I think the hardest part for me, going through infertility and my struggles to become a mom was doing it alone. Every decision, every appointment, every needle, disappointment and loss I endured by myself.
I remember sitting in the doctor's office, with my legs dangling off the table and a quite ultrasound machine in front of me. "Take all the time you need." the nurse stated as she walked out the door. I just sat there alone. Utterly alone...
We all need help sometimes. And when that help comes it is the lifeline you've been praying for.
I was blessed to have the support of my family and friends...but even still I could have used a little bit more.
So I am here trying to help a friend. One baring her soul and doing whatever it takes to achieve her dream of being a mom. It's not an easy road and it is a lonely one. I know! So if you can help that would be amazing...this is my friend Kristina's story!
Hello! I want to thank Michaela for generously sharing her blog space today so that I can share my campaign to finally reach my dream of motherhood. Thank you, Michaela! Before I tell you about the campaign, I’d like to share the story about how I came to believe this path was right for me…
I always saw motherhood as part of my life and who I was meant to be. I dated a lot in my 20s and into my 30s, but most relationships ended after a few months. I’m one of those women who decided when I was in my mid 30s that it was time to stop looking at every guy I dated as a potential father and co-parent. I had lived with two men and I think marriage was possible with a couple (different ones than those I lived with, oddly!), but I wasn’t mature enough at the time. Later, it just seemed like I had trouble meeting guys that I really clicked with – mentally, emotionally, and physically. During this time, around the age of 34, I did become pregnant with a boyfriend but it wasn’t viable and I had to induce a miscarriage.
When I got to my mid-30s, something else started clicking, or I should say ticking. I don’t remember when I first heard the term “SMC” or Single Mother by Choice, but once I knew about this brave and exciting new possibility, I read everything I could about it, from books to blogs and articles. I also researched fertility and how to track my cycle, which I began doing religiously. I met with the only Reproductive Endocrinologist in the Central California where I was living, but something happened – I'm not remembering what now – that really turned me off to him; something to do with missed timing, waiting a cycle, and money. I do remember he was a horrible listener and would launch into spiels of technical jargon, expecting me to follow along. When I look back now, I probably should have toughed it out with him. Maybe he would have discovered that I had fibroids or maybe he would have used better technology and medication when it would have mattered.
As it was, I switched to a very kind doctor, who held more of a holistic point of view and worked with a group of midwives. It was very woman-positive, which felt great, but in retrospect, I don’t think he had the required skill level. I did four IUIs with him, two with Femara, with no luck. Then, life through a curve ball and the non-profit where I worked closed doors. After looking for several months, I found a job and moved to the Bay Area.
Once I was settled, I began trying again…this time I used injectables, and discovered an underground black market of fertility medications that were being passed along at highly reduced prices by other sympathetic women who had achieved success. I remember thinking superstitiously that maybe using their medication would bring me success, too. No luck though.
I also started dating again and ended up meeting someone special with whom I became serious. Once committed, we immediately agreed that we were open to pregnancy. That was a fun few months. I really thought that something started a couple of times – in fact, I’m pretty sure it did. I had implantation cramping, spotting a couple of times, continued cramping like something was definitely happening…but then it would end in disappointment. After a year or so, we broke up and not long after, I tried another IUI on my own with a different doctor, injectables, and a different protocol. I was crushed again when it didn’t work.
Fast-forward to a few months later, the guy and I reunited and this time we decided to try IUIs together. We did two of them. It was during this time that the doctor said I had two large fibroids and one was twisting my cervix, making it like an obstacle course for sperm. Awesome! One was inside and one was just outside my uterus. He thought I could still get pregnant but that the pregnancy could become really uncomfortable/painful later on. I ended up deciding to get them surgically removed. Shortly before this scheduled surgery, the guy and I broke up again… aargh
The silver lining was that I had joined a leadership development program that lasted six months and supported me through this tough time. It also provided a safe container to really explore and look at my emotions and motivations to become pregnant. I stepped back from trying and just focused on my self and my friendships and community. I did some healing around a first pregnancy loss from my 20s and some anger and pain I still felt from that – from the fact that I couldn’t give myself what I needed at the time and that the guy I was with definitely couldn’t either. I mourned the loneliness and lack of support I experienced and forgave myself and him for being young, immature, and in survival mode.
When I finished that program, I went back to my regular routine, but gradually became aware there was still a void in my life. I felt I had much to give and was searching for meaning. I tried becoming a Big Sister and they rejected me because they felt I really wanted be a mom not a Big Sister (!). It was at this time that I began to consider adoption, when I hadn’t really felt open to that before. I wanted a child, in whatever way that child was meant to come into my life. My cousin had not long before then adopted a child internationally and I saw the joy that brought her. Two cousins on the other side of my family were adopted, as well.
I began to focus on the idea and signed up for the classes that are required to adopt through foster care. As I was finishing these, my landlord gave me sudden notice that he would be selling the house, which led to a period of transition, house-searching, and upheaval. Once I was settled into my new place, the ex came back into my life. This may sound crazy and you may be thinking, “Really? A third time?” but I had some buried pain and resentment about how we ended things before so it was really good to talk this through with him, and for him to apologize and make amends.
As we worked things through, we felt close again and decided on giving it a last try but shortly after, he actually became ill, so I helped him through his treatment… then, ironically, in part because of the frailty he felt with his illness, he ended up deciding that he did not want to become a father again. When he said this, it was clear our paths were no longer aligned. There were other issues we had, as well, but we were working on these and making good headway. When he got clear he didn’t want a child, I also felt clear that we are not right for one another. When you know it’s not right and it makes sense, even though it hurts, the ending is much easier.
When we broke up, I felt a fire lit under me – like, “Now is the time.” I began considering California Conceptions, which I had discovered a few years earlier. I felt strongly that this was the right way forward for me. I do feel that I am getting older, as well, and I don’t want to wait. I know it’s what I was meant to do and that I have a lot of love and creativity and attention to give a child – and much more maturity and groundedness than I did 10 or 15 years ago. I love my nieces and nephew very much, but they live in another state and I feel called to have my own child and be that one person who loves them unconditionally and is always there for them. I've been ready for a long time.
Which brings me to my request... Would you consider making a donation, at whatever level is comfortable for you, to help me reach my dream of becoming a mom? Or would you consider sharing this campaign with your friends? Perhaps with other mothers or couples who, like me, had to struggle with infertility or other obstacles to becoming parents. I am glad to offer career counseling packages to support you or a friend in your career transition or job search, or resume/cover letter editing, as reward and appreciation for donations of $50 or more. This program costs 12K for all three attempts. I am asking for help raising half that cost, or $6,000. I am confident I can contribute the other half myself. I would really like to start my family without going too deeply in debt, knowing I will need considerable resources as a new mom in the Bay Area.
"The California Conceptions Donor Embryo Program was founded in 2010, with the intent to offer a highly successful alternative to expensive fertility treatments and adoption...patients with a normal uterus will typically have such a high rate of success, we are able to extend a refund option. Hundreds of patients from across the US and the world have traveled to our program and been successful. In most cases, the three transfers result in a cumulative 95% rate of success. Searching the web for information about our program will turn up patient testimonials and success stories."