4.02.2014

God Continues to Write As We Discern Adoption

I am going to write this quick takes style :) I continue to try and stay quiet on the adoption/foster to adopt situation to give my husband a break, but I have great interest and curiosity about the process. A few things have popped up, and I can't help but wonder if they are from God. Dh doesn't mind if I learn some info and filter to him later, so I have begun!

  1. At the same time as we decided to stop ttc and look into adoption, my good friend Alive in Hope, started doing the same. It is awesome to discern together and see how God is already writing her amazing story! And it shows that God had this in mind when we first met because I am in a unique situation to provide resources and insight to a situation that recently came up. Love it!
  2. Our archdiocesan newspaper just posted a story since we started discerning about these nuns that facilitate adoptions. I think it is the same agency a friend of a friend used, and so I am reaching out to this friend to hear more of her story. 
  3. Remember how I told you all I am surrounded by infertility? There are woman that suffer in my immediate family, my extended family including my in laws, my high school friends, college friends, church friends, and more. Every group in my life has these woman. It certainly has made the road less lonely. I also have awesome examples in my life that have survived IF and either had children, adopted children, or came to peace and determined they were not called to adoption. Lots of strong amazing examples.  It helps, in this phase, to have access to people that have adopted, fostered, fostered to adopt, or are in the process of waiting to be matched (as well as those that discerned it wasn't for them). And so I have a bit of the picture going in, and lots of woman to tap into. A local friend did foster to adopt. In fact, as I looked up the website, there was her cute family's photo! I am meeting with her next week to hear more about their story. Also my out of town cousin did the same and fosters lots of children. In fact, I hopped on my cousin's facebook to ask her a question and saw this as her most recent post-ripped my heart out. http://vimeo.com/73172036 She and I have been communicating by fb and she is very open to answering any questions I have. I had two local friends who were waiting to be matched for adoptions. One is still waiting, while another dropped off the list so that is really important to understand that perspective too. I am also grateful for the many many adoption blogs I am looking at in a new light. Please remind me if you are going through this process so I can be sure to follow you closely!
  4. You know how my little sister is pregnant? Well her guy is a social worker and it just so happens he works at the only place in my state with the contract to adopt out children whose families' rights are terminated. And it turns out that my county is given the preference (likely due to location, the agency is here). So I can ask him questions anytime. He doesn't work on that side of things, but is very familiar. I am wondering, do you think God works through bumper stickers? lol. I do! Dh and I were with the kids going through the taco bell drive thru on 3/21 when I saw this in front of me: "Be a Foster Parent" and it listed the agencies phone number. I couldn't stop laughing. 
  5. And, while I am painfully aware that my oldest sister's kids even this week might be available for adoption (please pray for her court date Thursday), who knows? Maybe God is giving us this situation to help us be more sympathetic to what families on the other side of things are going through. I am sure she would be quite angry if we adopted and didn't take her kids if she can't raise them, but my husband has been quite clear how he doesn't feel that is good for us, and I support that.
  6. You won't believe this. Okay you totally will. I walked into my church's Women's Day of Reflection late last Saturday and found another woman close to my age who was trying to find the same retreat. We spoke for a minute, but she hung back in the cry room with her five month old while I went into the main church. After mass, I saw her heading back out the wrong way, so I grabbed her to follow the woman with name tags :) We visited as we walked to the social room where the talks were being held. I introduced myself and you know what happened next? She asked if I had a blog! Ladies, she recognized me by my picture and has been a reader for 4 or 5 years! Instant connection! Let's just say it was difficult to stop our conversation and focus on the retreat after that (even though the talks were excellent!). It's a good thing she didn't mind me sitting with her and her friend because I was NOT ready to end the conversation. Thankfully, the feeling seemed mutual, and we talked another 30 min post conference and exchanged contact information. I already feel like I have known her for years, despite her not having a blog. Her five month old son is her miracle baby post major surgery by Hilgers for endometriosis. God is so good! So glad I was running late and met you B! B is also a CASA advocate and represents what is in the best interest of children in court for abuse cases on a volunteer basis. Her first case resulted in the rights being terminated and she just happened to have a friend who was trying to adopt. Her supervisor told her to make the call, and now that family is wrapping up the adoption! I told her to keep me on speed dial for her current case :) And B's friend, A, that she was meeting up with at the talk nodded understandingly when I mentioned I had heard repeatedly that Catholic Charities is great, but doesn't do a lot of volume with adoptions. A had a friend that went with them, said the same thing. She ended up adopting through the Sisters. The same Sisters the newspaper just wrote about. Did I mention B used my good friend as her doula? So I called the friend and let her know I connected with B (which she loved, said she wanted to introduce us because so much in common) and then she was excited to hear everything. It turns out I didn't know she just completed the CASA training herself.  So maybe something will come from this route? Crazy small world regardless!
  7. Also, last week a good friend of mine finally connected with me again over the phone after ages, only to find out that they haven't resolved their infertility issues and they have decided to adopt. She is further along in the process than me and had shared about the two agencies they are exploring-Catholic Charities and the Sisters. I shared what I knew about Catholic Charities, introduced her to the Catholic infertility and adoption blogs (including mine), as well as the yahoo discussion board and facebook page. Infertility sucks, but going through it together helps, right ladies?! So welcome, S! And so excited I have someone local and close to me to explore adoption with!
I really didn't have time to write this (seriously, I wrote "right" the first time! that is def me in a hurry!), so I hope it isn't too all over the place! But then, that's a bit how I roll. If I waited until blog posts were perfect or I had time...there would be no blog posts!

