Thursday, July 31, 2008

A Guardian Angel

I know many of the women on here have adopted through LDS Family Services, and have had great experiences. However, if you're thinking about adopting again and have some financial flexibility, you might want to consider going through A Guardian Angel. It's an adoption agency based in Salt Lake City, but as far as I know they're open to out-of-state couples. My cousin's good friends used A Guardian Angel because the wife's mother is a caseworker there, and apparently the agency often has more babies than families wanting them. From what I've told, their average wait time is 2 months or less! Another reason why this couple used A Guardian Angel is that apparently LDS Family Services just has way more adoptive couples than birth moms placing through them, meaning longer waits. So, for them, it was the way to go. They adopted a darling baby girl a little more than a year ago. Then, a few months ago, they got another call because the same birth mother was pregnant again and wanted to know if they'd like to adopt the new baby as well. So in less than 2 years, they have 2 beautiful kids!

The only potential negatives of A Guardian Angel, depending on your personal preferences and financial situation, are that A Guardian Angel is much more expensive than LDS (like $20,000) and tends to have more mixed race/non-white babies available for placement sooner (so it might be hard if you're white and would like to adopt a baby who looks as much like you as possible). For us, if our medical stuff doesn't pan out, this might be the right choice. I just don't care about the race thing, and I'd feel a lot better about spending some serious cash when a baby is the guaranteed result (and that result comes quicker!). Anyhow, just thought I'd share.

Here's the website--I just sent away for a free information packet. It might be useful for anyone wanting to know their options.

Mandatory trust in God

Okay, so here is the (believe it or not) shortened version of our journey to parenthood.   Read at the risk of becoming very, very bored... :)

Before DH and I were married almost 11 years ago, I was diagnosed with endometriosis, so five months into the marriage, we stopped all preventative methods, and waited nonchalantly for pregnancy to commence.   About two years later we started to get worried, so DH went in for some tests at the suggestion of my OB.   They found a very minor problem, fixed it with surgery, and we left it at that.   Right before we bought our current home, I was surprised one day by horrible pain that was followed immediately by AF (Aunt Flo).   Two days later I mentioned it to my mom, who told me to call the OB because it sounded like a miscarriage to her.   The OB said it probably was a miscarriage, and that if AF lasted too long to make sure I called them back.   Even though I didn't know I might be pregnant, hearing that it probably was a miscarriage gave me a lot of hope that I wouldn't have to go see a specialist after all.

Then enters the saga of the house (which actually is important to the story): I didn't really want to move, but the DH was tired of paying rent, so we began looking at homes.  We passed over our current home several times before we actually toured it with our realtor.   I was ready to give up the hunt, but that night we both had very similar dreams about living in the house, and after about a week of me stewing over not wanting to move again, we made an offer which was quickly accepted.   We moved into an awesome ward, and a few weeks later the bishop tried to call me into primary (Let's put her in with all those KIDS! That will make her feel better about her inability to conceive.), which, after a lot of prayer, I refused.   The following week I was called as the Beehive advisor in YW, where I served for almost 3 years.

After another 2 1/2 years with no success, we finally went to see a new DR.  He wasn't an RE, but he had a definite plan of attack to find out what, if anything was wrong, and then a treatment plan that seemed completely financially reasonable.   After tests determined I had CLPD (lining issues), and a "hostile" environment to DH's swimmers, we went the IUI route.   After six IUIs, we found out I was pregnant.   The pregnancy ended 8 weeks later as an ultrasound tech told us that there was no heartbeat.   I took the photo of our baby home with me, and the next day had a D&C because I couldn't stand the thought of carrying my dead baby around inside of me for who knew how long before my body decided to expel it.   We tried 3 more rounds of IUIs with no success and I slowly got angrier and angrier at God for taking my baby and making me suffer with infertility while even "stupid" teenagers could get knocked up without even trying.  It consumed me, and even though I continued to be active in church, I just dreaded going every Sunday.  Around this time I was released from YW and called to be a RS teacher which helped to strengthen the little I had left of my testimony.   Meanwhile, we had been thinking more and more about adoption (since we'd spent so much on treatments, surgeries (3 for my endo), tests, etc) and decided to go fasting to the temple to see if this was the course we should take.   I bawled when I knew that it was right because a huge part of me was not ready to let go of all of my dreams about having a baby that looked like us or had DH's amazing talents.   So we stopped the IUIs, and contacted LDS Family Svcs.   Before I could bring myself to fill out any of the paperwork, the DH lost his job, which brought any plans for a family to a screeching halt.

