Becoming a mother at 46 and the adventure of having a baby unicorn!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

My Holiday Roller coaster- Searching for a partner

I had planned to be pregnant before the end of 2016. I just wanted to either know I am having a baby, or start the slow decent into the inevitable depression before I pulled myself up to try again.  However, it didn't work out and now I can't do the embryo transfer till first week of Feb 2017.  This is literally torture.

The holidays are already a roller coaster of emotions. This is harder.

I've been trying for weeks to blog. I hate when I get out of the habit. I spend so much time thinking and realizing that I need to write and then when I sit down, I can't get the words to flow.  Tonight I am determined.

There is something about planning for a baby, that may or may not come, that is surreal and unique.  I have finally resigned myself to the fact that I am in for a lot of changes. Not just because of the baby.  Not the obvious ones.  More because I am finally ready to accept what I have said a to so many people.

"I would not do what I do (run Charity Wings) if I had children."

This is the truth.

So many times my "married with kids friends" have told me that I am so lucky to get to do what I do.  I don't deny that at all. My life has been so charmed. I have had the most amazing experiences. Meaningful relationships in my life are plentiful. I have not lacked happiness. So it is with a guilty heart that I even slightly complain about the cards I have been dealt. However, every time my "married with kids friends" say how lucky I am to get to do what I do, and do whatever I want, I tell them not to envy my life.  I have no children. I have no husband. I would trade it all, every minute, for the life you have with your family.

I have been dealing with the "ticking clock" for about 7 years now.  I was married when this whole baby challenge started. It sealed the fate of an already incompatible relationship while wreaking havoc on my heart, mind, soul, and sanity.   I was ready to be a mother but didn't think anything like this would happen. I didn't know that my body would not cooperate.  I  didn't know that it would betray me in the simplest most natural task.  I am a woman. It is my God Given Right to bear children.  

And I never never never thought I wouldn't be a mother.  Never. 

To finally learn, and maybe not for the first time but for the first time that my heart was open to learning, that not being able to conceive did not mean that I couldn't carry a child, well, that is a gift from a friend that I was not expecting.  It came to me in a moment that I could hear it and understand it.  Somehow the stars aligned that night.

So full steam ahead I went. And in the process, with all the changes, I am having to face the fact that my words are true.  I cannot run Charity Wings and have a child.  

So as I look 2017 dead on, I see that I am on the fast track to change. 

On January 12th the IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) AKA (ART Assisted Reproductive Therapy) Cycle will begin. The cycle will last about 6 weeks from start to finish and in the end I am hoping with all my heart, all my might, all my power to be pregnant.

So I am searching for the right someone.  Charity Wings is looking for the perfect person to take on the operations side of the organization.  This needs to be the perfect person.  This person will be my partner. They will grow the side of the organization that I, as one person, have never been able to. This place has such amazing potential. Every city needs a place like this.  We have so much to offer and I have only been able to tap into the smallest part of it.  When I find this person, I will migrate my responsibilities and focus on what I am good at.  I will continue to build relationships and raise money and awareness for the amazing programs and classes we offer.  I have been doing this job for going on 11 years and it is time.

The change is coming and I am looking forward to what the next part of this life has to offer.

Ive raised about 1/2 of the $30,000+ I need to pursue this dream.
If you want to help:

My ever after is all I'm after.

Wishing the same for all of my friends and family in 2017.  Thank you for reading.

#findingelena #findingmyhope #infertility

Saturday, October 29, 2016

It occurred to me yesterday...

As I was riding the roller coasters at Disneyland with Paul I realized that this roller coaster ride is not just about me anymore. I post on this blog, and on Facebook etc. so that I can hopefully raise awareness or bring a needed message to someone that it might resonate with, but really, this journey is so much more than mine.

So, back up a little. I wanted to go to Disneyland with Paul because 1) its always fun! 2) he bought me a pass for my bday last year and we have barely used it. 3) It's fun to watch Paul Malone let his "kid" out sometimes and 4) I am hoping this will apply to me very soon.

So we went, rode all the roller coasters and it was a very fun day.  I did check Facebook a couple of times during the day and I saw that the photos I had posted about my uterine lining measurement was blowing up.  Well, for me, 300 plus likes is blowing up!

So, here I am at Disneyland and all of the sudden I get this feeling like.  I might disappoint all these people!!!  What if this doesn't work.  I already know how I will feel.  I just try not to think about it.  But what about my village?!?!!

