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When Making a Baby Is a Team Effort

When you're me, conceiving a child is a team effort. We spent eleven days in Texas for our fourth embryo transfer. Both of us had to finagle time off from work, and in my job, that didn't come easy. We had to coordinate hotels and places to stay with various people. We had to figure out what we were going to do with our dog. Normally, my mom watches him when we go on vacation, but she was going to be starting her first of several rounds of chemotherapy the same week we were going to be flying out, so we needed to change some things around.

Before I continue, I just need to say that I have the best family. And I say family, because my friends—Erin, who stepped in to watch the dog for more days than planned, and Celina, whom I stayed with while on my bed rest after transfer—are, quite simply, family.

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My first night in Texas, I was talking to Erin, who told me she was at my house earlier than planned because my poor mom wasn't doing well after her treatment. "Don't you worry about a thing," she reassured, "We're all taking care of it. I'm stepping in as your mom's daughter while you're gone."

The rest of the days, my dad and my sister, who flew in from out of town, helped out with our dog while my mom stayed at home to rest. I couldn't have done all this without them. They all communicated on a notepad with each other, so that I could focus on my treatment. And even now, this brings tears to my eyes, how they all rearranged their schedules for us.

All the love, encouragement, and support from family and friends and countless people I have never met. This is where my children came from.

My littlest sister and brother-in-law live on the Louisiana border. They invited us into their home to stay for the first half of our trip while we waited for our fertilization report. Even though she is my sister, and it was just like we were coming to visit, I am still so very grateful for her hospitality, fixing up the guest bedroom just for us, and taking us to all the good restaurants in town. Most importantly, she distracted me from thinking too much about how our embryos were growing. So, my sweet Tiffany, thank you for being such a good hostess.

The night before my transfer, we traveled back into Texas to the home of someone I have known for several years, who, in my opinion, has been widely known around the infertility community for her selfless heart and her willingness to help out anyone. I'm sitting here with tears spilling down my face (as seems to happen a lot lately), thinking about how much she has done for me, years before I ever met her in person. She sent me some good-luck socks for my first IVF procedure two years ago, which I have worn for every transfer since then. She has sent me care packages and text messages and emails of love and support for the last few years, all the while enduring the pain of her own losses over and over again, until her own miracle baby arrived. She has kept me going these last few months, offering her prayers and positive thoughts when all I wanted to do was give up on ever having a family.

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My husband and I stayed with her for five days while she bought me fast food, snacks and little gifts. She made me some baby onesies, so sure that this cycle was going to be it. She had her entire church praying for us. Her father-in-law came for a visit and brought me a little stuffed animal. It's hard to thank her properly, because any words diminish the feelings. Celina, you have saved me mentally, emotionally and spiritually these last few months. I can't even begin to thank you for your support.

For those of you I have never met, but who have faithfully followed along on our journey, thank you. Some of you have been following since day one; some of you discovered my blog or articles along the way. Every Facebook or blog comment, every email, some as far away as Australia or South America, have been so cherished. I am in awe at how many people seem to care whether or not I have a baby. It's hard to throw in the towel when there are hundreds of people cheering you on. I can't say thank you enough.

I have struggled for several months now with the thought of where my children will come from: another woman's eggs, from an embryology lab. I have struggled with imagining how to explain to my children where they came from. It seemed like such a difficult conversation to have. And now I smile through my tears because the answer is really so simple.

This. All of this. All the love, encouragement and support from family and friends and countless people I have never met. This is where my children came from. And I promise they will always know how much they were wanted, prayed for and loved by more people than I will ever know.

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