I will preface by saying that even as you read my story and I become “this person I know that stopped trying and got pregnant”, that I am not by any means a person that believes in that. In fact, those very words used to rip my husband and I from the inside out and we would stand there smiling and nodding as person after person told us this. It’s meant to be a message of hope, but to someone that has been trying to conceive for 5 years, it all seems to hurt no matter how well-intentioned.

My husband Paul and I had been trying privately for so long that our own parents assumed that we just didn’t want kids. Once you say “I do” it feels like the clock to children starts ticking down and we were both so excited to jump into the role of parents. We saw specialists and had tests done and eventually landed in the waiting room of an IVF clinic. Both tubes with complete blockages plus PCOS led us to injections and my husband cutting us out of our country road that we live on after a tropical storm brought down trees and power lines to hinder us on the morning of our egg retrieval. Just call him “Paul Bunyan”, because he was an absolute legend with a chainsaw at 4AM. Unfortunately, I ovulated some point between the house and the OR and our 28 amazing follicles turned into 6. 6 embryos turned to 4 turned to 2 and I was told to do another round because the doctor “knew my body could do better.” I found out on my birthday that none of our embryos made it; including the one we transferred.

We later decided to try the adoption route as I myself am adopted. My body had been through the ringer, and I just couldn’t do a third round of IVF. We did the months of paperwork, home study and were beginning to apply for cases when a friend from work messaged me about a girl that was wanting to know about adoption as she was hoping to put hers up. After speaking with the friend about what I knew about the process from my end, she blurted out “I want you to be my baby’s mom!” We lawyered up, I talked to our birth mom every day, we prepped the nursery, we optimistically announced to friends and family that we were expecting a baby boy, and on June 12th, 2022; I was at our birth mom’s side as she delivered our Rob.

Adoption was not the easier choice; but it gave us the son that we have always prayed for. There were many moments in the process that felt hopeless, like a very emotionally and financially draining battle with a birth father that popped up out of nowhere threatening everyone. Or a birth mother that changed her mind on day 2 after our newborn photos were taken, just to say “never mind” a few hours later. No matter how they arrive to be in our arms, our children are worth every tear and every battle.

A week shy of Rob’s first birthday as we were in full party-prep mode, I started to feel physically like something was very off. Fainting and abdominal cramping off. My doctor suggested to test for pregnancy, and wouldn’t you know…I was pregnant. Our baby girl Paige is due in January. Does my husband randomly look at me and say “We beat science”—all the time! My prayer for those out there trying to conceive is that you don’t listen when someone says, “I had a friend that stopped trying and she got pregnant”, and that you can take it for face value. Don’t stop trying and don’t put your faith in other people’s journeys, because each of our roads to parenthood is unique and filled with wins and losses that define us.