DH eventually found a new job, and we commenced the monumental task of filling out paperwork for an adoption, taking well over a year to complete everything.   Almost another year later I was called to serve in the Primary.  I struggled with accepting the calling (making the new president wait for over a month while I prayed and cried and cried and prayed), but eventually felt like it wouldn't be too horrendous to see kids that were about the same age my baby would have been.  I became close friends with our president (who was the mother of one of my former Beehives) and one Sunday as I was telling her my frustrations about some of our friends being picked by a birth-mom after only having been approved for 4 months (we having been approved for 16 months), she told me that it might happen sooner than I thought.   I told her that I really didn't think so, and then she, very haltingly, told me that her daughter (Erica), my former YW, was pregnant.

We hadn't wanted an open adoption at all and were extemely worried about how something like this would work, but through the next few months, as Erica and her family spent time with us, things just seemed peaceful.  Since Erica and I had a good rapport from YW days, she spent a lot of time at our house and we came to love Erica for herself- not at all for the baby she was carrying- and our love and concern for her well-being took center stage as we went through the pregnancy with her.  We were constantly telling her that it would be fine if she changed her mind after she had the baby (which, I can tell you was the honest truth), but she continually told us that she knew that the baby was meant for our family.  We had several long talks with her parents about the situation, and as a result became fast friends.

I finally discovered after 9 1/2 years of marriage that God had been ever-watchful, guiding me through my darkest hours to shape me into the woman I am slowly becoming.  He guided DH and I to our home where we became part of an incredible ward family that eventually led us to our daughter and a bigger extended "family" than we ever imagined.  Our journey to parenthood was a difficult one that I can now see was only complicated by my anger at God.  Fortunately for me, God is very patient and forgiving, and even though I probably didn't deserve it, he led me to a situation that allowed me so many wonderful experiences, including being able to help Erica as she brought a beautiful little girl into the world.  My amazing daughter is proof that God knows each of us, individually - our hopes, dreams, righteous desires as well as what each of us can handle.

Wishing you luck with all of your righteous endeavors,


Monday, July 28, 2008

Donor Sperm Dilemma

So, we're back from our vacation and no closer to deciding what to do about the donor sperm vs. IVF/ISCI decision we have to make. My OPK test turned positive Saturday afternoon, but we wouldn't be back home in time to do an IUI, so we just went au natural. Surprisingly, I feel really at peace either way. For the first time in a long time, I don't feel like it would be the end of the world if I didn't get pregnant this month (but in 2 weeks maybe I'll feel differently!). Oh, and it's also kind of weird that we'll find out if I'm pregnant on the anniversary of our first date--isn't it so girly to keep track of stuff like that?

Anyway, my reason for posting is that when I blogged a few days ago about our last appointment, many of you mentioned how using donor sperm was just not for you, or how you didn't feel right about it given the Church's guidelines. From what I've heard, this seems to be very common among LDS couples--no one wants to use donor sperm. I'm never one to question personal revelation, so if you prayed about it and just got a "no", then that's one thing. But am I missing something else? Does anyone know why LDS couples, in particular, are really reluctant to use donor sperm?

Granted, I haven't thought about it all that long, and Brian and I still don't feel like we've been given a definitive answer one way or another to our prayers, but I don't see anything all that wrong with it. Sure, I can see the Church having a problem with men going off and donating sperm for money, or single women (or a lesbian couple, for that matter) opting to forgo marriage and a traditional family structure and using donor sperm to get pregnant on her/their own. But I don't know why, other than the Lord specifically answering a prayer, the Church would have a problem with a stable, married, heterosexual couple using donor sperm to help them multiply and replenish the earth.

A few weeks ago, we spoke to our bishop again about our fertility struggles. He was, of course, very kind and reassuring. I mentioned donor sperm as an option down the road, but he didn't mention anything about Church guidelines or caution us to beware of that option. I know he's been preoccupied lately with the declining health of his parents, so maybe he was distracted? I know that particularly in our ward, our bishop is especially busy with members whose needs are more urgent than ours (rent money, food, child care, etc.). I don't want to bother him yet again with something I could research on my own. Does anyone know where I could find these guidelines?

During the time we've been thinking and praying about this whole donor sperm thing, I know that there's something a bit lopsided and potentially unfair about us having a baby that is biologically 1/2 mine and possibly 1/2 a stranger's. But at the same time, I think (though having never had a child, I don't have a whole lot of perspective) that the experience of pregnancy and childbirth are fundamentally different for men and women. I think that for women, motherhood and that special bond begin at the moment she learns she's pregnant. I think that throughout the pregnancy, and subsequent childbirth and breastfeeding, that bond only intensifies. But I don't think it's the same for men--they don't feel anything inside of them growing, don't actually give birth, and don't breastfeed. So for them, I think until the baby has arrived, their job is more passive, and they're more responsible for sympathy and support. So what difference is there, really, for them if you have a baby naturally (who is one or both of yours biologically) or adopt a baby (who is, biologically, neither of yours)? Not a whole lot, other than not dealing with a pregnant or laboring wife. But for a woman, even though the end result is similar, you're missing out on a lot more.

