Saturday, February 5, 2011

Adoption Option: Our Journey Down The Road Of Infertility

The roads of life can take many forms. Some roads are long and some are short. Sometimes they are smooth with not many curves or bumps and have beautiful views. Others might be dark and long, with a lot of turns and hills or mountains. They can also be full of big pot holes and bumps. Sometimes you have to, or want to, turn back. But, when you come to the end of a road like this, the views are more spectacular and the peace is greater.

My husband and I have been down these roads.

I've always wanted to be a mother for as long as I can remember. So, when my husband and I got married, I was very excited to start realizing this dream. About six months into our marriage, we decided to start our family.

After a few months went by, we started wondering what was going on. There wasn't a person we knew that had taken this long to get pregnant. We started talking to friends and family about it. After a while we decided to just give it time. A year passed and then another one, and another one, we had tried just about every piece of advice that was given to us from well meaning friends and family. The advice felt like it was coming from every direction.

Some people would say, "You just need to relax, you're too stressed out about it. The minute you forget about it, you'll get pregnant." or "You need to go on a cruise." or "Don't plant it one day, and plow it up the next." or "You just haven't figured it out yet." or " You need to eat more mangoes." and on and on. At first we took every word of advice to heart and tried it. After a while, it was the same thing over and over again and we decided not to listen anymore.

We started meeting people who had or were experiencing infertility. It was nice to talk to these people. It was so nice to feel understood.

At about the third year, we decided to go to a doctor about this. He told us that if no pregnancy occurs after one year, then there is a problem. We were way past that point. He started me on Clomid, a drug to help me ovulate. He also told me to take my temperature every morning when I woke up and write it on a chart he had given me to keep on my bedside table. We were very hopeful and we just knew this would work. After a few months of taking the fertility drug, nothing was happening. Fertility drugs are very hard on a woman both physically and emotionally. I gained weight very easily and I felt crazy all the time. Not only did we have the disappointment of a negative pregnancy test every month, we had the disappointment of a negative ovulation test as well. It became all we thought or talked about.

We decided to take a break. A few months later we went to another doctor who was more specialized in this area. We had several tests done to start ruling things out and he started me on Clomid again. All the tests came back normal, and the Clomid still wasn't working. So the doctor had me take a higher dose of it. I took this drug for about a year. I ovulated once. I also opted to have a laparoscopy. A small surgery where a camera is inserted inside and outside the uterus. Over $3,000 dollars later, we were told there is no explanation for our infertility. That news was very hard for us to take. We wanted a reason so we could move on. This answer gave us no relief. So, reluctantly and also gratefully, we decided to take a break.

We went through all kinds of ideas about what our future would be like. We considered just never having any children. We thought about me going to school and getting a great job and then we would just travel and do whatever we wanted whenever we wanted. My husband started his own business, but I continued to be unsure and confused about what I would do with my life. I was working as a Pharmacy Technician, but it was impossible to see the future, so I worried about it all the time.

We finally came to the decision to adopt. It felt like the right thing for us to do. So we started down the road of adoption. Finally, after 6 years of trying to start our family, we had a beautiful baby girl in our arms. But that's a story for another day.

We've been at this for 9 years now, and we still struggle with the disappointment of infertility from time to time. I suppose it will never go away, we have just come to terms with it. Dealing with infertility has been compared to dealing with the loss of a child; yet instead of going through the process openly, we tend to suffer in silence, often feeling misunderstood by those closest to us. But, there is hope, comfort and healing. I found my comfort through my husband, prayer, faith in God, and by talking to others who had experienced the same thing. I hope you can find that peace as well as you travel down your road.

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