Where to begin? I’ve been both nervous and excited to share this part of our story with you all, and I finally feel ready!
For about two years we struggled with secondary infertility, and just in case you don’t know what that is, it just means that you have had a child (or more than 1) and now cannot conceive. It was something that really blindsided us, as we had no trouble at all getting pregnant with Kennedy and Shelby.
But, we found ourselves wanting to complete our family, and feeling really strongly that me carrying and giving birth was how we wanted to do that. But much like He always does, God seemed to have other plans. This post isn’t going to be about all the fertility treatments we underwent (we did it ALL) but more so to share how we did eventually conceive our twins and a place for me to share some amazing resources etc with you all.
As I mentioned before, we had reached about the two year mark and thought we had pretty much run out options… I remembered hearing something about Embryo Adoption, and decided to look into it further. Almost immediately we knew this was going to be the route for us. We were 100% comfortable with adoption, obviously, and so the baby not having our DNA just wasn’t a big deal to us. After speaking with my doctor and finding out that she was totally in agreement that this was a great option for us, I began my favorite part of any big decision…the research. 🙂
Before I share with you the resources, in case you might be interested as well, let me explain briefly what Embryo Adoption or Donation is. Basically, when couples go through the IVF process, they very often can end up with more embryos than they can or want to use. This is something that Doctors are working on as IVF continues to grow, but there are still many couples who find themselves with babies on ice that they have to make decisions for. Really, they have three options.
- Pay storage fees and keep them frozen indefinitely (which as you might imagine is not a great long term solution)
- Have them discarded or donated to science
- Donate them to another couple who will transfer them and hopefully give birth! (Adoption)
There are something like 600,000 embryos currently frozen in the US and many are available for donation/adoption. These terms are used kind of interchangeably because it’s not really a typical adoption process. Some clinics require you to do a homestudy before you are matched and others do not, however once you give birth there is no “adoption” element involved. Legally, this is your child.
Anyway, you can read more about that in the resources below if you are interested.
So, we began researching clinics, looking at profiles and hoping to find what would be a good match for us! Our only criteria really, was that we only wanted to adopt 1 or 2 embryos. Because this is how we intended to complete our family, and not start it, we knew we didn’t want to have extra embryos that we then had to make decisions for 🙂 Hopefully that makes sense! We were very quickly matched with a “set” of 2 embryos, and we prepared for transfer. We chose to transfer them both, which is very common in IVF, for a couple of reasons. We knew that they weren’t guaranteed to survive the thawing process so we hoped at least 1 would, we were only planning to try this once so we wanted the best shot at conceiving a baby. Finally, our clinic had a policy that since they were frozen together in the same “straw” that if we didn’t transfer both, the other would have to be discarded. It couldn’t be re-frozen. We felt very strongly that we needed to put that in God’s hands, even though the idea of twins was really scary to us, we knew we had to give them both a chance at life!
To be honest, I was really hopeful, but in the back of mind I figured this would fail, just like everything else we had tried. Much to my surprise, about 4 days after transfer, I got a positive pregnancy test!!!!! CR says he knew right away that they both “stuck” and we were having twins. I think I was in denial 😉 That denial quickly went away though when I found myself hugging the toilet at like 5 weeks pregnant! LOL! An early ultrasound determined we were indeed having twins!
There is so much more to the story from there, but that will all have to wait for another day 🙂
Just like with our other adoptions, we are going to keep many things private for these girls, but we did want to share what we consider to be a pretty amazing miracle! It’s pretty incredible to be able to carry and give birth to these two precious girls, even though we don’t share DNA.
As you might imagine, we are SOOOO anxious to see what they look like, and to meet them. And while the little kids (Noah, Jonah and Rosie) don’t really understand embryo adoption at this point, they know mommy has 2 babies in her belly and they love to talk to them and rub my belly. Our big girls (Kennedy and Shelby) really do understand what Embryo adoption is, and are very anxious to meet their new sisters in a few months!
We can’t wait to hold these babies and tell them how loved they are, by so many people, and we know God has some pretty incredible plans for them already. Afterall, they can really say that they survived the Ice Age 🙂
One thing I do want to share, most of you know how important dates have been in our adoption journey’s…. I’ve always found great comfort in seeing how God has used specific dates to help me see His direction when I’m unsure. Well, when we matched with these two sweet girls, we found out that they were frozen on the very same day we said Yes to adopting Jonah. I just love those little hugs from the Father. His hands have been all over this journey!
So, while we are a bit terrified to have twins, we are also thrilled and excited! I always thought we would have 6 kids, but God had other plans… 7 is the number of completion in the Bible after all 🙂
Thank you guys again for your support and love! Our family wouldn’t be what it is today without the love and encouragement we have received over the years.
EMBRYO ADOPTION RESOURCES: