Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Point Proven

My mom is currently back in school to fulfill her dream of becoming a RN.  She has about a year left.  I'm so very proud of her for working hard to achieve her goals.  Her next rotation will be in labor and delivery.

This weekend while we were camping, I overheard my mom talking to my cousin in a hushed voice.  I asked what the big secret was. My mom went on to tell me that she was talking to another RN student who just finished her rotation in labor & delivery.  The other student said she had a wonderful time helping deliver babies, except for one mother who had HELLP Syndrome.  That mother tragically died shortly after her delivery.  Her husband, two older children, and newborn baby were left without a wife and mother.  That ranks right up there as one of my biggest fears.

If you haven't read my entire blog (or you don't know me in person), you may not know I had HELLP Syndrome during my labor, delivery and post partum period with Lexi.  It was awful and scary and I don't really like to talk about it much.  That's probably why my mom was trying to talk to my cousin without my hearing the conversation.

Despite the fact that my mom has been very supportive of our choice to adopt, she has casually mentioned that she thinks I'll get pregnant again at some point. That is something that I sincerely do not want to happen, and it has annoyed me each time that she has made the off-handed light-hearted remarks. I have tried to remind her about the awful prognosis I was given in that delivery room in 2006.  I still remember my midwife's words.  "Your platelets are a third of normal levels and dropping.  Your liver is shutting down. We have to get the baby out as soon as possible.  We're starting pitocin and if we move to a c-section it will be to save the baby.  You most likely would not survive the surgery. You could stub your toe and bleed out."  I'm a straight shooter, so I appreciated the candor, and I sat in a hospital bed trying to absorb what I had just heard. I was processing the fact that my unmedicated natural birth wasn't going to happen while pushing that concern of death into the back of my mind.

I remember my mom breaking into hysterics and my husband silently crying as he googled HELLP Syndrome (we didn't know what it even was).  I've seen my husband cry exactly twice in twelve years.  I told him not to tell me what he read at the time, but he later told me that it was the statistic that one in four women will die from HELLP.  I remember telling my mom to leave the room if she couldn't stop crying.  I didn't need to hear her sobbing to people on the other end of the cell phone while she asked them to pray for me and my unborn baby. Don't get me wrong; I appreciated the prayers beyond measure.  It was the sobbing I could do without. I had to be strong in that moment and I didn't cry until. . . I don't really remember.  I'm typically a crier, but this time in my life demanded strength beyond tears.

The weeks following Lexi's delivery were emotionally and physically difficult. I am a holistic health practitioner and I know the body does things for a reason.  I needed to know what I did or didn't do to have this horrible condition. Anything.

During and after my recovery I did as much research as I could on HELLP.  There was very little information to be found.  I filled out a survey about my experience with the syndrome to try to help with research.  I wanted to know what I did wrong (I had a very healthy pregnancy before that) and what I could do to prevent it if I were to have another pregnancy.  There was no information to find.  I had a few theories, but I found no proof to support them.  I visited three doctors and they all had the same statistics to tell me.  One in four women will die.  I have a one in three chance of having HELLP in subsequent pregnancies.  None of that was comforting, nor did it lead me to desire another pregnancy.  The desire for another child still lingered inside me though.  Hence, adoption.

After my mom told me about the story that her friend recounted about her experience in labor & delivery, I knew that she finally got it.  I don't think I'll hear anymore off-hand, light-hearted comments about another pregnancy.  I could tell by the look on her face that she finally understood.  I actually said, "Do you understand why I can't ever be pregnant again now?"  My cousin piped in without missing a beat and said, "I've always understood that."

Thanks.  It's nice to be understood.  And now I can cry a little about it.

Monday, May 23, 2011

One Month of Waiting

I haven't been watching the clock tick for a month, but I realized today that it we have been waiting for one month now.  We still feel a lot of peace about it.  I feel like I should feel a little more anxious (or something), but God is granting us a peace that surpasses all understanding.

I do occasionally go look at all of the waiting families on our agency's site.  Today I decided to run some stats.

Out of 238 waiting families:
  • 26% are open to Biracial babies (Caucasian & African American)
  • 21.4% are open to Hispanic babies
  • 20.6% are open to all races (meaning a child of multiple races - Caucasian, African American, Native American, Hispanic, & Asian)
  • 17.6% are open to African American babies
  • 16.8% are open to Native American babies
  • 3.8% are in the same situation as we are (Open to any race, Christian, Caucasian themselves, and have one child)
The stats are interesting to me.  I cannot judge what determines a family's openness.  I understand that many people want a child to look like them.  I get that.  When we entered this adoption journey, we not only wanted to grow our family, but we also wanted to provide a loving home for any baby who needed it.  The process is not easy and we had to make a lot of choices about what we could or couldn't handle.  We knew that race was not one of those issues.  For what it's worth, I do understand the low percentage in regard to Native American babies.  The laws about Native American adoptions are a bit intimidating, but in the end we decided to be open to any race.

