While in our 20's and early 30's, Ed and I were busy building our careers. We enjoyed life as a couple who worked a lot, and played on weekends, so it was part of the plan that after a few years we wanted to start a family.
Lesson: Just because you decide you want something, sometimes "life" has different plans.
While we presumed it would be easy to become parents, we didn't know what we didn't know.
For the next few years, we just kept waiting--waiting for happy news-----that didn't come. Also during that time, it seemed that all around us, everyone was starting a family. My brother's families were expanding quickly, and while I was teaching school at the time, many of my adult students were expecting.
Time went on and months turned into years...
While it looked from the outside as if we had everything -- nice jobs, a nice house, nice cars...and each other, there was an underlying sense of sadness and emptiness that crept in..."If only...If only we could have a baby."
As a few years past, wanting children seemed to be the most important focus of our lives. During those years, it seemed as though babies were everywhere! --at the grocery store, at work, on walks...everywhere.
We went through the medical whirlwind of infertility. (You get to learn much more about reproduction than you ever wanted to know!) As you go through the medical quagmire, you feel helpless...and just sad. It's all a very private struggle and so, keeping up appearances was the order of the day. No one knew of our sadness. We did.
IVF GIFT (In-Vitro) was the option facing us. It's expensive with only average chances of working. Going through the first cycle, we allowed ourselves to be hopeful. Each day was a gradual build of excitement, which just made the disappointment harder when it didn't work.
We could only afford one more try....one more chance to have children through IVF. This time was different--we didn't allow ourselves to be hopeful. We also started to fill out adoption applications to start that process. (Not easy either!)
So the day came to find out if IVF worked. We were three days away from filing the adoption application, using the last of credit line of money on our credit cards. We had maxed out all of our credit cards, borrowed monies, through this entire process.
IVF worked. We welcomed Ella Mae Gannis into the world on February 8, 1995. What a joy she has been in our lives. I'm grateful to be her Mother.
Happy Mother's Day