Friday, November 30, 2007

I'm bringing sexy back

I am not dead. I just look like it.

The post title is not an homage to that boycandy, Justin Timberlake, but rather something very funny my dear friend Y says to her husband. As you know Y has a 2 month old, M, who is awesome and cute and sort of betrothed to our daughter (I never tire of writing that) C. I was telling her that I have altogether stopped whatever meager attempt at self-care I once had. Showering is optional, and I am on day 3 without one. Brushing teeth before 4 pm is a victory. I have worn my same "Lovergirl" bathrobe that my singing group got me for my wedding (J has a matching "Loverboy" one) every day to the point where its normal whiteness is now sort of grey and also yellow where formula stained it.

Not really sure what Im doing all day. Yet the time goes.

I am so appreciative of all your phone calls and emails and adorable baby gifts. Your excitement for us is overwhelming and beautiful.

My dear friends R and Y, who as you remember were both pg this year, have been invaluable at the "why does her umbilical cord smell bad" questions that are alarming but not quite bad enough to call the Ped. Though I have done that. At 11 pm.

I love my faraway mom friends who send me emails with great advice and also coo over her pictures when I know she sort of looks like a baby chicken and makes noise like a penguin. She is my chickenpenguin tho.

My family is so wonderful and when Grandmas and Grandpas call and ask how their granddaughter is I choke up.

I have not slept more than 3 hours in a row in two weeks.

I have had to get off a few conference calls from work (yes I am sort of kind of working, at my leisure, ha) because C made a poopy diaper and I cannot stand her living in filth. I, however, am PigPen reincarnate.

And I am so, so happy I cannot stop smiling. I love waking up at 3 fucking AM cause I know I wil see her sweet face. I love when she fixes on my face for a fleeting 2 seconds, because I know soon she will recognize me and be glad when I show up. I sing to her songs about Charlotte and Charlie and always end RockaBye Baby with us catching her when the bough breaks cause I hate that song and how it ends. And last night I sang her to sleep with Tri Delt songs. She especially loves mmmm my sister.

And what is really special is when J leaves the monitor on and I hear him talking to her. I love him so much.

I am dirty and gross and potentially very, very smelly. But it is all good.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Giving Thanks

So yeah, this year sorta sucked.

Between my fertility issues, my father's cancer and heart issues, my mother's broken wrist, and multiple adoption dissapointments, we just wanted 2007 to retire and shove it up its ass.

However, here it, November. And my parents are healthy, my sister's pregnancy is going swimmingly, our friends are healthy and happy, and we have Charlotte.

We couldn't ask for anything more. 2007 ended up ok.

So thank you to our families who have been a resource of undying support and love.

Thank you to our friends who have listened to our bitching and let us cry and provided so much love and support.

Thank you to our adoption staff who brought us the world's best reason to be thankful.

And thank you to people who read me whom I don't know. I click on your blogs and read your journeys and feel inspired and less alone and hopeful and excited for you.

I am feeling so thankful this morning I had to wake J up and tell him. That wasn't smart, or nice, but it was meaningful.

I also locked us out of our bathroom at 5 am but that's a different story. Ha.

Love to you all and please take a minute today to feel appreciated and loved by the Guberfamily!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Guilt - its not just for breakfast

So last night J and I were online looking for childcare options, because even though I am not going anywhere near work until January we live in a ridiculous part of the country where childcare is hideously expensive and hard to come by so we have to start very early. At first I will be working from home and only in the office 2-3 days a week, but we are determined not to put her in day care until she is 3 months old. We think the one on one care is the best thing for her.

As we were looking, I felt myself start to cry. I have long known that I would go back to work after the birth of our child. There are two reasons: one, we need my income to keep C in designer binkies and, oh, say, housing. Two, I have worked long and hard on my career, am in a place now where I am in a senior position, and I completely love my job and working in general. So it is partly necessity and partly keeping me happy. I fully plan to have a flex work arrangement so I can be home early to feed, bathe and love her up, but will continue working.

I felt such incredible fear and guilt last night about leaving her with someone else. I worry so much that whomever we choose will shake her, or ignore her, or not smother her little face with kisses every ten seconds like we do. What if we hire a sociopath? What if we hire someone who will steal her? And it will be all my fault because I went back to work. The guilt and shame were overwhelming.

