Saturday, March 28, 2009

You'd Never Say

These billboards have been popping up every where and I love them! Even though they are geared towards depression, I want to add "Depression & Infertility are real."

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Please Read This

I know I have posted infertility articles before, but this one is so TRUE. I got it off of a great blog: Adoption....Changing Lives From Beginning to End I have inserted a few thoughts of my own in Italics. If you are having a hard time understanding just what we have gone through the last few years please read this article!

*For Infertility and Emotional Stages, the author is unknown. However, the information is from the Adoption Education Resource Manual, LDS Family Services, Kearns Agency.
Infertility and Emotional Stages

The most common first feeling of infertility. For us it wasn't as surprising as it is for others. We were already kind of prepared for it. But even then it was still a surprise. Because even if you know bad news is coming, you still hang on to a small shred of hope that it won't be bad new. This was the shortest stage for us.

"This can't happen to me!" Denial serves a purpose. It allows the body and mind to adjust at their own pace to events that might otherwise be overwhelming. Denial often comes into play at the time of miscarriage or stillbirth. The loss is too enormous and sudden to endure. It needs to be processed and piecemeal until it can be totally acknowledged.

Infertility is a personal and embarrassing subject to discuss. Many infertile couples keep their problem carefully to themselves. This has two very unfortunate consequences: first, the family, friends, and peers of the couple may presume they are using birth control or do not desire children. This leads to needling and pressuring to start a family and fulfill society's dictates that families should be continued. Second, the partners, if they do not confide to others about infertility, must necessarily turn to each other for support, understanding, and sympathy. Often this is an impossible request because both members of an infertile couple are under stress. This is one of the biggest stages we have gone through. For us, it was easier to isolate ourselves away because the pain was just so overwhelming that we didn't know how to share it with others. Like it mentions, this could have been an unfortunate thing for us to do because now that we try to share our feelings it seems to create tension and misunderstandings. I think some see us isolate ourselves and they think that is because we need space. But really we isolate ourselves because it is easier that way. If we know that going to something will be uspetting to us, it it easier to not go at all.

When a couple enter into investigation and attempted treatment of their infertility, they surrender much of their sense of control over their bodies and destinies. The reaction to loss of control and helplessness is often anger. The anger may be very rational, focused at real and correctly perceived insults. Sometimes the anger is more irrational and may be projected onto targets such as the doctor, or an adoption worker. The real target of the anger is both the situation and the self. Anger which isn't acknowledged or released is often repressed and may lead to chronic depression. And sometimes anger comes out and hurt the wrong people. We have had a hard time learning to control our anger at times and end up lashing at those we love. We are sorry.

Guilt and Unworthiness
People try to make a cause-and-effect relationship between infertility and something they have done (or not done) in life. Infertile people frequently decide that they are not being blessed with a pregnancy because they are in some way unworthy. Pregnancy is being withheld as a punishment. Even though we know that Infertility is a MEDICAL CONDITION, we still have moments like this. But how can they be avoided when we see others blessed with babies that we feel are less deserving. I have these moments several times a day. Those kids aren't buckled up, I will always buckle my children. Why can drug addicts have children and we can't?

Depression is a real legitimate state of sadness, despair, lethargy and vague symptoms of distress. When infertility is marked by an end point, such as final knowledge that pregnancy will never occur, depression gives way to grief. I go through this cycle a few times a year. It's nice to know that it is a real legitimate emotion.

"Death. Death of a lot of things. The end of the Jones family and the Jones' family name. It dies with us, because of me. My husband is the last of the male children in his family. Death before life ...before we even knew our child, because he never existed. The hardest part of this kind of death is the fact that it is the death of a dream. There are no solid memories, no pictures, no things to remember. You can't remember your child's blond hair or brown eyes, or his favorite toys or the way he laughed. Or the way it felt to be pregnant with him. He never existed."
There is no funeral, no burial, no grave to lay flowers on. The couple often grieves alone. The infertile person may entertain fears or fantasies that the fertile partner will leave--or worse, will stay and be secretly hostile and condemning. The feelings may lead to a sort of self-fulfilling prophesy. Please re-read this part. With infertility it really is the death of our children. It doesn't matter that we have chosen to adopt. Our children that we dreamt about are dead. There is no easy way to say that. And unfortunately, there is really no solid way to grieve it, but our grief is real. Do not try to convince us otherwise.

