Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Adoption Progress: Getting Our Physical Exams

Photo: www.thecentralline.org

Zay and I went to a family doctor here in Orem to get our general physical exams done. It didn't take very long. All he could really do was ask us our medical history and do a few brief checks of our heart, lungs, glands, etc. And take a urine sample. We were in and out pretty quickly.

We're both apparently in excellent health, despite my PCOS and Zay's weight - he's joining me on my get-in-shape goal, we're gonna get buff together. :) I'm not quite sure what the doctor could have discovered that would have disqualified us from adoption, but it's part of the requirements... so, I'm glad we got one more step done. Yay for progress!

Our doctor talked to us a little bit about the orphans in Haiti and how we should look into that. He's planning on volunteering his doctoring services in Haiti for a week. I definitely will think about it if it's a viable option. It's hard for me to think about all the little children who have nowhere to go. :( I wouldn't rule out adopting internationally, but as of right now I'm just not sure how things will go. And we are pretty set on domestic adoption through LDS Family Services. I'm sure things will unfold the way that they are meant to - I just don't have a clue yet.

I'm feeling much more open to different scenarios as time goes by, though. When I first thought about adoption, I wanted a baby who was no older than 3 months old, black, male, and completely healthy. I figured if I could hand-choose, why shouldn't I be specific? But the selfishness of those thoughts is slowly wearing off. I honestly don't care about gender anymore. Not too much about race either, although I still would prefer black or black mixed with something else. And as for age, I feel like I wouldn't have trouble bonding with a baby who was up to a year old. Maybe this gradual change is helping me to be prepared for something. :)

Whatever happens, I'm excited for the future!




I Spoke Too Soon

Photo: www.globalivf.com

I'm at the beginning of my Fertility Game Plan for this year. Cycle 1 was a bummer. Got all nervous/excited for nothing. Dang. Sad day.

Cycle #1

Medication:
2 850mg Metformin/day
4 50mg Clomid/day on days 3-7

Did I ovulate? Yes

Am I pregnant? NO




Sunday, January 24, 2010

Nervous

Photo: www.twoweekwait.blogspot.com

I'm sure everyone wants to know that I should be starting my period in the next couple days or so. HA HA.

But it's important! This is the 2nd most important time in my cycle (next to ovulation...or I wouldn't have a "cycle" at all). :)

Because these are the days that I get the most hopeful... and then (so far) the most disappointed. My hardened, hopeless attitude towards the whole me-getting-pregnant thing starts to really loosen up around this time. And I'm NERVOUS! It's a potentially important time and that just gets me all jittery with excitement. It's hard to stay hopeless all the time. I just can't help it. I try to prepare for the most likely inevitable disappointment of Aunt Flow paying a visit... but it's hard not to think, "Just maybe it worked this time!"

We'll see. Until then, I'll just torture myself by looking at pictures of pregnant bellies that aren't my own (like the one above). Ha ha. The two-week-wait makes you do crazy things.




Thursday, January 21, 2010

Our Southern Heritage

We originally came to Utah so that I could attend Brigham Young University. Now that I'm done with school and I'm "taking a break" before finding a job, there isn't anything necessarily keeping us in Utah. We're just still here, trying to find our way. Hoping the future has some babies in it. Not knowing where to go from here.

I feel really nostalgic about the South sometimes. There are so many things I miss about living in Georgia - the people, the accents, the food (boiled peanuts ... mmmmmmmmm), the rain, the heat, the trees, the majority of my family who still lives there, and the overall comfort of country living. I miss having land and lots of animals. I miss living where expectations are low, so happiness and success are pretty easily achieved. Ha ha. Living in the country vs. the city can be much cheaper too. And relaxed, laid back. Not so anxious and busy, busy, busy like living here has felt to me. I'm a country girl. I like running around barefoot, building fires, catching lightning bugs, BBQ'ing, sitting out in the hot night air and talking and laughing until the mosquitoes finally drive us in the house.

