The last year has not been the easiest; that is an understatement. I just realized I didn’t post once in 2017, I suppose I was swept up in the tidal wave of hurt, hope, and defeat for a while. Here is a quick and dirty recap to get up to speed on where we stand in our journey today.
February 2017: We went through our final IVF cycle. We knew we would not try again after this cycle, as we had drawn a line in the sand that when we used the last of T’s vials of frozen sperm, that would be our sign to quit and move on, since it would have required another painful surgery for him to retrieve more sperm and at that point each cycle was harder on my body and enflamed my endometriosis further. We gave it everything we had, my estrogen levels were over 5000 at the time of trigger and we got 26 eggs this time, a record, with 18 fertilizing normally. By day 5, we had only one blastocyst…although it was a perfect blastocyst. We transferred that blast and froze two other early blasts on day 6. I experienced severe OHSS with terrible pain and bloating. As usual, I started bleeding about a week after transfer, although this time I didn’t even get pregnant at all.
April 2017: We had our final embryo transfer. Only one blast survived the thaw. We transferred our last hope for a biological baby. Day 5 I started testing at home, and came up with a faint line…that progressively got slightly darker, but never did get super dark like my test progressions in the past. On beta day, it came in at 34…I was pregnant, but it was not hopeful since they typically like to see first betas at least at 60. When I went in for my follow up beta two days later, it had dropped back down to under 10. Another, final, miscarriage.
May 2017: Knowing that we would be done with IVF after our transfer in April, we had been looking into the process to become certified to adopt throughout the spring, and to keep our hope alive and our efforts moving forward, we started preparing for adoption in May. I chatted with several ladies I knew either directly or through friends who had been through adoption before to get more information on their experience, and we got a home study done, all of our background checks completed, and signed on with a local law office that specializes in adoption.
June-July 2017: I started having problems with my health, in that since my miscarriage in April I had not been able to get my breakthrough bleeding under control, to the point that I was having more days a month that I was bleeding than those I was not, and was in a lot of pain pretty consistently. Trying adjustments in medication did not work, and I ultimately went in to visit with my RE and get an ultrasound, which concluded I had an enormous fibroid tumor in my uterus that was causing all the bleeding. I had two options, I could undergo a procedure to remove the fibroid, but I would have to continue getting follow up surgeries throughout my life as the fibroids would come back, or I could go ahead and have a hysterectomy and end my suffering, but truly close the door on every having a biological baby. We had been discussing the possibility of a hysterectomy for me for a long time, since we started our IVF journey, due to the degree of my endometriosis. We decided the hysterectomy and relief of my ongoing pain was the way to go, and we were referred to an oncology OB/GYN since my endometriosis was so intricate it would take a very skilled surgeon to remove everything that was glued together in my belly, with the DaVinci robot.
August 2017: I had my hysterectomy. They took my uterus, and were unable to let me keep my ovaries since they were covered with endometriosis and adhesions. The process was painful emotionally and physically, but I had my amazing husband and family by my side during the recovery, and the love and support of dear friends to get me by. My recovery was complication-free, aside from the need to start supplemental estrogen and offset my menopause symptoms, and after a few weeks I was feeling better than I had in a very long time.
September – October 2017: We are matched with a birth mother, and over the moon with excitement. We make the mistake of telling many of our friends and family, before we find out that the birth mother has decided she isn’t “in love” with us after all, and wants to find a different couple to parent her child. We are devastated.
November 2017– We focus on family, and expanding our options as far as our visibility to possible expectant mothers for our adoption. We work hard to get dual-certified with the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma, since T is a registered tribal member.
December 2017– We are matched again with an expectant mother who is located very close to where we live. The whole situation seems absolutely perfect. We have a phone call with the mother, and she seems very sure of her choice and the whole process moves along. We get paperwork in order with the law office, tell our family and close friends, and start preparing for a little girl who will be born in February 2018.
January 2018: We continue to prepare for our baby girl, going on big nursery shopping trips with family, picking out a name, washing load after load of baby clothing and bedding with Dreft, putting new carpet in the baby’s room and buying a glider…we even start packing for the hospital. All the while keeping in contact with the expectant mother.
February 2018: We go a few days without getting responses from our texts to the expectant mother, and she messages our coordinator at the law office that she does not feel she can emotionally go through with the adoption, and is calling it off. We, again, are devastated.
That brings us to now…we are still numb and in shock that we have a fully furnished nursery and bassinets set up all over the house…and no baby will be coming home to them. After four miscarriages, and now two disrupted adoptions, our hearts are aching and doubt has slipped in every crevice of our minds that this may not happen for us. How can we ever really believe a future match will work out when all we have known is disappointment and shattered hope? I feel just as torn apart as I did after each miscarriage, but without the physical reminder of why I was going through the loss…it is just a quiet and confusing sense of loss. Like a bad dream come to life.
We are doing our best to hold each other up and just turn to “what’s next”, holding on to the bits of hope we have left that surely God did not make us go through all this to leave us with a permanently empty nursery. The waiting is just becoming very heavy, and some days feel like I am carrying around a suitcase full of rocks as it weighs me down.