My heart is heavy. As the seasons change and Fall is upon us (even though it feels more like summer here in LA) I’m reminded how quickly time passes. Wasn’t it just yesterday that my husband and I said our “I Do’s” and crossed over the threshold into marital bliss? So much and so little has happened in 2.5 years. We’ve gotten pregnant twice and lost two babies. We’ve moved once from San Diego to Long Beach and now another move is imminent. We’ve done 3 rounds of IVF, all unsuccessful. I’ve left one job and started 2 others, only to find myself not working again so we can “try harder” to have a baby. I’ve been to numerous baby showers and even thrown a few. I’ve watched my friend’s kids grow and “liked” all the Facebook posts announcing another one is on the way. It’s been 2.5 years that we’ve been weathering this storm and still no baby.
For the past few years I’ve felt this enormous longing…like the feeling you get when you’re in a long distance relationship but a million times worse. Like I’m counting down the minutes till I get to see my baby. I actually miss the babies I do not know. I love someone I’ve never met. If you are a parent imagine this…the child/children that you love so much, that fill up your heart with joy…imagine they are not here. They have never been born. You have never seen their sweet faces or heard them giggle. You can’t squeeze on them or kiss them goodnight. Their hot little cheeks against your shoulder do not exist. You are filled with the feeling of them, but that’s all you have. That is how I feel. September would have been the 1st birthday of the first child we lost. If our second baby had lived, he/she’d be almost 6 months old now.
My desire to be a mother has taken over my life, it’s changed me. I would give anything to be like the majority of you and simply get pregnant after a few months of trying. (Or even be like the rest of you who got pregnant with the help of fertility treatments.) We could have saved thousands of dollars, hundred of tears and 2 and a half years of waiting. But this isn’t a pity party. Everyone struggles with something in life and this is my struggle. I won’t give up. It’s not an option. All we can do is press forward.
Here’s where we’re at:
1) Fragmentation: We are following up on the theory that fragmentation in Gabe’s sperm could be causing a DNA “mishap” thus stopping our fertilized embryos from growing. We’re waiting on the results of this test, plus we have an appointment to see a urologist. If this is the issue (which our RE thinks it’s definitely not) that could be good news! Most fragmentation issues can be fixed with lifestyle changes or surgery. If that’s the case there’s hope that I can get pregnant someday.
2) Adoption: I’m not gonna lie, after our recent experience with adoption we’re feeling cautious. Once bitten, twice shy. I know there are many people who have WONDERFUL experiences with adoption and say nothing but positive things. We are still pretty hurt after what happened with that sweet baby in Phoenix. I understand that’s just part of it…but it doesn’t make it hurt any less. Our home study is complete (which is half the battle) and we are still planning to adopt, although we haven’t signed up with an agency yet. I don’t know what we’re waiting for exactly. Perhaps I’m waiting for a baby to be placed on our doorstep? Actually every morning when I wake up, I eagerly check my email in hopes that I’ve received a message from a stranger who has heard our story and would like to give us their baby. Is that crazy? Maybe. For some reason I really feel like this is how we’re going to find our baby. So please please think of us if you or someone you know is giving a baby up for adoption.
3) Donor Embryo: Using a donor embryo is a strong consideration for us. A donor embryo actually makes the most sense for a lot of reasons. It is by far the cheapest solution, waaaay less expensive than IVF or adoption. Unlike regular adoption, it would enable us to have control during the pregnancy ie no drugs or drinking. (That was a big problem for us with the last adoption experience…our fear that the baby would have serious health concerns because of the mother’s substance abuse issues.) Also, I get to be pregnant! Yaaay! Maybe it’s the part most women dread about having a baby, but after all this I can tell you I am BEYOND ready for a preggo belly. Sooo this solution seems like it’s our best bet, right? Well, not exactly. My main issue with using a donor embryo right now is that if there’s even a small chance we can get pregnant on our own, then we’re taking up that prime real estate for a year-ish. Maybe seems silly, but I’m just not ready to go there at the moment.
Let me just say, Gabe and I are prepared to start our family in whichever way God sees fit. All of our options seem viable and with any luck we will FINALLY be parents in 2015. (Eeee! I get goosebumps with the thought!) No matter what happens, though, we will never give up trying to have a biological baby. I would love to experience pregnancy and labor, pass on my DNA and see my husband’s greenish blue eyes on our child. This does NOT mean we love our adopted children any less. Not at all. It just means we will go on trying to create our family in EVERY possible way we can. (Oh and believe me I’ve thought of every way. Kidnapping crosses my mind on a daily basis. Haha, just kidding. But seriously.) Please know that every single decision we’ve made along the way has been painstaking and difficult. We’re just trying to do the right thing for our future baby and our bodies.
Last week an old friend sent this quote to me and I love it. It’s a beautiful thought.
“Eventually your good luck will seem as incredible and mysterious as your bad. And you’ll ask, did I do something to deserve this? Only this time the question will arise from a sense of overwhelming gratitude, not overwhelming pain. And by the way, the answer is yes. You did do something to deserve this. You had the courage to keep traveling down the precarious road of life. You deserve to be guided. And rewarded.”
My baby is waiting for me. We just have to stay the course.