Tuesday, August 15, 2006

So hard

I never thought anything in life would be as hard as infertility (other than loved ones' deaths, but those we've experienced are quicker to recover from at least-this just keeps going). But adoption takes the cake. This is horrible. I have avoided saying anything because I don't want to paint a negative picture of adoption. I hear it truly is a wonderful experience. After it's all over, of course. Because that's when you have your baby. Which I don't. I'm miserable. It's only getting worse. I am not handling this wait very well at ALL. It's killing me a little bit at a time. I cry at least once a day. I try to hold back until I get home, so poor Chris has to deal with an emotional mess every night. He's my rock, though. I don't know how I'd get through this alone. We have an incredibly strong marriage, and this process is making it even stronger. It's not exactly how I wanted to strengthen my marriage, though. I really feel like I'm losing my mind sometimes. I was watching an old Friends rerun and one of them found out they were pregnant. I busted out crying. Stupid commercials for birthing suites at a local hospital make me cry. Walking into Dylan's room makes me cry. Seeing a pregnant person upsets me. I can't do baby showers. I tried to go to one last weekend and had to disappear after a few minutes. I just can't handle it. I can't attend my good friend's shower this weekend. She's pregnant after infertility, so she totally understands. I don't think most people understand. And that's ok. I never would have, either, had I not gone through this. I actually had a breakdown at work last week. Talk about embarassing. And once the tears start, there's no stopping them. Chris wants me to mention it at my doctor's appointment this week (I'm going because my stupid insurance company no longer covers the heartburn meds they made me switch to a couple years ago). I really don't want to go on anti-depressants again. Not that there's anything wrong with them, I just don't want to feel like I have to be medicated to feel normal. But at the same time, I can't go on feeling like this. I know I'm no fun to be around. It really scares me that I'll get PAD (post-adoption depression). It's very real and mimics post-partum depression. I try not to think about it, though, because I don't want to talk myself into getting it, you know? It's just something I have to watch out for-a history of depression makes me more prone to it. Another bad thing is being upset has the opposite effect on me with my diet. Most people stop eating. I'm an emotional eater. I'm struggling not to gain a lot of weight. I've already gained 10 pounds that I worked so hard to lose. It only took a couple months to gain that much. By the time we get Dylan home, I'll be a blimp if I'm not careful. Especially with all the delays.

Being the OCD person that I am, I've made a spreadsheet that keeps up with every referral coming through, my current spot on the list (#19 for a boy), and the time elapsed. It automatically calculates the average number of referrals per month (2.3 boys) and estimates when I'll get my referral based on that average and my number. It also calculates my current spot on the list when I add new referrals. Anyway, at the current rate, I should get a referral on 4/29/07 (travel is 4-5 months after that). I did hear rumor there was a referral last week, but it hasn't been announced yet (we get regular updates from the VN coordinator with our agency). If it was a boy, that moves our date back to 3/16/07. So you see, either way, we're screwed. We are still being told 4-5 months from when we get on the list. That would mean we should get a referral in Oct. or Nov. They have had 17 boy referrals since VN reopened to the US in January through my agency. That was EIGHT months ago. And they expect another 19 in the next 2-3 months?!? I don't see it happening. And I just can't make it through another Christmas without my baby.


Nicki said...

I TRULY understand your pain (except I'm not interested in keeping quiet about it!! haha). I really think we should openly talk about it because I think it would have been more bearable for me had I known to expect it. I can't count the number of times friends have said to me "Oh didn't I warn you it would be the hardest thing you'll ever endure?" Um, no. Thanks for that. So you aren't alone and maybe it's not hard for everyone but it has been damned hard for me too!

Stephanie said...

Seriously?? I honestly thought I was just not handling it as well as I should be. All I ever hear about adoption is how rewarding it is and how great the journey of love will be. But no one has ever said it was painful and depressing. I felt guilty that I wasn't always happy about it. On the groups, everyone always talks about how exciting it is and how fast it goes. But it's taking FOREVER! It's going to end up being a year. I was supposed to have my first baby when I was 26 and the second when I'm 28. My plan has been totally shot out of the water! I just can't believe what I'm feeling is normal. Thanks for sharing.

Stacey said...

I also understand what you are going through! We tried to have a baby for a few years - but of course, nothing came of it. We started our adoption process last October (Oct. 23rd exactly). We just got our referral (boy) 2 weeks ago. They told us that since we had gotten into the program early our wait would only be 2 months for a referral. 3 1/2 months later we finally received it! From the beginning of the wait time till now I have gained 7 lbs. - so I know what you mean about being an emotional eater. I still think that infertility and coming to the realization that I wouldn't be able to have a biological child with my husband has been the hardest thing I have ever gone through in my life. However, the adoption process has not been all it was cracked up to be. I went into this blindly believing the time frames the agency gave me as written in stone (that was my first mistake). On a good note - I have heard of families that have adopted recently from VN that actually got through quicker than expected.
I hope that you will be able to get through this process quicker than you anticipate. And, I agree with Nicki, let those feelings out! It feels better when you do!!!

The Town Criers said...

A very poignant post. Perhaps one people can print out and hand to people when they say "if you adopt you'll get pregnant." As if they have any clue about adoption. Hang in there.

Jennifer said...

ok, I missed this one by not checking in regularly enough... I am incredibly moved. You are going to pull through this. Heaven knows you've weathered everything else under the sun. I know what it's like to be a chemically imbalanced female, but I can't imagine what you are going through and I feel guilty sometimes that I am not able to wrap my head around your circumstances. I feel guilty that I could probably have a baby the minute I put down the birth control pills and I don't want to get pregnant yet. You know? I feel like I am personally attacking you by feeling this way because you want a child so badly. It is so hard to understand what all of this means and why we have been set on these paths. I wish I had some comforting words or magic dust. When I get really scared to keep going or terribly "done" with life I usually exercise myself to a really great sweat, write in a journal, watch the saddest movies I can think of until the tears don't come anymore, or borrow some XANAX. I can say, though, the every right choice is hard. The right way always requires the most effort, the most courage, and the most patience. And gold is purified by fire. When you are able, take comfort in knowing that you have found the right path. You know it is right by the fire you are walking through.

Jami said...

Believe me, I totally get the discouragement. The only hope I can offer you is that I was there, and when it was at its worst, when I, for the first time in my life, actually wished I could just die, everything picked up and now I can't even remember life before Eddie. Dylan is coming home, not as soon as you'd like, but he'll be there. We're praying for you.

And if you need the medication, take it. This is hard enough without having to deal with being out of whack beyond your control.

Call me up and cry if you need to - I've been there.

EDW said...

Hi. I came over from Jami's blog. I have not been through adoption, although I have friends who have and one friend who is going through it right now.

Of course how you feel is normal. That's how you feel, you should talk about it and be consumed with it if you need to be, and feel it. It's okay to feel that way.

There is no journey to parenthood that is not fraught with emotional upheavel, binge eating, or some depression. Oh, maybe some people sail through it, but I don't know them. Or want to!

That's all I wanted to say - it's okay to feel like you do, and you'll get through it to the other side. And then, one day, your honesty can help some other woman who is walking in your shoes. I know I could have used some honesty on my journey to parenthood!