Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Weekend Update

Thank you for your support and comments regarding my last post.

I survived the weekend.

Actually, there were some good times. I find that I actually enjoy riding the tractor pulling the finish mower mowing acre after acre. It's therapeutic. My parent's property is beautiful. The weather was spectacular. I also had the occasion to use an old fashioned cross-cut saw. If anyone is looking for a good workout, then I'd suggest cutting down a few trees using one of these tools...Mr. LC and I make quite a good cross-cut team. I know I need to enjoy these times out there as my Mom can't keep this property forever. It's simply too much to handle.

My Mom...ahhhh...we did OK. Of course, I was on a tractor for many hours, then she went to a birthday party and a wedding on the afternoon/evening I was there...so our face to face time was limited. I didn't mention the adoption once and she didn't ask. So yesterday I sent her an email articulating why, at least to the best of my ability. Interestingly enough, she hasn't mentioned the email nor replied to it. Who knows.

My Dad....I will tell you that there were some good moments--a few minutes doing the crossword puzzle together, about an hour of watching the UT football game (well, he can't really see but he sat with me with his eyes closed, listening) but most of the weekend he slept. Did I ever tell you just how badly his brain was injured in the stroke? His entire right brain--and I am not exaggerating as I saw the MRI--is gone. Starved of its blood supply that critical morning when a massive clot decided to lodge in a mission critical portion of his mid-cerebral artery...it has simply died. And while the brain has a pretty fantastic ability to recover and rewire, you cannot overcome a deficit like that. Emotions are flat, at best, short term memory is awful. My Dad didn't ask one question about me, my life, the adoption...he simply cannot think like that anymore. He needs a lot of sleep. I'm glad he can escape into sleep.

It's ok.

He's still my Dad.

Did I mention that I had some bloodwork done and I carry a pretty awful genetic mutation that puts me in line for a potentially similar vascular fate? Ummmm, yeah. Not a good thing indeed. Sometimes being in the field I'm in is scary scary. Having access to some of the genetic tests is also scary. I'm going tonight to hear a leading expert on this topic...to help my patients better, to help me. So while I do mourn the loss of my genetic connection to my child, at least I know I won't be passing this on.

It's something I guess.

I have so many posts in my head about this adoption...about my fears, about breastmilk--yes, you read that right, about transracial stuff, so so many things. I'm scared to write it down sometime. Strange, coming from me, huh?

Right now the wait times are just extending. We're not counting on anything anymore. We thought for sure we'd be traveling before the holidays but there's no way that is going to happen. I know where we are on a wait list and it would take a miracle to move us along that quickly. So instead we bought some airline tickets to our favorite destination and that gives us a trip--not THE trip-to focus on. We need some levity!

Our just some more cross-cut sawing :)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Is it wrong?

This weekend I'm going home to visit my parents. I haven't seen my Dad in nearly two months, the longest I've gone since he had his massive stroke. I talk to my Mom on the phone nearly every day and my Dad any chance I can--he doesn't communicate well on the phone and our conversations are brief and limited, at best.

I miss my Dad. I need to see him.

So why am I dreading this visit so much?

And why haven't I learned my lesson? That family is precious. That they can be snatched away from you in a millisecond and that you can never, ever go back.

I try to remind myself about that and cherish my Mother.

But instead, she drives me crazy many days. She doesn't understand why I don't talk about the adoption. She thinks I'm over my infertility. She doesn't think it could be hurtful to tell me about my 40 year old cousin's oops baby. I get irritated with her.

The other day I dreamed I was yelling at her--full on screaming--as we went through forms that were related to our adoption. She was crying and I just kept on yelling. I woke up feeling like a horrible, horrible daughter.

I want to keep such a positive enlightened perspective. That time spent at home helping my Mom out, sitting with my Dad, doing whatever with them is a precious and lucky thing.

But instead all week I've been dreading going. Dreading the drive. Dreading giving up my weekend. And then I feel guilty.

I know in some ways I'm just scared. Scared to see my Dad again. It's amazing how shocked I can feel each and every time I walk into his bedroom and see his shrunken, frail body in the hospital bed. You'd think I'd be used to it now.

I'm not.

You'd think I wouldn't get teary starting up his tractor mowing his grass playing with his dog watching his television driving his Gator...all without him.

But I do.

You'd think I could cut my Mom more slack. But sometimes I think she forgets that that is my father wasting away in the back bedroom of their home. She probably thinks I forget that it is her husband. I think she forgets that I'm still sad--devastatingly sad some days--over the loss of that wacky little kid I know Mr. LC and I would have created together. That I'm sad that my child will not know my Dad in a very meaningful way, if at all. Infertility is a forbidden topic now. Been there, done that.

Families are so complicated. Mother/daughter relationships are so complicated. I laugh--bitterly--when I think about how hard I am fighting to have a child of my own have such a fiercely complicated relationship with me one day.

To resent me and love me and be annoyed by me all in the same breath.

But I guess it's what we're all fighting for, huh?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I, Beetle?

