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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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Rocky Road

I have come a long way toward accepting the estrangement from my parents (and, vis a vis, my sister and her family). Fixing it is not a possibility given the mental health issues with my mother and my father’s dependence (post stroke) on her. It isn’t even so much about managing it anymore as are paths rarely cross. Yet, it is a constant in my life, the missing of my nuclear family.

There is nothing about my mother that I miss (not to be confused with the missing and longing I have for A mother). When our relationship was predicated on her controlling, belittling, chastising, manipulating, blaming and criticizing me, what’s to miss? I miss the idea of my dad, the unbiased, non-judgmental man he used to be, the buffer between me and my mom.

When a specific opportunity presents itself that allows my dad to see us, I still try to make that happen. My older son’s school has a Dads & Special Friends Breakfast in conjunction with the school’s Book Fair so I asked my husband what he thought of including my dad. My husband was fine with it. We emailed my dad about a month ago (and by we I mean I emailed him as my husband) and he was interested in attending.

The breakfast was this morning and my dad arrived here promptly at 7 (it made for quite an early morning for company, even though we are early morning people). He’s nothing if not prompt. My older son, with his loving exuberance, greeted him with a huge hug as he squealed, “Graaaandpaaaa!!!!! to which my father responded with, “I haven’t seen you in over a year, since your 6th birthday”. I watched this all unfold while giving Baby G his bottle in our room.

It was hard for my dad to engage me, even though we’ve had benign encounters recently. He is firmly planted in the ‘this is how you want it’ camp. He doesn’t know that none of these visits would occur but for me. In fact, I think he thinks this one was all my husband’s doing, unbeknownst to me. That’s how he behaved anyway.

I only briefly spoke with my husband following the event. He said that my dad was quiet, almost silent, and he can’t recall him actually speaking even two words. Because my older son is so engaging, that must have made for an awkward time. My dad lacks interpersonal skills so I would never expect him to lead conversation, but was surprised that he didn’t make an effort to chime in. It makes me wonder why he wanted to go at all.

My uncle & aunt were here for my older son’s 7th birthday party over the weekend. My uncle accompanied my husband to pick up the food for the party. It was during their brief trip that my uncle (who really can’t be trusted to know the truth about anything) told my husband that my parents don’t bring us up (negatively) anymore and he took that to mean we were in their good graces (as if!) again and that my brother-in-law is persona non grata now as she feel he’s a lazy good for nothing. He went on to say that the real ‘issue’ is that my parents hate the house we bought, that, in fact, he and my mom have continued looking at houses for us, and, that my mother said she’d even pay for us to move. Ummmm, hold up. I thought the ‘issue’ was that she has undiagnosed borderline personality disorder with narcissistic and paranoid tendencies, but I digress.

I know that I’ve come a long way as I had almost no reaction to this news other than to be interested in how the conversation came about and to write about it here. Crazy is as crazy does, but WTF is up with that?

Getting back to the breakfast this morning, while there, my son’s upcoming play was mentioned, something I wouldn’t have brought up because it would include my mom wanting to attend. I’m not sure now if they plan to go or if the date/time registered with my dad, but I won’t be following up on it.

I’m writing about this because, well, because I am carrying around sadness from it. Sadness that it is what it is, that we are fractured beyond repair, and that the best I can hope for is navigating what is going to be the rocky road ahead where I pick and chose isolated events where my dad can be a grandfather to my sons (but, just in typing that, I know that isn’t even true, that these brief, few and far between visits don’t count as a relationship). Rocky in that my older son misses the idea of his local grandparents (he commented that he wished his grandma could have attended the breakfast, too). There is no such thing as doing the right thing (and, by whom, really) because I know they are incapable of having a substantive relationship with anyone, but me (and us) in particular.

What is the pay-off for me in even caring that he gets to see us? The hope that in the final analysis, presuming they both pass before me, that my conscience will be clear? Or the hope that if my mother passes first there might be an opportunity for reconciliation with my dad? Or am I trying to smooth things over just enough that my sons aren’t disinherited? Is it about me being adopted that makes me do any of this at all, to care even this much?

It’s just something I carry around with me. Like a rock in my shoe.

5 comments to Rocky Road

  • I feel so sorry for your parents in a way. Like Lori mentioned, that they have chosen this path. Of course, I have deep empathy for you as well, because you are actively experiencing this so painfully and chronically. I don’t know if this is any consolation at all, but no family is immune to this type of dysfunction, biological or otherwise, I assure you. For decades, I’ve magically wished for things to be different in my own family, on so many levels. Hold your head eye, do what you know is the right thing and do not be swayed by others’ delusions.

  • ana

    I’m sorry you are living with this. You are handling it admirably, from what I can see from the outside.

  • Mel

    I wish you could shake that rock out of your shoe so it didn’t rub against your soul like this. I’m just sorry that the situation is what it is.

  • Shaking my head at the loss your parents have CHOSEN to experience — an estrangement from you. I’m so sorry for your sadness.

  • Wow. I think it is admirable of you to try to continue some semblance of a relationship with your father, despite having no real desire to spend time with your mother. That can’t be easy to do. And of course you are sad. Like you said, even if you don’t miss YOUR mother specifically, it is natural to want to have some kind of parents.

    Did your son enjoy himself at the breakfast? If so, then it was the right decision.

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