Sharing Our Perspectives: Feedback from Rhonda

Rhonda from Connecticut is newly pregnant for the first time and shared her story:

I am 36 years old and 6 weeks pregnant with my first child. My OB sent me to the Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE) after 2 rounds of Clomid because she believed I wasn’t ovulating based on my BBT (I had come off the pill 6 months earlier). I went to the RE later, and was 1 day late for my period. They did a urine test in the office: POSITIVE! I went on to have HCG done: 75. I was like 5 minutes pregnant at the time. I continue to get HCG screenings and it is rising appropriately. I go for my first ultrasound next week. It looks like my OB was wrong, just because I am AMA does NOT mean I have a fertility problem!

Are You Ready to Consider Adoption?

Source: etsy.com via Leisha on Pinterest

By Jess Pedersen. Originally published on the blog for Without Child, The Advanced Maternal Age Project brings some important considerations and questions to ask yourself:

Giving up the dream to have a biological child can be intense.

For most people it is an incredibly difficult decision for many reasons:

  • After years of trying, how do you know when to say it’s time to stop?
  • Never having the opportunity to experience pregnancy and childbirth can be heartbreaking.
  • You may feel anger and resentment toward your body for not working the way you thought it should.
  • You may feel attached to your genetics, so not having a child that resembles you or your spouse may be an issue for you.
  • You may feel pressure from family members to keep trying even though you’ve reached the end of your baby-making rope.
  • Depending upon how you choose to form your family, you may have to endure insensitive comments from friends who haven’t been in your shoes.
  • Grief often accompanies the choice to stop trying to conceive, so be kind and patient with yourself and your spouse as you transition to another path toward parenthood.

When you know you’re ready to begin the journey.

Never fear…there are a few things that you can do to make the transition to adoption easier:

  • Connect with friends who have adopted and ask them a million questions, they won’t mind!
  • Start researching the adoption process by checking out different agencies online.
  • Include local agencies in your search; you will need one for the homestudy portion of the process.
  • Request information packets from the agencies that look good to you.
  • Determine your preference regarding domestic versus international adoption.
  • Find adoption support groups in your area (local agencies are great resources for these groups).
  • Keep a journal or, if you’re the sharing type, blog about the process to keep friends and family involved.
  • Stay connected with your spouse regarding your hopes and dreams for parenthood!

If you are reading this and contemplating adoption as your next step toward parenthood, perhaps one day you will look into the face of a child that looks nothing like you and hear the word, “Mama” or “Dada”, and feel like the luckiest person on the face of the earth.

Jess Pedersen is a health coach, amateur guitarist, lover of words, part-time marketing guru, and addict of real wholesome tasty food.She also loves to help all women find and nourish their inner Mama, is a contributor to this website and writes for her own BeMamaBeWell.com, She is on Facebook, and on Twitter via @BeMamaBeWell.

A Different Type of Infertility

Source: squidoo.com via Heather on Pinterest

There’s a term that many of us have never heard of and  it affects women ages 35+ more than younger women.

It’s Secondary Infertility.

According to Iris Waichler, MSW, LCSW, in her book Riding the Infertility Roller Coaster, Secondary Infertility is an important and often overlooked part of the story of infertility. This occurs when people have been successful in having children and then are unable to conceive another child. (Women over 35 who have been trying for 6 months who are unable to conceive again may receive this designation). This can happen for a variety of reasons and can also be an incredibly painful experience. Friends and family may not respond in an empathetic way because they know there are already children, and even medical professionals can even downplay the problem. (Editor Sharon saw this with her first OB, Dr. B.)

Often there is a lack of understanding about how difficult it is to lose the ability to have children. But the feelings of loss, sadness, and grief can be as intense as the feelings of those people who who are unable to conceive any children, according to Iris. Support groups and therapists fill an important need for many couples.

According to RESOLVE, the National Infertility Organization, there are some important considerations: the couple must focus on the desire to parent a second child and the time, energy, and finances involved in pursuing medical treatment or alternatives such as adoption. These conditions must be weighed with the needs of the existing child(ren) in mind.

 

 

Visible Life: IVF, personhood, and the Two-Week Wait. (from Slate.com)

Belle Bogs has written a beautiful, almost poetic, article that gives us a glimpse into both her and others’ experience with infertility and the debate and science behind IVF.

 

“I looked up from the notebook where I’d been writing and sketching zygotes—did she say she creates life?—but then Ramos went on to talk about the life of the family: mothers and fathers and children, or mothers and mothers, or fathers and fathers, birthdays and holidays, traditions passed on, one generation to another. That is the life she helps create, the life she or another embryologist offers me and my husband.”


