2009 2010 2011 2012 2013? 2014?
My husband and I were married in October of 2009 and started trying for a family soon after. We were about to celebrate our first anniversary and I thought I was pregnant. I wanted to surprise Jared with the positive pregnancy test. Each month I became more worried that I wasn’t getting pregnant but was hiding these emotions. When I began my cycle on our anniversary, I started crying and couldn’t stop. I told Jared about my fears and after a long talk, we bought our first fertility book. Crying and reading a fertility book at a cabin in the woods on our first anniversary wasn’t fun, but it was the first step in our journey to build our family.
We tried all the methods discussed in the books and still had no success. Each month was more painful than the last, so I finally spoke with my gynecologist. I told my physician about the isolation of infertility and the hopelessness we were feeling. Each of our siblings was pregnant or gave birth during this time period. We stopped going to family events because it was too painful. This was the first person outside of our marriage that knew we were struggling. There was a sense of relief for someone to finally know our secret.
I immediately started taking Clomid but after several months still wasn’t successful. During one of those follow-up visits, the doctor discovered an ovarian cyst on my left ovary. It wasn’t my first ovarian cyst. In 2008, I had a laparotomy to remove a softball sized cyst on my right ovary. The current cyst was much larger and I was sent to a specialist. In the summer of 2011, I had another laparotomy to remove the football sized cyst, left fallopian tube, left ovary and appendix. We begged the surgeon beforehand to keep my right ovary, fallopian tube and uterus because we wanted to build a family.
My recuperation was difficult but we were very hopeful that this had been the cause of our fertility issues. We received the go ahead to start trying but my gynecologist wanted us to complete some diagnostic testing to identify any other barriers. All the test results were great until the dye test in the winter of 2011 when it was discovered that my remaining fallopian tube was severely damaged and our only option was IVF. The reproductive endocrinologist (RE) also told us that my right ovarian reserve was low and we didn’t have a lot of time left.
It was during this time that we found the IAS support groups and attended the couples’ infertility, women’s infertility and adoption support groups. We felt so alone and wanted to find other people who were having similar struggles. We also wanted to hear the paths others took to build their family. We weren’t sure which road would take us to our family.
After several long discussions and many support meetings, we decided to go ahead with IVF. In October 2012, we went through our first IVF cycle. The RE encouraged us to get healthy so I lost 22 lbs in preparation for the procedure. One egg was retrieved but didn’t fertilize, so our journey quickly ended. We were devastated.
We went back to the same cabin from our first anniversary to grieve. During our long conversations we recalled something that was said at one of the adoption support meetings we had attended. The moderator said that you need to decide what is most important for you, having a child, having a biological child and/or going through the pregnancy process. There is no judgement in the decision as it different and important for each person, but it is something we had to figure out. We talked about it, and decided that for us, it was most important that we had a child. We had another cycle of IVF scheduled, so we decided that we would give it our all and no matter what happened afterwards we would have no regrets. For the next cycle we tried all of the methods that have given other couples success. We did the vitamins, yoga, acupuncture, meditation, weight loss, and my medications were greatly increased. In January 2013 we went through our second cycle and 2 eggs were retrieved. Both eggs fertilized but one embryo stopped growing. We were able to transfer 1 beautiful embryo and we waited to hear if we were pregnant. We loved and prayed for that little piece of life we created. We felt so grateful that we had made it this far. We told our little embryo about the life we could provide and the dreams we had for their life. We were so happy about the future we were building…
The nurse called to inform us that we weren’t pregnant. We were heartbroken.
We talked a lot about what our next step would be. We went back to the comment about what was most important for us, and the more we talked about adoption, the more hope we found. We reaffirmed that our dreams of a family didn’t hinge on a biological child, our dreams involved loving a child. Our future didn’t stop because we were infertile, our future could begin in a new direction. We went back to the adoption support group to find out where to start our next chapter.
The IAS adoption support group was and is a safe place for us to discuss our fears, ask questions and be among friends going through the same struggles. Through many discussions with the group members, they helped us determine what the right agency was for our family. We took diligent notes during meetings and were able to be homestudy approved within three months of choosing our agency. The group members helped keep us hopeful during our eight-month wait. They were there with hugs, love and support when we had a match fall through. They gave us the strength to wait for the next call. They gave us the knowledge to advocate for an open adoption.
We are forever grateful to IAS for providing the tools to make the best decisions for our family. We were matched with our daughter’s birth parents 5 weeks before her birth. Our daughter was born in May of 2014. We have developed relationships with her birth families. We correspond through e-mail, a blog, texts, letters, gifts and Skype. We are a family chosen through love.