Monday, September 7, 2015

#Microblog Mondays: The Announcement

Every September, on the first day of school, there is a Summer Slideshow. I have generally dreaded choosing a photo for this show, dreaded figuring out what I did over the summer that didn't involve sharps containers or anesthesia or giant bloodthinner bruises, that didn't involve vacations put on hold, smiles thinly veiling years of sadness and disappointment. The slideshow was inevitably where people shared news of weddings, new babies, new pregnancies, fantabulous vacations... and for the last few years, I have struggled to come up with something that I felt showed the essence of my summers.

Until this time. I chose to make my picture the intro to my announcement, The Announcement I have been waiting for five Septembers to make and was altered from its original vision but no less exciting:

Big, fat, happy smiles

My assistant principal put the caption "Getting ready for l'il ____" (last name omitted), and some people I'm sure were a little confused as while I emerged from infertility a little fluffier, I don't look pregnant. But then I got to stand up after the slideshow and introduce my phone and how we will be pretty much surgically attached because my family is waiting for the most important phone call of our lives, and so that phone will be on and ringer up high everywhere, EVERYWHERE I go, even though that phone call could take its sweet time coming. I explained that I am basically in my third trimester for an indefinite period of time (I think I overuse that analogy, but it really is perfect and people smile and nod and go Ohhhhh! instead of looking at me cross-eyed), and that it's very exciting.

I sweated my way through the whole thing and somehow managed to make sense while simultaneously listening my subconscious demanding DON'T CRY! DON'T CRY! DON'T CRY!, which was quite the feat.

As soon as it was out there was a lot of clapping and joyful smiles and excitement, and it's spilled over into every day I run into someone new who either a) knew my sad sap story but had no idea we were pursuing adoption or b) is just pickled that we are adopting without knowing the context and had no idea,  someone who practically engulfs me in a giant hug and tells me how excited they are and sometimes informs me that either they were adopted or their husband was adopted or someone they know adopted their children.

It is a little surreal, on two counts.

The first is that this time last year we were in the two week wait from the last cycle where embryos actually made it (briefly) into my body, I was a wreck, and a short week or so into school I had people who knew asking how things went and I had the first of two first at-school breakdowns, when it did not work out and the reality of our situation sunk in deep. This time last year, people weren't so excited for us. This time last year, we weren't so full of hope. This time last year, I wanted to believe that we were on our way to parenthood, but we were just playing out our last gasp in the most dragged-out and painful way possible.

The second is that even though I am super hopeful, even though we are putting things in motion (including the registering that happened for the first time in that picture I chose for the slideshow), even though I do actually believe that a baby is slowly but surely making its way toward us... I had this horrible niggling feeling that I had jinxed us. That by saying it out loud, by having all these people be so excited for us, that with every, "Let us know when things happen!" I felt a tiny lump of dread grow in my chest. Because I felt like a faker, just a little bit. I'm not ACTUALLY expecting, the baby is a huge mystery. I believe that I am an expectant parent, but when people ask, "so are you matched with a pregnant woman?" I feel a little like I jumped the gun, but I know that I absolutely will NOT be sharing that information until we are PLACED, not matched, because matching feels a bit like peeing on a stick. There's no guarantee you will hear a heartbeat or hold a wailing baby in your arms for the first time. But placement, that sounds more definite.

I know I'm not a faker. I know I am actually expecting, and that it's just a different experience than the baking of a baby inside my body. A more mysterious, nebulous experience. And yet one that causes so much joy in all my colleagues.

I guess I can't be too surprised that the announcement left me feeling a little conflicted. This kind of expecting comes without any physical awareness, any regular markers in the form of appointments and ultrasounds where you know the definite progress of your impending parenthood. We are in this space of waiting, and other than getting our home ready for our mystery baby, the FutureBaby that has eluded us for so long, we don't really have milestones anymore. The submitted profile books and approved home study were the last ones, until the matching begins.

One thing that I am so grateful for was the unequivocal excitement that I felt at school, palpably, from my fellow teachers and school staff. No one told me a horror story. No one was in any way disapproving. No one even said something like, "about time" or anything alluding to our twisty road to this path to parenthood. It was just joy, and love, and a shared anticipation. It was a great way to enter the school year, for sure.