The Course of Normal Grief
The first state of normal grief is usually shock and disbelief. To absorb the loss so that they will not feel overwhelmed. The second state of grief is actual suffering. Experiencing the painful feelings of sadness and emptiness. Weeping and sobbing, loss of appetite, exhaustion, choking or tightness in the throat. This "grief work" progresses, and the acute state of suffering will usually pass within several weeks to several months. Finally after the third state of grief, recovery begins. They will establish relationships and new interests as well as show renewed ability to experience pleasure, diversion, and satisfaction. Grief, of course may be reactivated, but the suffering is never as acute again. Each time I grieve, it does seem to be just a little less painful than it was the time before, but it is still very real. I think we have healed a lot, but I think there is still more healing to do. We will ALWAYS grieve the children we couldn't have. We will love the children we get through adoption, but even then we will still grieve that what if's.

Why Grief May Fail
There are a number of very understandable and logical deterrents to normal grieving in infertility: Loss of a potential, not an actual. Friends and family are frequently not aware of the infertility problem, and hence, they do not rally to give support. Loss in miscarriage or still birth, although tragic, is more conducive to normal grief work. There may be uncertainty over the loss. Some people have likened it to the feeling of having a loved one missing in action in war.



Meka said...

Dead on! I was stuck in the anger phase for a long time. It's such a weird trial, no one really understand it's a medical issue so they give advice that only makes things worse sometimes. I wish the church had more resources about infertility, I am so grateful to the support group though! That helped me so much knowing that all the feelings I had, others had to. Really the best thing people can do is just listen and sometimes just saying "that would be so hard" is all I want to hear. How is your kitty doing? I have a stroller for my cat too! I had the need to push a stroller! You do what you have to do to get through the day! Wow sorry its so long!

misty secrest said...

hey savannah! i was just lookin at your page and thought i'd leave a quick hello. its been a while! i'll for sure have to come up and visit soon! i miss you all! i'm also staying very mindful and prayful for you and josh!

love ya lots!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Salsa and my first pregnancy test

One of my favorite fellow infertile bloggers posted a story about a pregnancy test. Her story had me laughing and then I remembered my first pregnancy test. I was able to look back on it and smile. I couldn't help but think about the TV show How I Met Your Mother. It made me think that someday my failed pregnancy tests will be a part of our story How we came to find you.

We had been married about 4-1/2 years. We were living in a teeny, tiny apartment (I bet prisoners have bigger cells). One night Josh was eating chips and salsa. I DO NOT LIKE SALSA. But that night it smelt good. So I had some. I had some the next night and the next night.

Looking back I know realize it was my acid reflux that was making me sick each morning after eating salsa (acid foods = upset belly for Savannah) at night. But after waking up several morning in a row feeling sick I decided that my sudden liking for salsa could only be one thing: the FOOD CRAVINGS of a pregnant women. We weren't actively trying for children yet, but we had stopped all prevention methods.

Where we would have ever put a baby in the tiny place I have no idea. I can't look back at all my negative pregnancy tests and laugh, but that first one now makes me smile. Oh, and I still like Salsa from time to time.

Clearing a few things up

I guess you could call this a formal apology. The problem with posting about our feelings on infertility is that feelings usually end up hurt. That is never the intent. But sometimes the weight of infertility gets so hard to carry alone and we try to unburden ourselves by sharing our feelings with others. Usually only others who suffer from infertility really understand us and what we are going through.

I am not trying to justify what Josh said in his post. I don't think I need to. Our feelings are real and we shouldn't have to hide them. We have gone back and deleted certain parts of it that probably should have been kept to ourselves. Right now our hearts are hurting and if we try to hide that fact and keep it to ourselves we usually end up blowing things out of proportion. We are sorry we hurt feelings, that was never the purpose.

However, I want to clear a few things up.

INFERTILITY IS A MEDICAL CONDITION! Relaxing, patience, and other advice does not change that fact. You would not tell a cancer patient to just relax and everything would be okay and you would not tell a blind person to just be patient and their sight will come back. You would not tell some who just lost a loved one due to death that everything is okay. INFERTILITY IS A MEDICAL CONDITION!

