Hells Yeah I am Getting My Life Back

Not every day. Certainly not all day. But, I am getting my spark back. I am finding the fight in my soul again. I have energy. I am going to the track again to do 400m workouts before the sun comes up.

I am running 5ks. I am not running the fastest I’ve ever run, but I am not running the slowest either. But – regardless of speed – my self-talk is incredible. I find myself, in the last stretch of a race, feeling so beautiful and strong. I am saying, “I am powerful. Look what my body can do. Look what this body, the one that was torn up over four miscarriages…torn up over the fluctuation of too many hormones over several years…torn up over one 4-day hospital stay where I was hooked up to morphine that didn’t penetrate any pain centers while I experienced labor pains without a reward…look what this brave, beautiful body is doing today.”

I am letting you all in. Tears are streaming down my face as I write this. There is so much pain locked away, but dammit it if I don’t recover. I am going to throw it all back. I am going to help people whom experience these horrific surprises in life. I was down for a long time, and I am still fighting. Here I am, coming up for air, over and over again as the days go by.

I know a lot of people stumble upon this blog after their own struggles – many being diagnosed with some type of infertility and, often, too many miscarriages. Please let this post soak in: there is “the other side” of this pain. You will get there. You will get your fight back. Keep going and kick ass.

Advertisements

Soul Full of Serenity

It seems like ages since I have felt this calm. I feel grounded in just being. Finally, there is an absence of anxiety in the blood running through my veins; there is a noticeable lack of what other times feels like liquid fire being ignited in my chest. Today, I notice the birds chirping; the lush plant material and ground coverings dripping in a symphony of greens; and the clouds hanging overhead, forming a hazy, protective barrier while letting the sun light the sky from behind them.

Leaf_edited

Nothing happened, but little pivots have unlocked this more peaceful place in me. Having another dream last night about a match in Haiti with a little boy makes me feel more steadfast and hopeful about our adoption process. News of continued, positive progress in a sick family member continues to lighten the load. 24 hours visiting with a dear friend this weekend, sharing deep conversation, two handfuls of tears, and helping each other work through some sorrows in our hearts truly felt like therapy. Then there is the new possibility of greatly altering my career path to combine my professional strengths and my soul’s calling to orphans…it is too premature to write here, but I may have such an opportunity, although I am not sure of the degree of involvement which will come to fruition…but there seems to be stirrings of newness, a shift to something more true after years of tribulations and patience.

This isn’t to say I expect an immediate, lightening-bolt change. I just sense some newness being prepared on my path. A newness, and a rightness: not an ethical or judgment-based rightness, but a truthfulness or divinity instead. I am feeling open to where the hardships have led me and where I was always supposed to go.

And for that, I am thankful today. I am lighter today. The world seems beautiful and my heart is unburdened for the first time in a long while. I hope you feel the same way today.

Silver Linings on Mother’s Day

I just needed to write a little update because my general mood has been downtrodden and I really don’t like to live in that space. As with most things, our fear is largely unwarranted as we humans can get through whatever comes our way! We may not always like the challenges, but we will be okay anyway.

I got to spend Mother’s Day with my husband and our friends, boating with their little twin boys. It was a full sky / full sun kind of day. We relaxed, took in the wind and the waves, and enjoyed the humor of three year old boys.

Boating

Later that night, on a Sunday no less, I got a call from my adoption agency. We were told a match is being prepared for us in the “next 6-8 weeks.” !!! Now, we did expect this might happen late in 2014, but – as we cannot turn back time – this is still progress. This means we may travel to bond with our little one in 2015 if everything goes smoothly, and possibly take them home in the calendar year of 2016 if the process continues as planned.

So, the reality of mother’s day was pretty darn refreshing this year. I got to enjoy cute little kiddos (without having any real responsibility). I also received encouraging adoption progress news after 9 months of silence. Not a bad Mother’s Day at all!

Mother’s Day for the Want-to-Be-Moms

I think this is always the question in mother’s minds when they have a close friend or family member struggling to add to their family if they have not struggled themselves in the same way. There sometimes is the guilt of privilege since so many moms know that it’s not always easy to get pregnant, stay pregnant, and take a beautiful child home from the hospital. I hope it’s clear that I don’t feel this guilt is warranted, but I am acknowledging that these women are compassionate and aware of an unequal playing field when it comes to what is so breezily named “family planning.”

As this is my third Mother’s Day wanting – but not having – a little one in my home, I’ll share my perspective. I cannot speak for anyone but myself and, if I have learned anything about this journey, it’s that emotionally sensitive topics like this are polarizing in opinions…and sometimes I find myself being very inconsistent in my feelings and/or reactions, so in no way can this post speak for everyone with infertility or a history of pregnancy/infant loss. But, here are my thoughts anyway, hoping to shed at least a little bit of light into this corner of the room.

I spent the first Mother’s Day I was trying to start a family pregnant. Freshly pregnant. Glowing. Oozing with joy from my secret. “Happy Mother’s Day!” I shouted to anyone who would listen. Happy, Happy Mother’s Day to all the hard working moms out there, the cuddlers, the mess-cleaners, the tear-wipers, the brave women paving the way for the new phase of my life. I couldn’t wait to share in this club, joining so many family members and friends with silly little ones running around in backyard sprinklers and holding hands crossing the street.