Being here, with nothing to do but pay attention to her, has been excellent. However, without my computer and link to the outside world and emails from work coming in, I think I would've gone nuts. And I know that staying home for me full time is not an option but I completely understand why people do it. In addition, all my working mom friends say that they feel awful when they leave their babies at home, and I used to nod and try to understand but without experiencing it it is impossible. I will rely on my working mom friends to help me feel ok about our decision and to help me continue to balance being there for my daughter and also being there for myself.

I think this is just the beginning of the conflict and guilt. I think if it wasn't this it would be something else. I know that a happy mommy makes a happy baby, but I want to install nanny cams in every nook and cranny of our house to make sure our childcare professional is just that.

NO ONE will put our baby in the corner.

BTW my favorite time with her right now is after we feed her - she closes her eyes and goes limp (which of course scared me at first, thinking I killed her with feeding, but now i understand it is milk coma) and then she starts to smile - sometimes with both sides of her mouth and sometimes with this smirky one side thing. Her cheeks are filling out and she will definitely be a FatBaby which we LOVE. I tell her all the time I am going to eat her. We sing to her and talk to her and I make up stupid songs about Charlotte and Charli and Chuck and whatever. She is going to think her mother is an idiot. And about her, I am.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Charlotte, Pt 2

So the next day we got on the plane, wide eyed and with that feeling you get like the day of your wedding when you haven't slept but you aren't tired because you are so wired. As we pulled away from the house at 6 am I told J, hey, this is the last time we may leave this house as just us two.

On the plane we swung between elation and fear - elation that this may happen, and it hadn't been called off yet, and fear that we would land to a message saying it was off. We slept on the plane a bit, mouths wide open. Once we woke up we pulled out "50,000 baby names" and started brainstorming around middle names, as we had already decided on Charlotte.

As we landed we scrambled to turn on our blackberries and cell phones, but there was no message. After almost 2 hours in the car rental place due to a bait and switch of our Jeep Cherokee for some weird car we had never seen, we were on our way. J now says we should've gotten a minivan but I told him to shut his mouth :).

We arrived at the hospital and basically ran to the front door, where our social worker was waiting for us. She took us upstairs and set us up in our own room, across the hall and a bit down from the birthmom, whose door was shut. A nurse came in and introduced herself, and like all the nurses, was incredibly sweet. She called us Mom and Dad for the first time.

Soon we heard the sound of wheels coming down the hallway and within a few minutes our daughter was wheeled in.

Now, that was one of the most powerful moments in our lives. I mean basically we were laying eyes on our future child and I am not sure about J, but I was thinking "dear god let her be healthy and i hope we think she's cute". Yes, lame, but it felt like an arranged marriage or blind date where you hope you like the guy. :) Once we saw her my eyes filled with tears and I was so, so happy because she was gorgeous and wonderful and peaceful.

Now I won't say I loved her immediately. I think that took a few hours. I will say that once we picked her up, awkwardly, because we were sure we would snap her little neck, she snuggled in and we were sold. As the day wore on and we spent the entire day in our room with her, we learned to change her, feed her, and we took turns holding her while she slept. We know now that was a bad idea because she grew used to it, but whatever. We had waited a year and a half for her and were in no position to let her sleep alone. The entire time, though, we were cautious as until the relinquishment papers were signed she was not ours.

We asked Lindsay, our social worker, if the BM wanted to see her. She went to ask, and it turned out S wanted to see us all, because she thought seeing us so happy with the baby would make her feel better.

S is beautiful. She has long, thick dark hair and gorgeous eyes and a strong nose and wide mouth and is truly lovely. She was so nice, and while she did seem sad she also seemed happy to have made us so happy. We talked for awhile and then took a few pictures for C's lifebook. We also hugged her.

That first night J and I went to babiesrus to get all the baby stuff we needed, like car seat and pack and play and blankets, etc. We felt scared because we didn't want to have to be there the next night, returning everything.

We went back to the hospital to feed her and say goodnight and ended up going to bed very late again. Our last night of sleep!

The next day was the big day. We spent the day with C, and then left at 5 to eat dinner and run some more errands. At around 1 pm, Lindsay came in to let us know S was leaving the hospital and that she wanted to see C one more time. That was the scariest 10 minutes of my life but all ended well and C came back into the room with Lindsay safe and sound. We ended up helping S leave, carried some of her bags, and helped her into the car. I got teary as she left. How do you thank someone who gave you your daughter?

The social worker,Laurie, met us at the hospital at 10:30 or so, bringing her husband as her witness. We actually had a great time with them - and would be friends witht them! He and J really got along as they are both irreverent as hell. They were great and were very, very supportive. We felt like they were family as soon as we started talking.

