Saturday, 30 April 2011

Just put an ad in the Penny Saver.

So, I've been thinking more and more about adoption.  I have a few issues that I need to deal with before making the call to Social Services.  I worry that the child, like so many other people in my life, will decide at some point that they want nothing to do with me, that I"m not good enough, that they would rather have their birth parent .  I worry that the child will eventually decide that I am a horrible mother and will cut me out of their life and find their birth family to be a part of.  I worry that we will be rejected by Social Services because of health or money or something silly like the fact that we own cats or live in a rural area.  I worry that my baby may be born with some horrible genetic disorder that may not appear until years after birth.  I worry that I will be faced with dealing with a birth family who won't give up, or who reappears in future years.  There are a lot of reasons why I think that adoption might not be right for me.

However, I have a huge reason why it might be.  I desperately want to be a mother and I know that I would be a great one.... and there are babies out there without people to love them.  I could be that person.  We'd have an awesome home to give any child - so why should I let a little thing like biology and genetics affect that? I think because I'm human and my dream has always been to get pregnant and carry a child, then give birth and raise my child.  My dream was not to adopt a child that someone else couldn't or wouldn't take care of... but then who does have that dream.

I think one of the other things that worries me is that I've seen too many children who end up in foster care in this province.  Sure, sometimes the reasons for children being put into foster care and eventually for adoption is that parents are unable or unwilling to care for them and give them up for altruistic reasons.  However, in the majority of the cases, the children are taken away from parents due to gross misconduct by the parents (abuse, drug or alcohol addiction, etc).  Those children have often been abused and mistreated, and often have lasting effects.  I don't have a problem caring for a special needs child, however, I'm not sure at this point that I want to take on what someone else has done to a child.  As a teacher, I've seen a number of children who have been abused and mistreated by their parents.  I've seen many children put into foster care who are irreparably damaged and can not make proper connections and attachments to adults or anyone for that matter.  SO do I want to take that on?  When you put your name in for adoption, you don't have a choice to say "I only want someone who is orphaned due to tragedy, or a baby who was voluntarily given up.

Here is that other problem...  In this province, there are no adoption agencies for private adoptions.  There are a few private religious organizations who help facilitate private adoptions, but they are limited and pretty picky on their candidates.  Public adoption, however, in this province is available and run by the government.  They take applications, interview, interview, homestudy, interview, interview, interview, then place you on the waiting list.  A waiting list that takes up to 7 or 8 years if you are wanting an infant.  At this point, I really do want to raise a baby from birth, so the wait would definitely be long.

In the meantime, hundreds of kids, including babies, are placed into foster care to be cared for on a temporary basis.  It takes time for them to be put into the system and for the right people to be found, etc, etc, etc... so these children, who could have wonderful homes, are left in temporary care.  I am not speaking badly of the foster parents - I know that most of them are wonderful, but it is still temporary and not a permanent home.

At this point I'm not sure what to do, or whether to put our names on the list.  I'm not sure that we should look into domestic adoption.  International adoption will be expensive - one agency I found said it is about $13000, plus travel and accommodations for one month while the adoption is processed.  All in all, that is not too much to pay to get a family, but it's still more than we have to put into it at this point.  We could potentially borrow the money in a couple of years, and all in all, given what we make a year, a personal loan for that through the bank, or a loan from a family member isn't out of the question, but it's still a big process.

The kicker - in this province, you can't advertise or publicly state in any way that you want to adopt a child domestically. If you do, you're breaking the law which says you are trying to buy a child.  It prevents private agencies, and it prevents teenagers from choosing who cares for their babies independent of the government.  It is an interesting conundrum that the government has set up.  It's not like there is a cost for health care of the mother here - we have publicly funded health care in this country - so payment is not an issue, but there is also not an option of putting an ad in the Penny Saver (if you can't place the reference... think Juno).

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Infertility Story Project

Kerri over at Uncommon Nonsense is trying to put together a publication full of infertility stories to try to help others out there understand that they are not alone in their struggle.  I am planning on writing something for her publication. I hope that others who read this will do the same.  I think it's a very worthwhile project and just imagine the good it could do if someone out there who is starting to struggle with the emotions of infertility had stories of others and stories of hope and inspiration to keep them going - I know that it could/would definitely help me out.

