Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Born of My Heart (Part 3)

If you are just now popping in I suggest reading Part 1 and Part 2 of this story.

When I last left you I talked about getting pregnant.

I need to first talk about flirting with foster care the summer before. Keep in mind that I had a near death experience with a car. And then with heart failure. When my doctor assured me that I would still be able to carry a baby (be it high risk) I started thinking about babies.

During one of my college classes, I had heard a talk about Adoption through Foster care. We also had friends who were fostering and wound up adopting 2 beautiful sons. I actually got to have one of them in my Kindergarten class when I taught school.

We made an appointment to have someone come out and talk with us about it.

Oh how I prepared. I even made freshly squeezed lemonade and homemade snickerdoodles. This lady was going to find me worthy to be a mother.

I was so anxious the day she came. It was a bit overwhelming. I have to say that I wasn't prepared for the whole process. In fact, there wasn't much of a process at all. I really thought that they would contact us again if we had "passed the test." It wasn't until sometime later that a friend told me that the foster care folks are really too busy to pursue potential parents. They expect the parent to do the pursuing. Silly me. I thought they didn't call back because they didn't like us.

I also have to honestly say that if it had been something I truly felt at peace about I would have been more persistent. I am going to say something really controversial here. It is really hard for infertile folks to be foster parents. I think we are always dangling on the edge of feeling like we aren't worthy somehow to be parents. We had friends at the time who had a traumatic experience. A child in their home (who they were assured they would be able to adopt) had been given to a family member.

It was heartbreaking. And it's a story I have heard time and time again. I didn't know if I could risk my heart. Our life was complicated. I had "issues." I have so much respect for foster parents. I recognize that the "system" is trying to do the best job it can. It is just awfully hard to see folks who would make lovely parents get their heart broken by bureaucracy.

I realize I am only expressing my opinion from my narrow experiences. The truth is that we live in a broken world.

Back to being pregnant.

My euphoria of my new pregnancy didn't last very long. My gynecologist didn't even seen me. His office immediately made arrangements for me to start visiting a High Risk pregnancy clinic in Memphis. I had to initially start seeing the doctor once every 2 weeks. It soon turned into once a week. I didn't even get to see the same doctor twice. The clinic was part of a teaching hospital. It had also been the hospital I had recovered in after my wreck. The Elvis Presley Memorial Hospital. Also known as "The Med."  I have said this many times, but there are few medical professionals in the Memphis area who haven't seen my hinnie. There always seemed to be a line of students shuffling into my room.

Every week my heart was monitored. My blood sugar tested. My urine analyzed. I was used to the attention...though it's not the kind of attention one likes to get used to.

I started spotting fairly soon. The powers that be put me on bed rest. I laid in my bed, watched perky movies that wouldn't make me cry and ate popcorn. For some reason, I craved the stuff.

Then came the visit when they couldn't hear a heartbeat. I was devastated. But they assured me that it could be that I wasn't as far a long as I thought and scheduled a pelvic ultrasound.

The ultrasound found a 4 week pregnancy. I was again sent back to bed. It was during this time that something unusual happened. A lady from our church called me. Her sister-in-law was getting ready to deliver a baby. The circumstances were unusual and sad. I won't reveal her business here, but she was looking for someone to take her baby.

We met with her. She asked us if we would raise her baby. Of course, we said yes. We contacted a friend who was an attorney and he began the process for us.

Have you ever been in a period in your life when you felt something was just "off?" I knew that something was wrong. In fact, if I thought about it too hard I knew that I was losing this baby growing inside me.

Some might say that I had a fatalistic attitude. I beg to differ. That is just not me. Deep inside I knew that I wasn't going to carry this baby to term. And it killed me.

It happened on a Saturday. Troy was home. I had begun what I know now was labor. I wasn't sure then. I just knew I was dreadfully uncomfortable. I had even taken a bath to sooth my back. It's hard when a girl has artificial parts. Sometimes I have difficulty determining what part of my body actually is hurting. It all seems to hurt.

I was laying in bed when I had the sudden urge to use the bathroom. I won't go into what happened next. It is too painful. But, I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I had lost this baby.

I'm sorry to leave you at such a low point in my story. I promise it eventually gets happier. But I was getting to enter some of the most frustrating, heartbreaking, sad, exhilarating and precious times in my life.

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