25 October 2010

New Focus

I thought that this new phase in our infertility struggle needed a blog re-design. I'm not done tweaking it yet and I'm not 100% happy with the new layout, but like my IF struggle as of late, it seems to be evolving.

I'd like to believe that I'm entering into a phase where more happiness awaits. I'm sure that there will be even more waiting, and more frustration, but hopefully there will be a baby in the end.

If I only knew that making a baby the old-fashioned way wasn't going to be straightforward five years ago. I know that there is no way that I could've prepared my heart for all of the emotions that I have felt since that first time that AF arrived after two weeks of hoping.

How naive I was.

I got a response from one of the adoption agencies that I e-mailed last night. In fact, the response came around 9am this morning. I haven't heard from one of the others and my message bounced back from the third. Here's what the message said:

Dear Mr and Mrs. JellyBelly,

Thank you for your interest in our agency.

The adoption process takes approximately 2 years to be matched with a 
child once your approved paperwork arrives in the P.hilippines.  
Currently there is moratorium in effect in the P.hilippines which means 
they are not accepting any new applicants for children under 24 months 
of age.  The youngest applicant cannot be more than 45 years older 
than the child.  The fees to facilitate the adoption are approximately 
$20,000.00 and is paid at different times throughout the process.  If 
you require further information please call the office at 
416-2*3-****  I could also arrange a consultation appointment for you 
which is about an hour in length.  During this appointment we would go 
over in detail time lines, fees, process and give you any paperwork 
specific to the P.hilippines.  The fee for the consultation is $210.00.

Have a nice day,
Adoption lady

So the cost is a bit less that I thought it would be. Mr. JB was a bit shocked, but he has no concept about how much adoption costs. I actually thought that it would be more! It looks like we're going to have to make an appointment for a consultation. I'm trying not to be resentful about the $210 or even the $20 0000. As so many of you have told me, it will all be worth it.

I also e-mailed a close friend of mine who has recently adopted a baby domestically. I knew that him and his partner were home study approved and that they were waiting and I was absolutely overjoyed to learn last week that their baby had come into their lives. He didn't know about our IF struggle and I gave him the short history of our struggle and as well as asked him about their experience with domestic adoption. I haven't taken domestic adoption off of the table and I am very interested in the agency that they used. We'll have to see what kind of information that we get from them. It would be nice to work with an agency that friends of ours have had experience with.

For the first time in almost five years I feel truly hopeful. Perhaps taking the focus away from my broken body and wonky hormones is just what my tired, disappointed soul needs. Like my dear, This Cross I Embrace said to me last night, "Your baby's in utero right now going "It's about time, mommy!"

That image alone made my heart smile.

I'm coming to get you baby. I don't know how long it's going to take, but mommy is coming to get you.

24 October 2010

One Small Step...

I just sent three e-mails to three international adoption agencies in my province.

I decided out of the blue that I was done sitting on the fence.

I didn't even tell Mr. JB that I was going to do it.

I want a baby.

And soon.

Dear Lord, what have I started here?????

21 October 2010

Dear AF

Dear AF,

First off, you suck and I really don't care if you're offended.

The one thing I ask of you is not to wait until the very end of the day to show up. Although I had an inkling that you were on your way (I know the signs after 5 years of IF), I did get my hopes up just a tad.

I am very glad that your arrival doesn't have me doubled over in pain, but that doesn't mean that I want you to show up.

Could you please take a nine month break soon?



Thank you so much for your wonderful supportive comments on my last post. I knew that my formerly IF friends would understand. You girls are awesome.

18 October 2010

An Open Letter To My Formerly IF Friends

Dear Formerly IF Friends (I didn't know what else to call all of you that are pg or have recently become mothers, I know that the scars of IF will linger forever, please don't take offense),

I have a confession to make.

I've had a really hard time reading and commenting on your blogs. It has been especially tough as of late since I am approaching the one year anniversary of my period returning post-surgery/post-Lu.pron -- the date I've had in mind to stop TTC (yes, another deadline, I know, but the madness has to stop sometime).

Don't get me wrong, I rejoice in your pregnancies and the births of your babies. I am overjoyed when you take your adoptive babies home.

But here I am, over five years TTC, and my womb is still empty. My husband has just turned 40 and he is still not a dad. My "room that was to be a nursery" is still full of crap.

I am so tired of the meds, the shots, the charting, the 2WW. As much as I want off of this roller coaster, I know that as December approaches that I will panic again and I will wonder if switching our focus to adoption will be the right choice.

