Rituals

Poetry from Kathy Wills. Thank you, Kathy, for sharing with us.

Rituals
Kathy Wills

They count beads the size of
ovaries into a clay jar.
Beams creak above them,
dust balls roll across the floor.
This is summer, the alive season
at this altitude.  They wait
just like those who wait
in the lowlands and cities,
those who proceed in their rituals
of fertility:  write a check,
mark off on the application form
what they can or cannot accept.

Will you accept a child of incest,
Or one with a port wine stain on his face,
Will you accept congenital heart murmurs,
Or a family history of felony,
Are you willing to meet the 13-year-old
mother in an office at a designated time,
smile and say,
“Hello, from your biography you sound so
interesting. We are so pleased to meet you”?


The couple on the mountain takes ashes,
covers each other’s naked body.
They face the sun together at dawn,
asking the goddess of grain,
moisture, and light for pity and
a continued place in earthly consciousness.

In her morning, she inserts a
basal thermometer under her tongue
while he sleeps.
Her pelvis churns, seems to hope
About this specious rite.

She dreams of celestial sprouting,
Not the common spawn.
They hope and turn to the sun.
They hope and turn to write another check.
They begin to accept
their specialness through this walking,
waking, bloodless crucifixion.

Burn the baby name book: no Christopher, Caitlin, John, or Joan.
Tie seven sticks into a bundle
Placing them between you for a month when you sleep.
Turn away from each other.
Become philosophy incarnate.
Woman, bury your unborn, unnamed,
Unbaptized child as she seems to punch
her way out of your belly.
Man, as he seems to punch his way out of your head.
Push away with your hand their faceless
forms and accept the death of Gods.
No questionnaires,
no amulets, mojos, or jujus will help
those who must bury their children alive.

#startasking: How Infertility Prepared Me to Be a Mom – Camille’s Perspective

Camille Hawkins, MSW, LCSW is the Executive Director of Utah Infertility Resource Center. She reflects on her experience with infertility and shares 5 ways her infertility struggle taught her to be a great mom to her daughters. This post does contain images of babies and parenting. Thank you for sharing your insights, Camille!

I was recently part of a discussion in a “Pregnancy & Parenting after Infertility” Support group. The question was posed: Would you change the fact that you struggled with infertility?

How would life be different if I didn’t struggle with infertility? Even though this was the most difficult experience of my entire life, would I change it? It brought more heart ache, more tears, took more energy, and also more money than any other trial I’ve faced.

The consensus as each group member deeply reflected on this question was a resounding no. If you would have asked each of them in the heat of the struggle, the answer would have been different. But the common theme was that they had gained so much from their infertility journey, and there were still some very difficult parts about it, but they wouldn’t trade it.

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Camille pictured with her infant daughter.

My husband and I met at Utah State University in 2007. Once married, we waited a year to start trying to have a baby. We quickly learned it wouldn’t come easy. After 5 years of tracking monthly cycles, timed intercourse, surgery, fertility medications, injections, intra-uterine inseminations, in vitro fertilizations, a miscarriage, and being completely broken down emotionally, we became parents to two beautiful girls through the miracle of adoption. Becoming a mom was the best day of my entire life. I will never forget that feeling.

Even though my life is now consumed of changing diapers, making bottles, and rocking crying babies during the night, my infertility will always be a part of me. My diagnosis makes it so I will always be infertile. The wound of infertility may be healed in my heart, but the scar will always be there as a reminder of all I went through to get my girls. This journey has shaped my life more than anything else has. It helped me be the best mom I could be.

Here are 5 ways my infertility struggles taught me to be a great mom to my daughters.

