It didn't take long for CAS to get back to us saying we could book an intake meeting, which we set for just after the New Year. (Thank goodness, because I want a child dang-nabbit). We flung ourselves around the house like chickens with our heads cut off tidying, and wrapping up a number of projects, we even stocked up on groceries, you know, just in case they checked in our fridge?! Needless to say we were a little paranoid, Jason even more-so than I for once. It was an intake meeting so the lady didn't even leave our kitchen table haha, let alone make sure we took off the random nail strips between rooms. (But hey, it got those nail strips removed, so I'm ok with that). It was about an hour that she was there, and she basically just went over all of their policies, gave us a mountain of paperwork, and told us we could start the PRIDE training process in three days. Woot, talk about streamlining the process. They have a rule that if you're adopting, you can't be doing fertility treatments, or you can't be pregnant. Which was okay with us, because we can't afford the treatments right now, and we certainly aren't going to be pregnant without them, so we were good to go!
Most of the paperwork was pretty straightforward, they do a credit check, and want to a bunch of your basic info. Then there's the more difficult ones where you have to check off all that apply to your childhood, what your relationship is like with your parents, your values, etc. They go over everything with you at one of your home visits, which is good, because mine was pretty contradictory haha. Then there's the one that you don't think is going to be all that hard, but is slightly difficult, and can make you feel like a terrible person. That's the one where you have to rate (from 1-5) the type of child you'd like. They cover pretty much everything under the sun that the child could potentially be affected with, and it's hard to think on a spectrum for some of the options. Like a facial abnormality could be any from an easy to fix cleft lip, to something like a missing jaw, or something more extreme. So, you basically rate something a 3 or higher if you want a phone call, where they'll give you a bit more info on the child before you make a decision. We've finished the 9 sessions of training, and we have our first home visit scheduled for the beginning of April. To say we're excited is a bit of an understatement.
We finally got the Monash results back (two days after my birthday), and it unfortunately wasn't the answer we were wanting. I was hoping with all hope that they would find a few. Even though we have no intentions of pursuing any fertility treatments right now, it's still a bit of a blow, because it means the possibility we may not being able to pursue them down the road. The Monash came back saying they still weren't able to find any. So the next step is for Jason to see a urologist, to determine if there's any sort of vas deferen blockage, or any other issue. Then the urologist will determine if he can biopsy to extract sperm we could work with. Although our doctor said that they may not decide to do that because of that elevated FSH level Jason has. Nothing says romantic baby-makin' like sticking a giant needle into the boys. Although I guess if I have to experience a giant needle, he should too right? No, not really the same? He went for his tests before we started any of the naturalistic things we're doing, so we're planning on going through the tests again in a few years if we end up deciding to go the fertility route.
I get asked a lot how we're handling it so well. The main reason I think is because we both just want to be parents so badly, the delivery method doesn't matter so much. Were we upset that we most likely won't be able to biologically have children. Absolutely. Were there some tears? For sure. But mostly, we were relieved, we knew why we weren't pregnant yet, and we knew now it wasn't because of anything we were doing wrong. We now had a number of different "next steps" down a variety of different avenues. The hardest thing for me, and what still gets me every now and then, is that I may not be able to ever have a piece of Jason. I may never get that adorable little platinum blonde baby boy that looks just like Jason. But (and that's a big but), I still get to watch him be a father, and thinking about that makes it a lot easier. I still get to watch him instill all the values he believes are important into a child that otherwise wouldn't get those values. That's what I focus on, how great of a father he'll be, because by doing that, by being him, I still will have a piece of Jason, (it just may not look like him, or have his blood coursing through their veins). Knowing that while we may not ever be able to be biological parents to anyone, we still get to be parents is good enough for us.
Another thing that hels us, is we talk. A lot. About everything. (Seriously everything, when we were early on in our dating lives we once had an hour long conversation about different vegetables - cuz we're cool like that!) We talked before we were married about children, and parenting, and adoption. It's surprising how many people don't talk about children before they're married. How they'll parent, what morals and values are important, schooling, religion, etc...those are all very important topics to know where each other stands before committing to each other. We always talked about, what if our baby has Down Syndrome, or ADHD, or Autism. We talked about adoption early on, and how important we both knew it was, and the types of kids we'd want to adopt. And we even talked about infertility. How far would we go? Would we do IVF knowing how expensive it is and that there's no guarantee. Well now we're faced with a biopsied ICSI IVF, which is considerably more, and we knew we weren't willing to go into debt just to try. There was no doubt for us what our next step would be, there was no question about what to do, because we already knew, we'd talked before, and throughout the process. We knew where we stood because of all the prep work we'd laid before we even began this journey. We constantly talk to each other, ask questions, gauge where our emotions are at. About how he felt when we got the news, how I felt. Do we feel like things are moving in the right direction? Are they moving too fast? Not fast enough? There are times when neither of us really want to talk, but we still know it's important, so even though we may push some big talks off for a week or so, we always end up talking about things, especially big things. Plus, we are seriously the two most sarcastic, ridiculous people you'll ever meet. We don't take ourselves seriously, and we're not afraid to poke fun at each other. Life is short, you're supposed to have fun. Even when life seems to be kicking you in the teeth after a root canal (yeah, I'm talking to you 2012) don't forget to have fun, because even when you think you have the worst life around, there's always someone whose life sucks more.
There were fleeting moments when I thought, "Why me? Why after all I've already been through, and overcome, does this have to happen to me?" I felt like having a baby was owed to me because I've already proved time and time again that I can handle tough, crappy things, I felt I was entitled. Then I took a step back and thought, maybe that's why this was happening to me, because I could handle it. I'd handled everything else life threw at me, maybe this was another test to see if I was worthy for whatever is in store for me. If you have a big enough goal, and you constantly have your eye on it, then no matter what roadblocks get tossed in front of you, you know where your path will lead you. To your greatest goal. For me, that's motherhood, I just have to take the scenic route now to get there; but I know that prize will be well worth every toll I had to pay, or speed bumps I took a little too fast, or detours I had to take.
Fertility issues suck. Big time. They can tear marriages apart, and ruin relationships if you let them. Don't. Don't let a penny on the track completely derail your train. Just run over it, shoot it out, and ping one of those annoying "knows best" people in the throat with it. Don't try and fit having children into any sort of plan, because what fertility ladies and teen moms know best, is children don't give a rip about any sort of life plan. Just know what your purpose is, for me it's to be a mother, not to be pregnant; then figure out ways to fulfill that purpose. For us, right now that's a domestic adoption. I know adoption isn't the right choice for everyone, but it is for us. And we can't wait to start the judgement process so we can start kid shopping. Maybe it's a good thing we can pick our kid, instead of them having the unfortunate possibility of looking like either one of the crazies from the above picture. Can't wait to tell you how our first home visit goes.
(Read part one, or part two)
(Read part one, or part two)