I know that I've come a long way. I no longer plunge into the depths of despair when AF comes, but I think that part of it is because I have so little hope of actually conceiving. I know that it is a coping mechanism and that I've had to convince myself that everything is fine. If I didn't do this, I would've been committed to a padded room a LONG time ago.

So many of you are soon approaching your due dates. I know that your blogs are going to be filled with cute pictures of your newborns. I know that I will feel joy, but I will also feel the utter sadness that my arms are still empty. I will comment that I am happy for you (which I will be, don't worry), but I don't know how often I will be able to read about your baby. Jealousy is so difficult. I struggle with it every day.

I wish that I could look at a baby and not think that I should have a baby of my own. I wish that I didn't ache with every fibre of my being.

I wish that I didn't want to be a mom so badly.

I don't want any of you to feel guilty or sorry for me (pity is not something I deal with very well, one of the many reasons why I don't tell very many people about our IF in my real life).

I would like to hope that one day I will look back at my blog archives at this sad time while I hold a fussy baby while I try to catch up with my friends, but I don't know if this one dream of mine is ever going to be realized.

I continue to pray for all of you, particularly for your children. They are and will be so lucky to have you as mothers. I am so blessed to have such a wonderful network of girlfriends that have supported me through so many peaks and valleys, although it seems like the valleys have been more plentiful.



Kitty Cat Update: Mr. JB called my crazy mother after school today and everything seems to be better with my cat. She admitted to him that she hadn't cleaned the litter box in quite a while (they only have one box for two cats, totally not enough!) which totally explains why my cat was having "accidents." She failed to mention this to me.

When my cat lived with me I used to have to clean her litter out twice a day. I can only imagine how put out my cat was to have to use a dirty litter box!

Needless to say, I am that much more angry that she wanted to euthanize my cat because she didn't clean out the litter box! ARGH!

Saintly Update: Yesterday my brother-in-law got to be a Eucharistic Minister for the canonization of St Andre of Montreal! He was only about 50 metres from the Pope! I am so excited that we have the first Canadian born saint! If you want to visit a beautiful place you've got to see St. Joseph's Oratory in Montreal. It is quite the sight to see! Woohoo!

St. Andre pray for us!

16 October 2010

My Crazy Mother Strikes Again

One would think that I would be used to my mother's shenanigans by now.

Unfortunately, she is the only person on this planet that can have my blood boil and make me cry at the same time, all while unnecessarily blaming myself for having done everything wrong.

Earlier last week I asked my mom to be on the lookout for a new winter coat for me. My mom loves to shop and particularly loves to have something specific to look for. I know that she often goes to the mall with her girlfriends or sisters so I knew that it would be something that she would enjoy doing.

She called this morning while I was on my way from yoga and she told Mr JB that she may have found a coat for me. I was pretty happy to hear that so I called her as soon as I walked in the door. She was very pleasant and said that she would even put the coat on layaway for me if she found one in my size (she knows my taste in clothes very well). Then she gave me some news that completely shocked me.

Let me give you some background, before I continue: Mr. JB is deathly allergic to cats and when I moved into our house a few months before our wedding my cat went to live with my parents. It was the saddest day of my life and Mr. JB drove her to their house alone because I couldn't bear to do it. She has lived with them since April 2005 and has done so very happily. My dad has a cat and they have a large house and a big backyard, and there is usually someone home.

My mom has been complaining about her blood pressure for the past week and she's even taken time off of work (really, she takes a lot of time off in general, I really don't know why she even bothers pretending to work full time!) because of it.

Then she started telling me about how she wants to put my cat down because she's been missing the litter box. Apparently for the past week (which I find interesting since she has not mentioned my cat to myself of Mr. JB and we have talked to her pretty much every other day) my cat has been behaving strangely. She's been scratching the furniture, peeing everywhere and just not acting like herself.

My cat is a very laid back animal. She's almost 13 years old and she's always had a very gentle personality. The only times she behaves out of the ordinary is when she's sick. The last time she was really ill was when we moved to Ottawa for Teachers' College. I took her to the vet and she got some medication and then she was fine. I explained this very calmly to my mother and I asked her if she had thought about taking her to the vet and she said no.