I don't want to offend anyone who has adopted. I think adoption is truly inspired, and is a beautiful blessing for both the adoptive couple and the child. I think that the most important thing is that they're an eternal family, and how they came to be an eternal family is much less important. It's definitely something we've thought about, and if we exhaust our medical options, we will definitely be pursuing it. But I'm just not ready to give up on my dream of being pregnant, giving birth, and breastfeeding. And if our options are either using donor sperm or adopting a baby (rather than spending money on IVF) I think I want to at least try using donor sperm. Again, we're nowhere near a decision on this, I'm just putting my thoughts out there a soliciting everyone else's thoughts.

3rd IUI........

With my last IUI failing, my doctor put me on the lowest dose Clomid and on Friday I went in for my day 12 ultrasound. We found that my left ovary isn't even ovulating and my right ovary has 4 eggs, he thought that one might not make it. The dr. scheduled me to come in on Sunday July 27 (yesterday) for number 3!

This month was done a little differently because my OB has had me come in 2 days after my ovulation test is positive. I can always feel when im ovualting so i don't take the test. But when they checked on the day 12 (Friday) i was almost ready to release the eggs. Friday night i began to feel that i was ovulating. Maybe this month were getting to the eggs earlier, who knows. Anywho, i hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Random Questions

I am not really sure that I belong on this blog as I have been blessed with a beautiful nine month old daughter and another baby on the way. But, I have several reasons why I find this blog to be special and a great resource.

I personally can't relate to the inability to conceive - my problem is I have a difficult time staying pregnant. I have lost 3 babies to miscarriages, and beautiful tiny son born at 20 weeks and lived for 10 minutes. My 4th pregnancy resulted in a beautiful little girl born a month early and I am currently on my 5th pregnancy with another little girl due in September. With these last two pregnancies I have spent 60% of them on full bed rest, thousands of dollars in medical bills, and over 40 hospitalizations due to insulin dependent diabetes, pre-clamsia, and pre-term labor. Today at the dr.'s we were told that they will deliver this baby in 3 weeks in order to make sure she makes it here and to stop further problems with of health. The doctor also informed us that we shouldn't have another baby because of the major health issues that arise when I am pregnant. It's a huge blow, that I know many of you know all to well - when you realize that the family you always imagined isn't to be. I am indeed grateful to have the two babies that I have - but I always pictured a bigger family.

Anyhow enough of that - but another reason I find this blog to be so helpful is that I have a sister and a sister in law who have not been able to conceive at all. It makes it so very difficult to be the pregnant sister to these beautiful women - as I don't know what to say to them when I get pregnant, I don't feel that I can complain about the problems I face when I am pregnant, in many ways I feel that I can't be real with them. I miss my sisters and wish that I could call and confide to them, but I know that it just hurts them.

Infertility not only affects those who are trying to have a baby, but all of those around them. As family members or friends we feel like we are walking on egg shells when it comes to announcing a baby, or planning that shower, or milestones that happen. We feel like jerks if we say anything, yet we feel like jerks if we don't include them - it really is a lose lose situation for all. Any suggestions from the group on how to handle these awkward situations?

Lastly, I should mention that I am therapist and that for a couple of years I worked with LDS family services. I have specifically worked with birth mothers and fathers. The process of adoption and selecting adoptive families is truly a spiritual one. Adoption is a gift from heaven for all parties involved.

Anyhow, I hope you don't mind me sharing - Thanks.


Im going to vent! Being gone with out my husband and having to buck up during camp and not be able to feel, i kind of shut myself off and blocked out the hurt that im feeling. Over the weekend, i found out that my cousin is pregnant with her 4th, my best friend from school just had her baby, my sister in law had her first ultra sound yesterday, got to hear her baby's heart beat for the first time, a girl in the next office is pregnant and she goes out to have a cigarette every hour. Right now i can't help but feel sorry for myself. Im at a point where im so sick of the longing and empty arms. Scared of the unknown. I feel so empty and scared that i'll have to endure this trial forver. I don't know how those of you have dealt with this for years have done it. Today i have been wondering..."Does Nick secretly resent me?", "Does the fact that my body isn't working like a "normal" womans body make him disgusted with me?", "Does he sit and think about the girls that he used to date and wonder if his life would have been easier?" Im feeling more and more inadiquate. My positivity has been hucked right out the window. Im so scared and i just want to hide in my bedroom and be alone. Not have any responsibilites. I know that i would go crazy. Sorry for the dark post, but i figure you understand so its all good!!:) Thanks girls!!

The good and the bad...

