Expecting Anything

an unfiltered blog about real shit

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Please Don't Invite Me To Your Gender Reveal Party.

Save your damn stamp. I. Am. NOT. Coming.

Sorry, not sorry. (do people still say that?)

Let's be honest tho - "Gender Reveal" parties are a just plain ridiculous. Am I right? Or am I right? Come on people!

WHY?????

What is the fucking point?

Why does it matter?

And WHY does it need to be celebrated?

I've held this one in way too long, and now it's finally time that I unleash the dragon (the unisex dragon to be specific).

I seriously can't deal. Just the idea of celebrating the inside color of a cake (pink or blue) makes me want to vomit all over it, and y'all know how much I love cake. I don't give a shit if my "virtual baby" cake is made of mother-effing cotton candy, unicorn rainbow colors. I'm not going to make you come to a party to find out. I'll eat that delicious multi-colored cake in the privacy of my own home with my husband.

Pop the Champagne - we're having a unicorn!



Let's go sprinkle multi-color confetti all over a random field and take photos!

 I mean, really?

For those of you that have been following our journey on Instagram, you know that we have recently made it through a lot of trials, tribulations and testing and have finally ended up with 3 genetically normal, embryos. Otherwise known as em-babies.

Thank you Egg Donor #922, I heart you.

Our three amigos (or amigas) are now frozen and stored away until we are ready to transfer them to me, one at a time! To put it simply, I have three tries to get pregnant.

Bring on the Hat Trick!

During the genetic testing process our nurse asked us "the gender question". We knew this question was coming at some point. By doing genetic testing, we have the option to select the gender if we want to. Crazy, right?

I'll never forget the day she called to tell us that we only had three embryos that made it through testing. I was happy. I was sad. I was in shock. We had started with 21 fertilized embryos (egg donor + Jonathan's Sperm), 9 that survived testing and ended up with our 3 that were considered "genetically normal". The 6 that didn't make it either had extra chromosomes or were missing chromosomes. Which ultimately "could" end up as a negative pregnancy, miscarriage, or genetic disorders. We almost didn't do the genetic testing, but our doctor didn't want to put us through any more grief. His exact words were - "My job isn't just to get you pregnant, it's also to get you to carry and deliver a healthy baby".

Well, okay then. Sign us up doc!

Don't get me wrong, I was over the moon excited about our three healthy petri dish babies, but I still needed to grieve the 6 little guys that weren't healthy enough to move on. For those of you that haven't gone through this may be thinking - that's nuts! Isn't 3 enough? And the answer is yes. Honestly, 1 is enough. All you need is one to work. But when you dream and envision a family of at least 2 children, and haven't had any positive results at any point in this process, you can't help but want to have more "at bats". I felt really comfy with having 9 tries to get pregnant vs. 3. Most people have infinite tries, I have 3. And if we want 2 children, our odds are challenging.

But, hey, we'll take what we can get!

When we got the news we were sitting in the car in the driveway together. I had buried my face in my husbands armpit and cried harder than I've cried in a while. What about the other 6? What if our slightly abnormal baby was in there? Did we do the right thing? We don't need a perfect baby, we just want a healthy baby. We don't expect it to be easy, we just want someone to love.

I hear a "hello, are you okay?"on the other end of the phone.

Shit, the nurse is still on the phone as I have a mental breakdown. Shit. Jonathan explained to her that "we" were having an emotional moment i.e. "I" was having an emotional moment. She totally understood.

And then with utter excitement in her highest pitched happy voice says... "So....Would you like to know the genders?"

Oh dear god. This is how she lightens the mood?

We knew this question would come at some point, but that was the furthest thing from our minds in this exact moment. I totally forgot! OMG that's right - the nurse knows the sex of our 3 babes!

And she better LOCK that shit up!

We looked at each other with fear in our eyes and answered in unison...

NO!

NO!

NO!

WE DON'T GIVE A RATS ASS WHAT THE SEXES ARE!

Sorry for yelling. We were worried you were going to tell us.

She laughed, "no its okay, I understand".

But seriously, we don't give a shit. We just want to know that we have healthy embryos that could result in healthy babies. Case closed.

You feel me?

So who chooses then?

We definitely didn't want the embryologist choosing either, I've never even met the guy! I can just hear him now - we need more "men" in this world, or some shit like that. Meh.

We were seriously puzzled. We didn't want the doctor choosing and we didn't want to choose.

So, now what?

