Away we go

September 21, 2006 at 3:09 pm 5 comments

Thank you for finding me! The start of this blog is coinciding with the start of another chapter for our family in our quest for children. It’s been a long road leading up to the present, and I hesitate in writing it selfishly in the name of self-preservation. It’s painful stuff to revisit. However, there are so many hundreds of people silently suffering while going through infertility and treatment without direct support. While going through my own struggles, I found online community support that was absolutely invaluable. I became part of a group of women who were experiencing the same things I was. We were pretty much a group of 30-something women who were ready to have kids and not getting pregnant. The wonderful thing about online support is, you can be so completely honest, and you get so real right up front, that you get to the heart of your own feelings and experience. And in the process you get so much back from others. We talked about everything. EVERYTHING. There wasn’t any holding back of information. If we were being tested for it, body parts examined and prodded and poked, we put it out there. There were tests so embarrassing to have to endure, that we all just had to laugh. The point is, we could say the awful truth and then get on with it. We all shed tears for each other when someone suffered a miscarriage. We all knew each others’ pregnancy testing dates and when we were all due to get busy and throw on the Barry White music. We knew the best ovulation kits and the difference between motility and morphology and how to get our men actually through the doctor’s office door. We had our jokes. “I’m not a fertility Dr. but I play one on the internet” We were virtual experts.

All in all, I made some amazing friends, some of whom I met and still keep up with. My story seemingly ended up very well with the birth of my daughter after a completely normal pregnancy. Getting there took me almost two years of tests, surgery, hormones, UFMS (ugly female mood swings) and constantly running to the clinic in order to get pregnant.

Once I was pregnant, I just went about my life. I loved being pregnant and preparing for my baby’s arrival. I had already bought the earth’s supply of gender-neutral baby clothes as a means of passing the time while trying to get pregnant. I was already an expert on which baby equipment was top-rated and had already started going to La Leche meetings. I was ready. I had her, fell in love as a mother should and became the dedicated mom I had always wanted to be.

Fast forward 9 months and we were thinking that since the first one took so long to have, we’d better get going on the second. We went straight back to the clinic and our fertility doctor and got back on the drugs and the treatments. 4 months later I had a positive pregnancy test. At our second ultrasound, the doctor confirmed what he had suspected – twins. We were going to be a bigger family than we thought. Sort of wobbly and happy and scared, we left the office and told our families. I did my usual obsessive research on strollers for multiples, breastfeeding twins, and how were were going to afford college for three. I felt a deep satisfaction in having conquered infertility by my own persistence aided and fueled by the support of my friends. My 17th week of pregnancy was Mother’s day 2003 and it came with an abundance of gifts from my husband and baby daughter. Late afternoon I started feeling like something wasn’t right. I called and called my doctor. I had an appointment the next day and went to bed telling myself that I would go in first thing in the morning. I awoke around midnight with awful pains. What I didn’t know, or want to face, was that I was in labor. The next few hours were a combination of a horror movie and what I imagine is a bad acid trip. There was a paradox so cruel between the highest of ethical, compassionate, sensitive care I received from the nurses, and the outright insensitivity and lack of human interest from the OB on call. I left the hospital in a wheelchair and no babies. When I think of that day, that empty feeling is still palpable.

To add insult to injury, in a year’s time, I repeated almost the same scenario with a single baby at 12 weeks. These losses were distinct and unusual in that most miscarriages occur in the first trimester. Only 3% of pregnancy loss occurs after there is a heartbeat detected. So twice I ended up in the 3%. It was a slow road back to where I am now. Slow.

Meanwhile, I was putting what I did have left in my reserves into loving my daughter. I don’t feel that she suffered because of what was going on, but I do know that she was aware that I was sometimes sad. I didn’t hide my tears from her, but rather I talked openly about having feelings and feeling them when they came up. She’s a smart little thing and she knows more than even I care to admit. It’s humbling to have a two year-old kiss away your tears. I did my best to stay strong for her.

The next two years, I got used to the idea of having a smaller family. I liked the intimacy of having one child to pour yourself into. We did everything together. I brought her everywhere with me and took her to storytime, play dates, pre-school, the park, Target, the pool and on visits to family. We went to Disneyland, I bought her the coolest euro-baby clothes I could find. We jammed money into her college fund and we had the best barbeque, with movies, popcorn, bounce house and mile-high cake birthday party any 4 year-old ever had. And then something wonderful happened.

We sold our house that we loved and moved from Southern California back to my hometown in the bay area. When we did that, part of me relaxed and fell in step with part of my old life. While we had the best friends money can buy back in So Cal, there is just something about being in and amongst old family, friends and old haunts that is deeply satisfying to me. My daughter Zannie thrived. We moved into a house that is tucked away on a cul-de-sac and merged into the young kids’ social scene. Our doorbell rings non-stop and I am forever replenishing our cabinet of kid-friendly snacks.

Then, right before Kindergarten started we were invited by my friend Deborah to meet her friends’ new twins who had just been adopted from Russia. The idea was to let Zannie and them have a play date. We went over to their home and had a great time playing and the kids all ran around their beautiful back yard. I talked with the twins’ moms and heard about what an adventure Russia and adopting internationally had been. I think from that moment on, my mind hasn’t stopped turning. I started thinking about adoption and I haven’t stopped.

I’m getting long-winded here I know and need to stop at this point to catch my breath. I’ll get you caught up tomorrow on the rest.


Entry filed under: Adoption Blog, Children, Family, infertility, Motherhood, Parenting.


5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. imhelendt  |  September 21, 2006 at 9:59 pm

    Even though I was there, the memory of it all still brings tears to my eyes…..

  • 2. imtina  |  September 21, 2006 at 10:15 pm

    I know. Sometimes it’s like it all just happened last week.

  • 3. imhelendt  |  September 21, 2006 at 10:17 pm

    It seems like that, doesn’t it?

  • 4. survivingttc  |  September 23, 2006 at 1:46 pm

    Oh my, how much terrible pain you have been through 😦 I am so so sorry. But also so glad that you have a beautiful little daughter today. I wish you the best of luck cause it looks like the reels are begining to spin on adoption. I believe that is a beautiful way to make families. Afterall, it is love that makes true families, not blood.

  • 5. caestes  |  October 2, 2006 at 5:54 pm

    Tina, thanks for your frank blogging. I know others will benefit from your honesty and hope. You are a very engaging writer! I’m looking forward to sharing this Kyrgyz. journey with you!


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