So Brian and I went in today for our day 12 ultrasound, and received some mixed news.

The good:

--The appointment was with OUR doctor, not the beasty woman doctor who I had last time...she was horrid!
--He wasn't concerned about the possible endometriosis the other doctor thought she saw. He said it was likely a cyst on my left ovary, but because that ovary was clearly producing eggs, he didn't see any reason to worry or think about anything more invasive, like surgery, yet.
--The Clomid is working great, even on the lowest dose...maybe even too great. I had 4 good eggs this time plus 1 so-so, and my uterine lining was thicker than last time (apparently it was a bit too thin last time, but the other doctor failed to tell me). Because there were 4 good quality eggs, he said our risk of having 3 or more babies is about 3%, which is low, but if we were worried, next time I could take a 1/2 dose. Yeah right, aside from medical complications, I'd be on cloud 9 if I had 3 babies!
--Because everything seems to be in order, we don't need to do any more day 12 ultrasounds unless we decide to do IVF/ICSI. Yay! That's a $200 savings each time!

The bad:
--Brian's sperm quality is not fact, it looks even worse. He put our odds of pregnancy at about 7% per cycle, compared with 20% for a normal couple either conceiving naturally or through IUI. While Brian tried to remind me that that it's just down 13% from normal couples, I still think: "if you told a cancer patient they had a 7% chance of living,would he or she be excited? Um, no!"
--If I don't get pregnant within the next 2 cycles, our doctor wants us to pick between either a mix of Brian's sperm with donor sperm, or IVF with ICSI. What an agonizing decision! On one hand, using donor sperm makes it likely that the baby wouldn't be Brian's, which is really hard for him, and the odds would be 20% at best. But it's also much cheaper than IVF. On the other hand, with IVF/ISCI, the odds are 60% and we'd use Brian's sperm, but it's $12,000. And our insurance covers zilch.
--If we have to go with 1 of those 2 options, we have to decide relatively quickly, since both of them take about 6 weeks from decision to procedure. Oh, and either way we have to pay for lots more tests and crap like that.
--If I don't get pregnant within the next 2 cycles, our doctor says he might then be concerned about egg quality...which means we'd have to do laparascopic surgery to see if taking care of the endometriosis improves their quality. But at least for now, especially since my right ovary looks good, he thinks my egg quality is probably fine.

So, anyway, I know this is probably much more information than anyone wanted. But in a way it's therapeutic for me to organize my thoughts like this. I think that for the first time today, when I saw how difficult this news was for Brian, I realized that I've been kind of selfish throughout this whole infertility thing. For the most part, I've only thought about how this makes ME feel, how much I want a baby, how hard this is for ME, how sick I am of waiting, etc. While we're both facing the possibility that we might never have children, Brian's facing an increasing likelihood that if we do have children, he won't be biologically involved. We've talked a lot about how many adoptive couples we know have said that they worried about this too, and in the end it really doesn't matter because the baby is yours and you love him/her so much, regardless of biology. But I still think there's something innately difficult about facing the fact that your body isn't capable of doing what it was meant to do. I've made a big deal about any potentially negative results or information I've gotten about my own body, when in reality things with me are mostly okay. With Brian, it seems that he just gets one piece of bad news after the other. I really need to work on being less selfish and more sensitive to his feelings. And as for whether to use donor sperm, of course we'll pray about it and I'll offer advice, but ultimately I want the decision to be his. I want and need him to feel good about whatever choice we make (and obviously me too).

Anyway, hopefully something will work out for us before we have to face all these difficult decisions. Either way, we're off tomorrow morning to Jackson Hole with my fam to get away. Happy early weekend to everyone!

P.S. I decided to go to the shower, but if I find myself feeling overwhelmed, I'm leaving early. :)

Monday, July 21, 2008

To go or not to go?

So, I have a question for you ladies out there: how do you feel about baby showers? Have you ever purposely declined an invitation because you just couldn't face attending yet another one? Or do you think it's silly and petty to poop out on a friend or family member's celebration?

I tend to feel guilty really easily, so I've only stayed home once--and it was a friend from high school, held at the home of someone I didn't know, I had just started my period yet again, and I just didn't want to deal with tons of people I hadn't seen since high school, especially when I didn't look or feel my best. But faced with yet another shower invitation, I am nearing the end of my rapidly fraying rope as far as tolerance for these things!

This particular shower is tomorrow, and it's for my cousin...who hasn't been married as long as I have, has an unfortunately shaky marriage, is unemployed, has a husband who is also unemployed, and yet purposely planned this pregnancy (and got pregnant on her first month of trying). Oh, and she's having a girl, which somehow makes it harder for me (I think it's because I'm dying to have a baby girl to dress up). While on one hand I know I should be thrilled for someone else's blessings, especially since her fertility has no bearing on mine, but another part of me feels like it would be disingenuous to sit and smile and hand over gifts celebrating a life choice that I think is absolutely ridiculous and irresponsible.