By the second Mother’s Day on this journey to start a family, I had survived three miscarriages. I chose the word “survived” not to be dramatic, but to remind or illustrate that there had been hardship. There had been sadness. There had even been a tragic delivery of a sweet, perfect, baby boy. It makes me weepy just thinking about that perfect boy without the heartbeat; the one whom I held with all his fingers and his toes; the one whom changed my world forever. This second Mother’s Day, I felt like a mom already.

Because I had this second trimester loss (many not knowing of the other two losses), others already thought of me as a mom, too. One dear friend sent a text out to remind many of us that our self-worth did not hinge on “how much action our collective uteri had or had not seen” which struck me as the perfect sentiment since so many of us feel so much shame when our bodies fail us in this way and, in many ways, Mother’s Day is another day to struggle internally with that shame, sadness, and confusion. The holes in our hearts are gaping open on this day.

Paradoxically, I will also add that I still had joy for those moms whom seemed to hold that title in a more “real” or legitimate way since they had brunches and crayon drawings announcing, “We love you, Mom” to prove it. There can be sadness in the midst of joy for others. There can be pain in the midst of celebration for life and all the sacrifices these wonderful women make everyday for challenging tots, tweens, and adults that will always seem young to their moms.

On this third Mother’s Day, marked tomorrow, I feel jaded. Four miscarriages and 1.5 years into international adoption, I know that this moment will pass, but I feel close to hopelessness. My “timeline peers,” as I will call them, in the Haitian adoption process, are getting soft matches (unofficial/dependent on other factors/tentative matches) with children, and I feel desperate as I, for the moment at least, am left behind again. For years now, I’ve watched women have one and then two kids while I wait, and now the adoptive moms are moving ahead too. This is all good. It’s good! I do believe that. But I don’t want to be left behind again. I don’t want to ache for my children anymore.

Interestingly enough, this is what many describe as fundamental in motherhood: the ache for your children. You want to eat them up and keep them close to you. There is an endless place in your brain focused on them even when you are sipping margaritas several hours away from them on a much-needed adult vacation. They are attached to you like nothing else. So, on Mother’s Day, I would tell the “real” moms out there that I feel like a mom too. I might not get brunch and a crayon “I love you, Mom” drawing, but an acknowledgment from friends and family of my journey fills my heart to the brim. It makes me feel validated and loved in the midst of my journey. I know one day this awkward place will be behind me, but – for Mother’s Day – I don’t pretend to know all the work that goes into caring for a child in a physical sense, but I feel I do understand your “mother heart,” that piece that is always attached to another.

Happy Mother’s Day, fellow moms, whether your children are in the sky or sitting right next to you in this world. Happy Mother’s Day to those yearning for a little one after months or years of infertility. This is one of those moments I believe in the power of intentionality. I do not say that to minimize the work and care of those mothers who need a day off from the kid chaos, but only to try and acknowledge all whom yearn for a place at the table. If you know of a “non-mom mom,” such as me, a “thinking of you” is simple enough to make her feel a little braver and more understood as she faces another non-mom day.

Don’t Forget the Irony

I know at this point I am looking for the irony in my life, but yesterday provided more fodder. I rarely get a phone call from my adoption agency, so yesterday I picked up right away when I saw the number on the screen. Could this be good news, I thought?

No. Let that sink in: No. Of course not.

I usually try to stay positive, but I also try to be very human and truthful in my writing. Yesterday was not a day that was supposed to be full of happy tears and joy for me. The foreshadowing of that occurred many months ago, though, didn’t it?

On my due date of my last lost, my adoption agency wanted to remind me that we are getting close to needing to update some of our paperwork (fingerprints, U.S. orphan adoption approval, and our homestudy). So, on the day I am reminded already that I am still waiting to parent a child, my agency reminds me further that, yes, I have been waiting so long with no news that it is time to spend more time and money to wait on a process they can tell me nothing about for an indefinite number of months. Basically, “Redo steps A, B, and C and you might not need to redo step D…unless we can’t get our job done by X month. Then, you will have to redo A, B, C, and D on a new form and…” cross your fingers, wiggle your toes, blow milk bubbles out of your nose…and hope for the best.

I’ve talked about my sick pup a number of times, as well, and – just to make sure I didn’t feel like trying to sneak any more positivity into my life – I was up with Hollywood most of the night, comforting him and cleaning up after his sickness. I hate even typing that because I think talking about sick animals is the most disgusting, boring topic ever, but it just fits in oh so well with my day. It was almost as if the universe was telling me not to forget to crumble a little – just for a moment – while I was trying so hard to stay positive.

Frankly, I think I did okay, but – no – the irony was not completely lost on me. I still felt sorry for myself a little bit (which is obvious if you are still reading this). Is that self-compassion or narcissm? I think a little of both. But I am done dwelling on it. I just wanted to stop, just long enough, to shake my proverbial head and share how perfectly wrong my life feels in certain moments.

Cheers to making today a different kind of day! On that note, at least we crammed a bunch of “ick” into one day so as not to ruin the next….Today, I will start anew with positivity and joy! Here’s my finicky, wild pup feeling a billion times better, starting off fresh today as well!

IMG_3265[1]