Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Standing on the edge of reality

My hands are shaking, my lips are numb, and there are so many emotions running through me that I am unable to identify a single one. What has been a plan, detailed as it was, and is slowly becoming a reality. There are still a million details, but the biggest obstacle is out of the way. For the past 13 years, I have been focused in one way or another on becoming a mother. I have been through every conceivable possibility besides conception. With every option, I have immersed myself into the research and then made an educated decision, and each of those discarded/failed options have taken chunks of my heart. I am not the same person who started this journey, just as I would not be the same person if I had just been living a typical life for 13 years. With infertility though I have a center square, Infertile Park, and a few side streets College Ave., Wedding Lane, Day to Day Alley, and a few others whose names change off and on. I am comfortable in this little town of mine, filled with dark and rainy days, with a horrible storm that blows through a few times a year, but the temperature is comfortable and I have set down roots. The other day I began to notice that the bushes are overgrown and it is more uncomfortable to sit on the benches.

Someone showed up in town and suddenly I am not so comfortable anymore. This person is unlike many I have or ever will meet, she is the rare person is willing to give so much to a relative stranger. Sure there have been and always will be people in my life that will pick me up after the fall, but she is the one who will walk with me down this path, with a big fat belly. My feelings about this whole situation are so odd, I want to describe every emotion as they come, but they are coming so fast that I cannot catch them. We have talked this over for weeks and I was very cerebral about the whole thing, I learned a long time ago to not let my emotions get too involved too early on in the process. Tonight it all just hit me, we are really going to be intended parents, we are really going to have our surrogate, and she is a real live human who is willing to give us the ultimate gift.

The biggest thing that I was not prepared for, is this feeling of responsibility. I want to do this all perfectly so that she gets everything she deserves, minus the marching band (that might get a bit annoying). Being a mother to an infant who needs me for everything is something that I can handle, and something that I am as prepared for as I can be. Being an Intended Mother is a completely different thing. I feel responsible for someone who is a mother, wife, daughter, sister and friend to many, and my responsibility to her is my responsibility to them.

I am so happy, my whole family is so happy. We are here standing on the edge of reality, right where we want to be.

There are still a thousand things to work out, and I will blog every moment of them. I just need to let this all soak in for a moment.

Thank you all who stood beside me, this has been a long road, and there are still many miles to go. I could not have done this without you.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The fear of weight lifting

This pass week has found me living in this constant state of mild panic that feeling right before the major panic attacks hit. In my life, I have had one major panic attack, and it was years ago but that feeling memory of that feeling is imprinted in my body. So living in a state where I feel like the next moment I am going to fall apart is SCARY. What is even more frightening is that I have no idea what is causing me to be in this state. I am at a moment in my life where everything is moving along just as it should, in some areas years later than scheduled, but it is still where I want to be. I just feel that I am about to have a massive breakdown.

For the first time in many years, I am not scrambling to make pieces of my life fit into the boxes that I need to feel functional. There are those things that I am going to have to wait for, but that is nothing new. It feels like I have been waiting for something or another all my adult life and I am sure that I will always be waiting for something, that is just life. Maybe, just feeling at peace is what is causing this feeling of panic. Leave it to me to be afraid to of peacefulness.

Then I thought maybe it was working in an adoption agency. Focusing so much of my energy on making it possible for others to be parents on the surface is something that could throw someone in my situation into a full-blown panic. I have found it to in reality be a very different experience. Many days I am with people who are in the place I was years ago. That place where the whole world was spinning, where I questioned everything that I thought I knew, and where I felt so horribly hopeless. I sometimes visit that place, but I have learned that I am so far from that place that I really can only recognize it in others. On those days when I am on the infertility Tilt-a-Whirl it still is not the same ride that I once rode. I see in these couples the pain, anger and frustration that lives right below the surface. I am grateful that I am not where they are, and as cold as that sounds it is because I am not there that I am able to do everything in my power to make them parents.

