Pre-service is like trauma therapy

I don’t really keep track of who is following me so I don’t know if anyone from my real life is still reading or if my audience is mainly people I’ve met online through this blog, or its predecessor. If you do know me, don’t tell my parents you read this.

On Feb 18th we attended our first pre-service training to become adoptive parents. We chose the intensive 7 hour Saturday class rather than 2 shorter classes on weeknights. In attendance were 2 other young couples, early 20s, who did not speak with us at all. There were 3 grandparents who have custody of grandchildren, 1 woman who has custody of 3 of her nephews, and 4 individuals who will walk this road alone. We spoke mainly with the singles in the class.

First order of business was watching a video about when children are removed from their home. You can watch the video here on YouTube. (Part two can be viewed here, I just watched it on my own.) If you watched those videos, I’m sure they pulled at your heart strings. Watching the first video in a room with strangers was rough. At the lunch break C and I were both reflecting on the video and other things we’d been discussing up until that point. For me, watching that mom chase after her man was heartbreaking. When I was 11-12 years old my stepfather was arrested for hitting my 14yr old sister in the head. When the police came, my mother was concerned with him. She’s screaming “don’t take him” and “why” and other dramatics. I remember being very confused about how quick things went. Meanwhile my sister was at the neighbors house and my mom never checked on her. I ended up moving to my grandfather’s while my mom and stepdad were investigated for child abuse. Having your parent not care about your needs/feelings is the WORST FEELING EVER! I feel so sad for the girl in the videos and for all the children who are pushed aside while parents do their grown up thing.

For C, he really struggled with one component of the class where they talk about parents trying so hard to be better than their parents but still not being effective. His own dad was an alcoholic and not very emotional, didn’t give praise or affection at all. His grandfather was a drunk who was abusive and left the family. So C’s dad felt he was doing great just because he stuck it out with the family. C wants to do better. I think he’ll be an amazing parent, 100x better that his dad’s version of “better.”

We have talked so much about what we see ourselves doing as parents, who we want to be. Coming from homes with alcoholics, we know how awful that is. We know the feeling of explosive anger that you didn’t see coming and being disappointed in your parents time and again. No one is perfect, and I’m sure we’ll be disappointing sometimes, but I strive to be an open-minded parent who doesn’t rush to judgment. I’m naturally a sensitive and logical person and I have more than enough empathy for others. I think this will help me be a good parent. I have worked with adults who have been foster children or who were never in the system but should have been. I know those adult feelings of despair and how the child needed love and support to learn love, responsibility and effective coping mechanisms. I think that we can provide that. We didn’t  expect these classes to force us to reflect on who we are and what our childhood traumas were. It’s hard to think about my future child experiencing some of the things that I did. It breaks my heart. I know we will offer a safe place with love and access to all the supports our child(ren) might need.

This weekend we do another 7 hour class and then we are done with pre-service. Theoretically then we will be assigned a social worker and begin the actual work of becoming foster-to-adopt parents!

Lost blog friend

I’ve been following Rebecca at Fosterhood blog longer than she’s had her daughter’s (~4yrs). I have diligently read her posts daily and, now that she has deactivated it, my heart hurts. We haven’t met or communicated privately but I cheer on her family and am watch the struggles in NYC  foster system that she shares. She’s a great writer and a good “imaginary friend” in my mind. Do you have blog people that you follow who you are attached to even though you have zero personal interaction? 

I hope she comes back some day and finds her faithful followers again. Meanwhile I’ll be thinking happy thoughts for her, the girls, and the other families stuck in the cog of foster care. 

Election

I am terrified about these election results. I would cry if I had any tears left. I’ve been emotional about a woman being on the ticket and that is exhausting. Her name on the ballot is diminished if this asshat gets chosen to run our country. 

AJ needs help

Can you help a little one have much needed surgery?

This little guy is a week old. He is my friend’s nephew and she left her toddler in Texas with dad so she could go to Iowa to be with her loved ones.
AJ has several heart defects that need urgent repair. Mama is off work indefinitely (unpaid) while he gets care which insurance won’t completely cover.

A generous donor will match dollar for dollar contributions up to $10,000. Can you give a few bucks?

http://www.gofundme.com/m43qcu5k

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It’s not what you think

I am that person, the one that always has a weird medical issue. In the past 3 years I have had at least 3 different weird infections that have required various medications and odd diagnoses. Today I expected the same kind of thing, but it was not my typical “how the hell do you get these things” doctor visit.

