We started like a lot of couples, excited and hopeful to start our family after getting married in 2013. We were full of plans and “when’s”. (“When we get pregnant… when we have our baby…) After the first few months of trying, we started bringing in the big guns. The OPKs, tracking my cycle, and timing everything out like it was my day job. Then, month after month, the pregnancy test would show one line and my period would come, leaving us feeling defeated. I knew that something wasn’t right and so I followed my gut right into my doctor’s office after only 6 months of our journey. My doctor tried to turn me away with the classic “most couples can take up to a year to conceive”, but I pushed for testing and waited. I waited for the phone call that brought me to my knees… the first of many. My testing came back “normal” (whatever that means), but Caleb’s came back with sever Male Factor Infertility. His sperm count was low, motility was low and morphology was at 0% normal. All of our fears were confirmed, becoming parents was not going to look the way we had hoped. This was when we decided to start our YouTube channel in the hopes of documenting our journey and helping others on theirs.
After being referred to the fertility clinic and being waitlisted, we finally got in to see our fertility specialist who recommended we try IVF with ICSI. As terrified as we were, we jumped in head first thinking that something as intense and costly as IVF would be the automatic answer to our hopes. Boy, were we wrong. We poured ourselves into the process, but were left with nothing. Our two transferred embryos didn’t result in a pregnancy and we had nothing left for freezing. It felt like our world had come crumbling down and we grieved for a long time.
The next years were messy. They were filled with constant decision making and trying to save money for other treatments and doing more tests and IUIs and donor sperm and then… endometriosis. One day, I went into the emergency room with excruciating pain and left without my appendix. But, I did leave with a diagnosis of stage three endometriosis and a plan to come back three months later to remove my right ovary. Hearing the words “you will lose your ovary” devastated me like no other words ever had. But, I had already been through so much thus far and so I accepted my fate and moved forward. After my second surgery, we did another round of IVF. Only this time we used donor sperm. Many, many, appointments and needles later… we found ourselves in a similar situation as our last IVF round. We had two 3-day embryos, low-quality and not much hope for our remaining embryos to make it to freeze. We were, again, devastated and continued on with the plan. Our pregnancy test came back negative and our hearts were broken once more. However, 3 little fighter embryos made it to freeze and filled us with so much hope once again.
We transferred those 3 frozen embryos in November 2016. This was the month that we finally saw a positive pregnant test, and it was also the month that we had to tell our families that we lost the baby. That loss will always be one of the hardest things that we have ever gone through and we think about it often. After our heartbreak, we decided to follow our hearts into the world of adoption. We went through the whole domestic adoption process (which is lengthy) and were excited to be placed onto the waiting list as hopeful adoptive parents. Time went by so slowly without any movement for us on the list and we felt defeated, once again. Until, one day we received a very long email from a couple that had been following along our journey. To make a very long and beautiful story short, this wonderful couple wanted to donate their three remaining embryos to us. They had built their family and felt called to give their embryos a chance at life – a chance at life with us.
After months of talking back and forth, we made plans. We made plans to bring in lawyers and draft agreements and start the frozen embryo transfer with our donated embryos. This was the first time that we felt like things were finally right. The connection between us and our donors was undeniable and the feeling of love that surrounded these embryos was immense. We transferred one beautiful embryo in July 2018, we found out that we were pregnant a couple of weeks later and delivered our precious baby girl on March 26th, 2019. The journey to Nova was long and winding, and it was so full of downs that we lost hope so many times. But, we always knew, deep in our hearts, that we were meant to be parents and so we kept navigating our wild road. Fast forward to today, we now have two beautiful daughters from the incredible process of embryo adoption. We are incredibly blessed and feel grateful every single day to be living out our dream.