Well, Hello There!

Long time, no see!

I want to take a second to just say THANK YOU.  To all of you that have unconditionally supported – and continue to support – us through all the trials we’ve faced in the last 4-5 years.  It’s certainly been a roller coaster and we could NOT have made it through without the love, prayers, and encouragement that we have received.

I’ve not shared much of what happened on our adoption journey and I guess it was mostly because – for a while – we were just waiting.  While we were waiting, one of my tasks was to create a book that our adoption agent could use to show to prospective birth families.  It was supposed to have pictures of us, stories about us, where we live, grew up, what we like to do for fun, etc.

Folks, let me tell you – that book was HARD.

You know how movies have previews?  And it’s basically the highest/funniest points of the movie shown?  The ones that really sell you on the movie and make you say ” I HAVE to see that!”?  I kinda felt like that’s what we were doing.  I know it sounds a little taboo to say that we were ‘selling’ ourselves, but it felt that way.  I felt like we needed to find the best pictures and the best stories so that we’d really catch someone’s eye.  And the more I worked on the book, the more my emotions started building.

My emotions were already crazy heightened (I’m sure my husband would be happy to vouch for that), but this seemed to tip me right over the edge.  Aside from all of the obvious unfairness about adoption – birthmothers placing their children, adoption agencies making so much dang money, etc. – it did NOT feel fair that someone else got to choose if and when we got to be parents based on whether or not they liked our book.

If you know me, you know that I’ve struggled with deep, dark depression for many years.  I fought that darkness for so long while dealing with treatments and miscarriages, but all of a sudden, the perfect storm converged and I felt like I couldn’t breathe.

Being a mother is something that I have longed for as far back as I can remember.  And after getting married, being a parent became a shared dream.  Never would I have thought it would stay a dream.

We fought long and hard to reach our goal.  We gladly gave up a lot of things and cut back on so many more to save everything we could.  We were asked by so many amazing people how they could help, so we reached out to all of you and you stepped up in ways we never could have imagined.  All of your donations got us SO MUCH FURTHER than we ever could have gotten alone.  And we could never fully thank all of you properly.

But as I started looking at our life, I realized that – even though the cost of adoption was high, the price we were paying through health and our marriage was even higher.

J was working two jobs (still is) and I was stretched so thin emotionally, that it started manifesting itself physically.  After talking (A LOT), praying (A LOT), crying (just me but A LOT), and realizing that we’d exhausted our donations and funds towards the adoption, we decided that we were going to just take a step back.

From the day we got married, we were so focused on starting a family that we forgot to recognize that we already WERE one.

So, that’s where we are now.  We’ve put adoption on hold and are spending time learning how to just be who we are instead of stressing over who we could be.

2014 in review

What an awesome feature!! Thank you to all of you who read and interact and pray and support!!!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here's an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 11,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

One Day At A Time

Families are funny things.

We grow up believing that they will always be there.  And sometimes they are.

But sometimes – they’re not.

Being the oldest of four, I was always the ‘little mommy’.  I always had extra responsibility.  (And blame.)

It took me until I was well into my 20’s to realize that I needed to start taking care of myself, because no one else was going to do it for me.

The rest of this blog is somewhat difficult to write, and even harder to share.  I won’t go into great detail of the pain & heartbreak, but it shows my raw underbelly and makes me feel seriously vulnerable.  Part of me worries about the reactions I may get, but it’s something I’ve been rolling around in my head and have to get it out…  So, here goes.

When I had just started my freshman year in high school, my mother and father decided to get a divorce.  My mother moved a couple of hours away up to this little mountain community that was BEAUTIFUL and took my 2 younger sisters and younger brother.  I stayed behind because I had already started a school year.

After they moved, my mother and some of her friends took a trip to the beach for her birthday weekend and as the story goes, she was roller skating and the wheels were loose and she fell and broke both arms – wrist on one arm, elbow on the other.

As you can imagine, trying to do ANYTHING with two broken arms is nearly impossible.  So, I packed up and moved to Big Bear with my mother and siblings to help (High School #2).  Little mommy to the rescue.

Cooking, cleaning, helping with homework.  All things I did.  Showering & bathroom trips were on the Top 5 list of “Things I Did But Did NOT Look Forward To”!  Needless to say, my mother and I got pretty close.

There were a lot of things that happened in the following years that forced me to grow up rather quickly.  All of them left memories I’ll never forget – good and bad.

Big Bear is an AMAZING town.  It’s charming and peaceful and enchanting.  It’s a great place for children to grow up.  But there’s a side to it that a lot of people don’t see.  Because there isn’t really much to do, sadly, a lot of people turn to drug use.  And it seems fairly easy to obtain those drugs.  I’m sure that’s the case in most towns, but only more recognizable there because of the size of the town.

I NEVER found drugs as a temptation.  I think after the first or second time someone asked me if I wanted to try them, word quickly spread that my answer was not one that people would willingly put themselves in a position to hear.

