Our miracle RAINBOW BABY BOY arrived 8/2018

1st IVF = BFN
2nd IVF = Baby A, born May 2015
3rd IVF = Miscarriage at 14 weeks
4th IVF = BFN
After we paid for 5th IVF, positive pregnancy without IVF!

Because the important moments in life just don’t fit in a status update! I started this blog when I was training for my first ½ Ironman, (70.3 miles) to record what I hoped would be growth and progress but ended up being a huge learning experience. Although fitness is one of the key ingredients to a happy life, it certainly isn't the only ingredient. My blog has evolved to document growth, progress and setbacks in other areas too. From my surprise proposal in Rome and wedding in the fall of 2013, to Mom's devastating stage IV cancer diagnosis and death 2 weeks after I found out I was pregnant. Who knows what shape it will take, but thanks for being along for the ride.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

An Open Letter to Hopeful Moms on Mother's Day

This blog posting was supposed to be finished by Mother's Day but as you can tell, I'm running a bit behind. Life is busy with two little ones and computer time is a luxury. But I wouldn't have it any other way. My life holds so much more meaning now that I have two children, in an almost indescribable way.

Are you childless by choice? Several of my very good friends and family members are also. They have never wanted children and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Their lives will not be any more or less fulfilling than those who have children, because they do not desire them. Being a parent is not a dream everyone has, and this blog posting is not directed at you.

But, if you have always wanted to be a Mom, this posting is for you. Do you try and tell yourself that you don't need children to fulfill you, and focus instead on what you do have such as freedom to travel or your career?

No one in particular in society came up and told me "You don't need children to be happy. Just focus on your college and then your career and it will all be great." Yet somehow, I very much received the message that if I didn't have children, it was fine; I would still be happy. As long as I was an independent woman, paid my own bills, had a nice car, went on vacation and maybe even owned a home. 

But for me personally, that absolutely is not true: My life would not be nearly as fulfilling or complete unless I became a Mom, no matter how much money I earned or how fulfilling my career was. Inside I always knew that I truly did hope to have kids someday. The lie that society was telling me (and I was telling myself) was absolutely not true. The argument could be made that I was being conditioned from birth to be more nurturing because I was a girl, but for me, I know it was innate. I have always been nurturing, and at a young age that manifested itself in my care for animals (even pet snails) and dolls, just as I see in Baby A.

Being a mom is much more rewarding than I ever could have imagined. Until I became a Mom, I could not have known just how much I would love it. I wish that I could have just one day with my Mom now that I am a Mom. Not just because she was my very best friend and someone I called every day since I got a cell phone back in...1998? But because I now understand just how much she loved me. When my Mom was dying, I thought of how people had said "You never know how much your Mom loves you until you become one." That can't be true, I thought: I know my Mom loves me, and I really, really love her. But they were right. Until I became a Mom, I did not could not know this all-consuming I-would-die-for-you-in-a-heartbeat love. I couldn't.

When I hadn't met my husband yet and worried I wouldn't meet someone "in time" I told myself that it would be okay, and as a defense mechanism tried to amplify the sound of all the Moms lamenting their lack of sleep and money and ability to leave for a long weekend on a whim without any extra preparations beyond leaving an extra serving of cat food in the bowl. I told myself that if I never became a Mom, that would be alright. But do we tell ourselves the same thing for our other dreams and goals? Oh, I really want a graduate degree, but it's too hard. It just didn't happen. Or, I would really like to travel or move, but change is scary so it's okay if I don't. No. We would tell ourselves or our friend to go for it if it was a dream of ours. Especially if it were our main dream in life.

Being a Mom is unlike anything I have ever experienced and infinitely more rewarding than I ever expected. I now know that my life would not be complete if this dream of mine was not fulfilled in some way, either by adoption, fostering, or embryo adoption. Yes, even if I were single. I want to tell you a little more about one of these options because when I've mentioned it to friends considering parenthood, they haven't heard of it.

Embryo adoption is the path I would choose if I did not have children right now. It is basically adoption in its earliest form. At only $8,500 in California, it is relatively inexpensive compared to other options. Private adoption in the united states, for example, is over $50,000 and each round of IVF is $20,000. We did four.

Unlike IVF which uses your own eggs, embryo adoption has a success rate much, much higher. The success is actually that of the age of the woman whom the eggs belong to. You can read more about it here. In no way am I trying to dissuade anyone from fostering or adopting because both of those are noble, worthwhile causes. But if I were single, I would be worried about fostering a child who could possibly not remain with me, since reunification with birth parents is the goal. And I would want both the experience of being pregnant and the certain knowledge that there were no drugs used during the child's pregnancy.

But, it's not genetically mine, you may be thinking. Not exactly true, according to epigenetics. The embryo that may have otherwise been destroyed is the blue print for the baby, but your body is the builder. An adopted embryo may manifest itself differently depending on the mother and womb it grows in.

Ready to learn more? Book a consultation with Jane Frederick in Newport Beach. Just tell her that I sent you, and the consultation is free. Or, call any local IVF clinic if you're not in the area. 

If being a mother is a dream of yours and a calling, don't ignore it.

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