Friday, September 25, 2009

And then there's today

I don't know why I thought that I could just go along with my decisions and have faith in them. I spoke with a women from the international agency that I will work with, and as always, nothing is ever settled.

Ethiopia, which would be my first choice and is the longest-running program, is a little unstable right now. They prefer single women, and last year, there was "talk" that they would close to single women. They didn't, but there is talk again this year. And some agencies have been asked by the Ethiopian government to close all applications from single women, although Wide Horizons (who I would use) hasn't.

WH is about to start pilot programs in Rwanda and Burundi, which means they've never gotten any children from these countries, so they have no idea what it's like to work with the governments, how long the wait is, how long the in-country stay would be. And it's an Africa thing, not just an Ethiopia thing, that they prefer married couples to single women -- though that is not to say that single women cannot adopt from there.

Is an orphanage really preferable to a single-parent home? Really? There are less than 10 countries in the world -- IN THE WORLD -- that allow single women to adopt. It shouldn't be this hard. It shouldn't be this hard for someone who loves children, who will give one or two a good home, raise them to be good shouldn't be this hard to get one. And on the flip side it shouldn't be so easy for some people to have them. It will be my first question when I get to heaven.

And so I was feeling a little defeated today. Just when I thought I was moving in some sort of direction. I emailed the FG's office and asked where we were with finding me a partner for the egg donor.

She wrote back almost immediately: we have lots of recipients looking at donor's. I will let you now as soon as I have another recipient for your donor. I hope it won't be long!

So in other words, be patient lady.

I'm trying. Not only am I trying to be patient, but I'm trying to be hopeful.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Dual Track

So I thought I had made a decision. I would move forward with the egg donor, and pick up where I left off with the adoption. The next step -- the home study -- is $1600. I figured if I get pregnant, hooray and who cares if I'm out that money. But if I don't, then if I hadn't been doing anything, I would be that many more months behind. It felt like a good decision.

And then it didn't. And then it did. Round and round, I kept doubting myself and then thinking that it was the right decision. Why am I so insistent to be pregnant? Is it that important? Am I being selfish? Should I just move forward? The goal is to be a mother right? Not pregnant.

And so I called in the expert, and on Saturday I went to see Lucia. She helped me look at things clearly. First question from her -- where is this selfish talk coming from? And I realized it goes back to my fight with Tim last year, and the fact that I'm still shaken from seeing him and having him start in on me again last month.

She made me see that being pregnant is an important part of the process, and one that I will have to grieve if I don't get pregnant. It's what a woman's body was meant to do, and wanting to carry a baby -- biologically mine or not -- is not something that is a selfish want. It's natural.

It all seemed clear. And so with no guarantees of how I'm going to get a baby, but still hope that I may be able to carry a baby, I continue to wait for the doctor's office to find another woman to share the egg donor with and I called my adoption contact and started the process. I sent her a check for $1600 yesterday and she'll be doing my home study in October.

I've been working out harder and harder at the gym, building up my stamina. I'm exhausted, and it's okay. Because when I'm at the gym -- and even lately when I'm sleeping -- I'm not thinking. I;m not thinking about the extra weight, I'm not thinking about the heart ache, not thinking about babies -- mine or anyone else, and I'm not thinking about making plans. Just sweating. And working. And making myself tired.

Everything else is out of my hands right now. There is nothing more I can do. I've got everything moving forward. And so I'll just keep sweating and exhausting myself. It makes life easier.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Return of Chris

I know, I know.I break up with J and now Chris is back in my life. I've become that girl I hated in high school -- the one who always had to have a boyfriend, the girl who couldn't stand to be without date on a Friday night, that girl who would break up with someone on a Tuesday and have a new one by Thursday.

That's me. I broke up with J on Wednesday and by Friday was having a two-hour conversation with Chris. He's still stationed in California.

He's comfortable. I've known him for so long, he knows so much about me, I know so much about him. It just works. Neither one of us wants to spend the rest of our lives with each other, even if it were possible.

One of these days, I'll meet a man who can commit. And whether I want him to or not, that will be my decision. But the ability to commit will be there. Until then, I'm enjoying what I've got, even if both of them -- my Navy man and my ESPN man -- are long-distance and nothing but a good fuck.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Dream a Little Dream

I've been having bizarre dreams over the past few weeks, and it doesn't take a psychology major to figure them out.