The nurse suggested we have a family member choose and not tell us. Someone we trust with such a big decision. We had several discussions about who we would consider. Who would be the best person to give this assignment to? My 93 year old grandma? I'd put my fate in her hands any day! But then we thought about all the pressure and stress that could cause her. And, also making her keep such a big secret from everyone. That just ain't cool.

Finally, we discovered a study to participate in that measures the success of different methodologies used to choose the best embryo to transfer.  The study is to evaluate the old-school way of embryo grading against the new school way - based on graphing and sequencing. Neither, us nor our doctor would get to choose the sex of the embryo selected. They just pick the one that looks the "best".

Done and done.

Look, I get that finding out the gender is important to some people. Had we not been through hell and back, we'd probably do it too. I'm a planner, and knowing the sex of my baby would certainly help with planning. But let's face it, there is still no guarantee of a baby. No guarantees of anything really. Planning or no planning, shit can always take a turn. We know this better than anyone. So, this is one surprise we'd like to reserve for ourselves. We earned it.

AND it doesn't fucking matter.

Here's my point - if we were to choose the "boy" embryo or the "girl" embryo. Would you care? NO!

NO one cares!

For example, if the inside of your cake ends up being blue versus pink, are people attending your party going to be happier one way or the other? NO. They don't care! They are happy for you regardless. And, I get that you want to know the gender, that's a very exciting moment! The anticipation of a new baby boy or baby girl is part of the process, but do we all need to get all dressed up, play games and eat cake together? Can't I just bring you a magnum of champagne to the hospital when the baby is born and make that shit rain?

Can't you just send a text - "It's a boy! (insert champagne emoji)". I do want to hear about it, I really do. I just don't want to find out in a room full of people groping your belly and making strange comments about how low or high you are carrying. Because we all know, carrying low means you're "definitely" having a boy.

Barf.

And trust. I LOVE parties. I love a good celebration, but this is just crazy! It's some "first world" bullshit if you ask me. You definitely don't see people in other countries throwing gender reveal parties, do you?

And, for those of you that feel disappointed when you find out the gender of your baby, please think of people like me and my husband. For those of you that have 2 or 3 boys and are trying one more time for the girl, I get it, but please remember those, like us, that would take that 4th boy of your hands in a heartbeat. Be grateful for what you have.

Had I not experienced infertility, I would have probably been this person. That's the honest truth. I had multiple bridal showers and bachelorette parties, for Gods sake. Sorry! BUT, I've changed. My illness has changed me forever. I am grateful for my beautiful, invisible disease and all that it's taught me. How else would I have gained this new perspective and deep empathy for others?

I am grateful. So fucking grateful.

I hope that you, too, can consider this perspective if you haven't before. As you consider your invitations for your gender reveal party I ask that you think about others. Imagine the thoughts of a single woman at the party, who's longing to find love and is wondering if she'll even have the chance to have a baby one day. Think about the woman who carried her baby in her belly for 5 months and then miscarried. Think about those who have struggled with gender identity or has a child that is struggling. Think about someone who has tried everything humanly possible to conceive, yet ultimately infertile, like me.

If you are guilty of throwing one of these parties, I'm not saying you are purposefully insensitive, I'm just trying to get you to think about it differently. That's why I started this blog - to give perspective and share my learnings with others.

Here are the things I think about now....

We don't actually know a child's gender before they are born. We know the biological sex - which is totally independent of gender. Children reveal their gender identity later in life, and that's for them to reveal, not us. Just because you are having a "boy" doesn't mean he will fit the typical boy stereotypes.  So, is a blue cake really the best representation?  Maybe he's more into dance performance than he is football? Maybe he'd rather be represented by the color purple?

And the truth is - no one really wants to play silly guessing games. I'm pretty sure I know the answer, it's either a boy or a girl. Duh. No one cares what the biological sex is, well except maybe your mom. And truthfully, she doesn't really even care that much. No one wants to throw pink confetti all over you or tie a blue ribbon around your belly.  It's just weird.

You aren't celebrating the CHILD. You are celebrating the sex of the child. And that's extra weird.

Do you ever hear people say "Yay, Susie's reveal party is this weekend! I can't wait!"

No.

Fucking shoot me.

Save your mason jars. Save your cake pops. Save your balloons. Save them for when there's actually something to celebrate. We have plenty of other meaningful things to celebrate in life! Right?

I sure think so.