Want to read more #Microblog Mondays? Go here and enjoy!

28 comments:

  1. Congratulations on your announcement, and I'm glad it was met with appropriate excitement.

    Isn't it amazing how different things are for you this year than the start of last year? You are so strong and resilient. What a great picture (which you'll be looking back on next year).

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    1. Thanks so much! It is amazing, the difference...almost incomprehensible. Fresh enough that I can remember how utterly hopeless and defeated I felt last September. Beautiful to be on an upswing! :) This picture definitely needs to go in some kind of album...

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  2. Yes congratulations. So grand that your community is in support of and is sharing in your joy and excietment.

    Cheers!

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    1. Thank you! I am very lucky to have a great, supportive community at school.

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  3. What a great way to start the school year! That had to have been very nerve wracking to share your announcement given your history but I'm glad you found nothing but happy feelings from your coworkers!

    And I love the "indefinitely in third trimester" analogy!

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    1. Ha! I used that analogy like four times today. In part because every day I get stopped and asked... "did you get your call?" I put extra emphasis on INDEFINITE then... :) Thanks so much!

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  4. How wonderful that your announcement was met with such love and support and excitement!

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    1. Thanks! It was wonderful for sure... a warm and fuzzy (and sweaty) moment!

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  5. How beautiful. So happy for you. It's so your time! I love hearing you moving on, and hearing your happiness.

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    1. Thank you! It is definitely happiness!

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  6. How nice for you. It is scary to "announce", but as an expecting parent you need the support and the happiness that people want to share. Although I have to say, that slideshow sounds like a crapload of pressure. I would hate if my school made people do that.

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    1. Absolutely... so scary, but so glad I did it. YES! The slideshow is nice in some ways, but so tough on anyone whose life has bumps, or who had a tough summer. Pressure for sure.

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  7. Congratulations!! So glad that your announcement went so smoothly and of course how wonderful for everyone to share in your excitement and joy now also :) What an awesome feeling to share with everyone you work with.

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    1. Thank you! Everyone really is super excited, and it is really affirming in the halls when people are so filled with joy. Such a nice change of pace!

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  8. Well done. I'm glad nobody told you a horror story and that they just showered you with love and joy. So here's wishing you wait is short!

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    1. Thank you! I have no idea what to expect, and am trying to keep expectations low so that I don't get too crazy, so I am not expecting a call anytime soon. But sooner would be lovelier than later, of course! Yes, yes, to no horror stories. That hasn't always been the case, and why? Why would you respond to happy news with a horror story? So weird.

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  9. I don't think you jumped the gun. You said it when you needed to say it. You need support and excitement right now. So to hold off... I don't know. I don't think you can jinx these things :-) You can only gather more people into the virtual hug as you travel through each day.

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    1. Thanks! I will try to believe in no jinxes. :) I love the idea of a virtual hug as I travel through each day! Thanks for the encouragement.

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  10. I am so happy for you and so glad your news was so well received by your coworkers. It makes sense to have mixed up feelings about it. However, it sounds like you are acknowledging the bumpy ones and letting them pass while you are holding onto the happy ones. Yay!

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    1. Thank you! I like how you said that. It's definitely a balancing act.

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  11. I teared up for you reading this. Good tears that is! What an announcement to make and all those people to support you while you wait and beyond.

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    1. Thank you! I love good tears. It will definitely help the wait to have such support!

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  12. This is so awesome! You absolutely did NOT jump the gun. Future Baby is coming- you may not know when- but he or she is coming and you are ready with your phone for the call! Come on Future Baby!

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    1. Thanks! Woo hoo, every day is one closer to FutureBaby!

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  13. So glad for you that your announcement was met with love and support! It's scary to "announce" at pretty much any point, I think - but it sounds like you chose a great way and time to do it.

    Also, that picture is awesome.

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    1. Thank you! It is scary to announce for sure, and scary means sweaty for me. :) I'm pretty partial to that picture myself... I feel like the joy is just beaming from it.

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  14. I'm so glad that you got to share this and that it was met with such support and encouragement! The fact that you keep choosing to be positive about this process--that you announce instead of hide just makes me even more certain that you and Bryce are going to be wonderful, wonderful parents to this baby coming your way!

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