Below I've copied the blog post from Kerri for you to read.  Please consider participating.

IF Stories Project:

A lot of you ladies have recently mentioned some brave words and thoughts about IF activism, and I've been reading them all and trying to figure out where exactly I fit in with this particularly "ism".  I want to do something to help other families going through IF, especially those that may not have access to or have found a community like ours, and I've think I found my idea.

I know I'm not the best writer in the world, but I can edit, and have been known to compose some pretty decent short essays.  I have a feeling there are a lot of us like that out here in the blogosphere, as well as a lot of really fantastic writers, so I am making this proposition to you all:
  1. Send me your stories: Write down, in 2 - 4 pages (maybe a little more and I can help you edit it down), the story of your IF journey.  Feel free to write about the whole journey, or to just highlight the parts you feel have been the most poignant for you.  Also, feel free to pull from your blogs, but make sure to give me permission to use your writing when you send your email.  Here are some examples of topics, but please don't limit yourself to only these:
    • General Infertily
    • PCOS, Endometriosis, DOR, or other medical condition
    • Miscarriage/Loss
    • Pregnancy after infertility
    • Motherhood/Parenthood after infertility
    • Advanced maternal age 
    • Marriage/Love and IF
    • Single mom IF
    • Male perspectives on IF
    • Adoption after IF
    • A.R.T. adventures
    • Support groups
    • Male factor IF
  2. Make it anonymous or put your name or just put your age and town/state.  This is entirely up to you, but please provide me with a valid email address in case I need to contact you for any type of release or other legal issue.
  3. Share this post with your readers, hopefully spreading the word and bringing in many more varied stories.  
The goal of all this:  I want to gather together a variety of personal stories from the blogospehere, edit them, bind them and hopefully publish them in a book.  I want to make your stories heard, and to give other infertile families a chance to learn from our community and to find support in it.   Each of our stories has the chance of connecting with at least one person, somewhere out there, and maybe making them feel just a little less alone as they journey through this difficult time in their lives, so this I vow to you all now - If you share your stories with me, I will fight to make them heard!

Please send your submissions to:

Thank you, and I look forward to hearing from you,

- KerriK

Mythbusting - Just Relax and enjoy being childfree

This is National Infertility Awareness Week, and my good friend over at Sprout alerted me that is doing a blog campaign to heighten awareness for NIAW, and infertility in general.  I took the bait.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I can't stop at just one thing... I have to keep going, so I picked the infertility myths that have most affected me and my family to discuss.  I apologize in advance - this is bound to be a long post!
So, here we go... 

