I am a cliche. Or at least I was for a few weeks.

I am your neighbor’s cousin’s wife who magically got pregnant after years of infertility treatments and an adoption.

I am also now the woman who has suffered four, first trimester losses. I am the woman who is so numb by previous experiences that I didn’t feel much other than shock when I saw those two lines staring back at me on the pregnancy test. I am the woman who isn’t surprised that her body failed her again. It fails time and time again, so why would I ever believe that this pregnancy would turn out any differently?

I did let myself believe for a fleeting moment that I would make my daughter a big sister. She loves being around other children so much and I wanted this for her. I wanted it so badly. However, at the same time, I worried about how she would feel if this baby was actually born. Would this harm our special bond and relationship in some way? Would she see herself as less important because she’s not biologically mine? Would she ever truly believe the fact that she was the one who saved me or would this sibling of hers overshadow this?

I guess we’ll never find out the answer to these questions, because at right around 6 weeks, I started to miscarry again.

About 2 and a half weeks ago, I found out I was pregnant. No, we weren’t trying. No, we weren’t preventing. We jumped off the TTC rollercoaster after our last failed FET back in September 2013 and never looked back. It’s been over a year and a half since we stopped trying. My cycles have been weird ever since. They have been typically averaging 21 days accompanied by 10-ish days of bleeding. The window to even think about trying to get pregnant was always small, but somehow we did without even knowing it.

I took a pregnancy test here at home for the hell of it a few weeks ago when I was feeling more off than I usually do. I walked away for a few moments and when I came back I was in for the surprise of my life. A not so faint positive test was staring back at me. I didn’t really believe it, so I hopped in the car to pick up another box of tests. I took another test and up popped another positive. I called my primary care office and requested a beta. I was panicking and thinking about previous pregnancies. After showing up at the lab way too early, losing my shit in my PCM’s office in front of at least 10 other people, and explaining essentially my whole medical history to a nurse, I finally got my blood drawn. A few hours later, the nurse called and said, “Congratulations. You’re pregnant.”

My PCM’s nurse passed along all of my information to the OB/GYN clinic. Betas rose nicely over the next few days and my progesterone levels were amazing. I started to think that things might be ok. We scheduled my confirmation ultrasound for April 30 – the day after my daughter’s adoption finalization ceremony. This week was supposed to be an amazing and happy week. Supposed to be.

On Saturday, I started spotting. I figured it was due to the progesterone inserts that I immediately started taking nightly. A little bit of pink and then brown. I thought to myself, “That’s normal. Things are probably alright.” On Sunday, there was more spotting. Red spotting. I started to freak out. Red typically isn’t good news. On Monday, there was more red and it wasn’t really spotting anymore. I called the OB/GYN’s office as soon as they opened and they made an appointment for me at 10:00 that day.

I won’t go into the details of the actual appointment other than to say that it didn’t go well. I’m not even really sure how this doctor can call herself an OB with some of the questions I was asked and the lack of information given about what to expect. I was sent back down to the lab for another beta. I cried so hard in that chair while the compassionate man drew my blood. I picked up my daughter from a friend’s house and went home to wait. I found out that my beta rose from the previous Monday; however, it wasn’t an appropriate rise. I knew in that minute that this was over.

After celebrating my daughter’s long awaited finalization (another post for another time), I headed to the lab for another beta. I received a call in the late afternoon to let me know that my levels dropped from 761 to 361 in just 48 hours. I swear my body knew I was receiving bad news, because I started passing clots shortly after that phone call.

Right now, I’m angry. I’m angry at my body. I’m angry that we have no answers for why my body can’t do what it’s supposed to do. I’m angry that my family might never expand again. Up until the moment that pregnancy test told me I was pregnant, I was ok that I would never experience pregnancy again. I had come to terms with the fact that I would never bring a biological child into this world. I love my daughter more than most people will ever know and she was enough for me. This pregnancy has once again left me angry, confused, and lost.

