Updated: Mar 15, 2019
My (now ex) husband and I thought and hoped we were done with all of the brain tumor problems and there wouldn't be any problems or complications beyond being on synthetic hormones. We were very wrong. The synthroid didn't seen to effect me, but without my brain sending signals for me to ovulate, I had no period. I was battling infertility three years into our marriage.
We tried four rounds of ovulation induction which included large and painful timed shots twice daily for about two weeks, then a trigger shot when the eggs were big enough. Twice we even tried IUI (intrauterine insemination). All treatments failed. And the cost of fertility treatments was so high, that four treatments were our limit.
For many of you that have been lucky enough not to go through all of this, fertility treatment isn't just shots and ultrasounds and being poked and prodded and being told when to have "relations" as our doc called it, but it was the pressure for it to work because this was our savings, then maxed credit cards and the tremendous despair when it failed. It was one of the mentally hardest things I've had to go through. As a women in my twenties, I felt that was part of my biology, what made me a women. Plus, all of my neuro surgeons and endocrinologists (hormone doctors) said it would be absolutely possible. We were absolutely crushed.
We grieved for many months before deciding it was time to move on. And moving on was extremely difficult. I would never be able carry a child, feel its tiny kicks, go through childbirth the way I wanted to, or breast feed skin to skin.
We still wanted to be parents, we had so much love to give. Foster care and adoption was our next thought, the next step. We knew that there were so many kids in foster care or worse, waiting for good homes. It made sense for us as my ex was adopted, I was infertile, he had awkward swimmers, and as a NICU nurse I had seen many babies go into the foster system.
Getting certified took multiple hours of parenting classes, child proofing to the max, and having our home inspected. Then we had to be interviewed. Every single aspect of our life was scrutinized. It was an intense process, but completely worth it.
It was a completely wonderful, but life changing experience. One day I was a daughter, sister, wife, and nurse. The next day I was handed a baby. A baby who I didnt know. How did she sleep, what should we feed her. How does she eat? (See that was the part of my NICU nursing brain) But, I was finally a mom, and could give her all of the love she needed, and that was all that mattered. Over a period of three years, we were blessed with three amazing foster kids. These babies/kiddos weren't really mine, but I love(d) them like they were(are).
It was one of the best times of my life, but it was also intense. Not only did we have the usual parenting duties, but also had multiple social workers, had to find a decent pediatrician that took medicaid, birth to three evaluations, and a child therapist. We also had to chart activities about the kids daily, any behaviors, injuries, and medicine.
We also had help, as is takes a village to raise a child. We were blessed with two loving social workers, four incredible day care workers, and the most amazing and fun babysitter who even had knowledge of the foster care system. I am so thankful for these women who loved, entertained, fixed hair, and ultimately found beautiful adoptive homes for the kids to grow and be loved.
All we went through, all of the failed treatments, classes, and those three kids shaped me into one loving being. I hope and pray everyday that not only will I meet those kids again, but that I will be healthy enough to become a foster mom to many more children to come.