  1. Peace – coming to accept my situation was difficult and took a lot of time and energy. I had to grieve every time I had a failed cycle, a failed treatment, grieve the death of my embryos, and the loss of my only pregnancy. I had to grieve having a biological child –the one I always dreamed of looking just like my darling husband. As a woman, I had to grieve not being able to experience pregnancy, child birth, breast feeding, and the things I was raised to most closely associate with womanhood. Through this process, frustration and resentment for my imperfect body eventually turned to peace and acceptance. I learned that things aren’t going to be perfect in life, but I can still be okay. I will teach my daughters their bodies are unique and special, and don’t have to be perfect in order to be beautiful. I will help them find peace and acceptance with the situations they find themselves in so they can look for the happiness and joy that surrounds them.
  1. Balance – I grew up in a culture that taught my most important and divine role would be that of a mother. Everything should revolve around that role, even my education, my career choices, everything. When I realized I was unable to conform to that norm, I was forced to either sit around and do nothing while the time passed, or do something productive with my time. I decided to get a master’s degree in social work and begin a career in counseling. I worked at a nonprofit community mental health center helping children heal from trauma. I volunteered with an organization running kids grief groups. I fell in love with my husband over and over again, traveled the world, and I became a dog mom, enjoying the beautiful outdoors hiking with my two retrievers. Infertility tends to consume you completely, like a black hole. The lows were the lowest I could ever imagine. Learning to keep balance in my life was crucial to surviving the black hole of infertility, and I’m learning that balance as a mom is crucial to being the best mom I can be to my daughters. I would like my daughters to have balance in their lives too, and to know it’s okay to be lots of things, do to lots of things, and most importantly to take care of themselves.
  1. Patience – Infertility makes you wait…….and wait……..and wait some more. It makes you cry night after night, feeling hopeless and that all is lost. False hope is sometimes the only thing you have left. I learned that things don’t work out necessarily in the way I expect, but it’s possible for them to work out in some way. My mom told me I was a very impatient child. I wanted things NOW! Patience is something I was forced into learning through my infertility journey. Now as a mother, patience is my saving grace. Motherhood is not easy; I never said it was going to be. Having patience shoved down my throat during infertility has allowed me to see things in motherhood through a different lens. I can make it through my baby’s crying spell. I can make it through my daughter refusing to sleep throughout the night. I can make it through two babies crying at once……Infertility helped me learn the patience for these moments.
  1. Appreciation – When you yearn for a child, you yearn for the good and the bad. Being a mother isn’t easy, but I realize I appreciate all the moments so much more than I would have because I worked so hard to get there. My girls will grow up knowing how much they were wanted, how much they were sought for, and how special they are. I know I am so lucky, so blessed, and so fortunate to be “Mamma” to my sweet baby girls. I have so much gratitude for their birth families for entrusting us to raise these little girls.

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    Camille with her two girls and husband.

  1. Determination –I have met many women who struggle with infertility and I have found that these are some of the strongest women in the world. My husband and I experienced failure month after month, year after year, and still we pressed on. We did this because family is so important to us and we would not stop until we became parents. I learned I can do hard things, and my daughters will learn they can do hard things too. When I face failure and frustrations in motherhood, I remind myself of the obstacles I have overcome and rely on that strength to get me through hard times.

The journey of infertility is treacherous. No one deserves the pain that comes from an inability to get or remain pregnant when that is their deepest desire. The wound of infertility often runs deep. But there is hope. There is a lot we can learn. And we can have tremendous growth which can prepare us to be great parents when that glorious day finally comes.

 

 

 

Endometrial Cancer and Infertility – Angela’s Story

Today we are sharing the story of Angela’s journey to build her family after an infertility diagnosis due to Endometrial Cancer. Thank you, Angela, for opening up to us!

Danielle

Angela and her husband, Tony, have been through some of the toughest struggles a couple can face. They never expected their journey to having a child would be filled with so many obstacles that they are still working on overcoming today. However, through all of the struggles Angela has decided to share her story, hoping to help people who have gone through similar situations and show them that they are not alone.

Angela found healing from infertility and her experience with cancer through the process of building her dream home.

Angela found healing from infertility and her experience with cancer through the process of building her dream home.

