On June 18, 2005, my husband and I tied the knot on a beautiful summer evening surrounded by our family and friends. Things were perfect. Although we faced the common early-marriage-life struggles, I was ecstatic to be a new wife in a new home with my new handsome hubby. We were thrilled to be married and looked forward to starting a family of our own.
About a year and a half into our marriage, both of us began to quietly wonder if something was wrong. Strangely, neither of us spoke our worries to each other or to anybody, for that matter. In honesty, we probably figured that we were too young to get pregnant, anyway. I was only twenty-three, and he was twenty-four. We were both in grad school, and money was tight. Surely another year of waiting was the wise thing, at any rate. More months passed, which turned into another year and a half. Except for a few small questions posed to my doctor, we still weren’t addressing the fearful issue: Why wasn’t I able to get pregnant? Again, we pushed the question down, assuring ourselves that it wasn’t the right time anyway. We moved back to our hometown that summer, excited for a fresh start, new careers, and–hopefully–a pregnancy within the year.
When six months passed, we finally had to face the truth: something was wrong. I called my new OB, set up an appointment, and met with her to share my concerns. Within a couple of months, I was starting Clomid, the first easy step. Two rounds went by, and nothing happened. Time to up the dosage, she said. That gave me two things: a very frightening case of ovarian hyperstimulation and a trip to the ER, but no pregnancy.
After that happened, my OB decided it was time to see a specialist. She recommended me to Women’s Specialty and Fertility in Clovis, and that August of 2009 I met with a doctor. For the next year and a half we did as much as we could without going to IVF. We used different fertility treatments and had three IUIs done, but no pregnancy ever resulted.
In January of 2011, I had a laparascopy to see what was going on. This finally confirmed that I had severe endometriosis, which was most likely contributing to our inability to have children. The surgery helped in some ways, but the return was inevitable. We had two more IUIs following the surgery, both of them unsuccessful. We met with another doctor just to see if there were any other options, but nothing else was left to do. We were exhausted and drained. It was time for a break.
A year after my surgery, we decided to attend an informational meeting with Bethany Christian Services about adoption. BCS is an amazing agency, and we had a very personal and intimate meeting with one of its agents. About five minutes into it, I was already fighting back tears. As much as I wanted this to be the answer, as much as I wanted to be a person who adopts, I was still deep in the midst of my grief. We weren’t ready. We couldn’t yet give up hope that we may have a child biologically.
Eight months later we returned to our doctor. There had been a possibility that I could get pregnant after my surgery without treatments, and we had taken that chance. Over a year and a half had passed, though, with nothing. We finally decided to have a discussion and begin the steps for IVF. On October 8 of 2012, we met with our doctor to start that process, and the month that followed was a another whirlwind of tests.
On November 7, we met with our doctor for results. We went into the appointment thinking things would be easy and fine (relatively speaking, that is), but unfortunately were hit with disappointing news. The doctor diagnosed me with Diminished Ovarian Reserve (DOR). We were told that we had a 1% chance of conceiving on our own. We were crushed.
The positive news was that IVF was not ruled out even though some doctors may choose not to perform an IVF on women with DOR. Ours was ready and willing, as long as we were. Although hearing about my newly diagnosed condition wasn’t encouraging, we still felt that God was leading us toward IVF. In fact, it was almost an answer for us to continue.
On January 28 of 2013, we met with our doctor for the big Protocol appointment, which basically laid out the plan for the month and a half before our IVF. We jumped into preparing for our IVF and couldn’t wait for that March date to come around. Unfortunately, at the appointment that checked how I was responding to my treatments, we received the disappointing news that we would have to cancel our IVF. I just wasn’t responding as I needed to.
We scheduled an IUI (#6) instead since there was at least one follicle that was large enough to produce a mature egg, but it was unsuccessful. For our second attempt, I did respond to medications, which was a huge answer to prayer. My doctor retrieved five eggs, and out of the four that were mature, two were fertilized. I had the joy of seeing our tiny embryos–just little bits of light, of course–on a screen after they were transferred to my uterus. It was an incredible experience. Unfortunately, neither of them implanted, and our IVF was unsuccessful. We were heartbroken.
For some time, we simply allowed ourselves the space we needed to cry. IVF had been our last effort to have a child biologically, and so there were many pieces we were grieving. As healing began to take place, our hearts became more and more open to adoption. At the beginning of 2014, we took the big leap, called the adoption agency, and began the process. Seven months later, toward the end of July, we celebrated the completion of our home study.
Early in January of 2015, quite unexpectedly, we received The Call: a birth mother was interested in us! Our social worker explained to us as many details as she could, the biggest one being that the woman was due that month on the 27th! Everything seemed to move at lightning speed from that point on. We met the birth mother and her family the next week, were officially matched two days later, and only three days after that, our daughter was born–ten days early! We had the joy of being part of the birth experience at the hospital and brought our baby girl home two days after her birth.
We have an open adoption, which means we have open communication with the birth mother and even some of her family. We keep in touch a number of ways: texts and photos throughout the week, phone calls, and even visits. It’s been a really positive expirence for us. We love and cherish the woman who chose life for her daughter and chose us to be her daughter’s parents. We never ever ever thought this would be our story, but we can’t imagine it any other way. Our daughter is the sweetest, most precious and wonderful gift we’ve ever been given!