Love Myself – Day 16 (a bit late…sorry)

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Something about him back on Election Day 1986 made her realize she should give him a second chance but she was certain she had blown it.  She called her then friend and boss, “Come on over for a glass of wine, let’s talk”,  her boss said.  So she went to the polling station to cast her vote and proceeded to her boss’ place.

The next day was her birthday (her 22nd).  She cried into her bosses ear while drinking a whole bottle of wine, telling her how much she just knew she had blown her chances with who could have been ‘the ONE’.  Finally her boss said to sleep it off, that everything would look and feel better tomorrow.  It was her birthday after all and she would take her out for a wonderful lunch.  “I don’t deserve it”, she replied; “I’m a horrible person!”  “Now Ann, go home, get some sleep; you’ll feel better, I promise.”

Needless to say I did feel better and he (the rascal) had a birthday singing telegram for me.  It would appear that this young gentleman called my boss for approval ahead of time; so you see, she knew all about it all along.  Here I was, crying on her shoulder that I lost him…boohoohoohoo!  What a sight I must have been and what a sport she was – how I miss her to this day.

We married a year and a half later.  He proposed to me that New Years Day, but we had a lengthy engagement – reason being I wanted a Spring wedding and Spring of ’87 would give us no time for planning…so, 1988 it was.

I stopped birth control about six month before our wedding.  This was knowing my past history and the fact that I had been on the pill for so long.  Even so, I hadn’t gotten pregnant.  Everyone and all the doctors were telling us that it took a good two years for the average couple to impregnate.  Even so, all of our friends seemed to be popping them out like winnings at a slot machine.  So I wanted more answers and we got them.

After a series of tests and a Laparotomy, we were told that my tubes were abnormally large and closed up.  The only choices for pregnancy were: In Vetro Fertilization, Adoption

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or Surrogacy .  The cost in any choice in those days was 10,000 to 30,000 plus medication (8,000 to 10,000) and it might as well have been 10 million.  This was – as you can imagine – quite a blow.

We later happened on a specialist who suggested surgery.  So, we opted for plan ‘B’ where they basically reconstruct my uterus and tubes bringing my chances back up to 89-92% success (if all went well).  Which it did.  The doctor reported that the good tube opened up perfectly and concluded that he saw no problems.

One year later still no pregnancies, so I went in for a check up.  They place a dye through your Fallopian tubes.  The technician doing the test essentially gave me a guided tour and told me, “you see that? How it’s dripping like that?  That means they’ve closed up on you.”  He sounded like a character out of Deliverance (creeped me out).

As horrifying as this was for me (to hear these results as I”m getting the test done by some shabby little technician who was looking at me like a lab rat), I waited for the doctor who confirmed the results of the test.  It was the oddest day, one where nobody seemed to have any bedside manner.  The only way for me to describe the incongruous events/behaviors of the day was that it was like they were all like something out of a bad “B” movie and I was in the middle of my nightmare.

I drove home (something I had no business doing…I think I almost got into about three accidents) and, once home I proceeded directly to my room, changed into my P.J.’s and plopped into bed.  There I stayed (there or I would go down stairs into the rocking chair), but there I stayed for the better part of four weeks.  Crying, crying and more crying.  I can remember being able to tell the time by the amount of crying I had done.  I never spoke, didn’t take calls and don’t even remember what was on the T.V.  Just remember crying and staring off into the back yard and sleeping.

Once I came back to my senses, my husband and I started looking into adoption.  I was so excited.  I asked for all sorts of information.  We were specifically looking into adopting older children, not just babies.  We were also interested in siblings (we didn’t want to split any families up).

Such an exciting time, but also a time of awakening.

You see, my husband was an alcoholic.  Something he denied, but I had been going to Alanon meetings behind his back for some time.  So there I was  faced with the wonderful idea of being a family while, at the same time, faced with the reality of bringing a youngster into the possibility of yet another dysfunctional home.

How could I do this to them?  But I want this family so much.  Perhaps it won’t be as bad as I think it will.  Perhaps my husband will get the help he needs, especially now when he sees that someone else needs him.

The question of this challenge is basically what I love about me.  And though it pains me many times, I have to say one of the top things is my common sense.  In this example, many people have children just Willie nillie “oops, I’m pregnant.”  Without a thought of the lives or the dysfunction.   They do so without thinking of the lives they will foster into the adults of the future.

I had to think of this.  It’ s different when you “CAN’T” have children; you can’t drop them like a cow pattie (sorry, but to some women it is just that simple, with no thought about it) and just go about their business.  In cases like mine, you actually find yourself thinking about the effects of what you are doing (well, I did anyway).

I don’t know, perhaps I didn’t want children as badly.  Maybe I thought too much about the whole ‘child’ thing.  But I tell you, it did consume me; for years.  Was I doing the right thing, or wasn’t I?  There were times when I was fine with my decision, then; BAM!  I wasn’t

I remember when all was said and done, we decided to try IVF  – In Vetro Fertilization – and we just completed our fourth treatment/transfer.  I was finally pregnant and ecstatic!  I was also scared, sick, eager…all sorts of feelings rolled up into one, but  I didn’t tell anybody – not a soul, I wanted to be sure.  There is still so much more testing in the first couple of weeks you need to go in for, so I did.

To back track, we had an SUV and I used to imagine that we had our children, two of them.  One boy and one girl; a boy, Shawn and a little girl, Kim.  Everywhere I went I would imagine they were in the back, in their car seats.  Shawn on the passenger side with short brown hair, coal black eyes – just like his father’s and full lips; again just like his father’s.  Then there’s Kim, with light brown hair and bangs and hazel eyes, just like here mom’s.  She is the splitting image of me when I was her age, so much so it’s uncanny.

Now in my mind’s eye, with Shawn on the passenger side and Kim on the driver side  I would talk to them.  I would imagine their little fights and try to run interference.  We would talk about the plans for the week, etc…in that car.  We were a family.

The day I got the call was a Sunday.  “Mrs. MacGregor?”, the voice on the other end asked.  “Yes, this is she”, I replied.  They told me they were with the fertility clinic and then… “I’m sorry to have to tell you this, it didn’t take.  You miscarried.” [silence]  “Mrs. MacGregor?”  I couldn’t answer, I was numb.  No crying, nothing, just numb.  Now, my husband would have continued with the IVF treatments, but I couldn’t go on.  It was too hard.

I remember needing to go to the store and getting into my SUV that night, I started the engine, I immediately looked in the review mirror.  Then I turned to look over my shoulder to back up like I always had done a thousand times before and I caught myself; oops, I was thinking the same thoughts as if Shawn and Kim were back there.  Then, all of a sudden as if a voice was saying, “oh, you can’t think that anymore.  Those little ones are dead; they will be no more.”  The only thing I can liken it to is when a loved one of your’s passes away and you go to call them?  Then you stop yourself and think, “I can’t, they aren’t there anymore.”  That was the exact feeling I had, several times when I was in that vehicle.

I love my common sense, though it has caused me a great deal of pain I must look at it as growth.  For what I love about it is that it stopped me from causing other’s harm in my own vanity and greed.  I learned that even thought these things are done for good, it is still painful (in the worst way possible).  This is something I will have to live with for the rest of my life.  But I love this trait none the less.

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