One thing I’ve learned from the infertility community is that we all have dates. Most remember the date they pulled the goalie (i.e. started trying). For those of us who have gone through miscarriage(s), most remember the expected due dates of their lost babies. Some remember the dates of devastating ultrasound news.

For me, I have a weird relationship with our dates.

I have a list in my phone of all my CD1’s, beta levels with each pregnancy, fetal heart rates with each pregnancy, date of confirmed fetal demise, etc. But, without looking, I don’t know any dates except for my current cycle date.

But, here’s the odd thing. I have never really known any of our expected due dates, and I have never really kept track of our daily/weekly progress. I knew the first one’s due date, but then deleted everything from my phone and scratched it from my memory in the aftermath of our loss. I was told our second due date, but then never paid attention to it. I never even bothered to learn our 3rd, 4th or 5th due dates. With the exception of our first loss, I have all the CD1 dates in my phone still, so I know I could figure it out with a couple quick Google searches if I really wanted to. But, I have not bothered and don’t expect to now. At the time, for better or worse my thought process was to just take it it week by week and focus on the one in front of us. And now, I don’t look them up because I just don’t see the point on marking multiple days out of every year with sad memories. I would rather hold onto the happy memories that we do have, then to dwell on the negative.

Some might say not knowing these dates is a practical approach that is true to my personality; others might say it’s sad that I don’t know these dates to honour our babies; and, others might say that it’s about self-protection. I would venture the guess that all these perspectives are at least partially true.

See, just like I said, I have a weird relationship with our dates, mainly because I don’t really have a relationship at all. From what I can tell, nearly every other person in the infertility community knows there dates, particularly their expected due dates that never happened.

But, I have to share that I out of all of our experiences and all of our losses, I have engrained only three dates into my mind and my heart. Yes, that’s right, only three.

First, I know the date of our emergency D&C that was the end of our second pregnancy. I know it because it was also the very first surgery I ever had and it was also just before my 30th birthday.  I don’t really hold onto that date as important – in fact, we’ve already had the first anniversary of the date and it really didn’t bother either of us. At the point of the D&C we had already experienced waiting for our baby die and learning that it was actually dead. So, the D&C was more of a necessary evil, and little emotion was wrapped up with it. For me there was no fear on the surgery day, probably because I was so emotionally drained by then that I just want it to be over (although I think my husband suffered miserably as he waited at the hospital without being able to help).

The second date I remember is the day we found out we lost our 4th baby.  You see, for the first time ever with this baby we had a healthy fetal heart rate.  My husband was over the moon excited.  I was convinced something was wrong from day 1 to the point of annoying the heck of my husband.  This gut feeling prevented me from really embrace the good news of the fetal heart rate.  I couldn’t, call it mother’s intuition, but I just knew something was wrong.  In the end, I was right and our baby died without us knowing it.  Anyways, we found out this baby died 3 days after my 31st birthday.  For 2 years in a row, my birthday has been marred by absolutely horrible experiences.   So, now I know, for the rest of my life, I will always remember these two babies when we celebrate my birthday.

The third date I remember is our darkest moment – the day we terminated our third baby. The first anniversary of that date is today. It has been one year since we made the decision to let our little baby go. A decision I would never wish upon anyone. A decision that still hurts, even though we felt compelled to make in order to potentially save my life while knowing that our baby would eventually die regardless. A decision that will undoubtedly stay with us for the rest of my life. A decision that no parent should ever have to make.  My husband, he’s much more clinical about this decision because the possibility of losing me simply wasn’t an option in his mind. Me, I know, I absolutely know, it was the right decision.  But, I was and am much more emotional about it. Regardless, we both loved that baby so incredibly much. I will continue to love her, and hold her in my heart for the rest of time.

So, today, I will not dwell on this anniversary.  I learned long ago that for me the anticipation of hard anniversaries (i.e. April 7), is actually harder than the day itself. So, I am confident that the worst of the anxiety is behind me. I will silently honour our memory of our baby girl (I have no idea how, but I’m sure I will even if it’s just within my own thoughts).  I will cherish the conversations I had with her when she was still with us, and the glimmers of hope that we had when she was part of our lives.