Pregnancies are worth celebrating. Babies are worth celebrating. Birthdays are worth celebrating. The creation of a new life is worth celebrating.  Getting an education is worth celebrating. Finding the love of your life is worth celebrating. Growing your family is worth celebrating!  Let's celebrate it all!

Just let me know "when and where" and I'll be the first one to put my party pants on. 

Sunday, February 12, 2017

We're Baking a Cake with Her Eggs in My Oven.

Our fertility therapist used this exact "baking" analogy the other day when we were discussing how we would tell our future child how he/she was conceived. It's something she feels that a child can easily understand - a simple statement - funny, yet accurate. I couldn't help but smile thinking - I will definitely put my own special twist on this one day.



I could really get creative with this!

Something like  "Momma borrowed someone else's vodka to make her martini, but you were made in my shaker, baby!" And of course then explain that daddy was the ice. I  mean - that's how all perfect martini's are made. Straight up and cold as ice, in the perfect, shiny shaker.

I imagine I would then end with some sort of rump-shaker-esque dance to really seal the deal.

Lord, help this poor unborn child.

But really - you can't make a martini without a shaker people! Or at least a damn red solo cup to stir it in. You know what I mean. You need a container! A container is necessary to the making of the martini!!

I AM THE CONTAINER!

Translation - I am necessary to this equation, no matter how you look at it.

My imagination was running wild with other analogies. I thought - how fun this could be for our family one day! This would be our "inside story" that only we could tell. Oh, the fun we will have!

While my mind drifted away to la-la land thinking of all the other ideas I could think of, I happened to look over at my husband smiling.

OH! I knew it! He's totally thinking the same thing I am! I wonder what ideas he came up with?

I asked him what was so funny and he replied "I was just thinking how you are going to run wild with this one, Victoria" and then looks at the therapist and says "and now this will be in her next blog post".

Damn, that boy is good. So damn good.

Our new donor agency requires that every "intended parent" (yes that's what we are called, sigh) goes through a psych evaluation prior to moving forward with the process. We can't even sign our real names on the legal documents, to ensure anonymity.


They put you through this evaluation to make sure you "ain't cray" before you get pregnant. Can you imagine if all potential parents had to go through this before being allowed to reproduce? We'd have a LOT less children in the world. Just sayin'.

In our session we talked about things like - our infertility struggles. What we have tried that didn't work. How long we have been trying. What led us to using an egg donor. How we are feeling about the process. If we have shared with our family or friends.

We were SLAYING this evaluation. Bring it on lady, we got yo answers boo boo!

SLAY! SLAY! SLAY!

After about 30 minutes into the session she stopped and said "Gosh, I have to say - you two are by far the most enlightening couple I've ever met going through the egg donor process, especially after having one fail, it's pretty remarkable". And then she stared at us in silence.

It was a nice compliment, we are proud of how far we have come as a couple. We both smiled and sat up a little taller.

Silence continued.

What is her deal? Are we done? Have we left her speechless?

As we sat there a little longer I was starting to sense that she was second guessing us. It was almost like she thought we were putting on some sort of show.  Like we were faking our positivity in all the negative we have been through.

She gave us a quick stare down and then her demeanor changed to something like - Okay Nino's, now I'm bout' to throw down - you ready?

WE ready!

She paused for another minute and then asked -  "So, how do you feel about being "older" parents?"

WAIT.

What bitch?

Aw, hell no.

Naturally, my first reaction was to get defensive. Which I'm guessing is what she wanted - to strike some sort of nerve.

It worked. I was seeing red.

I took a breath as I contemplated through my response and thought - Victoria, don't ruin this. You need to pass this "evaluation". You've come so far already!

Do. Not. Go. Cray.

BUT - I was seeing red.

I forced myself to run through my thoughts in my head prior to speaking them.  I needed to rant it out internally so that I could calmly reply to this RUDE - ASS question. Thinking before speaking is a VERY rare occurrence for me.

And, so I stared back at her in silence and thought...

I'm sorry lady, but it's not like we had a fucking choice to wait this long! And, who are YOU to call us old???? How old do you think we are?? What does "older" mean exactly? Do we look THAT old?? Did you call Gwen Stefani old when she got pregnant? OH NO, you di'ent, cuz that bitch is hot! AND not to mention much older than me! Or what about Janet Jackson? Don't get me started lady.