3.20.2014

Insurance and Sibling Madness

No time to update fully on the family situation, but can only say it is getting way worse. I have been disowned by my sister, she has disowned two other sisters and my mother, but I am her main victim. She is telling me its my fault if her kids are taken away, and if that is the case she will commit suicide and that too will be my fault. I, however, am in the Holy Spirit bubble, thank goodness as my blood pressure didn't even raise during that conversation, I just calmly let her vent and felt bad for her believing her crazy worldview is truth, and I haven't lost a night of sleep since. If that isn't the Holy Spirit, I don't know what is.

Moving on, I wanted to let all those that found their way here from the Dr. Toth discussion board know that all our claims were denied and so was our appeal. Today I found some potential light, however, because they are saying Jessica from the office (who provided the codes) used home health codes incorrectly. At first I thought a change of code would do nothing, as we were doubly denied for not precertifying anything (we were told not needed by husband's work). However I know from digging, it was the home health diagnosis that triggered the precertification requirement and if that is incorrect than maybe there's a chance. And I am sure all veteran readers of my blog know this, but dang those insurance companies because you sure can't get distracted for a second and not follow up, and you must ask question phrased perfectly every time. Exhausting and maddening!

2.13.2014

When Enough is Enough and The Peace That Surpasses All Understanding

I appreciate the responses to my last post. TEBB is never fun. But...I'm okay. It was a clear sign. I don't like ambiguity. I know my hormones are great. I know the TEBB is the result of infection. I know our Chlamyd.ia infection is resistant to everything we've thrown it's way.

I know we could still try. We have only tried 2 cycles since our late Aug treatment. Sept was 30 days of  antibiotics. I believe we tried in October, in November I missed my fertile signs so we didn't try. In December we tried one time after seeing what I thought was TEBB and then were on Cipro the rest of the cycle. In January we tried for the second cycle. It's already February, and here I am in the fertile phase again.

Given our history, there is a decent chance that we would get pregnant this cycle trying. But, also given our history, there is a decent chance we will miscarry. Do I know the exact percent? Of course not. But I feel like we passed the tipping point in my mind. Like 55% miscarriage, 45% fine. Is there still a chance things would be fine. Of course. But I am not good with chances like 55/45. I am just not.

Is it for the right reasons or the wrong reasons? I have asked myself this. I have prayed about it. And you know what I have? Peace. I have had peace about quitting since June. We did full treatment in NY, but I didn't have too. I didn't feel desperation. I felt like I was open to it, and my dh lead us and I was happy to follow. I had realistic expectations after talking to some amazing gals that did the Hilgers/Toth route before me. I knew it wasn't necessarily our ace in the hole. No guarantees. We don't regret going. Honestly. We don't feel like we were owed something because we went.

