Friday, March 13, 2015

Well I never!

There are many things I have said I'd never do...

Some socially, some emotionally, some physically...

I've said that I would never have children if I was single...HA!!

I've said that I would never seek treatment to have a child...double HA!!!

I have said that...gulp...gasp...I would never go a week...NEVERMIND a month without posting on my blog! I'm in the 3rd month! WTF! How in the world did that happen? I swear in my head I wrote dozens of posts! But I guess I NEVER put them on paper! I really do need to get them out of my head...soon...I hope!

And of course let's not forget the "nevers" we said about parenting...

Never feed her french fries...hmmm she might have had one or two...

Never let her sleep in my bed...okay a cuddle night every now and then NEVER hurt anyone...

Never let her play video games...but it's only educational games...

I would NEVER put my child in front of the tv before she was 2!

Yeah well...Ladybug is watching her A,B,C video as I type this...

Lots and lots of nevers...but really where's the harm right...

Well there is one never that I recently did that I need to make sure that it really is a NEVER!

That I NEVER do it again!

Life before Ladybug, I can hardly recall but what I do recall is the pain of not knowing if I would EVER be a mom.

And the pain of how one by one everyone around me had their dreams come true and I just kept moving further and further away from mine.

As the photos of pregnant bellies and babies flooded every possible visual outlet I became increasingly defiant swearing that I would NEVER be so callous, so crude, so insensitive as to throw my victory into the face of those still struggling. That I wouldn't run around showing pictures and telling stories of "what my kid did today". Never would I make anyone else feel the pain I felt when I had to look at a baby picture and think....it's never going to be me...

Well...it really isn't that way...I know that now, the victors weren't doing that at all...but in reality, it doesn't matter. In my pain I would have never saw it for what it really is...

What it really is...is such an unbelievable, overwhelming feeling of gratitude, love and disbelief. It is a dream-like state where you feel if you don't show the world that the world might take it away...or even worse that it really didn't happen.

You run around with the Cheshire cat grin that no one can wipe off your face and you have to show everyone why!

I have over 1,500 photos and videos on my phone now that EVERYONE must see. Everyone MUST see how beautiful, funny, sweet, incredible my daughter is...she's there...she's real...and I NEVER thought I could ever be so incredible happy...I NEVER thought life held such exquisite contentment!

I NEVER thought it was going to be as amazing as it is and now I just want everyone to feel this sweet release of pain and fear...

There is a woman in my class. We have actually sat in class together for a few semesters and this semester we started talking.

She's one of us...an Infertile...oh the pain! Her and her husband tried for years to have a baby and couldn't. Her husband doesn't want to pursue donor eggs or embryos or even adoption.  He feels that if it was meant to happen, it will happen. She says they have decided to let it be what it's going to be and travel.

It blows my mind! I would NEVER let a man keep me from my dream of being a mother! (and obviously I didn't).

But I am coming from my realities. I don't have the best marriage role models in my family (or with friends for that matter). Most end in divorce and all I keep thinking is "Yeah in 5 years when you are divorced then what!!"

But what if her marriage is built to last...do you throw that away? I don't know...I've never had that...

Either way it's her decision and I'm pretty sure...no wait...I am sure...I actually know...it's a painful decision...

Every day she is in pain...it might have resolved itself to a quiet pain but it's a pain that never leaves nonetheless.

And here I am in class showing her pictures and videos of Ladybug...

I never want to be the constant reminder to her...

I never want to be the reason her quiet pain becomes loud again.

So for now I have to make sure that I never do that again. I keep my phone in its case and NEVER be her reminder.

And I'll keep praying that her husband is right (hmmm...this is where you throw in the line that men are NEVER right! Ha! Joking...kinda!) and that if it's meant to happen it will...

Because hey...I'm living proof that you NEVER know!





Thursday, December 25, 2014

It's the most wonderful time of the year...Part II...

Part I - December 2011

Just a few weeks after my second miscarriage.

My grief was insurmountable.

In that post, I summed up my grief: "...every moment feels like you are walking through quicksand. The days fly by at such an alarmingly slow pace but they will be here and gone before you know it."

I think I'm at a loss for words to describe where I am today...

Christmas Eve 2014

I see those words...those words of Christmas past... and I am speechless...wordless...

Trust me this isn't going to be one of those self absorbed, self stroking posts about..."How if I could only go back and shake the me then and tell her it's all going to be okay..."  Blah! Blah! Bullshit....

I know that there are so many out there who can't breathe right now and the holidays...the most wonderful time of the year...makes it worse. Makes it nearly impossible to even get up and face the cheer.

