Grieving A Bio Child

As I sit here writing, my house is filled with baby items from friends and freecycle. All I need is a baby. At least now I have hope—I’m on an adoption waiting list. But what a long journey it has been…

I became a thinker and joined Single Mothers by Choice (SMC) at age 39. People encouraged me to move forward, but I was stuck. I wanted a husband, then kids—the traditional family. At 40, I met someone I hoped could be Mr. Right, who turned out to be Mr. Autonomy Issues. At 41, I broke it off. I was devastated. I went into a depression, sought counseling and was stuck—I wanted biological kids, but I also wanted a traditional family. I kept thinking.

Looking back, I see how uneducated I was about fertility for women in their 40s. Despite the many women in the news having children well into their 40s, I didn’t know these women used donor eggs—not their own. So, with my eggs growing older by the day, I continued thinking.

Finally at 42 (and 10 months), I made what I thought was the most difficult decision of my life—to try to conceive on my own. I passed fertility tests with flying colors, but after seven tries—IUIs and IVFs—I had low egg quantity/quality. I had another difficult decision to make: Should I keep trying with my eggs? I had to think about finances, my age (43 and a half) and my desire to be a mom—how would I feel if I found myself six months later, age 44, still not pregnant?

I went to the counselor and grieved and grieved. All my dreams down the drain—my desire for a husband with three biological kids. All those years of envisioning my children, who they would take after—my mom, my sister, my brother? My connection to my heritage. It was one of my darkest hours.

But my desire to be a mom pushed me forward. I weighed donor egg vs. adoption. Donor egg seemed like an easier route. I picked a donor and did my first cycle at 44. Cut to me a year and a half later—three miscarriages and an inability to carry to term due to an immune issue. The first two miscarriages were devastating. By the third, I’d selected an adoption agency and knew if the pregnancy didn’t take, I’d immediately move on.

Last July, after learning my final pregnancy wasn’t viable, but before the actual miscarriage, I contact the adoption agency. They were enthusiastic at a time I needed enthusiasm. I was exhausted—2.5 years of fertility treatments, disappointments, miscarriages, poking/prodding and money out the door—all for nothing.

I did my home study and got on the waiting list in September 2009. I’m excited about adopting. With adoption I will be a mom. With fertility treatments, it was a crapshoot. Moving to adoption was a relief—no more needles, doctor appointments, miscarriages, disappointments, hormones. I could live my life more normally while I waited, although I have moments of grief that sneak up on me.

I try not to be bitter. Everyone has her own journey. I just never thought I’d have such a long road to motherhood. I believe God has a plan for me, even if I can’t see it. I date, trying to find someone to share my life with and be a father to my children. I keep busy while I wait for my match. I’m now 46 and, although I sometimes can’t believe it, this circuitous route to motherhood is my story.

Leslie C


10 thoughts on “Grieving A Bio Child”

  1. Dear Leslie,

    What I will tell you might come as a surprise and forgive me for putting it in these terms:I consider you so lucky that you did not complete your egg donor IVF cycle!

    We were ‘successful’ in doing so and today I only have issues and also regrets.

    Here is my personal story:

    And you might want to read these stories too. They might help you feel differently about egg donation and IVF:



  2. I wish I could get to know you Leslie C. and many more women like you. Your story was the same as my own life. I found myself thirty then forty and now 44 approaching 45 still single. I always wanted to meet the right man but it never happened. When I was 37 I met a man who was divorced and said he wanted to remarry and become a father. The first year of our relationship I felt excited and full of hope. All of my medical tests showed I was still able to get pregnant. Well as the year and then years went by he could not marry me. He said he was scared to get married. I guess he also did not care if he ever had children. When I turned 39 I went to a fertility clinic and decided to get pregnant with donor sperm. After several attempts they finally did a test a realized I had a polyp in my cervix which needed to be removed or I could not become pregnant. I had already wasted lots of money. After the surgery I continued to try until my doctor finally did a test and told me I was in periomenopause and could not use my own eggs. I was 40 and devastated. I took some time a decided to use the donor eggs he suggested. I had to go to a counseling session where the therapist let me know that this child would not be my biological child and I would have to How I got pregnant. She made me feel awful about myself. She made me feel like I was a loser for never meeting anyone and getting married. She acted like anyone could get married and have kids. Anyway, I did get pregnant with the donor egg and donor sperm. I went for my first ultrasound and the baby had no heartbeat. They let me do two more and then told me to stop drugs and I would have a miscarriage. I have never felt so much emotional/physical pain in my life. I am approaching 45 and I might try the donor egg/donor sperm/embryo again. MY neice who is married will have a baby girl in April. I love my niece so much but I have had to stay away so she does not see my pain. Only my mother knows about the donor embryo and my miscarriage. I have five nieces and four nephews and they are Christians like myself. They believe you are to marry and have a family. They do not understand or respect me. They used to look up to me when they were little. Now I am a failure to them. The worst thing is I have been a nanny since I left college when I was twenty. I do not want to be a nanny anymore. The last three women I worked for became pregnant in their 40’s with their own eggs and had a child.