Angela and Tony were married for a year before they started trying to conceive. After 6-7 months of trying they were not having any success. It was both a frustrating and confusing time for Angela. She was 31 and she was at that stage in life when everyone around her was having kids and growing their family. They both decided to see a doctor and see if there were any medical issues that could be preventing them from having a baby. After a couple of tests, the doctors discovered a tiny, cancerous tumor in Angela’s uterus. As a hopeful mother, Angela felt that this was the worst news she could hear. She was told that she could never have her own children. Angela states, “I wasn’t growing a baby in my uterus like I had been trying for 8 months, I was growing a tumor. I was growing cancer in my uterus where I was supposed to be making a baby.”

Although she would be unable to experience pregnancy, Angela and Tony decided to try a round of IVF so they could potentially use a gestational surrogate to carry their child for them. They were able to freeze seven embryos before she had to have a hysterectomy.

Angela finds creative outlets helpful and often works on projects to personalize her home.

Angela finds creative outlets helpful and often works on projects to personalize her home.

The day before her surgery, the wife of one of Tony’s friends from college called them and said that she wanted to be a surrogate for them. Angela felt as if the universe knew exactly what she was praying for. The offer was extremely surprising and exciting especially considering that in Michigan, it is illegal to pay for someone to be a surrogate. Since she was doing it for free out of the goodness of her heart, it would be a possibility. So Angela went into the surgery with a hopeful mind.

After five months of lawyers and doctors visits, they were finally able to go ahead with the first frozen embryo transfer. There were three attempts. The first did not take and the second and third times were miscarriages. Understandably, this led Angela to fall into a dark depression and develop anxiety. After the third attempt, they all made the decision to wait a while before trying again. They still have two frozen embryos left.

Angela hopes to soon have a photograph of her child in this frame, a favorite gift from her adoption shower.

Angela hopes to soon have a photograph of her child in this frame, a favorite gift from her adoption shower.

After such traumatic experiences and feeling emotions of hope and then loss and depression, Angela and her husband decided that they would take a year off and focus on each other. Since they got married, they had talked about building their dream house, so they did. This was a time of extreme healing for Angela. Although, she was still unable to check her Facebook due to all her friend’s baby photos, or go to any baby showers, she poured her whole heart into making her dream home the place that she will be happy for the rest of her life. She poured her soul into the project and felt extremely lucky to have a husband who let her have most of the say during the designing process. She was not just building a new house; she was building a new life for herself and slowly picking up the pieces that were lost during months and months of trying for a baby.

The house took ten months to complete and as it was getting finished, they started the process of domestic infant adoption. After they were approved all they could do was wait for a baby. It has been seven months and they are still waiting but they are both still holding onto hope that they will be soon be getting a call from their adoption agency telling them that they have been matched with an expectant mother.

Tony and Angela's two year old Yorkie, Sophia, checks out an adoption storybook in the room that will become the nursery.

Tony and Angela’s two year old Yorkie, Sophia, checks out an adoption storybook in the room that will become the nursery.

Throughout the many ups and downs that Angela has faced, she has always had her husband by her side, supporting her and never making her feel guilty about anything. Of course, this was hard on him as it was for her, but they always had each other to talk to and confide in even during the most isolating of times. Although she had Tony, she knew that the only one who was going to pull her out of her dark hole, was herself and she found the strength to do so. This healing process will never truly be over but she finds strength by sharing her story and helping others. There is never an easy way to talk about infertility but she finds that it is especially hard for people who have never been through it because it is so hard for them to understand the pain and emotional rollercoaster that infertility can bring. Angela wishes that there was a better way to make family and friends understand that everyone handles their grief in a different way and that this is not a wound that will ever completely heal. Angela’s strength in her experience of infertility and cancer is something that anyone can gain hope and insight from.

Click here to view Angela and Tony’s adoption profile.

