On a Saturday morning a few weeks ago, amidst chocolate covered bunnies and carrot cake, it hit me. Had we been one of those people who conceived right away, there would be a three-year-old running around the backyard, looking for hidden eggs. Probably there would have also been a one-year-old tagging along behind.
Now before I scold myself for buying tickets to my own pity party, I must remember that it is okay to briefly slip into the dark side of “what ifs” and “if onlys”. It’s just important not to get stuck there.
So, I was indulging myself in this dangerous game of replaying the past, when I lost it a little. And by a little, I mean a lot. I was okay until I described my feelings to Ryan and forgot that sometimes my mouth is directly connected to my tear ducts.
You know the feeling when the normal, everyday guy you’re married to says something so sincere and comforting, that for a minute you almost don’t recognize him? Not to say that Ryan isn’t great all the time, but to feel that heard and that understood changed the entire course of the conversation. All I felt coming from him was concern and compassion. No sympathy, no belittlement, not even exasperation that (yet again) we were rehashing this situation. Just empathy.
Ryan suggested that if I wasn’t pregnant by the time he finished his field training (about 6 months), we start looking into adopting.
Like most men, Ryan would love to have a child that is his biologically. As his wife, I want nothing more than to give that to him. However, we can not keep this up forever. Barring something working out for us in the meantime, in about a year we will be facing the stage in which in-vitro fertilization would be our last option. While many couples find in-vitro to be a positive choice for them and have been rewarded with tiny miracles of their very own, it seems at this point neither Ryan nor I are considering taking that step. The cost is ~$10,000 and, as with all fertility treatments, the results are not guaranteed.
For me personally, I feel that biology fades while family is forever. As an adopted child myself, I can see many positive aspects in adoption. I have had friends that have adopted and I can not picture these families without these children.
I attended an adoption meeting recently (I was asked to speak about my experience as an adopted person). I listened to adoptive and birth parents speak about the role of adoption in their lives. I’d dare say this experience is not better or worse than having your own biological child, just different.
So, what would be different? I guess instead of telling my child about waiting for her due date, I would be telling her about waiting for adoption paperwork to be approved. Instead of stories about how my water broke in the grocery store and it took 15 hours of labor to get her here, I would be telling her how I got the phone call she was on the way and it took 15 hours to drive to the hospital where she was born. Instead of hearing about Daddy cutting the umbilical cord, it would be Daddy taking pictures through the nursery windows and finding a computer to email them home to friends and family. Instead of the first car ride as we drove home from the hospital, maybe it would be the first ride home on an airplane. Regardless, she would be ours and we would be hers and there would be no doubt in the world how much we wanted her. Not better or worse, just different.
And, heaven forbid, someday she might actually want to meet her birth mother??? Well, I’m sure there are worse things in this world than watching your child connect with someone as selfless as that.
Sure, adoption is riddled with unknowns, positives and negatives, a true roller coaster of emotions. But, isn’t infertility? Even further, isn’t parenting in general? I wouldn’t know…
When Ryan was suggesting we start the adoption process on that Saturday morning, he was jumping ahead just a bit. For now, I am still on the infertility carousel. I have my surgery consultation on May 23rd. From there, I will schedule the laparoscopy and hysteroscopy. Should this not result in pregnancy, I am willing to do the hormone shots in combination with IUIs. This is expensive (~$1000-$1500/month) so we will probably rotate, one month on and one month off for a total of 6 rounds. Then I will know that I gave it my all. I can grieve the fact that I can never give Ryan a child of his own (genetically) and I can be comfortable turning to adoption. That’s the timeline at this point. What happens from here on out is anyone’s guess.