So it's time to get a little insight to the inner monologue of a couple of infertiles. We've all heard the stories right, you adopt and you'll get pregnant... it's as simple as A, B, C, supposedly. I mean, that's what everyone tells you, isn't it?
And here we are... on the brink of being licensed for foster/adopt. Practically on the brink of adoption. We have accepted our diagnosis of never conceiving naturally. And with such a fate, it's natural to never take a pregnancy test. It's been easily 6 months or more since the last time I peed on something that shouldn't cost as much as it does.
I remember the first time Jack went to the store to buy pregnancy tests when we first started trying. We were so excited to have him be wearing his wedding ring. It wasn't some accidental, I think my boyfriend got me pregnant when we weren't even supposed to be sleeping together type of thing. It was special. It was important. He was so proud to be able to be excited to go buy a pregnancy test. A pregnancy test that we both hoped and prayed would show up with two pink lines.
That feeling of being married and hoping you are pregnant is so different from the feeling of when you're not married and hoping you're not pregnant. It's so different from wondering what the reaction is going to be on the other side of the test, wondering if he even wants you to take a test, because he doesn't want to know. Or even if he would be happy, what does that mean for the rest of your life?
The first time when he brought home those pregnancy tests, we naturally bought the most expensive kind. We knew that First Response Early Response had the strongest test, detecting even the smallest amount of HcG (the pregnancy hormone) out of all the tests that are out there. $15 for 2 tests.
Fast forward to now. Fast forward past 100 pregnancy tests over the last 3 1/2 years. Fast forward past $1500 of pregnancy tests. Fast forward past mourning on the way to the store to buy the tests because you already KNOW the tests are a waste of money and going to come back negative. Fast forward past bleeding for a month and having your doctor do a simple urine test and having THEM see your first positive test. Fast forward past never getting to share that moment with your husband. Fast forward past crying when your period starts and past no longer crying. Fast forward past no longer taking pregnancy tests any more because there is no reason to waste your money.
Enter all of the symptoms that you have watched for like a hawk in the past 3 1/2 years. Sore boobs, so sore you can't even ride down the road without wincing. Sore boobs for well over a week. Nausea, every morning and night. Let those things bounce around inside your infertile heads for a while... and add in the "fact" that naturally, when you adopt, you'll get pregnant.
This is how being infertile messes with your head. You KNOW that you can't get pregnant. You KNOW that you don't ever have to pay for contraceptives of any kind again. You KNOW that. Yet... you start to think things like, "Well... maybe because we are adopting.... maybe... could it be?"
You don't want to even begin to hope or believe that it's true, because you know that hope. You've been there many many times in the last 3 1/2 years. You understand that what comes after the hope and dreams is a broken heart. You know that it's silly to get your hopes up when you KNOW the tests will be negative. Yet, somehow, you wonder if this is that miracle that everyone talks about. Do you deserve a miracle? I don't know, who really does?
Then you start to think all the terrible things like, "how many people are going to say 'I told you so'" and things like "how long can we enjoy this little miracle feeling on our own before someone comes along and destroys our hope or dream?" And then you start to think things like, "Well, I was totally ready to adopt, 100% on board and we both were, what does this mean? What does this mean as we are waiting for children to come home? Does this mean we don't want to do those things any more because we are guilty of feeling even the smallest smidgen of hope right now?"
Being infertile sucks. It sucks almost every sane thought out of your head and replaces it with crazy things. You know it's crazy to hope after years of trying and rock hard science that you can stand behind that tells you, this is not happening for you. It sucks to hate the feeling of hopefulness because you KNOW that following right behind hope is despair. You hate your body for messing with you, you hate your period for being late. Because what really is a late period when you have irregular cycles? There pretty much is no such thing.
You hate yourself for analyzing every little bit of your past 6 months of normal cycles. You hate every little thing about how hopeful you were for your other chosen path and you try to remember that lets just say that unbelievable miracle did come, you try to tell yourself, we definitely still want to adopt... when you don't know. For a minute, just a few seconds, you want to dream and imagine that you are that normal family that never has to TRY to get pregnant. That no obstacles come your way. That you have a normal pregnancy and a normal birth and everything goes just right and you come home with your little Allison Jr. and all is right with the world. Everyone treats you normally.
Is God purposefully making your well an obstacle? Did we have to fully commit our hearts to what He told us He wanted us to do? Are we Abraham in this situation about to sacrifice our Isaac? And then is this well failing God telling us he was seeing how committed we are? Is God going to give is our miracle and let us have our son?
All of this pain and confusion is normal for someone who is infertile. We have terminal infertility. It's not going to go away and this is the end of the road for us. But this is what it's like.
Naturally, God has his own way of doing things. While I was at the beginning of typing this post, I got a call from the guy from Oakland County who inspects our well. On Friday, I didn't get a call from him and so I called his office. He was out of the office, so I asked for the results. They told me that our well failed again. We had no idea what to do next and were feeling super discouraged, and I had scheduled another appointment with the receptionist for another appointment with Matt to come out and test the well today.
Matt called me about a half an hour ago and let me know that he would not be coming out today to test our well again, that he wasn't sure what test his receptionist was looking at but that we passed our well inspection and he won't be out here again. So hallelujah and praise God that we are moving on with our Foster Parenting... That means any day now we should be submitted to the State for licensing and that it will only take 1 to 2 weeks after that and we should be licensed and we could get a call any time for a placement.
This is the kind of things that I wish more people who thought they "understand what we are going through" was privy to. Do you understand that? Can you honestly say that you can imagine going through that kind of a roller coaster with your husband and with your hopes and dreams and emotions? If you've never been through it, there's just no earthly way to understand this kind of crazy.
Maybe in the future there will be a new kind of psychiatric hospital... where childless couples go to grow old together. They sip coffee and play scrabble all day long in their comfy robes, where they have people to talk them down from that crazy ledge of hope where there is no hope. Where acceptance isn't something that you have to re-learn year after year. And where you aren't confused about what exactly you're in denial about... are you in denial that you have "pregnancy symptoms" or are you in denial that you can't actually get pregnant?