5/23/14

Here I am: hope in the dark after failed infertility treatments.

Following our final failed IUI in April, May has been something of a rough month. I've been tired, emotional and fairly overwhelmed as I come to terms with the reality that our fertility treatments didn't work. Most days have been hard. Some days have been hopeful. Mostly I've just been trying to wrap my head around the fact that this is my story. I'm someone who did all the testing, had a laparscopic surgery, did three medicated cycles and four IUIs, … and still didn't get pregnant. That's my story. I wish it wasn't. But it is. I'm here.

I'm here in this place where only a year ago I gravely feared being. On the other side of all those treatments, sitting on the couch, knees tucked under my chin and arms around them, the fronts of my thighs pressed tightly against my empty womb. I'm here.

There are some things here that I knew would be: an empty ache. Disbelief. Tears. Heartbreak.

Some things aren't here that I thought would be: mainly, regret. I thought for sure if I got here, I would regret all the time and mostly the money that went into our treatments. I don't. I have peace about where we went on our journey and all the choices we made. I wouldn't change any of our decisions either; I believe it was exactly the right journey for us. I have peace knowing I won't look back on this stage of my life and say, "I wish we would have tried…." We tried. It didn't work. But I have peace knowing we tried.

John and I spent a lot of time considering whether to move forward with either IVF or embryo donation and we've decided to move forward with embryo donation. We haven't fully closed the door on IVF, but we both would much prefer to be recipients of donor embryos than do IVF, if we can. Our clinic has not historically received donated embryos from other clinics (the type of donations which adoption agencies like Nightlight facilitate), so we are looking for a match within our own clinic. Our clinic also only has an anonymous donor program, but based on all our past adoption research we truly believe it would be best for any child(ren) born of donor embryos to know their genetic family; so we are hoping to find a donor couple: 1) at our clinic who 2) want an open or semi-open relationship with our family.

We're carving out something of a new path at our clinic by seeking a known donor couple. I am unsure whether anything will come of it, but I think it would be a beautiful way for God to redeem this really hard season in our lives if he would so choose. Watching him redeem our first infertile year by bringing about Arie's adoption was the most incredible experience of my life thus far; I am clinging to the hopeful expectation that he will do something wonderful again! And- honestly- hoping he'll do it soon. Because being here is really hard.

Looking forward to brighter days to come and in the meantime walking (stumbling??) as faithfully as I know how in the dark.

xo

16 comments:

  1. We have just begun the embryo adoption process as well, Jill. I'm here to walk this road together with you. Praying.

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    1. Courtney I'm glad to be on the journey with you! Can I ask if you are using an adoption agency or another way like we are?

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    2. We are starting out the same way you are. It is such a more cost effective route.{4300 compared to $15k} We will start here and see how it goes. Maybe someday we will use Bethany or Nightlight....we'll have to see.

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    3. Very cool. You are the first person I've connected with who is going through a clinic instead of an agency. We'll have to keep in touch through the journey!

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    4. Yes, ma'am! I'm not sure when I'll share our journey on my blog. Being so open through all of our fertility treatments and our miscarriage has made me want to take a little breather before being quite so vulnerable again.....but I will share at some point. Of course I'll keep following along with you!

      You can always email me if you want to chat too :) courtneyspena@gmail.com

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  2. Anonymous5/23/2014

    I love your perspective, Jill. And I'm so excited for this new step! I'll be praying for you three.
    Kristin

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    1. Thank you Kristin for sharing your excitement! Makes me smile.

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  3. Anonymous5/23/2014

    We had dear friends go through the embryo adoption process. She just turned 5, and is a walking miracle. God had a unique story through them as He does through you as well. Praying this hard place gets redeemed by His joy very soon...

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    1. Love hearing that success story! Awesome :-) Thank you for your prayers for joy!

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  4. Dear Jill,
    I found your blog a few weeks ago and fell in love with your writing style and your adoption story. I have to admit I went back into your archives and read your whole blog from start to finish.
    I want to thank you for your honesty and for allowing your readers to walk this journey with you, through good times and bad. My husband and I began the process to adopt internationally last year, and we've had quite a rocky journey so far. We got some pretty bad news today about our adoption process, and it gave me courage and comfort when I remembered how God worked through your often difficult circumstances to bring you Arie, and how you continue to faithfully share even during this crushing journey through infertility. Thank you - you are in my prayers.

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    1. Lucy I can't tell you how much your words mean to me! Thank you for your incredible comment. I'm so happy to hear you are in the adoption process and also my heart goes out to you for your bad news. The adoption path is not an easy one. I pray God shows you his faithfulness and gives you great reason to hope even in the face of bad news. xoxo

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  5. Anonymous5/24/2014

    Wow, your blog never fails to inspire me. I am where you're at right now- failed fertility treatments and a bunch of failed IUI's. I'm not sure if we're going to pursue IVF or adoption...It's very scary and I wish I had the answers but at this point in time, I don't have any. I wish I could make decisions like you do and feel confident...I just feel so lost. I am glad you found peace with your decision and reading this entry teared me up- because of you a child will be bought into this world who might have never been. I'll be following your journey and will continue to pray for you.

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    1. I'm so sorry you are here too. :-( It's hard and I hate that you are feeling this pain. I wanted to tell you that I feel lost too! It may seem like I feel confident about our decisions because I share them after we've made them, but I often feel like I am adrift in a sea with no idea which way it is to shore. Something that helps me make decisions is knowing that not making a decision is actually making a decision to do nothing… and even when I'm not sure exactly what to do, I know doing nothing is not the answer. We all make the best decisions we know how to make and it's okay if they are not perfect or if we don't feel totally confident in them. Many ((hugs)) to you. Thank you for your prayers. I truly hope you find some direction soon!

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  6. Anonymous5/27/2014

    Thanks for this update! I was wondering what the last month was like for you. It makes me so sad the grief that you have endured. With diminished ovarian reserve, it seems like embryo adoption would be your best chance at success. Not to say that it can't also happen with IVF, it just seems that the odds would be higher with embryo adoption. I really like that you are hoping for openness in the process, I would imagine that would help the child process identity questions much better. I think of you often!

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    1. Thank you for your thoughts and for leaving a comment! Yes that is a big reason why we want to have an open relationship with the genetic family; I believe it will help the child as he/she grows. If I was that child I know I would want to know my roots! :-) Thanks again!

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  7. Anonymous5/28/2014

    I've loved following your story while you were in the adoption process with Arie and he really seems like he is the happiest little guy! I'm so sorry that you guys are going through this infertility journey, I know firsthand that it's awful. After deciding to pursue IVF we were blessed with twins who are now 6 months old and the light of our lives. I have faith that you'll receive your own blessing/s as you move forward with embryo adoption. I'll definitely be following this new journey of yours closely, we have 7 frozen embryos (lovingly referred to as totsicles ;) and we are both pretty adamant on donation once we've decided our family is complete. It will be great to see the process from the other side, I'll be checking back often. Good luck to you guys! -Kate

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