So no, this isn't one of those posts about how: "If I could only see into the future I would change the way I felt then"

Because there is no way, at that time, I could have foreseen this...

This freaking miracle...

And really...who the hell could!!

Because to be completely honest...I...AM...ONE...LUCKY... MOTHER FER.....!

There is no doubt in my mind that I could easily be sitting in the same grief of 2011...2012...2013 and of course the many years before that...

I do not know what I did to deserve this twist of fate that brought me my daughter...

It's perfect orchestration...how could one predict that!

I pray every day to be worthy of it...

And the only words that seem to come to me is...redemption...it feels like redemption...

And isn't that fitting for the season!

Those deep, dark moments when I felt like my whole life was a mistake...

Like there were no words to describe its purpose...

Or wait maybe there are words...

The words I never thought I would speak...

The words that every day take my breath away and are the reason I breathe...

The words...

"My daughter"

Every day I get to say those words and it is like Christmas!

To those still waiting to say those words...

To those still living with the ghost of Christmas Past or Christmas Present...

I can't tell how to make it better...or what to do to change it...all I can say is hold on...and even that isn't good enough...I know! I've been there!

But I do pray that someday you find your redemption...that you find your Merry Christmas!

Because there are no word to express it when it happens...there's nothing else like it.

It is the true meaning of Christmas...

I pray you find your Merry Christmas!











Friday, November 7, 2014

Broken too...

When I bought my condo back in 2006, all I could barely afford was a one bedroom. The condo is great. Very spacious for a one bedroom but it's a one bedroom.

Of course now my one bedroom is worth a studio and I could get a two bedroom for just about what I paid for my one bedroom...

Ughhh...and yikes...but really it doesn't matter...the tides will change again and I LOVE my condo.  I have no plans for moving...well at least for 5 years...

When I decided that I was going to take motherhood into my own hands, the plan was to turn my dining room/office into the nursery.

About three months before I got "the call"...feeling at my lowest...feeling that motherhood had slipped through my hands...I decided to put that plan into action. I put up a wall and created a nursery.

I felt that..."If I build it...they will come!"

And still to my amazement it worked!! She came and took up residency!!!

My little Ladybug has the cutest nursery! (if I do say so myself)...

But in order to make the world's cutest nursery I had to move some things around...and that included my office and two antique bookcases.  Those bookcases are treasured possessions from my Grandma H who passed away in 2008.

These bookcases were moved to either side of my living room closet.

On these bookcase not only does it house books but it is the home to some of my most treasured items...ahhhh why wasn't piggy bank up there...I'm not sure why but for some reason piggy bank was always living in my entertainment center.

But on the bookcases...pictures of family...pictures on me with my best friends...dolls...nick nacks...glass figurines and a large round, hand painted ceramic of the astrological sign of Virgo...

The astrological sign of Virgo...my sign.

The hand painted ceramic of the astrological sign of Virgo was hand painted by me when I was little. I was with my father when I painted it. It's one of the very few memories I have...painting that ceramic...

That ceramic...like piggy bank...served as my memories and has been with me for over 30 years.

About a week ago sissy L was over helping me clean out the closet the lies in between the two bookcases.

Barely tapping the bookcase with the closet door...out of all the items living on those shelves...my hand painted ceramic of the astrological sign of Virgo found a way to propel itself off the bookcase and break....

It didn't shattered...which I am happy about...but there are a couple of chunks missing that I will have to paint over...it can't be glued like piggy bank...but it is salvageable...

When it happened I thought "Figures! Doesn't that fucking figure! Of all the things!"

I wasn't mad at sissy L...she barely tapped it...And I wasn't tormented by the sight of it broken...

I was eerily quiet and had a disturbing feeling...

I knew it was an omen...

Almost like the voice that told me right before my 2nd miscarriage: "You won't be pregnant in the summer." Predicting the end of my cherished pregnancy...

This voice said: "You're dad's going to die."

I didn't say this to sissy L.

I cleaned it up and we went about our day.

We went about our days...

I couldn't (and still can't) get the image of these broken items out of my head...broken but fixed...but yet still broken...

I feel like piggy bank...I'm broken but I've been glued back together...

I'm broken because I don't have a relation with my dad. I had one and then it was gone and that has broken me...

There will always be a part of me that is broken but over time with the love of my family and friends those broken pieces have been glued back together.

You might not see the cracks just by looking at me...

You might not know I've been glued back together...but in the end the reality is...I am broken...

A few days after Virgo took a header off the bookcase I received news that my father...my dad...due to injuries from his accident...wasn't going to make it...