At 10:50 our phone rang, it was Lindsay on her way to S's house, caught in traffic, giving us a heads up that the signing of the relinquishment papers would be late. Damnit. Dallas traffic sucks.

At 11:40 I started to get nervous. What the hell was taking so long? I knew S and her husband M had to read everything, but come on.

At 11:57 the phone rang again.

She was ours!

Ok she is crying now. Write more later. Thank you all so much for your beautiful emails welcoming Charlotte in our lives, and yours. We are so happy.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Charlotte, part 1

So, here is what happened. I will probably not get done as she is sleeping on Daddy and soon he will want his computer back.

I got a call while in Chicago for work, one week ago today, from our adoption referral service about a potential situation in Dallas. The BM was a 20 year old Native American/Hispanic healthy female, BF a caucasian healthy male. No drugs, no alcohol. DREAM situation. And she is due on Nov 24th. Our only pause was HOLY SHIT Nov. 24th? I called Jeff immediately and we agreed to be presented with other potential birthfamilies.

The next day I got a call at 1pm from Terri, our referral service, yelling into the phone "You are going to be a mommy! You got picked!". Now, we have been here before, as you know, so while we were excited we were still cautious. J and I decided that it was time to tell our work so I sat my two bosses down after a long day of meetings and told them I would be gone in a week. While they definitely felt as freaked as I did, they were 100% supportive, having both been aware of my history of m/c and being parents themselves.

That night J and I talked many times, made flight reservations, and planned out how we would spend the weekend. I hardly slept, thinking of this baby inside her mom's belly and how she may be ours.

Til Terri called again and said she was probably going to go on Sunday and could we go Saturday?

Well, ok!

Except then the next day, when I had a 5 hour presentation to the senior partners in the agency, biggest moment of my career thus far in my new job, I got a vm from J during our bio break. Mom was being induced that night and we were leaving the next morning. I can tell C that I heard of her impending birth while peeing.

I took a deep breath and grabbed both my bosses again in the hotel hallway. I told them, and again while they were totally freaked, as was I, they were great. Meanwhile my amazing husband was booking a hotel, car, flights, calling his family, getting directions, and basically managing this entire process.

Somehow I made it through the rest of my presentation, and then left for the aiport in a full car, so I still couldn't call my family or talk to J.

Once I got to the airport I called my office to do a conference call with my team to tell them I wouldn't be coming back to work for awhile. I had a 5 page document with to dos that I basically delegated out to everyone. They were thrilled though, again, this happened so fast they had no time to react.

Of course my flight was delayed 5 hours so I arrived home at 10:30 pm, in time to throw somethings into a suitcase, take care of our pets, run around the house, etc. Imagine getting ready for a 2 week vacation with 1 1/2 hours of warning. Yikes. J and I were in the zone, barely talking but instead communicating through grunts and hand signals. Good partners.

All night I kept waiting for the phone to ring and terri to tell us it was off.

Instead we got a text message at midnight saying "Congratulations! Its a girl! 6 pounds 13 ounces, 21 inches"

J and I looked at each other, wide-eyed. It really hit me that we were about to become parents with about 48 hours of notice.

Ok gotta get off the computer now. Looking forward to finishing this, probably at 5 am. First doctor's appointment today!

Saturday, November 17, 2007


Our daughter, Charlotte Rose.

Born November 14, 2007. 6 pounds 13 oz, 21 inches. Her birthparents signed the relinquishment document tonight, so she is ours!

This has been the biggest, best whirlwind of my life. J and I are over the moon, exhausted, scared, sure we will kill her in the first 48 hours, and so, so excited for you to meet her.

Yes, I think things have turned around.

More later once we get the hang of this whole parenting thing. Crazy.

Friday, November 09, 2007

All is Well Today

My father got through his angioplasty with only one Happy Birthday balloon in his artery! He has some small blockage in another one but they are managing it with drugs.

I am so relieved. Let's hope for a speedy and full recovery.

Could this be the turnaround that we have been waiting for? Dare I ask?

Monday, November 05, 2007

Sweet, sweet meds

I am so hooked up.

You know you are having a bad time of it when the doctor, whom you have never met, hears about your year (as an answer to the question "why are you seeking SSRIs?) and prescribes you giant doses of it and some Xanax thrown in without you asking and then says "Jesus. You know, R, things will turn around. Wow. That is the worst story I have heard all day".

