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.
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
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.
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.