“Adopting a child is never a second choice, it’s just a choice. It doesn’t matter in what order you have this epiphany, I just hope you have it because it really is beautiful. “
So when did I have mine? What was my; ‘moment of sudden and great revelation or realization’? I can’t pinpoint it entirely to one specific moment, but the day we were politely escorted into that blindingly bright, white room (you know the one that feels like you’ve stepped onto a commercial set while being asked what date your last period was) to listen to the intricate details of what our infertility treatment would involve comes to mind.
When the price list pamphlet was delicately but most definitely slid across the table along with the words “womb scrape, general anaesthetic, and egg collection,” that was the start of my epiphany.
In my heart of hearts, I thought about adoption right there and then. I knew how potentially dangerous fertility treatments could be for my state of mind and my marriage. I knew once we pulled that trigger, once we stepped onto the fertility merry-go-round we would struggle to get off of it. Those are the type of people we are. If we want something we will go hammer and nail until we get it.
We stepped right on. Destination, five years of heartbreak.
We didn’t want to feel like we didn’t fight. We stepped right on because, if we hadn’t, when I looked at my husband I would naturally wonder how our child might look. Would they have my hair, his eyes? Or his teeth with my jaw. These days I’m thankful this didn’t work out, not just because I never would have met my beautiful so, but If you’ve seen my husband’s walrus teeth and my ant jaw, you’d understand.
Five years, two womb scrapes, a miscarriage, £25,000, and half a head of hair late, and I was ready to stop.
My final epiphany moment; the morning we arrived at the fertility clinic for our embryo transfer, only to be told that we had just one low-grade blastocyst to transfer (from a potential nine). My husband was sat on a chair beside my bed with his shades on (big-time gangster). Except, big-time gangsters don’t utilize their shades to disguise the tears they have streaming down their faces, do they? I couldn’t move. I couldn’t find the strength to move across the bed to even reach my hand out to him. I knew it was over; we both knew. Our previous high-grade blastocysts had failed, so we didn’t pin much hope on this little fella.
I sat on the bed, lay back, watched the 5-day old blastocyst on the screen, and then my heart, soul, and mind broke. I sobbed; I was inconsolable. Our doctor turned to my husband and said, “I think we should do this another day.”
“I can’t do any more days, I need this to be over.” As they transferred our blastocyst we both cried because we knew; we just knew. Someone who hasn’t lived this life would probably say ‘how pessimistic’ or ” it’s not over until it’s over.” But then again, it’s likely they’re from the “have you tried relaxing and then doing a headstand while eating pineapple?” mob.
THE. WORST. KIND. OF. MOB.
Let’s just get one thing straight. It’s not a crime to want a biological child. To lay everything on the line. It should be the most natural thing in the world, right? You go out, have a couple of glasses of wine, stagger home, and bobs your uncle.
For some of us, there’s a strict no vino policy, no staggering home, and no Bobs. After taking a very long time to grieve for the life I thought I would have, I was ready to pick up the phone and start the adoption process. It was the most rewarding phone call I’ve ever made.
It doesn’t matter how you find yourself at the door to adoption. Having tried naturally, through fertility treatment, having a biological child first, or simply because you always knew you would. None of it matters; it certainly doesn’t make it a second choice.
Nemo, I had to fight to get to you and you to me.
It was the greatest battle I ever won.
@notafictionalmum is a mother, wife, adoption, and infertility blogger, inclusive shop owner, and self-confessed perfectionist. Her journey to parenthood was, ironically, anything less than perfect. She writes to stand with all of the warriors still fighting their battles, to raise awareness, and to offer honest insight for those who don’t have the strength to do this themselves right now. She stands with every woman who has chosen to get up and face another day while silently fighting to become a mother.
Published piece for https://thefertilitytribe.com/ ‘ Redefining fertility together’