Back when my husband and I were dating and began talking about our future, we both expressed our excitement to start a family and have children one day. We talked about maybe 3 or even 4 children and also both shared a desire to possibly adopt down the road. I felt so blessed to be marrying a man that shared the same values and dreams as I did, which made the journey of starting a family that much more exciting. Not unlike many girls, I’ve been so excited to be a mom. I think it started back when I was in elementary school, when I played house with my pretend children… who most of the time were my younger siblings. Lucky for me, I didn’t need dolls because I had 3 younger brothers and 2 sisters, who played the part very well 🙂
Like many couples, we decided we’d start trying a year or so after we got married. We had this picture perfect plan in our heads, and although we had many friends around us fighting the cruel infertility battle, we really never thought it would happen to us. The crazy part is that I was well aware of the potential struggle as I was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) several years prior. I guess the strong desire and feeling I was born to be a mom overpowered the facts of PCOS. The facts are PCOS is one of the leading causes of infertility in women and affects as many as 1 and 10 women in the United States.
It didn’t take long for my husband and I to make the decision to pursue fertility treatment. We were anxious to start a family, and it seemed like the most obvious next step. I started the process very hopeful and excited as I was certain this was how we would start our family. Two unsuccessful IUI’s, three failed In Vitro Fertilization attempts, more ultrasounds and shots than I dare count, and thousands of dollars spent later, I was left feeling hopeless, angry, and depressed. All the while, I watched friend after friend announce their pregnancy and help plan baby shower after baby shower with a fake smile on my face and deep pain in my heart. It felt so unfair, and over time I became angry with God. I became consumed by this pain and could not understand why God would not bless me with the desire of my heart.
After our last failed IVF attempt, I felt utterly defeated and decided I could not put myself through this any longer. Anyone that’s gone through IVF or any infertility treatment can relate to the emotional, mental and physical roller coaster you go through. I think it’s safe to say people that have not experienced infertility cannot possibly fully understand. For me, infertility was like dealing with a huge loss… the loss of a dream…the loss of babies you created with your husband, when the Dr hands you the ultrasound picture of the embryos planted inside you momentarily. I looked at that ultrasound picture every day during the 2 week wait and prayed and prayed. The loss is real, and the pain is deep.
Today as we approach Christmas and I reflect back, I am reminded of Jeremiah 29:11. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you not to harm you, to give you hope and a future.” I wanted to be honest and share the struggle because I’m excited to also share how God pulled me through it and blessed us far beyond our dreams. After making the decision not to move forward with another round of IVF, my husband and I decided to pursue adoption. We both had a desire to adopt one day, but thought it would be later in life. My husband always wanted to adopt a child from Guatemala. He fell in love with the children at an orphanage there while on a mission’s trip. Unfortunately, that was not an option. For whatever reason, we decided to pursue domestic adoption through a local agency. We were told once the home study was completed, most couples wait anywhere from 12 months to 2 years for child placement.
About a month after completing our home study, I received a life changing call… I literally had chills and tears rolling down my face as the case worker explained a couple selected us and were expecting the end of the month. I also learned that the birth mom was adopted herself from Guatemala… coincidence??…I think not 🙂 We had the opportunity to meet with the couple, and a week later our sweet baby girl, Nova, was born. I cannot even begin to explain how perfect God’s plans are. Adoption is a beautiful gift, and I have so much respect and love for Nova’s birth parents. My husband and I have grown so much as a couple throughout this journey, and I can honestly say Nova was worth every tear I cried leading up to this moment. She brings so much joy to our family. One thing I learned from this experience is that God has the ultimate vantage point. He sees the beginning and the end, and I believe He wants to bless us. It’s just so hard to wait and trust when the pain is real, but His plans are always far better than our own. Had we got pregnant through IVF, we would not have been blessed with Nova. As my husband says all the time, “She’s perfect!”.
I’m sorry to get so deep, but I’m so very passionate about this topic and overwhelmed with emotions this holiday season. Whatever you may be going through, I hope you feel encouraged.
Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!