But these last 5 1/2 years in Utah have been life-changing. There have been moments when I've said to myself, "This is the home I never knew existed." There were many reasons why I wanted to come here in the first place and now Utah has a huge part of my heart. The LDS culture - lots of people who share our religious beliefs, the BYU student atmosphere, the football fans, the snow, the lack of bugs (I haven't encountered a single mosquito or roach since I've lived here), the friends we've made, the safety of our neighborhood, the community and how much more people contribute and hold themselves accountable to each other than I've ever seen before, the huge families.

I guess I just wonder where we'll ultimately end up? There are downsides to both places. Zay has said so many times about Georgia, "I've served my time there." But we miss it... I wish we could take the best of both worlds we've experienced and squish 'em together into our own little utopia.

Or we could pull a place out of a hat and just pack up and go! Try somewhere new. So many things seem up in the air right now and my future looks so hazy and unclear. Making decisions right now seems more difficult than it's ever been because there seem to be so many of them. And I've got time on my hands to reflect on it all.

Where would I want to raise my kids? Will I ever be able to settle down in one place? I feel like I would need to for my kids' sakes, but I like the freedom of being able to get up and go. Buying a home anywhere scares me. Would my kids fit in here? Would they do well in the schools here? There isn't much diversity - how much would that matter to them? On the other hand, Georgia still has a lot of ignorance and racial tension. Will it be that way when my kids are older? The South laid the foundation for who I am now. There are things I learned - traditions, values, even my crazy thick accent that I love, silly figures of speech, the feeling of Southern hospitality - that I want my kids to experience. That's important to me.

We visited Georgia a few years ago. I went back through the pictures and picked out a few that stood out to me:

It was Christmas time - my brother playing the new Wii with his trucker hat on. Ha ha.

Christmas at my dad's house.

Zay's brother.

Zay & a couple of his brothers.

How country is this picture?! With the dogs on the car roof. I love it.



Speaking of country, this picture was taken way back when we were both teenagers, but do you see the broke down car in the neighbor's yard? HA HA HA.

Bon fires! One of my favorite memories.



The Bug House - my dad's mechanic shop. I spent a lot of time here as a kid.



My Granny, feeding the chickens!



The Red & White - the only grocery store in our whole town. I lived off Nutty Buddies and Mickey Mouse ice creams (the ones with the chocolate ears) from here when I was a kid.

Ooh! I found a picture!
Photo: www.onceuponawin.com




Monday, January 18, 2010

Adoption: "It's About Love"

Photo: www.haitiorphansproject.org

A teacher I had in high school recently got back in touch with me. I told her about wanting to adopt a child and she said something I found interesting:
"I just think it's a totally awesome thing to do...there are so many little ones who need love. I think about how much I love [my child] sometimes and then think that there are little ones that don't get all the love that he gets and it's just heartbreaking... it takes someone truly brave to offer that to someone's child!"
She was complimenting me and I really appreciated it. It always feels good to hear that you're doing something good. But in all honesty, I'm not sure how I feel about it. I certainly didn't start filling out adoption paperwork recently because I wanted to save a child from a bad situation or from being unloved. I did it because I want to be a mother. Is that selfish? It feels selfish in a way.

I thought about it some more... and the thing is, I'd like to think that many birth mothers who make the choice to put their baby up for adoption do it out of love. So in a way, adopted babies have more love thrown their way in their short lifetime than some other children. A birth mother who knows she can't give that child what he/she needs and sacrifices her own wants to give that child what she couldn't... I don't see an unloved child in that situation. I don't feel like the path we are taking to adopt a newborn is one where the newborn is lacking love - there is just a lot more to parenting than love. That's why adoptions happen.

