So my Spring Break is winding down and I am having to accept that I will be returning to work tomorrow. I have had a great week of playing, loving, taking pictures and exploring with not just my baby, but my husband as well. Being married to an officer is never easy, but he is off during the week, so when I am off too then it makes it fun. I learned there are 58 more days before summer vacation so I have a lot to look forward to. I hate that he is getting older, but as he gets older, there are new journeys to explore so I am excited.
Now, this post might be more of a pity party, but I feel like I do pretty well by focusing on the positive, so it is good to reveal both sides. I am after all a real person with real feelings and it is good to explore them both. I have had to really dwell on this prayer lately “Help me to accept the things that I cannot change…”
In the process of this infertility journey, I learned I have an autoimmune disease called Lupus. For many, it takes years to be diagnosed of the illness. It would have probably taken me many years if it wasn’t for trying to get pregnant. My gynocologist put me on Clomid, even though I was having regular cycles, since that is what many doctors do after a year of trying. I guess they call it step one in infertility problems. For me, it tore my body up. It awoke a beast that had been laying dormant and dropped my blood levels to depths so low that the diagnosis was inevitable. In all this, I went to a endocronologist (I spelled that wrong, but it is an infertility doctor) and he confirmed what the blood work already showed…Lupus has tricked up my body into believing it is menopausal. The doctor could not explain it. My hormone levels were low, but my eggs were full. The blood levels were bad, but the eggs were healthy. Many would stubbornly push forward and try to get pregnant, but my brave doctor told me the truth. We have done this experiment and it failed. The hormones that you would need to successfully carry this pregnancy have already been taken and “it would mess you up”. You can go back to my earlier posts to read the whole story, but that is it in a nutshell. Many women with Lupus have healthy pregnancies and kids, but this girl and her disease was not having it. That is the strange thing about Lupus…it shows itself differently in each case. It was a blessing to not get pregnant as it would have been a nightmare for me…if 50 mg of Clomid did that much damage then imagine the rest of the pregnancy. Being infertile I cannot change.
I cannot change my bad dental history. I felt like my teeth were perfect..I got braces at a young age, but I love my smile. It might be the best thing about me. I have a nice smile…my parents paid a lot of money for it, but it is nice. Again, Lupus, has created several problems with my teeth including cavities all the time. I blame Lupus because autoimmune diseases are known for drying out your mouth and building bacteria. Since I have been diagnosed, I have had six cavities in a matter of six months. I can’t catch a break. I brush often, floss often and even use an electric toothbrush and yet they found another cavity that might require a root canal. (to be fair, I have a large gap in my teeth where food can get stuck so it might not be the Lupus, but we’ll blame it anyway). I have already spent hundreds of dollars on teeth work and it looks like I will be spending hundreds more. I do drink sodas (one a day) so I might have to give that up next, but I don’t want to unless I know that it will help. I feel like no matter what I do it will always be a problem. Well, in the process of the bad cavities, x rays have revealed that the braces have eroded the roots to my four front teeth. It is called root resorbtion and it is not very common, but does happen from braces. Basically, my front teeth are already loose with the possibility of falling out sooner than later. Imagine that…being toothless at forty! My fear is them fallling out randomly and looking homeless. I have to remind myself it is cosmetic and can be fixed (my grandmother wore dentures at thirty) and that it is not the end of the world, but for a girl that loves to smile…it is a nightmare. In learning of my teeth problems, I have to give up chewing gum which I love!! I feel like it is Lent forever since I am giving up my love of gum. I cannot change that I have Lupus and I cannot change that if I am going to lose my teeth it will have to be from a good steak rather than Hubba Bubba. (I am now praying for them to stay in as long as possible and grow roots where there are none…If I can keep them until sixty then I will be like all my friends that are missing teeth or have already died.)
Finally, the summer has reminded me that my autoimmune disease is still there with the effects of the sun. I love the outdoors and love working out and a lot that had to be put on hold last summer to accomodate the disease. I am now on meds and feel better than ever, but my reality is that one illness or one allergy can trigger a huge physical malfunction so I must be careful. My medication works great, my symptoms are mild, but I take care of myself so I must continue to not overstress my body with intense workouts or sitting in the sun all day. Allergies used to be a problem, but with this disease it is a trigger to meltdown and being sick is no fun…ever! I also have to remember that i am a mom now and my health is more important than ever. I want to run outside all day, I want to bathe in the sun, I want to play soccer games until I am exhausted, but I also want to walk tomorrow and not feeling every muscle ache so I must monitor my activity. Thankfully, my flares have been at a minimum and I am able to be a great a mom as any healthy human being; but the sun reminds me that it is not always my friend. I cannot change my body including my small hump on my nose that I want to get surgically fixed because I cringe at my profile, but my husband says “no way”…Okay…I feel better.
Finally, we posted the pic above on our Facebook pages today. God, I love that kid! However, someone who clearly does not check Facebook very much unknowingly wrote “He looks like….wait, who’s kid is that?” I wanted to write “Don’t tell him he is adopted…it will blow our cover” or “He should thank God that he does not have our genetics because he has a shot at being a professional athlete!” But, I was vetoed by the hubs and told to leave it alone. The person is a very nice person and probably has no idea that he is adopted and did not mean anything by it. I know he’s adopted, my friends know he is adopted and our son will know that he is adopted, but it hit hard that all the world may not know. We live in a world where adoption is the exception and not the norm and although we love that we adopted him and he is better than any child that we could never create, it is still a reminder that I didn’t birth him. I cannot change that he is not genetically our offspring. I cannot change that if he looks like us it is just a coincidence and I cannot change that this will be a conversation that we will have for the rest of his life and ours.
I know, I know….WHHHHAAAAAA…whine me a river you blessed bit*&%*(! I warned you it was my pity party. I love this baby dearly and am thankful that all those things (except the teeth) happened because it lead me to him. I love that our story is not the norm and that we have a community of people that we can relate to through the power of Jesus. We know this is God’s plan for our lives because his footsteps are everywhere. Little things had to have happened such as being at the right church to meet the right person to lead us to AIM. Or being chosen and put on hold for two months so that our birth mom could choose us later. We know that we are in the midst of God’s great plan, but it still does not change that I have a disease and that I have a baby yet was never pregnant. I have to accept that and accept that with our adoption will come assumptions and we will have to have long talks about biology and destiny. I just didn’t expect to be reminded of all that all at the same time. So my pity party and long post is now over…thanks for reading.
The good news is: in feeling all these feelings I have come to the conclusion if I could change it all I wouldn’t. I would still be infertile if it meant I could adopt Callen. I would still have Lupus if it meant that I could save my money and time by not doing IUI or IVF since it would jack me up anyway. Bad teeth are a small price to pay for a healthy liver, kidneys and heart (I am fortunate). I just wanted to share with my blogging world what has been in my head and heart lately. It brings me closer to God so I guess it ain’t all that bad. God knows it isn’t all easy, but He also knows all the good that has come from it. Not even God wanted me to go through this trouble, but we live in an imperfect world where bad things do happen. However, I am not alone. He says to do everything without complaining so I guess I should just shut my mouth and thank Him. So, thank you, God for being with me down the road less traveled.