And that is the end of that.

This may be my last post for this blog.

My husband has been having some health issues. He injured his shoulder and after doing weeks of PT, he developed a tremor. Then his limp worsened. Then he fell and broke his tailbone and has had a great deal of trouble walking since the end of 2016.

The day after he broke his tailbone we got the call for a 5 day old little boy who needed a foster home. I had to say no.

We put ourselves on hold until we knew what was happening with my husband.

In July, after years of tests and specialists, we got our answer. He has young-onset Parkinson’s Disease. There is no cure. He will likely live a fairly normal life span, but he may be bedridden inside 15 years. He is 42 years old. We are shattered, and after 6 weeks of soul searching, we know we have to close out our license because he cannot care for a child in his current state. I need to find a job, go back to college, and I am taking on everything he ever did around the house. He has the energy to work full time, but nothing else. And if he isn’t full time, there is no insurance. Because America.

I won’t be a mother after all.

So my journey has come to an end.

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I’m not dead yet!

So on June 15th, we officially received our license and were officially a foster home. Six hours later I was about to get my hair cut when my cell phone rang and they needed  a place for a baby for one night. It was a fast haircut, let me tell you! I rushed home and we met him and he stayed for one night and was picked up the next morning to start a new life.

Then we did respite care for the rest of the summer, it was the one condition placed on us to get our license. I have OCD and have struggled with depression and anxiety most of my adult life, but really kicked it in the ass three years ago when I began cognitive behavioral therapy where we realized the core  issue was the OCD. I say “we” like I was on board with it. It took a few sessions! But given the tools to keep that under control has greatly reduced the anxiety and depression. This was all on the table from the beginning of our licensing process. I didn’t want to waste anyone’s time or have any surprises, so all of my stuff was out there in the open the whole time. My mental health team wrote letters on my behalf and my agency had a staffing to discuss what, if any, restrictions they should place on me with the license. And you know, I am glad they did. Sure, I didn’t love it, but I get it. So, they wanted us to complete some respite experiences so we knew what we were getting into. So we did.

Respite care is really babysitting. It’s short term care for a child who is in out of home care, it might be a few hours or it might be a few days or weeks. It’s all set up ahead of time and it’s an easy way to get care that is state approved. So we got some practice. Including a weekend with a pair of one year and three year old siblings that taught us we are soooooo not ready for two at once yet! We have been called for placement a few times, but with multiple kids, or way outside of our age range and we had to say no. But we kept on waiting.

And then our phone started ringing at six AM on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend. And there was a kiddo who needed a home, a real placement. So we took a leap and said yes. And they brought him over in an hour. So sweet, soft curly hair, cheeks for days, two tiny teeth.

The first few days were tough, my husband pretty much fell in love immediately. I was so focused on the work of caring for him that I was kind of holding back, I guess. I mean, there was so much to do. Get clothes. Wash clothes. run to appointments. Make phone calls. Freak out. Get food, figure out what he ate, how he ate, if he could feed himself at all, clean up. Bathe him. Clean up some more. Change diapers. Clean up even more mess. Repeat forever. I was overwhelmed. And then at some point after a couple days something slid into place and it didn’t get easier, but it got better. You have to do this with all of your heart to do it right. You know it’s going to hurt like hell when you have to let go, but you do it because this kid? Is hurting like hell right now and needs you. So you open your arms and your heart and you just love them.

The husband and I did have a come to Jesus talk on Thursday night after I dropped the expensive temporal thermometer and it stopped working (kiddo was teething and had vaccines so was running a fever) and i just fell apart crying. And my husband had emptied the dishwasher, but left all the dirty dishes behind in the sink and it was just all too much. But for real, who even does that? You empty, you LOAD. Also, I saved the thermometer, dropping it bent one of the battery contacts a bit and I just needed to adjust it. Sweet, it was $50. Damn.

But I woke up Friday and we finally had a rhythm going. He didn’t wake up screaming, he woke up gurgling and happy for the first time. There were lots of giggles during his morning stretch while I changed his diaper. We were on time for a nine AM appt for me to have some blood drawn (just routine annual stuff) and there was no crying or fussing. And then my husband called before we pulled out of the parking lot to say he would be leaving us in a few hours to be placed with family. We both cried all the way home. He was crying because stoplights are horrible, though. Anything that made the car slow down or stop while he was awake was unacceptable. He liked to go go go!

And just as fast, he was gone. He was asleep when the transportation worker arrived, my hard won efforts to get the kiddo on a schedule were starting to shape up, and it was fast. No time to change soaked diapers or say goodbye. She was here and gone in a flash and he wasn’t even fully awake when she walked out of the house with him. And pieces of our hearts.

All of a sudden just being the two of us again was so weird. Everything was so quiet. The cats came back downstairs to hang out with us again. They are both fourteen years old and they don’t like babies. There was no way to know that until we realized it, but they are gonna have to suck it up. We have an entire second floor they get all to themselves. They don’t like being grabbed (of course) and they don’t like screaming. Marge was sitting with us when things were quiet after a few days, but Erma was way too offended to deal with any of it. She stopped coming down for her yogurt treat twice a day so we had to go chase her and carry her to the kitchen. Her yogurt treat is also her hyperthyroid medication crushed into some plain yogurt and without it, she’ll die. She LOVES it. She goes crazy for plain yogurt until she is mad at us and then she won’t grace us with her presence.

So here we are, we are now bonafide foster parents, and we are once again waiting for  placement. I don’t mind waiting, because it means kids are safe. But I know the phone will ring again and we’ll be ready to open our hearts and step onto the roller coaster once more.

