Monday, December 15, 2008

Memorial Monday

This week's Memorial Monday is for Liz and her sweet baby Sarah. I was very touched by her story and so glad to feature a different type of loss on my blog. Please remember to comment and let these grieving parents know that they are not alone.

Hi, I'm Liz. I'm 39 and husband is Todd, he's 41. We have have been trying for a baby for nine long years.

For the first year, it wasn't that bad, but then I started worrying. So I went to the doctor and she ordered some tests. We found out that there were a lot of reasons why I wasn't getting pregnant: PCOS, fibroids, or even some fallopian tube scarring that they couldn't explain. Of course, there were surgical procedures to correct each of these problems, but then another cropped up. Life kept getting in the way, too, with job losses for both my Todd and me, at different times, so switching insurance and not being able to do everything all at once seemed to drag the process out even longer.

We were finally referred to an official RE. It had been almost three years since we started trying at that point. I was relieved when the RE reviewed our charts and said that he really didn't think that it was worth our time wasting our money and emotions on any more drugs or IUIs. It was time to move to IVF.

I remember after that first appointment, I thought we would have our baby within the year.

I was so wrong.

We went through four fresh and two frozen IVF cycles. We never saw a positive.

We went through two donor egg cycles, both fresh. No positive.

Two years ago, I was done with the treatments. Todd agreed.

We talked about it and decided that we wanted to adopt. We got in touch with two agencies and hired an adoption attorney.

I actually had fun when we first signed with the agency. It was kind of like being pregnant, I imagine, since I never had one single BFP. We registered, got our nursery ready, and bought a minivan. I wanted to be ready when a birthmom picked us. Every time the phone would ring, one of us would leap at it.

But eventually, the novelty wore off. You can only jump at the phone for so long. You can only lovingly fold gender-neutral onesies so many times.

We met with a lot of birthmoms along the way. For some reason, we were very often the runner up, but never first choice.

Until six months ago.

Six months ago, we met A. She was 22, already a mom to one little boy, and knew that she was in over her head. She was five months pregnant and wanted to choose adoptive parents soon so that they could be part of the pregnancy.

We met a coffee shop and after she left, we lingered over our drinks. We hadn't even left the table when our agency called us. A wanted us to parent her child.

At first, it was so surreal. We were finally going to have a baby.

We were there for every doctor's appointment for the rest of the pregnancy. We were there for the gender ultrasound just a few days after A picked us. We were going to have a little girl. We named her Sarah after my mother, who passed away from breast cancer five years ago. We painted over the gender-neutral sage green walls with pinks of all shades. We added frilly little girls clothes to the yellow and green clothes that had been waiting.

It became real to us. We were going to have our baby.

We were at the hospital when Sarah was born. We got to hold her before A did (A's choice). We got to room in with her that night. I held her, I rocked her, I fed her, I changed her diaper. I was holding her when the social worker came in with a very serious look on her face.

We did not get to take Sarah home.

A changed her mind.

I still can't believe that this happened to us. It just doesn't seem fair. I know this is technically not for babies that are still alive, but in my heart, I feel that this was like a death. We have been seeing a counselor who said that it is like a death. Sarah does not exist for us anymore. She isn't even named Sarah now. I don't know what her real name is. My little girl, the one that I held and fed and rocked, is not here.

To be featured in upcoming Memorial Mondays, please contact me by clicking on my profile link and then by clicking on my e-mail link. You can either write your story yourself or provide me with the details and I will do it for you. You may include pictures, poetry, whatever feels right. This is your memorial for your loss.



i am sitting here in tears after reading your story. my heart aches for you, and i cant imagine what you have been though!you will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. i wish there was something i could do for you...


i am sitting here in tears after reading your story. my heart aches for you, and i cant imagine what you have been though!you will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. i wish there was something i could do for you...

JuliaS said...

What a devastating loss - and so much like the loss of a pregnancy - the trying, the hoping, the elation when it finally seems to pan out and then the utter destruction when it all falls apart and you end up with empty arms after so much buildup.

I am truly sorry.

Cassandra said...

What a heartbreaking loss after so many years. This is the fear of everyone who considers domestic adoption, and it is a big reason that so many of us pursue other avenues like treatments for so long. It's also an outcome that the "Why don't you just adopt?" people fail to consider.

Liz, I'm curious -- are you still pursuing adoption, or taking a break after the loss of Sarah?

I hope that Sarah's life turns out well, even if we secretly know that her alternate life would have been so much better. But my thoughts are with you, Liz and Todd, even more.

Ms. J said...

Thank YOU for sharing the stories of extraordinary loss that crush us via adoption, too. We had been matched with a baby (prior to Lil Pumpkin) who wound up being very ill and died in care before anybody could bring her home and love her. It has indeed been like another death to us.

LIZ - I am so deeply sorry for your loss. Please feel free to get in touch with me if I can be a source of comfort or vent to you. You have been through far too much.

Road Blocks and Roller Coasters said...


I am so, so sorry for your loss. ((HUGS))

Sophie said...

I am so sorry. What a terrible loss, and without the "normal" support that's available after a more traditional loss. Your story touched me, and I hope you take a small comfort in knowing you aren't alone.

Mrs. Piggy said...

cant.even.imagine. :(

SM said...

Liz ~ my thoughts are with you and Todd and am so sorry for your loss. It is truly heartbreaking.

katie ~ thank you for doing memorial monday and thank you for featuring a story that isn't a "typical" loss.