2

The realities of a single woman adopting from Haiti

When I first started my journey to being a mom (through insemination) I knew it wouldn’t be easy.  Sunshine and rainbows would not be in my immediate future, but I knew without a doubt it would be worth it.  All the poking and prodding and monitoring of my cycle would be agonizing, but I was okay with all of it.  It was a means to an end.

In November of 2015 when I started the adoption process, I knew my journey was going to become much harder, even more invasive and much more expensive, but again I knew in my heart that it was what I needed to do.

The realities of this journey have surprised even me, me the girl who plans and reads and researches and re-plans and re-reads everything!

The costs – financially are exorbitant.  For the first year I literally was in the bank on a monthly (sometimes weekly!) basis moving money around and getting money orders to pay everyone under the sun.  My money – it’s running out.  Well in reality it has run out.  I am actually looking forward to re-mortgaging my house when it comes up so I can pay off the debt and have my nest egg (which is going towards paying the second half of my adoption costs) settled. The thing that kills me is that none of this money has gone towards my sweet little child who I don’t even know yet!

Every penny, paid to whomever, is worth it.

The costs – emotionally are exhausting.  I see people I have connected with in chat groups get their referrals, their Visas, their Exit letters and of course their homecomings and I am jealous.  Not like the boy I like, likes another girl jealous – but WHY NOT ME???!!! jealous and that is an envy that isn’t fair to anyone.

Every tear and sad face is worth it.

I don’t have a partner to share in my grief.  Most people who adopt have that special someone that they can lean on when the wait becomes to long.  They have someone to talk to who understands and most of all is REALLY REALLY interested in everything you are thinking and hoping for. My friends and family love me and they care and are excited for me, but they don’t have the same passion obviously as a spouse would have and sometimes I feel completely alone.

Every ounce of longing is worth it.

I don’t have a partner to share my fears with.  There is a Hurricane blowing in quickly and fiercely.  My child, the one I don’t know, is living there, as are hundreds of other children, with no parents to wrap them in their arms and keep them safe.  The sweet nannies and creche directors I know do everything they can, but nothing replaces a mother or fathers warm embrace. With every update on Hurricane Irma, my anxiety rises and my prayers become deeper and longer.  Other people are disappointed their Caribbean vacation spots will be destroyed – I am terrified, the child meant for me, will be harmed or that their biological family will be injured, it takes everything in me not to scream.

Every prayer and raised heartbeat is worth it.

Co-parenting will not be my reality.  I was with my friend and her husband this weekend – as I am most weekends, and their youngest was having trouble pooping.  She had been constipated for a couple of days and she was screaming and crying not wanting to poop.  What a simple concept for us adults.  You have to poop.  She was bribed, begged and pleaded with for over an hour and her parents were lucky – they had each other to tag out.  When one needed a break to get out of that small cottage bathroom, the other was there.  When my kid refuses to poop – and don’t they all at some point – it will be me.  My patience will be tested.  My frustration levels and anxiety will be pushed to the limits.  My kid will stomp on my buttons and I can’t push back. I am the adult.  The only adult.  I have no one to tag out with and that reality kicked me pretty hard this weekend as I looked down on that sad little face of a girl who wouldn’t poop.

I can handle this.  Not only can I handle this, I WILL handle this and while I know sometimes I will fail, sometimes I’ll barely pass, my child will NEVER doubt that they are loved.  They will always have a soft spot to fall and that is something we all need a little more of.

Love Nicole

 

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2

The Climb

I am not now nor have I ever been a “Miley Cyrus” fan.  However, whenever I hear this song (the only one by her on my phone) I can’t help but dream off into space thinking of my journey to be a mother…

I can almost see it.
That dream I’m dreaming,
But there’s a voice inside my head saying,
“You’ll never reach it.”
Every step I’m takin’
Every move I make feels lost with no direction,
My faith is shakin’

But I, I gotta keep tryin’
Gotta keep my head held high

There’s always gonna be another mountain
I’m always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Sometimes I’m gonna have to lose
Ain’t about how fast I get there
Ain’t about what’s waitin’ on the other side
It’s the climb

The struggles I’m facing
The chances I’m taking
Sometimes might knock me down,
But no, I’m not breaking
I may not know it,
But these are the moments
That I’m gonna remember most, yeah
Just gotta keep goin’,

And I, I gotta be strong
Just keep pushing on,

‘Cause…

There’s always gonna be another mountain
I’m always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Sometimes I’m gonna have to lose
Ain’t about how fast I get there
Ain’t about what’s waitin’ on the other side
It’s the climb

Yeah

There’s always gonna be another mountain
I’m always gonna wanna make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle
Somebody’s gonna have to lose
Ain’t about how fast I get there
Ain’t about what’s waitin’ on the other side
It’s the climb

Yeah, yeah, yeah

Keep on movin’
Keep climbin’
Keep the faith, baby
It’s all about—it’s all about the climb
Keep the faith, keep your faith, whoa, whoa, oh.

