3

Dreams can come true – if you are patient

There was a hard, dirt path from the Creche to the little building I was staying in.  As I walked towards the door I could feel the heat on my face, see the sun and knew that I would be sweating through my shirt by mid day.  I didn’t care though because a smiley faced toddler was running up the path screaming manman (mother in Creole) dressed in a beige t-shirt and crocs on her tiny feet.

She wrapped her arms around me and I could smell baby powder and sweat.  I was on my knees, tears springing to my eyes – this was my daughter.

My alarm went off and I woke up in my queen sized bed, light streaming through my window, Simba snuggled in my knee nook snoring softly.

It’s not a bad way to wake up-but that dream was so real I couldn’t help but cry wanting those chubby little arms to still be around my neck.

I am a short way in to a long waiting game for a referral, knowing that this will not be the first of many dreams to follow.  Will I have a daughter or a son?  I don’t know and I don’t care.

Thank God for dreams

Nicole

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1

Plan A v. Plan B (C, D, E etc)

Throughout your life you will make a million decisions, have countless choices that will affect your life in one way or another and have to change your plans over and over again based on minute little details that you didn’t take into consideration.

For example.  I made the decision when I was a little girl that I would be a wife and a stay at home mom.  This was my goal, my plan.  Unfortunately, I never met “the one” and unless I met “the rich one” I would never be able to not work.  I had to readjust my plan.  I decided I would be a single mom and immediately started going to doctors, fertility specialists and buying sperm online (that was so weird I am not going to lie).  It became very technical and medical – not all like I planned, or dreamed of, but I had made up my mind and adjusted my plan.  Plan A didn’t work.  The fairy-tale – which is usually the “ideal” didn’t happen for me.  My prince didn’t exist, so I threw on my Sasha Fierce and became Miss. Independent.

Unfortunately, Plan B failed too.  I couldn’t get pregnant, it was near impossible.  I was sick of trying and failing and being poked and prodded with no success.  I had to make another decision.  Did I want to be pregnant, or did I want to be a mom.  I had to really think about this one.  After looking at the Pro’s and Con’s (really morning sickness, hemorrhoids and labor pain not considered) I knew I needed to be a mom.  Pregnancy wasn’t necessary.  So I looked into adoption and now (Plan C) I’m steady in my commitment to this process.  Three plans before one stuck.  Plan C is not a worse plan than Plan A, it’s just different.  It’s a plan I believe in, a plan that will ultimately lead me to happiness.  Isn’t that what we all want, a little happiness?

Another time my plans have failed, yet brought me success (and ultimately my reason for writing today) was in my career.  Growing up I was going to be an elementary (primary) school teacher.  There was never a Plan B.  Unfortunately, I kind of just assumed this would happen and didn’t properly prepare for it. I got okay grades, did a bit of volunteer work and applied to schools haphazardly figuring I was a shoe-in.  I was born to teach! Wouldn’t the Universities care about that…?  Nope, I was denied from each and every one of them.  Since I was already working for the city part time, I flipped my perfect education program to the American part-time program for Ontario students – ya I was THAT girl!

After graduating with straight A’s and excellent recommendations, I again assumed I’d get an LTO or part time assignment, but again, doors were shut in my face – and hard.  I applied over and over again to three boards, driving around forever visiting principals and meeting other “hopeful” young people begging for that one chance.  My opportunity never came.  I literally had to pick myself up from the floor, covered in tears and face a harsh reality that I would not now, nor most likely ever be a teacher.

I was fortunate, while some of my peers are still looking for their chance to break into the teaching market (almost a decade later), I found a job I love – not as much as teaching – but I love it all the same.  I get to work with people, help them create life and employment goals and most fortunately – get to watch a lot of them succeed!  I also get a chance to facilitate and hone my public speaking skills which is awesome!  There are things I miss about teaching, even about the idea of teaching those sweet little children, but I don’t regret my decision to change careers, to use my transferable skills to make me a success in the working world.

Now I am starting to think about what is next for me in this career?  Stay a caseworker where I am happy and content and could easily stay for the next twenty years and not have a complaint?  Or do I push forward, apply for a supervisor role or work in the Learning Centre?  There are pro’s and con’s to each.  I have never imagined myself being a supervisor. I never wanted to manage a team, but I could be good at it.  I am fair and friendly and confident in my abilities – three (out of the hundreds) of things that make a good leader, but at the same time I enjoy working with my clients and knowing that each day (which has ups and downs) will be pretty normal.  I have time, twenty years to be exact, before it’s to late to change my mind, but will being in a position of power be my Plan C?  The adoption Plan C is amazing and wonderful – maybe the career Plan C would be too?