In one, I was in Richmond, and my sister-in-law said to me, "you're not going to like this, but it's for your own good. Erica is bringing the baby over so you can see her."

"But I'm not ready yet. I don't want to."

"Too bad. They're here."

And when they got there, there was this beautiful little baby -- my great-niece -- and my niece gloating (it was like out of a bad sitcom) about how easy it was to get pregnant, how she didn't understand why I was so bad at it, what was I doing wrong, was my doctor competent. Awful.

The next one I had was about my sister and brother-in-law in San Diego. I was there, visiting them, and suddenly they had a baby. A four- or five-month old that was in foster care but was being given up for adoption. From Onondaga County (that's Syracuse). I kept saying, "why wouldn't anyone let me have him? I'm so close to Onondaga County, I can take that baby."

And then my sister, who is 50 and has never wanted to have her own children, says to me, "We're going to keep this baby. He's ours now. You get to be the aunt."

"But I'm always the aunt." And then everyone ignored me.

To make matters worse, the baby's name is Lincoln. Lincoln, regardless of what I go with for a first name, will be my son's middle name, as it was my grandmother's maiden name (the grandmother I was named after).

No one could understand why I was upset, why it seemed so unfair.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

40 Weeks Ago Today... was the day before Christmas Eve, and it was the day I got pregnant. I had a facial and a massage this morning, to treat myself, knowing I would be cranky, sad, and feeling a little bit sorry for myself today.

A friend from work sent me a message saying that she was thinking of me today and if I needed to talk, she was around. It meant a lot.

And then, nothing else. I hate being the considerate friend. The one who thinks of other people, who takes care of other people, who thinks to say "I'm thinking of you." Because every once in a blue moon, I need that from other people, and I don't get it, which has only made me feel worse today.

I know I'm feeling sorry for myself. I think I get to today.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Current Mood: Melancholy

I'm trying not to think. There's nothing really to think about it. It's out of my hands right now.

I have chosen an egg donor. The coordinator is looking for another woman for me to share her embryos with. When that call comes, I will make the final decision of whether I am doing that or not.

My mother's parish priest thinks he can get me a baby from Nigeria (where he's from). I have asked a friend's sister (who works in the adoption field) is this sounds on the up and up. I don't want to get arrested for baby smuggling. I'm waiting to hear from her, and the priest won't be able to give me an update until he travels back to Nigeria in January.

I've applied for a job at the College. I was strongly encouraged by my boss and my former VP. It's a good step up, would be a significant raise and would expand my skills and experience beyond marketing. I submitted my resume and cover letter today.

I've passed on the job opportunity in Mississippi, and although I am going to entertain my former boss and the job at the Museum where I used to work, I don't think Baltimore is the right place for me right now.

I've been to the gym every night this week, and have been eating well. Eating well = counting points. Ugh! I'm impatient to see some sort of results. Anything. On the scale, in my waistband. I'll step on the scale tomorrow. Hopefully it will keep me motivated.

Saturday would have been my due date. It's getting harder and harder to ignore as the week winds down. I've scheduled a massage and a facial for the mid-morning, and am hoping a spa day will keep me from spending the day in tears.

And of course, everywhere I look or listen...babies. A friend at work is beginning is 38th week tomorrow. Another friend just found out she's having a boy. Did you hear Nicole Richie had her baby today? Even on ESPN, there's talk of Mrs. Tom Brady and her impending bundle of joy.

And another thing! Really, do I really need to hear all these mothers lament that their babies are starting [insert grade here], oh where does the time go, I can't believe my baby is that big, only yesterday, blah blah blah. Fuck you. That's what I wanted to say after the umpteenth post on Facebook in the last two days.

I know it's probably always been like this, and I'm just more sensitive to it. It just sucks. It really does.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

Wednesday night, my first night at home. I was laying in bed watching the Yankees game and the phone beeped. J's text ring. I thought about not responding. But I did.

It was innocent enough at first, what are you doing, how was Philly. He was in St. Louis, on business with one of his clients, and I said, "so that's why I didn't get invited because he's with you."