The way social media has evolved, it really does feel like all of these people are cheering me on as I am battling these demons and holding their breath hoping that the demons don't swallow me up.

But what if they do.

Trying not to think about it.

Monday, October 03, 2016

My 5 day flight.

Last Thursday I disconnected from my electronics, social media, family, work, and people I love.

Today I'm driving back to my life a changed girl.

I met these amazing women.

Abby, you're sweet, youthful, and wise beyond your years. Just starting your journey and yet you have already come so far. Let's go to Taiwan together.

Amanda, you are a warrior. Thank you for feeling like me. It makes "me" a thousand times more bareable. You are so so beautiful.

Kolleen, you started my journey by knowing I was scared and pointed it out to the people who needed to know so I could feel safe. I am so grateful for your intuition and nurturing. My red bracelet brought fresh blood to my wounds and helped to heal me.

Melissa, you reminded me that I need to find more time for my body. And that opening your heart is scary and I am not the only one that feels this way. Strong and reserved and somehow still carrying an open heart.

Meredith, you fed my body and soul and I didn't know food could have so much intention before so thank you for teaching  me that. I can't wait to eat my vegetable with you again.

Eve, your spirit is sooooooooo soothing. I felt like I was connecting with someone from another world. I admire your heart.

Jennifer/Heather, I loved our walk. I loved our baller jacuzzi time. I loved when you were quiet and when you let lose and said the most amazingly right on things. I will be sending you foxy love on your marathon.

Tonia, you have the patience and heart of a Saint. Thank you for collaborating on my medicine pouch. I will treasure it always.

Jen Lake, San Diego calls us back and I am feeling like the luckiest person because I get to leave here and still see you. Rainbows, unicorns, giggles, and OLSPS . I can't wait to play again.

Denise, my wondeful bed mate. I am in awe of what you do. It's a beautiful thing to heal people through Art. I loved getting your energy while I slept. I think it was just what I needed.

Jeanette, I connected with your energy. It provided so much spiritual guidance these past few days. I feel your pain and I offer up my pain in hopes that you can be soothed at least a little bit.

Christine, every time I looked at you, your ever smiling eyes let me know I was in a safe place. You look at people with kindness and love and exude it. That is such a special gift.

Jen Jen Jen. Your beauty holds no bounds.  The fox tail will sit on my baby alter in a place of honor and I will pray for the magic that it holds to join my soul. You guide, I'll follow.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Cry in the shower?

Does anyone else do this?  Sometimes I get so overwhelmed by the GRIEF and HOPE and that the tears just come. They come and they work their way through my whole body and before I know it, I am wracked with sobs that come straight from my broken heart.  My broken body has betrayed me and it makes it very very hard to LOVE MYSELF.

So that even though my mind tells me lots of people love me, I feel completely alone because I don't love myself. 

In my heart I have such doubt.

Today I am leaving on a spiritual journey. One that I set an intention for at Brave Girls Symposium.  I am going to a retreat where no one knows me, well, other than what they may have read here :)  I am going to walk through those doors at 4 pm today and be Elena.  Just Elena.  I am going to ground myself on my path to have a baby. My phone and computer will be off. I am going to disconnect from this anxiety filled place that I am living in and look for me.

I don't know what will happen and admittedly I am very nervous.  I know I am holding my heart in my own hands and fixing it is all on me. So I am going to try.

See you on the other side.
#findingelena #findingmyhope

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

I'm like a tornado. The inside spins so fast

I don't even know if that is true but I imagine myself like a tornado. The inside of me is spinning so fast because it is in a small space and just like a dog chasing it's tail, I only have so far to go before what I want is right in front of my face again.  Unfortunately so is my inadequacy to get what I want.  It stares me in the face too many times a day.

It's like the hope eats me up inside because it is just out of my reach and I literally keep chasing it till I'm frustrated and exhausted.

And sometimes I get a teeny glimpse of what it would be to get it.  I have moments of absolute confidence.  Like last week when I went to the doctor and he told me that if I use a donor embryo I would have a 50% chance of success if I used one embryo and if I transferred two, I would have a 75% chance of success.

I ALMOST PASSED OUT.  I teared up and it took all my power not to cry right there because I had so many questions to ask and didn't have time for an emotional break down.  But I was DYING inside.  HOW DID I NOW KNOW THIS OPTION EXISTED.

for me.

