If you would have told me eight years ago I would be writing an article about how my grief over infertility turned into my greatest joy, I would have laughed in your face and said no way would ever happen. Fast forward to today, and here I am writing about that exact thing. Let’s enjoy the journey together.
My husband and I started dating in high school. Of course, I wasn’t thinking back then that someday I was going to marry my high school sweetheart, but we sure did! We knew back in high school that there might be an “issue” with having biological children. To many, that may come as a shock, but we weren’t all too concerned as many of our extended family had adopted children. In fact, we talked about adopting whether we could have biological children or not.
Fast forward to our first wedding anniversary when we thought it would be a good time to start trying to have a family. After about six months of no success, we went to a fertility specialist. Usually, you have to wait until the one-year mark, but since we knew this could be a possibility, they let us get in sooner. After discussing our options with our fertility doctor, we decided that we would try artificial insemination with donor sperm. We knew that emotions would be high, and it would be a long journey to get there, so we decided we would only “try” three times. The first two came and went with no success. Of course, it is easier to write about now, but during the time, it was a lot harder and a lot longer process. The third time we got pregnant. Woah! We both were ecstatic. We couldn’t believe it. This was actually going to happen.
And then we went in for a ten-week ultrasound, and I knew at the moment something was wrong. The ultrasound technician was too quiet and asked that I try to go to the bathroom again. It just didn’t seem right. She so kindly told me that she could not find a heartbeat but would have to have the doctor come in and talk with us. In an instant, our lives changed again. We went from being on top of the world to have our world flipped upside down. We were working with our infertility doctor and my regular OBGYN, so they had to decide what would be the best course of action going forward.
After a decision with our doctors, it was decided that I would have to decide whether to let the miscarriage go naturally or have a D and C (dilation and curettage). I was an emotional mess at the time and had no idea how to make that decision. I thought I was going to be picking out boy or girl names, deciding how to decorate a nursery, not deciding whether or not I would lose this baby naturally or forcefully. At the moment, I decided to let it go naturally. At the time I didn’t know anyone who had a miscarriage before. I didn’t have anyone to turn to. I wasn’t an open book like I am now! So I made the best decision I could with the information I had and in the emotional state, I was in.
If you were to ask me if I would do it all over again the same way? I guess I would say I would. But I am not going to sugarcoat it; it was absolutely awful. It happened when I was at work—well, I decided to drive home after not feeling well at work. This, I will not recommend to anyone. I threw up before I got to my car, thought I was going to faint, and was seriously lucky I made it home in one piece. It was about a 45-minute drive home. I should have done a little more research before I decided to let this go naturally because they recommend NOT driving when you are experiencing a miscarriage. Good to know, just wish I would have known sooner. It is like experiencing your worst menstrual cycle, times 10. The pain is tolerable but painful. The amount of blood, however, was shocking. I didn’t know what to expect, but I didn’t expect that. I stayed home from work for two days. I remember binge-watching Netflix practically all day, both days. Then during a transition of the show, I caught a glimpse of my reflection on the computer screen. Who was this person? I didn’t recognize myself anymore. I wasn’t someone who wanted to be sad. I wasn’t someone who was going to let this moment in time define me.
Fast forward, well, sort of fast forward and backward at the same time. I was actually pregnant when we attended our first adoption meeting. As I said, we knew we wanted to adopt whether we had biological children or not. So, we wanted to get as much information about the process as possible, and if we got pregnant in the meantime, great. If not, we would be ahead of the game. When the miscarriage happened, we called up the adoption agency and started to move the process faster than expected.
For those who have adopted, you know the endless amount of paperwork and preparation for adopting. From the start of the process to the point where we could be picked by a birth mom was roughly six months. We were approved and ready to be “viewed.” Now, I could write a whole article on the process of “waiting,” but I will skip that for now. We waited just over six years to be matched with our son’s birth mom. This is my favorite part of our story!
We met our son’s birth mother when she was 19 weeks pregnant. We first met at an Olive Garden with our social worker. Again, I could write a whole lifetime of articles based on this experience and the experiences with our son’s birth mom. For now, I will give you the cliff-notes version. We went to her 20-week ultrasound appointment and when the ultrasound technician asked her if she wanted to find out if the baby was a boy or a girl, she said, “Ask them, they are going to be the parents.” I am not sure I could even mutter the words. “Yes,” we wanted to find out the sex of the baby, I was crying so bad. This was such a different experience than the last time I was in an ultrasound room.
We spent the next 20 weeks getting to know our son’s birth mom. It was one of the coolest experiences I have had in my life. When we were talking about what we thought our adoption journey would look like, we thought we would find out a few months before the baby was to be born and would maybe send pictures or emails to the birth mom. However, we got the complete opposite. We had a long wait before our son was born and had the opportunity to get to know her, not only as our son’s birth mom but as a person. Our families got together at a local zoo before our son was born so there would not be any “awkward” moments in the hospital. Our families joined together to welcome the birth of our son. After our son was born, we celebrated his church dedication together, Christmas celebrations, birthday celebrations, and many other activities together. Together, as a family united by the gift of adoption.
It wasn’t too long after our son was born and I looked in his precious brown eyes, that I thought back to our journey, our infertility struggle, and our “waiting” for a child. Suddenly, the pain was gone. Adding him to our family completed us. He erased years of heartache and pain in a matter of seconds. Had I known this is how my life would turn out, I could have saved myself a few days, weeks, years, and tears of sadness. But that is the beauty during the hard times: looking forward to seeing the beauty in the end.
You can read more about our relationship by checking out our blog!
Are you ready to pursue adoption? Visit Adoption.org or call 1-800-ADOPT-98 to connect with compassionate, nonjudgmental adoption specialists who can help you get started on the journey of a lifetime.