Read the full article on Slate.com.

Share you story with us.

Carrie’s* Story

 

My journey began in my mid 30’s when I was single and had some painful female health challenges. I had to go through emergency surgery to remove a twisted ovary. The surgeon found that I had a number of uterine fibroids and referred me to a fertility specialist to try and repair my uterus, as I had hoped to ensure my future fertility. She did my surgery, and I really connected with her and knew that she would be my fertility doctor when the time was right. I eventually married and we went through clomid cycles and multiple IUI’s yet were unsuccessful, so we took a break. Infertility can be very hard on a marriage and ours was categorized as undiagnosed infertility, so we had no explanation which was frustrating. Eventually we decided to go the adoption route and also resumed fertility treatments, hoping to cover both bases and raise our odds.

We received the most incredible news of a positive pregnancy test and learned of a mother who wanted us to adopt her child all within a few days! We were so excited! Two babies at once was an unexpected yet welcome blessing! Hurricane Katrina hit the coast of Louisiana, and within that same week I miscarried our baby due to a tubal pregnancy.  Then the birth mother of the child changed her mind, deciding to keep her baby. I had several surgeries due to the miscarriage, and shortly afterwards my husband walked away from our marriage.  I learned much later that he had been seeing another woman while we were undergoing fertility treatments and going through our adoption process.  I was devastated, yet I still held on to the dream of Motherhood.

After the divorce was finalized, I resumed the adoption route only to find that single mothers have quite a challenge adopting American babies through our agencies. I was told that most American birth mothers don’t really want to give their children to another single mother to raise on their own, so I started exploring international adoption. All the while, I still had this deep ache in my heart to carry a child in my womb. I visited with international agencies and found a few countries that would allow single mothers to adopt. I narrowed it down to the country, chose a wonderful agency and invested a lot of time, money and emotions to the process. Over a year into waiting for my baby, I learned that the country I had chosen closed relations with the United States and we didn’t know when they would resume. At that point I began to wonder if perhaps I was supposed to take these doors closing as a sign that I should try to carry a child on my own.

I visited again with my Dr. and she gave me all of my options, offered her valuable insight, and I left her office with such hope in my heart. I will always treasure her wisdom. I went through tests and found that I was no longer fertile, which was such difficult news to hear. Yet she did assure me that I had a very high probability of getting pregnant through the donor program. I wanted to be a Mom more than anything on this earth and knew that if I was willing to adopt a baby then why not adopt an egg? If I am carrying then I can provide all the best health care and nutrition to my child during the pregnancy. While there was no 100% guarantee of a successful pregnancy, it did seem to be best option to increase my chances of parenting within a reasonable amount of time. All of the funds invested in international adoption were nonrefundable and yet in the end it was still less expensive to go through the donor IVF program than to adopt internationally. As a single mom, all of this information was important to consider.

I ended up choosing to go through the donor program and finalized on the donor after my first choice didn’t pass all of her lab tests.  I felt completely confident in my decision with this donor and have never looked back. I felt like I had a dream team of cheerleaders rooting for me. I had to administer all of my own shots going through the IVF procedure, and while that was not the most pleasant part of the process, I was able to do it. It is amazing what one can do when you keep your eyes focused on the goal. I went through one IVF cycle with my donor and was pregnant with twins. Twin pregnancy as a single woman was challenging for sure yet my OB/GYN said it was a textbook pregnancy.  There is no question that living alone carrying twins was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done and yet also the most rewarding.  I have a wonderful family who supported me along the way.  My children were born at 38 weeks with healthy weights and no NICU was necessary. I am now 44 years old and my son and daughter will be 3 this summer.

While it was a lengthy, emotion-filled and difficult road, with many twists and turns, I reached my goal and am living my dream. I have two incredibly beautiful, smart, healthy, active children who are the joys of my life. Yes, I would do it again in a heartbeat and encourage those of you going through infertility to remain hopeful. I am living proof that it is possible!  Your original plans may have to be altered in one way or another, so staying flexible and open to what options present themselves will help you get through this process.

In retrospect, I know that I am a better Mom in my 40’s than I would have been in my 20’s and 30’s. Through these years I have been taught the value of patience, hope, faith and to never give up on my dreams, no matter what life puts in my path. Honestly, my heart still hurts for the child that I miscarried and the loss of my fertility, yet in hindsight I do see incredible wisdom in the timing of my children and they way the arrived. They are the most precious gift I have ever received and well worth the wait. Everything has come together so beautifully and has all worked out for the very best so it is with eyes of gratitude that I view this journey.

*Pseudonym given at the request of the author.