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Our Journey

2002 Uterine Fibroid Surgery #1

2003 1st consult with an RE, you know, just in case

2003 Got Married (at 37 (me) & 34 (DH) years old)

2003/2004 Naturally conceived pregnancies BFPs #1, #2, & #3 and miscarriages #1, #2, #3

2005 Uterine Fibroid Surgery #2

2005 IVF #1, BFN #1

2005 IUIs #1 and #2, just because, BFN #2 & #3

2005 FET from IVF #1, BFN #4

2006 Exploratory surgery to remove scar tissue from fibroid sugery #2

2006 IVF #2 (w PGD), BFP #4

2006 Emergency cerclage for IC @ 16w6d (5 months + 1 week of complete bed rest at home ensues)

2007 Our son is born @ 38w by scheduled c-section

2007 IVF #3 for baby #2, BFN #5

2007 IVF #4, BFP #5, miscarriage #4

2008 IVF #5, BFP #6, miscarriage #5

2008 IVF #6, BFP #7, miscarriage #6

2008 DE IVF #7, BFN #6

2009 DEFET #8, cancelled, embryos don't thaw

2010 Decide to adopt domestically

12.17.10 Profile is live with our agency

November 2011 Consult with RE re: donated embryo cycle

Early January 2012 Cleared to proceed with deFET

January 2012 Freeze our profile

1.20.12 deFET begins
2.12.12 eSET of one compacted morula
2.22.12 BFN

3.23.12 deFET #2 begins
4.14.12 transfer 3 embryos (1-8 cell, 1-5 cell, 1-4 cell)
4.22.12 + HPT
4.24.12 Beta #1 = 48.4
4.26.12 Beta #2 = 125.7
4.30.12 Beta #3 = 777.8
5.11.12 1st U/S - Singleton!
7.12.12 It's a Boy!
12.26.12 C-section: Baby G is born, 9#5oz, 20.5"

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Family Health History Checklist

I mailed the letter to my birth mother on Monday along with a family medical history checklist and some photos (our holiday picture from this year, a picture from my wedding day, a picture of me from the 1990s).  While I am looking forward to her response, I am mostly at peace that I’ve come this far in my search for and communication with her.

In therapy this week my therapist commented that she found my birth mother’s note interesting in that a lot of times the emotional development of birth mothers who placed in closed adoptions during that era is stunted and that it is likely that she has held the trauma from her experience of placing me inside of her all these years further freezing her in time.  I very much believe that to be true and think about it in terms of my experience and processing of the traumatic death of my brother. The trauma was locked inside of me, freezing me in time as an eleven year old girl for many years. Sure, I grew up, but there was a part of me that was stuck right back on the day he was killed. It wasn’t until I got into therapy in my 30s and even now in my 40s that I was able to process my trauma surrounding his death and how my family dealt with it and grow/move past it. When I review those events, I no longer feel them as an eleven year old girl but can reflect on them as an adult woman and mother. It has brought me much peace.

I suspect my birth mother has never gone to therapy and that she bottled up everything surrounding her relationship with my birth father, pregnancy, placement, and return home no longer pregnant, and that the events truly changed the person she was destined to become. It makes me sad for her because I know it didn’t have to be that way but was so in keeping with the times back then.

Below is the checklist I created. I wanted to keep it to one page, allowing for the capture of information for all maternal nuclear family members, and be easy for her to check off and include dates (if known).   For now, I wait.

“There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it.”
~Alfred Hitchcock

6 comments to Family Health History Checklist

  • Mel

    Wow — this was a very powerful thought: “I no longer feel them as an eleven year old girl but can reflect on them as an adult woman.” I’m not sure why I kept returning to that line, but I read it a few times before I could move on.

  • Tireegal

    I sensed that about your birth-mother, but could never have articulated it like you did. I’m glad you are feeling at peace about where things stand with her and that you also feel that you have perspective on your own childhood trauma.
    Beautiful writing:)

  • Brilliant connection about your trauma and your birth mother’s.

    I clicked through to your posts about the accident and was blown away. It’s a horrific story but you are an amazing storyteller. Your writing has been on my mind since I first read it.

    I am so sorry for your losses. The loss of your brother, your idyllic summer, your physical and emotional well-being (albeit temporary) and the loss of permission from your family to to feel and express. I abide with you for all that.

    On the other hand, way to reclaim your voice.

  • Tireegal

    Your playdate post disappeared! I was coming to commiserate after reading it yesterday. I have no answers except for coming clean with the other moms – well maybe not completely clean – and seeing how they respond. Sounds like your son loves his playmates even if they are thoughtless, entitled ingrates!

  • Thanks for sharing this checklist. I can’t even imagine what it would be like to know ANY of the things on this list. It never bothered me so much before, but looking at my son (the first blood relative I have ever met), I think about at often. What have I possibly passed on to him?

    Your therapist sounds pretty great. That is an interesting insight about your birth mother. I think that might be part of what’s always held me back from looking for mine. I do not feel emotionally “together” enough for the both of us, in the event she’s not quite in the best place regarding everything. I have been in therapy forever, but this adoption stuff alone — lord, I think I would need another lifetime to sort through just that in therapy!

  • [...] Is What It Is makes a connection in Family Health History Checklist between the trauma her newly-contacted birth mother experienced when she placed decades ago and the [...]

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