I've learned that therapists love silence. They do it on purpose to see how we react. They want to see if we will cave and blurt out something because we are uncomfortable, or if we will we be able to sit in the silence with them. Oh, I was sitting alright. Sitting there thinking about how I was going to tell her ass off  - Baltimore style.

If she only knew what I was doing with those few minutes of silence in my brain.

I finally replied with something like "Actually, I know plenty of people that have been much "older" than us and I feel very good about the fact that we would be bringing a child into a financially stable home with two parents that kick major ass in life. So, how do I feel? I feel good. Thank you for asking."

And....breathe.

My sweet husband sensed my bottled rage and bailed me out with some nicer responses/diversions. He's always so damn clutch.

You're my boy blue!

As he was responding to her question, I had some time to calm down. I just sat and listened. As he talked further on the topic I learned something new about him. I learned that he actually is NOT all that comfortable with being "older" parents. He has a bit of sadness about it.  He told her about how he wants to be there for all the special moments later in life and to be able to be an active parent. He talked about how he worries about when his child gets to be his age, he will be in his 80's, not in his 60's like his parents are.

Cue my tears.

And we were doing sooooo good, damn it!

I couldn't help it. He is just too damn sweet. I mean, look at him?


 I know how desperately he wants the chance to be someones dad.  I know how much he has thought about the type of father he would be. When I look at him I see a man who deserves this more than anyone. A man who has so much love to give.  A man who would be present for every little thing and never miss a precious moment.

I see a man who didn't ask for this. A man who doesn't deserve to be faced with the worries of being an "older" dad. Who doesn't deserve to be asked this question. It's not his fault.

I hate to see him sad. I just hate it.

The tears just would not stop.

He turned towards me, handed me a tissue and squeezed me on my knee - subliminal message - come on Vic, you got this - let's bring this shit home.


So clutch.

And so, I rubbed some dirt on my tears and pushed through like I always do.

We continued the session and she asked questions like...

How will you handle it if your child wants to meet your egg donor one day?
How will you answer questions about why you chose her?
What will you do when your child asks about her family tree?
What about all the siblings your child has out there, don't you think the child might want to know about them too?

But, we handled these questions with finesse. We've thought about all of this stuff, over and over again.  We've talked about it at length. We know it's not going to be easy, but as long as we are open and honest with our child about our conception process, everything will be okay in the end.

Our answers to these questions are always the same - we will do whatever is best for the child.

We have chosen a donor who has similar genetic traits and ethnic origin to me.  I wanted to choose someone who is from my family's part of the world. I realize that my genetics will not pass on, but why can't my heritage?

When reading her profile I was able to see some of myself in her and I found comfort in that.

She likes doing makeup and taking pictures of EVERYTHING just like me. She's outgoing, personable and has naturally wavy hair. Her favorite movie is Step Brothers.

"Did we just become best friends??"

YEP!

We went through countless profiles, but this girl stood out to both of us for many reasons. The two most important reasons were that she is healthy and FERTILE! She has two healthy, beautiful children of her own and has helped other families get pregnant.

The third most important reason, per Jonathan, is that she has big hammers. Otherwise known as jugs, hooters, bombs, missiles, cannons, fun-bags, kahunas, or my personal favorite, sweater stretchers.

Eye roll.

The details that surround our child's conception will be a natural part of our family's story. Our child will know at a very young age about all the "helpers" we needed to create him/her - the doctors, the nurses, the scientists and the nice lady that shared her eggs with me to bake our beautiful baby cake. Our child will have a stable sense of security about his/her identity from very early on.

We plan to have inspiring conversations with our child so that he/she understands that life sometimes means struggles and pain, but those struggles can lead to greatness and new perspectives on life. That every family is different and special in their own way and built on emotional ties, rather than genetic ties.

This is our story, this is our family, and we will be proud to tell it. The ingredients that will make up our cake (or martini) are all necessary to the equation.

And, as it turns out, we ain't too cray to have a baby, after all.

Here we go!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Please Do Not Judge A Pain You Have Not Endured.

If you are a mother, I want you to look at your child, that you love with all your heart and soul, and imagine that someone has just told you the horrible news that you can't have him/her anymore.  You just CAN'T have him. She is just NOT possible for you any longer.

She gone. 

Think hard about that for a second - he/she is gone from your life. That baby that you know and love so well has been taken from you and chances are you won't get him back. He/she is gone and you are left hopeless. Without answers. Without a solution. 

You have felt the touch of that little hand in your hand, for the very last time. 



