Popular questions…

As we continue to work towards finalizing an embryo adoption for the second time and ultimately a transfer date, we’ve gotten a few questions: When are we transferring? How is COVID-19 impacting our journey? How many embryos are we receiving?

For a variety of reasons, the earliest we plan to transfer an embryo would be February. We’ve gone back and forth, but that’s what we settled on. We will be self isolating as much as possible before and during any cycle. We want to be outside of the window of our limited holiday festivities. Chris will also need a normal work week for almost 6 weeks straight so that he can adjust his work schedule to be able to stay home with our daughter while I travel to doctor appointments. Pre-pandemic, I usually dropped her off at one of her grandparent’s house during appointments, or we’d have a family day. Neither of those options are feasible right now with Covid-19.

We will be receiving 3 embryos. They are frozen in two straws. We plan to transfer the embryo that’s in a straw by itself first (February 🤞🏼). Whenever we decide to do another transfer, our current thought is that we’ll thaw the 2 embryos that are in a straw together, transfer one, and refreeze the second embryo for a later transfer. Both our clinic and our donors approved refreezing the second one. BUT, we could transfer two. But, we’d obviously have to be OK with TWINS! 🤪 I might have to elaborate more on the idea of twins at a later point. Transferring two embryos isn’t new to us. We just haven’t done it since our first experiences with IVF. We transferred two embryos when we did fresh (vs. frozen) cycles with our genetic embryos. One transfer produced a chemical pregnancy and the other was unsuccessful.

I (and Chris, too!) love to answer your questions. We are open books about our experiences. I’ve lost count of how many couples who have contacted us over the years to discuss doctors, procedures, adoption agencies, etc. And, many are just curious about the process of fertility treatments or adoption. Keep the questions coming!

The roller coaster continues…

A few of y’all caught it in my posts in the Spring, but we have matched with a second embryo donor! This situation fell in our laps late 2019/early 2020, and we took some time to bond and coordinate a few potential hiccups that slowly panned out in our favor. It’s crazy how the bonding has been the easiest part of the process. We feel the match is the perfect one for us, and interestingly, our first donor led us to our second donor. I’m choosing to believe that our next miracle(s) are taking the long way to us just like Emma did.

Our match is a little different than first time in that the embryos were not created or stored at the clinic we plan to use for transfer. So, coordinating with different clinics, embryologists, and doctors in different states has been challenging, but things are finally moving along.

We still have a few more steps until we can get to a transfer cycle:

✔️ Match with donors

✔️ Verify clinic will accept embryos

✔️ Therapy consult (required by our clinic)

🔘 Legal contract transferring ownership of the embryos (We hope to have the legal part done this month! 😁)

🔘 Shipment of embryos from donor clinic to our clinic

🔘 Nurse consultation to schedule donor transfer cycle

🔘 Transfer cycle

In the beginning, it was a whirlwind. We’d just had our last failed cycle from our batch of embryos from our first donor. We were mourning, and we were trying to figure out our next move. Then, our first donor mentioned another donor that might be interested in connecting.

The pandemic definitely slowed the process. It put us in a wait and see kind of mode, which is a “feeling” I mention a lot. There’s a lot of mixed emotions. I’m mostly excited, but I’m nervous, too. This fertility treatment rollercoaster has no guarantees. What if this doesn’t work?! Will we be able to afford another option? What if we have to wait longer than we planned due to the pandemic? But, it’s out of my control, as much as I like to think differently. We ARE optimistic or else we wouldn’t even be proceeding.

At the end of the day, we are so lucky! None of this seems lucky does it? But, some people who choose to match privately to adopt embryos don’t ever match 😢, but we’ve matched twice.

I really felt a connection to the donor mom of our first donated embryos. We were looking forward to having them as part of our family. We were all so disappointed that the transfers didn’t work. That we didn’t have a child to connect us. They will still be part of our story, and I hope to remain in contact as we have. And, how amazing is it that our first donor had enough faith in us to recommend us as recipients to another donor? So humbling!

We’re optimistic that we’ll have more to update y’all on in the weeks to come. Fingers crossed! 🤞🏼

NIAW 2020-Day 5

Today is the last photo challenge day of National Infertility Awareness Week. The theme, Show Your Resolve, kind of threw me off for a minute. I didn’t feel like I had resolved anything related to infertility.

