What a wonderful story behind this custom keepsake. This sweet piece combines all the painful and intense memories of infertility, IUI, IVF, miscarriage, egg donation, and all the pain and depression and surgeries in between, which all ultimately led to the healthy and beautiful little boy that these parents are lovingly raising right now.
I will share a summary of the story this mama so generously shared with me. She chose to stay anonymous:
Mrs. D tells me that she met her husband “later in life,” when she thought she would never have a chance to be the one thing she always wanted to be: a mom. Soon after they got married, they tried to conceive, but due to their age, their chances of conceiving naturally were not very high. The next thing they could try was IUI. After at least 5 failed attempts, hearts a little more broken, and hopes a little lower after each attempt, their next option would be IVF, except that the cost was out of reach for them. Luckily, they were told that they qualified to an IVF clinical test, which would be less costly. They went for it, hoping it would work out. And it did!.. Their joy was overwhelming, until it was replaced with unbearable pain, when the embryo was lost after 8 weeks.
“I don’t really remember the car ride home but I do remember getting into the house and not even having the strength to undress myself. My husband managed to get me in my pajamas and tucked me into bed with a box of tissues by my side and I just cried and cried until I fell asleep. Not even wanting my husband by my side because somehow I felt it was my body who had failed us and could not bare to have him crying beside me. Other than my own mother, my husband was the one who found the strength to update our families. Unlike most, we had decided to tell our family the news of our pregnancy right away because, I, at the very least, wanted to experience THAT joy in my life… Even knowing that so much could go wrong.”
“That very night, [members of our family] called after hearing the news and wanted to express their sorrow. And while we couldn’t bare to think of such a thing at the time, it was those amazing angels on earth, that said that they wanted to pay for the next step… Egg donation.”
The price tag on this step was way too high for Mr. and Mrs. D to accept their offer, so they declined. But sometimes you really have to believe in angels and know that they can be real people that are in our life for a reason. 8 months after that initial offer, Mr. and Mrs. D humbly accepted. “To think that this was a barrier for us that had been removed. Who gets that chance?!?”
“It took several more months for everything to come together… So many more details to the story I could share… The waitlist for the right match, the first match literally coming through the day I’m in the hospital recovering from surgery and having to pass… Then again after the first surgery struck the lotto and I was amongst the 5% who had complications and had to have an additional surgery within days… Finally selecting a donor and then having her back out AFTER we had ordered and paid for her $5k worth of medications (thankfully she never even picked them up from the fertility specialist so we were able to save them)! OH so many details in between! Someday I need to type it all up… But we can jump to the fact that we FINALLY selected a donor that followed through, and surprise surprise we had our sweet [baby boy]! We were successful the first time!”
“This baby was so meant to be! The donor retrieval date was on my best friend’s daughter’s birthday, the embryo transfer was on my birthday, and the due date was on our wedding anniversary! And while it’s still painful and brings tears to our eyes, we are thankful for and celebrate that pregnancy we lost. Without it, we would not have our [boy]… And I can’t imagine having any other baby but him. He is my meant to be.”
This sailboat is for Mr. and Mrs. D’s sweet little boy, and the little boat behind it is for the angel baby that brought him to their family.
Mrs. D, your story touched me deeply, and I know it will touch many other hearts who went through the paths you had to take to have your baby and finally become a mom. I am thankful you shared it with me and that you let me share it, and so honored to create this piece for you as a reminder of your journey.