Whether you are a new mom or an experienced mom, I'd assume your feelings are similar.

Angry. Sad. Empty. Confused. Lonely. Mad as Hell.

Then you are told that you MIGHT have a CHANCE to have that beloved child again. 

A CHANCE...

BUT... 

You have to go through hell and back to get him/her.

Would you?

You are told that you would need to mortgage your house multiple times and possibly deplete your savings at the "chance" to be able to look at that child in the eyes again. That you would need to put severe stress and strain on your body for three-four years with still no guarantee of getting that sweet baby back. That you would likely lose close friendships along the way and people you care about probably won't understand what you are feeling and will leave you feeling lonely and sad. That your marriage would be put to the biggest test you've ever encountered for a chance to hold that little hand again. 

Would you give it a try?

Of course you would. 

Would you judge another mother if she did?

Hell no, you wouldn't. 

People ask me all the time "Why do you keep trying for a baby after all you have been through, Victoria?" They say things like "I don't understand how you could put yourself through so much financial burden for something that's not guaranteed, I would NEVER do that.".

Never say never, my friend.

My scenario above was not to say that losing a child is the same as never having one, because, quite frankly, I don't know the answer to that, and I hope I never do. 

How can one judge a pain they haven't endured?

I know that I am judged for my decisions. I'm not blind. I see the glares I get when I tell people what we have done and what we are doing. I know people look at me like I'm a fucking idiot. Or bat-shit crazy. Or whatever. 

WHATEVER. 

But, the next time you think about judging my decisions, I ask that you please remember that YOU aren't ME. It's really that simple. You are YOU. And I am ME. My "why" is MY "why", and my decisions are MY decisions. 

I crave to be a mother in a way that is indescribable.  Every baby, every pregnancy announcement, every holiday I am reminded of the fact that I am broken. My body is broken. My heart is broken. I hold in the tears and smile. Not because I can't be happy for others, because with every pregnancy announcement or holiday I am mourning another loss.

On the days that I can't hold it in and let my emotions show, I feel like the biggest piece of shit of a human.

I feel like a HUGE failure and a really, shitty friend. 

I have the same conversation with myself over and over - You aren't dying Victoria. It could be so much worse, Victoria. 

Except, this IS the worst sometimes. It just is. Sometimes, I AM dying.

But, how do I possibly explain that I am mourning something completely intangible? How could someone who has never experienced anything like this even begin to comprehend? 

People have even said "Well, at least you didn't have a miscarriage. That's way harder". 

But is it though?

How do you know which is harder?

Who made you the judge of broken hearts? 

Shame, shame. 

When it comes to the breaking of the human heart, there is no measurement of one person's pain over another. It's impossible to compare. 

My disease may be invisible to you, but it's clear as fucking day to me. My broken heart is warranted. And so is yours, no matter what broke it. 

In our recent trip to Thailand, we were leaving one of the many beautiful temples we got to visit, and I happened to notice a Monk praying with another foreign couple. I'm honestly not even sure if they were a couple, but the three of them were praying together. I literally stopped in my tracks and stared. 

I had never seen something so beautiful. 

It had been raining on and off all day and at that very moment it started to rain again. And, I just stood there. In the rain. Staring. I was in complete awe of the experience occurring between these three people as they sat in silence together. 

I was curious. VERY curious. I am curious about a lot of things! That's just who I am. Typically my husband tells me to stop staring and mind my business. 

(eye roll) 

This time was different though. He looked at me and saw my undying urge to meet the Monk myself. He grabbed my arm and pulled my dumbass out of the rain and said "get your butt over there, what are you waiting for?" and gave me a swift hip check into the Monk's direction. 

Oh my GAWD, I'm doing this. 

I waited patiently until it was my turn. 

He motioned for me to come over. 

OMG, here I go. 

I stood in front of him and immediately felt weak in the knees. (Is this why the other people were kneeling?) Oh fuck, I'm a fucking mess.

VICTORIA, stop cursing, he can probably hear your thoughts!

He pointed at the ground for me to kneel in front of him (Thank GOD) and I'm pretty sure I dropped like a ton of bricks. It was like meeting Beyonce for the first time, but WAAAAY better.

I bowed my head and brought my hands to a prayer position, but quickly brought my head back up. I just couldn't help but stare again. Damn it Jonathan, where are you now??? 

Lucky for me, the Monk seemed completely okay with my staring. 

Monks don't judge.