"Yea, clearly I didn't think that through. Up for a chat later?"

"Sure, call me when you're back to your hotel room."

He continued to text silly things from the bar, and then finally called about midnight or 12:30. We talked about his trip to Philly and then he asked what I'd be doing if I was in St. Louis.

"Well...I would have been banished to the room, so I'd be doing pretty much what I'm doing now. Laying on the bed in a Yankees t-shirt and nothing else, waiting for you."

And then it started. I'll spare you the details. When it was over, he asked how my trip to Baltimore was. I told him about the development position, and he played devil's advocate and actually gave me really good advice on how to think it all through. He asked what was next with the baby stuff, and I got a little teary. I explained where things were.

Just as we were about to hang up, I stopped him. "I need to say something, and I'm not sure how to say it. I've been looking for a good segue the whole conversation, and it never happened."

"Go on."

"This is never going to happen, is it?"

"Sure it will."

"No it won't. I'm not trying to lead you down some path of sin, just following your cues and leads, but you're never going to follow through are you."

He took a deep breath. "No. I'm sorry. It's a line I can't cross."

"I knew that, but I needed to hear you say it."

"I hope you're not insulted."

"Insulted? No. Feel a little foolish? Yea."

"I'm sorry. I love my family...and I don't want to risk..."

"I know. And I respect that. And I'm glad you feel that way. But if that's crossing a line, then what we just did does too. I'm sure your wife wouldn't understand that."

"I know, I know. I don't know how I've rationalized it my head that this is okay and that's not."

"Well, if you're not willing to cross that line, we can't ever cross this one again. I want you in my life, in my corner. I always want you as my friend, but...."

"Ellie, you know how much you mean to me. I wouldn't ever not want you in my life, but I can't....and you're right, we shouldn't...."

And so just like that, I broke up with J. It felt sad and empowering all at the same time. It was 1:30am and I was exhausted. Thought about calling Bubbles, but figured that no one else needed to be up thinking about this right now.

Between the negative test two weeks earlier, and driving to Richmond, Baltimore and home, Tim's holy spirit talk, and now this with J...I just wanted sleep. I hoped for a peaceful sleep, and actually got it. I woke up at 9:30, when my cell phone rang. A friend from college, who is a corporate recruiter, calling about a job possibility in Tupilo, Mississippi. Oh lord.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Back from Vacation

I've been on vacation, and technically still am until the day after Labor Day. I left last Thursday for Richmond and arrived in time to spend the afternoon laying by the pool in 95-degree weather. It was heavenly.

And I did what I wanted. I didn't have to think. Didn't have to explain anything. There was no baby talk, no decision making. It was just vacation. Pool, shopping, dinner with a friend from college, the beach, shopping, pool. It couldn't have gotten better.

I headed up to Baltimore on Sunday and spent two days with my friend Tim and Sonya. You may remember that Tim and I had some issues last summer. We have since moved past it. Sunday night he worked, so I spent the evening with his wife and kids. Monday, his wife and I went shopping and then we all went out to lunch.

And then Monday night, I got to see my Yankees. I visited friends in the press box and was in my seat in time for the first pitch. Lots of beers and an almost perfect game later (a real perfect game, not just that it was a lovely evening), Mariano came in in the bottom of the 9th and the game was over. Yankees win.

I had my cell phone in my pocket and was updating my FB with pictures and texts from the game. In the middle of the 4th, as I was checking a text from J, I got one from E. When it rains, it pours.

J wanted to know if we could change breakfast the next day from 9 to 9:30. No problem. And E wanted to know how my day was. I told him, better now. And asked if he liked the picture I had sent him the other night (from my soak in the tub). He loved it.

At one point during the game, Tim put his arm around me and thanked him for being such a good "aunt lulu" to his girls. I told him I loved, and Sonya (his wife), that they were all like family. And then he brought up the night of out minor indiscretion, many years ago. "We're not talking about that. I still feel guilty that I let it go as far as it did. I'm just glad, we stopped."

"You know, Lulu, that night wasn't an accident." WTF? I couldn't comprehend that. I looked at the field and made a comment about Derek Jeter's ass or something.

