During our hospital tour, we passed the lab where we had some blood work done before starting IUI at the new clinic and a flood of memories came rushing in. This time last year, we had just returned from Mexico to the news that our second IVF had failed. In some ways it was harder than the first time IVF didn't work because we had done all we could do the second time around. We transferred 2 Grade A blastocysts, I stayed an extra week in Mexico to relax, I took all the supplements...we felt there was nothing more we could have done that would have increased our chances of success. We didn't even consider trying IVF a third time.
With the news that IVF #2 had failed, I wanted to go full steam ahead into adoption. But as I'm sure many of you know, adoption is not without its own frustrations and heartbreak. We were stressed and overwhelmed by the approximately $50,000 cost. It's sad that money has to play a role in how we grow our family, but ultimately it is a reality we can't ignore. We worried about how we could pull together the money, adoption programs we were interested in were closing or changing and we weren't eligible for many other programs. I spent hours researching adoption programs around the world and the effects that fetal drug and alcohol exposure could have on the baby. I worried about how long it would be until we received a referral... and of course what many prospective adoptive parents worry about in an open adoption- "What if the Mom changes her mind?" This is only a short list of the things we worried about at the time - It goes without saying that we (and our marriage) were under an incredible amount of stress last year.
So on Monday, we walked by the chairs we sat in while waiting to have our blood drawn at the hospital around this time last year. I remembered sitting in those chairs last year and having probably one of the biggest fights of our marriage. It wasn't a screaming match (because we were in public) but the energy between us was tense and we were both emotionally drained. We were at our breaking points. Until then, Andino had always managed to keep it together while I fell apart, but at that moment his resolve had worn too thin. We had already paid for 6 rounds of IUI and we were also in the process of preparing our dossier to send to an adoption agency in the U.S. But as we sat in those chairs, I told Andino that I wanted to give up on fertility treatments and just focus on adoption. I was tired of all the fertility drugs, the constant blood draws and Doctor's appointments. Despite all the stress that came with preparing to adopt I knew in my heart that I wanted to. But Andino didn't want to focus on just one path and he wasn't ready to give up on fertility treatments yet.
Ultimately, I decided to try IUIs until we were ready to actually send our adoption dossier to the agency. It helped me to deal with my emotions while going through fertility treatments to focus on preparing our photo book and all the documents required to complete the dossier (immigration documents, criminal record checks etc.) The other thing that got me through the incredibly tough year we had was that I never stopped dreaming of what the future held for me. I envisioned many different scenarios as I'm sure all of us who struggle with infertility do - living child-free and travelling the world, adopting & getting pregnant. I pictured it all. I knew I could find happiness in any of those paths.
My husband's band Andino Suns is getting ready to release their second album in a few weeks. In fact, the box of cds just arrived in the mail the other day. Andino was listening to the album tonight (while I was in this retrospective mood) and my favourite song of the album came on - Dreaming. There are so many lyrics to this song that makes me think of how we were at that time:
The very first lyrics to the song - "Back on my feet again, my life is marching on" I really can't think of a better way to describe how I felt after each failed cycle, after each hard day, after each good day...
"when doubts creep up again, my courage takes them on" It takes a lot of courage to keep fighting, especially during the really hard days like the one we had that day at the hospital last year.
"Sailing, strong winds, rough seas, crashing waves that strengthen me" I believe that the rough times we have been through have strengthened me more than anything else in my life.
"I'm flying towards my dreams and destiny" I had no idea how my life would unfold, but I never stopped dreaming and I knew that whatever my destiny held - I was on my way.
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