We are very excited to adopt. For the briefest hour we had our hopes up. Within that hour we were able to picture a baby girl coming into our lives and our home. It was only an hour, but in that hour I dared to dream about my first Mother's Day. In that hour I dreamt about our little girls first steps and I could see in the future and see her dancing with the Utah Gymnastics team. During that hour everything was right with the world and we were the happiest we have been in a while. It's funny how the joy only lasted an hour, and yet weeks later that pain is still to raw. We still think back to that phone call and then cry thinking about the "if only."

DO NOT TELL US TO BE PATIENT. DO NOT TELL US THAT OUR TIME WILL COME. We are through trying to listen to these comments and they may be met with hostility. After all this time they really don't ring true for us anymore.

Instead say things like, We are praying for you. Or offer us a hug. Or just let us know that you are thinking of us.

I know it can be hard to picture us being parents. All we have is a piece of paper that says we are approved to adopt. But all our hopes and dream lie on that piece of paper. That paper says that someone thinks we would be good parents. That paper says we are expecting a child. Clearly not within 9 months, but still it says there is a chance we could be a mom and dad someday.

In the adoption world we are "paper pregnant." Pregnant women don't get ignored as their belly swells. People ask them how they are feeling, how was their last doctor visit, are they getting their home ready for the new addition. At times we feel that since my belly isn't swelling with pregnancy that people can ignore the fact that we too are trying to become parents.

The best thing we can do while trying to adopt is get the word out. TELL EVERYONE YOU KNOW. And please pray for us. We need those prayers. We need to know that people are thinking about us. We need acknowledgment that even though we are only a family of two, we are still a family and just as important.

This is a very exciting thing for us and we just want everyone to share the excitement with us.



Desi said...

I understand not wanting to have hurt feelings on any part, but I think it's not very cool that you felt you needed to change the content of your post. What you were feeling was valid and real for you. It doesn't matter what people think, this is YOUR blog, not someone else's blog.

Saying that, I also recognise that I don't put all of my deepest feelings out on my blog very often right now. It seems like I just keep hearing to be patient and to relax. Right. I'm so tired of hearing that! I totally agree with you that the best thing is to say "we're praying for you" or that "we're thinking of you." That really feels nice. I guess people are usually trying to be nice when they say to be patient, but they are really just showing their ignorance. It stinks, but it is up to us to let them know how it makes us feel. Good for you for putting it out there!

Infertility is a medical condition - plus lots of other conditions all put together. It has trials, pains and uncerainty (sp?) attached. It sucks and is hard, and for lots of us, doesn't go away. It is also a waiting game. We aren't even always in control of the outcome, I guess we never are. We wait for doctors, wait for tests, and then some of us move on and wait for paperwork and wait to be chosen by a birth mom. Lots and lots of waiting....

You have both been in my thoughts and prayers and will continue to be there. I'm so grateful for our 2ofus4now group and the support I find there. It is so nice to have people who really understand what I'm going through!

Brady and Richelle said...

I love ya both and i pray for ya everyday!!!!!! See you bright and early Monday!

Ashley said...

Hey guys
I am sorry that someone hurt you both. Some people in this world really have no feelings for others. Jason and I both think about you guys and in our own way we are hoping that you guys get picked soon. I always tell everyone that you guys will be the best parents! In fact I couldn't think of 2 people I know that deserve a baby more then you 2. Oh and for Josh... I am the oldest as well and I know that feeling of needing to have kids first. My little brother had his baby girl first. Its a huge let down when its not you, but when you guys have your baby it will be extra special no matter what anybody says! Love you both!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Josh Needs to Vent

Hello there everyone, I have a few things that are weighing on my mind and I need to get them out and off my chest. Firstly I want to thank everyone that reads this. Thank you for the support that you show Savannah and I, we really appreciate it. I have been really touched by comments from friends and family about our blog lately and I appreciate it. I know that knowing that we have support out there boosts Savannah's and my confidence about our adoption when we need it. I am glad that we have so many good friends and family, both nearby and through the Internet.

Now some things that I would like to get off my chest, a couple weeks ago you know that Savannah and I were contacted by a person trying to get money out of us in an adoption scam. I was the one who answered the phone call. I talked to her for a few minutes, and I have to admit for about an hour and a half I was convinced that we were going to finally be parents. Words cannot describe the emotions I felt at that moment. When I hung up the phone tears were streaming down my face. I could hardly dial the phone to call Savannah, I was so excited. I cried and shook with excitement; I thought that this was the real deal. Several hours later I decided that it was a scam and my emotional high bottomed out. I was in a bad mood for a day or so after that. It's a good thing I have a loving wife to help me through things like this, without her this would have been a lot harder.