That is why when people say, "Adopt"  I am not there.  I don't see that as an option for me.  I have done the research and for what I want, it is not an option.

for me.

Ok, so back to my tornado.  Inside its like a whirlwind. I can't at all keep up. 

On the outside I am running an art center. I am trying to keep my S#*! together. I am smiling. The world moves slower outside and people can actually see me, the things I do, the things I say, the actions I am taking to find my hope.  It's slower and people can see it. They can't see the inside until I share it. So for the other people spinning inside, I share it.

Not sure anyone buys it but I am trying so hard. I never ever thought I would be doing this alone. And now that I am, I can't believe how lonely it is.  It's not like I am some super strong, independent woman who wants to be a single mom.  This is the last choice.  The only choice I have left.  and it is incredibly lonely.

for me.

The autumn wind by Yuehui Tang

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

The fear of Hope.

Does anyone feel this way? So scared to hope? I made the decision to go forward with this part of my journey again. And I'm scared. What if everything that I've read and researched doesn't apply to me? What if I go in and this doctor tells me that there is no way that I can carry a child? All my hopes and dreams lie in his hands and I'm scared. Here I go.

Thursday, September 01, 2016

I have to ask...

It's my job.  As a #crazycharitygirl I have been called to serve my community through working to make this world a better place through art and creativity.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

In a minute...

If you don't want to know what hurt looks like
--------------------------------------------do not read on.

Does this happen to other people?

It only takes a minute. The world is all pretty and just floating along and then. 

It just happens. It's like you can't take a breath.  There is no wind anywhere to be found.  You wrap your arms around yourself to keep all of you from falling apart.  You kneel down and your head falls into your lap and you just sit there concentrating on trying to breathe.

You are having an anxiety attack.  Nothing is wrong with you. You know you are totally going to be ok, but in that minute...

Something hurt you.  Something hurt your sense of what is right in the world.  Something hurt your reality and here you are.  

and here I am.
#findingelena #findingmyhope

Sunday, August 07, 2016

The reality is this.

I've never had a time in my life when I knew I was going to be alone.

Since I was a little girl my biggest dream was to get married and have a family.  I was the kid that babysat every kid in the neighborhood from the time I was about 12 years old.  I was the one that loved babies and that babies loved. I tell people I have a kid aura. That kids know that I will be good to them and care for them.  I have prided myself all my life on what a good mother I am going to be.

Now, as the reality is settling in, I can see that I am going to be alone.  I absolutely have to be. I don't mean alone as in without friends or support.
I mean alone as in without a partner.

This has never been in my plans.  In fact, it was so far from my plans that I have made steps on this journey that have taken me farther from my dream of being a mother because I wanted to do this with a man that would be the father.

Making the decision to leave my wonderful, safe, happy, sweet relationship and try to have a baby through Assisted Reproductive Therapy, has made me realize that I cannot accept another person into my heart.  Because after a lifetime of 2 year relationships, I don't trust that anyone has the same passion for my dream as I do. And this I know is probably the most obvious thing but I have never seen it as clearly as I do right now.

I'm scared and excited.  
I'm filled with anxiety.
I'm confused and seeking answers.
I cry every night and I am not always sure why.

My heart is open to what will happen next. My mind is focused on what I need to do.

#findingelena #findingmyhope

If you want to help:

Monday, August 01, 2016

The anxiety and fear are real. But there is hope.

I share because I can.
I share as an outlet and a release of all the things that build up inside me.
I share in hopes that I can soothe another heart.
I share to reveal me.

I am a visual person.  So when I am feeling particularly raw, I try to get a physical representation of what that feeling is. I make something or I write it down/blog or I look for a meaningful quote or image.  Today I wanted to see what I look like when I am sitting on the floor clinging to myself trying not to let fear and anxiety get the best of me.

As I looked at the photo, I saw that I was literally clinging to myself. I WANT TO BE CLINGING TO HOPE. I saw that I looked scared. Who is this person who looks so sad and lost. It can't possibly be me. With all the amazing things I have in my life. All the support and love I get to receive from friends and family. But today I am this person.

I can see it in my selfie.
I can see that I am wearing my turmoil on the outside.
I can see that I do not want to be this person.

It is a journey.

