Connecting Through Embryo Adoption

Sarah

My final HCG level came back doubling and strong! It was a relief to know my sibling embryo has a chance after all. Now just to get through the first ultrasound. Holding my breath for a strong heartbeat!! Feeling blessed and so thankful today.

Last week I met with a preceptor and friend of mine who introduced me to embryo adoption. It is wonderful the friendships and connections that can be made this way. She was amazed at my daughter and the miracle of her life and how she is growing each day. I also was introduced to a woman whose husband is a doctor and best friend with Dr. Finger. He is the doctor and spokesperson who travels and promotes embryo adoption in churches and groups who haven’t heard of adopting in this way. If anyone out there is interested in having him come speak at your church or organization, he can be contacted through the NEDC. I was told this is the last year he will be speaking and teaching on embryo adoption.

I am always looking for an opportunity to share my story. I keep a picture on the back of my phone of my daughter in hope that someone will ask me about her. It gives me the opportunity to share and pray for those who are struggling in this area. I hope other women out there who have adopted embryos can feel led to share and bring hope to family, friends, and strangers. It is like a gift that keeps on giving. I pray my story gives hope to others and it opens my heart in deeper thankfulness for what I have received through adoption. It also is a reminder of how precious life is when facing hard times. I can look at my daughter on those bad days and just reflect at the end of the day.

Attached my phone pic of Vivienne

_DSC3919

Tell Us The Story!

Grant and Maria like for me to tell the story of when they were in my belly. Over time they have started to add their own parts. It goes something like this:

Me: “Mommy and Daddy prayed about the babies we would have. You all were extra special because you were frozen embryos.”

Grant: “Frozen!? That’s silly, Mommy.”

Me: “Yes, you all were just waiting for Mommy and Daddy to pick you. We prayed and God told us that you were the ones for us. A nice doctor put you in Mommy’s belly and you decided that you wanted to stick around.”

Maria: “It’s nice and warm in here.”

Me: “So you started to grow and Mommy and Daddy got to see you when your arms were like little fins and you were just swimming around. You grew and grew and Mommy’s belly got REALLY BIG. Grant was wild fist-pumping all the time and Maria was rolled up in a little ball. Then, one night it got really crazy and…..”

Maria: “GRANT BROKE THE WATER!”

Grant: *shoulder shrug and giggle*

Me: “We went to the hospital so we could see what was going on. You were supposed to keep cooking for a couple more months, so the doctors said they were going to let you stay as long as possible. But, three days later, you all said you were coming out. Grant was first…”

Grant (shifting his eyes and shrugging his shoulders): “I looked at the doctors and said ‘hey, what’s going on?”

Maria (with a shiver): “And I said ‘PUT ME BACK! IT’S COLD!!!'”

The story goes on and we talk about how they were in the NICU and how they had to learn to sit and walk and talk.

They love their story. I do, too.

In Two Months…

Photobucket

In two months, we will meet Sienna’s genetic family for the first time. Face to face.

In two months, Sienna will get to meet the genetic parents who chose life for her. She will get to look into the eyes of her two fully genetic siblings.

And smile.

We live in Oregon. Sienna’s genetic family lives in Ohio. We’ve decided to convene in Florida.

Disney World.

This trip has been in the making for nearly a year now, and we are beyond excited. (Apart from the whole flying across the country with three small children thing).

We have an open adoption with Sienna’s family, and since her birth, we have regularly exchanged pictures, videos, emails, texts. We are even Facebook friends.

This level of openness has probably been instigated mostly by me. I am an open person. Period. And it is important to us that our children know their roots. I’m just grateful that both Brae’s birth family and Sienna’s genetic family have welcomed this level of openness.

But, we have never spoken on the phone with Sienna’s genetic family. Although we’ve heard their voices (via videos or recorded storybooks), I’m excited to hear their voice when they see our daughter in person for the first time and say, “Hi, Sienna!”

No, Sienna won’t know what is going on. And we haven’t really shared the depths of Sienna’s story with Brae yet. He wouldn’t understand.

But, we will take lots of pictures, and lots of videos, and we will make lasting memories.

And I hope this will just be the first of many visits over her lifetime.

Britney

Celebration of Hope

Sarah

Thursday was my celebration of hope day. I got my next HCG results and I was shocked to get a 91! I had so prepared for the worst and was already planning for everything to be over. I was still cramping and feeling terrible. I am so relieved – and will be doing another test on Monday.

I really want to celebrate and call all my friends and tell them our good news. I know we have many tests and mountains to go over before I will feel things are safe to share.