Anyway this experience had kicked off an adoption craze with me. I have been excited about adoption ever since we decided to do it but I am now feeling the impatience even more now. Because of this and other situations, I find myself wondering "when will it be my turn?" "What am I doing wrong?" And "why is it that others can be parents when we can't, it's not fair."

I know that when it happens it will happen when it is supposed to and we will think "the timing on that was perfect" but it is eating me up inside. I was the oldest , I was supposed to have the first kids, that didn't happen. It kills me, I have tried to do everything right, but I must be lacking somewhere.



~Our Family~ said...

Josh.. Hi I'm Cindy from the lds adoption group.. I feel for you so much.. I'm sorry about the adoption scammer that called you.. I know when we had our profile on parent profiles I had a couple of scammers and some I knew where pregnant but wasn't the right fit for our family.. I followed every lead we got getting to know two moms that contacted us for about 2 weeks but I knew that either they were trying to scam or I wasn't the right fit for them.. God will watch over you and keep you safe. If you don't feel good about a situation it must not be true..
I don't know much about your family not being a 100% behind you rather than that sucks.. I guess if it was me in that cirmstance I would just let it play out and see if they change their mind when a child comes to you guys. Tell them that it hurts that they don't pray for you that you will get choosen soon by a birthmom.. I know if that didn't work then I would be like you I can live my life without them if they don't want to be a part of it, or treat my child different since it wasn't born from flesh and blood.. I know with our adoption of Braxton everyone loves him no matter if he is flesh and blood and treat him just like my other son(biological one). It isn't about them anyway its about you and your wife... I wish that sometimes everyone would get on the same page and love one another for who they are.. Josh you didn't do anything wrong nor Savannah either just sometimes we don't know all the reasons to why we can't have the one thing in this world that we crave or want so bad that we would die for it.. I guess we know a little what Jesus went through on the cross.. I love you guys even if I haven't met you.. Keep your heads up and remember who you are.. I wish the best for you guys.. Sorry to see you hurting so much.. Remember you are not alone...

Brady and Richelle said...

I'm praying for both of ya....I'm still so ready to go to Tennessee...whenever you're up to it just let me know!!!

Teah said...

we're here for you 100% even if we're 1300 miles away.I've had a prayer in my heart for you for months, and your names have crossed my lips just as much talking to people on your behalf. no leads yet but my eyes and ears are still open.

Elizabeth and Brian said...

That took a lot to put that all out there like that. Infertility just plain sucks. I hate how it creeps its way into so many areas of our lives. We started in Jan 08, got approved in Sept 08 and were placed in March 09 so I can't say I can relate to your waiting time post approval. (We had a pathetic story and the pics of the boys really hit home with our Elora's birthmom.) We have been married for ten years and sometimes I would just scream out in my prayers to God. "What more do you want? What do you want me to do? You don't want me to get pregnant, have a live birth or have my children live. You've gotta open up a way for something to work." All I can really say is that your situation is very painful and I am sorry. If your family isn't praying for you know that we are. I've put your names on the prayer rolls. I don't have much advice except try to be open to differant paths. For example we were dead set on not going into debt for an adoption. That limited us to only working with LDSFS. But when i came right down to it the Lord told us to go the path we did. It cost more, was a big hassle and we are in debt now. However, God has provided a way that we can pay off the debt. It has been amazing the things that have opened up to us. Cheap airfare even though it was last minute, a coupon for car rental, a kind baggage claim person who let us check the carseat and additional luggage at no fee, a slight pay raise, a lowering of car and health insurance preimums, ect. This all added up so that we were able to stay in budget and we do not feel the burden of debt. I am not saying go into debt. I am saying, be open. If God says to take a certain path such as foster care, working with a facilitator, ect then he will open up away but you won't realize it until afterwards. Now, after she is here, I keep thinking of that Garth Brook's song "The Dance." You're a country boy so I know you know it. I know it isn't a perfect example but I keep thinking of "And now I'm glad I didn't know
The way it all would end the way it all would go
Our lives are better left to chance I could have missed the pain
But I'd of had to miss the dance."

