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Monday, November 19, 2012

New Possible Match!

It looks like we are going to have another match.  Nothing is OFFICIAL, but it looks very promising.  That baby is due January 26th and is a boy!  Stay tuned to later in the month when we find out more.  I have talked to the birth mother several times and it is looking really good!  A nice fit for everyone.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

TV Series

If hadn't mentioned it before, we are doing a show to air next summer/fall.  It started out where I was watching a movie on tv and saw a preview for a new show that would begin airing this past summer.  I was chatting with our birth mother via text who had JUST selected us and told her she should check out the previews and we should begin watching it each week together over the phone or something.  The show is mostly about the birth mother and the struggles she goes through with her decision, her support group, her friends/family, choosing a family for her child, giving birth and following through with the adoption plan.  Some episodes show the adoptive family... some do not.

When she went online to view the previews for the new show, she saw that there was a form to fill out to be a part of the show.  So, she then tells me she signed us up.  It's TV... we aren't going to get chosen, right? Well, soon the casting agents were calling her and interviewing her, asking for background info, collecting pictures, talking to her agency, and sending camera crews and psychologists to meet with her.  I guess they liked everything about our story, so they booked her.  They asked if we were willing to be a part of the show and they sent us a ton of consent forms, back ground check paper work and after many phone calls, it was all set up.

It was the weekend prior to the unraveling of our match that we were with the filming crew for the first time.  We spent the weekend doing fun things.  We had our 4D sonogram.  Ate meals.  Had interviews.  Went shopping.  Had a day at an art studio creating tye dye onesies together while the guys (Joe and the birth father) were filming at the bar down the street.  The whole thing was very surreal.  And after a bit, it was hard to even remember the cameras were there, except for those awkward silent moments where we ran out of things to talk about, yet they wanted more... LOL.

So anyhow, we considered withdrawing from the show.  After several weeks of the birth mother lashing out at me and claiming I only didn't want the show to film our moderated agency meeting because it would prove that I did her wrong by setting limitations on the open adoption, we finally decided it would be ok if we proceeded with the show.  After all... we DO have a story to tell.  Our adoption match was unique.  It presented obstacles that not all adoptions face.  It shows a friendship, turmoil, disagreement, separation, disruption and peace. I don't know what she will decide to do over the next 7 weeks.  I hear she is looking at new families and still intends to follow through with adoption, but she no longer confides much in me.  We talk maybe once every few days and it is very brief, via text or facebook.

We are doing video diaries, which we send to the show producers to be included in the episode.  In December they intend to interview us a final time when the baby is born... not because the baby is being born, but more so that's when they will be flying out again to film with the birth mother and want to fit us in at the same time.  Hopefully, by December we'll have an update that we've been matched.  If not, the show won't be airing until August/September of next season, so by then, we surely will have a baby to share pictures of at the end of the show.  (Fingers crossed)

I think continuing with the show, but separately from the birth parents, will show a very real side of adoption that the show has previously not experienced.  I hope it can help both birth and adoptive parents have a better understanding of adoption and the necessity of setting boundaries early on.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Our Adoption Bio Book

Bio Book Link
While completely devastated of the loss of a child we thought was meant to be ours... we are NOT giving up.  God has a plan for us and our agency is actively seeking another baby/birth mother match for us.  They are sparing our feelings as much as possible by looking for birth mothers that are very far along in their pregnancy.... or even in labor and looking to place their child with the family of the agencies choice.

We are so appreciative that they are sensitive to the grief we are feeling and are helping us by speeding along the next match.  Here is our bio book if you are interested or know anyone in Ohio that may be considering adoption.  Please have them contact Adoption Link in Yellow Springs, Ohio.  Birthparent Line: 1-800-643-3356

Thank you for your continued prayers for us and the birth mother that we were originally matched with.  She is under a great deal of stress with the things she is going through.  

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Day I Fell Apart...

October 11 - midnight. The day I fell apart...

Hysterectomy - finality to Infertility. Check

Failed adoption - thought with our infertility we were better off never having gotten pregnant and therefore never had a miscarriage... So this is what it feels like. Check

Lash out at loved ones - Isaac was yelled at for taking too long to do homework and questioning why I was yelling at him.  Sleeping in guest room because I can't face my patient loving husband, despite the fact he is in pain with a kidney stone. Check 

Cry and have melt down - lay in guest bed alone, crying in self pity. Check 

Today is the day I broke.  I feel like crap, mentally and physically. I am depressed. I am angry. I am sad. I am hurt.  I am bitter. I am broken. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

When a match falls through...