I also don't look at it as "loving someone else's child." Someone else may have given birth to them, but once they are my child ... they are always and forever my child. I wouldn't call myself brave for that. Biology isn't the only thing that makes you love someone. I'm not biologically related to my husband, but I love him more than anyone I'm genetically connected to. It doesn't take bravery on my part to love - it's just who I am. The idea that I couldn't love a child that I didn't give birth to... or I couldn't see them as my own... just doesn't compute with me at all.When most people think about adoption, they imagine orphans and starving kids from other countries (the newly orphaned children in Haiti come to mind). I'll be the first one to say that I don't think I am emotionally ready to handle anything other than the domestic adoption of an infant (up to 1 year old). Not now. Not at first. I realize that there are many older children who move from foster home to foster home and have a much more difficult time getting placed with a family - these are the kids who are lacking the love that every child needs. I'm sure these are the kids my teacher was referring to.

When most people think about adoption, they imagine orphans and starving kids from other countries (the newly orphaned children in Haiti come to mind). I'll be the first one to say that I don't think I am emotionally ready to handle anything other than the domestic adoption of a newborn. Not now. Not at first. I realize that there are many older children who move from foster home to foster home and have a much more difficult time getting adopted, and there are millions of children filling orphanages across the world - these are the kids who are lacking the love and stability that every child needs as a part of a family. I'm sure these are the kids my teacher was referring to.

So, in my situation - and from what I expect from the adoption process we're going through - I'm hoping that we won't be faced with unloved babies. Even though it may not be true in some cases, I still want to hold on to the notion that birth mothers place children up for adoption after weighing their options and acting out of love - love for a child that they carried and gave birth to, but they just knew they couldn't offer that baby the life they would want for them.

I'm already thankful to the birth mother who I have yet to meet who will give the gift of life to me and my family. I respect her... She's more of a Saint for giving me the chance to be a mother than I'll ever be for wanting to adopt. I'm sure of it. I can only hope to be the kind of parent that would make her proud.




Sunday, January 17, 2010

What Would I Be Missing?

Photo: www.organicbabystyle.com

Let's just say (as a possibility)... I can never get pregnant. I want to just face reality for a second. What if I spend the next 10 or 12 years trying to get pregnant and it just never happens, no matter what we try? Is it worth it? What would I be missing out on that adoption couldn't replace?

I think there are two things that stand out to me...
  • First, that I would never experience the actual physicality of it all - pregnancy, giving birth, breastfeeding. I'll never get to see what my body can really do as a woman. Zay will never get to see me with a pregnant belly, which he says would be "so sexy." Ha ha.
  • And second, we would never know what a child with our characteristics would look like. Our DNA wouldn't be passed on and we wouldn't ever be able to see a baby with Zay's eyes and my ... well, my big ears, I guess. Ha ha. My mom would be disappointed that she'd never have a grandchild that looked like us, either. I'm sure my mother-in-law feels the same.
Those are two things that I've wanted to experience at least once. Just once. That's all. But if it never, ever happens... I guess I'll always know what I missed out on. I can live vicariously through friends and family members and move on. I think 2010 will be my last year of actively "trying." What's going through my mind right now is that it's really not worth spending another stressful year TTC. I know what I'll be missing and I could go ahead and put it behind me - mourn the loss of my unconceived child, and then move on. I think that would be best for all participating parties.

We'll see how I feel in 2011.

P.S. - Feel free to list all the horrible things about pregnancy. Cuz that's all I really need to hear. :)




Friday, January 15, 2010

Sledding at Rock Canyon Park

I've been sledding twice this winter so far. I'm waiting for it to snow really heavy again. The snow that's out there right now is not fit for sledding, but we tried to do it anyway (meaning I tried and Zay sat in the car in the heater). The snow has slightly melted and then re-frozen into a super slick icy surface that no normal person can climb back up, unless you had metal-spiked cleats on and one of those mountain-climber ice picks to help pull you up. Craziness.