  3. I just did my first IUI with fertility drugs as I found out my FSH level is high. I did menopur and HSG and now am awaiting the blood draw. I have heard so many stories about women that try IUI and IVF and so much money and time. I am 36 and single. I just went to an adoption seminar and I am also looking at Adoption Agencies that are pro-single parent.

  4. As a child who was but up for adoption at birth I can honestly tell you that it is the real deal! I met my birth mother last year when I was 43 and even though it was nice to finally meet her, it didn’t make me feel complete or whole. I grew up feeling complete and whole with the family that raised me.

    I was fortunate enough to have conceived my child through donor IUI on the 6th attempt but if that didn’t work (the sixth attempt was going to be my last) I was planning to move on to adoption. You have a wonderful heart and it deserves to be shared!

  5. Leslie,
    Thanks for sharing your story. No one ever talked to me about having children or learning how to pick out a healthy male. After settling when I was young, I refuse to do that again. I ended a relationship at 41 and have been in a horrible depression. I’ve thought about trying artificial insemination but am afraid of doing it by myself. You give me encouragement to maybe try. I’ve never even tried to get pregnant in my entire life.
    I think adoption can be just as beautiful. So many children need mom’s. I pray that it works out really well for you. I have a feeling it is what I will do. I’m 42 now. Sending warm thoughts.

  6. Wow I wish you the best on your journey. I am beginning my IVF with a Donor Egg now. I’m curious about immune issues now.
    I hope that your adoption experience is great.

  7. One of the things that has come out of this journey is that I can share my story and educate younger women who may think they have years left of fertility and encourage them not to wait –to get started. The longer you wait, the less likely it is that you’ll be able to have a biological child and it’ll be more likely that it’ll take longer to become a mom through any method, you’ll have fertility problems and it’ll cost more – whether with your own eggs, donor eggs or adoption.

  8. Best of luck. I started trying to have a baby at 37, after 14 failed attempts at IUI and IVF, I turned to adoption. I decided to work with a lawyer and proceed with a domestic adoption. I started wortking with a lawyer in October of 2007, I took custody of my duagther four days after she was born in August of 2008. I am not a religous person, but the country song Unanswered Prayers means a lot to me. I know my adoption journey was not typical and I feel blessed everyday that it worked out so perfectly. I had a failed second adoption attempt a year ago, which only makes me appreciate my daughter even more. Keep your spirits up.

  9. I know the darkness. I went menopausal at the ripe old age of 32 — when women in my family typically go menopausal at 65. Single, childless, no longer a woman in my own eyes, no hope of ever even having another significant other (facing a half of a century alone and useless), much less a husband OR biological children… I felt that I had nothing left to live for. I found a way to go forward, and I pray that your journey is successful.

  10. Wow! I could have written this myself. I started trying to have a child on my own at 41. I had no clue about my fertility because I was actually going to wait until I was 42 to start trying. After 4 IUIs I got pregnant with my own eggs only to miscarry at 8 weeks. I moved on to IVF. After 3 cycles with my own eggs I failed to get pregnant at all. I started researching adoption and planned to go that route. I was devastated over the thought of not carrying a child. I moved on to donor eggs. After my 1st cycle with donor eggs I got pregnant and miscarried at 8 weeks. I had no idea that I had any other issues but old eggs. It turns out I have immune issues.

    I am now officially an adoptive parent in waiting. I completed my homestudy at the end of March.

    I know I will be a mom but the journey has been long and hard.

    Thank you for sharing your story.

    We are not alone.

    Oh and I am dating and still looking for “my man”.

    Best of luck! And I hope you post when you baby comes home.

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