This from a man who probably treated someone earlier who had a steak knife coming out of their eye.

So my blood pressure is elevated. Pulse rate, elevated. Migraines need some loving from the neurologist though the GPs initial "touch your nose and then my finger" neurological exam for children showed no massive embolism about to burst forth in my brain, no matter how much it feels that way.

And tonight I take a dose of Celexa and a Xanax.

The best part about my visits to my primary care is I treat it like a 20 questions game. I have so many seemingly unrelated data needs I just fire away questions at him because hell, I am there, and chances are in the 2 years between visits I have stored up lots to ask.

Examples from today:
- "Why do I have a migraine every day?"
- "Does a birthmom who is 39 have THAT big of a chance of down's syndrome babies?"
- "What types of prenatal tests should we think about if we match with said birthmom?" (related question)
- "How dangerous is angioplasty? Cause my dad is getting one Friday" (at which point the DR said looked at me with what could only be pity and amazement and said "are you kidding me?"
- "Do I need to go on malaria meds if I am going to Argentina?"

I left, two prescriptions heavier, with a spring in my step knowing that the cold, dark place my mind has become is about to get lighter. In two weeks. Or in two hours, when I take lovely, lovely Xanax. Lovely Xanax. Sing to me.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

I need help accessing my non-crazy side

If I were to change careers I would become a psychiatrist in NYC because DAAAAAMN there ain't enough of them. I have been trying for a week to see one, even for five minutes, to get me some SSRI lovin and to take my anxiety down from Nuclear to Almost Manageable. I won't bore you with details of what my anxiety feels like but I think the marathon runners and I shared a common heartrate today.

I cannot get into see one. The Jewish somethingorother that has shrinks and is on my insurance said their earliest date was two.months.from.now. Ok. I will be really cardiovascularly fit at that point. And maybe dead.

No one else even called back. I am breaking down and going to my primary care physician tomorrow, and while he is not a shrink, he at least can write me a prescription.

At this point I am a junkie in desperate need of a fix. I am panicked and sweaty and breath heavy all the time. I think horrible, paranoid things about what my friends, husband and family are doing and exhibit the obsessive thinking and compulsive behavior of Monk. And most of all I am near tears 24 hours a day because I am operating at such a high level of anxiety.

Oh sweet SSRI, when will you be mine?

Friday, November 02, 2007

I Wanna Know Something

Today was rough. At the end of a long, super crappy week a co worker called me and told me she was PG. Due on my due date in May. Fuck you, I wanted to say. Congrats! I said. Then hung up, shut my office door, and cried for 45 minutes.

I spent tonight at some dear friends' home, playing with their newborn and having dinner while J worked. It was really, really nice. But we started talking about the annus horribilus I have had and she and I wondered, out loud, if this is just what it is.

I mean do other people have three miscarriages and two adoption disruptions in one calendar year? Is our journey, the one that started with wanting to do what 16 year old crack whores can do, that different from other IFs? Right now with the water rising and currently 35 feet over my head, depressed, in desperate need of SSRIs and unable to find a single.fucking.psychiatrist in NYC to prescribe me meds, I feel singled out. I feel like our journey is harder. I feel like it is, as my friend Y said 'Mission Impossible', only our orders already blew up and I never even got to see them. Is this right? Can I expect more? Have we just started and every day will continue to be a fresh hell for years and years?

I want answers from others. And I am so thrilled that a dear beautiful woman has a meeting place of sort for IF/adoption bloggers called lost and found at http://lostandfoundandconnectionsabound.blogspot.com/ has listed my blog on there and asked, on my behalf, for other bloggers to come offer support. And oh boy did they. I had more comments last post than any other, almost combined, each more beautiful than the next. I spent hours at night perusing other blogs that were, in many ways, mirrors of this one. Any hope i had of being the wittiest, driest, most eloquent blog around these topics quickly dissapeared. But these women are pro bloggers. So tell me, please, oh wise sisters, is our journey normal? I mean normal for the fucked up, jacked around, subculture that is the IF to adoption journey?

Do I need to stop feeling sorry for myself? Cause I would love to. And all the fertiles in my life are accidentally making me feel like I am typhoid Mary and calamity Jane in one package. Mary Jane, as it were. My journey is SO completely different and awful compared to theirs. And I hate feeling like that because with that negativity as my outside voice, who needs negative self talk?

Tell me we are not alone. Please.