After the game, Tim and I went to bar near the museum for another round, and I desperately needed food. E texted again to see if I enjoyed the game (he had seen that it was a near-perfect game) and J texted to tell me that he needed to cancel, had to go to Philly for the day. Was I surprised? Of course not. Disappointed? Unfortunately a little. Especially after he had texted earlier to confirm (without any prompting from me)and change times. Tim saw that I was annoyed, but didn't say anything.

It was all of midnight when we headed out. And then it started. Although, at first, I didn't realize where the conversation was headed. He started off by telling me that he's in a men's prayer group and that he has me on his list of people they pray for. I told him I appreciated that. And I told him my story about how I was in church one day, thinking about J and E texted.

We were sharing, it felt appropriate. In hindsight, I should have kept my mouth shut. Because then he started talking about how he prays for me to find my way, that I need to open my heart up to Jesus, that all the pain and loss I've experienced over the past two years are because I don't have a relationship with God.

Let me remind you of my mindset -- I'm over-tired, I'm drunk, I haven't really let loose with crying over the last negative test. Until right now. I sat in his car, tears rolling down my face, trying to catch my breath.

At this point, we were home, in the driveway. I wasn't responding to anything he was saying. Something about feeling the holy spirit in him and praying for me to find my way, to find someone to share my life and my faith with, that if he wasn't married that he would like to get to know me on a more spiritual level, that he's upset that I have such feelings for J, that I would be upset over a canceled breakfast, that he didn't realize I had feelings for him still. On and on about my life, and what I'm doing and how he feels about it.

I was done. "I need to go to bed." I got out of the car, waited for him to unlock the door and walked past him to the girls' room where I was sleeping. I went into the bathroom, blowing my nose and trying to stop crying. I heard him walk down the hall in my direction. And he walked right into the bathroom.

He hugged me and I pulled away. "You have no fucking clue what I've been through for the past two years. Acupuncture, fertility massages, yoga, driving to Syracuse every two days, giving myself shots until I'm black and blue all over my stomach, church every week, prayer, meditation, visualization, not eating ice cream so that god forbid my uterus isn't warm enough, drinking black-fucking-strap molasses every morning...and for you to tell me that I didn't do enough, that I needed to open myself up to God. Is that why you think I didn't get pregnant? Fuck you."

"No, that's not what I meant."

"Well, that's how I took it. I need to go to bed."

He hugged me again, and I let him. It was just easier. I needed to go to bed. And this seemed like the only way to get rid of him. He finally left and I fell into a fitful sleep. At least I was leaving their house in the morning and I could get some space from him.

I acted as if nothing happened in the morning. And once the girls left for school, I finished packing my bag and did my hair. With breakfast canceled, I had some time to kill before heading downtown, but I figured I would kill it somewhere else.

As I was straightening my hair, I heard my phone beep. It was a text from Tim in the other room. Some more mumbo jumbo about opening my heart, etc. I closed the phone. And then another about how I'm better than J, and I need to move one from him. I closed the phone again, packed up and left.

I haven't heard from him since then, but I'm guessing that in the next week or two, he will dig it all up. I hope I'm wrong about that.

I visited my old work, caught up with everyone there, even got recruited to apply for Bitch-stine's old job at the museum. It's an interesting prospect, and I'm going to humor them by asking some questions, but I don't think that's the right place for me right now.

I had lunch with Bubbles and filled her in on the last four days. I miss seeing her like this. To be closer to friends like her, moving back to Baltimore would be great.

After leaving downtown, I went to my friend Wanda's house. We've been friends since the mid-90s and it would be nice to be able to talk about the baby stuff with her, to get her perspective on what I should do, as well as the job stuff.

It didn't happen, and that along with the way things ended with Tim, really put a damper on the Baltimore part of my trip. When I got there, we had a snack with her five-year-old, and then took both kids to the playground, meeting one of her neighbors there. There was never a time for the two of us to talk. By the time we got home, her husband was home, it was dinner, getting the kids ready for bed and then the three of us watched TV and went to bed.

I was bummed. And it made me put into perspective the way life is for my friends who have families -- that sometimes, there is no time for my needs. Even a half hour or so of one-on-one time.