It seems like just yesterday we were sharing our wonderful news that we were matched... that we were having a baby girl... that we were happy...

How fast things can fall apart.  It's been a really difficult subject for me to talk about.  Many people sensed we were having issues, as I don't hide my emotion well.  But, not everyone knows what happened.  3 weeks ago, we went to visit the birth parents in their home town.  During that visit we had a scheduled 4D sonogram.  Our birth mother also had signed us up for a TV show.  The producers and camera crew were there to spend the weekend with us and document our story.  It was an amazing weekend... but emotions were high and many things came up that were red flags that this adoption may not be everything we and the birth parents were looking for.  We left feeling closer to them than ever, but also had concerns that we weren't on the same page.

The birth father has never fully supported the idea of the adoption.  See he is 15 years older than the birth mother and has 3 children.  She is the mother of a wonderful 3 year old, whom she gets no financial support for from his biological father. She convinced him that together with 5 children, they would NOT succeed and adoption was the best plan.  He reluctantly signed papers that would terminate his rights as long as she was moving forward with the adoption.  During that weekend visit, on and off camera, he told all of us that he was becoming more comfortable with the idea of adoption, but would still prefer to keep her.  Some red flags that we saw that they were going to want more involvement in the child's life than what we were prepared for were; he wanted to have a special name for her to call him by, he wanted custody returned to him if we were to both die, and he wanted us to return with her yearly for a father/daughter dance at his church in addition to the many other visits a year we were offering.  Plus other holidays.

The birth mother, young and not truly wanting adoption, also was having a hard time with separating herself from the baby.  She has loved and cared for this child in her womb for 7 months and now is forced with the very real fact that she chose adoption.  Meaning someone else would be parenting her baby girl.  This was something she was having a very hard time with.  I had always told her we would like the baby to know them and see them "as much as possible"... Being that we live 4 hours away, both work jobs and have an 11 year old son that is active in many school, sport and music activities, we thought they would understand that would probably mean a few times a year.  When we returned from our visit, everything seemed to crash and fall apart.  The number 2-4 times a year was said by me when she asked me to clarify how often she would likely see the baby.  This devastated her and lead to 2 solid weeks of her very upset and angry with me.  I tried everything to fix it, but it just wasn't enough. 

I admit, there were times I had a very hard time containing the anger I felt when she lashed out at me and accused me of lying to her, leading her on, not trusting me and betraying her.  It's natural to get defensive when a person feels attacked. There were times I let my emotions get the best of me and I responded to her hastily.  But, no matter what, it is understandable that a scared, young mother is terrified of this process and I am the best person to lash out at... I was, after all, the threat, the woman "taking" her child. 

As things began to mend between us this week, today she found out that by switching agencies, the consent form signed by the birth father was no longer going to be used and he would have to sign all over again.  He has always said he regretted signing and now refuses to do so. She served him with a 30 day notice to claim paternity. I don't know what that will mean for her, for him, for us.  But for now, we know we will not be getting the daughter we thought we were going to have.

Of course, we can move on, and probably will... But that doesn't take away the pain, the loss, the sadness, the anguish, the anger...

So this is what a failed adoption feels like?  We had so much invested. Not just financially, but emotionally. This baby we felt growing on our hearts for months now.  We saw her face on the screen. We have pictures of her smiling, yawning, making a fist, frowning.  We loved her... This is a loss we don't know how to mourn... We still love her... or the thought of her.  She is still here... Just not with us.

Monday, September 10, 2012


Well, Joe and I decided it was in our best interest to have a hysterectomy.  With infertility and pain, it made sense to go ahead with the surgery now instead of later.  I had a large fibroid and an enlarged uterus along with constant cysts. 

Surgery was this past Friday.  I was terrified.  But, surprisingly, I did really well.  The surgery took less than 2 hours done by daVinci robot at West Chester Hospital by my OBGYN.  She also put in a bladder sling since my pregnancy 11 years ago altered the location of my bladder.  By 11:00 am I was in my room at the hospital and on plenty of pain killers.  I needed them, I hurt like crazy.  Poor Joe had to help me to the bathroom about every hour for the first 2 days.  The first of which I peed dark blue urine.  I felt rather smurfy. 

