4.22.2014

Resolve to Know More: National Infertility Awareness Week-Guest Blogger

Growing up I never thought about getting married, let alone having children. I love the time I spend babysitting/nannying and with my niece and nephews, but I'm not sure if I'm ready to have my own.  I've met some pretty amazing ladies through this little thing called blogging. One of those ladies is Lo.  Lo is a pretty cool cat. She was the first person I really met that was struggling with infertility.

(me, Lo, Meg)

 After hearing Lo share countless stories about couples struggling with infertility, I couldn't help but lend this blog to her and other women who want nothing more than to be a mother. Don't forget to stop by Lo's blog to here more than 20 stories of women and their battle with infertility. Today Kelsey is taking over the blog to share her story with infertility. Take is away Kelsey!


Before I share my story, I want to thank JJ for opening up her blog to help spread awareness about infertility. I think this year's NIAW slogan "Resolve to Know More" is very fitting and I'm hoping my story can help do exactly that. 



Growing up, I always said I wanted to adopt a child, but I never thought it would be one of my two options to have a family. When my husband and I were faced with infertility, we thought long and hard about the pros and cons of adoption and IVF. We came to the decision to try adoption because there are so many children in this world who need a loving family. Unfortunately, we were not prepared for the cost of an adoption. A private adoption in your own country costs anywhere from $20,000+ while a private international adoption costs anywhere from $30,000+. I would never put a price on having a family but we don't have that kind of money growing on a tree in our yard. Our only other option would be a public adoption through Children's Aid. A public adoption simply means you are adopting through your local Children's Aid. All adoption fees are paid for my the government. 

So in April 2011, we began our process of a public adoption. Children's Aid came out to our house and met with us. We were given a HUGE package to complete and police checks were done. We rushed to get everything done so we could start the PRIDE training in the fall. In September we started our training and our home studies also begun. It's hard to let a total stranger into your home and have them critique it and have them tell you everything that needs to be changed (like mounting bookshelves to the wall and looking up knife blocks). It was also hard having to go through all of the interviews. My husband and I were interviewed together, we were interviewed separately. We were asked intimate details about our lives and our families' lives. Finally, in December of 2011, we had been approved for adoption!
My husband and I chose the route of "foster with a view to adopt" because Children's Aid would like all children to remain in one home, one forever home. This is what is in the best interest of the child. It's a huge risk and it's very hard. My husband and I knew exactly what we were getting into, but it's next to impossible to prepare yourself for any negative outcome. You can't help but be excited and optimistic.
We received our first call for a placement of a newborn in February 2012. Words can't describe how we felt. Unfortunately, after 11 weeks of caring for this child, the court ordered Children's Aid to return the child to the birth father. I was heartbroken. It seemed like such a cruel thing to put an infertile couple through. I wasn't sure if I would be able to go through that again, but my desperation to have a family won over. 
In June 2012, we received another call from Children's Aid that would change our lives forever. There was a baby who was due in July who would need a foster with a view to adopt home. My husband and I decided to move forward with this placement and hope for the best. The baby was born a week late and we welcomed him into our home when he was 2 days old. He was absolutely beautiful. We fell in love with him right away. Four months after he was born, Children's Aid was granted crownwardship ( meaning we would be able to adopt him). This little boy's birth parents made a tremendously hard decision to give us their son. They wanted him to stay with us and give him the life that they could not provide. I was speechless when the protection worker told us the news. The next 30 days were the most nail biting, heart racing, scary days of my life. The birth parents had 30 days to change their minds on the decision they had made. On Christmas Eve of 2012, it was official, we would officially be adopting this little boy. On June 21, 2013, we happily went to court and had the adoption finalized.
And that leads me to where we are today. I still had the desire to carry a child, after all, that's what a woman's body is made to do. I also wanted our son to have a sibling. So when our son was a year old, we jumped into IVF. I had no idea how quickly IVF can move. It makes sense to me now since everything is time sensitive, right now to when you have to inject your hormones. Our IVF cycle resulted in 3 embryos. We froze two and transferred one fresh, which unfortunately ended in a chemical pregnancy. There's nothing like telling an infertile who is being pumped with hormones that technically you are pregnant but it won't be a viable pregnancy. We pushed forward with a frozen embryo transfer and transferred our second embryo. Words cannot describe how I felt when I took a home pregnancy test (which you are advised not to do) and saw two pink lines for the first time in my life. It was an amazing feeling, but I was also extremely panicked. Infertility robs you of just being happy. You invest so much time and energy into becoming pregnant, that when it finally happens, you worry something will go wrong. I carried this worry with me right up until I could feel the baby moving on a daily basis. I am happy to say I am now 28 weeks pregnant!! 
Even though we have beaten infertility, there are so many families out there still struggling, I even still struggle. My heart will always go out to those families and the struggle they face on a daily basis. Infertility is a daily thing. You are constantly reminded when you see a child or a pregnant woman. Each time your menstrual cycle begins, you mourn the loss of a child that would have your eyes and your husband's nose. Infertiles still want to be happy for you when you announce your pregnancy, but the best thing you can do is call your friend or email her so she has a chance to process this information. Chances are, she is going to feel sorry for herself, but once she overcomes this emotion, she will be happy for you. Baby showers are also extremely difficult for an infertile. So if you have a friend who is dear to you that declines to attend your baby shower, please be understanding of the pain she is going through. It's not because she doesn't want to celebrate with you, it's because emotionally, she just can't sit through the shower without crying. Infertiles all deal with their emotions differently, but just having the understanding and acceptance of family and friends can make a huge difference in our lives. 
If you want to hear more from Kelsey you can find her blog here.

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4 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for sharing your story!! What a blessing you received through adoption and now experiencing your own pregnancy!!

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  2. Thank you for sharing your amazing story!! Congratulations on becoming a mom, not once, but now twice!!!!!!

    Brianna
    http://keepingupwiththekeens2428.blogspot.com/

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  3. I love your story, and the happy ending you've experienced. It's stories like this that give me the hope to continue on. Jen, thanks for hosting Kelsey. You're so sweet to open your blog to us crazy infertiles. ;)

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  4. Oh my goodness, what a story! i cannot imagine the heartbreak of having to give up the 11 week old, and the worry about not being sure if the next infant would become your own. You're so right about infertility robbing you of happiness, even in events that are seemingly happy (positive pregnancy test, etc...) - the trust in the natural process or the idea that you might never actually get what you have wanted for so long is slim to none. Thanks so much for sharing and hosting.

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