But, we went and took my little sledding buddy with me. His name's Justus. His mom for the most part just watched from the top of the hill, because there was no way her shoes would make it back up. The funny thing is that she caved and decided to sled down once, but then it took her about 10 minutes and the help of a random stanger to pull her back up. Ha ha. I think there were two or three times when I finally dragged the sled all the way back up the hill ... and then I slipped and let go of the sled. I watched it go for a lonely joyride all the way back down. Wow. That's upsetting. Ha ha ha. I ran back after it, slipping and sliding all the way down. The "going sledding" thing was fun overall, but far less time was actually spent on sledding.

When we were all tired of fighting with the elements, we trudged back to the car (where Zay was nice and toasty and shaking his head at our craziness). When I was at the very top of the hill, I dropped the keys that were in my pocket. I looked down at the keys on the ice and thought to myself, "Wow. I could've dropped those anywhere up and down that hill. Thank goodness they're just now falling out of my pocket." I was glad I hadn't lost them. I picked them up and the next thing I remember was that I was getting excited about taking a couple pictures before we left. We did, and then left. We got dropped off at our apartment ... and whoops, where are the keys? I searched frantically in my pockets for the keys while we're standing in the freezing cold right outside our door. Ha ha. (I laugh now, but it wasn't funny at the time.)

We had to call and get our ride to come back and let us use her car to drop her off where she was headed, and then drive all the way back to the park and back again - it was like 45 minutes of driving. Since I had that vivid memory of dropping my keys after we were done sledding, I knew that they could only be in one place - I spotted the keys in about 2 seconds - right next to the rock where we were taking pictures. I don't know if I managed to drop them a second time out of my pocket and not hear them hit the ground, or if I was so excited about pictures that I never put the keys in my pocket to begin with and just threw them on the ground in excitement. Hmmm... the second one sounds about right.

Anyways, it was a loooooong day.

Pictures!

Me and Justus. I just realized how lumpy I look when I've got 3 jackets on. Ha ha.



Scared to leave the rock without getting someone to hold his hand first. Cute! I don't blame him.




Sunday, January 10, 2010

Zay Would Be an Adorable Father



A friend brought her new baby over when she came for Christmas dinner. I went to pick her up and it took like 20 minutes to put the car seat in and get the baby buckled down. I was thinking, "Have mercy - after I have a baby, I'm gonna have to leave 30 minutes early to everywhere I have to go." Ha ha ha. Then she had to change his diaper twice – right before she left and halfway through the party. And then he pooped immediately after getting changed. I was thinking, "Geez - I wonder how many diapers she goes through in a day?" And then he cried and fussed. I thought, "Oh, man – what am I getting myself into???" Ha ha ha. She kept asking me, "Are you sure you want a baby?"

But then ... I saw Zay holding the baby and feeding him and I ALMOST DIED. My heart melted.

Zay's wanted kids at least since he was 18. He's been waiting patiently for 10 years for that dream to be fulfilled. He's such a softie when it comes to kids and he's so good with them. No baby cries when he's around. And he's always trying to set a good example for the kids in his life, especially if they don't have a decent father figure. He's always going down to the teen center in Provo and getting a bunch of kids together to play basketball – keeping them out of trouble and giving them something better to do. I'm so proud of the person he's become over the years. He has so much to give as a father, and sometimes I just feel so bad that I haven't been able to give him that opportunity. He's all but given up hope that we'll be able to adopt or have a kid ... I think that's why he's been so slow about signing adoption papers. He doesn't want to get his hopes up anymore. It's sad, but I'm doing all that I can to make our dream a reality. All I know is that he would be an amazing father and I can't wait for the day when he's holding and feeding his own child. My heart aches just thinking about it.




My Head is Swimming

Photo: www.filterjoe.com

I have been reading about baby stuff WAY too much. I've never had this much time to think about something and prepare for it before. The only two major decisions I've made in my life have been snap decisions. I wanted to get married, so boom – I got married. I wanted to move to Utah and go to BYU, so boom – we left the only place we've ever lived and drove across the country. We wanted to have a baby, and ... yeah ... I'm not used to not being in control. I thought reading up on all things baby would help the time pass by faster, but right now I feel like I have way too much information in my head. Baby, baby, baby is all I can think about.