Unfortunately, the situation wasn’t the same for my younger sister.

I moved to Florida for my Junior Year (High School #3) and there is still a part of me that wonders if I hadn’t, how different things might have been.

Long story short: my younger sister became involved in a LOT of detrimental activities.  She went from an honor roll student to a high school dropout.  She got pregnant at a young age and straightened out – for a while.

But addiction is powerful.

She became involved in drugs again after having back surgery.  She had a doctor that prescribed pain pills like candy, until she was red-flagged at many pharmacies.  Apparently, the street price of prescription narcotics is MUCH higher than the more deadly drugs and they spun their web tightly.  I had tried to get the family to do an intervention YEARS before when I saw red flags waving strongly.  But for reasons I have never understood, my sister is quite good at convincing people to believe what she wants them to.  She quickly lost her footing on the slippery slope of serious drug use.

A few months after my miscarriage, I learned that she was pregnant.  The baby was born a few weeks before my husband and I would have been due and faced a rough road to get beyond the withdrawals.

A few months ago, I learned that she was trying to get custody of her daughter and I wrote a letter to the courts asking them to carefully consider all the facts.  When I wrote my blog about it,  I specifically said that I knew that what I’d done wouldn’t be received kindly by some.  And I was right.

My mother is the kind of person that is ALWAYS looking to help people.  To some, it could be perceived as a “fix-it” mentality.  She has a soft spot for those that are in a bad way and sometimes even puts herself in rough situations thinking that it will help that person come around.

I learned that my mother had been helping my sister with many things – including moving in with her and helping her try to get her daughter back.  When she found out that I’d written a letter to the courts, she took it pretty badly and I was accused of being bitter and jealous.  A lot of hurtful things were said.

And we haven’t really talked since.

It is so weird to me to have so many great things going on in my husband’s and my life and not be able to share it with her.  I know my mother loves me, but I feel like she’s chosen my sister over me.  And it hurts.

I know how short life is.  I know that not forgiving someone doesn’t hurt the offender.  In fact, it sets the offended free.  So, I’ve done that.

But I have to protect me and my husband and the family that we are trying so desperately to have.  So, I’ve chosen to let go of relationships that can feel unhealthy at times, regardless of how difficult that may be.

I don’t claim to be perfect.  I know I’ve said some hurtful things before.  And I can only hope that they can forgive me for them.

I firmly stand in my belief that tough love is often not only the right way but the BEST way.

So, while it’s difficult and often painful to not be able to pick up the phone and share my excitement over J’s and my new house with someone I used to be so close to, we are going to move on with our lives and thoroughly enjoy every moment.

One Day At a Time.

NOT the Best Day Ever

Well, the suspense was short-lived.

Patience not being my strong suit, I checked my email first thing upon waking up this morning only to find an email from the foundation we applied through. I found this…

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I know God knows. I know His plans are best. I know in my heart that we will be parents. I’m just not sure how.

Today will be hard – as will many days after – but thankfully I have an amazingly supportive husband and great friends that are feeling my pain with me and we will continue to be surrounded by encouragement and love.

I felt pretty peaceful after reading it. Then as I read my devotional this morning, I was reminded that God wants me to fully trust in Him. So, I’m going to do that. I just wish it didn’t so often feel like I’m being left behind…

So, it may not be the best day ever, but it’s not the worst either.

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Tomorrow Might Be the Best Day EVER

Or, it could be one of the lowest.

For 8 weeks and 2 days I have been silently, anxiously awaiting news of the IVF Grant that we applied for.

piggy bank

Well, I was in contact with someone from the foundation this week and assured that I haven’t missed any previous announcements and that they were making their decision on Tuesday night and would be contacting the selected couples on Friday.

Friday is almost here.

This grant would mean SO many things to us. To even apply was a HUGE step.  Not quite as hard as it was to set up our YouCaring account, but same concept.

It’s not easy to ask for help.  Especially when it comes to something that most people don’t understand.

Things have felt like they are really looking up lately and I am nervously, excitedly, terrifyingly, anxiously, nauseously awaiting our answer.  I’m going to have to work really hard to not check my email every 15 seconds!  But with all the packing we have to do, I should be able to stay pretty busy!

Either way,  I know that we are strong.  We are resourceful.  And we WILL make it!!  I know that whether or not we are able to get pregnant, that we will be parents someday.

But getting this grant would ABSOLUTELY change our lives!

When you say your prayers tonight, would you please pray that first of all, I would sleep tonight!  And also, that we will have peace.  Regardless of the answer, that we will remember that it is all in God’s hands and He knows exactly how our story goes.

But mostly, please pray that tomorrow might be the Best. Day. EVER.

dear God

 

That Day

Well, we made it through Mother’s Day. Mostly unscathed, I’d say.

This year was especially difficult because my mother and I are on the outs… It’s mostly because of a blog I wrote a few months ago. I knew I ran the risk of it not being perceived well by all, and it wasn’t. I was informed that I did it because I was bitter and jealous and told that I needed to move on with our lives. But I still vehemently maintain that I did the right thing and I have absolutely zero regret.

