Friday, June 29, 2012

embryo adoption

When I first started this blog, it was something for just my eyes. Now that I've opened it up to others, I realize that while most of you might know what embryo adoption is if you've talked to me, others may not be totally clear on the whole subject. I will do my best to explain.

You've heard of IVF (In Vitro Fertilization), right? A couple cannot concieve naturally, or is having difficulty, for whatever reason may be, so they medically ... well, I'm not going to explain this very well, so I'm going to borrow what has to say about it:

IVF is the process of fertilization by manually combining an egg and sperm in a laboratory dish. When the IVF procedure is successful, the process is combined with a procedure known as embryo transfer which involves physically placing the embryo in the uterus.

Now, after a couple has done this, oftentimes they are left with additional embryos that will be frozen for future use. If a couple decides their family is complete later on down the road, they have a few different options for their embryos.
  • Destroy them
  • Donate them to science (which destroys them)
  • Let them remain frozen indefinately
  • Donate them to be adopted
Praise the Lord for the couples who know and value the life of these little embies (embryo + baby) to not destroy them and to also recognize the struggle (they've been there too!) others have had trying to have children and are willing to bless another couple (in one of the biggest ways I can think of!) with the gift of adoption! These embies were created for a reason, with oodles of love and hope, and need to be given the chance to have life!

Enter a couple like Jerome and I. We are unable to conceive naturally, unable to even do IVF together, though I am able to carry a child. Therefore, embryo adoption was a possibility for us. Embryo adoption is like traditional adoption in the sense that we are not the genetic parents of the child, but still the parents nonetheless, AND we have the opportunity to experience pregnancy.

There are two ways to adopt embies; annonymous or open. Annonymous means you know little or nothing of the donor family, and certainly don't have contact with them. Openly means it gives you the ablitity to have a realtionship with the donor family, just as in traditional open adoption. There was really no other way for us. It had to be an open adotpion. When we thought and prayed about it, and put ourselves in our potential child's shoes, we had to have an open adoption. There had to be the ability for, if nothing else, our child to know its genetic roots, siblings, genetic parents, etc., when he/she felt the need.

There are very few places in the country that give the option of OPENLY adopting another couple's embies, and the one we chose was the NEDC, in Knoxville, TN. The staff there is amazing, and once we had our home study completed (it is treated like a traditional adoption, therefore requiring a home study of each couple), they went to work matching us up with couples. Once we had matches, we were then presented to each couple for their approval or, or, non-approval? That sounds harsh, but I don't mean it that way at all. Letting another couple adopt your embies is a big deal! We had to pass inspection with them, haha, so to say.

We were giving the stamp of approval by three amazing couples, who have each blessed us in big ways. The willingness to allow us to adopt their embies, their potential children, is HUGE, and I will never, ever, ever be able to express my gratitude and love enough. The way these couples make me feel is indescribable, to say the least. More to come on them down the road!

The next step for us was the actual transfer of the embies. My body is poked, prodded and prepped to house the little ones, to hopefully grow and flourish. I've lost track of the number of needles either taking blood from me or pumping drugs into me. I cringe at the thought of each one, but at the same time am beyond thankful!!! Once I'm ready for take off, we head off to the clinic for the process I like to call, "fill your bladder til it's about to burst while I make you feel like I've poured fire in your innards at the same time as I prod around inside of you and push down on top of you while you hold your pee and lay perfectly still" ... they just call it an embryo transfer, fits better on the paperwork.

Once they are nestled in there, you wait. Wait for the results. And pray. Pray, pray, pray. It's a crazy, but wonderful experience.

I hope I have given you a better idea of this whole Embryo Adoption journey that we're on. I tried, at least! Please, don't ever hesitate to ask me any questions!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

the one with the wedding

This girl, she is worth{lots}.

Her love for the Lord. Her gracious attitude. Her commitment to purity. Her continually pointing me to the Lord. I admire her more than I can say.

Thank You, Lord, for my beautiful Krista!

And thank you, K, for allowing me to be a part of your special day! You are beautiful and I love you, oh so much! And, I was trying to find a quote from Friends about Monica and Chandler's wedding, but I like this one instead:

Reporter: I like that. What's your name?
Pheobe: Pheobe. That's, P, as in Phoebe, H, as in heobe, O as in oebe, E, as in ebe, B, as in bebe, and E as in... Ello there mate.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

oh, the places

As I was leaning over the sink in the bathroom at Starbucks the other day getting one of my twice daily shots, I had a thought. I should count up all the places, faces, etc. of the things in my life lately dealing with adopting this little one. Here goes.

{Around the USA in 80 Doctors}

I know I haven’t seen close to that, but sometimes it seems like it, especially if I think back to the very beginning of our infertility journey. But, over the course of the past 6 months, and especially the past two weeks, I have seen:

  • Dr. Thorn, Mason City, IA
  • Sue Mullenbach, NP, St. Ansgar, IA
  • Dr. Stewart, Rochester, MN
  • Dr. Keenan, Knoxville, TN

Do they offer punch cards for this kind of thing? See 10 doctors, get your 11th for free?

{If you’ve ever stabbed me, put your hands up!}

As much as I try to plan my daily, and now twice daily shots around times when Jerome is home to give them to me, it doesn’t always happen. I really wish I wasn’t such a baby and could just do it myself. But, who am I kidding, I’m a baby. So, those who have seen my glorious six pack abs (*cough*cough*) to stab me are:

  • Jerome (He says it’s like vaccinating hogs. Real nice, man, real nice.)
  • Heather (She’s a veteran and showed us how to do the booty shot!)
  • Christine (For her first time, I totally freaked her out by yelling, “Stab me! Just stab me!”)
  • Krista (I think she might just dislike needles as much as I do! What wouldn't she do for a friend?)
  • Mari (I can tell by the look in her eye that she enjoys stabbing me way too much!)

I hope to keep Jerome (and Heather) the only ones to see my “backside” … fingers crossed. Apologies if ever have to, but deepest thanks if you do!

{Location, location, location.}

It’s all about prime location. Or, not so prime in my case. The places I have RECEIVED a shot are, in no particular order:

  • My house
  • A friend’s house
  • The side of the road
  • The Little Caesar’s parking lot
  • A truck stop parking lot
  • Hotel room after hotel room
  • The bathroom at Starbucks
  • My boss’ office
  • The bathroom of a super gross gas station
  • The bathroom at the movie theater

There are more, I’m sure. I think from now on, I’m just going to start looking for odd places to get a shot. Gotta keep it interesting, right?

What a journey this has been.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

hey there

Hey there, little ones.

I’m sorry for my fear, my worry, my selfishness.

Thank you, for waiting patiently, for life here, or above.

I promise, if you have life here, with us, you will continue to have love. Crazy love!

And, if you have life above, you will have beyond the greatest love imaginable from the Father. I know this love is better than any I can give.

{BUT, if I can put my vote in, I’d really, really, really, really, really love to have you, here, with us, to love, and hold, and show God’s love to! Really, really! So, hang in there!}

Lord, if these little ones have life here, I will praise, love and serve You!
And, if these little ones have life above, with You, I will praise, love and serve You!