A New Way To Adopt?

Hi All!

Sorry we’ve been MIA recently…we promise we will try to do better!  We’ve been immersed in everything adoption!  Adoption is ridiculously expensive and the thought of coming up with roughly $40k is really overwhelming at times.  We know it can be done – we’ve already saved and spent more than triple that amount on fertility treatments over the past few years, but it’s overwhelming none the less.

My infertility and now adoption journey has brought me and Google together as one…lol! I think anyone who has been in my shoes can relate.  I feel like I’m constantly researching doctors, symptoms, fertility diets, medications, treatments, clinics, agencies…it goes on and on.  Plus I can’t tell you how many message boards I stalk (ahem, follow, I mean).  I feel like there is this whole underground infertility world that you only discover once you start your infertility journey.  It’s like a secret society that no one ever wants to join, but once you do, you’re forever grateful for all the knowledge and support!

If you’re a part of the underground world, embryo adoption is quite common and doesn’t need an explanation.  For those of you that aren’t, here’s embryo adoption in a nutshell:  after undergoing IVF, couples are given several options for what to do with any remaining embryos. They can freeze/save them for a future cycle, donate them to research, destroy them, OR they can donate them to another couple dealing with infertility. The receiving couple would then go through FET (frozen embryo transfer), if successful, give birth to, and raise the resulting child (or children) as their own. Adoption, but just at the VERY beginning stage of life.  Technically it’s not adoption since the embryo’s “change hands” prior to life, but for me (and many others) the terms “adoption” and “donation” are interchangeable.

It’s crazy, when we would go through each IVF cycle we were given the option of what to do with leftover embryos and we always chose to donate them to another couple, but for some reason it never occurred to us that WE could be the other couple!  Once this clicked for us we knew it was something that we wanted to try.  Although the child won’t biologically be ours, we are excited at the chance to be able to experience pregnancy, plus it’s a fraction of the cost of traditional adoption!

So, where does one find an embryo you ask?  Good question.  There are actually quite a few places you can go through depending on what you are looking for:

  • Your fertility clinic may have its own “bank” of embryos
  • Traditional adoption agencies
  • Embryo adoption (donation) agencies
  • Lawyers
  • Embryo matching services (kinda like match.com for embryos/waiting families – take the middle man out. Find your match through profiles, have the embryos shipped to your doctor and he/she takes it from there).  This is also the least expensive way to go, but you will do a lot of the matching and coordination work yourself.

 

So once we deiced to give embryo adoption a try, I of course turned to my bestie Google to see what she had to say.  I eventually found Miracles Waiting and through them found Reprofit.  Let’s get the pink elephant out of the room.  Reprofit is located in the Czech Republic.  I know.  These sounds insane for someone that hasn’t dealt with infertility, but I promise it completely normal, just ask my secret society friends…lol.  I had actually heard of and briefly looked into Reprofit after our first failed IVF cycle, but dismissed it at the time because who in the heck travels to the Czech Republic to get knocked up? I so WISH I would have seriously looked into it at the time – as with most medical treatments, the cost of IVF is less than HALF of what we pay here, plus it’s one of the best fertility clinics in Europe!  Live and learn!  Needless to say, I’ve done extensive research on it now!

Anyway…I digress…

I have been working with my coordinator Paloma, with Miracles Waiting here in the US.  Through her, we have secured 2 embryos (2 grade a blastocysts to be exact) at Reprofit and we are planning on traveling for the transfer in October!  And here’s the awesome part!  We can both fly to the Czech Republic, stay for a week, and have the embryo transfer all for way,WAY less than what we pay for the embryo transfer alone in the US!  Plus were never able to take our honeymoon after our wedding last year, so this trip will basically be our honeymoon with a day or two off for an embryo transfer (super romantic, I know)!

We are well aware that embryo adoption/donation isn’t guaranteed and that we could be faced with heartbreak, but we feel that for us, right now, it’s the path we want to take.  As with any fertility treatment and even adoption, you are taking a big risk, but the possible reward is priceless.

We are still open to and actively pursuing traditional adoption, but have decided while we are saving money that we will give embryo adoption a chance!

And on a completely different note, how cool is it that history way made today when the U.S. Supreme Court made a landmark decision that made marriage equality mandatory nationwide!?!?!  #LoveWins

 

Is it a Man’s World? It is okay to let your feelings show!

As my wife pointed out in our first Blog we have been through a lot these past few years.  Infertility is a topic most men never even think about let alone talk about.  However, once you go down that rabbit hole you are in for a hell of a ride.  After talking to several friends and work acquaintances I quickly came to the realization that we were not alone in the infertility battle.  One thing I have come to understand and even respect is the fact that it is okay to wear your feelings on your sleeve.  These past few years have been some of the hardest of my life and hopefully through my writing I will be able to help others in this journey and do a little healing myself in the process.

