Happy Wednesday beautiful! Today I’m going to continue sharing our adoption story. Forgive me if it seems that I’m going to jump around a bit here, but stick with me. There’s a very important side story that began to develop. In my last post I told you about our journey through infertility treatment. The IVF process required me to give myself injections of numerous fertility meds in hopes to increase my egg production. One afternoon while giving myself one of these injections, my phone rang and rang. For obvious reasons, I couldn’t get to my phone. Once I was done with the injection, my phone rang again. It was my sister Lisa. I answered the phone figuring it was something urgent since she called twice in a row. I could barely say hello when she began feverishly babbling away. Most of what she was saying was incoherent due to her excitement. Now, Lisa is full of energy and passion so I’m accustom to her zeal (anyone who knows her and loves her knows what I’m talking about), however this time it was beyond anything I’ve ever heard from her before.
I finally got Lisa to slow down enough for me to comprehend what she was trying to tell me. She said that the owner of her adoption agency (her youngest is adopted from Vietnam) called her to tell her about this amazing new program they have in Japan. It was still a very small and young program so they were offering it only to those who had already adopted through their adoption agency. There were so few families in the program that as soon as they were paper ready, they would only wait a few months before traveling to Japan to adopt their baby. The most amazing part is that the babies are newborns straight from the hospital. I knew how special and exciting this was since I watched my sister wait years to be matched and then another 19 months before her daughter was able to come home.
We continued to chat about this for awhile. I had never heard of anyone adopting from Japan before. She shared more about the program with me. I told her that Johnny and I were very hopeful about this IVF cycle but had already planned on looking into adoption options and start the paperwork process if this cycle didn’t work (in my first adoption post I shared our desire was to adopt and have biological children). We would attempt a few more rounds of IVF while beginning the adoption process, which we knew could take a few years. We said our goodbyes and hung up. I paused for a moment. An indescribable feeling came over me (one that I will never forget) and I got butterflies in my stomach. When Johnny came home from work I told him about my conversation with Lisa. “Japan?! Really?! I didn’t know you could adopt from Japan.” was his response. He then told me how he always had a fascination with Japan since he was a little boy. This was news to me (amazing how we continue to learn about one another) but I thought it was quite sweet. We continued the conversation and discussed whether we would want to adopt domestically or internationally. It was a fun and light-hearted talk that got us thinking more about the process of adoption.
Fast forward to the day of the IVF transfer. It was a Saturday morning and my doctor was not working because they only have one doctor work on the weekends. One of the other doctors was going to perform my procedure. We arrived on time and anxiously waited…and waited…and waited. This wouldn’t have been so bad if I wasn’t required to arrive with a full bladder. Finally, we were called back. Instead of being lead into an exam room, we were lead into the doctor’s office. Why on earth am I not being prepped for the transfer?
The next 30 minutes was a bit of a blur. The doctor started off by saying he tried to call us earlier that morning. I had received a call while in the waiting room but it was from an out of area number so I didn’t answer it. Then he began to explain that after the embryo formed, it fragmented. It broke up. What?! There was no longer an embryo to transfer. Everything went blurry. I realized at that moment we wouldn’t even have a chance to have a baby. The baby that began, was no longer. Tears fell down my face. I still hadn’t used the restroom and was in pain from it. I was a crying mess and I had to pee. Why couldn’t they have let me use the restroom before telling me this?! The nurse walked me to the restroom and I stayed in there for the longest time trying to stop the tears. When I returned, Johnny and I asked question after question- more than the doctor ever imagined (he did comment that they were some of the most intelligent questions he’d ever been asked by patients). We were informed that in the more than 20 years of their office performing IVF, this had only happened once or twice before. It was difficult for me to talk to him and relate to him because he wasn’t my usual doctor. Although incredibly experienced, he didn’t know me personally how my doctor knew me (I had been seeing her serval times a week for quite a few months). I remember walking out of the office, still sobbing, passing all the other hopeful fertility patients sitting in the waiting room. I tried to cover my eyes with my oversized sunglasses, trying not to diminish their own dreams of having a baby.
We met with my doctor the following week. She explained more about the fragmentation of the embryo and our options. Looking at my response (or seemingly lack of response) to the fertility medications (remember, most women produce around 30 eggs and I only produce a few) and the embryo fragmentation, chances are my eggs are most likely low in quantity and quality. The tests they run to see how many eggs you have is a general idea and cannot give a number. For example, the tests revealed that I have fewer eggs than other women my age but it does not indicate how much less. She continued with our options and gave statistics along the way. She said we could continue a few more rounds of IVF like we have or try using an egg donor. We received more and more options and information.
We left the meeting with a giant binder with information on egg donors. I was overwhelmed. Starting a family isn’t suppose to be this difficult. Johnny walked me to the car and we just stood there. He hugged me. We stood there hugging for what seemed like eternity.
“Do you know what I think?” he asked.
“I think we should go to Japan.”