And, just in case the day is harder than I anticipated, I should be okay as by some coincidence, we have out of town family who stayed with us last night and we are off to celebrate my Great Uncles 80th birthday tonight. For me, this means that I have a great distraction, and will be surrounded by mostly unknowing family members who will double as a great distraction. And, I highly doubt the only two people at the party outside of my husband and I who know about this anniversary, will remember the actual date.

Anyways, that’s it for today. I’m off to keep myself busy and to find a few happy moments where I can.

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In my last real post on our decisions related to adoption, I announced our decision to delay formally entering the adoption process (this of course is neglecting my post last week when I was having a bit of a not so perfect breakdown). We got to a point in our research where the next available step was to attend the mandatory weekend adoption seminar. Our choice was to attend it right away in July or wait until October when the next one is offered in our city.   What we decided was that in order to proceed any further, we needed to get fully on board the adoption train both emotionally and financially. Ultimately, the decision was that we just weren’t ready yet and in the scheme of our lives waiting until October is not going to make a big difference. (Oddly enough, I was the driving force behind this decision – I say oddly, because my husband is usually the one wanting to take the adoption decisions slowly, and I’m usually the one jumping in head first. I’m typically the one who rushes decisions, acts quickly and lives with the consequences. So, the decision was rather easy to make because he wasn’t pushing to move forward immediately, and nor was I).   Anyways, by deciding to wait at least until the next adoption seminar in October, we are effectively delaying any sort of critical adoption decisions. Some might say, we decided to take a temporary break.

So, now about a month into our break from adoption research, I thought it was time to provide an update on our break and our continued adoption indecision. As I’ve been thinking about this post, I’ve realized that the update is nothing like I would have expected.

We have quite literally not been talking too much about adoption and neither of us have been spending much time reading and researching the topic. (Not that I’d expect my husband to spend hours researching, usually I’m the one reading data and articles obsessively and sharing the results with him).

While we have definitely had the odd conversation about little things related to adoption (like race), we have not been focusing on it. This means, our conversations have not revolved around the topic of adoption. We have not been hung up on our fears about the cognitive health of potential adopted children. We have not been discussing potential race of children. We have not been worrying about the multiple year time commitment to the adoption process. We simply, haven’t been focused on adoption.

I thought I’d use this “break” to read a few recommended book on open adoption, and instead I haven’t cracked a single book. I haven’t obsessively googled the topic scouring for new news articles or comparisons regarding different adoption options (i.e. domestic vs international or open vs closed).  I haven’t been creating pros and cons lists.  I haven’t created any spreadsheets or charts to help in my comparisons.  I haven’t done much of anything when it comes to research.

I have read a few posts from adoption bloggers that I follow. Some from the perspective of birth mothers, others are that of adoptive parents, some are the perspective of potential adoptive parents and others still are the perspective of adoptive children at various stages in their life. But I have not sought out new blogs to read, just those that automatically appear in my reader.

While, we haven’t spent too much time talking about adoption together, we have both stumbled into a few conversations with friends about the possibility of adoption, but neither of us ever go into too much detail about what we are thinking as this is not a decision involving anyone outside of my husband and I. It is interesting hearing other people’s opinions, some who have never actually contemplated adoption and others who have family members who have chosen adoption. We are always happy to learn from others whenever the opportunity arises.

Throughout the last month, I seem willing to absorb information that I stumble upon, but I am not making any real efforts to educate myself with every possible tidbit of information available in the modern world. I’m surprised by my lack of interest, or probably better said, I am surprised by my lack of dedication to the topic.

So, when I try to figure out why this break has not shaped up the way I thought it would, I think, it has to do with exhaustion of living and breathing baby making and adoption 24/7 for over 2 years now. I take my lack of an overt interest in the decision as evidence of a needed break. I think I clearly needed some time to just be, without obsessing. I think part of this even relates back to my work to accept a messy life and to live messy. By taking time, I’m effectively allowing myself time to just be, warts and all. Time without a decision and an immediate path forward. This is foreign territory for me, but somehow, right now it feel right.  And, maybe, this is evidence of something bigger going on in my perfect breakdown?  Maybe, just maybe, I’m experiencing some sort of breakthrough in accepting our situation and not trying to control everything?  Maybe.

So, right now, I think our decision to take a break from our adoption research and put off making an actual decision, was the right decision in itself. I know we will still confront this decision in the next few months, but I think downtime has been invaluable and maybe somehow this downtime will actually help us make our next move when the time is right.

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