This months 10 on 10 is extra special as it features the first moments of my growing family. I know there are many people who are wondering details of the arrival of our new son Edison James, and because I feel it very important that parents like us have positive and wonderful stories to look to in times when the are coping with the grief of infertility, I want to share our story here.
I will try to make it short….
About 10 years ago my husband and I decided (or more closely I convinced him) to start a family. After a year of “trying” and a few basic procedures by my GYNO it was determined that we had “unexplained infertility” and our next step was seeing a specialist. March 2006 after a Laparoscopy surgery, it was determined that I would not ever be able to conceive naturally due to severe endomitriosis.
I remember vividly awaking from the surgery to the sound of a little child crying for his mommy, and my heart knew at that moment that the news coming wasn’t going to be good. In my doctors uncomfortable attempt to find something positive in delivering the news to me he said “the silver lining” is that you will be entitled to medical coverage of 3 IVF attempts. What this meant was that because our fertility issue was mine and not my husbands we would have our procedures and testing financially covered for 3 egg retrievals and any frozen embryo transfers that resulted from those retrievals, cutting the cost of fertility treatments by 85%. I want to take this opportunity to make everyone aware that there are thousands of couples who have unexplained infertility or fertility issues that are male based who do not have the same coverage, and I find this fact unjust and heartbreaking.
My husband and rode the IVF coster for 6 years, over 60 eggs retrieved, over 35 embryos created, 16 embryos transferred, 8 attempts and a whole lot of heartbreak later, we were spent both emotionally and financially. We were left with a lot of hurt and confusion because our prognosis was so positive when we first started our treatments and our understanding was that our issue was sheerly logistics due to severe scaring of my fallopian tubes. How do you really and truly deal with the emotions-reality-greif of 16 possible babies didn’t and couldn’t survive…I still can’t answer that question as we would all deal with it differently, but what I can say is that from the time I was old enough to understand family love, the challenges of poverty, and the drive to help others, I knew I wanted to be a foster parent, and that I wanted to do something in my life to give a child a better life. I also believe there was a part of me that knew adoption was going to be the outcome of our journey to have children. So after some long conversations and time to start to heal we decided to start the domestic adoption process.
15 months later enter Maxwell. I don’t want to skim over the reality that the adoption process is any less emotionally taxing then the IVF process. We were considered for 3 unborn babies but not chosen by the birth parents to meet, and that hurt, and was hard to understand why, and made me question whither we looked good enough on paper. But if there’s one thing in life I believe in it’s that there are no coincidences and on the very day our worker was meeting with us, to discuss a birth mom who wanted to meet with us, her co-worker who was days away from maternity leave brought her a 3 1/2 month old baby’s profile who was going to become a Crown Ward and had his original adoption plan fall through. We only needed a short time to discuss it before we knew he was our baby and within the year Maxwell was officially our beautiful son.
We were feeling super blessed with our perfect charming boy, and knew that we had emotionally extended ourselves further then a Russian gymnast, so we decided that we were happy with our boy and that a sibling (or moreso the process of adopting another child from another family) was just too much for us, but in the back of my mind I knew the possibility and had a selfish hope.
Four weeks ago, after a shaky start to new year, we got a message from our worker stating that Maxwell’s birth mother was expecting again and she is hoping for a consent adoption (different and easier process) with us. After I picked my jaw up from the floor I my heart suddenly was overwhelmed with joy. Life is an amazing ride. I had made my piece with the fact that we would never have the newborn experience and had dealt with the sadness I felt from missing a the first part of Max’s life (something I think only adoptive parents can truly understand), and was “OK” with the idea of Maxwell being an only child and felt my blessings outnumbered the fact that life is not always easy and fluid, but the gift life has given our family is a testament to how you never truly know what to expect and you’re never prepared for how quickly your life can change.
My hope for a sibling for Max was selfish because no matter what his Birth parents’s situation, knowing you won’t get to raise your baby rips a piece of your heart out and to me is not comparable to any loss that we have ever faced regarding our struggles to start a family. For that reason and many others, we will always be thankful that they wanted their baby with us. Because of their choice we have two beautiful baby boys to complete our family and fill our house with love a laughter.
I want everyone who knows someone who is dealing with infertility to try your best to be there for your friend(s) during any ups and downs they face. It’s not easy to be supportive when you can’t personally relate, but the best thing you can do is to listen, take them out for coffee and when you’re “out with the girls” try to be sensitive when talking about your birth experience, pregnancy, and stay away from saying “just relax and it will happen” or “I bet you’ll get pregnant as soon as you adopt”. And for those who are dealing with the very personal and often private (too private) trials of infertility, know that you are not alone and that life works in wondrous and sometimes perfect ways.
The following images are of our first few hours together with our newest addition
Please don’t forget to follow the link at the bottom of this post to see what Brandy Anderson has been up to this month and keep following the links to see some amazing photographers capturing their own special day to day.
We got the call that birth mom was in active labour at 11:35p.m. Friday, and decided to leave for our 5 hour trip to get our baby at 4am…It was a good morning for a drive.
Daddy helps get his measurement
Oh my heart
The hospital experience
Little smile on the ride home
Don’t cry brother
Cuddles with Daddy
Brandy Anderson is next in the chain…