And the stars looked very different that day

So….I took a big break. Partly, I needed it, and also, I got a new laptop and was too lazy to transfer all my crap. I suspect that also is because I needed the break.

My cycle in December wasn’t successful. So the positive tests I had toward the end must have been residual HCG from the trigger shot. I realized it was another failure when I fell apart when I saw that David Bowie had died. I was a fan,  he is pretty much the patron saint for weird 14 year old kids, right? He was amazing. But I wasn’t a fall apart and ugly cry over a celebrity fan. But as I sobbed my heart out I realized it was more than the news. It was my period knocking on the door.

And there it was. Two years. We gave it hell. We threw piles of money at it. My heart broke a dozen times.  I’m not good at getting or being pregnant. My eggs aren’t fresh. And my 42nd birthday was coming right at me. I realized I was done. I have no more fight left in me to pee on sticks, take pills that make my bones ache and make me cry, analyze my charts, have more tests…just every last fucking bit of it. Done.

So I told the husband. I can’t do this. I can’t handle another loss. I don’t have the emotional resources, I don’t think I ever will. And however our adventure with fostering turns out, springing a surprise high-risk pregnancy  on a traumatized kid isn’t OK with us. I don’t want to be that woman who adopts a child and is instantly pregnant, because my reality is that it will be complicated with my situation. Our kid or kids will need everything we have. He was 100% on board with all of it, he would have been willing to keep trying but he also saw how hard it was on me both emotionally and physically. So I went back on the pill, with PCOS there is no way I would rely on NFP for preventing. Nope. And frankly, I don’t want to hassle with all of that since there won’t be a point in my future where I have to adjust to stopping the pill to try and get pregnant again. I’m done. We will explore permanence later kind of done.

My due date came and went in February. And it was sad. I felt sad. And once that was behind me, I was more ready to open myself up to the possibilities before us. We moved all of my sewing gear out of the other bedroom on this floor of the house. We bought a convertible crib. We got a dresser from craig’s list that was way too big for the car and the guy was nice enough to deliver. We really prepared a place for a little one to stay in our home. We did 9 hours of pre-placement training. We did our one-on-one interviews. We hired someone to install new hand rails on our stairs. I have scrounged clearance sales and we have one outfit for every size in our age range all washed and tucked away in labeled bins ready to be needed. I have become part of the magical never ending cycle of baby and kid gear that is passed around

Now we wait for the licensing specialist to write up our home study and hope to be licensed by summer. And anything could happen after that.

Shit just got real

Thursday evening our licensing specialist came to the house and the process of becoming licensed began. Mainly she gave us pamphlets and we signed a whole lot of paperwork.

We have a stack of more paperwork to fill out, a bunch of papers to round up, and a whole checklist of things to get ready in the next few weeks. Our interviews will begin in about 2 weeks. If we can get into the class, then our training will begin next Thursday evening. I will go get my fingerprinting done on Monday, and I will be taking my application for a new card over to the social security office. Oops. I will totally take knitting with me!

Our marriage license should be here by the end of the week. I have certified copies of my birth certificate already. The Man has it one step easier as his name never changed. I hyphenated when we married, so mine did change.

The mobile vet came to take care of exams and shots for the turd herd on Friday ( Marge the cat gets terribly upset and carsick at vet time, so this is better for him). A large box of smoke detectors, a fire ladder, and two more CO detectors arrived today. We obviously have those things but need more for licensing. I have begun to price out baby furniture and gear and to tweak the baby list I sort of set up two years ago when we first began this convoluted path to becoming parents. I made it facebook public that we are planning to foster and possibly adopt. And this all feels real now.

Hurdles

So the HCG trigger did indeed give my ovary a nudge. I set the follicle free on Friday,  a good three days earlier than I would normally in a medicated cycle.

So now it’s down to the one week wait. I didn’t test the HCG out daily, I gave it a test a few days ago and it was still coming up positive. So who knows? I am being pretty loosey-goosey with all things fertility right now. Temping, and doing progesterone pods, but not meditating daily, not doing yoga (which I do actually want to do, I need to get on that)and just kinda seeing what happens.

And things have moved on the adoption front as well. We have moved from applying to be foster parents to now being licensed. Our application has been accepted and now it all gets moving. The home study begins in just under two weeks. We will have so many things to fix and to buy and organize and OH MY GOD.

They might let me be somebody’s mom!

Well, this is new

I had a midcycle ultrasound today to see how I am responding to letrozole with one functional tube. As usual, I had good looking follicles on both sides. But we want the right one to mature and bust out first. So I had my first HCG trigger shot this morning before I left the clinic. I almost escaped, but the doctor caught me in the lobby to say we should try it.

And hell, what’s another $200 on the pile, right?

According to my labs and age and the whole shebang I should be a terrible responder. But I get very good results with the letrozole. Always 1-2 large follicles with several other smaller ones that won’t mature in time. Good sized ones, and a good not too thick uterine lining. And even though we did need to induce last cycle, I still only needed 5 days of the Provera to make it happen. My actual experience is at odds with how it is all supposed to be. This is so typical for me. So typical.

Back in the saddle again

I had to end the cycle with Provera, which was not unexpected. And now it’s day 3.5ish, on day 2 of Letrozole and my ovaries are already aching so much. They really hurt, and I still kind of have cramps.
The joint pains haven’t started yet, but I am guessing tomorrow will be a bit more painful.

I dragged myself partway out of my funk and did some holiday decorating. It helped a little bit.

And tonight we completed our application for fostering and sealed up the envelope. I will drop it off in the morning when I go mail cards. It gives me flip flops in my belly to think about it, but in a good way.