I know my attitude definitely needs adjusting, and that this shower is not meant to slight me. Maybe, as my husband says, I'll look back on this and feel guilty for not going. But if I can't force myself to plaster on a fake smile, would it be better for me to just stay home? Especially if the shower is on the same day as a doctor's appointment that could possibly give us some bad news (more on that later)?

What do you girls think?


Ive been gone to girls camp and while i was gone, found out that i am not pregnant. AGAIN. My doctor put me on the lowest dose of Clomid and im on day 3. Im not really all that excited about going back again. It seems like everyone I know is pregnant, but me. Im trying so hard to fight back negative feelings and bitterness, but right now, i just don't care. UUUhhh. Hillary, i know how you feel!!!

Friday, July 18, 2008


Just wanted to send out anohter invite to anyone who would like to be a publisher on this blog. Leave me your e-mail if you are interested. We invite readers as well if you don't feel like posting. I am so happy that so many people have found this blog!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I just need to get it out!

Okay so I am so sick of it. My mom calls me tonight as she says to break some bad news to me so I know someone is pregnant so I just make it simple for her and say who is pregnant this time and she tells me it is my cousin that just graduated from high school in May. Really what the heck I just cant handle it anymore I mean I have a lot of faith and I feel like I always choose the right but yet why can I not get pregnant. Me and my husband could give a child such a good life I am just so sick of it. Just so this makes more sense in April my sister let me know she was pregnant as well again unmarried and just graduated in May and I didnt talk to her or my family for about a month. Not that I mad at my mom or dad just need time to breath(I know I sound selfish) I know that me and gabe adopting is what we are meant to do this time around but I just dont get why these people can get pregnant like that and have to be in my family. AHHHH! I am so upset and it really just is UNFAIR. Thanks ladies for letting me vent. It just feels good to get it out. My mom is great but sometimes just doesnt really get it.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Dude Posts Like a Lady.......

Believe me, when Kim started this blog I never thought I would post to it even though I thought it was such an awesome idea. Well last night we had a visit from our EQ president Dan and he admitted to leaving comments on the SOS blog. For some reason I felt impressed that maybe I should leave a small portion of my testimony/experience on the SOS. Not sure why and I will keep it short so here goes.

Our first few years of marriage we did everything possible infertility wise to get pregnant excpet for invitro. Nothing worked and noone could tell us exactly what was wrong and why it wasn't working. As you all know it is such a rollercoaster with mostly downs, an up occasionally followed by a huge downer. I had sister-in-laws getting pregnant all the time and one was told after her first kid that it was medically impossible for her to get pregnant, well it seemed any time my brother looked at her she was pregnant and even though we were happy for them we really struggled to understand why they were always pregnant and we weren't. In the beginning I was very optimistic that we would get pregnant and the hardest thing for me was seeing Shannon struggle so much as it is always much harder both physically and emotionally for the woman as she is the one getting poked and prodded all the time.

After a couple of years though it all really began to wear me down. We had talked about adoption alot and my brother had adopted and we saw how happy they were and we knew how much we all loved our adopted neice but I could not let go of my pride. You see in my Patriarchal Blessing it states clear as day that "sons and daughters will be yours, you will be given stewardhip over them....." and so on and I could not get over that statement. I found my testimony beginnging to waiver some and I found myself feeling alot of resentment and anger. My pride of wanting Trent Jr. was getting in the way of my understanding and spirituality.

Finally in the summer of 03' we were attending the temple wedding of one of my friends in SLC. That afternoon as we were leaving SLC on the freeway after being in the temple and hearing the sealer talk about my friend and his wife having this wonderful family my mind was racing and all these emotions were running through my head. I kept thinking about my Patriarchal Blessing and what it said and really trying to come to terms with adopting. At that moment a thought entered my head as clear as if someone had been sitting in the car next to me that said:

"I said that you would have children but I never said how"!

I was dumbfounded. All my pride melted away at that instant and I looked at Shannon right then and said let's get our adoption papers in. Almost 9 months later we were picking up Parker at the hospital. I have no doubt in my mind that the adoption program is a direct revelation from Heavenly Father and that his hand is in each and every adoption. He knows us more than we know ourselves, he knows our struggles and he is ever aware of each and every one of us - especially you women. Having a daughter now I have no doubt that our Heavenly Father holds a very big soft spot for all you women.