He began to communicate with me through low sounding grunts - changing in tone and volume as he progressed.  His eyes would move from my eyes and then away, almost as if he was looking at something only he could see. 

He never said a word but in some crazy way, I understood him. I've never experienced ANYTHING like this, but I'm pretty sure I was picking up what he was putting down. 

I sat there in front of him for at least 5 minutes and I seriously don't think I blinked once. I didn't wan't to miss ANYTHING.

My interpretation of his message was this...

Victoria, you have been through enough, but you are strong and can handle it - do not give up. Do not judge your success by comparing it to the success of others. You are stronger now. Stronger than you have ever been. Your good fortune is coming soon, but you must always be grateful for the hard times and all that they are teaching you. Never stop learning about yourself. Never be ashamed of your story. Continue sharing and teaching others, that is a very important part of your purpose and journey. 

He, then, smiled at me, tied an orange bracelet tightly on my wrist, and sprinkled water over my head as the tears rolled down my cheeks.  



Holy Shit! 

Literally, holy.


Life. Changed.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. 

Before sending me on my way, he looked up at my husband, Jonathan, and offered him a bracelet too. 



You better believe we are going to be wearing these orange bracelets until they fall off. 




Thank you Thailand, for the clarity. The power. 
The support and the strength.  



After returning from our trip, and a nice long break of fertility treatments, we had a lot of time to think about our next move. And after much discussion, assessment and a second refinance on our house, we have whole-heartedly decided not to give up on trying to become pregnant.  And thus, we have selected Egg Donor #2. 


No judging, remember?


I want the chance to birth a child. I want to breast feed. I want my husband to kiss my pregnant belly like they do on TV.

I desperately want that deep, emotional connection to my child that birth mothers feel. I want my child to feel it too. I want him/her to know my voice and feel comfort in my heartbeat. I want to protect him/her prior to even entering this world. 


Don't get me wrong, we've explored the road to adoption and would be incredibly happy and grateful if we were able to adopt. We'd love that baby with everything we have. We know that our friends and family would welcome him/her with open arms. He/she would be loved. There is no question. 

But, I want to be pregnant too. 

We're still on the "list" to be notified when new babies become available for adoption. We actually got a call when we were in Thailand, but he was already placed with a family by the time we came back. And don't think for a second I wasn't eyeing all the pretty Thai babies while we there, constantly thinking about how we could bring one home with us. Adoption is still very much something we would love to do. 

Why can't we do both?

Regardless of how this story ends, I look forward to the day I get to share my story with my child and all that I fought through to get to him/her. 

That day will be soon. Soon enough.



Sawadee Ka. 


Sunday, October 16, 2016

I Was Almost a Mom. Holy Shit.

On Thursday, October 6th, everything changed. 

I was at work and received a text that read "Can you call me right now?" from my sweet neighbor friend, Rachel.  Normally, her "emergency" texts are regarding the latest bullshit antics of our bullshit HOA president, who also happens to be the devil. And, that part aint bullshit. 

She is the actual devil. 

So naturally, I didn't think too much of the text. 

My week days are usually pretty crazy - filled with meetings, emails, calls, stuck in the worst traffic ever created, refilling my coffee to stay alive, emails, calls, meetings, emails, calls and more god-awful traffic. However, on this particular Thursday I was sitting at my desk at a stand still - pausing on life and giving my brain a break. My ringer was on silent, but at that very moment I happened to look down at my phone to see the text come in.

I read the text and thought  - a good vent sesh about the HOA devil is exactly what I needed to break up my day!

I gave her a ring. 

With a trembling-squeaky-on the verge of crying-voice she says "Vic, I am literally shaking right now and need to tell you something, I just don't know how to tell you."

Okay, tell me. 

"But can I call you back in one minute, I promise I'll call you back. Okay, bye, I'll call you back"

Oh, HELL NO! What the f*ck just happened here? Did she really just tell me to call HER and then hang up on me? Who does that?  Really??

I've never heard her speak like this. Something was VERY wrong. 

I sat there for exactly 57 seconds staring at my phone conceptualizing all the worst possible scenarios...
  1. My dog was hit by a car and she found him in the driveway.
  2. My house had burned to the ground. 
  3. A strange woman was leaving my house with my husband.
  4. My husband was hit by a car and she found him in the driveway. 
Luckily she called in under a minute, 58 seconds to be exact (worst 58 seconds of my life).

And so she proceeds...