In some ways, I am afraid that all the years of pain and anger have turned me into a cold person. I want to believe that I have come through those days with only small wounds. I also want to believe that there is a tree in my backyard that blooms hundred dollar bills. I am scarred, and I will never be the same person I was before I knew that my path to parenthood would be a marathon that lasted for years (and I hate running). Infertility changes everything that you believe about yourself and the world. No matter how much I hope and wish that this were not true I know that I am forever changed. Some of these changes are wonderful and some are horrible and really most of them are somewhere in the middle. In some ways, I am more compassionate, understanding and patient. The worst part is that there is an anger that I know will never go away, a rage that I will never be able to rid myself of fully.

Some days I am still enraged about our situation. I walk past a family and SLAP there it is that anger. All the questioning of who I am as a person. It scares me, how quickly the feelings well up. What is good is that it goes just as quickly as it came. I am getting better, I have accepted this process, I am even excited and grateful that I get the opportunity to experience something that so few people ever really have happen.

Wounds heal, wounds heal, and wounds have to heal. Unhealed wounds become infected until the body is no good anymore. As I have said many times before I spent many years miserable, what some people would call "teen angst" only multiplied by a million. I distinctly remember one day saying (and fully believing) that I was miserable because it was comfortable. It was, that place where the whole world was upon me was where I was comfortable, it really was a warm and squishy. I am over that and have been for years, and a long time ago I learned that being happy was so much easier than the misery. Now I am just afraid that I got too comfortable being angry, that the anger snuck in hiding behind the happiness.

Deciding which method to start a family with, dealing with health issues, and all the frustration and pressure that comes with the package puts the weight of the world on your shoulders. You learn to deal with it and one day it just becomes normal. Then something happens and so much of that weight lifts. At that moment you realize what the real cost of infertility has been, or at least you think you do, and then you realize that there are going to be more days to come.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The post that might ensure I am never a mother

Tag, you’re it: Emily, Amani, Cyn, Duck

If you’re reading along with me, your instructions:
1. Find your sixth picture folder and in that folder, the sixth picture
2. Post it on your blog with some of the background of the picture
3. Tag four others and leave a comment on their blog to let them know they’ve been tagged.

This was my cousin's 30th birthday, it was a 70s theme. I have on a Sex Pistols shirt. It was a wild night to say the least. I am proud of the fact that I made the tutu. The thing that I regret is that the test run for my hair was soooo much better.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Wow, you mean I am still a person?

Sometimes I forget that I am an independent human and not just a mad woman on a quest to become a mother. It took a very painful facial, from the East German judge, to remind me of this fact. For the past two/three (really I have stopped counting) year I have done very little for myself. I said that I was doing things for me, but all those "things" revolved around making our family complete. I don't even have the kid and I have already lost ME.

For my last semester as an undergrad, I have to work in a social service agency, which means for the first time in a long time the majority of my day is not spent at home. It also means that I have very little time to be in the tunnel vision world of becoming a mother. Part of me loves this break, of course now I am just focused on making other women mothers (I am working at an adoption agency). Another me feels that I HAVE to take this break for a moment. I need to remember what life was like before this nonexistent human took over, so that when he/she finally does materialize I can remember that there is life beyond being his/her mother. One day he/she will not need me, so I am going to have to find something else to occupy my time.

I am taking this whole "taking care of myself" thing very seriously. Some of it I really need to do, like lose some weight, and other things I just really like to do, like getting my massages. What I am finding out is that it is hard to put the focus back on me. We are really at a stage in the process where there is nothing more that I can do, so I am not really feeling guilty. I am doing what I can. Being the best person that I can, physically, mentally and spiritually, I hope is going to allow me to be a better mother.

Still, there are times when I miss being in the position where my every move brought us a step closer to parenthood. I have never been good at giving up control, which funnily enough is something that I have only really seen in myself over the past few years. I am also learning that I am uncomfortable just being myself. In fact, I am almost to the point of hating parts of myself, which is not such a bad thing, because those are the things that I know I need to work on changing. On the other hand, there are parts of me that I really admire, parts that I forgot existed.

Right now the surrogacy adventure has become an adventure in introducing myself to myself again. Something that is really uncomfortable and wonderful at the same time.