Myth: If you just relax, you will get pregnant.
Busted!:  If only it were that easy! The fact is, the vast majority of individuals who have infertility have a medical reason, not a stress-related one. Upwards of 90% of all infertility cases are caused by physical problems.  In the female partner, the major causes of infertility are absent or irregular ovulation, blocked fallopian tubes, abnormalities in the uterus, and endometriosis (a chronic painful condition where tissue from the lining of the uterus migrates into the pelvis and attaches to the reproductive organs).  The male partner can have issues with sperm production which can lead to too few sperm, sperm which can’t swim correctly, and abnormally shaped sperm.
 More Myths – Busted!
Where the stress/infertility connection may come in tends to be after one has been trying for a while, and the stress of not conceiving easily may then contribute to the problem. But there has never been a study which shows that simply relaxing increases pregnancy rates. Research does show that infertility patients who learn and practice a wide variety of stress reduction techniques can have higher pregnancy rates than patients who don’t learn those techniques.
Funny that this would be the first myth.  I just bought a set of relaxation/meditation mp3s from Circle & Bloom in order to try to calm my mind/relax, and make the mind/body connection between my desire for fertility and my biological ability to conceive.  As my husband and I were driving into the big city today,  I mentioned that I bought these and he thought it was funny that I, of all people, would be able to relax.  I'm, how can I say this nicely, high-strung at the best of times.  Relaxation doesn't come naturally to me.  I know that stress and negativity can put you into a place that your body is hostile to a possible pregnancy.  
Last year I was in an awful job - I mean, imagine the deepest layer of hell, then multiply it by ten and you have just scratched the surface.  This woman (my boss) actually yelled at me for being insensitive and not committed to my job because I chose to take two days off when my husband's grandfather passed away (by my contract I'm allowed five days by the way).  The same boss yelled at me for not coming to work the day that my father underwent massive, multiple heart bypass (again, I'm allowed five days and I took one, gave them lots of notice,  and left more than adequate sub plans for my substitute teacher that day).  My point is that my job was hell and I, well let's just say that the stress pushed me into a deep cavern of despair.  This whole time, my husband and I were trying to conceive - obviously with no luck.  One of my friends said something that has stuck with me ... "Of course you aren't getting pregnant - your body is smarter than your mind - it knows that you are too stressed to properly grow a baby".  As much as it sucked to hear that, I think that she was right.  If I had gotten pregnant, I probably would have miscarried due to the stress.
The funny part of all of this is that my husband said today "the irony of it all is that those people who have realised and are aware that stress and negativity may hinder pregnancy, are the very people who are Type A personalities, and are more prone to encounter it".  *sigh*  Yeah.  He's right.  The fact that I know that relaxing may help, does not mean that I can relax.  The one thing that I want more than anything else in the world right now is a baby, and the one thing that seems to be eluding me is a baby.  How does a person relax and just let it happen?  I am not the type to relax and let anything happen - I need to be in control.  I dream about taking my temperature, to the point that I have been waking up at 6 am on my vacation this week to ensure that it is timed properly... to the point that I was angry with myself for sleeping in until 8 two days ago because that meant a temperature that couldn't be considered accurate.  I don't do well with the unknown.  I don't do well with "Just let it happen", and I don't know anyone who, when they want something badly, does do well with that.