One last thing before I leave. Just to add to what Shannon posted earlier. When I heard that our second invitro attempt was successful I wondered if I would feel any different about her as I do our boys. I got my answer literally the second she was born. I was standing there (borderline fainting) and when she came out I had this overwhelming feeling that my two boys were every bit my children and meant for me as she was. It was almost as if the whole birthing process was just another mode of transportation to get from one side of the veil to the other and it didn't really matter which way they got here as long as they just, well, got here. I don't want to take anything away from the miracle of child birth or pregnancy but I have such a strong testimony that each of our children came to us in the exact time, place, and way that Heavenly Father had planned for us and that it took me getting over my selfish pride, humbling myself and accepting God's will and understanding that he loves me more than I could possibly know and that if I will just get out of his way and let him - he will bless us.

Anyway this is probably my first and last post. I have such a deep respect for each of you. You are all so strong. Keep it up.

Trent Kingston

Monday, July 14, 2008

Much Thanks

I just wanted to quickly thank everyone for their kind words and encouragement. This blog is fantastic! If you're wondering, we did end up going to the cabin this weekend. However, my husband offered to pull each of his siblings aside, let them know what's going on, and asked them to please not bother me about it unless I brought it up. It ended up being a fun, if loud (picture 15 kids under the age of 7 in a 4 bedroom cabin), weekend.

As far as our IUI future is concerned, after lots of prayers and fitful nights of sleep, we've decided to do the best we can without canceling our vacations. I spoke to our RE's nurse, and she was very understanding. She recommended that we do everything we did last month, except instead of the IUI, we'll do the LH kits and timed intercourse. We're still going to do Clomid with the HCG injection both months, and I have an ultrasound scheduled right before we leave. Although I know this is less effective than IUI's, I feel like it's a way for us to still be making a good effort to get pregnant, but at the same time not letting it overtake our lives.

Thanks again!


Saturday, July 12, 2008

Are they?

People (meaning the non and sometimes adoption educated people out there) say, "They sure look like they could be brothers".

My responses, which are many, are anything from, "{gasp} don't say?" to "Well silly they are!!!" (the latter usually makes the asker quite embarrassed:). These two are brothers in every sense of the word! They are friends, they fight like cats and dogs, they wrestle, find new and unusual ways to drive their parents nuts, and attack us with hugs that would melt anyone's heart.
Although they are not biologically connected they have a deeper connection. An eternal one. Kneeling across the temple altar from these precious spirits will reconfirm that. It is undeniable! I often thought before adoption that I could not love a child that "wasn't mine". Boy did I have a lot of learning to do. One day, while we were in the waiting pool for Isaac (our oldest who we commonly call Ike) I remember looking over at my most gorgeous husband and my heart sank for a moment. "He has the most amazing (and dreamy:) blue eyes," I thought to myself, "My children will never have those eyes, or the naturally curly hair that I did as a child". I was saddened!
Fast forward a few years later, we are flying in a plane with Isaac on our lap, when the flight attendant leans over to Dan (my husband), and says teasingly, "You could never joke with anyone telling them he was adopted, he is so much like you!". Um...she had no clue. My husband says, "Well, actually he is". She was floored and apologized the rest of the flight. 
So my point is (yep, there is one). It is my opinion that as these incredible children grow in our homes, in our lives, and basically in our shadows, that they do become us. Their mannerisms, their attitudes, even their thought processes. I am not saying that they didn't come wired with a biological package that gives them some of their quarks and traits, but they truly come to us as clean as a photo negative. Our homes, the way we live our lives become the camera (and those times of waiting, preparing, and learning are building a pretty great, "stable", consistent, functioning, camera). Then the photo shoot begins. Pictures and images of us, our family.
Today while my sister was visiting us, Isaac said something funny. I don't know what he said, but I could hear her in the other room saying, "I wonder where you heard that, you are just like your dad!"
And I said to myself, "Yep, he is!".

Friday, July 11, 2008


So, after much hope and anticipation, we found out late last night that our second IUI attempt failed. I had been excited because I made it further than I had on our first attempt, but the few pregnancy tests all were negative. So I wasn't really surprised to find out that it failed. Still, I'm feeling so low right now. Of course, this always seems to happen right before we're supposed to go on a trip with my husband's family. I know it's horrible of me, but I have such a hard time being around my husband's sisters and sister-in-law when I'm going through something like this. Although they mean well, they are all baby machines (they have to be very careful to AVOID pregnancy), and when they do get pregnant, they complain about it the entire 9 months. This weekend we're supposed to go to a cabin in Oakley with the whole family. Every woman there either has a nursing baby or is pregnant...except me.