I was released from the hospital Saturday to come home and rest.  Joe and I watched a few movies on the couch then went to the bedroom and watched more.   He has taken excellent care of me while healing.  At my beck-n-call.  :-)

Today, he has stayed home with me again from work, because I am still not as mobile as I'd like and driving would be way too hard still today.  So he is on pick up and drop off duty for Isaac today. (school and football). 

It's a little bitter sweet having my uterus and cervix gone.  I am glad my ovaries were healthy enough to save so I don't need to have hormone treatment.  But, this is the last confirmation that I will never bear another child.  So blessed that we will have Eliza in our lives in December!  And no more periods ever again!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Inducing Lactation

Background:  Well after many years of considering adoption... we are doing it!  We have been matched with an amazing woman who thinks we are the right family to place her unborn daughter with.  We are so blessed to have her in our life.  As well as her son, boyfriend and his 3 children.   We met her online at the very beginning of her pregnancy.  We live in neighboring states so we didn't think adoption was possible through our agencies across state lines.  At 14 weeks in her pregnancy, we found out it WAS possible.  A few weeks later she officially selected us and we have been extremely close since.  She is now 26 weeks and I have begun the process of inducing lactation.  She is fully supportive of me nursing the baby.

I started the process by searching the web to find resources on inducing lactation and seeing my OBGYN and endocrinologist.   I was a bit discouraged at first because the most beneficial sites I found suggested a 6+ month induction time frame for best results.  My GYN referred me to Mercy Hospital's lactation department.  There I met with a wonderful lady who sat down with me and went over my hopes and the protocols that I found online.  She was very happy to hear that I was actually re-lactating since I nursed Isaac 10 years ago.  She was hopeful that it would be much easier for me, however we had a road block with the protocol.  The protocol still called for 2 drugs to be taken.  1 was an oral birth control (I am using Ocella for the estrogen and progesterone) as well as a drug called domperidone.  It is actually a drug used for severe acid reflux and nausea (yay, I have those), but its side effect is increased prolactin.  Prolactin is made by the pituitary gland (remember my tumor?... it's gone!).   Domperidone is highly recommended by lacation consultants and doctors alike, however it has never been approved by the FDA.  It can be prescribed, but because of it's lack of approval, some doctors are nervous to actually write a script.  I had to make the decision to order it from another country or take an alternate drug called Reglan which crosses the blood brain barrier and can cause mental illness if taken longer than 3 weeks.  I went with ordering domperidone from another country. 

With 17 weeks left to go in the pregnancy, I started taking Ocella.  I was very nervous because the domperidone may not even come in and 17 weeks was hardly 6 months!  I also read more stories about inducing rather than re-lactating after 10 years... so for the last 3 weeks I have been very anxious to see what will even happen.  So far I have tolerated the BC very well.  I am to skip the placebo pills and continue with just the hormone pills until I stop a few week prior to birth.

Because I nursed Isaac before, my milk glands are already in the state they need to be or apparently it doesn't take much to get them where they need to be.  Within days of taking BC, my breasts started to hurt and feel much heavier.  I began massaging them daily for about 5 minutes per breast.  I began nipple stimulation with the massage and in the shower for a few minutes each day to toughen, stimulate and prepare.  I have finally received the domperidone in the mail.... however I have read conflicting reports on how to use it best.  Ask Lenore website is the standard protocol used for inducing... it says to take it the entire time you are taking the birth control and eventually wean off it once milk supply is well established.  Other sites claim that it has a peak point at 14 days of use and then begins to trail off.

I am having my hysterectomy on Friday of this week... I don't want to start a new drug (especially one I ordered online) before surgery.  So I have been strictly trying to raise my prolactin through stimulation as of now.  BC is supposed to mimic pregnancy and hinder the milk supply from coming in... however yesterday and today I have seen my first signs of pre-milk.  I have been able to hand express a few drops each day out of my right breast.  None from the left yet.  I think that is a very good sign!

We have 14 weeks left in the pregnancy.  I hope to go off the birth control with about 3-4 weeks left (in 10-11 weeks).  At which time I will begin taking the domperidone and start pumping instead of just hand stimulation and massaging.  I hope this is the right course of action with the results I have already seen... if you have any suggestions, feel free to write! :-)

PS.  holding my new nephew and picturing babies nursing and the feeling of them against me seems to help.  My breast seem to get more tender.   I have definitely gotten far more emotional than normal.  I cry at very simple things, or at least choke up.