I hope the physical part is over quickly, so I can begin to heal mentally and emotionally. I’m so thankful to have my daughter in my life because I know that she’s never going away. She’ll always be there when momma needs hugs or kisses and she will help me heal. I just hate that my 14 month old had to be the one to wipe away the tears from my face when I realized that this just wasn’t meant to be.

The Worst Day of My Life

When I was younger – particularly when I was a teenager – I often remember dramatically proclaiming, “This is the worst day of my life”. Little did 16 year old me know that I would eventually be presented with bigger problems that couldn’t even compare to my parents not letting me go to a basketball game or high school peers saying mean things about me behind my back. March 26, 2010 is a date that is so imprinted on my mind that I could probably tell you almost every detail. It was indeed the worst day of my life.

Five years ago, I experienced my first of three miscarriages. E and I were scheduled to see my OB for my 12 week appointment at 11 and a half weeks because we were literally in the process of packing up our house in preparation for a cross country move. I was sick as a dog. Morning – really all day – sickness kicked in the day of my six week intake appointment and continued up until the day of my 12 week appointment (it actually even went on until the day after my D&C). The nausea and throwing up had gotten so bad that I had to quit substitute teaching. I was constantly fatigued, could barely keep down any food, and laid on the couch with the dogs while E was gone at work for up to 14 hours a day. Nausea and throwing up were classic pregnancy symptoms, so who was I to even think that something could be going wrong?

E met me at the house and drove over to the hospital. I remember waiting to be called back and talking about how excited we were to see our little baby up on the screen. I remember being weighed and finding out that I had lost almost 10 pounds since my last appointment. I remember telling the nurse about the horrible morning sickness and describing all the things I had tried to combat it. I remember the nurse wheeling the ultrasound machine into the room. I remember the disgusting warm gel being squirted onto my stomach. I remember holding my breath as the technician moved the wand around looking for our baby. I remember how my heart sank when we didn’t see anything pop up on the screen. I remember starting to cry as she told me, “Hold on for a few minutes. I need to grab the doctor”. I remember being told that they could see the gestational sac, but couldn’t see where the baby was. I remember crying harder as we were told that we needed to go down to radiology for an internal ultrasound (little did I know that this would be my first of hundreds of internal ultrasounds). I remember E speaking with the radiology receptionist and trying to get us seen immediately. They refused to push me to the front of the line despite my inconsolable crying and hyperventilating. I remember people looking away and/or glaring at me because I couldn’t control my emotions. What I don’t remember is how long we waited. To me, it felt like forever, but in reality, we probably waited about an hour to be taken back.

After much probing, I remember the technician telling me that she did see our baby and that he or she stopped growing at 6w5d. I was in shock. I did everything right – I suffered through 6 straight weeks of morning sickness. I stayed away from the forbidden pregnancy foods. I took my prenatal vitamins. I did it all, yet our baby was no more. I remember blaming myself and questioning over and over again what I did wrong. Maybe I shouldn’t have exercised those first two weeks of pregnancy when I wasn’t puking my brains out. Maybe I should have pushed for the OB/GYN who prescribed the countless rounds of C.lomid to check my hormone levels. Maybe this. Maybe that. In hindsight, I know that I didn’t do anything wrong, but it’s hard not to blame yourself in the moment.

It’s amazing how life has changed so much, yet I can allow myself to be pulled back into this dark and depressing space that I was in five years ago. Even though I have become a parent through adoption, it’s impossible to forget that baby who could have been. It’s impossible to forget the other two babies we lost later on. I’m not the mother of one – I’m the mother of four. If those babies were born, I wouldn’t be parenting my beautiful daughter right now, but sometimes it’s hard not to think what could have been if that first baby was placed in my arms in the fall of 2010. March 26, 2010 – the worst day of my life.

Resolve to Know More About How Infertility Can Change Your Life


When I was 17, I was put on birth control pills to help regulate very long and erratic cycles that I had been having since I was 13. As the years passed, I stayed on birth control not only to continue to regulate my cycles, but to also prevent any potential pregnancies from happening before I got married. Little did I know that I probably didn’t need to stay on birth control to delay any family building until myself and my future husband were ready. We never thought that trying to have a baby could throw us into such a tailspin. We never knew how infertility could change our lives in so many ways.  