Hurtful and Helpful Things to Say to those Dealing with Infertility

We often hear from those dealing with Infertility that they have had friends, family, and acquaintances say many hurtful things to them about their disease and inability to conceive. We also hear from people close to those with an infertility diagnosis that they want to helpful, they just don’t know what to do or say. So, we’ve compiled a list of the most common hurtful and helpful comments we’ve heard through our interviews, along with some of our favorite ways we’ve heard of people helping and some of the strangest unsolicited words of advice. There are 25 quotes from our interviewees in each category but they aren’t in any particular order, just numbered for easy reference, and as Maria noted, one for each of the 25 days of Christmas! We hope that you find this a helpful tool, especially with all of the social gatherings that occur this holiday season.

Elizabeth

Hurtful

1 “’Oh, you are still young, you have time’. Being young and having time has nothing to do with what caused my infertility. Infertility is not a disease that only happens to women over 35, it can happen to any woman at any time.”

2. “When are you going to make your mom a grandma?”

3. “‘You can always adopt.’ This minimized that pain that I was experiencing at the  possibility of not being able to have a child that was genetically mine.”

4. “’Once you stop trying you’ll probably conceive naturally’ – by countless people who apparently can’t comprehend that when you don’t have tubes this is impossible. And, yes, I am a strong Christian woman and believe anything is possible for God – but without a delivery system, if I became pregnant it would be with the 2nd coming of Christ and I don’t really know that I could handle the responsibility.”

5. “Infertility is nature’s way of population control. ”

6. “I had a coworker say to me ‘no one else in the office is pregnant… I think you should be next!’ I had to just try to laugh it off and made some sort of reply like ‘yeah, yeah, maybe soon!’ When she made a comment after that about maybe I’m ‘just a dog person,’ that is when I felt like telling her about our struggles, and although I am a ‘dog person,’ I also hope to be a mother someday as well.”

Inconceivable by Aine Quimby. Oil on canvas. Part of the ART of IF collection.

Inconceivable by Aine Quimby. Oil on canvas. Part of the ART of IF collection.

7. “‘Who has the problem with not getting pregnant, is it you or your husband?'”

8. “Variations of, ‘I don’t know what I’ve do without my kids’, ‘My life wasn’t complete until I had kids’, ‘Being a parent is all that matters’, ‘Being a parent is the most important job in the world’, ‘You don’t know love until you have a child of your own'”

9. “We got them all!   ‘You’re doing it wrong.’,  ‘Maybe you weren’t meant to be parents’,  but my personal favorite was from an old man who told my husband ‘Let it soak.’  – Still to this day have no clue exactly what he meant but we laugh about it.”

10. “We are Christians and regular attending members of a Seventh-Day Adventist Church. We had people say to me/us ‘well if it is in God’s plan you will become parents.’ The people who said this were parents. My thoughts were: so God thinks you will be a better parent then me? – I doubt it. So for all the people who abuse their children and have them removed from the home, and traumatized by their parents are apart of God’s plan, but me not being a parent is? – I doubt it!”

11. “‘You can borrow my kid(s) if you want.’ or ‘Do you want some of my kids? You can have them!’”

12. “Sometimes it’s what people don’t say that hurts the most. My friends have had more babies than I can count in the last 4+ years. Every time I go to the baby department and buy them gifts. It rips me up and takes everything I have to hold in the sobbing until I get to the car. I think people take it for granted. Not once has anyone ever said, ‘Wow, that must have been really difficult for you. Thank you for loving us so much that you would subject yourself to that hurt.'”

“Don’t say, ‘My life wasn’t complete until I had kids’, ‘Being a parent is all that matters’, ‘Being a parent is the most important job in the world’, ‘You don’t know love until you have a child of your own'”

13. “‘Everything happens for a reason. It will happen when it is meant to happen.'”

14. “A lot of people always refer to the most common phrase during the infertility journey, which is to ‘just relax and it will happen.’ As much as I wish ‘relaxing’ would cure that, it doesn’t.”

15. “‘I know it will happen. You just have to give it time.’ No one can know that the treatment will work and I felt like it minimized my pain.”

16. “’My friend was going through the same thing, and when she just stopped worrying about it, she got pregnant.’”

