Where to start? Well my husband and I had been trying for years to complete our family. I have a condition called PCOS, poly-cystic ovarian syndrome and my husband has some sperm malfunctions as well. I had gone through multiple cycles of clomid then IUIs and 4 of those cycles ended in miscarriages at around 5 weeks. We decided to move on to IVF. It took months to get things “just right” for a cycle and a retrieval. Due to my PCOS I produced so many eggs it was very physically painful and after the retrieval I experienced a condition called OHSS but I still was able to transfer two fresh embryos. I became pregnant with twins but at my first ultrasound only one baby was viable. I had a very difficult and high risk pregnancy due to a SCH and placenta previa. What a blessing it was when our first miracle was born healthy!
We had 4 frozen embryos left over and when our son was a little over 2 we decided to try for another child. It took a while to get my body ready and after a couple cancelled cycles we finally were able to do a transfer. Unfortunately 2 of our 4 embryos did not survive the thaw so all we had to transfer were the remaining 2. I was blessed to become pregnant with one! At 17 weeks we went to a regular ultrasound and were given the gut wrenching news our baby no longer had a heartbeat. It felt like my world had literally stopped. I had to go to the hospital to have our baby and when our precious baby came out I started to hemorrhage. I felt like my life was literally leaving my body and I was ok with that, I didn’t want to live without my baby. The doctors and nurses valiantly saved my life but I was in a dark place for so long after that.
A few months later I saw Dr. Bailey to talk about what we could do. I was so scared to do another full cycle bc of how incredibly painful and difficult it had been plus my husband and I were a lot older then we were when we had done our 1st cycle so the health risk to any future baby was a lot higher now. Dr. Bailey said there was another alternative if we were open to it. We could potentially adopt an embryo that had been donated to the clinic! The baby wouldn’t genetically be related to us but I could carry the baby, give birth and breastfeed and raise the baby. It took us a while to wrap our heads around it since it was such a amazing opportunity. We got on the waiting list, we went to a therapist to help us deal with the loss of our child and help us decide if embryo adoption was really what we wanted. When the call finally came 6 or 7 months later we knew we wanted to give this a try as we felt our family was incomplete.
It took a few cycles to get everything just right to give us the best possible chance of success. We did the transfer March 20th 2019, just a little over a month before the anniversary of the loss of our baby. May seem fast to some but to me it felt like a lifetime. I found out 2 weeks later I was pregnant! I was scared/terrified the majority of my pregnancy. I recieved excellent care from Dr. Bailey and her team and was released to my own OBGYN and had a relatively easy pregnancy compared to my others except my anxiety was through the roof due to my fears of losing again.
Ellianna was born in November that year and she has blessed my heart and healed my spirit in ways that words just cannot even begin to express. She did not replace my lost child but she did heal the gaping wound left by the loss.
I want to thank the donor family who selflessly gave their embryos a chance to live. They choose life for their 6 “extra embryos” but they did so much more than that. They gave me the greatest blessing, besides my salvation, that anyone has ever given me. They gave me a beautiful, healthy, smart and wonderful gift I named Ellianna. Her name means “God has answered”. He answered my pleas and need for a baby with her and her donor family made it possible with their compassionate and selfless sacrifice to complete strangers. I still marvel at the miraculous gift I hold and kiss and love everyday, she is only here because science, kindness and God all came together and made it happen.
She is my rainbow after a terrible storm that threatened to take my life and destroy our family. She gave me hope and the will to live again and live well. She didn’t replace my child who is in Heaven waiting for me but she did help heal my broken and battered heart. I am blessed beyond measure to be her mommy and she will be loved like the precious miracle she is. Thank you for letting me share our story. I hope our story blesses you and gives you some insight into what it is like to be a recipient of the greatest gift anyone could ever give. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. She is perfect.