After getting married at the age of 24, we decided that I would stop birth control and throw caution to the wind. After a 15 month deployment, my husband and I decided to try our hand at getting pregnant. All we had to do was have sex and it would happen for us, right? One would think that’s all we needed to do. That plan proved to be successful for so many friends while I sat back and waited impatiently for the deployment to end.

Unfortunately, things didn’t happen quite like we had planned them to. My periods became more infrequent during that first year of trying to conceive. I expressed my concerns to my primary care doctor – many times bursting into tears while sitting on the exam table – and was ignored. I knew something wasn’t right, but my insurance mandated that we had to try for one year before being referred to a specialist.

In the fall of 2008, we were finally referred to an OB/GYN after being unsuccessful for one long and painful year. Over the next five years, I was diagnosed with PCOS, hypothyroidism, and progesterone deficiency and we went through the infertility treatment gauntlet. We started with Clomid and worked our way up to injectible cycles, five IUI cycles, two IVF cycles, and finally three FET cycles. We experienced a huge range of emotions throughout our treatment journey – joy when we got pregnant the first time in February 2010, sadness and anger when we learned of our first miscarriage in March 2010, disappointment when cycles failed, fear and disappointment when we got pregnant and miscarried again in October 2010, frustration when each IUI, IVF, and FET cycle failed.

After our last remaining embryo from our second IVF cycle failed to implant after our third round of FET, my husband and I found ourselves at a crossroads. What should our next step be? Should we find another RE since we had moved yet again to a new location? Should we throw ourselves into another IVF cycle without a definitive reason why our embryos failed to implant? Should we give up on having a biological child and embark on the journey to adoption? After many emotional conversations, we decided that we wanted to turn to domestic infant adoption in hopes that we would finally become mommy and daddy to a special little girl or boy.

We started researching agencies in September 2013 and were accepted into an agency’s program a few weeks later. We began the home study process in October and were home study approved by mid-January. Our profile became active on January 27 and on February 6, we were asked if we would like our profile shown to a birth mother. On February 8, our world changed in a big way. Our social worker called at 11:20 AM to let us know that we had been chosen by the birth mother and that we were going to be parents to a baby girl. A huge wave of emotions washed over us as we frantically packed to go pick up our daughter – excitement, disbelief, happiness, confusion, fear.

We drove about seven hours that day and arrived at our destination around 8:30 PM. Unfortunately, we arrived in town after visiting hours were over, so we had to wait until the next morning to meet our daughter. I vividly remember pacing back and forth in the hotel room and trying to picture what our daughter would look like, what our lives would be like, and what challenges lay ahead for us as a new family of three. We felt overwhelmed, scared, and unprepared to become parents so quickly. Most people had nine months to prepare for a new baby. Us? We had hours.

The moment we both held our daughter for the first time was a game changer. All those fears immediately vanished. We were both in love with this tiny miracle who was placed into our arms. We couldn’t take our eyes off of her. We didn’t want to put her down. We wanted to meet and thank the woman who chose to trust us with raising and loving her child, but unfortunately she didn’t want the same thing – a decision that we respect and understand. We talked about how life was going to be – what we hoped and dreamed for this little baby.

That first night as I lay awake in the hospital bed, holding her close to my heart, I reflected on how infertility changed my life in so many ways. All the pain, loss, and disappointment led up to this amazing and life changing experience. I didn’t realize that something amazing could come out of our inability to have biological children while we were in the midst of treatments, but here she was – something completely amazing. Because of our infertility, we now have the honor and privilege of raising a beautiful, smart, head strong little girl who brings so much joy and happiness to our lives. I never thought that I could love someone as much as I love her.


This blog post was inspired by RESOLVE’s Bloggers Unite Challenge in honor of National Infertility Awareness Week that runs from April 20-26. This year’s theme is to Resolve to Know More. Want to know more about infertility? Check out these articles about raising awareness, what to say and not to say to people who are experiencing infertility, and what has and hasn’t changed for people with infertility.