I guess what I am saying, for anyone still reading through this gibberish, is not to worry about life so much, plan’s change, goals are adjusted and you can still come out on top, you just have to keep going and most importantly keep making plans!

Love,

Nicole

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

0

Its been a journey…it isn’t over

I have wanted to be a mother since I knew what being a mother was.  I parented my dolls and stuffed animals when I was a small child, I started babysitting at age 12 when my neighbor trusted ME with her 2 month old son (who I took care of like he was my very own). I have surrounded myself with children and women who have had children my whole life. I secretly envied my friend when she got pregnant at 16, not wanting to be a mom until I finished school, but wishing I had a baby of my own. I even took a parenting class in high school where you had to bring home that doll that cried at various times and you had to stick a key in their back to give them their need.

The last three years however have been a never ending cycle of disappointments.  IUI didn’t work for me.  I am not as fertile as I need to be to get pregnant.  Maybe if I had a partner whom I was having sex with on a regular basis things would be different, but they aren’t.  Does that mean I give up?

My father didn’t raise a quitter.

I am going through the process of adopting.  I don’t NEED to be pregnant, though it would be great, but I NEED to be a mother.  I NEED to feel a small hand wrapped around mine, looking into the eyes of my child as they call me mom.  I NEED to do this for me – and for them.

I am going to adopt

I have almost completed my home study, my medical forms were signed (thank GOD) my police check and finger printing have been submitted and my biographies and short answer questionnaires have been written, edited, and submitted.  My references from my mom, Agnes and Kim have been mailed in and I have contacted the agency that will process my adoption with Haiti.  It’s been a busy few months.  Wow.

This weekend I start my PRIDE classes.  For those of you who don’t know what that is, here is a brief synopsis from the Adopt Ontario website:

PRIDE (Parent Resources for Information, Development and Education) is a  a total of 27 hours of training that could be offered in a variety of ways, from once a week to sessions on weekends. Whenever possible, applicant participation in a PRIDE training program should be concurrent with the completion of their SAFE homestudy.

The PRIDE curriculum provides information to help prepare all adoptive parents for the responsibilities involved in raising their children and incorporates information about the following:

  • Adoption and child welfare systems, processes and laws
  • Attachment as a central issue in all adoptions
  • Loss issues in adoption
  • Impact of adoption on your own family
  • Child development, child management and an overview of issues specific to the needs of adopted children
  • The effects of neglect, lack of stimulation, abuse, institutionalization on children
  • Identity formation and the importance of cultural and racial awareness
  • The importance of connections and continuity for children

logo-ado-teal

Doesn’t this sound like something all first time parents should have to go through before they are allowed to get pregnant?  I mean obviously some of it wouldn’t be necessary, but a lot of it would be super beneficial and helpful – especially to young moms and parent’s who haven’t spent a lot of time around children!

I have a lot of experience with children – both blood related and friends kid’s.  However I am so looking forward to these classes.  I can’t wait to learn from, and talk to, people who are going to be going through the same things as me around the same time.  I can’t wait to study and find resources that support my desire to parent an adopted child.  My heart is so full of excitement and love that half the time I feel like crying tears of pure joy!

The next two weekends will be wonderful, educational and bring me that one step closer to me fulfilling my dreams.  My dad would be so excited for me!

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

3

A few more days

I have not taken hormones before to try to get pregnant.  In fact, this past month has been such an out of focus blur I cannot even remember the names of the medications I was on trying to encourage my little eggs to drop down the rabbit hole!  I know right now, now that I have been inseminated that I am taking a progesterone suppository twice-a-day every day until my pregnancy test.  I will have the results for you all next week.

I don’t know if it is the progesterone, the time change from the weekend past or the fact that I may well and be pregnant, but I am not me.  I am easy to anger, tense, annoyed, bloated, gassy (sorry), and I have not had a full night sleep in over in a week which is only intensifying the above issues.  All I want to eat is everything that I know me, as a large woman, is being chastised for.  And you know what – I. DON’T. CARE!  See – I’m annoyed just thinking of someone commenting on the fact that I had, and enjoyed, birthday cake frosting pop tarts for breakfast yesterday.