  • Google time play

I’m not sure if this makes any sense to you, I just feel like I have had so many obstacles ahead of me, so many hills I have had to climb and really – regardless of what happens in the end, once I hold my child in my arms – it will all be worth it.

Love

Nicole

2

Why I fear I’ll never have a baby

When you are going through artificial insemination and have had 5 unsuccessful attempts (2 medicated), you start to think – is it me?  Am I not meant to be a mother?  Can I accept that reality?  Can I financially afford IVF – can I emotionally not afford it?  From the earliest memories I have, I knew I was going to be a mommy.  All I wanted was to be a stay at home mom raising my children and taking care of my home and my husband.  Those dreams have shifted, since to this point the “husband” part of those dreams didn’t work out.  I independently, head strong and bravely went about the route so many women have to take and we go about it all alone.

But it hasn’t worked out for me.  Yet.

I decided to look back at my cycle, as I’ve always been pretty regular between 28-30 days with a 7 day period.  Lately, that hasn’t been the case – so I went back 6 months (February 2015) and I am troubled by what I have found.

February – Day 26 with a 4 day period

March – day 26 with a 9 day period (ya I remember this shitty month)

April – day 31 with a 5 day period

May – day 22 with an 8 day period (again, I was miserable for a while!)

June – day 44 with a 7 day period

July – day 33 with a 6 day period

August – I am going on day 36 with no period in site…

How is someone supposed to get pregnant when her cycle is so messed up? When the hell am I even ovulating?  I have no man in my life, no man who wants to be a part of the amazing world I have started to build myself so what do I do…

I call my doctor.  I need to see her and show her whats been going on…I need another round of cycle monitoring, I need to nip this in the bud!  I can’t go another year childless. How is it that women who don’t want children get pregnant and women that want nothing more than to carry her own baby struggles and risks everything to have what should come so naturally?

I’ll keep you all posted what the doctor says…

Love

Nicole

1

725

725 days ago

everything stopped – it was like I was an actress in the most dramatic movie ever seen

I wasn’t acting

I walked into Scarborough General hospital, concerned, but confidant that HE would be fine. I’ve seen Grey’s Anatomy and dozens of other hospital shows and people survived a Code Blue all the time…didn’t they?  It’s amazing what you remember 725 days ago, when I couldn’t tell you what I had for lunch yesterday.

I had just opened the hospital doors when my phone rang – it was in my newest purse, Michael Kors.  My mom had bought it for me in Vegas the April that had just passed.  The bag was large and the phone had been thrown in the bottom with my keys. I grasped it and saw my sister-in-laws number.  I knew before answering…it was over, HE was gone. As she spoke the words, my purse dropping and spraying items all over the spick and span hospital floor, I fell and screamed a sickening sound. My heart felt like it was going to stop beating, I thought I would be the one having the heart attack.  No one should ever feel that much pain and yet here I was on July 21st, 2013 at 5:30 am in an empty hallway of a Hospital wishing for death to take me because I could not, WOULD NOT live without HIM.  I don’t know how long I stayed on that floor, crumpled into the fetus position crying.  Somehow I made myself walk to the elevator because I knew more than anything I needed to be in HIS presence.  I got to HIS floor, where I had left HIM not even 24 hours ago with the promise of bringing HIM home that day and an orderly (or maybe a male nurse) caught me as I came crashing out of the steel elevator and quickly put me into a chair with a high back and rubbed my shoulders as I sobbed.  No one else was there, my brother and sister-in-law took another 20 minutes and my best friend who I had called wasn’t there for another 10. A nurse finally let me in, and that was it – with my own eyes, my father was gone.

That was 725 days ago.  It seems a lifetime ago, yet at the same time yesterday.  Everything that has happened since that day and everything that continues to happen regardless of my feelings or thoughts is sometimes astounding.  Life just keeps keeping on.  There is no stopping it.  He isn’t coming back.  My grandmother who passed away 2 years prior to this isn’t coming back.

Loss.  It doesn’t heal.  Not one day out of the 725 have I NOT thought about my dad.  Even if it’s just a brief moment or sometimes a full few hours he is there…always.  I haven’t shed as many tears this year as I did last year.  I haven’t had as many anxiety attacks as I did last year.  Maybe next year it will be even less.  But he will always be in my mind.  When I am sleeping, when I am driving, when I am making a hard decision, when I am planning a fun activity…he’s here, but not.  I want him HERE.

