Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I'm just not good enough

We had an-almost sort of opportunity to maybe become guardians to a boy.  It's kind of confusing, but anyway, there is a boy.  And he could potentially have needed a family, and someone called us.  Someone out there thinks we are good parents and wanted to know whether we might possibly want to parent this boy.  I have met him several times.  He's a nice kid.  Boy Scout, adorable smile, flirtatious eyelashes, a friend to all the girls, athletic with all the guys.

We almost sort of kind of maybe perhaps want a third child, and this kind of fell into our lap.  (Can you tell how very much awkward this is to write about...almost and kind of?)  We did not go out and seek to adopt a child.  Before Chuckles was born, I would have done almost anything to become a mother.  My husband was less sure.  He was fine with any fertility treatments we would need to undergo, but he stopped short at gamete donation and adoption.  It was crushing to me since I just wanted a baby.  Any baby. 

Now, here I am potentially possibly turning down a child.  The young man is older than Chuckles and has Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.  When I think about all the things I want for my children in their lives, I realize I just want them to grow up, become independent adults, and be happy.  That is very hard for kids with FAS.  I have no experience with it, but I did a very cursory google search and realized that this child has moderate-to-severe FAS.  He will probably never be able to live independently and probably can't live in a home with a family.  He needs boarding high school, and the intensive therapy and structure that comes with that.  The statistics on FAS are grim: incarceration, unplanned pregnancy, bankruptcy, alcohol and drug addiction, chronic unemployment.  There is even a little saying:  The girls get knocked up, and the boys get locked up.  That is not the promising future one hopes for her child.

It crushes me as a mom and me as an infertile to say that we need to pass on this young man.  He has a family already.  They adopted him as an infant and were unaware of the FAS.  We were only asked to be the guardians should anything happen to them.  The original guardians are backing out as the problems mount and everyone realizes that even as age 18 comes and goes, he would still need a guardian if anything were to happen to his parents.  He will probably need parents for the rest of his life.  His mother and father are already in their mid-50s, so even if they live to 85, the young man will only be in his 40s.  He'll have years of needing help ahead of him.  At that point, perhaps his younger sister (also adopted as an infant) could care for him or maybe she won't want to.  Who knows?  So the parents want a plan.  As it turns out, we are not good candidate parents for him.  At least not right now while we're in the Parenting Small Children Red Zone.  Maybe when Chuckles and Bobo are grown and out of the house, we can reconsider it. 

And you know what?  I'm pretty angry at the birth mother.  Pretty really angry.  And I probably don't even have the right to be angry at her.  But on behalf of this young man, I am angry at her.  FAS is the only 100% preventable birth defect.  Anger, seethe, anger, bunch of other words and unformed thoughts.  Least eloquent post of my blog's history.  So in summation, I feel like crap because I am just not a good enough person/parent to say, "Yes, if anything happens to you, I absolutely will step in and take care of your kids for you."  I suppose it's good that I know my limitations both for my own kids and for these two kids. We just don't have the emotional resources now to handle this.

And that makes me wonder about the potential possible third baby that we might happen to want and maybe even get.  What do I do if the luck of the draw says that I get a special needs child?  I guess some might say you just accept it and soldier on.  You don't go looking for trouble, but if trouble finds you....  I just don't know.  Mostly though, I am just going to focus my anger at the birth mother since that is easier than searching my own soul and being angry with myself.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

I am not your sister-in-law

I was all sure how I was going to tell you, dear readers.  I was going to title the post "I am your sister-in-law" and then the post would be a photo of two pink lines showing that I was all fertile and pregnant after just one month of (ahem) not-exactly-trying.  First time we tried!!!

But alas, that's not how this post is going to roll. 

Today is Cycle Day 35, aka new Cycle Day 1.  I could've saved a buck and the dollar store test I took this morning if only I'd waited.  I even have a rule about not testing before CD35 for just this reason (it will usually be obvious before I would get to the test). 

But I'm not really disappointed...for a variety of reasons.  The first is that I got my husband a wave runner for Fathers' Day.  I would be mighty bummed if I couldn't ride it this weekend. (A wave runner is like a jet ski but you sit down on it.)  The second is that I am going on "vacation" with my in-laws in a few weeks, and I would really like to spend most of the week slightly intoxicated (or on the wave runner...and stone cold sober). 

The third is that I am highly ambivalent about a third baby.  I want one, but if I don't get one, I will be A-OK and just fine.  Really.  I swear.   We aren't even really trying.  I can prove it!  I have a prescription for progeterone suppositories in my purse, and I haven't even filled it (yet?). I own a fertility monitor, and I am not using it.  I didn't take an OPK or my temperature this month.  I only had marital visitation with my husband when I wanted to, not when the stick, the clock, the calendar, or the doctor told me to. 

A word to the wise, women who are not taking The Pill have wild desire and mood fluctuations during a cycle, whoah.  I guess I have never before in my life had an ovulatory cycle where I was not actively trying to get pregnant so this was crazy new.  I'm starting to understand things like why women joke about PMS and mid-month libido.  I've never known that before, and it's really amazing.  I'm a little jealous that I never got to experience this before. 

The 4th reason I am not bummed is that getting pregnant this month would've put me with a due date in February (my 36th birthday, actually).  I would prefer to take my maternity leave over the summer.  I know that infertile women don't usually indicate a preference, but if a teacher can say she's aiming for a summer baby, a not-really trying woman can say she'd prefer to give birth April - June.  Beggars can't be choosers, but I ain't begging.   

Lastly, I am taking prenatal vitamins because it's just a good idea for a woman who is not using any birth control to do that sort of thing responsibly.  I am prudent.  What I am not is pregnant.