At 42 years old and after struggling with infertility for 8 years it is hard to imagine that there was a time in my life when I did not know what IUI, IVF or FETs were. There was a point when I knew very little about the world of infertility. Sure, I had heard it was something that some people struggled with, but I never thought it would touch my life in the way that is has.
When I first came to SOFT I was hopeful, optimistic and very naive. The better part of a decade later, I am so much wiser, still infertile and miraculously a Mom.
Our first appointment at SOFT was in January of 2005. My husband and I had been trying to conceive for about a year on our own, being a little older we thought it could not hurt to get checked out sooner than later. We were both cleared of any detectable medical conditions that would interfere with our fertility.
On to IUIs we went; feeling very confident we would just need minor intervention to help us have the baby we so desperately wanted. Yet month after month ended in disappointment.
Maybe this was not going to be an easy solution. After our 7th IUI we had “the talk” with the doctor…maybe we should consider moving on to IVF. It was really hard for us to come to terms with this. On paper our cycles were great, but always unsuccessful. After our 10th IUI we made the decision to try IVF. As it was put to us, the first IVF cycle could be looked at as a diagnostic test and help to give some answers as to what may be going wrong.
One problem was obvious right from the start; on our first cycle we had only two eggs retrieved. The good news was they both fertilized and became grade one embryos. The bad news…..negative pregnancy test. Our second attempt at IVF ended up with only one embryo to transfer….this ended in a chemical pregnancy.
It was one of the biggest decisions of our lives to continue on to a third IVF. The process was taking a toll on us, and our marriage. Emotionally, physically and financially.
We went on to have a third and fourth IVF with only one embryo to transfer each time. Our fourth and last ended in a miscarriage after just a few weeks. It was very clear that I was not producing enough eggs to continue this route.
We both came to terms with the fact that I was never going to have children that shared both of our genes. Then we had another huge decision to consider and make; what would we try next?
We started looking into egg donors and started the adoption process through CAS along with trying to sort out our lives financially.
We were at a point where it did not matter where our baby came from; we were open to any and all avenues. The bottom line was we wanted to be parents.
One day we received a call that there were embryos available to us if we wanted them from a couple who intended to donate them back to patients at SOFT.
Our instant reaction was YES!! The thought of genetics was not an issue; we would have another chance at becoming parents. That was all that mattered.
The only conflict my husband and I had was whether or not to tell our family, friends and even our child the origin of his/her conception. Once again we were having discussions that I never pictured would take place in our marriage. We had a lot to take into consideration and looking at everything from all angles, we came to our decision.
We went ahead and did the FET and two weeks later we were pregnant!! Several betas and our 7 week ultrasound later it was official and we were ready to share our amazing news.
When we told our families and closest friends we told them the whole wonderful story of the donated embryos. When the excitement of the news settled we were met with some questions.
They, like most people, had never heard of donating embryos to someone else. We have come to find out that a lot of people who have gone through IVF and have unused embryos don’t even know this is an option.
Many couples who have remaining embryos after they have completed their families believe there are three options; destroying the embryos, donating them to medical research or keeping them frozen year after year and not really making a decision at all.
These embryos are created with love, longing and with the purpose of giving them life. They are children waiting to be born.
Isn’t it wonderful to know the choice is there to make them part of a loving family?
Our daughter was born into a family that adores her. She is the center of our lives and we could not love her more. This is the baby that was meant to be ours and we are the parents that were meant to be hers. I truly believe that everything we wet through and also what the donor couple went through was to bring our daughter to us.
We have been open with everyone in our lives. We are proud of our daughter’s beautiful and very unique story and we will raise her to feel that pride as well.
She was conceived from love, generosity and selflessness. Our lives have been touched by people we will never know. They made a very difficult decision and without that decision my husband and I would not be parents and our daughter may never have existed.
I am eternally grateful to our donors for choosing to place this miracle in our lives. We are forever changed and blessed.
Embryo Adoption (known also as Embryo Donation) is often a very private process for both the donors (parents donating embryos) and recipients (parents receiving embryos).
If you are interested in this process please contact a Registered Nurse (RN) at SOFT to ask how you can access this part of our Secondary Program that includes donor eggs, surrogacy & donor embryos.