I started this blog for reasons unknown . . . I mean, I had no idea what I was going to do with it, what I would write about. I suppose that once I got it up and started that I was excited about connecting with other people and sharing my story, a bit of me and my life, with others.
Well, I've definitely met a variety of people. There are moms, teachers, executives, farmers, adventurers, writers, crafters, artists, musicians among those I have met here in the blog world. I mean, I did what I was supposed to do . . . I got a cute template, I joined some social networks, I registered with blog directories, I even got a blog reader. So, I've gone through all the motions. What I haven't done is share much about me, about who I am, which has made it difficult to truly connect. Outside of a few vague references to personal situations, I haven't said much. I mean, most of you know how I feel about American Idol, know that I was a teacher and a new mom, and that I travel to
I can't lie. I feel my posts at times are fluffy. They are safe, for the most part. I enjoy writing them, but there is no doubt writing about American Idol, favorite blogs, and the stuff I heard on the news isn't exactly digging deep. The thing is, I've been writing as if my mom, dad, grandma (even though she's long since gone), kindergarten teacher, and pastor are reading my every word. If anything, my comments on your posts probably reveal a lot more about me than what you'd read here.
Will I continue to write about these things? Sure I will. I have fun with it. But, I think I need to revisit why I am here and why I am doing this--especially if I am putting myself out there. It is about making connections, right? Exploring your thoughts, ideas and sharing them. Maybe taking little bits and pieces of your life and handing it over to others. Maybe to take time to write with a purpose. I'm an English teacher who loves words. How can I not? I may not love reading stacks of 10th grade essays, but I love those words nonetheless.
In the spirit of reconnecting with the reason I am here, how about I begin with the reason I started this blog in the first place . . . Baby J and how he came to be. It was a time I had to come face to face with who I was and who I might become . . .
I remember sitting at the kitchen table, thumbing through an old issue of Better Homes and Gardens and making a mental wish list. I had the phone propped on my shoulder as I listened to my best friend KM of over 20 years tell me about an Oprah show she had watched about fertility. I remember thinking, "Oh, great. More from the all knowing OPRAH." KM went on and on and I listened, sort of. That is, until she informed me that I had better seriously think about having a baby now because my eggs were getting older by the second. My ovaries probably already had cobwebs forming in the deeper recesses. What? I closed my magazine. Now, I was aware of what impacts a woman's fertility, but this was the first time this conversation was directed at me. Me. KM decided after watching Oprah (boy does that woman have powers or what?) that she was going to get pregnant. Today. Right now. Well, you laugh, but I'll be darned if only weeks later I got the call. Baby on board.
Flash forward a year and both of my best friends, KM and TS, now had children. Cute, chubby little baby boys with smiles to die for. They would plop them in my lap and rave about how good I looked with them--as if they were a Prada bag or a fancy beaded necklace. I fell in love with them both (the kids, not the bag or necklace--but then again . . . ). They were adorable little critters, that was for sure. KM and TS said I was destined to be a mom because I had played such a huge part in raising Sugar Baby, Angel Baby, and Little Brother (my three younger siblings). That may have been true, but what they didn't' realize was that the dream of having a child was something that I had known for quite some time that it might not be possible.
I had years to let the news that having children might not be in the cards for me settle in. I was 19 when I found out. I still remember the day when I was brought into the ER. I had started hemorrhaging on the cool white floors of the new communications building at my university. No one was around as I sat beneath a pay phone, calling my mom (who was hundreds of miles away). A friend has just gotten out of class, saw me, tossed me (rather gently, I might add) into the car, and drove me to the hospital.
I was OK. My ovaries, not so much. A rather large cyst has burst. And, it appeared that this cyst had brothers and sisters and they had taken up residence on my ovaries. Poor little guys, er, gals.
After my night in the ER, I went to a specialist. Tests were run. More tests. A few more tests. Finally, the diagnosis came down. I had PCOS or Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome. How many of you knew that was coming? Unfortunately, back when the diagnosis was made for me not much was known. They just knew that women with PCOS often had severe fertility problems and often could not conceive or carry a pregnancy to term. That's what they told me. Me. As I sat on a tissue-paper laden cushion, half-dressed, only 19-years-old. What to make of this news?
To be honest. I was OK with it. I mean, I was 19. I had no plans to have a baby. At least not now. I had mid-terms. There was no way a crib would fit in my dorm room. I had a car that would never accommodate a car seat. Not only that, starting at the age of 7 I had begun my foray into motherhood. My siblings played a big (and still do) part of my life. At 19 and away at college I had finally found some independence from my duties back home. So, no baby. No problem. For now.
