and shop for gold or kitchen utensils.

On the second day, people decorate their homes with clay lamps or diyas and create design patterns called rangoli on the floor using coloured powders or sand.

This is the main day of the festival when families gather together for Lakshmi puja, a prayer to Goddess Lakshmi followed by mouth-watering feasts and firework festivities.

This is the first day of the new year when friends and relatives visit with gifts and best wishes for the season.

On the last day of Diwali, brothers visit their married sisters who welcome them with love and a lavish meal.

Surrogacy is Poetic

“Perhaps the greatest myth surrounds pregnancy. Many believe the uterus is simply an incubator. Nothing could be further from the truth. 

The most important aspect of all pregnancies- including egg donation pregnancies- is that as the fetus grows, every cell in the developing body is built out of the pregnant mother’s body. Tissue from her uterine lining will contribute to the formation of the placenta, which will link her and her child. The fetus will use her body’s protein, then she will replace it. 

The fetus uses her sugars, calcium, nitrates, and fluids, and she will replace them. So, if you think of your dream child as your dream house, the genes provide merely a basic blueprint, the biological mother takes care of all the materials and construction, from the foundation right on up to the light fixtures. 

So, although her husband’s aunt Sara or the donor’s grandfather may have genetically programmed the shape of the new baby’s earlobe, the earlobe itself is the pregnant woman’s “flesh and blood.” That means the earlobe, along with the baby herself, grew from the recipient’s body. 

That is why she is the child’s biological mother. That is why this child is her biological child.”

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Birthday Dilemma

Infertility Bills: $20,000
Failed adoption: $25,000
Birthday while broke? Priceless depressing thought.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Umph

I'm tired. I mean, I am really - just - tired. I am tired of having to find a way to have a baby. I am tired of having to find a way to build a family. I am tired of having to find a way to make my husband a father.

I am tired.


My mental capacity is shot right now. I have no umph left. Trying is so damn hard.

But if we don't keep going, nothing will happen. If we don't keep going, nothing will change. We will not be parents. We will not have a baby.

We are making plans - actually, we've made a plan. Now we have to execute it.

But damn it I am tired.


Tuesday, 15 October 2013

National Pregnancy And Infant Loss Awareness Day

May we never forget. 
May we always love. 
May our hearts always grow to embrace new life.



Sunday, 13 October 2013

Capturing Your Grief, Days 7 & 8

7. You Now: Where are you in your grief right now? How are you feeling? How far have you come? Are you wrestling with anything? Is your heart heavier or lighter now?

While my heart is much heavier now, I am also less naive. I have lost innocence and my belief that things work out in the end.

But I have gained the certainty that my husband and I can get through anything together. That, no matter what happens, behind closed doors we can console one another and our love will continue to intertwine our lives and our hearts as time goes on.

For all this, I give you a photo of us on our anniversary in August. And a photo of me now. Our live is surviving, and - while I'm not great in this exact moment - I am getting through.



8. Colour: What colour/s represent your baby? Why that colour/s?

Blue and pink for the cultural norm for either gender, purple for a combination and a touch of white to show innocence of me, them and my husband - as well as my determination to keep holding on.

When making it - these colours just felt right.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Capturing Your Grief, Days 5 & 6

5. Memory: What memory do you have of your child that stands out for you the most. It may be a positive or negative memory. When you think of your child what is the first memory that comes to your mind?

This is the only photo I have of my husband as an expectant biological father. He had bought me the little book as a stocking stuffer in December 2011, and this was taken in late January 2012. I think of this moment often.


6. Ritual: Do you have any rituals to help get you through the day? Maybe it is a daily affirmation or prayer. It could be that you light a candle or recite a mantra etc. Do you do anything meaningful on special dates for your baby?

I don't have a ritual. Maybe I should. It might be healthier for me.

I tend to eat emotionally through the hard times, and throw myself into projects. Maybe this is something I'll work on.

I don't have a photo to share for this, but in keeping with the photo theme I thought I'd take one.

 

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Capturing Your Grief, Days 3 & 4

3. Myths: Do you believe there are any myths about grief? You could write the myth on a piece of paper and photograph it.
There are so many. But this is the one that I hear the most.



4. Legacy: Do you believe your child left a legacy behind? It could be something very simple but meaningful.

I struggled with this one as I'm not sure there was any real legacy left behind from any of the babies-loves. So I decided to look at the abstract.

For me, these losses took away my innocence, my naive plans for my life, and my whimsical belief that happiness is for everyone (I'm not sure it is anymore, although I'm not sure it isn't). So I chose this photo to represent the many different paths and roads that we could take, have taken, or will possibly take. All of these roads are unexpected. And I never wanted to be faced with these choices.

So, for me, the legacy is uncertainty.