I was never a man comfortable talking about the female reproductive cycle or even sex with the closest of friends.  So as you can imagine how I felt when I found out after our first doctor visit three years ago that my whole comfortable world was about to be flipped upside down.  Now I am not saying that nowadays I go around talking about anything and everything having to do with infertility with complete strangers.  I am however much more comfortable speaking at length about the whole process.   I still get a little red in the face speaking about infertility and some of the intricacies that are involved in the process, but hey Rome wasn’t built in a day right?  My first conversation dealing with infertility was about 7-8 years ago with one of my best friends.  He and his wife were just beginning the process and engaged in a few conversations on the subject.  His openness on the whole subject was a little offsetting at the time and I was a little taken back when it came to his frankness on the matter at hand.  (Side note: they were able to conceive a child with the use of Clomid and now have their second child naturally).   Fast forward 6 years and countless doctors visits later and I am by no means an open book when it comes to infertility, but I can tell you I am much more comfortable speaking about our situation.  What I have figured out is that we (you) are not alone in this process.  There has been such a taboo put on Infertility and adoption that most people do not speak openly about the subject.  Let’s face it most of our conversations with friends, co-workers, and family members are a lot more casual.  One day an idea came to me, when a close friend of mine asked me how I was doing.  The normal response would be “living the dream”, however we had just come home from a doctor visit and I needed to talk to someone that wasn’t my wife.  So I told my friend that we were going through IVF and that I was stressed out about the money it was costing us.  Little did I know that my friend’s sister had gone through infertility as well.  My long winded point is that I guarantee that you are not alone in this and at least 1 out 5 of your friends have dealt with this in one way or another.

Do not be afraid to wear your heart on your sleeve when it comes to Infertility.  After our first failed IVF cycle, which included a complete quack of a Doctor, the two of us were a little more hurt and betrayed than we were about the failed cycle.  I will discuss picking the right doctor in post later and we will leave it at that for now.  The second failed cycle was the hardest to deal with.  We picked one of the best doctors in Florida and could not have asked for a better experience.  However, the outcome was still negative and that was the hardest part.  I understand everyone deals with situations in their own way and I was no exception.  This time was different I felt as if we had a death in the family.  I know this sounds silly or even crazy, but that is how I felt at the time.  We had such high hopes the second time around and to find out that it did not take was a complete emotional low in which I had never experienced.  I can tell you that this is not an easy undertaking to go through and I do not care who you are or how strong your relationship is their will be days were everything you think you know will be put to the test.

I hope this was helpful to at least one person out there going through the infertility process.  I know that just by writing about it and thinking about it from another point of view has already started the healing process for me.  I am about to put myself out there (I mean really out there) for the first time in my life and I hope in doing so you will join us for the journey.

This Is Our Path

When Bill and I first started trying to get pregnant, I knew that we might have a hard time.  I was diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) in my early 20’s and always knew there was a chance I would have trouble getting pregnant.  I went off birth control, months went by and nothing.  I was in my early 30’s and because obviously age plays a factor in the whole fertility thing, we decided to make a doctor’s appointment just to check things out.

From there it was kind of a whirlwind.  We jumped on the infertility rollercoaster and boy were we in for a ride.  The next 3 years were full of drugs, hormones (which leads to weight gain and many other “fun” side effects), shots, invasive procedures, surgery and a lot of heartache and disappointment and pain.

We tried every medical treatment available to us, each multiple times; acupuncture, metformin, Clomid, injectables, IUI’s, surgery and IVF, none of which lead us closer to our baby.

Our last failed IVF cycle really hit both of us hard.  IVF is so hard on your body, but the emotional toll is even worse.  We knew we could try IVF again, but Bill didn’t want me to go through the physical pain/discomfort and we both didn’t know if we could emotionally handle another failed cycle, not to mention the financial aspect of it all.  We were at a point where we didn’t know what to do. We’re true believers in everything happens for a reason, but it was just so hard to see the reason. We had to surrender the plans we had for ourselves and let the universe take control. As soon as we did this the adoption conversation organically started.  We hadn’t really considered it before, but now, it felt right, even exciting! When thinking about doing another IVF cycle we both felt anxious and scared.  But when talking about adoption we both felt happy and calm.  It was like someone or something had changed our path and we just knew that adoption was meant for us.  So, without further ado, we are beyond thrilled to announce…..We're Adopting

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