Myth: Living child free is a choice, and they never wanted children.
People who have chosen to live a childfree lifestyle after infertility have thought more about the responsibilities of parenting than most people who become parents without having experienced any fertility issues.  Most people struggling with infertility do so for several years before they reach resolution through either medical treatment, adoption or choosing to be childfree.  During that journey, sufferers want nothing more than to achieve the dream of parenthood. 
Busted!: Living childfree is a choice, as is choosing to be a parent.  Some people who choose to be childfree have done so knowing that they never wanted to be parents, while some people who are childfree have chosen not to parent after suffering from the disease of infertility.  Both paths to the lifestyle are valid, but the end result was achieved through very different journeys.
Societal norms of family are defined by the inclusion of children.  Subconsciously, those norms invade every child’s perception and shape their image of what a family should be.  Having the strength to go against that societal norm can only be achieved after thorough assessment of what one’s life outside of that norm will mean, dealing with its consequences, and then benefiting from its advantages.
I have been guilty of this type of thought in the past.  I remember hearing only three years ago about a woman, a fellow teacher, who had been married and never had children.  The other teachers all said that "her children were the ones that she taught, and she didn't feel the need to have others"  I accepted this and thought that it was strange that she didn't want her own children.  That was before my struggles with fertility.  I often wonder now if she truly made the choice herself, or if the choice was made for her.
My mother often complains about how she is an only child.  She has, on occasion, made rather rude remarks to my grandmother about how she wishes that she had a sibling, or that she thinks it was cruel to make her grow up alone, and how when my grandmother dies my mother will be alone.  Until my own fertility struggles, my grandmother had never said anything about these comments, she just took them and went on with her day.  One day, on the phone, I broke down and told my grandmother what I was going through.  She started crying with me and said she understood.  She told me how she struggled for five years after marriage in the 40s to conceive my mother, and then tried for an additional 15 years after she was born to conceive again - to no avail.  I pains me to hear the comments from my mother.  It pains me to know that my grandmother must have gone through the hell that I'm going through - for basically 20 years, without the reproductive technologies or medical knowledge that we have today.  It pains  me to think of how it must break her heart every time my mother talks like that.
I have a friend who is childless by choice - and is very happy about it.  We've had numerous conversations about it.  She actually divorced her husband because when they married, he said that he was fine with not having children, and then two years into the marriage changed his mind and started pressuring her.  He and his family called her "not a real woman" because she didn't want kids.  She decided that a real woman would take her own life into her hands and do what she wanted - and filed for divorce.  She is happily living with a man who has two children from a previous relationship who live two provinces away.  They see them for about 6 weeks per year and that is more than enough for her.  She is happy.
I get asked a lot, being married for two years, when we are going to have kids, and if we are going to have kids.  I usually just laugh it off and say "we'll see", or if I know the people well enough, I say "we're working on it".  That usually shuts them up.  The kids I teach are always asking me why I don't have kid.  It's like there is something that society has posted out there saying "if you don't have kids by the time you're 30, there better be a good reason, or there's something wrong with you".
Myth: A higher-power is telling you that you should not be a parent.
Busted!: Infertility is a disease of the reproductive system.  It does not discriminate and affects all races, religions, men and women equally and people all over the world.  Whether or not you resolve your infertility journey by choosing to become a parent is a function of your determination and not a higher-power.
Parenthood is attainable, if that is truly your goal.  You may or may not be fortunate enough to have a biological connection to your child, but if you want the experience of being a parent, you can achieve that dream.
People who choose to be childfree after infertility have examined the avenues to parenthood, considered the advantages and disadvantages, and decided that being a family of two is also a blessing.
I'm not saying that I don't believe in a higher power.  I was raised Catholic, and while I don't agree with everything that the church has said (mostly the modern sanctions and laws regarding homosexuality, abortion, women, etc), I still, deep down, believe that there must be a higher power out there somewhere.  It gives me hope that the crap that I"ve dealt with and gone through isn't just so that I can end up as worm food.  Basically I believe in God, although I'm quite content to believe that God could be a Flying Spaghetti Monster as well.  I'm not a deity snob.  
However, the idea that a merciful and loving higher power would sit back and let a woman or a couple go through this crap, and deal with all of the emotional, physical, and financial aspects of infertility makes me angry.  It has been this struggle with fertility that has made me question my belief system all the more.  To say that a higher power has decided that I need to go through countless painful tests, and deal with emotional turmoil over and over again is ridiculous.  Nobody, anywhere, has decided this.  It just happened.  It just happened that my cycle got so out-of-control that my GP couldn't figure out what was happening.  It just happened that the OBGYN that the GP referred me to was shocked at my state and did a biopsy.  I just happened that I ended up having complex hyperplasia with atypia and needed to see an oncologist.  It just happened that at the age of 34 I am faced with the prospect of having to have a hysterectomy and never be able to have a child.  Nobody decided that.  Nobody did anything that caused it.  It just happened.  
I'm sure it is easier for some people to give that power over to another person or being.  Oh, a higher power caused it to happen.  Much easier to accept than believing that bad things can happen to good people.
If it truly was a higher power who was deciding, this is what would happen:  My husband and I, who would make wonderful parents and have the resources and love to give to a child, would be parents.  My friends who are struggling with fertility and conception would have children by now.  Children would not be born to people who abuse them.   But the fact is that reality is cruel sometimes, and because of that, we have to deal with harsh realities from time to time - or in some cases, from day to day.  I don't like dealing with it, but what I dislike even more is being told that the reason I'm dealing with it is because "it's God's plan".

For more information on the truth behind infertility go to
For more information on the history/background of NIAW, go to

Wednesday, 27 April 2011


Today, I needed to make a trip to the big city.  When I say big city, many of you would laugh to know that it is a city of about 100,000 people (give or take a few).  However, keeping in mind that where I live has a population of about 200 if you count the cats and dogs - this place is the big city.

I realised that income tax is due on Monday and I haven't finished mine.  I submitted my husband's a few days ago but had been dragging ass on my own.  Why?  I don't know.  I'm not even preparing mine myself.  Strange yes, but let me explain.

