This is kind of an intermission in the story of how Gavin came to be ours but it's been on my mind a lot lately and I feel like I need to get it out.
Throughout all of the infertility and adoption stuff we went through there were some really rough moments. Most of those came after the second ectopic pregnancy though when the fertility procedures early on didn't work I hit some low moments as well. I remember going to bed early after a failed IUI a time or two. I was bummed after I had surgery to find and correct a problem because the doctor didn't find anything wrong.
After the first ectopic pregnancy I actually felt pretty good, emotionally. It gave me hope that I could get pregnant and maybe it was just fluke that it was ectopic. But the second one just about did me in. I woke up in the night to some pretty bad pain, thinking this one had ruptured too. I thought for a few minutes about just letting it kill me. Like I said, just about did me in, literally. Ultimately it was the thought of Stewart being widowed that got me out of bed and to the hospital. It turned out to not have ruptured and to just have been the ectopic dissolving so it wouldn't have killed me, but I couldn't promise that I would make the same choice if I found myself in the same situation again. Quite honestly, if we hadn't found Gavin I probably would have tried to get pregnant again and either it would have been a healthy pregnancy or I would have let it kill me. Like I said, just about did me in, literally.
So my downward spiral really got started toward the end of August 2012. Maybe it was because the second miscarriage happened right when the first pregnancy would have been due. Maybe it was because I was just worn down from all of it. Maybe it was extra hard because Stewart was still in law school and I tried to not demand too much of his time. Either way, this is pretty much when things go real for me. I spent the next year and a half trying to keep myself going so as not to lose myself entirely. Below are some of the things that helped me get through it until Gavin was born and placed in my arms.
Do something to move the process forward. Even though you may not be able or ready for in vitro or adoption, do something so that you don't feel helpless. I researched adoption agencies and grants and ultimately pressured Stewart into starting the process sooner than he would have liked. (I'm normally pretty high maintenance but I image that I took it to exponential levels at this time). Once we were approved I worked on the blog we used for pr. I took some solo trips to Palmyra and Niagara Falls and around town to put together a post here and there.
Throw yourself into something, hopefully something healthy or otherwise productive. This worked kind of as a diversion for me. I turned to two things to take up my extra time and attentions. The first was my job. I was fortunate to have a job that could be very demanding and time consuming. And I loved what I did and the people I worked with. And it paid off in the form of raises and promotions and even more career satisfaction. Things were especially stressful between the time our birth mother picked us and the day Gavin was born. Which worked out well in that work got crazy busy about a week before we met her. I worked late and weekends and found a lot of solace at Synacor. My coworkers were some of my best sounding boards.
The second thing I turned to was running and exercising. I logged a lot of miles on the streets of Buffalo and watched a lot of netflix while lifting weights in the morning. It was great way to use up extra energy and it gave me something with real, tangible results. I lost about 20 pounds in the nine months that Gavin gestated. Not many women can say that about their baby.
Give up things that make your life more difficult or cause undue pain. This has probably had the longest lasting effects for me. A few months after the second ectopic my little sister got pregnant. I spoke to her in January when she told me she was pregnant. After that I don't think I spoke to her until Gavin was born, 14 months later. Stewart suggested a few times that I call her but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. I couldn't ask her about her pregnancy without saying something awful. In the midst of this my little brother got married and Stewart wasn't able to go to the wedding. I seriously thought about not going and I still kind of wish I hadn't. Even still, I only saw my family for the actual wedding and I got out of there as quickly as possible. It was especially hard to have my mom make such a big deal about the baby. I think my other sister seriously thought that I was in the process of divorcing myself from the family for good and for all I know I would have severed all ties by now if we were still childless.
The other big thing I gave up was church and church related worship. Mormon church can be very family oriented and members can be kind of tone deaf with questions or comments or lessons. I don't know how many times I left a talk or a lesson because I couldn't take one more comment about how motherhood was the most wonderful thing ever (which it is, for me now!) or how our pain can be lessened by believing or worshiping or praying because it didn't work for me. I came to the point where it only caused pain so I cut it out. We still went to church some and to Stewart's credit he kept us reading scriptures (though we threw out the Old Testament) and praying though my participation waned. But I had no heart in it. I know that there are some who will disagree with this but it is my experience.
And the final thing that saved me through all this was Stewart. He is forever my rock and a great source of strength and reason. He deserves far better than me but I hope he never realizes it. In the end I decided that I needed to do what I had to in order to keep myself alive and (kind of) sane so that I could come out on the other side. And I did. And I have the greatest little guy because of it. See, amazing. And he climbs in my lap with a book and runs to me at the end of the day.