It doesn't help that this past month or so has been icky for me. I've been feeling sick, probably because of too much chocolate over the holidays. I had a constant headache for about a week. I didn't get a job that I really wanted. My medicine randomly made me puke – I'm not even sure if it had time to get in my system first, which worried me because it could have meant another wasted cycle. I kept getting confused about what day it was (a friend says I have "mother's brain," but I'm not even a mother!). I lost my car keys when I went sledding (more about that later). I totally freaking HALLUCINATED. And getting Zay to get on the ball about filling out adoption papers is like PULLING TEETH, but I finally got him to sign everything – we've just got to go get physical exams done and background screenings. I didn't get pregnant in December's cycle – I didn't even ovulate, so I got pissed about that. I had the worst PMS in the world and almost strangled Zay (not really, but I got pretty ferocious – how do normal women do this every MONTH?! I can't wait to go back to the nonexistent period days where I'm SANE.) And we got the results back from the semen analysis – and it's not terrible, but it's definitely not perfect. Sooo, that's... just... GREAT.

I'm trying to stay focused on the positive and hopeful and patient, but it can be difficult at times. I try to keep myself busy and make sure to take some "me" time – meditating, yoga, writing in my journal. It's helped a lot and keeps the anxiety of our current situation at bay. Church keeps me grounded and reminds me of what I should be doing with my life – serving and loving others and not being so dang selfish. I really hope for the best in 2010.




Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Year's 2010

Photo: www.goodfinancialcents.com


It's a new year!

I'm still trying to figure out whether to say "twenty-ten" or "two-thousand-ten." And if I've lived in the '80s, '90s, and the 2000's...then what the heck do we call this new decade? The '10s? The teens? I don't know. I'm confused. All I know is that this year came too quickly ("that's what she said" - sorry, I watch way too much of "The Office"). I wasn't fully prepared for the whole "reflecting on goals from last year and starting over and making new goals" thing. Last year, I didn't make any concrete goals... mostly I just wanted to graduate (check), get down to my ideal weight (nope), and get pregnant (I obviously have no choice in this matter). These goals haven't changed very much. So, here's what I want out of 2010:
  • I graduated from college, dangit! So now I need to decide what I want to do for the next 5 years or so (get a "real" job, go to cosmetology school, go back to BYU for my Master's, keep doing hair...???...pick something!!!)
  • Have/adopt a baby - this isn't a goal, but it is something I hope will come out of this year.
  • Get down to 135lbs, dangit!
  • Be a little better - a better wife, sister, daughter, member of the Church, etc.
And that's about it.

I spent New Year's Eve braiding a lot of hair and watching a lot of VH1 countdowns (most shocking music moments ever, top music videos of 2009, recaps of the decade, etc.). I even watched WWE wrestling for like 30 minutes (I promise a friend wanted to watch it...that was the ONLY reason) and I laughed SO HARD. I drank some sparkling cider, kissed Zay at midnight, and was asleep by 12:30. Ha ha ha. It was cool. :)




I'm Never Watching "House" Before Bed Again

Photo: www.fanpop.com


I have always been a sleeptalker.

Zay either thinks it's funny and tries to hold a conversation with me or he just ignores me and tells me to go back to sleep. Ha ha. Every once in awhile I'll sleepwalk, but I usually just end up using the bathroom and coming back to bed and that's it. No one would even know I was sleepwalking unless they try to interact with me and I freak out on them. (It's been known to happen!)

My mom tells a story about her sleepwalking, opening the front door, going outside, and getting into the car... before the cold car seat woke her up. My dad (this was a really long time ago, by the way) got up and saw that the front door was open, so he closed it and locked it and went back to bed. So my mom was left outside in her underwear! First of all, how scary would it be to wake up and find yourself in the car? What if she had driven off somewhere?! And two, I guess I know where I get my sleep-disruption from.