I’ve had this spot on my toenail since September. When my toenail got discolored I immediately stopped getting pedicures. I haven’t had one since that time. I read online that it could be an oxygen issue or a fungus so lay off the toe treatment and in a few months it’ll be better. It has only gotten darker, more colored, larger, and now painful. In the past 2 months I have been using over the counter cream to attempt to treat what I thought was  toenail fungus. The pain when it is touched isn’t awful or enough to really complain about but it is something that I notice and then move on to the next thing in my day. Yesterday both C and his mom were kind of hassling me about going to get it professionally looked at because it’s not getting better. Ok, fine.

Today I went to my physician’s office and found out that I do not have a fungus. Due to the length of time I have had it and the changes and discomfort the doctor was concerned. She excused herself to consult with others in the practice and then came back to the room 5 minutes later. She sat down beside me and said “I’m concerned it could be cancer, but it might be a unique infection.” I stared at her, right into her eyes, and knew she was serious. She asked if I had any questions and I asked what do I do to fix it. She said they already put in a referral for me to see a UPENN affiliated dermatologist to get it looked at and a biopsy if necessary.  I really tried not to freak out as I went to the check out counter and got my referral. I text C what was going on and I know it scared us both.

My dad’s family has cancer growing on trees, it’s everywhere. At least 10 people within 2 generations have had some variety of skin cancer in the past 5 years. My dad just got his second cancer diagnosis last week, my sister has pre-cancerous cells on her uterus that she gets scraped once a year, various cousins have had various parts taken off, tested, chemotherapied. It’s a thing, it’s our thing, and it’s not a thing that I wanted to have. I called my dad and talked to him about the little that the doctor said and he said at least they are doing the right thing. His started the same way, something small and ignoring it. Then going to the doctor and getting a referral for the dermatologist. They make the determination of what tests and come to a better conclusion apparently. Dad is currently seeing a derm about getting his new cancer removed so I suppose one can trust these specialists to know their business. I HOPE SO!

I’ve been googling and, if you weren’t aware, Bob Marley died of untreated toe cancer! Yes, toe cancer is a thing. I freaking hope that I don’t have toe melanoma. I hope that I have caught some random bacteria that is harvesting itself within my toenail and we can treat it and move on. My appointment with the dermatologist is 2 weeks away, June 25th. I hope I make it until then.

C leaves for a work trip on 6/13 and will be gone for a week. Hopefully the time breezes by and I won’t be freaking out while he is away. I hate extra stress when we are already dealing with buying a house and a TON of paperwork and drama related to that. Say a little prayer that everything falls into place without any bad news.

Sorry for the silence

It’s been busy few weeks. On Sunday we put an offer on a house but were outbid. It was discouraging but we are going to start looking again in the next week or so. We are taking this weekend to spend time with friends and relax. There will be a house for us eventually.

I also cut my hair after growing it for the past year and a half. I’m not happy with the cut but will make it work. I went in with this cut in mind..

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The stylist cut the top very short rather than leaving the top long enough to comb forward or to the side. It’s basically the long pixie style that I hated when I was growing mine out. Here are my 3 styles this week:

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I think this last style will be my go-to. It’s out of my face and stylish enough to wear daily.

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The big reveal

I know you have been waiting all day to hear about how my insemination went today. Let’s start at the beginning..

On a usual IUI morning our schedule is leave: leave  home by 6:30 for a 7-7:30am appointment. Wait 45+ minutes for IUI and barely get to work by 9am. We’re fine with this, we are accustomed to it. That’s the usual, now here it was really happened. We left the house at 6:30am for a 7:45 appointment because I wanted to get their early. The dethaw time takes forever and I didn’t want to be there until 10am. We arrived at the clinic at 7:15am! We sign in and sit down to read Cooking Light magazine. About 20 minutes later a very distressed nurse comes over to us and whispers something to the effect of “there is a problem.” I can’t hear what she’s saying because I’m thinking of worst case scenarios and C thinks she’s telling us that our last vial of sperm has somehow been destroyed. They had unfortunately not shipped my vial to my regular office after my weekend appointment. I could wait and come back in the afternoon when they received it or drive over an hour in 8am traffic to a far away location to get inseminated. We decided to for the insemination at the other office.

