My husband and I got married right after I graduated from college, so we wanted to wait several years to start a family. We had to get our careers started first. After several years we decided we were ready. I had thought it would be super easy to get pregnant because there weren’t any infertility issues in my family. Boy, was I wrong!
At the beginning, I knew there was an issue because my periods were irregular. I told my OBGYN at my annual appointment and he diagnosed me with PCOS. Before starting Clomid, he wanted my husband to see an urologist to make sure he didn’t have any problems. At his appointment, he was diagnosed with low sperm count, and she recommended finding a fertility doctor.
My husband loves to research anything and everything, so he looked at all the fertility doctors in the area and their statistics (ex. how many live births their practice had each year). He found one that we both liked, but there was a waiting list to see him. Because our urologist had a relationship with the doctor we chose, we were fortunate to have only a 2-month wait.
At our first appointment, he said we would have the most success with IVF ICSI. We scheduled all the tests required and started medication. We were told we had about a 50% chance of getting pregnant. We were ready!
The egg retrieval went well. We had several eggs and things looked hopeful. The next day we received a call that only two embryos had survived the night. Because there were only two, the doctor recommended implanting the embryos on the third day. The implantation went well, but I started feeling very sick. I tried to ignore it and stayed super busy with work. After what seemed to be forever, I got the call that we were PREGNANT! The excitement was very short-lived. I went in the next day for blood work and was admitted to the hospital with ovarian hyperstimulation. While I was in the hospital I miscarried.
We met with the doctor right after our miscarriage. Because I had been so sick, he recommended changing the medication and waiting for 5 months before we try again. Again, we had to wait!
In October we were ready to try again. The retrieval went well and we had more eggs than we had before. The next day though, we were down to two embryos. The doctor recommended waiting five days until we implanted the embryos this time. The implantation went well, but I started feeling poorly again. We got the great news, we were PREGNANT. Like the previous time, I was admitted to the hospital with ovarian hyperstimulation. This time though, I left the hospital still PREGNANT!
We had our son Luka in July. It was a very easy and wonderful pregnancy after we were released from the infertility doctor. We were so happy!
Five months after Luka was born we received word that our infertility doctor had closed his practice. We didn’t know what we were going to do, but we knew our family wasn’t complete.
My husband and I talked a lot about our next move. We felt so comfortable with our doctor and he knew us so well. We felt abandoned in a way. He gave us our records to give to the next doctor, but we didn’t feel like we would be as comfortable with another doctor. We also discussed how sick the medication made me. Because we had a son, I didn’t want to feel that poorly for so long and have the chance of being readmitted to the hospital. Adoption or IVF with a new doctor? My husband had always wanted to adopt, and we would have to start at the beginning of the infertility process again. Our decision was clear; we were going to move toward adoption.
We knew nothing about this process. We knew we wanted to adopt a domestic newborn, but that was the extent of it. My mom had a friend who had adopted two children, and she recommended a group called IAS. When our son was 14 months old, my husband and I attended our first adoption meeting. We learned so much from Danielle (the facilitator of the adoption meetings), and came away with more questions than answers. After the next meeting, we had picked an agency and were ready to move forward with the paperwork. Our agency had told us that it could take up to 2 years because we already had a child. I was in a rush to get our paperwork done and to be on the waiting list. I wanted my children to be close in age like my sisters and me. By Thanksgiving, we were on the waiting list.
The policy at our agency was to call them monthly to check-in. In January, after just 2 months of waiting, we got a call that we had been matched. The birth mom was due in February! We drove to meet her and everything went so well. She seemed like she could be my sister because we had so much in common. Just 2 weeks later, we got the call that she had had the baby that morning. As soon as we could get someone to watch Luka, we left for the hospital. We were so excited on the drive. It was another little boy! We came up with a name and tried to get ourselves emotionally prepared. We could have never prepared for what came next.
As soon as we got to the hospital, the social worker from our agency met us and told us to meet with our agency lawyer. We drove to the lawyer in silence. We didn’t understand what was happening! The lawyer told us that the birth father was contesting the adoption. He said we could fight it and win. Why were we not told on the drive to the hospital that this was happening? Why was no one communicating with us? We went to the hospital after our meeting with the lawyer to meet the baby. The birth father had left. We spent as much time as we could at the hospital and were even allowed to name the baby. After the birth mom was released from the hospital, we drove back to St. Louis. We had filled out the necessary paperwork to fight the birth father, and the baby was in the care of the agency. We couldn’t get more attached to a baby that might not be ours. After two weeks of little to no communication with the agency, we got a call that the birth father had convinced the birth mother to parent. We were shocked and heart broken. I wanted to give up! I was so mad at the birth mom. I knew she still wanted a relationship with the birth father, but I never saw this coming. We were also mad at the agency because of the poor communication during those two weeks and because they had not had the birth mother sign away her rights after giving birth.
I decided to start the process of finding a new infertility doctor. I hated not having control over anything! Then, just three weeks after our failed adoption, we got a call from our agency that we were matched. It was a stork drop meaning the baby had already been born. We had just two hours to make a decision, and if we decided yes, we needed to leave the next day. My husband was at work so we met at McDonalds with Luka to make our decision. We were obviously very upset with how the agency treated the last situation, but decided that it was not this baby’s fault that the agency didn’t communicate with us. This little boy needed a good home. We called the agency to tell them, and they promised to communicate with us better this time.
We left the next day to pick him up. We were very cautious this time because of what had happened just 5 weeks prior, but we were excited. When we got to the hospital, his birth mother had already left. We picked up the baby and walked out of the hospital. It was the most surreal feeling ever! We drove to my sister’s house because she lived in the state where we adopted. Our agency called us right away to tell us that his birth mother decided she wanted to meet us. Oh no, not again! We loved this little guy already and emotionally couldn’t handle another failed adoption.
Two days later, we drove to meet her. She wanted to hold him, feed him, and change his diaper and clothes. She just wanted to be alone with him one more time. The forty-five minutes or so she was alone with him seemed like an eternity. She then asked us a couple of questions about our family and why we chose adoption. That was the last time we saw her. I’m glad we were able to meet her in case Landon ever has any questions about what she is like.
Landon is Native American so we had to hire an additional attorney in Arizona to make sure everything was done properly with the National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA). We ended up having to stay at my sister’s house for 20 days. My sister and her husband couldn’t have been more accommodating and loving to my newborn, my 20-month-old, and me. They will always have a really close bond with Landon.
Our family is now complete! Our boys are 20 months apart and are best friends. They are so different, but their differences really complement one another. It’s been a long process, but we couldn’t be happier!