Trying to Focus on the Positive

If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I’ve been giving 2013 the middle finger for quite some time now. This year has been full of a lot of disappointment, loss, sadness, and illness. Despite all that has gone wrong, there have been things that have gone right. Unfortunately, I’ve let the bad overshadow the good and I’d like to bring those positive experiences into the spotlight before this year is officially over. 

I think the most positive experience of 2013 was attending Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C. this spring. I was able to share my story and make my voice heard. I was able to meet some of my biggest supporters and strengthen relationships in just one short trip. I’m already looking forward to attending Advocacy Day 2014.

Another amazing experience was embarking on our adoption journey. While closing the door on any further treatment was extremely heartbreaking and difficult, I’ve become hopeful again that we will be parents. Every time we check another box off our list, I get a little more excited. Our home study is almost complete and hopefully by this time next year, we’ll be celebrating Christmas with our son or daughter. 

Moving out of a military town and into a college town has also been a highlight of the year. While I love having the support of the military community and miss my NC friends like crazy, it’s been a great 6 months. We live in a town where there are plenty of new things to experience and places to visit. E is earning a second Master’s degree and is non-deployable for a substantial period of time. We’ve enjoyed spending more time together, going on new adventures, and enjoying the beauty that surrounds us every day. 

I truly hope that 2014 is full of positive experiences and happiness not only for myself, but for so many others who also faced their own hardships and difficulties in 2013. I hope to leave some of my feelings of anger, bitterness, and jealously behind and continue to take back control of my life. As always, I hope to finally achieve the goal of becoming a mother. I look forward to reading more and continuing to get back into good physical shape. I look forward to traveling and spending time with my husband and our dogs. I look forward to moving in the spring and finding out what awaits us at our next duty station. I look forward to my sister-in-law’s upcoming wedding. I hope to be more supportive of others and to become more involved in the infertility community. Finally, I look forward to celebrating the achievements and successes of my friends. 

Listen up 2014. You better kick ass for so many of us. And 2013, don’t let the doorknob hit you on the way out. 


An Adoption Post

As most of you know, we have decided to move forward with domestic infant adoption. I haven’t written much about this yet because honestly, the process is overwhelming and time consuming. Let me update you on what’s been happening up until now….

In between IVF and IVF 2.0, we started seriously talking about adoption. We researched some agencies that were labeled as “military friendly” and spoke to one agency on the phone. We were turned off by their terms and got discouraged. IVF 2.0 and two FETs came and went and we decided to push forward with our adoption research.

First, I chatted with friends who have been through the adoption process. We also talked to E’s parents who adopted my SIL back in 2002 internationally. We looked at websites. I emailed agencies. Some replied, while some didn’t. We sifted through information provided in emails. We made phone calls. We asked questions. I emailed some more. After much debate and consideration, we found our agency.

After mailing in our application and required initial fees, we were approved and our first meeting with our social worker was scheduled. We drove an hour away and met with our SW for the first time at a local library. After introductions were made, we started talking about the agency, their adoption process and protocols, and signed some papers. Our home study paperwork was given to us and reviewed. We asked a few questions and scheduled our next meeting.

Once we got home, I looked through the mountain of paperwork. There were clearance forms, fingerprint cards, financial forms, medical forms, questionnaires, child request packets, and the daunting and terrifying autobiography requirements. I started scheduling appointments and filling out our clearance forms the very next day.

As the days went by, more and more things were being checked off the list. The hardest piece of paperwork to complete was the autobiography. We were essentially asked to open up our whole lives to our SW and our agency. We had to talk about everything from our childhood to infertility to how we planned on raising our future child/ren. It was hard for me to talk about my non-existent relationship with my brother. It was hard to talk about my childhood. It was hard to talk about our struggles with infertility and all that we’ve been through. It was hard to critique myself and talk about my weaknesses. Our SW told us that honesty is the best policy, so that’s what I did. I was honest. I wrote about the good and the bad. I wrote about things that are still hard to talk about to this day.

