Monday, July 20, 2015

How Our Embryos Found Us

One of the books I love to read to my daughter is called "When God Found Us You". It's a sweet little story and does a great job explaining the waiting and patience and excitement surrounding adoption. While we longed for Brennan for a long time I truly feel like she found us (with lots of help from the Lord). I feel the same with our embryos. Let me explain:

If you've read the story of Brennan's adoption you can see how evident God's hand was through it all.  While we don't yet have our donor embryo baby we feel like God has been present through every step of this journey. The first time I heard of "embryo adoption" was about 6 years ago. An incredible  woman was giving birth to twins she was carrying from donor embryos. I had never heard of such a thing but how amazing for this couple and for those children! The idea of embryo adoption presented itself again about a year and a half ago. A close family member told me that she and her husband were considering the Snowflake Embryo Adoption program from Nightlight Christian Adoptions for their next child. I had never heard of the program but started to read up on it and loved the idea of it. Just 2 months later a friend of mine blogged about how her journey with infertility led her to consider embryo adoption versus traditional adoption. She ended up choosing embryo adoption through the same agency!  These two women live 11 hours from each other and don't know each other at all. What are the odds? Embryo adoption was really weighing heavily on my heart at that point.

God has provided us with confirmation that we made the right decision. Since the adoption of our daughter my ovarian reserve has gone from mediocre (11 antral follicles) to laughable (4 antral follicles). Most women would be devastated by that news but I am not most women. I was relieved. All throughout our infertility journey I've asked God to just be clear. When we adopted Brennan I felt like He hit us over the head with it and gave us no chance to say no. After that ultrasound I knew that God was reassuring us that we were making the right decision. He removed any shred of doubt and even provided some reassurance that the only part of my uterus that matters in this process (my endometrial lining) looked great!

So onto how our embryos found us. After I started to feel embryo adoption pressing on my heart I joined a few Facebook groups for embryo donors and recipients. We joined Miracles Waiting and the National Registry For Adoption (NRFA) but never really had any luck there. I responded to a woman's post regarding adoption openness in one of the Facebook groups and shared about our experience with a closed adoption. A women, let's call her Snowflake Grandma, sent me a private message asking if we were looking for embryos.  5 months and hundreds of messages later our signed contract is in the mail!! We couldn't be happier with our donors, embryos and contract. Negotiating the intricate details took very little effort and we have all been on the same page since Day 1. God is so good!!

I will share more of the details about our match soon. With the kind of relationship we are building with our donor family I feels it's important for them to get a say in the details we share.  I will say this - we have 4 little snowflake embryos babies in Texas just waiting for us to give them a chance!!

Saturday, July 4, 2015

and now we wait

Might sound strange but one of the struggles with infertility, specifically embryo adoption, is the ability to control.  When my husband and I gave our lives to Christ we gave Him control in exchange for His grace. I feel like we have been given back some of that control. I don't like it. We can control when we complete our testing, when we start birth control and when we plan to transfer. All that being said we can also control when we would be due if we were to be blessed with a pregnancy. We can't control if this works or not so we will leave that in God's hands.

We have decided to wait until January to complete our testing and to do our frozen embryo transfer.  There are several factors at play here. Obviously we have wanted a pregnancy for a long time. Adopting Brennan has definitely helped to decrease that sense of urgency we once felt. We thought there would be a big opportunity for federal loan repayment when we moved here to help pay down my student loans. That is no longer an option and starting in August my loan payments double!  It's like we are paying 2 mortgages per month. We decided that we need to make sure we can handle that big change financially before we go spending money on infertility testing and treatments.... which of course will hopefully turn into a pregnancy, birth, maternity leave and BABY! Talk about financial stress.

I was putting Brennan into the (hot) car the other day. She was fighting her car seat because she was tired and the hot Southern sun was beating down on my back. It hit me that if I had a baby in May or June, in the South, that I would be forced to turn into a hermit. A newborn, a 2 year old, and an average of 95 degrees with 60% humidity? Sounds like a recipe for postpartum depression.

If we wait until January for our HSG, February for birth control along with a saline sonogram and mock transfer that puts us somewhere around March or April for our transfer. If we are lucky enough to get pregnant that would be a baby between November & January. Much better.

Please be praying over the next several months as we work through and finalize the contract with our donors, meet with a counselor to discuss the psychological aspects of embryo adoption and hopefully get our little snowflakes shipped here safely.