The week leading up to Mother’s Day was eventful and stressful! We had some “snags” at the bank & our house purchase was put on hold. (Thankfully, that’s cleared up! We move in the end of the month!).

I ALSO wrote the blog for Attain Fertility that was posted on Mother’s Day. I was actually pretty shocked at how well it was received!!! If you’d like to read it, please check it out here: “Un-Mother’s Day”.

Saturday was a rough day. Tears at the drop of a hat. Emotional outbursts. And that was just my husband. (Ok, I’m lying, it was me.)

I had FULL intentions of going to church on Sunday morning in support of my mother in law – who is an absolute Godsend and I don’t know what I’d do without her – and I’d even picked out what I was going to wear. But I think my husband decided on about my 10th breakdown as I asked through tears & sobs “How am I going to make it through tomorrow?!” that we wouldn’t be attending church, only the cookout afterwards with his family.

I’d woken up fairly early that morning and tossed and turned. I felt SO badly for not going to church, and then I noticed a text from my MIL. It simply said that she knew how painful the day was and completely understood if we didn’t make it to the service. She said she hoped to see us for the cookout. See? GODSEND.

So anyway, I’ve kinda been an emotional wreck the last week or so! I haven’t wanted to check my blogs or comment or anything. And Facebook? Ugh. I tried to steer clear of my newsfeed most of the day! I did get a few lovely Mother’s Day texts that touched my heart!

I hope that all of you had a fairly peaceful day, in spite of all the emotions!! I said a LOT of prayers that day for all of the people that were struggling that day.

Resolve To Know More Acronyms!

This generation is ALL about acronyms.  It seems, everywhere you turn someone has abbreviated something.  LOL.  OMG.  BRB.

Well, it’s no different in the TTC/Infertility world!  It’s so easy to get lost in all of them.  So, I’m going to list them all here for you so that next time you’re reading a blog or an article or even talking to someone, you can not only understand what you are reading but maybe even astound someone with your knowledge!  (You’re welcome!)

There is a VERY long list but I am just going to share the most popular.  Here we go!

2WW/TWW                              Two Week Wait

AF                                               Aunt Flow/Menstrual Cycle/Period

AH                                             Assisted Hatching

AI                                              Artificial/Assisted Insemination

ART                                          Assisted Reproductive Technology

BBT                                           Basal Body Temperature

BC                                             Birth Control Pills

BD                                             Baby Dance (sex)

Beta                                          HCG Pregnancy Test

BFN                                          Big Fat Negative

CD                                            Cycle Day

CM                                           Cervical Mucus

D&C                                        Dilation & Curettage

D&E                                        Dilation & Evacuation

DE                                           Donor Eggs

DH/DW                                 Dear Husband/Dear Wife

DOR                                        Diminished Ovarian Reserve

DPO                                        Days Post-Ovulation

DPR                                        Days Post-Retrieval

DPT                                        Days Post-Transfer

DP3DT                                   Days Post 3-Day Transfer

DP5DT                                   Days Post 5-Day Transfer

Dx                                           Diagnosis

ENDO                                    Endometriosis

ER                                          Egg Retrieval

ET                                           Egg Transfer

Frostie                                   Frozen Embryo

FSH                                       Follicle Stimulating Hormone

GD                                         Gestational Diabetes

hCG/HCG                            Human Chorionic Gonadotropin

HPT                                      Home Pregnancy Test

HSC                                      Hysteroscopy

HSG                                     Hysterosalpingogram

ICSI                                      Intra-cytoplamic Sperm Injection

IF                                          Infertility

IM                                        Intramuscular injections

IUI                                       Intra-Uterine Insemination

IVF/ET                               In Vitro Fertilization and Embryo Transfer

IVF                                      In Vitro Fertilization

LH                                       Luteinizing Hormone

LMP                                    Last Menstrual Period (start date)

LP                                       Luteal-Phase

MC                                      Miscarriage

MFI                                    Male Factor Infertility

O/OV                                 Ovulation

OB/GYN                            Obstetrician/Gynecologist

OHSS                                 Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome

OPK                                    Ovulation Predictor Kit

PCO                                     Polycystic Ovaries

PCOD/PCOS                     Polycystic Ovarian Disease/Syndrome

PG                                       Pregnant

POAS                                  Pee On A Stick

RE                                       Reproductive Endocrinologist

RI                                       Reproductive Immunologist

RPL                                    Recurrent Pregnancy Loss

SA                                      Semen Analysis

TTC                                    Trying To Conceive

US                                      Ultrasound

SHEW!  That’s a mouthful, huh?!  If you’re interested in a full list,  you can check out RESOLVE.org’s “Infertility Acronyms” article:

http://www.resolve.org/support-and-services/Managing-Infertility-Stress/infertility-acronyms.html

If you’d like to donate to our IVF fund, please visit: www.youcaring.com/munchkin-mcnabb