I never thought I would be the type of blogger who got down to weekly posts only, but there just isn't much going on. Believe me, I'd tell you if there were anything to tell.

But I have been having fun lately.

Running, lots of running. 9 miles here, 7.5 miles there, 10 miles there. I lost another toenail but hey, it's what lotsa running does to me.

On Friday night, the mister and I went and marched and danced with a crazy marching band that was performing in the streets at 10:30 at night, marching from moonlight tower to moonlight tower in Austin. OK, so we only made it to two towers (the mister is still in a boot cast for his ankle) but it was pure happiness. I wasn't in pursuit, I was in it. It was so much fun watching people come out of their houses to see the impromptu parade in the darkness! Only in Austin, right?

The other day I was in my garage and I spotted a beetle. A giant one. He was on his back. I felt guilty because I didn't help him flip over but my hands were full and I was late for an event, yadda.

When I got home, that beetle was still there.

I walked over to him and flipped him over.

He immediately rolled back onto his back, legs clawing at the air.

I flipped him over again.

And again.

And again.

He would not stay righted.

I immediately had the following thought: how many times was I like that beetle, helplessly and hopelessly flailing my arms and legs, unable to right myself?

How many times did someone--God? the universe? --try to flip me over, help me back onto my feet? And how many times did I immediately flip back over?

Oh little beetle--are you and I so alike? In the throes of my treatment I didn't know much else besides flailing and feeling hopelessly out of control, clawing at the air.

I finally decided that this particular beetle must have been injured--beyond repair--so that he simply couldn't stay upright. He'd been on his back far too long.

I sometimes think how dangerously close I came to not being able to be righted again.

But here I am, upright, dancing and marching under the magical moonlight towers.

Friday, September 10, 2010


In the past, Mr. LC has described his most painful IF moments as a heart clench. Literally, he feels a squeeze around his heart that causes physical pain. It can be brought on by seeing a father with a baby that is a complete stranger, or at our friends' kids' birthday party, or anything 'family' really. The pain of IF can be sudden and acute, and it can be dull and relentless. Ahhh, so many ways to feel the IF pain.

I recently added a link to our IVF video to this blog. Obviously I had posted it in the past but never could quite get around to having it as a link on my main blog page. But I think it's important. It tells a story in three minutes and twelve seconds that is hard to express in words. Of course, it really only scratches the surface, set to the sounds of the upbeat ELO "Hold on Tight To Your Dreams," and mostly shows us being goofy through the grueling IVF procedures--minus the one BFN call. We either didn't record or edited out the most painful parts, because really? Who wants to see me comatose on the couch with a t-shirt soaked with tears and snot? Or how about sobbing hysterically on my kitchen floor, after collapsing, defeated by a fertilization report? Oh yeah--we can't forget the near hyperventilization-level sobbing in the restaraunt at CC.R.M. IVF#1 (overall IVF #4) w hen we got that fertilization report. Um, those wouldn't have exactly gone with the music, no?

I rewatched that video for the first time in a long time recently.

Oh the heart clench moment...when Mr. LC donned his surgical green scrubs the first time and was smoothing them down with a smile. Do you see the hope on his face? Do you see the excitement? It is palpable to me when I watch that moment. God that section of the video grabs around my heart and squeezes so hard I nearly have to close my eyes.

There isn't much worse than knowing the one person you love more than anyone else in the world is hurting. Oh wait--there is something worse--and that's knowing you did all you could and still couldn't do a damn thing about it.

But no, I can't close my eyes at that part. Because that is the face that took me through this journey--he never wavered, just supported, loved, gave shots, went to appointments, held my hand, showed up, wrote checks, laughed and joked and danced around in surgical booties to keep me from losing it--that's the face. That is the face that gets it. Deep down in his soul--he gets it.

That is the face that will continue to get it through the craptastic parts of the journey we're on now.

I'm glad we made that video. I'm glad I have a visual documentation of this part of my life...because otherwise, I might not have believed it, or remembered it accurately. I don't watch it often--maybe once every few months--and some might wonder why watch it at all? I guess it's part of trying to heal. I'm sure if I poked around on YouTube I'd find many more documented journeys of IF...but I have a feeling most of them have a happier ending and that's not going to do me much good. Our story is what it is...we did not beat infertility in the strictest sense. But it's our story, and that face--that face--heart clench or not, I love that face.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Wins and Losses and Epic Fails

So as completely and utterly selfish as this sounds, we tend to stretch our birthday celebrations into weeklong celebrations...and mine has encompassed this nice long holiday weekend. Lucky me!


As embarrassed as I am to admit this, I have never had an MP3 player. Until now! Yee haw I have joined the twenty-first century. This morning the Mister helped me download some songs and build up a workout mix. He was mortified by some of my picks but what can I say--I was born in 1974 so I have a few late 80s and early to mid 90s loves. So there. And you know what else? Debbie Gibson shares my birthday and sometimes when I clean my house I turn on her greatest hits CD. Ha.