And my friends are on it with me.  See what my friends did...

I'm so humbled and honored.

#findingelena #findingmyhope

Friday, July 29, 2016

I am nervous

Today I am nervous.

I have taken a step towards what I hope will allow me to be a mother.  Something I have wanted all my life. That was the hard part, now the work begins.  I am going to document my journey through blog posts and videos 

First, lets talk about ADOPTION. It's not for me.

People immediately go there when they find out I have not been able to have children.  I understand that it is natural to want to provide a solution and help when someone is having a hard time. Especially someone you care about, so I don't get hurt or offended anymore.  However, at this time, I am not looking to adopt. I have done a lot of research and the realities of adoption don't fit into my life.  
Adoption is not a bandaid that soothes the empty womb.  It is an especially wonderful thing for people who are pure hearted and selfless and want to help a "needy" child. I use the word "needy" because that is the word people use with me, "There are a lot of needy kids out there that need a home."  And there are. 

But for my journey, I am still hoping to carry my own child. This is the first thing I will try.


I have a trio of friends that are championing my cause.  Marisa, Jen and Ginamarie.  I am honored that they are sistering me and being the support I need to find my Hope.  

 In March of this year, Marisa put together a Go Fund Me Campaign to help with the cost of getting started.  

It goes against everything inside me to raise money for myself.  It makes me extremely NERVOUS to put myself out there in this way and I have a great fear that people will get mad, think this is ridiculous, why should I give her money, who does she think she is, she's not sick, she's not needy.... These are just a few of the things the demons in my heart tell me. 

A few days ago when I announced the heart breaking decision to leave a wonderful life with Paul, I wrote Marisa and said, "now I'm ready"

Since then we have both been doing more research and I have spoken to countless people about the direction I want to go and I have decided that I want to try to carry a donor embryo.  This is not just a decision that I made.  I have in the past tried many many things to get pregnant. I have been offered surrogacy, sperm, partnership and none of them have worked out.  So this decision is made from experience and research and ultimately, I need to choose a doctor and find out if this is even a possibility given that I am almost 45 years old.

If it is possible for me to carry my own child, I will need help.

  1. My body does not produce enough eggs in a cycle to extract and have a viable set to implant.  So I need an egg donor.  
  2. I am single, so I need a sperm donor. 
  3. The procedures for myself and the donors will cost about $30,000 for one round of IVF. Subsequent rounds are less because egg retrieval, if successful, is only done the first round.

My wish is that the egg and sperm donors will be someone that I know. I would love to have genetic background information and a connection with the people who contribute to this life I am hoping to have inside me.

So here it is. If you wish to help, I will be forever grateful.

#findingelena #findingmyhope

Monday, July 25, 2016

Giving up something really amazing

Now, as I am about to turn 45, I am having to make some really hard choices. People always say that Charity Wings is a dream come true for me. In reality, it is an amazing thing and I wake up every day very happy to go to work and do my job, but it is not my dream come true.  Running an Art Center has never been my dream.  Charity Wings was born out of baby steps and natural progression but it is not my dream come true.

So, I have made a decision to make my real dream come true and that puts me on a path that I have to start alone.  That means without the man that has stood by my side and been an incredible rock for the past two years.  It's really hard to let go of something that is basically perfect, but ultimately takes me farther away from my dream.  

There is something in this life that I want more than Paul Malone and that is to be a mother.

This breaks my heart and fills me with sadness. We both know it's the right thing to do.  As someone that has already raised a family, it is not his dream to raise another human being and I respect that so much.  Our lives are so intertwined, its not the end of our story.  We will have an amazing friendship that will last our whole lives. We love each other and that will not change.

I am not sure of many things. I don't really believe in absolutes.  There is just one thing in this world I know without a doubt and that is that I am meant to be a mother.  I don't know how to make that desire go away. I cry for that child that my human nature and internal clock have been at war for.  If I could just let the dream go, I wouldn't have to give up on the most beautiful relationship I could imagine at this point in my life.

So for now, I will walk the empty halls of my home and mourn for the relationship I am giving up for the relationship that I have to find. 