This weekend I spent time researching HCG levels and FET windows of implantation. I discovered that many women land with all sort of numbers (my numbers have always been over 100). When I got 39 as my first result it was over in my mind! I was surprised that there were moms that said they had twins and even triplets with a starting low number. The conclusion I learned about HCG levels is that it doesn’t matter the starting number as long as your levels are doubling, as they should. It would be great if there were a forum to post questions on NEDC. I have had questions going through each transfer, and many women must have them as well. With all the cramping I have had that I didn’t experience before, I could only guess what the cause may be. I feel due to my extra thick lining my embryos may have had a harder time implanting. I have wanted a direct answer on FET implantation window; most resources I read were 5-7 days post transfer. I could not find a textbook answer on this. If anyone knows, please send me a post. I know if may not matter now as I received a positive, but I do like to help others who may want to know these kind of questions.

This week I will be praying for the viability of my pregnancy and taking some down time to spend with a close friend of mine. I scheduled this trip before my transfer to break away from the emotional stress of whatever the final result would be. I hope to hear of positive results from other mom’s and celebrate with them on their surviving embryos. I hope everyone is taking care of the emotional side of your transfer.

Transfer Results

Sarah

This week has been so very emotional. My thoughts and prayers have been for myself and other transfer moms all enduring the waiting period of all our results. I received news my test was positive. I knew by how I was feeling it was positive, however I was going through terrible cramping and not feeling the best. It has felt different than any prior transfer I have done. The call finally came in of a positive but my HCG level, however, was very low at 39. My emotional stability was lost at that point. I am also grieving for a transfer mom who received a negative result for her sibling transfer.

I wish we could all get together with our tissue boxes and chocolates and cry and comfort each other. It is just hard for words – everyone on here knows the work and heart it takes to go through these transfers and holding your breath on the results. You feel relief and then grieve. You want everyone to get that positive – especially – you.

After my result, I didn’t know how to feel. My first thought went to my daughter and how she is going to feel without a sibling to share life with. How will life change for her and adapting our family to a one-child situation? I was dead beat by the end of that day in trying to emotionally collect myself and think through all the what-ifs.

If I had a choice I would rather it be all over now than be spent emotionally on it ending in miscarriage and more grief of a lost heart beat or later miscarriage. I will receive my next result Thursday. I am hoping and praying it will bring a celebration for hope.

Home Schooling Observations

We’ve been doing our home school pre-K curriculum for about 6 weeks now. It is going better than I could have imagined. Jeremy has embraced the extra workload and is supplementing lessons and adjusting methods as they go. Grant and Maria are excited about their learning and are often eager to tell me about something they are learning about.

Grant is a better student that I would have guessed. I’ve worried about him because he often can’t focus, but he’s been an absolute sponge. He was drawing a solar system in the driveway the other night and excitedly told my mom about the planets and how they orbit around sun. He looked at me last night and said, “You hear that water going down the drain? I used my sense of hearing.”

Maria gets more frustrated with some of her lessons. She wants to be right all the time and says things like “I can’t know how!” when she gets stuck. However, her handwriting is improving and she likes to make sure her lessons are completed. She went to the dining room on her own and finished her number coloring pages last night. I think she might end up as an artistic numbers person.

Both are making big strides on their speech patterns and vocabulary. They are pointing out letters on signs and store fronts when we are driving, counting everything they can and overall seem to be soaking up what we’re doing.

Jeremy had them listen for their vocabulary works during their story yesterday. He said that they identified all 10 of them and when they finished Grant declared “Oh man, those vocab words came faster than I was expecting.”

Birth Father Visit

Photobucket

Last weekend, we had our annual visit with Brae’s birth father and his side of the family. Each visit keeps getting better and better.

We met at a local amusement park and for the first time, I think Brae “understood” who his birth father is to him. In fact, I asked him in the car on the way over what it meant that he had a birth father. His reply? “It means I’m special to him!”

We spent the next several hours exploring the park. Brae and his birth father played miniature golf together, rode the go-karts, and played in the arcade.

We then got lunch together and they deluged Brae with birthday presents. They also got Sienna a pink Barbie convertible, with Barbie included, and she was in hog heaven.

While Brae ran around the restaurant in his new Teenage Mutant gear, swinging his swords, I got a chance to catch up with his family.

They expressed, as they have before, how difficult it was at first when Brae was born and the adoption was going through. They wanted to keep him. But, in the same breath, they expressed tremendous gratitude and relief that he was with us. They also recognized (and appreciated) that we need to make clear to Brae that our role is as his parents, and his birth family has a separate role as his larger, extended family. Because he is adopted, they said, they understand that means he has more people that love him.

They wiped away some tears as they indicated how much it meant to them that we continue to have these visits and that we send pictures and keep them updated on Brae.

I told them it is just as important for us, and for Brae, that we do that as it is for them. And, I reiterated, we will continue to have these visits for as long as Brae wants them.

When we left that afternoon, Brae gave hugs to all of them. When he got to his birth father, he hugged him and thanked him for being his birth father.

I am so proud to be his mom.

Britney

chris
________________________________________