One of my brothers did a little sleeping-walking when he was younger too. I've heard stories about him peeing in a laundry basket, going outside and peeing, and washing his tennis shoes in the toilet. Ha ha ha. For some reason, all his stories are connected to urine... Lol.

I've had some really funny sleepwalking/talking experiences, but I have never hallucinated before! And I blame it all on staying up until 2:00 in the morning a few nights ago watching a creepy episode of "House." Does anyone know the episode I'm talking about? The end of Season 2 when Dr. House gets shot and he's in shock and can't tell the difference between his hallucinations and reality? Yeah, that one. It really screwed me over. I was sleepy when I was watching it and it was crazy messing with my mind. I went to bed when I realized I was exhausted. I fussed with Zay about what side of the bed I wanted to sleep on (I was really tired, ha ha), so he went back out to the living room to watch TV. He ended up falling asleep on the couch... and I was knocked out within 2 seconds.

Okay, so there I am dead asleep (usually I have a hard time falling asleep if Zay isn't beside me)... but I suddenly jerk awake when I hear some kind of *tinking* noise across the room. *tink, tink, tink* over and over again. I looked over at the other side of the bed and saw that Zay wasn't there, so I looked in the direction of the noise... and there he was! He was a bulky figure standing across the room, staring at me. He looked like he was hunched over, ready to attack me or something. He had two long florescent light bulbs... one in each hand... and he was *tinking* them together over and over again, menacingly. I thought to myself, "He's mad that I didn't let him sleep on this side of the bed and now he's about to break a light bulb over my head!" I started yelling at the figure, "Zay! Zay! ... Zay, what are you doing?! ... Answer me! ... Okay, Zay - you're really freaking me out! ZAY!" When he wasn't answering, I thought maybe he was hurt or something. "Zay! Are you okay? What's wrong?! Zay, answer me - you're scaring me!" ...

I heard a faint answer from the living room. I heard Zay mumble, "Huh?" And I immediately realized that Zay had fallen asleep on the couch and he was still in the living room. The figure wasn't Zay! So, I freaked out EVEN MORE. I screamed, "Zay! Oh my gosh! Come here! Somebody's in the bedroom!" ...

And then, all of a sudden... I woke up and my eyes adjusted to the darkness. I must've scared myself awake. It was a friggin IRONING BOARD that I was looking at. And the cats were running around the bedroom playing with something they found that made a *tinking* sound. Wow. I was so embarrassed that I had just been yelling like a maniac, and even more embarrassed that I had actually HALLUCINATED and saw an imaginary person trying to kill me with a couple of florescent light bulbs. I came out to the living room and explained it to Zay. He just said, "Mmm hmm," and went back to sleep - he's so used to it.

Well, 2009 was a year of firsts. It was also the year that I fainted for the first time in my life. GEEZ. But that's another story. :)




Christmas Day 2009

Since we had our Christmas Dinner the Sunday before Christmas, Christmas day was pretty chill. We had a baked French toast breakfast with strawberries and whipped cream and maple syrup. Mmmmmm. SO MUCH SUGAR. I've seriously had a sugar overload this Christmas. Then we opened presents with my brother, sister-in-law, and nephew. It was fun! It was a nice and simple day. We took advantage of it and RELAXED as much as possible. We watched basketball and had a couple friends come over.

Pictures!


The fam.


Evander opened maybe one present...and then he decided that all he wanted was the big container of popcorn.




Making a mess.


The Christmas tree - I think it's funny that no one took down the Tupac picture in the background...


Our nativity scene (minus the black wise man - I accidentally decapitated him last Christmas)...and the picture of Jesus holding the hand of a little black girl, which was a present from Zay.


Zay, happy with his Blu-rays.


Opening his stocking.


Loving his back scratcher.


And...the only picture of me. And it's a horrible one. Oh, well!


Merry Christmas!




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