I tried so hard not to yell or lose my mind and I explained to her that I would pay for the vet bills and medication, but instead of wanting to euthanize my pet, she needed to take her to the vet ASAP. She did mention that a new P.et S.mart had opened up by their house and that she knew that the vet was open on Saturdays and that she would check it out sometime today. I offered to take the cat to my old vet, but it would involve over an hour in the car which would drive my cat crazy.

I know that she's older and she is also very overweight (my parents are the most vigilant with keeping up with shots and that sort of stuff). Although my cat is an indoor cat, theirs goes out into the neighbourhood so who knows what the other cat has brought into the house.

Needless to say, as soon as I got off of the phone I broke down. Mr JB came up to find me crying on our bed. It also doesn't help that his dad is here and I have had to hold it together (I also got quite angry at him last night because of his use of "Chinaman," I've told him over and over again that the term is offensive, particularly because I am ASIAN!). He tried to backtrack and say that in his day the words weren't bad and I repeated that I have explained to him before that it is offensive to me so he should stop. I have never taken such a firm tone with him before, but I just couldn't take it, particularly because I asked him not to use the term over Thanksgiving last week.

Please pray for my beloved Fussy Cat. I know that there are a lot of animal lovers out there among my readers and that you would all understand my sadness and frustration.

12 October 2010

Having One of Those IF Days

I've been sitting in my lab's waiting room for over 45 minutes and I'm getting pretty anxious. My school day doesn't start until 8:45am, and it looks like that I will be seen soon, but I really hate not having time to get my bearings before the kiddies arrive.

There's nothing like having bloodwork done before work! It's the horrible reminder that I'm not like everyone else. I hate being reminded that I'm barren.

I have no idea if I should be hopeful this cycle. Mr JB and I gave it the old college try, but we've been doing that for the past five years! It also doesn't help that Mr JB has a milestone birthday on Friday. I don't know why his turning 40 is so hard on me. How I would love to give him some great news....

It's finally my turn. Argh, gotta love the lab!!!

5 October 2010

When it rains, it pours

How fitting for a rainy day. Have I mentioned how much I cannot stand rainy days as a teacher? Cooping up 19 seven year olds all day in a classroom was tough, particularly since I needed some quiet time today, but I couldn't find any.

I'm sure that my hormones (it's CD16) are playing a part in my horrible mood, or maybe not. I like to blame my hormones for so many things.

When I woke up this morning I checked my blog comments and I had "anonymous" commenter saying that she found something offensive about my opinion regarding my friend's sister having IVF. I don't want to start a debate on my blog, I don't have the time nor the inclination to start one. But I am not going to apologize to have the point of view that I have seeing that I am a ROMAN CATHOLIC INFERTILITY BLOGGER. I'd like to believe that the people that are attracted to my blog are reading because they appreciate and understand my point of view. I have never pretended to be anything but a ROMAN CATHOLIC INFERTILITY BLOGGER. I am a Catholic school teacher, so is my husband and my brother-in-law is a Jesuit priest. If you don't want to read what I write and if you find it offensive, please go elsewhere.

So there.

I'm not even going to start about my friend who is trying to get pregnant before her wedding. I've blogged enough about scandalous weddings in the past few months. This one is just beyond my comprehension.

My teaching partner made a snide comment about my delegating to her. I know that I have griped about her lack of initiative, but I cannot believe that she would say something about me giving her things to do. If I didn't she would do nothing. When we were planning Monday afternoon she said that she would make a title page for the kids to colour for today and it wasn't done. I had to scramble for something to do because I didn't have what we had planned.

I am more than willing to mentor her. I know that I have many more years of experience than she does, but she is giving me very little to work with. I am so angry and disappointed by the tone of what she said to our colleague and I need to put out this fire ASAP. I'm going to talk to her tomorrow and hopefully she will understand my frustration. I am so tired of carrying the grade two curriculum on my back since she is a certified teacher as well. It would be one thing if she was a high school co-op student or a student teacher, but she is getting paid very good money to use my ideas!

If things don't get better I am going to have to talk to my principal. We have a very good relationship and I am not a complainer, but I am so concerned for the students in her class!

Lastly, I had a little altercation with one of my friends at yoga this evening. Remember my friend K? The one that is in love with one of our gay friends? Well we have plans to see Ea.t, P.ray, L.ove on Friday and she snapped at me because I didn't know what time the movie is going to be playing. The listings on the Internet and in the paper only have the movie listings until Thursday. There are a few of us that have wanted to see the movie since it came out in August (not surprising for a bunch of friends that practice yoga) and we've put it off because K has been having some family issues.

