Today is one of those I hate everything kind of days, which is really sad because the day started out great. My husband let me sleep in. I had a few minutes to catch up on reading my Bible. I checked my email. I even logged on to Facebook. There it was, the stupid questionnaire that threatened my day: First born. Here are some of the questions:
WAS YOUR FIRST PREGNANCY PLANNED?
WERE YOU MARRIED AT THE TIME?
WHAT WAS YOUR REACTION?
WAS ABORTION AN OPTION FOR YOU?
For me, infertility was a seven year battle filled with pain, despair, sorrow, anger, crying, hopelessness, more crying, more anger and guilt. I hid in bathroom stalls and cried. I cried in airports, and I even ran out of a college class crying. Fortunately I was taking the class, not teaching it. Looking back, that one was kind of funny. A girl was giving a report on abortions and how bad they are, and I just couldn’t take it anymore. The other students in the class probably thought I had had one earlier in life.
During that time, people said the worst things to me in an attempt to help. My coworkers would complain about their kids and then say, “See, aren’t you glad you don’t have any.” That resulted in the bathroom stall episode from above. My husband and I tried each medical breakthrough once just so I could have the peace of mind that I did everything I could. This involved me carrying expensive, injectible drugs (our co-pay for one week of drugs was over $1,000) through an airport and shooting up in the bathroom between flights. My husband even had to learn how to give me shots. BTW, the medicine itself is hormones, so you can just imagine my emotional state of mind.
Then there were the failures. I never got pregnant, and each time I had to tell my husband that it didn’t work was harder and harder. I will never forget the day I found out our In Vitro failed. This In Vitro was our last ditch effort, our final try. My brother Brad just happened to come to work to see me right after I got the news. I was devastated. Thank God he was there to help me. Sadly, trough it all, I was one of the lucky ones. God protected me from a lot of pain. I never miscarried. My mom had several miscarriages just trying to have the three of us. I have two close friends who had ectopic pregnancies, which are devastating. God knew I couldn’t handle those types of loss.
I have endometriosis, and I had three surgeries within in two years to try to remove the damaged tissue. In 2007, I finally had a hysterectomy. After adopting Alex, I would say that I am mostly cured from the sorrow of infertility. The pain and anger sneak up on me every once in a while, but I can now say I am so glad things worked out the way they did. Alex is awesome. Thank you God for having enough faith in me to find Alex and for planning such a wonderful child for me. When we went to Russia, we were paired with the Ribeiros, who have become great friends. I remember asking Carrie why God gave us such a desire to have kids when we physically couldn’t. She explained it best. God has to give some women that much desire so that these kids can have homes. Think about it, if you could give birth, you would. Who else would be willing to jump through all of the adoption hoops? She is just so smart and another fantastic gift from God.
Even being mostly cured, there are days when I get tired of looking on the bright side. I get tired of being positive. Today is one of those days. In response to this questionnaire, I posted a note that some people might have said was snarly, but darn it, I am tired of pretending like it didn’t hurt. Most importantly, the extreme hurt is what makes God's answer to the hurt so wonderful. Selena, one of my first friends in life, wrote a note back to me saying “You could just be creative.” Isn't she great and wise? I am so glad to be back in touch with her. She is right, but I just needed a minute to have a pity party.
Now that I am over it, I am asking you all to read my answers to the questions. Thanks for letting me vent. I really appreciate it. I do want to add that the girl who sent me this questionnaire is supper sweet and would never want to hurt anyone’s feelings. I also need to say again, I am so thankful this was God’s plan for me. I can’t believe he gave me such a wonderful gift as Alex, and I would never want Alex to think I would have it any other way. When I was so desperate and going through infertility, I didn’t know that God was going to work things out for me. He did not have to give me a child. I knew God could help me be joyful in any circumstance, but I didn’t know how great the plan was.
WAS YOUR FIRST PREGNANCY PLANNED? More than you can imagine, but not my plans, God’s.
WERE YOU MARRIED AT THE TIME? Yes.
WHAT WAS YOUR REACTION? Sheer joy – see picture.
WAS ABORTION AN OPTION FOR YOU? Never, and praise God it wasn’t for his birth mom either!
HOW OLD WERE YOU? 32 – only about seven years older than I thought I would be.
HOW DID YOU FIND OUT YOU WERE PREGNANT? It’s complicated.
WHO DID YOU TELL FIRST? My dad – my husband was with me.
DID YOU WANT TO FIND OUT THE SEX? We travelled to Russia on a blind referral, which means we did not know anything about the child we were meeting, and then found out that our child was an 11 month old boy!
DUE DATE? Sometime in November of 2004.
DID YOU HAVE MORNING SICKNESS? More than you can imagine due to the blind referral. Thank goodness Prilosect came out OTC that spring.
WHAT DID YOU CRAVE? Homemade brownies on top of homemade coffee cream topped with whipped cream and chocolate sauce.
WHO/WHAT IRRITATED YOU THE MOST? Pregnant people – I am sorry, but it was kind of true back then.
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST CHILD'S SEX? Boy.
DID YOU WISH YOU HAD THE OPPOSITE SEX OF WHAT YOU WERE GETTING? No. I just wanted a baby.
HOW MANY POUNDS DID YOU GAIN THROUGHOUT THE PREGNANCY? About 10.
DID YOU HAVE A BABY SHOWER? Yes.
WAS IT A SURPRISE OR DID YOU KNOW? I knew.
DID YOU HAVE ANY COMPLICATIONS DURING YOUR PREGNANCY? Yes, the Russian government changed a lot of their requirements during our adoption. We had to be examined by seven or eight different doctors while in Russia.
WHERE DID YOU GIVE BIRTH? Alex’s birth certificate says that I gave birth to him in Astrakhan, Russia. He was actually born in Kamyzak.
HOW MANY HOURS WERE YOU IN LABOR? I call our flight home my labor, so 23 or 24 hours.
WHO DROVE YOU TO THE HOSPITAL? My mom and dad drove us to the airport.
WHO WATCHED YOU GIVE BIRTH? A team of social workers, lawyers, a judge and a few translators.
WAS IT NATURAL OR C-SECTION? It was far from natural.
DID YOU TAKE MEDICINE TO EASE THE PAIN? Not enough!
HOW MUCH DID YOUR CHILD WEIGH? 1K and 900 g – 4 pounds and 3 ounces.
WHEN WAS YOUR CHILD BORN? September 25, 2004.
WHAT DID YOU NAME HIM/HER? Alex (this is part of his given name) Jacob (from the Bible) Carver.