"So, I really feel the need to tell you something, but I don't want to overstep. I just know that if I don't tell you this, I'll regret it."

Okay, tell me. 

"I really don't want to overstep, so please understand that I just feel this is the right thing."

OKAY. TELL ME.

And then the rambling began...

"So, my best friend's, family friend is an adoption attorney and she just called me. Apparently there is an urgent situation with a baby, and I'm not exactly sure of the details, but she called me asking me if I knew anyone looking to adopt a baby, and I don't know if you guys have even thought about adopting, and I really hope I'm not overstepping by calling you about this, I just knew that if I didn't tell you I wouldn't be able to live with myself, but I wanted to at least give you the information and let you decide if it's something you'd want to pursue."

HOOOLLLLDDDD ON Rachel! Pursue what? Are you saying she has a baby that needs a home? 

"Yes, yes, but she needs to know right away if you want it. I can give you her number, but don't feel obligated to call her or anything, I just really felt like I needed to tell you about this, and it's super urgent, I think she needs to know in the next 30 minutes"

Text me her number NOW. K, bye.

At this point, my head is spinning. Rachel was right, we hadn't yet dipped our toes in the adoption waters. We had discussed it a few times, but it seemed so foreign to us, and the process seemed pretty overwhelming. 

But, my instincts said GO!

I called my husband.

No answer. UGH!!! Now, what do I do? Now, I only have 29 minutes.

I called him again. Nothing.

I sat there for one minute desperately staring at my phone waiting for him to call me back. I really need to talk to him first. Why won't he answer!!?!?  Doesn't he know the psycho dial means, serious shit??

Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. 

F*ck him, I'm calling the attorney. 

She answered on the first ring. I introduced myself and she got straight to the point.

"Ok, so here's the deal. There was a 6 lb. baby boy born this morning in Orange County and the mother is giving him up for adoption. The father left her as soon as he found out she was pregnant and is now engaged to a new woman. This is good for you though, because you won't have to get into a legal deal with him, because he most likely won't even be on the birth certificate.  She tells us there were no drugs or alcohol used while pregnant, however, she did smoke, which is likely why he's on the smaller side. The birth mother did say that she'd prefer to have two caucasian parents, and your neighbor told me that your husband is Colombian, but I wouldn't worry too much about this."

Shit. Shit. Shit. 

I haven't even talked to that Colombian husband yet! 

"And if you are interested, I will need you to email me a profile about you and your husband and attach some photos of the two of you. I will then print it out and drive it down to the hospital to present to her, with a few other profiles. But you only have 20 minutes to do this."  

Okay. Okay. 20 minutes. Okay. 

So, if she picks us, when would we get the baby?

"As early as tomorrow."

OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I sat there for about 30 seconds with the largest perma-grin I think I've ever had. This kinda happiness was so real. And soooooo right. Is this what mother's feel like when they find out they are pregnant? Is this it? Is this our baby? Is this OUR guy????

I let her know that I still needed to talk to my husband, and if it was a "go" I'd be in touch via email within the time limit provided. She quickly went through the costs with me, but honestly in that moment I wasn't thinking about money, this was the closest I have EVER been to being a mom.  This was the first time I could visualize this happening for us.  

I sent him a text - CALL ME NOW!!!

He called right away. Apparently he was "busy" when I called earlier. Whatever.

"What's going on?" he says.

(Deep breath. Deep breath.)

Ok, so I just got the craziest call from our neighbor Rachel, and.....

(and then the crying came fast and hard)

"What did she say love? Is everything ok? Are you okay?"

Yes, yes, everything is okay. I'm okay. I can't believe I'm crying so hard like this, I can't even speak. Just bear with me. (Breathe) Okay, so there was a 6 pound baby boy born this morning that needs a home. And if we get picked, we could bring him home tomorrow. We just have to write a profile description of us and send a few photos over to the attorney and she is going to present them to the birth mom. Oh, and it's actually not as expensive as I thought it would be. What do you think?

A this point I braced myself for my excitement to be crushed. My husband is a very rational, analytical man. He typically needs a lot more time on processing things before making decisions. He's a good balance for me because I'm easily excitable and will make decisions on a whim. I gave him a few seconds (about 3) to process this information and waited for his response.

"Wow, he's a little guy" he says. 

Oh, and by the way, we have like 20 minutes to make a decision and email her the profile. What do you think?

"GO write the email!"

Wait. Are you serious? Are you sure?

