As a couple who got married a little later in life, Rob and I knew that we wanted to start trying for a family right away. I spoke with my doctor and she said that she usually gave couples a year to get pregnant on their own, but since I was 35 and Rob was 38, she wanted us to come back in six months if we were not pregnant before then.
Maybe I was not meant to get pregnant. Was a family not part of God’s plan for me? I could not imagine Rob and me living the rest of our lives together without children. At that point, I had been teaching elementary school for sixteen years and loved my students, but my heart was desperate for a child of my own.
After a failed round of IUI in July 2014, our doctor asked what direction we wanted to go. IVF was not really in our budget, especially after the cost of the previous fertility treatments… However, our doctor said there was a study for a medication for women 35 years and older, who had a history of not getting pregnant by other means. The cost was a fraction of what we would have normally paid for IVF. It seemed to be the direct we were called, so we signed up immediately. This allowed us to create eight embryos.
Very soon after the first transfer of two embryos, we were excited but we did not want to get our hopes up. When we got the call in October 2014 that we were pregnant, we were ecstatic! In early November, the doctor confirmed that both embryos were growing and we had twins. Soon after Christmas, we were overjoyed to learn that we had one girl and one boy.
A few years later, our clinic contacted us about our five remaining embryos, asking us to make a decision regarding what we wanted to with them. Rob and I determined that our twins were enough. No more transfers. No more babies.
Since we were not going to use the embryos, there did not seem to be a good reason for paying the fee to keep them frozen. I had a couple of friends who had discarded their embryos, and although I did not judge them for their choices, it did not seem the right decision for us. Holding my precious twins, knowing that I had been so blessed, how could I destroy the beginnings of more beautiful babies?
I simply could not. We had to place the embryos for adoption.
In September 2017, we finished all of the requirements for donating the embryos. My heart was broken. I was giving away pieces of Rob and me, pieces that I wanted! When we were quickly matched with an adopting family, I was surprised to find that my sadness was replaced by a deep sense of peace. I knew to the core of my soul that they were meant to be the parents of these babies. Through our correspondence, I could feel the love that they had to give not only their future babies, but my family as well.
They were not taking my family away from me. They were the parents that were meant to raise these children. Rob and I were blessed to be a part of their miracle.
Six months after the adoptive family accepted the embryos, we experienced a miracle of our own: I seemed to have caught a terrible stomach bug. I was exhausted, nauseated, and miserable. Luckily, yet strangely, no one else in our family seemed afflicted… After days of unpleasant symptoms, I discovered that I did not have a virus in my belly. I had a baby!
In December 2018, we gave birth to a healthy, beautiful baby girl. Rob quickly changed his tune from, “I don’t want another baby,” to “How did we ever think our family was complete without her?”
Meanwhile, our adoptive family struggled through miscarriages… My friends, family, and I prayed, begging God to bless them with a baby to love. I worried that the pain would be too much and they would give up on their dream of parenthood.
The month of my twins’ fifth birthday, we learned that they were transferring the two remaining embryos. This was it. If Rob and I were to be a part of their miracle, there were no more chances…
Their son Calvin was born in January 2020. I received a lovely gift necklace with two tiny pendants, one engraved with his birthday and the other with a snowflake. Although I never held Calvin in my womb or in my arms, we will forever hold him in our hearts. We are forever grateful that he was born into our adopting family for all of us to love.
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Email Paige@nightlight.org and help another family build their embryo donation or adoption story.
To learn about embryo donation and adoption, visit EmbryoAdoption.org.