I know that some people who are already in transracial adoptions may read my blog and think that I am naive about all of the intricacies of transracial adoption.  They may be right, but we are willing to face any issues that may arise with love and respect.

I came across this video on Dr. Wayne Dyer's facebook page.  I heard him speak in January and I was so moved.  He is inspirational.   This video encompasses how I feel about people.  There are still times when our differences are apparent and need to be addressed, but we are all ONE.  We are all the human race.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Praying for our Pastor

Our pastor shared with the church weeks ago that his family was in the process of adopting a baby.  It seems that each week he shares a few more details.  It seems that the mother they are matched with was having pre-term labor last weekend and he announced on facebook today that the baby was born.  I believe the mother was 33-34 weeks.

The babe is 16 inches and 3lb 12.5 oz., but not on any machines.  I don't know any other details, but I am praying for this preemie and the mother whose heart is probably breaking right now.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Mix of Emotions on Mother's Day

It's Mother's Day.  I have an amazing husband and an incredible daughter.  They have both blessed me so very much.  I could list all of the amazing things they have done for me, but this blog post would get very long.  I'll just say that I feel so loved and appreciated today and I couldn't ask for a better family.

So, then comes a little bit of guilt.  I look at waiting family profiles online and I think of the women who don't even have one child to cherish and love.  I can't dwell on that though.  I know that God has a plan for each and every child.  The child who is supposed to be in our family will find his/her way to us.

At church this morning our pastor preached on 1 Samuel 1.  I felt that this was a great passage for a Mother's Day message.  Hannah was a barren woman.  Her husband's other wife had many children and Hannah had much distress over the situation.  She cried out to the Lord and promised to give her son to the Lord if He would bless her with a child.  After many years of being barren, Hannah was blessed with a child, and she named him Samuel.  When the child was weaned, she gave him to the priest to serve the Lord.  While I can't imagine handing my child over to anyone, our pastor urged us to change our perspective.  All children are God's children.  God is merely entrusting us to raise them for a short time.  Perspective is important.

If I hadn't mentioned it before, our pastor is also in the adoption process.  He spoke again today about the roller coaster of emotions that he is experiencing while on this process.

After church we went out to lunch and did a little shopping.  I bought some books that I've wanted for a while, and the best part was that they were all 60% off.  We stopped and looked at some new washers and dryers, but we didn't make any purchases there.  I thought to myself how blessed we are to be in a financial situation where we can consider new appliances when we want them.

Then we went to the lake to have a picnic with extended family and friends.  I looked around at the kids playing together and the parents enjoying the sun and company.  We are so very blessed.  The weather was gorgeous too.

Then I found out about a situation in which a woman I love was unable to see her children today.  I don't know all of the details, and I'm not sure that I ever will, but my heart is heavy for her and her children.  They are  in my prayers tonight.

Then as we prayed for dinner, we pray for the woman who may be pregnant with the baby we will raise. I imagine the mix of emotions this woman has today.  She may not yet know that she plans to make an adoption plan, or she may already be trying to find the family she wants to raise her child.  Either way, today has to be an emotional day for her.  I pray for peace for her tonight. . .

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Relactation Update

I posted my protocol in an earlier post. I did start the protocol on April 13. I had to slow down on the domperidone dosage because it was causing some bowel issues. I'll just leave it at that, and try not to over-share. I slowly built back up on the dosage and that helped relieve the side effects.

On April 24, I got my first precious drops of breastmilk.  I have been getting a little more milk as each day goes on.  In the morning, I'll typically get about 1/4 of an ounce.  Each other pumping session throughout the day yields about 1/8 of an ounce or a little less.

I am incredibly encouraged by how well this is going.  I had read that some people took up to six weeks to see any milk at all, and I saw my first milk in eleven days.  I picture myself having a full supply to feed our precious newborn, whenever that baby might enter our family.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

What's going on?

We've only been active for a little over a week, and the only time I've been particularly anxious was when I saw the agency's number pop up on my phone.  I think I may have stopped breathing for a moment.  Alas, it was just the video guy asking us to check something on the camera.

Many people have asked us if we have heard anything yet, and the answer is no.  I feel really at peace about it.  I know that we will have a successful match when it is meant to happen.

So, in the mean time, we are tackling some of the household projects that we needed to finish.  We cleaned out the garage and reorganized Lexi's closet and playroom.

I've also decided that this baby needs more crocheted items.  I've made a couple more hats and a few cocoons to use for photo ops after we have our baby.

I got a free pattern from this blog for a cocoon:

Lexi's Cabbage Patch doll modeled for me.
 I also got this munchkin hat pattern from her site, but I changed it a bit because I prefer working in continuous rounds and I didn't do the stripes.  I'm not sure that I love how it turned out, but it's finished and ready for a photo atop a baby head.
 I made another cocoon without a real pattern here, but I didn't get my Cabbage Patch model in it yet.
 I had just enough of that adorable yarn left to make a little baby hat too.