Our Infertility Story - IUI, Adoption, Embryo Adoption, IVF, Surrogacy

Friday, April 29, 2022

It's amazing to remember where we started on our journey to making a family and where it's taken us.

There are so many incredible details to our story but in honor of infertility awareness week I want to give you the highlights.

My husband and I had our first date in August of 2003 and were married in September 2009.  At the time I was working as a nurse and in midwifery school.  In December 2012 we decided it was time to start a family.  I remember being so convinced that the first time would work and couldn't believe it when my period started.  Now 10 years later, having never had a spontaneously conceived pregnancy, I have to laugh at my naivety. 

After 1 year of trying we had the usual initial workup that really didn't show anything.  I had requested a lining check just because my periods were so light and in Nov 2013 had a 5 cm complex cyst removed from my left ovary.  The cyst turned out to be an endometrioma.

Immediately following that surgery we had our first IUI which failed just before Christmas that year.  We were heart broken of course but ready to try again.  We started another round in January 2014 and just 4 days prior to the scheduled IUI our lives were turned upside down.  There are so many incredible details to this story and I just can't do it justice here.  But here are the highlights:

Mid-injection text asking us if we wanted to adopt a baby - A sermon reminding us that we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength (Philippians 4:13) - a 2 week whirlwind of home studies, background checks and fingerprinting - 2 weeks of not telling our families ANYTHING about potentially bringing home a baby -  then meeting our daughter with my husband on Facetime stuck in Ohio for work - and now my sweet first born is 8 years old!!  For the rest of Brennan's Adoption story read here. 

With a newborn and infertility I don't think we necessarily kept "trying" but we did nothing to prevent for the next 2 years.  My cycle kept showing up every month and I knew we were going to need some help.  My antral follice count prior to IUI was 11. My AMH never quite matched what they saw on ultrasound so I've since forgotten that but know it wasn't great.  After my endometrioma removal my left ovary was never seen again and my antral follice count dropped to 4.

Embryo adoption had already been placed on our hearts and knew a stim cycle and tradition IVF just wasn't for us.  When Brennan was 1 1/2 we were gifted embryos from incredible selfless couple in Texas.  Just after her 2nd birthday we started meds for our first frozen embryo transfer.  The cycle was flawless until transfer day. They thawed the highest graded embryo of the 4 embryos we were gifted and the straw was empty!  They thawed the next best and my incredible "baby snowflake" Blake is now 5 years old! Here is a little bit more information on Embryo Adoption.

We were literally gifted 2 daughters. The first through domestic adoption and the second through embryo adoption.  We figured what better way to pay it forward then to help another family build their family. Enter surrogacy.  At first my husband said "hell no" and after months of research started to get on board.  

Our first journey was incredible but it did take us 3 transfers to get pregnant.  Clara is now 1 and took her first steps last week!!  She has amazing parents and wonderful older brother.  The entire experience was so rewarding we had to do another.

We are now 11 weeks along carrying sweet Baby Bubble Gum as my girls have affectionately named him. I am proof that there are A LOT of ways to make a family and the most important thing to remember is to never lose hope. The women I have and am carrying for have had hysterectomies and didn't have a choice but to seek third party help to continue growing their families. 

A friend of mine reminded me early on in our journey that it's ok to pray for God to grant my heart's desires.  The morning that Brennan's birth mom signed her relinquishment papers the bible verse on my scheduled reading plan for 2014 was Psalms 20:4.  Another gift from God, a peaceful heart!  

Then when I first started to read about embryo adoption I came across a blog highlighting another woman's journey to motherhood.  Her blog had used the same verse!!  It was in that moment that I knew we would be building out family in yet another non-traditional way. 

I hope these versus give you peace and that no matter where you are in your journey that you never give up and continue to walk through every open door.  And remember, if it's not open yet, it's ok to knock!!  God will find a way.

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