Today, we hit the road again and met with our SW for the second time. We turned in our completed paperwork and answered questions that were addressed in our autobiography packet. Again, we talked about good and bad things. The one question that affected me the most was, “What is your hardest relationship loss?” I cried as I answered, “My brother. It hurts that we don’t have a relationship anymore. I’m sad that I’ll never have a relationship with my nieces. I often wonder if they even know about me.” At this point, I wished that I had remembered to grab tissues. Oops.

We answered a few more questions and asked a few of our own. We’re at the halfway point in the home study process and have a few more things to complete. Here’s what’s left to finish up:

  • Guardianship form – We want to ask my SIL and her fiance if they would be our child/ren’s guardian if something happened to the both of us. Hopefully this never happens, but we have to fill the paperwork out nonetheless. We’ll be speaking to them over Thanksgiving, so hopefully they say yes and we can submit that piece of paper once we get back into town.
  • Child request form – This is probably the most difficult piece of paperwork to complete because it determines what we’ll be open to – race, special needs, drug and/or alcohol use by the expectant mother during pregnancy, history of mental illness, etc. We’ve been talking to friends who have been through the process and learning about different issues. We’ve also been doing our own research and plan on speaking with my FIL, who is a family doctor.
  • Attend an educational course – Our course date is scheduled for December 20. We will have to drive about four hours away for an all day informational session. We hope to learn more about the adoption process, openness in adoption, and meet other adoptive families.
  • In home meeting – This will be our third and final meeting with our SW and is currently scheduled for January 10. Our SW stated that most of our home study should be written by this meeting, so she would only have to add in the information gathered from this final meeting.
  • Profile book – We were given the green light to start working on a draft of our profile book, which will eventually be shown to expectant mothers/parents once our home study has been approved and we’re officially in the books.

So that’s where we stand. Paperwork is almost complete. Two out of three SW meetings have happened. We have a few things to complete and a timeline for the future. Every time I check another item off my list, I get a little more excited and a little more hopeful that we’ll be parents soon. We hope to be home study approved and in the books by late January-early February!

To Know or Not To Know?

Sometimes I have what seems like a hundred ideas for blog posts floating around in my head, but when I find a spare minute to write some of those thoughts down, I can’t find the right words. 

This topic has been weighing on my heart and my mind for some time now. I thought that maybe writing it all out would help lessen the blow. 


I’m truly thankful for moving along in the adoption process and I’m looking forward to finally becoming a mother to a special and amazing little boy or girl in this way; however, I find myself dealing with anger issues surrounding my infertility. 

We know what my underlying issues are: PCOS, LPD, hypothyroidism. I take medicines to balance my hormones and keep everything in check. I followed my doctor’s instructions perfectly. We cycled and cycled and cycled some more. Our embryos were of the highest grade during IVF. We had an almost 100% fertilization rate. We did all the shots to help support a pregnancy. We endured the pain in every form. We got to beta day countless times and were disappointed each and every time. My nurse had to break the news for years that our babies decided not to stick around and that she was so sorry.  We listened to our RE offer up possible reasons for our constant failures. We were told to try again. We were told that another cycle may work. We were also told that it may not. 

So here is the question that I’ve been asking myself over and over again for the past two months – Is it better to know why I’m not getting/staying pregnant or is it better to live in the dark so to speak? It’s hard to hear over and over again that the reason for our miscarriages and lack of success with IUI, IVF, and FET is unexplained. Maybe that’s why I’m so angry – because there’s no logical and obvious reason why I’m not holding a baby in my arms today. Again I ask – “Where is that crystal ball with all the answers?”

Honestly, even if I did know what the true underlying problem was, I’m not quite sure that I would feel a sense of relief. A sense of finality. I’m not sure that the feelings of wanting to feel my baby kick and move from inside me will ever truly go away. I know that with time these emotions will start to subside and not always be at the forefront of my heart and mind. 

I hope that one day I feel at peace with our decision to stop trying to conceive a biological child. I know my heart has room to love an adopted child. I know this because there’s room in there to love children of friends, love students I’ve taught in the past, and love others in general. However, I do think there will always be a small space in my heart that can never be filled. There will always be a space for that child made up of our DNA who lives only in my mind and in my dreams.