Some of my family will be gathering at the cemetery on the 21st and then concluding with a dinner to memorialize the occasion – just like we did last year, another year where he isn’t joining us.

damn

0

wifi, christmas and so much more

When my father passed in July 2013 I knew immediately that Christmas, for me, would never be the same.  No matter how many traditions we kept or where we had our parties or how many gifts were under the tree, the meaning and spirit of Christmas ended in a final heartbeat.  Last year Christmas was completely thrown off thank you very much Ice Storm 2013 and this year with my fathers house sold and gone, I was never going to experience Christmas again – not the same way I had celebrated it for 31 Christmas’s.  I’m trying to enjoy it as much as I can, but really without little ones trying to shake presents and baking cookies for Santa, it’s hard to truly liven up and laugh and have joy.

I keep seeing my daughters eyes sparkle at the glistening lights and my sons mischievous grin as he plots to wait up for the big man in red, not knowing that Santa won’t come until he has long since fallen asleep.  Where are my children you ask?  I don’t know.  They haven’t been born yet.  They have yet to be conceived.  My chance to be a mom hasn’t come.  Everyone says this year will be my year, I will have a baby of my own next Christmas and my spirit wil return.  It’s possible – sure.  My womb could swell with life soon and I could be crying in relief in  few short months, but I could also be like the other infertile women I know who are wondering why God is blessing others and not them.

My dear friend was afraid to tell me that her sister found out she was four months pregnant a few days ago because her sister did not want a fourth child – a fourth!!  She took steps to prevent it, but clearly not enough.  She is going to keep it of course and she will love it just like she does her other three beauties, but in reality this child was not planned. I’m not mad, I’m not pissed that she gets a fourth while I can’t get a first.  I’m thrilled because she is a great mom and my friend is a great Aunt and her kids are great cousins.  Sure I am jealous and frustrated, but angry…no.  Children are a blessing and I am happy for the wonderful addition to her family.

Simba and I now to need to wait and see – will we get to expand our family of two?  Will the presents under the tree be filled with toys and baby clothes?  Will everyone be coming over to my place to see little koko bean, arms filled with pink or blue?

For now I am grateful that I got to spend time with my nieces and nephew over the holidays. I got to hug my aunt and uncle who live farther away.  I made my pink salad and ate so many mozzarella sticks I thought Id be sick.  I watched my dog and my brothers dog fight it out for hours.  I had a good time.

I don’t know how many more single holidays I will be able to say that for. Nothing is the same.  At least for now I can document this journey on my laptop because I, Nicole, got wifi!

Oh a blogging’ I will go!!

Love

Nicole

2

The non-baby blues

On Monday it will have been a month, a month since I moved out of my family home and into my forever home.  Life hasn’t exactly gone as planned.  Everything has taken longer than expected, everything has cost more than expected and that sneaky little depression bug that I was ignoring for so long has come right up and bit me hard in the ass – oh ya and the ass is no better and I’m sick of that too!

1. A lot of my friends have offered to help me move and I have taken a few of them up on it.  However this hasn’t been easy.  Weekends are busy for everyone and getting stuff from Scarborough to Ajax during the week is next to impossible unless you do it later at night and with Simba I don’t want to be gone all evening.

The thing that has been sad is not the people who have offered but the people who haven’t.  I was hoping that my move would be an amazing few days of giggles with my closest bff’s and people teasing me and making me laugh, but that didn’t happen.  It was a disappointment and that sucks.

I have a lot of boxes that can’t be unpacked due to a lack of shelving (see below) and a lack of time to unpack the ones that can.

2. My backyard’s grating is all off – which of course being under 6 feet of snow when I bought the house I would never have known.  There is no water seeping into the house – yet – but I need to get this taken care of ASAP!  Thankfully my friends Jeff and Travis have scheduled me into their busy work schedules and will take care of this for me, but it will be costly!

Shelving is expensive.  I was hoping I could buy some cheap white or dark wood shelves so I could put all my books, DVD’s and photo albums away but that isn’t happening.  They are MASSIVELY expensive…I was hoping like $20-$40 each…try more like $70-$170 each and that’s from WALMART!  Of course all the bills are coming in as well so I had to turn to my dads accounts which my brother and I also haven’t taken care of yet – one more thing to do..

3. Living alone, with just a dog is lonely.  It’s been lonely since my dad died and somehow moving has emphasised that loneliness even though I see my Durham friends and my cousin and mom more often than I did before the move.  In reality I have been lonely since before my dad passed.  I mean really – we were okay company for each other, but we had no common interests.  There is a difference between a dads company and a friend or partners company.  I am starting Yoga on Monday night to hopefully relax my mind and keep me busy at least one day of the week.