Our childlessness was resolved through adoption. We did become parents. To be able to adopt in a healthy way, we needed to mourn that we would never have a genetic child. And, we did. I also had to mourn that I would never carry a child. I feel like I mourned that connection with a child, but maybe didn’t fully mourn the missed experiences. I would never be able to relate to pregnancy complaints, cravings, nesting, labor, birthing, breastfeeding, etc.

My feelings are often discounted. “You didn’t miss anything.” “Pregnancy is horrible.” “You got a child the easy way.”

Nothing about our journey has been easy!

Emotionally. Physically. Financially. It’s been different. But, not “easy.”

In many ways, I’d be ok not experiencing pregnancy. To miss out on those shared experiences, but I have not resolved myself to being the mother to only one child. I want to be the mother to at least 2 children (more, if possible). That’s the pain I carry around.

As we continue to pursue embryo adoption, we hope to have a shorter wait time and less expense to achieving the family we’ve always imagined. Pregnancy is just the cherry on top to growing our family. COVID-19 will more than likely delay our dreams, but they won’t be canceling them.

NIAW 2020-Day 4

Support is such an important part of life, especially health issues. Support systems can be big or small. They can change over time.

Chris has been my consistent support since he’s my teammate in life. We were pretty private in the beginning of our journey, but social media played a huge role in my venting and ranting during those first few years. I later met and befriended many men and women locally who also struggled with infertility. While I have tons of compassionate fertile people in my life, there are many things that only my fertility challenged buds get.

Emma has become my little cheerleader whether she knows it or not. She thinks I can do anything, and that gives me a lot of strength. She also keeps my occupied 🙃, so I don’t have time to get lost in my own thoughts as often as I once did. She did make me a mother, but infertility will always be a part of my life.

NIAW 2020-Day 3

We’re rocking orange today to help raise awareness during National Infertility Awareness Week!

We are wearing orange for those who feel alone during their infertility battle and for those who have had to cancel or delay cycles during this pandemic.

NIAW 2020-Day 2

Over the years, one thing I’ve noticed about most of the fertility challenged men and woman I’ve met is that most are animal lovers, especially dogs. We are no exception!

For us, we currently have 4 pets. 2 dogs. 2 cats. We rescued Ellie (top right) during our first year of trying to conceive when it was becoming clear that becoming parents wasn’t going to be easy.

All our fur babies bring us so much comfort. From snuggles on the couch. To laughs from their crazy antics.

NIAW 2020-Day 1

This week is National Infertility Awareness Week! While I share our story throughout the year, I hope that you’ll learn something new this week, reach out to a friend experiencing infertility, or maybe even share your own story. This journey can be lonely, but it doesn’t have to be.

#NIAW #NIAW2020 #HonorYourStory #MyInfertilityStory

•7 IUIs
•2 fresh IVFs
•1 FET
•2 donor FETs
•3 donor embryos on ice waiting for us

Sometimes our journey seems like nothing but numbers and statistics. Cold and irrelevant, at times. They’re numbers that mean everything and nothing. Our past failure doesn’t necessarily determine our future success. They don’t tell you about the heartache of months and years of wondering if we’d be parents. I can’t even count how many shots, blood draws, or internal ultrasounds I’ve had over the years. Numbers don’t show you how much we love our daughter who came to us through adoption.

As hard as this journey has been, I know that I’m stronger and better for it. You may think that it is easy to say that now that we are (theoretically) on the other side, but I was saying it the midst of all the heartache. Here is an old post, but it’s still a goodie. There can still be beauty in the midst of despair.

Hey! Remember Us?

We’re in the process of matching with a new donor family and hope to share more with you soon. But, for now, watch these two cuties explain embryo donation in the sweetest way possible. ❤️

Big decisions…

I had a post all ready to go, but a few things have changed in the last week. The holidays are always busy, and I kept putting off posting. It was too Continue reading “Big decisions…”

*Deep breath*

We’re not pregnant.

This was always a possibility. We were given Continue reading “*Deep breath*”