He was being taken off all life support...

My step mother and step siblings set it up in the hospital so that my sisters and I would Skype in and say goodbye.

I cannot thank them enough for giving me the opportunity to do so...

I'm going to be honest...deathbed Skyping is something that should NEVER be trending.

It's beyond my vocabulary to describe how hard that was...how sad...how sweet...how moving...how traumatizing...how heartbreaking...

My sisters and I Skyped in...we said hello to our "step" family...my dad's family...

We laughed...we joked...we cried...we said our goodbyes...we expressed our gratitude...

The doctor came in...explained the situation...said amazing things about my dad...and then proceeded...

We waited...

Stories... tears...waiting...songs...my step brother sang a beautiful song to my dad...

It was obvious this was a song they all knew...I didn't know it...but it was beautiful...

Then in one moment...my step sister utter the words: "Daddy".

And suddenly I felt like an intruder...

Some kind of weird peeping Tom...I knew it was time to go...he was her daddy...he was their daddy...

He spent every day with them...Christmas mornings and Easter Sundays...

My Christmas mornings were over a long time ago...he wasn't my daddy anymore and he hadn't been for 30 years.

It was in that moment it became painfully clear that I wasn't ever going to be daddy's little girl...

My cracks were showing...

I ended the Skype...

Later that night little Ladybug woke up crying...she NEVER wakes up crying...this kid can sleep!!

As I was comforting her...I knew deep down that she is broken too...it's something I've always known...and her cracks will be deeper than mine...

I told her:

"I can't take it away baby. I wish I could but I can't take it away. I just pray that I am enough glue to hold those cracks together."

She quieted down and we cuddled together...

Sometime in those moments...my father passed away.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Broken

There is a shelf on the side of my entertainment center, which for the last 8 years, has been the home to piggy bank.

A grey porcelain piggy bank with the name Michaela hand painted on either side.

I have had this piggy bank for over 30 years.

Believe it or not...that is pretty impressive because over 30 years ago finding anything with an unusual name on it was next to impossible...and even today it's hard for me to find things with my name on it (Note to Coke Cola... I would like someone to share a Coke with me!).

But that piggy bank...that piggy bank...some 30 plus years ago...my father, who was stationed in Germany at the time, somehow unearthed it and sent it to me.

It is one of the very few gifts I have from him.

For over 30 years this piggy bank has found its way to a shelf for display in every place that I have ever lived.

And trust me that is a lot of places! You discover how many it really is once you have to repeatedly fill out paperwork for your homestudy asking you to list all the places that you have EVER lived!

EVER LIVED!!

Writing that out makes you go "Dang I moved a lot!!"

And it makes me realize that is A LOT of places that piggy bank has ever lived too!

Well up until a few months ago...

My little Ladybug, my beautiful, sassy little girl, (man she has long arms!) managed to reach up to where  piggy bank lives and pull him down.

Piggy bank is now broken...

I honestly thought my reaction to piggy bank being broken would have been one of deep sadness and sheer remorse for letting one of the very few things I have from my father be in a position to be broken.

I thought I would tormented by seeing it broken into pieces...

I wasn't...I was slightly sad...I had a twinge...but I didn't feel that overwhelming sense of loss...that re-awaking of a familiar pain in my heart...the pain of not having a relationship with my father...that pain that plagued my younger years...I was waiting for that pain...but it was just a reminisce.

I picked up the broken pieces of piggy bank and he is now taking up residence in my bedroom, on top of my dresser with the hopes of someday being glued back together...I say someday because who knows the next time I'll have free time...Ladybug consumes all of my time...it's a good thing...

Not long after piggy bank took his humpty dumpty fall, I received news that my father was in a very bad car accident and in ICU.

All my life I imagined how I would feel about numerous scenarios involving my father...I don't think I ever imagined a devastating car crash that left him broken.

Just like I thought the site of piggy bank being broken would have flooded me with a pain...a pain of loss... I expected hearing such news about my father would torment me too...filling me with the that overwhelming sense of loss...re-awakening that pain that plagued me for years....but it didn't...

I felt a twinge of something...the beginning of an ache in my heart...but out of habit my heart went into self-preservation mode and allowed it to be nothing more than a twinge.

And the twinge...is that twinge there because my father was in a terrible car accident or is it empathy because no one should have to suffer that kind of fate...like the twinge I get when I see an animal on the side of the road...

Could that twinge be nothing more?? Nothing more but empathy....for my father...my dad??

My sister text me: "I just spoke to dad. He told me to let you know that he reads your blog and said you are a very strong woman and he is proud of you."