17. “The worst thing people have said is implying that my energy created the infertility like through fear, emotional stress, emotional barriers, etc., and to simply get over it because we could adopt or do IVF or surrogacy without knowing the financial and emotional costs of our options.  They completely negate the emotional aspect of infertility and how it rocks your world as you know it.”

Grief in Black and White by Sarah Gough. Photography. Part of the ART of IF permanent collection.

Grief in Black and White by Sarah Gough. Photography. Part of the ART of IF permanent collection.

18. “I was told I was being dramatic. ”

19. “I cannot remember the comment exactly, but it was something along the lines that I should try to have a baby ‘at any cost.’ As if it wasn’t okay to be concerned about protecting my marriage, our finances, the health of my body, etc. I also recall someone saying, ‘I know you don’t want to talk about it, so I won’t ask you.’ That wasn’t true for me. It’s true for many women, but I did want to talk about it.”

20. “‘Maybe your husband is cheating on you and giving all of his good sperm to someone else.'”

21. “This isn’t a terrible thing to say by any means, but a very common question is: ‘Do you have kids?’ It’s a little uncomfortable. It’s a quick response, no we don’t. But so much comes behind saying those few words. People don’t know – is it because you didn’t want them? Because you tried and couldn’t? What is behind that statement? People don’t usually follow up and ask why not (not that they necessarily should). We’re still trying to figure out the best way to answer that question without the uncomfortable silence that follows.”

22. “‘Flip her over. It’s a whole new ball game.'”

23. “Complaining about how hard your pregnancy is. You get a baby in the end! It does not make me ‘feel better’ about never getting to experience pregnancy. I’ve been through far worse pain and misery, and I never received a miracle in exchange.”

24. “I think that some of the worst things actually came from my mom.  With the initial troubles, she’d repetatively tell me that she didn’t understand why I couldn’t get pregnant because my dad just had to look at her funny.  Gee, thanks mom for that image.”

25. “‘Drink a ton & enjoy some recreational drugs’ because that’s what worked for them.”

Helpful

1. “When I was going through my miscarriage my husband’s grandmother called me, and told me her story about her loss. We sat on the phone and cried together. She knew no words could help but she just wanted to be there. To share a story she didn’t share a whole lot made me feel supported.”

2. “Understand I’m doing the best I can with a total shit situation.”

3. “Be open to discussion and listening. Most days all I wanted or really needed was someone to listen and really HEAR me. I needed someone to say it was okay to be upset, it was okay to cry, I was grieving a major loss.”

4. “I found that telling people what I needed from them helped. Many times they were clueless as to how to help me. Just knowing I had someone there willing to hear me out whenever I need was amazing.”

5. “Say ‘I’m sorry you’re going through this.’”

6. “Ask me about it and about my losses…. Sometimes I would feel like my babies only mattered to me. It wasn’t until my sister wrote me a letter and told me that she felt their loss too that I truly felt like someone else cared about it. And that meant so much more than she probably ever will realize.”

7. “The best way my family and friends have supported me is to educate themselves so that they can at least understand the medical aspect of what is happening to me.”

8. “Be there when I need to talk or cry and on the opposite end of that, allow me the time I need to myself, to understand that I may not always be up to hanging out with them while they were pregnant… or with them and their children.”

9. “Our parents would stop asking us questions about doctor appointments and wait until we told them info. They didn’t want to bombard us with questions and they were respectful of our choices.”

10. “Just doing things to keep my mind off of what I was going through. Inviting me out to do things I enjoy, like getting spa treatments, going to sing karaoke, going to wine tastings, etc. Many people asked if they could pray for me and I really liked that.”

11. “My family: mom, sister and aunt all gave me the progesterone shots through both of my IVF cycles.”

Failed IVF #1 (September 10, 2015 - October 9, 2015) by Sara Nelson. Mixed media. Part of the ART of IF permanent collection.

Failed IVF #1 (September 10, 2015 – October 9, 2015) by Sara Nelson. Mixed media. Part of the ART of IF permanent collection.

