Our Journey to Adoption
Where do we begin?
We decided we wanted to grow our family in the Fall of 2019, so we went off birth control, stropped drinking, started taking pre-natal and fertility vitamins, walking more, eating healthier, began tracking ovulation, basal body temperate and everything. We began trying to conceive early 2020 with the expectation we would conceive within the first few months. My whole life, I’d been told how fertile I was PLUS both our parents got pregnant with us while they were on birth control, so there was no doubt in my mind we wouldn’t get pregnant right away. We were so excited, we created a secret registry, bought announcement gifts for the whole family, anticipating to reveal the big surprise by Mothers day. Well, 6 months went by and no pregnancy occurred.
It had been an emotional six months of treatment and a year previously of negative pregnancy tests. This has been by far the hardest, saddest time in our lives.
I went to see my gyno for a check up and to see what her thoughts were on the matter, she brushed it off, said to keep trying and that is was normal for couple to try for 12 months before conceiving. So we kept trying, daily temperature & ovulation checking, and 3 more months go by, I message my doctor to update her and ask if she’ll run a few blood tests, she agrees and a few weeks later around Christmas 2020 we get an alarming call, my AMH numbers were severely low indicating a low egg reserve. She exclaimed I should see a fertility specialist right away so we found a local fertility specialist & began doing ALL the research on infertility, what it means, what it could be, and how we could overcome this. It was an uncertain time with loads of questions and emotions running through our minds daily. January 2021 we had a video meeting with our fertility doctor, leaned all about infertility, the different types of infertility, the treatments, the cost, all of it. Needless to say this was overwhelming. We booked another blood test to confirm the low AMH as well as a few other tests. A chromosome analysis indicated I have a paracentric inversion on chromosome 11. Our fertility doctor called us with these results urgently saying we needed to stop trying and that it could lead to a child with a genetic handicap. However, after a couple appointments with genetic counselors, we learned that this paracentric inversion basically means one of my chromosomes, the center part of chromosome 11, is flipped upside down. Research shows, in men, this can effect fertility, however in females supposedly not. This seemed a bit strange to me and maybe more research needs to be done because there wasn’t a lot of information out there. We were assured that this would not cause genetic handicaps in our children and we were safe to continue trying to conceive, but that we would have a slightly higher rate of miscarriage; they didn’t think the chromosome issue was causing the infertility directly. So we were diagnosed with unexplained infertility. Of course, our doctor urged us to try IVF (in vitro fertilization) and said due to my low AMH, I would likely go through menopause early (maybe 1-10 years from now) and that it was our best option.
1 in 7
of couples with difficulty conceiving do not consider their condition to be infertility.
An estimated 85% of IVF costs are paid out of pocket.
couples will experience infertility. That's 15% of the population.
The range of costs for fertility treatements
To pause, for those who don’t know, a woman is born with a set number of eggs and that number only declines month after month, there is no way to get more eggs, once they are gone, which is when menopause occurs, she won’t be able to have her own biological babies. Women can freeze their eggs, but thats another topic. AMH stands for Anti-Müllerian hormone and is an indicator of a low number of eggs left. I have an AMH as low as a woman in her 50/60’s going through menopause. Sad day. However, a low AMH is not a specific cause of infertility because even with a low AMH a woman is still ovulating at least 1 egg per month. As long as there is at least one egg and you time everything right & it’s in Gods will, you can still get pregnant. So, Lord willing maybe I will still get pregnant naturally, but that’ll be the Lords decision not ours. He's taught us that nothing goes according to our timing, but His, so we trust and give it all up to him.
Continuing, in March I completed an HSG procedure, Dan had blood work and a semen analysis and all came back good & clear, with no concerns. So we proceeded with fertility treatment which involved taking a hormonal drug, Clomid, which’s goal was to increase the mature number of follicles/eggs growing each month, followed by a precisely timed trigger shot (an actual shot Dan had to give me in the tummy) with an IUI (intrauterine insemination) the next day. That cycle failed, my lining was too thin & the doctor suggested I try letrozole instead of Clomid for the second cycle. Cycle #2 our doctor was SO excited, she pretty much told us we’d be pregnant, so naturally our hopes were high. However, spoiler, it failed and so did the next 2 cycles; 2 more months, 2 more rounds of hormones, 2 more injections. Going in for our 5th cycle, the doctor told us my eggs were already too mature to continue that month and to skip that cycle, we left devastated and I cried the whole way home, but we knew it was God telling us it was time to stop. It had been an emotion 6 months of treatment and a year previously of negative pregnancy tests. This was by far the hardest, saddest times in our lives. So July, August, September, October, we grieved. We felt our sadness, acknowledged it, cried about it, and looked to God knowing despite all of this, there was a better plan for our lives than we could see. Perhaps one of the hardest parts about this process was telling our families about all this. We’d so hoped to surprise everyone with the news of pregnancy. We’d be the first ones in any of our families to have a baby, so we had high hopes and definite expectations, but that wasn’t in God’s plan for us. We reluctantly shared the news with more and more family and friends and sought comfort from the Lord through prayer and searching his word for answers.
In October, God did a work in transforming Tyler’s heart from grieving the loss of having biological children to a hopeful eagerness to learn more about adoption. While photographing our friends family photos, God brought me perspective. During our shoots I truly care for these kids that aren’t my own, I hold their hands, carry them when needed, play peek-a-boo, initiate tear jerking tickle fights, and do all I can to be sure these kids are having a good time, laughing a lot and are safe. During this particular shoot I knew it didn’t matter that these children weren’t mine biologically, I still loved and cared for them deeply. I didn’t want to see them sad or hurt, I would have thrown myself into a cactus to protect them and truly desired to see them play, smile, laugh, and enjoy that time with their family. It was so helpful being made aware of this. And so, after a year and a half, the Googling and YouTubing began as we started learning everything we could about adoption!
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