March 18, 2016

No Cradle To Rock: My Not-So-Secret Story of Infertility (Part 2)

(***This is the second installment in a 3 part story. To see Part 1, go here.***)

We then were eligible to begin IVF treatments. Boy, was this a roller coaster ride. The hormones they pumped through my body were intense. I was moody, irrational, and felt a little crazy. It was hard. Then as the cycle would progress and as my body is growing all of these follicles (what becomes eggs) my body was going through hyper stimulation and I was completely uncomfortable and in pain. But it was worth it, because I was going to get pregnant this way, I was sure of it.

We did the first treatment and I was positive it was going to work. They transferred two embryos and they were beautiful and healthy embryos. I was positive that when I took the pregnancy test in a week, I would get the call that I was pregnant. I took the test and waited for the call. The nurse called me back and told me she was sorry, I wasn’t pregnant.

I was beyond devastated. Our families were waiting for the results and I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I didn’t want to tell them that, yet again, I wasn’t pregnant. I was in the depths of despair. I was feeling self pity, I was angry with God, I was in the darkest place I had ever been. It was this moment I knew something had to change. I knew I couldn’t go on living like this. Because of all of this, I didn’t feel like I was a good mom or a good wife. I was so focused on what I didn’t have, I couldn’t see the amazing life I did have.

This is where I would say I had a spiritual awakening, of sorts. I knelt down and prayed like I never had prayed before. I told God that I couldn’t continue on feeling like this and I needed his help. I needed to feel peace and I finally was able to say, “Heavenly Father, if I cannot be pregnant, if it’s not Thy will, please help me to feel peace through this process. Help me to know Thy will and accept it.” I instantly felt peace. I instantly felt the warmest feeling, like arms being wrapped around me. I had received an answer to my fervent prayer. I knew that God heard me, that he cared about me, and that he loved me. He wanted nothing more than for me to feel at peace. We went on to do 2 frozen embryo cycles of IVF and another fresh embryo cycle. With each of these cycles, I knew before I got the call from the nurse that they hadn’t worked. I think God prepared me ahead of the phone call and I was okay.

About this same time, we were getting ready to move to Florida.   This was in 2002. We decided we were done with IVF and knew when we moved that we would focus our efforts on adoption. Adoption was always something I knew we would consider, as it was always in the back of my mind. Adoption was not new to our family. My father is adopted, my niece is adopted, and Devin and I both have cousins who are adopted. It wasn’t something foreign to us.

Towards the end 2003, we started the process to adopt through our church, because financially that is what we could afford at that time. We knew that the average wait was about 2 years, but we were sure it wouldn’t take that long for us. We met with our social worker several times and prepared our home study. We had visits in our home to make sure we had a good environment to bring a baby home to; our lives were pretty much an open book. Finally in February of 2004 we were approved to adopt. Now we just waited, and waited, and waited.

Clearly I’m not a patient person. I was ready for our baby to come to us, now. I spent a lot of time researching other avenues to pursue adoption that would be quicker. We found a company that assisted birth mothers in finding homes for their baby. The adoptive family would pay this company to help them be matched. It sounded great and a lot quicker. They would send you different birth mom and their situations and you could say, yes or no to them. Once you said yes, that’s when you paid the money. I was all for this. This was a lot quicker. With much talking, I finally convinced my husband to go along with it.

We were matched with a birth mom in Louisiana who was due in November of 2005. We had never met her but had talked to her on the phone several times. She was having a little boy. We were going to have a son! We were excited and nervous. We couldn’t wait. We had to find an attorney in Louisiana. Every attorney I called told me to walk away from this situation, that this baby would not be placed and that she would change her mind and keep her son. They said that the town from where she was from was a small town and that these babies were used as another way to get more government assistance. I assured them they were wrong that our birth mom was committed to having this baby. She was 15 years old, she played basketball, she wanted to finish school and go to college and she told us that she knew she would have a harder time doing those things if she kept her son. She had it rough. Her mom had kicked her out of the house when she found out she was pregnant. Our birth mom was living with her cousin. We felt so bad for her. She was struggling. But every time we talked to her, she was committed.

pablo (9)We got the call that she had the baby. We were ready to head to Louisiana. We were excited, we were nervous, we were cautious. Within a few hours of finding out the baby had been born, we were given the news that her mother had come back in the picture and since she was a minor her mother had to also sign the adoption paperwork and she wouldn’t. We were not getting this sweet little guy. It was a blow. We all cried. We were stunned. It shouldn’t have come as such a surprise as we were warned by many attorneys that it wouldn’t happen. They had seen it time and time again. But I was so desperate to have another child that I couldn’t hear what they were saying.

We mourned for days and weeks. I still think about that little boy and hope that his life is happy and that he has everything he needs. He’s 10 years old now. I don’t know when it stopped hurting so badly, but gradually it did.

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