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This rainbow was seen along our travels

We both called out for the morning hours and got in the car. It took 1.5hrs to get to th

e clinic due to an accident, red lights, and general crappy morning commute issues. They were so apologetic and said it would be about 10 minutes until they were ready for us. They had already thawed the sperm when they heard we were on the way. How kind of them! They had free cookies so we ate some cookies while we waited. I also had a really upset stomach this morning and was feeling very anxious about this whole ordeal. Typical me kept laughing about it because being upset really wouldn’t help anything. Our regular doctor was in which made me happy! The best news was that our sample was MORE THAN 100 million! That’s the highest sample we’ve had. The motility was 50% so nothing to worry about there. The IUI itself hurt a lot, just like the last one. I don’t understand why they’re getting more painful as I get older. I have been crampy and “full” feeling all day but no bleeding like last month. Yahoo. We were both at work by 11:30am and our day went mostly well from there!

Here we are with our cute lucky sheep. This sheep was with me at our first ever IUI at the asshole fertility clinic in Alabama. My how times have changed!

bcsheep2010sheepThis is Mr. Sheep at my first ever IUI back in 2010.

Strange things happen

Yesterday I treated myself to the once a week sweet treat at Dunkin Donuts. The morning seemed so normal and then it took a different turn. As I was in line there was a panhandler who was in the store asking people for change. He was unsuccessful and getting irritated. Outside of the store was a panhandler who is there every day. This fellow is in a wheelchair and not an aggressive fellow, unlike the guy in the store. While I’m getting my drink there is a ruckus outside and the aggressive guy has pushed over the guy in the wheelchair and is screaming “I’m not a faggot.” Some bystanders help the guy get back in his chair and the mean guy leaves the block. I get my drink and head outside. I check in with the guy in the chair to be sure he’s collected his belongings and let him know that the police have been called by the store staff. I asked him if he had ever seen the angry guy and he says no.

When I turn around the offender has returned and is talking to me “You won’t even help me,” “You think I’m a faggot,” and other strange things. I told him that I didn’t think anything about him and that I was not going to financially assist him. I alsos advised him to stop picking on the guy in the wheelchair. He was getting really upset and kept going on about how everyone thinks he’s a faggot but he doesn’t look like one. I told him again that was none of my business anyway. And then he hit me. I have no idea what he hit me with but it happened so fast that I fell. He hit me on the back of my right thigh with a hard, heavy object. Then he started hitting on the guy in the wheelchair and knocked him down beside me. A construction worker nearby came over and started screaming at the guy to leave us alone and get out of there and he left. He kept screaming “fuck you and the white bitch” as he left the scene. A bystander helped me get the guy back in his wheelchair, get his clothes arranged again, and pick up his belongings. And then the police arrived.

They were very considerate to start with and asked what happened. We gave all the relevant information about what happened with the fellow. The officers asked the other victim for his identification and he had none. They did not ask me for identification. This is bothersome to me that we were treated differently. This simple interaction made the guy in the chair not willing to go to the detective division and give a statement. He didn’t want to make a big deal out of it even though he had cuts and scrapes from the 2 falls he’d had. The officers were telling me the guy was likely mentally ill and did I want to go through that kind of prosecution. I reminded them who I work for and that yes, when they pick the guy up I can go make a statement and verify his identity. This offender clearly had some mental health issues and needs to be connected with care. If he has to get arrested to get some help, that isn’t an entirely awful thing. There is a good change his mental illness could get treated and charges dropped. The officers did not contact me yesterday so I’m pretty sure that they have no intention of actually finding the offender. That is kind of frustrating.

I am fine. I had a welt on the back of my leg yesterday and it’s tender today but no bruise or anything to be concerned about. I’m more surprised that it happened than anything else. I’m also very concerned for the guy in the wheelchair who probably gets victimized more than I want to think about. I hope that the offender calmed down yesterday before he seriously hurt someone else or someone hurt him. It’s a brutal world out there and I hope he survives this struggle.

Day 12 check in

Today’s blood work looks great. Estrogen 190 (I’m usually 300s at this stage), progesterone .2, and LH is 9.1 This is all well paired with my 24mm and 19mm follicles on my left side.

I absolutely love my RE. She’s funny and smart and makes the appointments so worth while. I love it when she’s the weekend Dr, it’s like I’m always in her care, which is awesome. I have only had other Doctors in her practice 3 times in all of our years together.

I’m triggering tonight and insemination on Monday at 7am!