Ahhhh the twinge...against my hearts best efforts the twinge morphed into that old familiar pain...the pain you have when you lose a father...and how you lost them is inconsequential...even if they are still alive...that pain of loss...it still exists...even if it's disguise as a twinge...

"I just spoke to dad. He told me to let you know that he reads your blog and said you are a very strong woman and he is proud of you."

"He reads your blog"...

It's funny...I spent most of my 20s writing letters...letters in my head to him...never sent...some hit paper...but never sent...

"He reads your blog"...

I think in your teens you're rebellious...in your 20s wild...in your 30s you come to terms and in your 40s you forgive...you move on...you find the closest thing to peace that you can...

"He reads your blog and said you are a very strong woman and he is proud of you."

I wish he could have read the things  I wrote in my 20s and 30s...notice I didn't say teens...too harsh...and it was...but if I could have him go back and read some of it...he'd know I'm mad...he'd know I thought the world of him (what little girl doesn't)...and he'd know I remember...

"He reads your blog"...

So I guess I can let him know...(if he's reading)

Things I remember about my father...

I remember he used to bake bread...really delicious bread...it's the smell that I remember the most...

He had a really, small green car we called Kermit...

He used to flip me over his shoulder to carry me...

We used to go bowling...

We painted ceramics...

I thought he was so handsome...like Elvis!

We would watch "The Rockford Files"

I thought he was so handsome...like James Gadner!

We had a Winnebago!

His CB handle was "Ski"

He called me "short round"

"He reads your blog and said you are a very strong woman and he is proud of you."

I remember years and years ago...a good 10 years plus...I went to funeral of my friend Kay's father. It was a very sad funeral, her father was only in his 50s and she was a young girl in her 20s...

Not that losing a father at any point in life isn't devastating...

I have another friend who recently lost her father and even though he was older the loss is just as tragic...(and I think this still can apply to her because she was his world!)

Any way...after her dad died, Kay and I were talking. I was trying to bring her some comfort. I remember telling her to really hold on to the great moments she had with her dad.

My sentiments..."All my life all I ever wanted was to be daddy's little girl. I would have given anything to be daddy's little girl...for just one moment...to be daddy's little girl...you got to be daddy's little girl for over 20 years. Try remember that when you think of him."

And isn't that true of every little girl...wanting to be daddy's little girl...

But now some 30 years since, heck almost 40...I've learned to live with the fact that I am not...

My broken heart has been glued back together...

" He reads your blog"

" He is proud of you"

And my heart breaks...it's more than a twinge...to know that he is broken...

"He reads your blog"

I know physically he is broken...

But for the rest....

"He reads your blog"

I hope I can provide a little bit of glue...

And maybe...just maybe in those moments when he is reading my blog...in that moment...I am daddy's little girl.




Saturday, September 6, 2014

Just another ordinary day...sort of...Part III

August 28, 2009

As far as I can recall...it was just another ordinary day.

It was 2 days before my birthday (my "you waited too long birthday").

It was a Friday.

The plan...take the day off, go to the doctor and then head down the shore for a little b'day R&R.

The doctor...I had my first appointment with a fertility doctor to discuss Artificial Insemination.

My thoughts... I thought it was going to be easy...simple...you know like in the movies...

I walk into the doctor's office, declare my plans to have a baby on my own, the doctor does some kind of wave of his magic wand and...

PRESTO!! PREGNANT!!

Honestly that's pretty much what I thought!

I knew there would be some sort of testing and some kind of procedure but other than that...PRESTO!!

Boy was this ordinary day about to teach me lessons I didn't want to learn.

August 28, 2009

On that day not myself nor the doctor knew how this was going to end...because the journey...that long and painful road I was about to travel... had only just to begin...without even knowing it, I had taken the first steps.

And the testing...well the testing had only just begun too!

I know they took massive amounts of blood that day and they introduced me to  "Wanda" - why yes the seemingly harmless but somewhat invasive dildocam used to perform the ever so devastating vaginal ultrasound.

On that ordinary day in August Wanda started her reign of terror, revealing  to me that I had a low AFC - antral follicle count - which basically means a low egg count...I didn't know on that ordinary day that it was an "out of" egg count...just low...

None of this seemed to spell DOOM until Dr. Doom declared I had a practically 0% chance of getting pregnant.

Turning all my days from ordinary to barely livable.

This one seemingly ordinary day was the start of what seemed to be endless...

Endless testing...

Endless cycles - 20 to be exact...

Endless pills....

Endless needles...

Endless tears...