I told K, very calmly, that we could meet at a coffee place close to the theatre and if the movie isn't playing then we could just hang out there, and if the movie is playing then we could go see it. The solution was pretty simple in my opinion, but it wasn't good enough for her. I understand that she has issues, too many to list here, but her reaction took me totally off guard, particularly when she told us to plan to see the movie without her and she would see if she could make it.


I wish that I didn't take all of this stress to heart, but I do. My Napro doc and my wonderful husband both tell me all the time that I need to relax. I did go to a Restorative yoga class tonight, rather than do a more vigorous class to see if I could calm down, but as soon as I got home I totally lost it again.

I try so hard to not let my IF issues effect my life, particularly my job. If I let all of the issues about my health and my barrenness loose on the people around me there would be a maelstrom of negative emotions surrounding me.

But I don't let it.

Perhaps it isn't the healthiest thing to do, but I do put my IF in a box when I'm out in the world because I'm so tired of letting it consume me. I'm so glad that I have my corner of the Internet to purge my thoughts, but when I feel attacked (like this morning by "anonymous") it's hard to ignore.

Does it sound like I need therapy? Or a lobotomy? Or am I just in need of a long bath and a glass of wine? Opinions anyone?

4 October 2010

Checking In

I have been a very neglectful blogger. Here's a few reasons why:

1) My teaching partner has me at my wits' end! I've realized that I have to delegate to her and I can't treat her like a colleague, but like a student. It's frustrating and it kills me that she gets paid very good money to basically use my plans to teach her class. Will having to deal with her get me closer to heaven? Probably not since I've been swearing like a sailor since I'm so frustrated!

2) My dear, sweet Ralph is moving across the country. His mom told me on Open House night and I almost started to cry right in front of her. He asked me to tell the class today and I had a very hard time holding it together. I think that I'm going to throw him a farewell party on Wednesday and I don't care if the other kids think I'm playing favourites.

3) Apparently I have a teeth grinding problem. I got a night guard to wear when I sleep (yes, so attractive! Good thing Mr. JB has to wear one too!) and I've been sleeping so much better. I had no idea how much the grinding was disturbing my sleep!

4) The 5mgs of H.ydrocort is not enough. I'm back to feeling pretty exhausted, although my mental acuity is much better. I took 10mgs one day last week to test it out and I was still tuckered out at the end of the school day. I'm hoping that my Napro doc will let me up it when I see her in November.

5) Mr. JB did a little bit of research on International Adoption last week. The P.hilippines is only adopting children older than 3 years old at present which is more than a little disappointing. I know that I need to send an e-mail to a couple of the agencies that I found, but I've been so overwhelmed with all of the school-related planning that I haven't had the time. I really hope that having Fi.lipino ancestry is going to help. Btw, have I mentioned that my parents are going to build a house next year? They're both retiring in the new year and my dad really wants to go somewhere warm during the cold Canadian winters. My dad has also offered to pay for our plane tickets so we can see the new house when it's built -- could be very convenient if we do end up adopting from there!

6) It's so cold. I don't normally complain about the fall, but I'm having an exceptionally difficult time adjusting to the colder weather. It also doesn't help that it got so cold so quickly up here.

7) I found out today that one of my girlfriends (who is a Catholic school teacher like me) is going to try to get pregnant before her wedding in January. I am so disgusted. It doesn't help that she has been living with her fiance for more than a year, but I'm so pissed! To top it off her sister, who is single and not dating, is pregnant! I have no idea who the father is, but I heard rumours that she went to a clinic and got inseminated. I'd love to be a fly on the wall when that kid gets the lowdown about his/her conception.

8) I think that my VP is trying to recruit me to become an administrator. He asked me to be one of the report card administrators (basically I will help with the programming and management of the report cards at my school) which is a pretty big job. On open house night he left me in charge of the set up and he wanted me to make sure that everyone was at their station. I entertained the thought of becoming a principal when I first started teaching, but my focus is growing my family right now, not my career. Nevertheless, I'm thinking more and more about it and perhaps when our babies are older it will be something that I'd pursue.

9) I'm going for a massage on Wednesday after school. My back is a stressed out mess, and yes, I blame it on my teaching partner. I haven't seen my RMT since before my second surgery so she is going to have her work cut out for her!

10) I apologize for my lack of commenting on all of your blogs. I'm still reading, but it's been hard to keep my head above water. Please know that I am praying for all of you -- I've spent quite a bit of time asking God for strength in the recent past!