Here it is- all of it. Ready, go.
John and I knew before we got married that we wanted kids. It was always part of the plan. On both sides of the family there are very fertile people, and neither my sister or my mom ever had trouble getting pregnant. My sister and her husband just decide they want a baby and -boom- she's pregnant. I just assumed that it would be the same story with me. Why not? As I like to remind her, our DNA is more similar to each other than to anyone else in the world.
The first time I got pregnant, we were not trying- it just happened. It was sooner than we had expected, but we totally embraced it from day one and couldn't wait to meet this little person. I loved all my pregnancy symptoms. I was a student midwife at the time, and I just delighted in my nausea, fatigue, crankiness, and my desire to pee all the time because I knew that meant that things were going well.
I had an ultrasound at 10 weeks and there was a little baby, with it's heart beating fast and kicky little legs. Everything was normal except that it was measuring a little small. I still have a picture from that ultrasound. Five days later, on my 26th birthday, I started miscarrying. It was confirmed at 11 weeks that our baby had died. I remember that as the day I stopped trusting God. I was SO angry. I felt cheated and tricked and abandoned and just so, so sad.
In May 2010, a year after we had been married, we decided to officially start trying. I was nervous, but I thought it would happen right away, since we had gotten pregnant so easily the first time. No such luck. We tried for 4 months and then I found by ultrasound that I had a large cyst on my ovary that was making me infertile. In November I had it surgically removed, and I was told that I should be back to normal (fertile) again in 3-6 months. Exactly 6 months later, I was pregnant for the second time. I remember telling John how relieved I was. That was June 2011- I was an intern midwife, and studying like crazy for my certification test, the NARM. During the NARM study retreat, I started miscarrying at 7 weeks. The test was the next week, and I remember trying to compartmentalize the miscarriage and not deal with it until after the test... which was pretty hard. Since the test was ALL about pregnancy, labor, birth, newborns, and miscarriages. Ugh. I was so disgusted. It felt like a sick joke from God- proving to me that I didn't matter and that important events in my life were nothing, worthless. The first prenatal visit that I did for someone else, and the first birth that I attended after my second miscarriage felt like a specific form of torture. I never would have become a midwife if I had known that I would struggle with infertility. Who would do that to themselves? It was terribly hard to watch families grow around us. People having one or two babies in the time that we had been trying. Our house felt so empty.
After that, I tried all sorts of things. Progesterone pills, acupuncture, chiropractic, Mayan abdominal massage, herbs for fertility, reflexology, and I totally changed my diet. In the fall of 2012, we started talking about adoption. Casually, as in maybe a couple years later on.
In the spring of 2013 we decided to try fertility treatments. We did all sorts of testing and procedures, with 4 months of IUI, since that had the highest chance of success. I gave my self shots and took all sorts of fun pills. Nothing. They could not find anything wrong with either of us- no explanation about why it wasn't happening. Neither of us wanted to do in vitro- it seemed like such an involved and artificial process. And so expensive! But with no guarantee of actually having a baby. It was not right for us.
Then, in September/October 2013 we finally decided to go for adoption. We both wanted an international adoption, and were leaning towards Eastern Europe.
I got to the point where I was able to separate in my mind the desire to be be pregnant and the desire to be a mom. I didn't have to have both. It was so simple! John was on board right away, well, probably before I was. We were ready to be parents! We just needed to find our child.
One Saturday night, I was up late looking at websites of Waiting Children in Europe. I came across the picture of Beatrice and thought- that's the one. I went to bed and dreamed about her all night. That Sunday morning I got right up and looked at her picture again. John said "Yes!" So I emailed Reece's Rainbow and got an email back within an hour. And that's how it started.
It was so bizarre. Immediately, my desire to be pregnant was gone. Like someone flipped a switch. I was no longer consumed with trying to get pregnant. I wasn't bitter anymore. It felt like I was finally given permission to be in a club that I could never be in before- but it wasn't the 'pregnant club,' it was the 'mom club.' Funny.
And now it just seems so RIGHT. I'm so thankful that we both were ready for this and embraced it. It seems like this was the plan all along, but we just had to go through all the crap to get to this point. And shockingly I'm not angry anymore. I hated the path we had to take to get here, but I'm starting to trust life again.
Woo! There is it. I have not shared this with many people. But, there it is.