12. “One of the most memorable ways people helped support us was fundraising for IVF. We set up one of those health donation websites and had a garage sale. Family members and friends had bake sales, everyone donated items for the garage sale, and even coworkers from family members helped out. It was really really humbling and brought us to tears once to see all the support we were getting.”

13. “The people who have shared their experiences of infertility with me have been extremely supportive.”

14. “Honoring my request that if I wanted to talk about it I would and not ask questions otherwise. When I needed someone to talk to and they really listened vs. trying to make me feel better or talking about their own fertility struggle.”

15. “Financial help was hugely important to me. I wouldn’t have opportunity to seek alternative therapy, like acupuncture, without help from my parents. To me, there are already so many costs of fertility treatments, and I was unwilling to try acupuncture because it was just another cost.”

16. “The best ways that our friends and family have supported us is just by listening and encouraging us. They are positive, but they are realistic in having the same expectations as us, which is hey, it might happen, it might not happen, but you have to give it a try.”

17. “They never tell us we should or could have done things differently, and instead point out to us that we are just one step closer to having a baby. You guys found out what doesn’t work; now you get to move onto the next thing.”

18. “Letting me cry. Taking me out to dinner. Letting me avoid baby showers and kids’ birthday parties with understanding and not exasperation or frustration. Giving me space to vent and grieve.”

19. “I have discovered some very special friends through this process.  They have best supported me by being present and listening, not judging or offering suggestions/opinions. They ask me what me what I need and strictly follow any guidelines that I set out. For example: I hate it when people offer solutions so I’ve asked my friends to never offer solutions.  The ones who listen warm my heart.”

Participants at the ART of IF Women Write the Body Workshop in East Lansing, MI.

Participants at the ART of IF Women Write the Body Workshop in East Lansing, MI.

20. “Help me to feel I’m still me even though I might feel a piece of me is broken.”

21. “When I would talk about the idea that there are many ways to be fertile, that bearing offspring is one way, but not the only way, and that fertility encompasses so much more – there were people who ‘got’ what I meant and people who didn’t. Those who ‘got it’ were excited for me and excited to see what other endeavors I might pursue in life. That made me feel supported.”

22. “Many friends have tried to support me just by asking what we need. Usually I tell them I just want to be allowed to hurt. The best friends I have are willing to let me hurt, are willing to sit through awkward silences and haven’t been hurt or offended when I’ve politely declined to attend their baby showers or their children’s birthdays (there are some, believe it or not, who take it personally and have made me feel bad about it).”

“Letting me cry. Taking me out to dinner. Letting me avoid baby showers and kids’ birthday parties with understanding and not exasperation or frustration. Giving me space to vent and grieve.”

23. “Please spare me any conversations about pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding. These situations make me incredibly uncomfortable and I’ll just find a chance to try and run away. It’s painful to hear these conversations, they tear at your heart. And if I know that you are aware of my situation & you bring up these topics in front of me, I feel even more hurt & isolated.”

24. “Do not complain to me how exhausting and hard it is raising your children. Nothing in life is easy that’s worth something. Think about how that sounds to someone who has been to hell & back trying to have children.”

25. “Really, I just wish people could think twice before they speak. Try for a minute to put yourself in our shoes. Be compassionate. If you have a friend or family member that can’t have children, don’t ignore them. Do tell them you are thinking of them. Do tell them you understand they’re going through a hard time. Do tell them you’re praying for them if that’s what you do. Just try to understand and be more sensitive.”

 

Still Waiting – Infertility and Adoption

Today’s blog post is from Jackie. Jackie and her husband, Kevin, are waiting to be matched for a domestic infant adoption. Read their story below and please consider sharing their profile so, hopefully, they won’t have to wait much longer to make their dreams of parenthood come true.