August 28, 2009

Just another ordinary day turned into the dreaded marker of time...

Marking the endless days...

The endless weeks...

The endless years...

I had no idea that this one...seemingly ordinary day...just another ordinary day...would permanently changed who I am and the trajectory of my life...forever...

August 28,2014

5 years later the endlessness ended...

I held my daughter...I played with her...fed her...bathed her and put her to bed...

It was just another ordinary day...sort of...




Sunday, August 10, 2014

I know her too...

Dear Moms of Adopted Children ~ read the full article ~

"I’ve seen you cringe just a little when someone says your child is lucky to have you. Because you know with all your being it is the other way around.

But most of all, I want you to know that I’ve seen you look into your child’s eyes. And while you will never see a reflection of your own eyes there, you see something that’s just as powerful: A reflection of your complete and unstoppable love for this person who grew in the midst of your tears and laughter, and who, if torn from you, would be like losing yourself."


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

It IS beautiful...I think???

On my "private" Facebook group one of the girls posted a link to this:

A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN MAY | THE BIRTH OF MATILDA

Her comment: "Just wanted to share...it's beautiful"

My comment...or should I say reaction was:

"I don't know...that completely freaks me out and makes me incredibly sad at the same time"

My friend felt bad.  She posted an apology...she didn't have to. I know she didn't post it thinking this would be something that could be hurtful to me or to anyone else.

She posted it because she thought it was beautiful...

And it is...I think??

And it's the: "I think" that's making me incredibly sad...

The thing is many people will make references to pregnancy and childbirth and it will be something I know nothing about.

The private Facebook page is a Single Mom by Choice page. I am the only mom that has adopted. There is another mother that used a surrogate. I am not sure how she feels about pregnancy and childbirth, she has never mentioned it.

But all the other mothers gave birth to their children.

I am sure that they all (well at least no one's admitted to the contrary) think it's beautiful.

They've experienced it....I can't say the same.

I never got past 8 weeks...so I never REALLY got to experience pregnancy aside from some sore boobs and a little nausea...I never felt a kick or hiccup (Ladybug gets the hiccups all the time! It wonder if she did while in her birthmommy's belly?)...and I never felt a contraction or pushed or gave birth...and I'll tell you what...

Those pictures terrified me and made me incredible sad not because...well not only because of the obvious...but because seeing a little head coming out of her...FREAKS ME OUT!!

All I can think of when I look at that picture is "Oh God NO!!"

It doesn't seem natural and it's not beautiful...well at least not to me...

And that makes me incredibly sad...

Because it makes me think to myself...

Could that be it?

Could my inner reactions be why?

Why I never got past 8 weeks? Why I never gave birth? Because I don't find it beautiful?

I've felt this way as long as I can remember.  And I'm going to be honest here, I have the same visceral reaction to breastfeeding! (Please note - I am PRO breastfeeding...it just freaks me out!)

Even though I wanted it so desperately...

Could that be why?

The day I met my daughter the social workers brought me to this tiny, little room at the agency. In the corner of the room, turned so it could fit in the space, sat a rocking chair. A child's blanket laid across the back of the rocking chair.

They told me to sit in the chair.

I did.

I looked around the room. The social workers had set up children's blocks on the desk next to the rocking chair that said "Congratulations Michaela and Ladybug (well her real name) April 17, 2014.

My mother dressed in a bright orange shirt...bright orange because she read somewhere it is comforting to children...she stood behind the door that the social workers were about to carry my daughter through with her video camera posed and ready...

I sat there in this strange rocking chair, in this strange, little room with my name strangely spelled out in blocks and my mother wearing a strange, overly bright orange shirt...and I looked at my mother...no not to condemn her for her color choices...

I looked at  my mother and as a matter fact I said: "Could this be why?"

"I think so honey" my mom said with a smile..."I think so!"

I go into her room at night and I watch her. I can't stop watching her... and I know it doesn't matter.

I know it doesn't matter.

Just like pregnancy and childbirth...

It doesn't matter...

Just like the fairy tale of the guy and the dream of 2 kids...

It doesn't matter...

Your family...no matter what it looks like and no matter how it came to be...

That's what matters...that's what's beautiful...

That moment in that strange, little room at my adoption agency, with my mom in her brightly colored shirt poised with a video camera in hand as the social workers walked in carrying my daughter...it was beautiful...

But that doesn't stop me from wishing that I held her close to my chest the second she was born.

That doesn't stop me from wishing that her little head came out of my...well nope...nope...still freaking me out....

That doesn't stop me from wishing that I could see the beauty in that...first hand...

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