Thursday, June 13, 2013

A reflection after almost 6 years

On August 18th, I married my best friend.  The day was beautiful, the groom so very handsome in his tux (in my opinion) and I felt like a princess.  That's what everyone wants to hear.  In reality, P and I weren't sure if we were going to be able to have our wedding outside as we planned, that my dress would be at the shop for me to pick up after a few last minute alterations, that the food at the reception would be edible, and that our friend who volunteered to both do the videopraphy for our wedding and DJ the reception would be able to make everything work out.

We did get to have our outdoor wedding and it was beautiful.  the day was gorgeous, few decorations were needed, and he did look handsome to me.  My dress was finished on time, but barely.  I picked it up the day that we left to head to the wedding.  P tech directed our wedding and set up all of the sound equipment both at the ceremony site and at the reception hall.  The food was fabulous and even now we still get complements on it.  The cake was beautiful and tasty.  The video still hasn't arrived and never will because the footage was horrible.  The same thing with the DJing at the reception.  If I had that to do over again, I'd micro manage and set out a play list for him to play.

However, the end result was that we got married and have been happily married for almost 6 years.  Despite the things that I can look back on and cringe over and the things I look back on and celebrate, I wouldn't have wanted the day to go too much differently.  It was one of the best days of my life.

Say “I Do” to Measure of Love: http://tinyurl.com/measureofloveamazon

My wedding


With the Measure of Love contest, I wanted to show a picture of the day P and I got married.  This is actually from our entrance to the reception.  It will be 6 years this summer since we said "I do".

Say “I Do” to Measure of Love: http://tinyurl.com/measureofloveamazon

Measure of Love discussion

In Melissa Ford's newest book, Measure of Love, we revisit with Rachael Goldman and see where her life has taken her since Life From Scratch.

Rachael is living with her ex husband Adam and becomes engaged during the course of the book.  However, she is too scared to grab onto her happiness and finds herself meddling in the relationships of her friends and family, often to disastrous results.  She does this with Lizbet and Emily's wedding plans and causes major problems between herself and her ex / future sister in law and herself.  While she is well meaning with it, is it right?  Does she make it right in your eyes when she asks Lizbet and Adam's mother to go and help Lizbet with her wedding planning since the dream wedding envisioned by Lizbet is what her mother wanted for Rachel?

Do you feel Rachel could have handled this in a different way?

After you answer my question, please click over to read the rest of the book club questions for Measure of Love.  You can get your own copy of Measure of Love by Melissa Ford at bookstores including Amazon.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Infertility is the new black

I've been spending some free time watching shows that I've wanted to see on Netflix and reading lots of books the past few weeks.  I've begun to notice something about what I've been watching and reading.  Infertility has become the new black.

It seems that most, not all just most that I've seen lately, shows feel obligated to have at least one character deal with infertility.  It seems to be the same things with books as well.  It used to be a deadly disease.  Now it's infertility testing, surrogates, and adoption.  Now, bringing this to the public is wonderful.  I applaud that it's becoming a mainstream plot point, but sometimes I really want to escape from it myself.  How does one escape their reality when TV is showing it and makes it look like it's so easy to resolve?  People meet birth moms at a coffee cart, find a surrogate on a softball team, try to conceive for 3 months and go off for testing, only to find that all is well and then conceive 2 months later.

It's wonderful and heart-breaking all at the same time.  Very rarely does the show actually show the pain and heartache associated with infertility.  It doesn't reflect the costs and legalities involved with treatments, adoption, and surrogacy.  It's just a nifty new plot twist designed to tug at a few hearts and then get quickly resolved.

It's also occurring more and more in books, usually resolved by the end with a miracle pregnancy or no problem adoption.  It's frustrating and frankly demeaning to those of us who are struggling with these issues on a daily basis.  We all want that happy ending, that miracle pregnancy, that happy adoption.  But it isn't easy and it certainly isn't usually resolved in a quick or timely manner.

I wish that producers and writers actually understood and actually dealt with the problems in at least a realistic manner.  It would do so much to further our cause and actually help educate people.  We as infertile people do what we can to further the cause only to be set back by these portrayals that others take as gospel.  It's frustrating, but true.  Infertility has become the new black.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption Book Tour!!

