You are Not Alone

NIAW-CMYK

For National Infertility Awareness Week, I’m re-posting a blog that I wrote a while back, titled, “The DNA Decision.”  While infertility effects 1 in 8 couples, it can feel very isolating and can be a very painful journey to share with others.  The infertility I have faced with my husband has not only taken us through two rounds of IVF and a total of 7 embryo transfers to date, we have also lost 3 babies.  We lost our first baby boy when I was 15 weeks pregnant and twin girls when I was 9 weeks pregnant.  The blog post that follows is one small piece of this journey where I write about the decision to use an egg donor.  I invite you to read other blog posts here at www.31chances.com

Today happens to mark the 4 year anniversary of my first date with my husband.  We have been through so much in those four years.  Especially over the past two years in our journey to baby.

For more information on NIAW and to find out how you can connect with others suffering from infertility, please see this link as well as the links at the bottom of this post.

http://www.resolve.org/niaw

The DNA Decision

When we dream of having our own children, we wonder how our looks and personality will pass down to our baby. Will they have our nose, our eye color or hair color? Will they laugh like us, look like us, smile like us? Maybe she will be my strawberry-blond mini-me bringing on comments from friends saying, “she’s so cute, she looks just like you!” But how does this all change and how do we accept that this type of dream is gone, when the genetics are not ours? How do we decide to move forward with the journey to baby when we can’t have “our” baby? Surprisingly, the decision turned out to be quite simple. Not that there weren’t fears that came along with it, but as options dwindle, the path becomes clear and now here we are with our donor embryos. When successful IVF with my own eggs became such a remote possibility, our next logical step seemed to be adoption. But then we found out about egg donation. Knowing my first choice is to carry the pregnancy on my own and be in control of the health of the baby from day one, this became our next best option. The process with our agency was so respectful and comforting that it became such an exciting new path for us. We chose a donor that resembled me as closely as possible to my eye, hair and skin color. We were able to review medical history and a thorough profile including photos from various years of her life. And then we had the option to meet her. While all personal information including names are kept confidential, we were able to sit with her for an hour with our conversation guided by a psychologist. I left the meeting feeling so thrilled to now have insight into her personality, her childhood, her family, her hobbies, music interests, travel desires and mannerisms. I left there hoping I would be able to share this with my child someday.

Here are a few things that I wrote about her shortly after meeting her:

…She has a cute smile. I hope we will get to see that smile again. She’s confident, witty, smart, a hard worker and likes reggae, rap, hip-hop and Jimmy Buffet. She has green eyes that sparkle with a daring and adventurous spirit. Blond hair that was dyed a bright orange-red with a short, spunky haircut. When we walked in the office to meet her I went to shake her hand and was surprised and happy to be met by a hug.

…She warned us that she is adventurous and daring, apologizing ahead of time that we could have a child climbing the walls.

After going through two partial pregnancies and experiencing the love for the life growing within me; there was no longer a fear or thought that “this baby isn’t mine.” They all felt like mine from the moment I heard a heart beat. The genetics did not mean a thing when I saw them on the ultrasound. All I saw were my babies and all I felt was love. And isn’t it exciting to think of creating a child where there are no preconceived ideas of what they should be like because you expect them to be like you? How wonderful to let go of that and just let them grow and blossom into who they are meant to be! So, if our miracle comes and someone says, “she’s so cute, she looks just like you!” I will smile and know that it’s because our love and our connected souls are shining through her eyes (or his, I’m not picky). We will belong to each other.

For more information on the basic disease of infertility, visit:

http://www.resolve.org/about-infertility/what-is-infertility/

For more information about NIAW (National Infertility Awareness Week), visit:

http://www.resolve.org/national-infertility-awareness-week/about.html

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