Last year, due to work availability, we were forced to move four hours from the house that we own.  We rented a place to live, and payed our mortgage, and two sets of bills.  All of this after just finishing to pay for my degree and a wedding.  I was maxed out on credit and broker than broke.  After several threatening calls from collectors - each of which got more and more evil.  And after probably a hundred letters threatening legal action - it happened.  My wages were garnished.  The credit card company went to court and got permission to take most of my paycheque to start to pay what was owed.  It's not that I didn't want to pay them, and I tried to set up repayment, but they just wouldn't accept my offers and told me it was all or nothing... well I didn't have it all, so I took nothing.  When the woman in payroll called me to tell me that she got the notice, she asked how many people were in my family.  I told her just two.  She said "oh, you don't have any kids?"  I told her no.  She said "well if only you had kids you wouldn't have to lose so much money".  Yeah, that's the reason I want them.  In the end I was left with about one-sixth of my paycheque, and we were flat broke.  I broke down and called for help.

In the end the decision that was made was to file for bankruptcy.  I didn't want to, but I didn't have a choice.  I pay into it for 21 months and then my debt is clear.  I still have a student loan that I will have to pay back, but that will be minor compared to the rest of the debt - it will be manageable, and I don't have to pay it until I'm out of bankruptcy.  We lucked out - since everything we own is in my husband's name they can't touch it - the woman at the bankruptcy firm said they couldn't anyway since you are allowed a vehicle and place to live.  Anyway, I've been in bankruptcy since October and it's not that bad - I've barely noticed with the exception of the $1000 I pay each month and the paperwork to go with it.

So the firm does my income tax, as they take my refund to put toward my account.  So I really needed to drop off the paperwork for them since they have to get it in by Monday.  So why was I dragging on dropping it off?

Simple.  On the forms I had to fill out, it asked me a bunch of questions about children and child costs.  I couldn't bring myself to put n/a again!! I finally had no choice today and did it, then cried, then went into the big city and dropped it off.  As if taxes are painful enough!

So, to make me feel better, my husband suggested that we see a movie.  It's been months since I've been able to concentrate on anything long enough to watch a movie in the theatre.  I didn't go see Harry Potter until it was nearly out of theatres because of my inability to concentrate.  Anyone who knows me would understand how epic that is.  But today I thought... "why not".  So we went to see Paul.

First let me say that if I had a list... you know the list, the five people who you could sleep with without consequence while married... well Jason Bateman would be number two.  Johnny Depp is naturally number one.  I LOVE Jason Bateman.  I seriously heart him.  Have ever since the Hogan Family.  

I'm kinda a fan of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost as well, and well Seth Rogan is just always funny.  So the movie was set up to be a good one for me.  And you know what?  It was.  Other than the odd uncomfortable part where I just wanted to yell at the screen for them to smarten up, it was great.  I laughed out loud several times.   Jane Lynch was great as always and hearing Kristen Wiig say over and over "I plan on swearing and fornicating lots" just never lost it's funny.

I never once thought about the baby issues.  I never focused on my own trouble.  I never had any wandering thoughts.  For 1 hour and 44 minutes I was engrossed in something other than my life... and it was great!

Tuesday, 26 April 2011


Stupid progesterone....

Days 1-3 of taking it always result in headache, nausea, and general fatigue... I hate it.

Of course, it's supposedly helping me to beat this hyperplasia problem.  So I should probably suck it up and be thankful that I live in a time and place when I can get the drugs (free of charge too) that I need to help me get better.

But instead I want to whine... so that's what I"m going to to. :(

Shouldn't Have Done That

So my favourite show EVER is Friends.  I just love it.  I have watched it through from beginning to end about five times and have watched the shows in re-runs over and over.

I decided in February to start it from season 1 and watch through to the end again.  I set it up to watch at night as I fall asleep.  The next night I start it from where I remembered from the last night.  So I am nearly finished season 9 right now.

This morning (since I'm on vacation this week) I lounged in bed and watched a couple of episodes, with my very friendly cat curled up under the blankets beside me.

I ended up in tears.  I knew the episode what coming, but I thought that I could handle it.