I wish I hadn't of had to go through so much hell to get here but it has made us who we are. It is easy to say that on this side of adoption but it is real. Adoption and infertility has really shown me who my friends are and who in my family loves me unconditionally and we doesn't. I'm praying my heart out for your family.

brandya said...

My heart goes out to both of you! I love this support group and I am so grateful we have found each other to lean on! I wish that I could make it "better" for everyone. I am a fixer and I hate seeing anyone hurting. We have a social worker helping us with an adoption and it has been up and down. I remember her calling us a few months ago and saying, you need to go get a crib and carseat and be ready. Baby will be coming soon. It was weeks and weeks before we heard from her again. She wouldn't return phone calls to us or another close family member. She said it was a false alarm. It is a hard, frustrating process, but know that you are in our prayers! If we can do anything, please let us know! You are such amazing people and you deserve the very best things to happen for you!

Brady and Richelle said...

Keep your chin up, if ya'll need anything...I'm only down the road a couple miles :)

mandamike said...

Josh I appriciate your comments. It's really great that you are just as passionate about building your family through adoption as your lovely wife is. I enjoyed reading your thoughts - don't stop sharing them.
~Amanda (from the LDS adoptive parents yahoo group
P.S. My husband was the first son and wasn't a father first in his family either, you are not alone.

Linda and Peter said...

My prayers go out to you and Savannah. I am married to the son of an only son and initially the pressure was on for us to have a boy...gotta carry on the family name you know...sigh. It's hard, very hard. The waiting is excruciating. I wish I had all the answers and all the right words to say and a way to take all the pain away but I can't. But please know that I pray every day for you, my husband and I, and all those who are waiting for their babies to find their way to them.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Touch of Faith

I have been looking for this picture for a few weeks now. A local store had a sale this weekend (40% off everything), so I went in and was determined to not leave without this picture. (I also bought some new books!)

Touch of Faith depicts a woman reaching through the crowd to touch the hem of Christ's garment. The story is told in Mark 5:25-34."And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years,
And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse.
When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment.
For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.
And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.
And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes?
And his disciples said unto him, Thous seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?
And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing.
But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth.
And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of they plague."

I used to think that I had that kind of faith. When we first started the fertility pills I just knew that if I could touch my Savior I would be healed and would be able to become a mother. I contemplated stocking church headquarters in hopes of catching a glimpse of our Prophet, knowing he too could give me the healing I thought my body needed.

I know now that wasn't meant to be. It doesn't make my faith any less, I've just had to refocus it elsewhere. I know that my Savior could heal us and make us parents, but He must be able to see something that I can't see and He knows when the time will be right for us to get a baby, for us to have a chance at being parents. While I was digging through my scriptures looking for this story I stumbled on a thought I wrote in there who knows how many years ago...

"Faith keeps us trying when otherwise we might give up."
At times I do want to give up. The waiting and uncertainty are so hard to deal with sometimes. Everyday I see people and I know I could be better parents than them. I would buckle my child up in the car, I would realize that if I am cold and need a coat than maybe they are cold too and I would not only put a coat on them but also their socks and shoes. I would make sure that they knew they were loved.
I get so restless thinking that maybe today our birth mother will find us. Maybe someday I will be a mother. Everyone in the adoption world talks about how it will happen when it's supposed to happen, but it's hard to wait on the unknown. I know someday my joy will be complete, but what am I supposed to do until then?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

1st Parent Profile Contact

We just received our 1st contact email from Parent Profiles. I can't decide how I feel about it. I want to get excited, but I can't seem to. I think it is partly because our last contact was through parent profiles, but it was over the phone. The excitement we felt was so good. I was going to be a mom. I had a baby girl due in a few months. Her story screamed scam, but I still had to hope. After realizing it was a scam I have been so down. It's hard to get excited when only con artist contact us.

Sometimes this adoption thing gets so hard. We've been married eight years. We only used birth control for like the first 18 months or 2 years. After that we have done nothing to stop a child from coming to our home. THAT'S SIX YEARS!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

A great quote

President Harold B. Lee, the 11th President of the Church, said: "[Women] who have been denied the blessings of motherhood in this life-who say in their heart, if I could have done, I would have done, or I would give if I had, but I cannot for I have not-the Lord will bless you as though you have done, and the world to come will compensate for those who desire in their hearts the righteous things that they were not able to do because of no fault of their own." ("Maintain Your Place As a Woman,"Engisn, Feb. 1972, 56.)