My husband offered to just stay home, but I feel like it would be childish of me to back out at the last minute over this. But I don't know how fun I'd be to be around, given that I feel like crying every 5 minutes. I just couldn't feel lower right now, which worries me because if I feel this sad the second month into fertility treatments, how many more times will I be able to handle this? Furthermore, we have trips planned at the end of this month and for 10 days next month. If my calculations are correct, the times when we'd be doing more IUI's fall during those trips. I can't decide if we should cancel our trips to do these treatments, or if we should just take a break and enjoy our lives. Part of me thinks that it's silly to interrupt and rearrange our lives for something that has such a low success rate and probably won't work anyway. But another part of me wants to hope that it will work, and that I won't care even a little bit about a canceled trip if I got to be pregnant!

What do you all think?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Avery's Story

My name is Stephanie Avery and my husband's name is Christopher, aka: Coy. We have been married almost 10 years and from the beginning we always wanted to have a family, a large family. We both come from large families, he has 7 brothers and sisters and I have 4....

After 1 year of marriage Coy and I found ourselves pregnant and excited to start a family. 2 1/2 months into the pregnancy, we went through the hardest trial of our married lives. We miscarried. We went through the typical emotions that comes with miscarrying. I felt like it was my fault. Maybe I did something wrong, I lifted something too heavy, or moved the wrong way. Did I do something that harmed my unborn child? Then came the feelings of not being worthy to have a family. Was Heavenly Father punishing us for something we did? Would we be horrible parents? Then came the hatred feelings, this was more me than Coy.. I couldn't stand seeing anybody being pregnant or even hear of anybody talking about being pregnant. But after many prayers and blessings those feelings gave way.

After our miscarriage we tried to get pregnant again without any luck. There were several times I felt like I was pregnant, so I would break down and buy a test, but every time they would come back negative, even though I was several days over due. It was very frustrating and draining on the emotions... So Chris and I decided to take a break and concentrate on getting my husband's schooling done.

About 5 years ago we started up again with different treatments to see if anything would happen. We monitored and took everything just to increase our chances. But still nothing. I was also having problems with my cycle and decided to pay a visit to my Dr. I gave him all of my symptoms and he decided that I could possibly have endomitriosis. We decided the best thing to do was for me to have surgery to make sure it was endomitriosis and to make sure everything else is the way it should be. No blocked tubes, no inverted uterus, all of the possible issues that could be preventing us from getting pregnant. I came out of surgery with a positive diagnosis of endomitriosis, and he put me on a treatment schedule for 6 months. After the 6 months were up, we tried all of the medications again and even tried IUI's. We did this for 9 months, getting shots every month, getting check ups every month, and I was beginning to feel like a lab rat. I couldn't take it anymore. I finally gave up, I needed a break from everything. I needed to heal and be able cope with the fact, that I may never be a mother.

I have been around adoption all of my life and I am very pro-adoption. But is it for me? Chris is pro-adoption, he actually has 2 siblings that are adopted from Romania. He saw the blessings from it, but also the hardships. He wants to try invitro and I would prefer adoption. My cousin did invitro several time and it finally worked but it was $80,000 later. I know money shouldn't be an issue, but it is unfortunately.. I don't know if I could do invitro and risk the rejection again and again. Spending all of that money and still not have a family.....I feel like adoption is the more logical option both financially and emotional.

So here we are today. Coy is finished with school, and I just got a job promotion. We both feel that it is time to start a family, but where do we start? Should we adopt or try invitro? So many thoughts, so many feelings, and SO confused...

I also just wanted to thank everybody that started this great site. It has allowed me to realize that I am not alone, even though I feel like I am the only one going through infertility. Thanks for all of your support.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Meet the Stuarts........