In the particular episode, Monica and Chandler go for fertility testing and at the end find out that she has an inhospitable environment and his sperm has low motility... or in the words of Chandler "my boys are refusing to get off their barkaloungers, and your uterus is ready to kill off any who do".  There is apologizing and hugging and crying.

And I cried.  It was too real to me.  I know that we haven't been told that we CAN'T have kids, but many days it feels like it.

I really shouldn't have watched that episode.  I just need to keep reminding myself that they get twins in the end.... of course then that just pisses me off about the adoption laws where I live.


Extra Stress

We went to my grandmother's for Easter weekend. I love my parents, but I can only take so much of my mother.  Now, you would think that given how stressful my mother can be  at times (and this weekend was no exception), this post would be about her.

Not the case.

We were having a lazy Easter Sunday afternoon.  Supper was nearly finished and my husband was napping on the couch in basement.  Then his phone dinged with a text message.  He had been waiting to hear back from his parents, and I was watching an item on ebay so I checked his phone.  I do this regularly, it wasn't an issue of privacy.

Was I surprised!  The message read "Happy Easter".  It was from his ex-girlfriend who we'll call April.  Why April?  Because that is her name and I have no problem outing this b*&$#.  In fact, if I could remember he last name I'd post that too.  Let me give you some background.

My husband and this woman broke up about 7  years ago.  She broke it off with him as I understand - to get back together with her ex.  She was cheating on him before they broke up.  Two years later, he and I got together.  It was at that point that she suddenly appeared in his life again.  She started calling asking for favours.  She started needing rides here and help doing that.  She started calling at all times of the day and night. Basically driving me crazy!  I started trying to be the supportive, "cool" girlfriend.  "no problem, go ahead and help her out, I'm not threatened".  But when it started to appear that she had ulterior motives - as in, wanting him back- I put my foot down.  I had a meltdown and said that he had to choose.  He chose me and told her that they were done.

Since that time she's popped up a couple more times.  Each time it starts quietly enough, and then eventually she is starting to make comments about getting back together.

So this message said "Happy Easter".  When my husband woke up, I told him to check it.  He thought that it was maybe something that she just sent out to all of her contacts.  I think it was a gateway message. I know that sounds funny, but I'm not an idiot. I know lots of women (me included) who have done that to a guy who they just weren't over.  "hey"  and he responds.  Pretty soon you're having a full conversation, and eventually the topic gets around to the two of you.  I'm not stupid.  I have no doubt that that was her plan.  She's tried before, why not now.  I told my husband that we've been together for five years, married for nearly two, and with everything that we're going through on the baby road, I couldn't deal with the stress of her.  HE needed to make it abundantly clear to her that she missed her chance.

He agreed right away and sent her a text message saying that she was not to text him anymore and that they could not be friends.  He wished her a happy life and sent the message.  You know what... she didn't reply.  Do you know what that tells me??  It really was a gateway message.  If it was simple send-to-all situation, and I was her, I would have responded to him with "sorry, I sent it to everyone.  I understand.  It won't happen again".  But she didn't.  She instead didn't get the response she wanted, so she gave up. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad she gave up - but something tells me that it isn't over.

Basically, what I'm saying is, if she starts up again, I'm going to need some backup in the gang that I"m going to form in order to track her down... any takers??

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Enough Already

I was in the city the other day.  I swear it was pregnant lady in the city day!  Everywhere I looked, I saw a woman who was very pregnant, or one with a new baby.

At one point, two women who were very pregnant walked out of a store.  In the cart was a baby who was about six months old.

All I could say was "enough already".  It just wasn't fair... there was already a baby in that cart... and now another one on the way?  grrr.

My husband tried to make me feel better by saying "maybe they are babysitting"... but I just know that's not true.  One of the women was smoking up a storm at the same time.  It makes me mad.

The final insult I think, is that later that same day, driving through a residential neighbourhood, I watch a man helping a very pregnant woman to the vehicle.  She is wincing in pain, and he runs back in, grabs a car seat and a tote bag.

It's like the universe is flipping me off!