So where were we?
Ah. I find out I have PCOS. I also begin seeing an Infertility Specialist who wants me on a drug called Metformin which is supposed to help with weight loss and help jump start the ovulation process.
And so the infertility dance begins.
During this initial quest, I am still hopeful. I take the Chlomid and Metformin for about 6 months but nothing really changed to indicate ovulation. When I was about to start doing the dreaded (and self administered) shots in the stomach, I was ready to take a break.
Then a year goes by. My cycles return on their own but they were crazy. Some were every 20 days. Others were every 52 days. But I felt like it was progress because I had not had a cycle in so long. I still went up and down with my weight. The break was a time for me to not even deal with infertility but now I felt like a barren woman, not worthy of bearing a child and my marriage took a major hit.
My husband and I struggled the first few years of our marriage after a short courtship and many financial hardships. Our intimacy became almost nonexistent and I even entertained the ugly, D word. Hopelessness and despair became close friends. Then my old, best friend and I got reacquainted.
I needed to someone to blame. Not God, of course. If I blame Him he will snatch my uterus right out of me when I am not looking. Can't make the Creator of human life mad. Not my husband. Can't blame a man you are seldom intimate with. So who is to blame? Where can I direct my anger at the unjustness of it all?
Mothers. All of em.' Pregnant women, grandmothers, unwed teen girls, moms who complain about being moms, moms who are pregnant and don't want a particular gender. The wrath of Jessica was coming their way. I was justified by the cry of an empty womb and by golly those women had better tread lightly in my presence. If you were pregnant, you better suck that belly in or apologize profusely for carrying your 8 month fetus in my face. If you complained about your whiny child, my brain would scream at them..."At least you have a child albeit a whiny one!" What did I have? Two dogs, a cat, and marriage on the rocks.
Bitter was an understatement to describe how I felt. Baby showers were like torture devices wrapped in powder smelling packages. I was practically writhing in pain at all the seasoned mothers and their precious nuggets of wisdom. The looks of pity when asked if I have children and my answer of no with a cheerful "We're trying!" added in for good measure.
Ugh. And it always felt like a baby boom was upon our church during the darkest and lowest times. Everyone was pregnant! My favorite was when I would get the pregnancy announcements in batches of threes and fours. Or shower invitations on consecutive weekends.
I think I have described the pain adequately. This daily pain of wanting to be a mother down to every cell in my body crying out, "WHEN IS IT GOING TO BE MY TURN?"
Now understand that adoption was not even on my radar. To be honest, it felt second rate to take in a child that was someone else's. I was actually appalled at the idea. Because that was not the plan. I was going to be married at 24, pregnant by 25 and on to my third child by 30.
That. Was. The. PLAN. But I was 29.
And how could I love a child that was not my flesh and blood? How could we even be a real family?
When the journey brought me down this low path of bitterness and jealousy, I began believing I was literally barren. During this time, I was in a bible study and one week we were studying the verse in Isaiah 54 that says "Sing, O barren woman, you who never bore a child..." and on this day as we read this verse, I begin making this sputtering, moaning sound before erupting into tears. Of course, the study leader does what I despise...stops the study in its tracks to focus on me. Every other woman in the room (with all wonderful intentions) touch my arm, leg, or grabbed tissues, and got ready for me to spill my heart. Then, I hear myself cry out, "I CAN'T HAVE CHILDREN!" and lose myself in desperate sobbing. As I sit here and remember this I am wincing because all I think now is "Geesh, what a drama queen. Where did I get that from? No doctor had ever even told me that."
But I believed it with everything in me.
The leader begins a beautiful dissertation on how adoption is a viable and wonderful way to be a parent. I think I actually heard violins. I then say out loud that adoption is not what I want. I want my own children who look like me and my husband. I want his sweet spirit or my humor in my child. His eyes, my hair color. And the leader says that maybe an adopted child won't look like you but they can have your values and even your mannerisms...and in the same breath says...wait for it..."Although none of my children could ever try and claim not to be mine because they look exactly like me."
I nearly lost my religion.
How she thought this was inspiring or encouraging is beyond me. Of course, as you read this you know I adopted Cati. My oldest. My heart in the flesh. Who is exactly like me and so gets me. So Bible lady with carbon copy kids meant well. And she was actually right. But I think of the bible verse in Proverbs 25:20 where it says,
"Like one who takes away a garment on a cold day, or like vinegar poured on soda, is one who sings songs to a heavy heart."
Needless to say, I never returned to that bible study. But for the next several months I just kind of coasted along, being a wife, being a Christian, and figuring out where God wanted us to go next. Because becoming pregnant was starting to become a far reaching dream that I would never realize.
Until one Wednesday, as I watched Channel 10 news with a segment called Wednesday's Child. A day that would begin a journey that would change our lives...