Monday, November 8, 2010

A whole month dedicated to gratitude

I start Lupron injections in little less than 48 hours and I'm a tad on the nervous side.  You see, I was a kid who, when approached with a needle, had to be held down by an entire brigade of nurses so that said needle could do its job.  I don't know if it was some horrible, past life experience, or my dramatic nature kicking in, but nothing could get my heart racing, stomach churning or lungs pumping like having to get a shot.

So really, the fact that I'm going to attempt to give myself a shot, is quite impressive.

To get my mind off of all things needly and sharp, I turned to "happy thoughts".  After several "happy thoughts" of George Clooney and running naked through a field of cotton candy (you have your "happy thoughts" and I have mine), my mind turned to my boys.  I started thinking about the first few days as their momma, how I'd be forever grateful to their birthmothers, their teeny, tiny little toes and fingers (the boys, not their birthmoms) and how incredibly blessed and honored I am to get to be their mother.

It was then that I realized that it's absolutely no coincidence that National Adoption Month and Thanksgiving share the same month.  I've always counted my blessings and try to keep a glow of gratitude in my heart, but in this month, it all doubles.

When I got my Happy Fun Time Box (it's what I'm calling the box o' needles...just go with it) in the mail, I sat the boys down and had a heart-to-heart with them.  I wanted them to know that I am so lucky to have them as my sons and that I am so grateful their birthmoms chose J and I to be their parents.  I told them that we weren't doing IVF because we want a baby that looks like us or that shares our blood or because we think we'd love a bio-kid more than we love them.  I told them that we wanted to experience pregnancy and that I wanted us to experience that as a family.  I want the boys to go in and hear #3's heart beat, come with me to an ultrasound, feel my kicking belly and come visit us in the hospital when #3 arrives.  I really tried to stress that we didn't care how we got to be parents again, because blood doesn't equal family, love does.

After my Hallmark Channel speech, B asked if he could have a popsicle and A asked if he could play outside until dinner time.  Not sure if anything I said to them stuck, but I tried.

But since you are a rather captive audience, I have more to add.  

See, the first time J and I went through infertility treatments, the process killed me.  It shattered my heart and annihilated my spirit.  I felt like a ghost in my own life; a shadow of the person who used to live in this skin.

But with the birth of my oldest son, I was reborn.  When I first laid eyes on that pink, sleeping, 4 pound baby, my heart began to beat again.  A mighty gale of love and life and gratitude blasted away the sorrow and despair that had taken up residence in my bones.  Life was in color again, and I had this little human to thank for it.

Being in the delivery room when my second son was born was a dream come true.  As a woman, I had always assumed that I would be present at the birth of my children.  So when I learned that my reproductive system was experiencing "technical difficulties", I gave up on all hopes of ever hearing that beautiful, first cry of a newborn.

And then along came K.  This brave girl gave me not only the gift of a beautiful, second son, but she gave me the opportunity of a lifetime and allowed me to be in the delivery room with her.  When that little boy of mine took his first breath and sang his first cry, I felt that familiar blast of love and life and gratitude, and I cried right along with him.

So you see, our choice to take this journey through the IVF/ICSI process isn't because we want a child with DNA similar to ours.  I want to see my husband's face light up when I tell him that we're pregnant.  I want to study an ultrasound screen and figure out where the toes and fingers are.  I want to have my sons press their cheeks to my belly and "listen" for the baby.  I want to pee when I sneeze and laugh.

Ok, so not really so much with that last one, but if it means I get to do all that other stuff, I'll take it.

Well, I am going to go into the boys' room and re-tuck arms and legs and butts under the covers.  I'm also going to sit in the silence and count each one of my blessings, starting with my guys.

Then I'm totally going to bed and dream of running naked, through a field of cotton candy.

Don't judge.

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