I have been putting off my next insemination because A) I’m feeling anxious more so lately and B) I can’t handle any more disappointments right now and the first four times were all failures – the fifth has given me no reason to believe it will be a success.  So I am putting it on hold right now.  I don’t have any money to spend on pregnancy attempts that will almost surely be failures *at least with my attitude*.

I am not feeling fulfilled lately – in any area of my life, I don’t know what will be the thing that makes it better, but so far my frustration levels are easily tilted. I hope to have more positive blogs in the near future – but right now…you’ll have to deal with me this way

Love

Nicole

 

2

He should have told me…

 When someone dies, someone you are close to, your world changes.  I thought I was prepared, I mean my dad had experienced heart attacks before, we had talked about where his will was located, what his wishes were, we knew.  My brother and I knew everything we needed to.  Didn’t we? 

There was some things my dad didn’t tell me before he left me for his eternity, some things I wish I had known, or thought to ask.  Here is a small glimpse into conversations I wish we had taken time to have: 

The money talk. 

My dad had numerous conversations with me about money, but they all went like this:

Dad – Nik, you need to stop spending and start saving

Me – ya ya, I will

Dad – How come your VISA bill is so high, what are you spending your money on?

Me – ya ya I will…wait what? 

Clearly I never spent the time to listen to him, or discuss with him anything financial.  I was fortunate to live rent free, have only my bills to cover and because I have a good job, I never had to save or budget or learn about RRSP’s, Mutual funds, TFSA’s, Stocks or any other financial term.  I never had to understand mortgages or loans or interest percentage rates.  Essentially, my dad being so gracious and spoiling me in this sense screwed me over the moment he passed.  I have no clue what I am doing now.  I have the bank guy throwing a lot of verbal diarrhea my way, confusing me left right and centre, I have friends giving me their advice and all I really want is to sit down with my dad and say – HEY!  Tell me why I should or shouldn’t get __A__, __B__ and __C__.  I know he would explain it to me in idiot terms because I suck with technical jargon and he knows this!  I would be able to walk into any bank and say, do this, this and this and that’s all – confidently, unwavering.  Instead I walk in, sweating, terrified the big scary bank guy is going to take all my money and I end up with nothing! 

The “you’re going to miss me when I’m gone talk”

Okay so he said this NUMEROUS times to me.  Usually when I was annoyed at him for one reason or another, or when I was going out with friends and he wanted me to stay home.  However, we never really actually talked about this.  How serious this hurt was going to feel.  He lost his father when he was older so maybe he didn’t realize, but damn, it hurts so much – daily – I can’t describe it.  We didn’t talk about how to make the pain go away.  We didn’t talk about things I should or could do to honor him and keep him happy while he’s watching me from above (I’m pretty sure getting a dog was NOT on his list).

The “car” conversation

My father bought a brand new car with cash every three years for as long as I can remember.  He was fortunate to live a lifestyle and have a job that afforded him that luxury.  I am not anywhere near that situation so my car is almost 4 years old and I am not able to buy a new one.  I wouldn’t want to.  I love my car.  However I worry that my mechanic (car dealership) is screwing me over because I am a woman and clearly know diddly squat about cars. (It’s also possible they aren’t and I am not for a moment accusing them of wrongdoing)  I don’t even know if my dad knew anything.  He never needed to, but I feel like a father should teach his daughter how not to get fucked over by a guy needing to increase company profits!  How often should my brake pads be changed?  When do I start to worry about my filter being too dirty not to change? How do I check my oil?  All of these questions I never asked, because I knew I could call my dad up and he would give me his opinion (which 9 times out of 10) I took.

The “future”

I know my dad wanted me to have a baby, a little Khloe or Kristopher (or twins as that was his favorite joke to make), but we didn’t talk about my future goals, what I should or shouldn’t work for.  What are the most important lessons to teach Koko, what he wants me to teach my child about him and our family history?  How did he get me through the teenage years and how am I going to possibly get my child through the teenage years because my patience is nil for stupidness and teenagers are stupid by nature!!!!

 

Here is my advice to all of you, talk with your elders, write notes, and create a diary, a timeline – something.  I didn’t.  There are so many questions and concerns I have now as a woman trying to navigate my way around this big scary world and I am not quite sure how to do it.  You always think there will be more time.  Granted, my father’s passing came as a shock, he was fine (for him) and we weren’t expecting him not to wake up that morning, but still…I wish I had taken more time. 

Six months later, half a year of my life living without his constant guidance and support I feel like I am doing “okay”, but I am frustrated and freaked out half my days.  

I guess in short – I miss him.  I wish I had more time.

Love

Nicole