Some thoughts in my head have been 'Is continuing to try better or worse for my marriage?' Dh and I can only be together during fertile times. We were recommended that by Dr. Toth and we did it, not because we wanted to but because it is what was healthiest for our future child. It is not good to have relations that only exist at fertile times for the purpose of procreation. It is not good to not connect in that important way at other times of the month. My dh and I have been hit some huge blows in our family and personally. My dh is struggling with shoulder pain and needs surgery; is in a job with a verbally abusive unappreciative boss he can't stand-for the last 8 years. My sister lost her husband, got caught doing meth, lost her kids. We discerned custody of the kids. These are big things. Are hearts have been heavy. We are not great experts of supporting each other and showing love when we can't be together. Yes, we need to learn to do this better, and I am reading Simcha's book on NFP (so good!) but we are real people with sin and avoiding all this time is hard. We have avoiding all 6 pregnancies including two full term. I think we've had a life time of avoiding in our 7 years of marriage. Seven years of marriage, six pregnancies. All consuming.

And when I wait those twelve weeks to see if a pregnancy will last? Time stops. It just stops. It moves so slow everyday. I live and die by blood draws. I am so emotionally drained I eat chocolate and watch tv and that's my life. I can't hardly function. That's not healthy. And really, with infection, it can cause pre-term labor and all sorts of complications at any point if not managed. So the risk never really goes away.

I also ask myself 'is it more selfish to try or to not try?' Babies in heaven is not a bad thing, necessarily. I mean, it is the goal. But if we believe a person is a person no matter how small then the pain, oh the pain of this mother's heart at parting earlier than expected. Are we not trying to avoid the pain of another loss? No. It isn't nearly that simple.

I was not a good mom to my kids during my losses. I was consumed by the pain. My last pregnancy, Nicholas, was conceived on Christmas. I bled for five long weeks. I passed his body and held it in my hands. I am still having a hard time with not giving him a proper burial. We were so taken off guard. We lost him on Valentine's Day. It is all very fresh still. I saw his fingers, you guys. His fingers!

My life is not calm. My nuclear family is always in turmoil. My dad and mom are no longer in good health due to a life of stress. My stress is not the focus of the family. It is a drop in the bucket. My stress and losses are one more thing for my mom to feel guilty about not being there for me.

My life revolves around insurance, appointments, and lots of lots of blood draws. The medicines add up in cost, and the cost of it all is beyond financial. I am tired.

I am happy for my little sister's pregnancy. She is 12 weeks-praise God! Genuine happiness. I am not sure if that would continue if I was pregnant myself, dying through the first trimester day by day. Or God forbid experiencing a loss.

Dr. Toth and Dr. Hilger's did not tell us not to try. They did say they have nothing more to offer me at this point. They did say they would throw a ridiculous amount of antibiotics at me after conception. You know what I think? I think that after the fact isn't nearly as good as prior in fixing a problem such as infection. Dr. Toth was never going to give us a post conception IV again. Nope. We think I am immune to that. I already became immune to Biaxin for sure. So it was going to be Zithromax alone and hope it works. Lots and lots of Zithromax. Around 1000 mg (the max). Until I can't take it anymore either. And we don't even know if that will work? Not to mention where will that leave me in the future when I get something like, God forbid, the MRSA my dad has? Is there such thing as being resistant to difluca.n? I don't want to find out. I take it monthly now and so does dh. My stomach is strong as can be against these antibiotics, it's amazing. But the yeast...Did I mention HCG shots? If I got pregnant, not only would I continue the four progesterone shots in my hips (2 shots, 2 cc each, twice a week for the entire pregnancy), but Dr. Hilgers wants me to give myself HCG shots in my stomach throughout the pregnancy as well. Just in case. Due to so many losses. I don't mind needles, but that is so much. I remember Dr. Hilgers trying to comfort me when we had our phone consult. He told me women with eight losses had gone on to conceive. Let's just say I didn't feel better. That is fine for them, they have that right. But I didn't plan on letting it get to that point!

So what's changed? This was always the plan since Aug, no IV after conception. And HCG shots. My sister didn't just get pregnant. My life didn't just now get crazy. My husband and my marriage didn't just now get stressed. I could go on and on. Except one thing. One thing changed that changes everything. The TEBB is back. And that's enough. The scales have tipped in favor of miscarriage, and that isn't a risk I am willing to take. It doesn't feel like a decision made out of fear. To try feels like a decision made out of desperation for us. To throw everything and the kitchen sink at it, Andrea's words-God love her, is possible. But not desirable. I just don't feel I need to know I did everything. Even though we basically did. You know what I feel? Peace. And a bit of freedom and excitement about what might be in store for us. And that, my friends, only comes from God. Because that sure as hell isn't me talking! :)









have made it no secret on my blog that I feel at peace. I am grateful