And Now For...The Rest of the Story

{That makes me think of Paul Harvey.}

Last week I started sharing more of our journey to becoming parents. It was on my heart to explain our walk down infertility road and how that process led us to adoption in the hope that our story might encourage others facing similar choices. I tried to be as honest about the rollercoaster of feelings that accompany seeking fertility assistance as I could. If you have questions that I didn't address, please feel free to ask them either in the comments or through email. Seriously, fire away.

After a year or so of unsuccessful procedures, our doctor recommended we move on up to In Vitro Fertilization (IVF). You know, kind of like The Jeffersons. IVF is a Luxury High Rise Apartment in the Fertility Big City. Except without a wisecracking maid. And racially mixed next door neighbors.

Wait a minute. I went off on a tangent, apparently I am a fan of a good tangent. Where was I? Oh yeah, IVF.

This is where your reproductive system is completely controlled by precise doses and timing of certain hormones for almost two months (first, it's basically shut down with one cycle of stuff then fired back up again with another series of stuff). You are monitored VERY closely with blood work and ultrasounds so they can schedule egg retrieval at their, ahem, peak potential. Then Bill Nye the Science Guy (okay, maybe it is the IVF lab specialist) analyzes the eggs, chooses the best and actually injects the male donation (I know, lame euphemism, but I don't want creepy google searches) into the egg to ensure fertilization. Then you wait, which is okay, because that's what you've been doing all along, for your daily embryo reports. You might cry when you get the phone call the next morning that there are X number of potential babies growing in a lab a few miles away, I'm just sayin'. After a few days multiplying in petri dishes, a certain number of the best (they are actually graded, like eggs) embryos are transferred into your uterus along with many prayers for implantation. Then you are on bed rest for a couple of weeks until it's time for one of the biggest tests of your life, a test that you can't study for either.

Throughout the overall process Scott and I had The Talk every few months, which was about how far were we willing to go and how much money were we willing to invest in fertility treatments. This talk is not an easy one to have because mixed up with the anxiety about the procedures, the stress about the finances, the pile of disappointment in your rear view mirror is the glimmer of hope just around the corner of the next cycle. The hope of a pregnancy, the hope of a baby, the hope of becoming parents.

Since so much of fertility treatments relies on a tweak of a dose here and an adjustment of timing there, it's terribly hard to know when to say when. Some couples have success after one IVF attempt, some after three, others after many more. With all the assistance the specialists and medicines provide there is no guarantee. That, my friends, is the bitter pill.

Scott and I decided we wanted to know we had done everything medically possible to become pregnant. For us, that meant one full IVF cycle (one with fresh embryos, one with any remaining viable frozen embryos).

I'll never forget my blood draw early that morning. I'll never forget the nurse's phone call later that day with the news.

I was pregnant.

I'll never forget telling my dad. Telling our close friends and family. Taking a home pregnancy test, just for kicks you know, and getting a positive result (on a creepy side note: it's still in my nightstand).

I'll never forget the spotting that started about a week later. I'll never forget the ultrasounds that followed and the fact there were two teeny tiny sacs. Empty.

I'll never forget the misery of the next few days that followed.

About a month or so later I dug out a folder of information that had been tucked away for more than a year. Scott and I started having a different talk, this time one about adoption.

I'll never forget that either.


  1. I would be looking into adoption instead of IVF if it was allowed for us. But IVF it will be.

    Thanks for sharing your story, and such a personal one at that. Did you have any frozen embryos to use or after you miscarried did you move on to adoption? Do you want to have more children via adoption?

  2. We had 3 frozen embryos (they were okay quality, the best ones were of course used in the first/fresh cycle). About 5 months after the miscarriage we tried again with the frozen ones. By that time we had already started the adoption process, but wanted peace knowing we had tried just about everything we could to have a biological child. I did not get PG, but that time was much more bearable because we knew we were close to getting an adoption referral. There was light at the end of the tunnel, you know?

    As for adopting again, I don't know. We talk about it from time to time--and want Annelise to have a sibling--but we haven't seriously looked into another adoption--but we're open to it. So, I'd say we're lazy and on the fence.

    Thanks for your interest in all of this Natasha. I wish you the VERY BEST as you get closer to your IVF plans. :)

  3. I love reading this story- even though it is such a painful one. It's amazing what we do/go through to be parents!

    I am so happy you are sharing this, I'm positive it is helping others-- much more than you can possibly know.

  4. You are a great writer! You need to publish this journey. Thanks for sharing.

  5. I never grow tired of seeing...feeling..., or hearing the blessing of Annelise and how there were 3 lives that were forever changed through the love of our Father.

    God shows His love through your story! His love for a Sweet Baby born in Russia and a His love for a couple who wanted a child with all their hearts.

    Praise Him!
    Love ya,

  6. I just cried for you. And for all the women who have to bear this cross.

  7. Anything I say seems not enough. From the heart of one who also went down this road, thank you. For one who held your hand, thank you. For one who gets to see Annelise's face light up, thank you. Thank you for sharing your heart with us. God is good, powerful and mysterious in His ways...but they are always perfect!
    Love Ya!

  8. Anything I say seems not enough. From the heart of one who also went down this road, thank you. For one who held your hand, thank you. For one who gets to see Annelise's face light up, thank you. Thank you for sharing your heart with us. God is good, powerful and mysterious in His ways...but they are always perfect!
    Love Ya!

  9. Oh Holly, I can only imagine the rollercoaster. It must be so very, very difficult. It gave me goosebumps to read that you actually were pregnant, which just added a huge dip in the rollercoaster, huh? One of my dearest friends went through IVF several times (starting at age 40) and has three beautiful girls, but it was a very trying and long journey for her. I remember being on business trips with her and giving her the injections. Thinking of you and thanks for sharing.

  10. Love u. thankful for you.

    thats all. :)

  11. Wow. On the edge of my seat, reading this. I can't imagine the pain and disappointment of losing that pregnancy. I'm just so glad for you that you found Annelise.

    On another note: Loved your prairie post, too. I totally have a pic of myself outside with a bonnet on, too. Made by my crafty mother.

  12. Thanks everyone for your kind words and virtual hugs.

    Posting more about our experiences was difficult, yet also cathartic in a way. Thanks for reading.

    I didn't know this when I started the series of posts, but October 15was pregnancy/infant loss rememberence day--so the timing of my posts meshed with that.

    I do also plan to post more about our adoption experiences in the next few weeks as we get closer to another Gotcha Day. I wholly recognize and credit God's hand and perfect timing in all of our fertility/adoption journey.


I'd love to hear what you have to say. I try to reply to comments and answer questions within each post so be sure to check back from time to time. Thanks for visiting!

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