I am a life jack of all trades.
I can talk to people going through struggles with their teens… I was pretty much your worst nightmare.. no seriously.. bad enough I worry about if all the bad we have encountered I brought on myself .. on us -but thats a whole different post-
I can speak about infertility and losses. Adoption success and scams. Food allergies and celiac disease.. And just plain ole motherhood. Now I have added in pediatric cancer and founder of a non-profit because of my worst nightmare come true – that is so much worse than I feared-
I look at those words and it hits me.. all of these things I have experienced in my life.. They are all are because of her.. My Jennifer. The one that was so worth the broken road we traveled to parenthood.. The child that made feel like I could successfully raise 4 kids.
Now left to try to do it without her.
And again because of her another fairly unique talking point has been added to my tool belt.
Embryo adoption. (the story is being featured on People.com today and tomorrow here is part 1)
After our last IVF cycle we had 4 embryos left. We knew that all of the miscarriages I had were because of my body.. that every baby was normal and for some reason my body was rejecting them. All 5 of them. After the last loss we chose to pursue adoption. We couldn’t in good conscience keep putting these babies in me when we knew they didn’t have a chance and once we started to get into the adoption path we just knew it was the one for us.
Jennifer was so right, so perfectly created for us .. and I hope us for her. She made me a mom. She taught me how to be a good one. And since losing her she has continued to teach me. How every 12th .. the date that marks another month since I held her last I do something good for my surviving 3.. I do it because of her. Because I remember how she hurt.. and suffered. She makes me a better mom .. to them.
Those 4 remaining em-babies (I know cheesy right) sat in frozen perpetuity .. until I was at the end of my pregnancy with the child that would become Baby Charlotte. .. until one day a random posting in a traditional adoption forum lead me to 10 couples.. and finally one husband and wife looking to adopt embryos.
After a few discussions with them I told Tony about it over dinner. That I had found what I thought was the couple.
At the same time Jennifer was starting to ask deeper questions about not growing in my tummy.. about being adopted. It had been a open adoption but her birth parents made the decision not to keep it up. .. I had contact with her birth grandma and sister and she was able to talk with them ..Still I feared a pain was going to be soon to follow. A hurt and wonder that I couldn’t fix for her.
If it hadn’t been for her.. and for her beginning stages of wondering we wouldn’t have made this choice at that point in time.
We really felt like it would be good for Jennifer. A way for her to witness all the different ways families can be built..with the one thing that truly matters.
I loved being her mommy.. watching her grow for those 6 years, 3 months and 15 days.
We had always planned on placing our embryos for adoption, but weren’t in any rush to do it. She unknowingly propelled us on this path to find the right family. We were about to have our 4th baby and we were complete. That baby ended up being another girl.. a sister just like Jennifer wanted.. . What a perfect family we were with our bookend daughters. I remember thinking what a gift we gave both of them.. giving them each other.
Soon after Charlotte’s birth the em-babies were making their trek across a few state lines to their intended parents. 2 were put in and resulted in a miscarriage. Then another cycle.. and to make the story just a bit more twisted she had one from a previous donor so they transferred one from us and one from them and got pregnant with a single baby.. none of us knew from which batch it originated.
I was thinking about it a lot.. how we would tell people. How big a deal I was going make to let people know what an incredible option this is.. This was just a few weeks before Jennifer’s birthday.
Her 6th birthday. The day we found out she would likely not make it to 7.
October 28th 2013
Her last birthday.
Obviously the thought of another genetic child of ours being out there became the last thing on our minds…
July this baby girl was born. We didn’t know if she was genetically connected to us or not..though I was guessing she was based on the photos.
I was mad that it didn’t matter more. So angry that it was just another thing .. It should have been a big deal in our lives… But it wasn’t.
because our daughter is dead.
Testing was done and it confirmed what we already thought. This little girl.. a blessing of epic proportions was .. well is… genetically ours. We never even told Jennifer about it. But this little girls mother and I talk.. both thinking that maybe my Jennifer has known since February 12th.. somehow met this little baby before anybody else had the honor.
i have known the them would always change..
but this is just another example.
we did this for them… because of you.
from all of us..
thank you baby girl.
…Until there is a cure…