I am also joining the twenty-first century and getting a smart phone. I have mixed emotions about this--I resisted a basic cell phone for years and now sorta can't think about living without one....and people keep texting me and I can't text back and it's really pitiful. I'm waiting another few weeks until my plan expires so at least I can get a semi-good deal.

I have been mega-running lately. Friday I ran 10 miles. Saturday 6.5. Today 7 (whilst listening to my new MP3 player--yippee!). Right.this.very.second my right foot is submerged in a bucket of ice water because of the damage said runs inflicted on my right ankle and one of my toenails. Back to the MP3 player--I had to seriously stop myself from busting out into dancing mid-run a few times. That would have been pretty.

Thanks to Larisa, I no longer get mega blisters when I do those mega runs. Thank you a million times over for turning me on to Glide. Also--no more sports bra marks, which are always such a beautiful thing in the summer.

A gift certificate to Gordoughs from Stacey as part of my birthday treats! Gordoughs are gourmet donuts and they are--generally--heaven. See why I run?

A nice long chat with Gail, my NJ sister.

The acquisition of a free Arco mid-century modern lamp (Castiglioni style). I have not stopped talking about this lamp since we got it (did I mention it was free?), the mister re-wired it, we cleaned it up, and now it sits in our living room. It's huge and beautiful and has a 150+ pound solid marble base that was a joy to move. We saw many reproductions of these lamps when we were in NYC last time and started lusting after them but even the reproductions cost $500 and up and then boom! this one lands in our laps for free. Maybe there is something to the Secret after all!

Just kidding. But I do love that lamp.


On my actual birthday, the Mister brought me one of those Gordoughs but it was just a not-so-great flavor (that I picked). I ate three bites before deciding it was simply not worth it. I plan on making a revisit very soon and am salivating just thinking about those damned gourmet donuts.

Watching MadMen (not a loss at all, only this part) and seeing Trudy and Pete finally get pregnant after being infertile for a few years/seasons. They reacted every bit the way I always would have pictured the mister and I had we finally succeeded. OK, jealous of fictional TV characters? New low for the LC.

Potential Loss?

I really can't call this a loss yet. But-- I received a text from the wife of our former little brother, whom I have talked about here previously. I'm semi-sorta scared to contact her back...the text was fairly neutral...but what if she's contacting us to tell us they're on to their third? Ack. Only time will tell.

Epic Fails

I hate to admit this seeing as how you internets are under the impression that I'm a master baker (you guys know I only post the photos of the pretty work, right?) but I had one helluva an epic fail in the bread baking department. I had six perfect loaves rising in the oven while we were out running errands, and I was all ready to bake them and share them with friends. So imagine my horror when I opened the oven prior to turning it on to find the following:

I don't know what happened. All I know is that it sucked and there was yeasty running dough everywhere. It was a pleasure to run the self-cleaning oven when it was 90+ degrees outside. Yowza.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

If I could save time in a bottle...

Well, I'd make birthdays go in reverse? Or not happen at all?

I've developed a special relationship with birthdays over the past few years. Not just because I've cruised through my early 30s and now am well established in my mid 30s (Tuesday was the charming and alarming numero 36) but because we've been trying to build a family for over five years now. So every birthday is met with complicated emotions, much more complicated than just "oh crap I'm getting older." You know the drill--that familiar ache of "oh crap another year older and still no family." I remember turning 31--my friend Bea called it my "Golden Birthday" because I was turning 31 on the 31st. A group of us went out to dinner to celebrate and I can look at the pictures and actually see the angst in my face--I was turning 31 dammit and I wasn't pregnant yet!

If I could go back and talk to that young lass I would tell her to buckle her seatbelt because it was going to be one helluva ride for the next five years. If I was feeling particularly cruel I would whisper in her ear that when she turned 36 she really wouldn't be a whole lot closer to having that family she had dreamed of for so long.

You could say I'm closer but I'm a realist. Until I have a child in my arms I'm simply not close--not close enough anyway. At all. Wait times are extending longer and longer for Ethiopian adoptions...I see it all around me. Families that have been waiting far longer than we have are still waiting...families who have received referrals are waiting much much longer for court dates. They've added a second trip requirement which extends everything and of course makes things much more expensive. (and did you see where airlines are probably going to start requiring tickets for kids under 2. Oh, thankyouvermuch, add another 3,000 to our cost).

It's a good thing there isn't such a thing as time travel because if I had met my 36 year old self when I was a fresh-faced naive 31 year old and I told her about the next five years surely I would have punched her (me?) square in the jaw. More than likely I would have laughed and simply not believed her (me). Because really--who can believe some of the shit we put ourselves through? And who could believe anyone would willingly keep going back for more?

I received a lovely email from a fellow IFer who said the following:

"I sincerely hope, wish, dream that this is the year of your life you create your family."

Oh me too. So, so much. I hope this is the year for the rest of of you still in this Godforsaken limbo too. All of us, it's time to cross over.