In all her life and wildest dreams, not being able to carry a baby to term was just not something Victoria, now mom of one, ever thought about. She took it as given that she would be able to have her own biological children, whenever she was ready.
Alas, nature and her body had different plans entirely. Her body had a mind of its own and she soon found herself at the mercy of a body she knew on one level, and did not know on another level.
So for a long time, Victoria lived in what some people called denial, while she and her husband kept saving and scrimping so they could afford another cycle of IVF. When their doctor told them about the 3-IVF cycle plan at a reduced cost than if they did it one cycle at a time, they jumped at it, even though it meant literally emptying their savings. They just wanted to be relieved of the financial burden, at least for three cycles.
In the end, they went through the emotional and physical turmoil of an IVF journey four times in all, and it was as draining as they had expected. All the four times they went through the process, it was with high hopes that implantation was going to happen this time, and each time, their hopes were dashed.
The first and last IVF cycles were particularly painful. The first for the simple fact that it was the first time they were trying it, after dealing with numerous Clomid cycles. Even though they had been told it was not guaranteed that they would get pregnant, it did not sink in.
Until the day of the blood test, which Victoria barely managed to wait for, and her blood work showed her HCG levels were not impressive. The simple truth was she had not gotten pregnant. It was quite a shock that numbed her system for a while.
However, after a few months, during which she prepared her body as much as she could by detoxing, they tried again and it was another failure.
The fourth cycle was done some two years later, and they decided that it was going to be their last one for a long time; at least until they had saved enough to try again. From the beginning of that cycle, which was a fresh one, everything looked great. She had more eggs collected than her previous cycles, because her doctor used another protocol on her, which worked like a charm. With more eggs collected, the possibility of fertilised eggs increased and, indeed, they got more fertilised embies in all, which were all transferred.
She was on a leave of absence from work during that time, so she had plenty of time on her hands to rest. She rested, she managed her anxiety and tested on the 10th day of her two week wait. She got a positive, she called her clinic, and her doctor urged her to continue with her progesterone shots and come in on her official test date.
The morning before going for her blood work, she did a test, which showed a strong second line. How she got to her clinic that day, she had no idea. All she knew was she was on cloud nine. This was not the first time she was getting a positive but it was definitely one positive test that had remained till test day.
The blood work came back positive, everyone was happy but the test needed to be repeated in a few days and that was when everything went downhill. Her levels started to drop off, rather than climb.
It was while she was mourning her failed cycle, that the realisation that she need not become a mom solely by carrying her child by herself, came to her. What she wanted was to become a mom, not necessarily to carry a baby by herself. And there were several babies, born and unborn, who needed a mom as much as she needed a baby.
And that was when their journey to baby actually started, although via another route. It was not an easy journey but it was one Victoria held on to doggedly, and it yielded results faster than all her years of fertility treatments had.
Today, Victoria is a mom to an adorable baby boy, whom she wonders how she had ever lived without.
Enitan is another mom who became one, not by carrying her baby by herself but by adopting her. Unlike Victoria, she did not try fertility treatments before coming to the realisation that she was made to be a mother by adoption. Enitan was an only child, at least biologically, however, she grew up with so many people whom she called sisters and brothers, until she grew older and got to know that her parents had simply brought these “brothers and sisters” into their homes and treated them as their own.
So, when she got married and it did not look like a pregnancy was happening soon, she had almost automatically thought about adoption; legal adoption this time, not like the loose arrangements her parents had had. Talking it over with her husband, they were ready to try their luck.
And they got lucky. Extremely lucky, as less than three months after they started looking, they got a beautiful girl, who looked so much like Enitan, it would be hard to believe she wasn’t her biological mother.
That was how Enitan and husband, who had been married for only two years, became a family of three. The best part was, less than six months after bringing home their daughter, Enitan spontaneously got pregnant. If it was possible, Enitan showered more love on this daughter, born of her soul.
When she finally had her baby, also a girl, it was a joy to behold! Enitan has not had any more children since that time, but she couldn’t be happier that she was privileged to have had kids through, at least, two routes to motherhood; one born of her soul and another born of her body.
Enitan is a distant relative of mine by marriage, and even though we don’t see regularly, when we do, it is absolutely hard to differentiate between her biological child and the daughter of her soul, which I think is commendable. She is no spring chicken again, and has since given up TTC, as she tells anyone who cares to listen that she is just waiting for her daughters to make her a grandma at the right time.
The choices these women and their spouses made to try adoption might look easy, but it isn’t for everyone. It was just the best route to becoming parents for them.
Food for thought.
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