Hello everyone!! We are Nick and Sherydon(Sheridan)Stuart!! We have been married for 2 1/2 years. We found out about 9 months after we were married that I have endomitriosis and that we may never have children of our own. I was devastated. I can remember playing with my dolls when i was little and wanting to be a mom!! I have always wanted to know how it felt to be pregnant, to feel your child grow and move inside you, to know that love that so many mothers talk about, to be able to share those precious moments with Nick! At first, I felt like i wasn't much of a woman if I coulnd't help make a family. Then what was I to do? I will NEVER adopt, was my attitude. My mom and dad tease and say that when my dad look at her, she got pregnant. Then she would say things like, "you can always adopt." That phrase would make me so livid. How insensitive! You've never had to wonder if you'll be a mother. I started out very bitter! I even told Nick that I would understand if he wanted a divorce. Who would want a woman that couldn't give them children? I know i wouldn't if i was a man. I felt like my self worth went right down the toilet. Meanwhile, friends around me are getting pregnant, teenagers are getting prenant. A cousin that didn't even want a child got pregnant and always complained about being fat and getting stretch marks. I was in a whirlwind of anger. I couldn't even stand to look at a pregnant woman. Bitter, party of 1!!
As time has gone on, Nick and I took the steps to go through the temple. With that came many prayers from me and family to have my heart softened. Who wants to be angry and bitter? I surely don't, but it fit me well!! Through prayers and faith I have come to understand why the Lord has given us adoption. What beautiful stories of love and sacrafice. I can't imagine how hard it would be on either end. All I know is that i want to be a mother. That's the profession that i long for. To wipe away tears, to kiss boo boo's, to laugh and play with, to cry and worry over, to brag about, to be apart of the mommy group and so on! Every single one of you know EXACTLY what im talking about. I know now with all of my heart that regardless of how I become a mother, I will take complete advantage and love a child with all of my heart.
Nick and I just had our 2nd IUI on June 29 and so the saying goes....its the waiting game now.
Im so excited to find a site where there is someone who is in the same place that Nick and I are. Its just so comforting to know that your not alone!! Thanks to all of you who have shared your stories!!
Here is a parable about being a able to have a baby yourself or choosing adoption! Hope you enjoy!! Sorry this is a long post!!
A trip to Australia
Deciding to have a baby is like planning a trip to Australia. You've heard it's a wonderful place, you've read many guide-books and feel certain you're ready to go. Everyone you know has traveled there by plane. They say it can be a turbulent flight with occasional rough landings, but you can look forward to being pampered on the trip. So you go to the airport and ask the ticket agent for a ticket to Australia. All around you, excited people are boarding planes for Australia. It seems there is no seat for you; you'll have to wait for the next flight. Impatient, but anticipating a wonderful trip, you wait --- and wait --- and wait. Flights to Australia continue to come and go. People say silly things like, "Relax. You'll get on a flight soon." Other people actually get on a plane and then cancel their trip, to which you cry, "It's no fair!" After a long time the ticket agent tells you, "I'm sorry, we're not going to be able to get you on a plane to Australia. Perhaps you should think about going by boat." "By BOAT!" you say. "Going by boat will take a very long time and it costs a great deal of money. I really had my heart set on going by plane." So you go home and think about not going to Australia at all. You wonder if Australia will be as beautiful if you approach it by sea rather than air. But you have long dreamed of this wonderful place, and finally you decide to travel by boat. It is a long trip, many months over many rough seas. No one pampers you. You wonder if you will ever see Australia. Meanwhile, your friends and family have flown back and forth to Australia two or three more times, marveling about each trip. Then one glorious day, the boat docks in Australia. It is more exquisite than you ever imagined, and the beauty is magnified by your long days at sea. You have made many wonderful friends during your voyage, and you find yourself comparing stories with others who also traveled by sea rather than by air. People continue to fly to Australia as often as they like, but you are able to travel only once, perhaps twice. Some say things like, "Oh, be glad you didn't fly. My flight was horrible; traveling by sea is so easy." You will always wonder what it would have been like to fly to Australia. Still, you know God blessed you with a special appreciation of Australia, and the beauty of Australia is not in the way you get there, but in the place itself.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

I would die for that...

I thought all you infertile sisters out there might appreciate this video:

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

I hadn't really planned on posting. I'm not really in that "place" right now where I'm struggling or even thinking about our infertility. You know that wonderful place where you have your baby and you feel like everyone else for awhile? You get to be the mom you always wanted to be. I'm in that place times 2!! But for some reason I kept thinking I needed to. I don't even know what I want to say.

I'm one of those girls I used to secretly hate a little bit. I was able to get pregnant on our second try of in vitro. We adopted our first boy Parker, did our first round of in vitro got pregnant but had a very painful miscarriage, put our papers in again, did one more unexpected round got pregnant, and then got picked from a birth mom. Our babies are 4 1/2 months apart. It has been the hardest thing I have ever done. It is also the best thing I have ever done.

I think the reason I can write this way is I am at that awesome point in my life where we could be done having kids and I would be fine. I just want to say I am so thankful for our struggles. I am so thankful that we got to adopt. I am so thankful for the lessons it has taught me. I know without a doubt that Heavenly Father has a plan for each and every one of us. It is so hard when you are going through the struggles, but I love to look back and see what has come from all of these trials. I also want to say that as grateful as I was to experience pregnancy and giving birth-it does not matter. I have a testimony that I was meant to be my boys mom. It does not matter that I didn't carry them. I cherish the way each child came to our family. I am a mom. That is all I ever wanted to be.

Kim, this is a great idea! I think every girl needs a place to be able to share. I have had a fun time tagging along with this group. Everyone has been so nice to me. I hope to get to know more of you better. I hope something I said can be of a support the way you guys have been to me!

Just a Question??

Okay so me and Gabe have a question and i know i could call my case worker but she is out until next monday and i know you wonderful ladies would know the answer to my question. How long does a father have to claim his child if you can't get him to relquinsh his rights before the baby is born? I thought it was 3 days after the birth of the baby and the birthmother has signed the paper.