Embracing Adoption After IVF | Fertility Out Loud

My Fertility Journey: Embracing Adoption After IVF

The views and opinions expressed are those of the authors and should not be considered medical advice. Always consult your doctor for the most appropriate treatment.

It’s funny how things happen in life, and looking back on our journey, we can’t believe we can actually call ourselves parents.  

I (Mom) remember a dream I had many years ago, when most of our friends were having children and we were off traveling the world. I dreamt that I gave birth to a baby girl. They say that the first time one sees their child, there is an overwhelming feeling of love that cannot be described.  

In my dream, I experienced that feeling so intensely, I woke up crying. Fast forward to becoming pregnant (surprise!) at age 42.  

We were accustomed to doing whatever we wanted, so it would be a big change for us, but in the best way ever! We were ecstatic, though nervous due to my age. I’m 11 years older than my husband and got married at almost age 38.  

Sadly, we lost the pregnancy.  

Thus, our journey to parenthood began. We tried conceiving naturally for the next year, became pregnant twice, each pregnancy ending in miscarriage. So, it was time to see a specialist. After undergoing the many diagnostic tests, it was discovered that I had fibroids, which required surgeries. 

Well, I had fibroids and was of advanced maternal age. Once I was healed and cleared, we settled in with our second fertility specialist (reproductive endocrinologist or RE) for the long haul, hoping it wouldn’t actually be that long of a haul. After 1 round of in vitro fertilization (IVF) with my own eggs (of which 5 were retrieved, 4 matured, and all were transferred), we didn’t have success. The same happened with a natural pregnancy after the failed transfer. So we pursued an egg donor.  

We “shopped around” and found the “perfect-for-us” young woman to graciously endure a stimulation and retrieval cycle and donate her eggs. Our experience with the donation agency was very positive, along with the ongoing support of our medical team through our fertility center. In fact, if it wasn’t for the support that was offered through our fertility center, I wouldn’t be typing this today.   

We were very happy with the 7 mature embryos that resulted from our donor.  

Over the next 3 years, we would go through 5 donor transfers (since 2 of the 7 embryos were deemed abnormal through preimplantation genetic screening [PGS testing]). We had 1 chemical pregnancy, 1 pregnancy that resulted in miscarriage, and 3 that were unsuccessful. 

In between transfers, we sought a second opinion, because we wanted to cover all bases. But we stayed with our original fertility specialist, since everyone was on the same page.

After the last failed transfer, we decided we were moving forward into resolution. I did ask what the gender of that embryo was—a girl. We were open to exploring adoption but would go with our hearts if and when the time was right. We were emotionally (and physically) exhausted! I was pushing 47, so continuing with IVF was out of the question. We were also tired of the financial strain of fertility treatments. 

We met with an adoption attorney the following summer, stored the information, and lived our lives. We traveled all over, including a big family trip to India and Europe. I maintained a close relationship with my fertility coach, who was a nurse from our clinic, and who was one of the most important people in our journey. Even in resolution, her support kept us emotionally well and able to see that the future was going to be great, whether we became parents or not. We continued our relationships with other couples that went through similar journeys who we met through wellness groups led by our beloved nurse. We cannot stress enough how important those groups were! These relationships evolved into a beautiful family. We are forever grateful for them. 

Then one evening, 7 months past our big trip, we received a call from our fertility specialist. He asked if we were open to adoption, because he knew of a family, and the rest is history.  

Everything we experienced, good and bad, was for this moment.

Everything we experienced, good and bad, was for this moment. We are grateful for so many things, but mostly, for our doctor and nurse at our clinic, who chose us to be parents to our smart, beautiful, and perfect little girl. 

We wouldn’t have it any other way—we were meant to be a family. Remember that feeling I didn’t think I’d ever experience in real life? Well, it became real and it’s so true. She is the little girl in my dream many years ago, and she finally found her Mommy and Daddy. We felt every emotion related to love the second she was put into our arms. We cried many tears of joy, and still do. We are so grateful for her biological family too. They gave us the greatest gift, right before the holidays, during National Adoption Month. Would we have lived a full life without becoming parents? I think so, because we would never know how it felt to become one. But as we look at our precious angel, we could never, ever imagine life without her.  

We are blessed.

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