Sunday, May 4, 2014

#130: The Challenge of Infertility: An Update.

Two years ago I wrote a guest post titled "The Challenge of Infertility" on the blog of my good friend, Jocelyn Christensen. It was an opportunity for me and Diane to explain the pain and sadness that can come with infertility, but it was ALSO an opportunity for us to express the great hope and joy that can come through the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Just prior to writing the guest post, Diane and I had experienced a failed and costly attempt at in vitro fertilization. We were unsure of what next steps to take but decided the next month to try a round of artificial insemination (a much cheaper but not as effective treatment as in vitro) with a new doctor. Unfortunately, it too was unsuccessful.

At that point, we decided that adoption was the right choice for us to pursue. We quickly completed our application through LDS Family Services, passed inspection with the state (including installing child-safety locks, which continue to defeat me on a daily basis), created an adoption blog (no longer being updated due to my own laziness), and became members of the local Families Supporting Adoption board.
Me and the foxy wife posing for our adoption blog.
We LOVED all of the wonderful people we met while pursuing adoption. They have now become some of our closest friends, and we always rejoice when we hear of another couple having success through the adoption process. Adoption is a miracle and is part of God's plan for helping children come to the right loving homes. Another couple in our ward adopted a beautiful baby girl during this time, and we love her like crazy. In fact, I've been trying to teach her to roar like a wookiee, but at eight months old with no Adam's apple, she's still a work-in-progress.

As for us, unfortunately, after a few months of waiting and hoping, we hadn't experienced a successful adoption of our own. We began to worry that we would never have kids of our own, although we tried to stay optimistic. At one point, Diane wrote, "This week my world was busy and wonderful. I love life and I feel so blessed! On Tuesday night I went to a baby shower. I have to 'gear up' for baby showers as it is sometimes hard to be the only woman in the room who doesn’t have any pregnancy stories and to some degree feels like the 'odd ball'. I just try to nod when they talk about baby snuggling, puke, poop, developmental mile stone’s, etc...but it's hard. However, I decided this week that I was not going to be sad or feel down. Do I still feel a little odd? Well... yes. But instead of feeling sad, I just tried to think of all of my blessings and think about the day that we will hopefully get to adopt and bring home our sweet baby."

Finally, after a year of no adoption news, my heart began to break for my sweet wife. She tried so hard to never complain, but I knew that her greatest desire was to become a mother. And it just wasn't happening. If you know Diane, then you know how loving, kind, and cheerful she is; and you know that she would be a fantastic mother. But alas, it just didn't seem possible.

With  the encouragement of our family, in November 2013, we decided that we would try in vitro one more time. We didn't try to keep it a secret from our families this time because we knew that we needed all of the prayers and fasting that we could possibly get. In vitro is a big financial commitment (and one of the reasons why I still drive my smokin' hot 1995 Buick Century), but we felt that we had one more shot left in us. If it didn't work out, we would continue to hope for adoption while being the best uncle and aunt that we could be.
Just passed inspection yesterday. Ready to rock for another year.
Well, guess what? IN VITRO WORKED!!! On Christmas Eve 2013, Diane and I had our first ever positive pregnancy test in six years of trying. Who knew that pee on a stick could bring so much joy? It was the most amazing feeling in the world.
Our first ever plus sign.
We are now 22 weeks along with our first beautiful, sweet baby girl. I was never too big on other people's ultrasound pictures, but man, I've never seen anything cuter than my future daughter's grainy ultrasound profile pic.
I wanted to personally say thank you to everyone who has prayed for us, fasted for us, cried for us, and hoped for us. I cannot wait for the adventure of being a dad and having a little buddy. Life is so good.