Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Grant Recipient Story

Hi…my name is Laurie and I’m infertile. My story could be a sad one because I don’t have the happy ending yet. But I’ve chosen to not see it that way.

Still single and 37, I decided that it was long enough to wait for the husband. I moved forward with trying to have the baby. If the husband happens, great. If not, life will go on. I couldn’t accept the same attitude about a baby and becoming a mom.

My doctors knew immediately that there might be a problem trying to get pregnant, but they were very optimistic that fertility drugs would solve what nature wasn’t doing correctly in my body.

At the appointment for my first IUI, my doctor even asked me if I wanted to skip the month, because I had so many mature egg follicles. “Are you prepared for multiples?” It never occurred to me that I wouldn’t get pregnant that first time. I didn’t.

For three years, I did everything possible to get pregnant – fertility yoga, abdominal massages, acupuncture, meditation, shots, vitamins, drinking black-strap molasses and eating only “warm” foods.

Three years later – after six IUIs, six IVFs, one IVF with donor eggs and one miscarriage – I was emotionally spent. At that point, I wrote the following in my journal:

My uterus is the place where healthy, viable embryos go to die. There is no other explanation. It really is the only explanation, and honestly, it's what I have to believe or I will think that there is something more I can do, something else I can try, when really I have to believe that I've done all I can and it's time to move on.

From that point on, I began my journey in international adoption, which I have discovered can be as unpredictable as my own body. What originally started as a 12- to 15-month wait has turned into a 22- to 28-month wait.

While I am hopeful that an adoption from Ethiopia will still work out, I cannot count on it. The instability and uncertainty in the Ethiopia process have convinced me to be more proactive in pursuing my dream to be a mom, and I have recently started the necessary steps for domestic adoption.

And so as I said at the beginning, this could be a sad story. But I choose to not look at only the things I’ve lost – the chance to carry a child – but also the things that I’ve learned and gained.

I’ve learned that I’m stronger and more stubborn than I ever thought possible. I am infertile. But I am also invincible.

I’ve learned not to take it personally when my siblings and close friends don’t ask how things are going. That perhaps because infertility and adoption are foreign concepts in my family, they don’t know what to say for comfort and support. And I’ve learned which friends are there through thick, thin and tears.

I’ve gained a circle of friends who, without this experience, I wouldn’t have met. Strong, amazing women who have been through the same struggles, who have the same fears I have.

I’ve gained patience. Tremendous patience as I waited for the next cycle of fertility drugs to start, waited the 16 days for the blood test, waited for background checks to come in and paperwork to be filed, and most importantly, as I wait for my child.

And every day, as I still think about what I’ve lost, I think more about what I have to gain, what I have waiting for me down the road.


Laurie works in the Office of Marketing Communications at Ithaca College. She loves books and baseball, and can't wait to turn her child into a Yankees fan. She is a recent recipient of a Parenthood for Me grant.

Thank you for sharing your story.

*image provided by Jeffrey Schlaefer


Anonymous said...

No matter which way you look at it, doing IVF or even a mini IVF is so expensive! Just to give you guys a little hope, my husband and I were heartbroken at the prospect, because we just couldn’t afford $15k upfront. We were pretty desperate and we did a lot of research and then were told about a product called BeeFertile and both decided to try it (they have a couples kit). We were really skeptical, but at this point $300 vs. $15,000 was no contest, and let’s face it, we were willing to try anything at this point! It took just a few months and my pregnancy test came up positive!! And as a side note, I had polycystic ovaries and a really hard time ovulating. Just getting this out for all the girls in my similar circumstance. Good luck everybody!

Kelly said...

Congratulations Laurie! I know your dreams will come true and the journey will all be worth it when you hold your baby in your arms.


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