Elizabeth

Kevin and I knew we wanted to parents one day.  After we were married we attempted to start a family of our own.  After trying without any success for a while we decided maybe it was time to seek a professional opinion from a doctor.  Fast forward 5 years, and 5 doctors later and here we are still hoping to become parents.

kevin and jackie adopt

After testing and fertility treatments we found that having a child was not going to be very plausible for us as a couple; although it has not been completely ruled out.  Struggling with infertility has been hard for us.  Infertility gives you a completely different outlook on life and the world once you’ve lived inside of it.  Our relationships with family and friends have changed.  Small talk with acquaintances, or strangers, can be difficult as soon as, “Do you have children?” or “When will you start a family?” questions come up.  Also a simple walk through the grocery store can be rough. Yes, I see those parents doting over their child.  Yes, I see the aisle of baby toys, diapers, and oh so cute outfits.  Yes, I see a pregnant mom waddling through the aisle looking ready to meet her baby.  These things that we once never seemed to notice are now all we see around us.  Jealousy and sadness are unfortunate ‘side effects’ of infertility.  I am not angry at these people I see out and about living their lives and becoming parents; however, it is hard not be jealous or sad when it is something that you have wanted and tried for for so long.

 Our relationships with family and friends have changed.  Small talk with acquaintances, or strangers, can be difficult as soon as, “Do you have children?” or “When will you start a family?” questions come up.

We decided that one way we could possibly have a chance at becoming parents was to pursue adoption.   We did not have much reservation about pursuing adoption, rather we both felt very comfortable with the idea of building a family this way.  My father, and two of his siblings were adopted, and Kevin has two adopted cousins.  Adoption is already a part of our lives so it did not seem odd or inconceivable that we could be happy with a family built that way.

We have been pursuing adoption with an agency known as Greater Hopes Family Services in Grand Rapids, MI.  We have worked closely with them for the past year and a half and we have been waiting for the opportunity to become parents.  In the mean time we have found ways to deal with our infertility and lack of family by keeping busy with things we enjoy.  We enjoy spending time with our family and working on projects around the house while we wait for the opportunity to become parents.  We have love to share and we are lucky enough to have fur babies to share our love with.

memphis dog

We have a 9 year old lab named Memphis who is definitely great for cuddling.  We also recently just adopted a new lab mix puppy named Cali.  When we brought Cali home we went thought the late night crying as she adjusted to her new surroundings.  We are still working on potty training and teaching her the ropes.  As we went through all of this with our new puppy we couldn’t help but feel that this new puppy is like our new baby.  She is keeping us on our toes and also keeping us up at night.  She is creating more laundry, making messes, and not loving bath time. She truly is like a new child in our lives.  It is important to us that we can give our love in this way and it makes us feel important to someone.

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For the time being these two are our children and we are proud parents to two wonderful fuzzy puppies.  We still hope to someday become a ‘traditional’ parent by being able to share our love with an adopted child(ren).  We have an online profile that we often share on social media in hopes of it falling on the eyes of someone who may be able to make this parenting thing a reality.  Until that day we will continue to love each other and our fur babies.

Angela’s Advocacy Day Interview

Maria and I had the pleasure of documenting a bit of Angela’s story when we were in Washington, D.C. last month. Angela did multiple rounds of IVF with both her own eggs and donor eggs before adopting her son domestically. Thanks, Angela, for sharing your story with us so others will know they are not alone!

Elizabeth

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Angela talks about her experience with open adoption and the frequency with which she has contact with her son’s birth mother.

For more information on adoption, the Creating a Family website is a great resource. They even have a radio show that can how information on the different types of adoption and how to decide which one is right for you and this quick comparison chart on the different types of adoption.

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Angela is a RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association Ambassador and a peer-led support group host. You can play the audio clip to hear about how Angela got involved with the organization. (She references Redbook’s Truth About Trying campaign in this clip. You can check out some of the videos from the campaign at this link but will have to scroll to the bottom to find them.)

Click on this link to find a RESOLVE support group near you. If there isn’t one in your area, you can email info@resolve.org to talk to someone about starting one. There’s no substitute for in person, “real life” groups and the support they provide. It was through a RESOLVE support group that I became comfortable with my diagnosis, sharing my story, and ultimately wanting to do infertility advocacy, resulting in ART of Infertility!