I feel better when I can be absolutely honest about stuff, so let’s get some things out in the open right away.
I haven’t read the much talked about Fifty Shades of Gray trilogy. Or anything Harry Potter.
I sometimes make a frozen pizza with the full intent of eating it all by myself. No sharing. No shame.
I’m not a mom.
Whew. That felt good.
Are you still reading?
Don’t leave yet. Let’s talk about that last confession. I promise I really want to be a mom, and within the last few months I’ve gotten significantly closer to becoming one. While I am not pregnant, my husband, Jesse, and I are closer than we’ve ever gotten in the past three years of our attempts. Sure, I’ve felt like a mom in my heart for quite some time. And I look at my husband and see all the makings of a great dad. We’ve had all the hope that it would come to be, but just didn’t know how we were going to do it. Between our bodies not cooperating by doing what they were built to do, and also missing a large sum of money for more advanced options, it just wasn’t working in our favor. Big bummer. Big, huge, colossal bummer. Especially for a girl who has nannied for several families the past eight years, and loves almost every minute of her work. In addition to oversharing way too much of my life on social media, I also fiercely feel motherhood is my heart’s true calling.
Roughly a year ago, we were completely spent. After seven rounds of treatments in a year’s time, my body was physically spent as well. I was so over being hopped up on superovulatory drugs and having way too many important conversations with my pants off and legs in stirrups. No, thanks. We weren’t giving up, but we needed to be done for a bit. Instead of continuing in our baby quest, we bought a house, and began focusing on being new homeowners. Having always been in rentals, it was so nice to finally have our own space. And even better that it was an old home, built in 1892. I planted a garden, and doted on the fruits of my labor. I delighted over every bloom and blossom. Jesse created a man cave, proudly displaying his sports memorabilia in his own space, without fear of me rolling my eyes or hiding his ridiculous, ever-expanding bobblehead collection. Heck, I even started contributing to it. Our parental desires were still there. They were always there, a steady thump like a heartbeat. But we knew that spending this past year focusing on ourselves would only make us better parents in the end. Sometimes seeing the bedroom where the nursery should be makes me sad, but knowing it’s there and waiting for our someday-baby, makes me feel all sorts of hopeful too. It didn’t hurt that our house was large enough to host a dear friend in exchange for a few hundred dollars every month. We feel so fortunate to have our friend, Suzy, staying with us, while also being able to save a little extra every month for whatever path we found ourselves going down to create a family. Having a roommate in your 30’s is the cool new thing to do, guys. At least if you’re infertile like us.
This past fall we learned about embryo adoption. After one of my obsessive, late night googling sessions, I approached Jesse with the idea. I have no doubt my poor husband regretted waking up some mornings after hearing of a new, crazy idea I had researched into the wee hours. I admit that the idea of adopting embryos was far outside the scope of my imagination. A year ago I would have never considered Jesse and I as recipients of donated embryos. These embryos were originally created for another couple’s use; one woman’s eggs combined with another man’s sperm. But here we were, wrapping our minds and hearts around this completely foreign concept. And as soon as we began to do that, it began to feel right. It just clicked. This was what we were supposed to do to become parents. We inquired with an agency that specializes in these unique types of adoptions, and by the time we connected, it was the very next day that we were presented with a couple who were looking for recipients of three embryos. Their story was similar to many others who seek in vitro fertilization (IVF) to expand their family, but unlike most, they were in a position where they had more than enough embryos to complete their family. After one failed fresh embryo transfer, followed by two successful frozen embryo transfers, their family was complete with a daughter and a son. With three great quality embryos remaining, they were faced with the decision to destroy them, donate them to scientific research, or donate them to another infertile couple. They ultimately knew in their hearts that these embryos were meant for another couple struggling to conceive. This was the jackpot moment for us because we were chosen as that couple. They chose us. It’s something that will likely never feel real to me. After struggling for three years, with seemingly no end in sight, they’ve beamed a glimmer of hope on our path to parenthood. Regardless of the outcome, we will forever love and respect this family for giving us something we’ve yet been able to give ourselves; a chance for a child.
Jesse and I are now sorta-parents to three frozen embryos in Iowa. Within the next few months, we will go through the process of legally making these embryos ours. And sometime within the year, we will go through the medical procedure of having one of them implanted into my uterus. It will then be with the strongest of hopes that it will cozy itself inside my tummy, and develop into a healthy, full term baby. While this child won’t have my blue eyes or Jesse’s gorgeous grin, he or she will be the farthest from a stranger to us. It will be our baby. Grown in my belly, and loved so fiercely by not only us, but the family that gifted them to us as well.
Families come in all shapes and sizes, and thanks to modern medicine, they are created in the craziest of ways too. I named my blog Crazy Ever After long before I knew how crazy it would actually be. Crazy beautiful. Crazy amazing. We’re proud of how we are going about beginning our family. Whatever the outcome, 2015 will be one we will never forget. It will forever go down in the books as the year we threw caution to the wind, and went buck wild for our baby.