Flash forward. My husband and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary. We had made four moves. We had changed jobs. I went to school again. Our friends and family continued to have children. Although I put on the bravest of faces, deep inside I knew that time might be running out. I deflected questions about babies and motherhood with a litany of excuses--no childcare, no money, no room, moving/changing jobs. But deep inside I knew the truth. It would be easy to not miss something you never thought you would have in the first place.
The decision to finally start trying was rather easy. One day we just decided it was now or never. We made a decision that if it didn't happen we would be OK with it. We might consider adoption, but beyond that we made a decision NOT to pursue extensive fertility treatments.
*****This next section was taken from my pregnancy journal.*****
I really want to talk about how I found out about my pregnancy. T and I were trying for about four months. I really never thought it would happen. I still remember being told at 19 that getting pregnant would be extremely difficult if I were to ever conceive at all. I packed the thought in the back of my head—always knowing it would be a tough battle. And now, no longer having youth on my side, I was going to try to do something that was considered near impossible to begin with.
In August of 06 we officially started trying. It was definitely fun for T, but often cumbersome for me. With each NOT PREGNANT symbol on that rather vindictive test, I knew my chances would continue to diminish. With school starting, I was a little stressed, but things seemed to go OK. Then we got hit with a series of bad events. First, T’s friend Ben died in a rafting accident. While he was in a coma, we heard that T’s dad (and best friend) found something suspicious on a recent x-ray. T knew it was bad right away. I didn’t think much of it—I mean, it was T’s dad. He would outlive us all. Unfortunately, that was NOT to be the case. He had stage IV lung cancer.
T made several trips back and forth to
Instead, it seems that our little peanut might have been conceived around the time T’s dad left us or maybe the last time we saw him alive and well over Thanksgiving. Maybe he left us a little gift. If so, thank you, Dad. I’ll miss you. A lot. Note to Baby J . . . I’ll write more about Grandpa L later—you need to know him. I’ll tell you stories that'll make you laugh, I promise.
I’M JUST A RUN ON SENTENCE
I realized that I completely missed my period in December and there were no signs of it appearing in January. I figured STRESS. I was devastated by my own loss of T’s dad but even more heartbroken over T’s loss. He should have his dad—I thought nearly every day. Still, not a day goes by that I don’t choke up and miss him.
With my medical history, the PA at my OB/GYN's office said to come back in January if we hadn't conceived. I scheduled an appointment with the PA on January 4th. We chatted about my difficulty conceiving and the two really irritating NEGATIVE pregnancy tests I had taken in December. I told her I thought it was really rude how they turned to negative so quickly. Why couldn’t they wait the 2 minutes and then let me down? Anyway, she gave me temperature charts, pamphlets on fertility, fertility drug information, a prescription for glucophage to help regulate my periods. I was overwhelmed. All I could think about was all the grading and lesson plans I had to do. At that moment I decided I would wait. I just didn’t feel I would have it in me to do the school stuff and keep track of my fertility. There was no way I could do it all and remain sane stay married.
The first sense of grief enveloped me. Maybe it wasn't meant to be. As we finished up our chatting she asked me again if I was certain I wasn’t pregnant. I told her emphatically that I wasn’t. She said it wouldn’t hurt to do a quick urinalysis in the lab. I said OK—resigned to seeing yet another NEGATIVE. I went to the lab, peed in my cup and sat and began to read all the fertility literature—actually, my eyes had glazed over at this point.
The lab tech came out and said, “Well, you are positive.”
Positive? “Positive I’m not pregnant, right?” I asked.
“No, positive you ARE pregnant," he replied tentatively, clearly thinking that this news might now be good news.
What? I was shocked. I asked him again and at that point I realized why I hadn’t had my period. Duh.
After leaving the office right after hearing the results (I was supposed to stay and maybe schedule my first app.), I tried desperately to call T. No answer. My senses came back and after driving out of the parking lot, I turned around and went back to the office. I told Amy my PA and she as thrilled for me. I scheduled my first OB appointment—
I was going to be a MOM.
As many times as I said it, I still didn’t believe it. I still don’t believe it. Being that I am growing a belly and have had four ultrasounds by now—I still don’t believe it. Little peanut might be kicking soon. Maybe that’ll make it more real.
I told T in Sears. How nice. We are engaged in front of a Baskin Robbins and I tell him he’s going to be a daddy in Sears. How romantic. We both handled it with reserved, cautiously optimistic joy. We’ve pretty much kept the same attitude since.
This is where the journal entry ends. J is now 7 months old. Although there are times I wish I would've had the guts to try for him years ago, I know that he is meant to be here now. I wish his grandpa could see him. Then again, not a day goes by that I don't believe that as he entered heaven (he would laugh at me saying he entered heaven) he saw little J and sent him down to us.Thank you for reading . . .