#findingelena #findingmyhope

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

A Story of Buttons

I went to Brave Girls Symposium last week planning to do exactly what I do at every event, be Elena from Charity Wings and talk to people about my charity. As I was packing, I realized that I actually would really love to be there as just Elena. So for the first time in a very long time. I packed my suitcase without wings, without outfits that would make people "see me", without even business cards, and took off for Boise.
What I didn't realize I had packed was what I have not been able to unpack in years: Fear, Anxiety, Jealousy, Shame, and a host of other things that women carry around.
So off I went with my luggage and a smile, to what would be a life changing event. This post is just about the buttons but I am going to post about my journey and I am going to share, because that is who I am, and those that can must, but let me preface here that I have been at the edge of "I can't do this, this way anymore" for a few months now. And have done a ton of soul searching and self reflecting in the process. So being at Brave Girl Symposium was just literally exactly what I needed to push me off the edge and allow me to take a leap into the light that I absolutely needed to take
But this life changing experience will come out of me onto my computer in parts and this is just page one of the story....
Page 1: (the easiest to share) "Did I give you a button yet?"
I think I might have become known as the girl with the buttons at Brave Girl Symposium. I walked around handing these out to everyone I could, even guests and employees at the hotel. My friends (many of them new) would walk behind me and just laugh and smile as I did "my thing" and ask every person, " Did I give you a button yet?" By the end of the event, lots of them replied, "Yes and I love it." or "Yes, I am saving it for my daughter or friend." And I would offer them another button and say, "Then you get a bonus button!" It was so fun. I was just handing out buttons, being ME!!
These buttons were a gift in so many ways!! They were a gift from the amazing artists that donated their artwork and allowed me to make buttons out of it. They were a gift to the beautiful souls that I got to meet and give a little gift to. Some people asked me if it was my artwork, and I shared that they were original artwork donated to Charity Wings by amazing artists from all over the world. It was nice. I would say, "you can look me up if you like" if they asked more about them but basically, what these buttons and these amazing women who let me share their artwork did was allow me to be Elena and do the things I love, meet people, give gifts, and make people smile. It was a perfect fit as far as small steps go. I still got to be me.
I did talk about what I do to people that I got to know better. Like my new Council, The "Cookoo Clud."
-Reserve that for another post :) but mostly, I just gave away little gifts that make people smile and feel special.
I went to this event with a plan to open my heart to change. As I started to let down the #crazycharitygirl veil that I hide behind every day, I think I let people see part of the real me for the first time in a long time.
So I have a new hashtag for this part of my journey through this amazing charmed life.
Here we go!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

I've been encouraged to write on my blog.  I am motivated but I am sitting here looking at a blank page.

Writing on my blog means going "there" and "there" is the every present, relentless, ruthless, pain of being childless that just won't go away!!!

There is something special about denial.  It lets you get through the day when all you want to do is crawl in a dark hole and scream and cry till your eyes close shut permanently with your tears.  This is how I feel inside.  You would not know this because I smile.  I say the things I am supposed to say. I play nice with the world because I am here and I am not a coward so I will not take this life for granted.  It's an amazing life. Filled with the highest highs and conversely, the lowest lows. Those lows live in my heart.  So don't worry. I don't feel this way all the time.
It's only when I let the vail of denial slip down.
Just to take a peak.
Just for a few seconds.
That this happens.

And the bad part about that is that I can't act on what might possibly make me better.  I can't bring myself to go through one more round of failed fertility treatments. I can't bear the thought of being in such despair and so non-functioning as a human that I let this self pity lead me away from what I really really really want.

I want the challenge to give me hope, to make me strong but it doesn't.

It's hard to be strong when your body is the only body you have and it just won't ...

If I could do something.

Maybe I am looking at this all wrong.  I am not sure. Maybe because I am so wrapped up in my failure I can't see straight.  It would be different if I were not going through this alone.  It would be different if I wasn't sacrificing the happiness I have now for a possibility at happiness.  Ah, so there it is. The unknown.  That is what scares me the most. So as I sit here writing and having my own pity party, I find my truth.

I am scared of the unknown.

No, wait a minute.  I am not.  This doesn't make sense.  I am not scared of the unknown.

I am scared of trying again.

Wait.  am I being honest with myself?

I don't want to spend $15,000 on failed fertility treatments.

Getting closer.

I would have to give up Charity Wings to work on something that will make money so I can save money to spend $15,000 on fertility treatments that might not work and by the time I am able to save that kind of money I would be an even smaller statistic of success stories.

Oh.  Did I just say that?  I'm so confused.