"100% sure. Get writing!"

OMG! OMG!

Okay, bye.

I ran back to my desk and put my fingers to the keyboard. The adrenaline pumping through my body had me shaking all over. My damn fingers were even shaking.  A co-worker tried to engage with me, but her voice just sounded like drowned out background noise. I couldn't make out what she was saying at all.  I'm pretty sure I completely ignored her.

I enjoy writing, I feel like I'm pretty good at expressing myself with words. I also work best under pressure. When she gave me 20 minutes to complete it, I was extra fired up. I'll get this shit done in 18.  Time me!

But as I sat down to start writing I didn't even know where to start. How do you write a letter to a young woman you have never met and explain to her why she should let me mother her child. Lord help me.

Breathe. Breathe.

I tried to put myself in her shoes. What would I want to know if I were her? That we love each other, that we have a strong support group around us and that we are financially stable. So that's what I did. I told her all of that. I felt like I was writing a resume of our life together. I wanted her to know that we are more than qualified for the job!

I also wanted her to know that we aren't perfect, but we promise to do our absolute best. And that we promise to love the shit out of that little boy, no matter what. Well, not exactly in those words. 

The words just started flowing, I had to have been typing at least 300+ words per minute. I was pretty happy with how it turned out and was about to hit send. OH wait, the photos! I jumped on Facebook to find a few photos of us. It was almost impossible to find one of us without a drink in our hands or wearing some sort of ridiculous costume. The photo part was even harder than the writing part!

I settled on a wedding photo, one of us on vacation in Cabo, and one of us celebrating with champagne. A little bit of love, travel and fun. They were all pretty good depictions of who we are (minus the most recent theme party costume, football tailgate and Vegas pool party).

I hit send in 18 minutes. WINNING!

I called the attorney to make sure she got it and waited on the phone as she printed it before heading out the door. Her last words to me were, "I'll be in touch later today with an update"!

OMG. OMG.

After hanging up I hear my boss yell "Victoria, can you come in here please?"

I went in to her office and cried my eyes out. She was completely supportive, as she always is with my struggles to become a mom. I was so overwhelmed with emotions, but happiness was the strongest feeling of all. We talked about my immediate maternity leave and how she would help organize an emergency baby shower, IF this all worked out.

I texted my parents and sister to let them know that there was a good chance we could be bringing home a baby TOMORROW. My sister was eager to help me prepare overnight and my mom was already on expedia.com looking for a flight out.

See! I wasn't lying about my amazing support group!

As always, I knew that I probably shouldn't get "too" excited, but this time I didn't give a F@CK! We've been managing our levels of hope for far too long, we have earned the right to be 100% hopeful and 100% excited.

I imagined walking into the hospital and laying eyes on our little man for the first time. I couldn't wait to hold him and tell him that I loved him and that I'd never leave him.


I did love him. I loved him BAD.

For the next 2 hours I was planning for him. I called my husband and we talked about what we needed to get done. We even talked about names for the first time ever. Jonathan was excited to put together a crib while watching the football game, and I was excited to start filling up my Amazon Prime shopping cart.

Pop the bubbly! We're having a baby!


And then I got the call.

And immediately, I knew what was coming.

"Hi Victoria. I'm here at the hospital, and unfortunately the birth mom decided to pick another family. I'm so sorry, I really wanted it to be you." She is good at getting right to the point.

Ugh.

I felt an immediate dagger to the heart, and a strong twist. My heart was literally broken. Why not us?

(insert ugly cry)

I really thought this was it. I really thought this was our time. I really thought this was our baby boy. I was so ready to be his mom. In a total of two hours I had managed to fall in love and have my heart broken by a man I've never met.

And it was so f@cking worth it.

To feel that kind of love was such a blessing. To be that close to motherhood was exactly what I needed. NOW I know I'm ready. I'm soooo ready. We are soooo ready. I'm so grateful that that my neighbor, Rachel, thought of us. I'm grateful that this babe came into our life. He graced us with a new kind of love. A one-day-old, six pound, baby boy opened up a completely new door of possibility for us. He opened a new door of hope and happiness. He might not have been our guy, but he is still very much a part of our journey.

Thank you Rachel, you are a true friend. Thank you for giving us a new vision to dream and an even stronger desire to become parents. I love you boo.

And thank YOU for the sympathy cupcakes and vodka you left on our doorstep.

I made those cupcakes my bitch. 



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