I am not drinking wine (or any alcohol) even though I know I am allowed to, because if I am pregnant I don’t want to.  But this weekend, if I find out I failed again (and yes I consider not being pregnant the most epic of failures) I will be enjoying a large glass of white wine.  I am not an alcoholic, I barely ever drink, but when I go out for dinner I want a glass of wine to enjoy right along with my lovely meal and I have been out a few times this week, including last night, and drinking water and iced tea doesn’t quite cut it – especially when WHO KNOWS??!!

My other problem is, because I am taking the progesterone, I am trying desperately hard not to take any more medication like Advil for my awful headaches I get in the morning, allergy pills to ease the congestion I get from Simba or ZZZQuil to help me actually get some sleep.  I am being good – really good – and my fear and frustration is that it could be for nothing.

I have lots of little signs that I haven’t had before with past inseminations…but being one week and a few days pregnant doesn’t give you symptoms, so most likely it’s from the hormones…I just wish I could have a big sign that says HEY LADY YOU ARE PREGNANT – KEEP ON KEEPING ON!  WOOT WOOT!  Wouldn’t that be awesome!  A little red-faced angel comes down with a card (or arrow) for you…and BAMN you’re pregnant.  Nature doesn’t do things quite so easily or even close to what I would call quickly!

It’s especially difficult when you hear of a woman who is pregnant – with twins and she is devastated.  She doesn’t want to be pregnant (uhhh hello birth control, condoms where are yoouuuuu??) and she’s miserable about it!  I have no problem with people getting pregnant and being surprised, shocked or confused, but when someone communicates pure misery at the situation (and obviously said woman has other issues at stake here) I want to scream and cry and yell at MY injustice!  I’m allowed to be selfish…I’m allowed to be angry.  I’m allowed to be sad.  I’m allowed not to respect certain people’s feelings.  Just like every other woman is allowed these rights.  Every situation is different, every situation is deserving of understanding, but at the same time – everyone, including me, is allowed to hurt.

A few more days.  I can’t wait.

Love

Nicole

4

I think Scrooge had a point

Every day that I wake up is one day closer to December, one day closer to when avoiding Christmas will be unavoidable.  Music for the holidays will be on many different radio stations and Christmas movies will be playing on a rotating basis.  The malls are already setting up for Santa and the flyers are full of red and green – the Christmas colours are overflowing this year – or is it just me??  Christmas, the one holiday I have been dreading, is coming nearer.  

Let's make holiday plans comprised of me nursing a hangover while watching TV at home alone

Christmas was my dad’s favourite time of year.  Traditionally we would have a Christmas Eve gathering of family and some friends, a pot luck, buffet style spread with whiskey, vodka, wine and southern comfort to drink.  Bing Crosby and all those other “old guys” sang Christmas music in the background.  It was perfect. 

You're officially invited to bring everything that's required to throw my holiday party

Laughter and love was shared those nights, me taking it all in. Waiting for everyone to leave so me and my dad could watch A Christmas Carole in black and white (the only way to watch it).   Last year, I had no idea that it would be my last year of feeling so blessed.  My father passed almost 7 months later.  I never got that final Christmas I so desperately craved, I so incredibly needed. I never got it. 

Holiday movies teach us that miracles can happen, provided you're a rich and attractive Hollywood actor.

This year it will be different, it will be sadder, my heart will be breaking on the inside while I smile and hold it together for my nieces and nephew who need it to go smoothly – who need to keep their youth for a few more years before adulthood really kicks in even though I know they will feel the loss deeply.  

I was hoping I would be pregnant, hoping I would have some good news to celebrate, but I only have one more chance.  This insemination didn’t take – I didn’t even get to do the blood test.  I got my period last night, Mother Nature came knocking and I went pee on that stupid stick where “NOT PREGNANT” glared up at me from the cold white plastic screen.  

Another disappointment and yet another month of being a TTC (trying to conceive) woman.  This shouldn’t be happening, my tubes were gorgeous – my eggs dropped normally and my body SHOULD be prepared for this.  But it is happening.  I am struggling to have a baby.  My body is betraying me.  Christmas is coming full steam ahead and I have yet one more reason to be sad, to feel alone.  

All my friends are making these plans to see their families and their extended families and are busy.  I am trying to find a way to fall asleep on the 23rd and wake up on January 2nd?  Is it possible – can you pay a hospital to knock you out for a couple of weeks?  I’m not asking for too much??  Either way, we all know I will make it.  I will wake up and clean and bake and cook and get the house ready for my small family and group of friends to come over and celebrate the holidays – the way we always have before – what choice is there? 

Love

Nicole