Here on the Graco Blog, we emphasize that we come as parents first and employees second. Well, recent events have inspired me to put that parental voice forward here. My hope is to connect with others facing the fear of climbing up fertility treatment options and with others, rejoicing in the free fall into parenthood.
Infertility is a relatively quiet problem facing more people than you might imagine. As many of you may know, our two little girls and ability to say we have a family was enabled by persistence and eventually in-vitro fertilization. My husband and I are advocates and cheerleaders for exploring fertility treatment and view our 2 little girls as blessings & absolute miracles. I’m an eternal optimist – and many people who know our infertility story really only walk away knowing “part” of our story…our joyful decent into parenthood…
On too many occasions I hear people say, “you were the lucky ones” to go through in-vitro twice and walk away with two amazing and healthy little girls. Well, luck or otherwise, the odds were on our side and everyone knows the “happy” side of our roller coaster ride. I’m writing this post to encourage others facing the same challenge to get on the ride to family and parenthood knowing full well there are ups and downs. Our ride to family and parenthood hasn’t been all white-knuckle grips with smiles so big it hurts and on the roller coaster ride of infertility it’s just as important to share both sides of the story. Again, the reason for screaming from the roof-top with our gifts and our givings is to generate “hope” for couples longing for a baby.
Yes, we have two little miracles as a result of two separate rounds of in-vitro. We were crushing the odds and perma-grin was setting in. As many of you know going through the IVF process, you may end up with more embryos than is healthy to use at one time. During our first IVF cycle (resulting in the birth of our now 3 year old Bear) we went into the transfer knowing we would transfer THREE embryos. When we arrived at the transfer we learned we had a “late bloomer” and now had four chances to grow our family. Our reaction… a very happy, “WHAT??!” We came prepared to transfer THREE not four. So, we made the decision to preserve the fourth embryo.
Almost four and a half years later we made the decision to give this embryo a chance at life. For those more familiar with IVF here are the facts:
The embryo made it to Blastocyst before being frozen. It thawed successfully and within 5 hours after thawing the blastocyst had ‘hatched’ and showed incredible signs of “thriving.” Just imagine this for one second…less than 100 cells coming to life after 4 ½ years on ice. Another example of the miracle of life.
My husband and I began to think this “late bloomer” and now “thriving” embryo was going to round out our family. Well…we experienced the thrill of a positive pregnancy test and blood test confirmation through our amazing Fertility Clinic. We went a month preparing for baby #3…why not? we had been living the thrill of the free-fall in the past …before learning the pregnancy terminated and the embryo stopped developing. Perma-grins turned upside down, white knuckles regain color and sorrow sets in wondering what’s on the other side of the climb. Were we unlucky, had we done something wrong or was it just something else far outside our understanding? We will never know and that’s just part of getting on this roller-coaster.
I share this story, not to divulge our personal lives in a professional setting, (I sat on this post for quite a while) rather I come first as a “parent and a mother passionate about motherhood and family.” And after sharing the thrill of success with in-vitro, I feel it’s just as important to characterize another part of our ride on the in-vitro roller coaster. My husband and I want to be the story of hope for all couples searching for parenthood. We try to use our transparency as a vehicle for getting the tough topic out into the open early and often and most of all use our roller coaster ride as one example so that others may believe their ordinary miracle is coming around the next turn.
To everyone working through their own challenges with infertility, my heart aches for you, but is full of more hope than sorrow. Buy your ticket to ride, relax your grip and have faith in what’s around the corner.