Monday, August 26, 2013

Secondary Infertility - and other thoughts

     I’ve pretty  much dropped off the blogging scene - because I didn’t really have anything to say.  (I still read my friends’ blogs; I love keeping up with you all.)
We both felt really beaten down after our last failed FET.  Emotionally and spiritually, Micah and I were both bewildered and downtrodden.  It’s been a rough season.   We were SO sure that those embryos were providentially chosen for us - they seemed like a gift from God’s hand.  (Both sets: the Indian embryos and then the last failed set.)  It was just such a shock that none of them stuck.  We’ve had 4 failed FETs in the last 18 months.  It’s disheartening.   But we know that donor FETs work.  Our amazing, wonderful, sweet EA daughter will turn 2 next month.  We are so blessed to have her - I love being a mom even more than I thought I would.
     And that’s what makes this infertility so much more difficult.  I’m finding this ‘secondary infertility’ even more painful than it was before we had Leah.  I long so desperately to be pregnant again.  I want so much to give Leah a sibling - to nurse another child - to expand our family.  It’s just not working.  Our clinic had several sets of embryos available this summer - but we didn’t have enough money saved to ‘adopt’ them.  Now that we’ve figured out how to pay for our next embryo adoption, there are none available.  So we wait.  And wonder - should we even try again?  Most would be tempted to give up after 4 failed FETs.  But our first FET worked - so we’re 1 for 5.  (Our clinic’s success rates aren’t that great, so we should expect that.  The clinic freezes all embryos, not just the high quality ones - so in reality, we’re getting lower quality leftovers than other clinics.  We knew that going into it and we’re happy to give any embryo a chance.)  So, I guess we just wait and keep trying, right?

    Except that my husband threw me a curve ball this week.  He suggested we consider donor sperm.  We talked about that briefly in the beginning of our journey.  Financially, it makes the most sense.  Our insurance covers IUIs -so we’d only have to pay for the sperm (which is WAY cheaper than adopting embryos!)
But it didn’t feel right for us.  We felt called to adopt - and I’m perfectly fertile.  We really believed that God was going to create our family through embryo adoption.  And He did.   When we began to try for a 2nd child, we were stilll confident that this is how God was working.  Even after a few failed transfers, we still thought that.  But now we’re not so confident.  Maybe I need to be more open to God working differently than I thought.  Maybe God is working on our hearts to be ready for this option?
    I would LOVE to hear from you ladies; how did God lead you to the path you’re on??  (Especially Diane and Paula -I appreciate any thoughts you might share!)  I’m not sure if we’re truly being led in this direction or if we’re just considering taking the faster/cheaper way out.  I love to share Leah’s adoption story.  What would I tell this child (if we concieved?)  I have so many questions jumbled in my head... ... ...


  1. I feel like it would take a book to share my thoughts on this!

    I will say that on our journey, it's been a lot easier to look backwards and see God's hand at work guiding us than to look forward and sense that he is calling us in a certain direction. There were many times when we had no idea what to do next, so we prayed for wisdom and for God to make it clear if we were going in a direction we shouldn't go, and then we just stepped out in faith that wherever we ended up, God would meet us there.

    As for specifics, it was my DH who opened the door for donor sperm for us as well. Our options were limited; we had already ruled out traditional adoption and our hearts couldn't take another failed transfer even if we could find another set of embryos TO transfer. DH told me one day he would rather be a dad by using donor sperm than not be a dad at all.

    With donor sperm as a back up plan at that point, our initial decision was to pursue treatment with out own gametes. However on the exact day I got a referral from my RE for a urologist, my DH ended up in the ER with a second suspected DVT, which put the brakes on any treatment for a while. During this time, we learned that DH has a lot of medical issues, some of which are very serious and likely genetic.

    For the first time in my life, I found myself THANKING God that we had never conceived on our own.

    Even more about DH's health has come to light since we moved on to donor sperm and I've been pregnant, and I think both of us have cried with relief that our daughter will not have to face these same medical problems.

    When I look back at our journey and where God has brought us today, I feel at peace. This child I'm carrying wasn't conceived the way we originally planned, but I have no doubt that she is the child we were meant to have in our lives today.

    When I think about what we will someday tell our daughter, I think we will just stick with the truth: "We wanted a little one so much that it hurt, but Daddy was missing the part he needed for us to make a baby on our own. A very nice man with a big heart and love for family had the part that Daddy was missing and wanted to help us, so he gave us that part and God made you."

    I am forever grateful to the man who gave us the chance to have what we so desperately wanted. As far as I can know without having ever spoken to him, he is a believer, and I hope to thank him someday. It might have to wait for heaven.

    And I just want to say that this child I'm carrying is beautiful and uniquely herself, and I can't imagine her being anyone else but who God made her.

    I can't tell you that donor sperm is the right choice for you (because it might not be), but it can be a right and beautiful thing.

  2. Diane pretty much summed things up for us as well. As I look back over this journey, it's easier to see God's plan than to understand where it will take us in the future. When we started all this we were going to use donor sperm and Bill decided he wasn't comfortable with that. We had to do two rounds of FET with donor embryos for God to shut that door for us and open his heart to donor sperm.

    From the start, I just wanted to be a mother. I wasn't really particular on how that happened but I knew I wanted to experience pregnancy. Because our infertility struggles were on the male side, I think it took a little bit for him to wrap his head around things. Once the two FETs failed, we took time off for nursing school and begun talking about babies again, it was Bill who brought up donor sperm. We prayed and talked a lot about it and he said he was just suddenly drawn to it. Like an epiphany or something. One day he wasn't wild about the idea and the next, he knew it's the way we should go.

    I've been following you guys for a few years now and from the start you were always comfortable with the "non-traditional" family. You were eager to adopt embryos of a different race, your hearts were lead to growing a diverse family and you had stake no weight in genetics defining family. Maybe Micah's suggestion to try this was God leading you to this alternative way to accomplish that diversity.

    The only thing I can advise is keep praying and keep your heart and eyes open to God winks. When we encounter them through this struggle it helps me to believe that we're on the right path. Either way, Leah is a miracle and you stepped out in faith and were blessed with her. If this is tugging at your hearts, maybe that's what you need to do this time around. Turn it all over to Him.

  3. Chelle, praying for God to lead you in wisdom and faith! This infertility journey is so hard and emotional. I look forward to seeing what God has in store for you and your family : )

  4. We had 2 failed FETs and were planning on trying a 3rd time when we felt God lead us to domestic adoption very clearly at a church service. I had desperately wanted to experience pregnancy and I knew that choosing traditonal adoption would mean giving up on that dream. I prayed that God would take that desire away from me if we were to change directions. Literally overnight that happened! Obviously not everyone's paths are the same. Praying for discernment and guidance as you seek which path you're supposed to take. Keep us posted!

  5. Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. I'm so blessed by the friendship of Internet strangers. ;)