Welcome and pull up a chair, grab a nice cup of tea or coffee, and please help yourself to some of the goodies we have for this book tour.  The book was written by the wonderful Lori and is "The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption".

The term “Real Mother” or “Real Parents” comes up quite frequently in an adoptee’s life.  Lori suggests in her book that we see each set of parents (birth and adoptive) as “Real”.  Do you agree?  How would you personally handle this terminology? And are there other ways to effectively deal with this term if used by your child or directed at your child by another?

As a step-parent, I frequently struggle with this terminology.  My step-child's mother is her mother. I'm also her mother is many ways.  We both have earned the title, but she calls her mother, Mom and me April.  In terms of adoptees and their birth and adoptive parents, I see both as real mothers.  The adoptive mother is the parent who is there for every step from birth forward, who loves this child with all of their heart.  She is the day to day parent, the one who is there for the child at all times.  This does not mean that the birth or first mother is not a mother.  She was the one who was there giving the child life and laboring to bring the child into the world.  She loved the child so much that she gave her child to another person to raise and love.  I would not feel hurt or betrayed if a child that I adopted referred to their birth mother as their mother because it is true.  I would also encourage and try to help the child understand the pieces and parts that made up their family so that they would feel comfortable answering questions and explaining about their family, because in an open adoption everyone is family.

Lori refers to the relationship between adoptive parents and birthparents as similar to an in-law relationship.  Does thinking about the relationship as an in-law relationship influence how you approach open adoption?

Looking at the relationship as that of an in-law relationship does make it an easier one to process. With your in-laws, you treat each other with respect and open your heart to adding these new members to your family.  You don't always have to agree with the choices and decisions that they make, but you forge a connection with them because you both love their son / daughter.  It's the same concept for a birth parent.  You both love the child.  You make the connection with each other because of the child.  This doesn't mean that you have to love every thing that the birth parent does or that you have to agree with all of their choices. You still have the right to assert your thoughts and feelings as the parent of the child.  However, treating the birth parent with respect helps keep the lines of communication open and keeps the child as the most important part of the equation.
 
Please return to the main post to read more opinions on Lori Holden's The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

I'm not dead, I swear

It's odd what happens when you step away from writing on something like this, even when it's unintentional like always seems to happen to me.  At first it's just a week and a week isn't a big deal.  Then two weeks, then a month.  Suddenly you realize it's been since November and now it's the middle of April and you've been silent, living in your own little world and not letting out the things in your mind.

That's been me the last few months.  Since deciding not to continue with treatments, I've been dealing with a whole host of emotions, few of them happy.  It's not an easy road and coming to terms with the decision has been hard and continues to be hard.  Infertility, it's not for the faint of heart.  Each day brings its own challenges and its rewards.

For now, I am still here and I am coming back.  In fact, I'll be back as part of the Barren Bitches Book Club reviewing Lori's book.  If you haven't joined yet, you should. It's been an enlightening read for me so far and I am looking forward to the discussion that it will bring about.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Letter to myself

Dear Me,

I know this weekend was rough.  We decided that we weren't going to pursue fertility treatments because the cost is so high, the emotional strain too much, and the fact that we've been loosing ourselves in all of this.  I know it was hard, but it's the right thing to do.

I wanted to tell you that choosing this path is not a sign of failure or that you gave up.  I want you to remember that it's okay to not want to go through IVF. It's okay that we chose to not pursue our journey through treatments any further.  It's okay to admit that it was hard, wearing, and so damned difficult on us.  It was stressful and took so much joy from life.  It was hard on P as well and he's suffered watching us suffer.

Remember that biology does not mean a child isn't yours.  Look at J.  She's beautiful, smart, funny, and as much yours as if you had given birth to her.  If we choose as a family to pursue adoption at a later date, that's fine as well.  But choosing to remain childless is not a failure.  It's okay to not have a baby.  It's okay to mourn and then let go.

For now, what we need to do is remember what we used to do when we weren't worrying about getting pregnant all the time and start doing those things again.  We need to reconnect with our husband who has stood by this whole time.  We need to learn to laugh again.  It's time to let go and find our joy and learn to be our self again.

You are wonderful and you will be okay again.

Love,
Me