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Our Journey

2002 Uterine Fibroid Surgery #1

2003 1st consult with an RE, you know, just in case

2003 Got Married (at 37 (me) & 34 (DH) years old)

2003/2004 Naturally conceived pregnancies BFPs #1, #2, & #3 and miscarriages #1, #2, #3

2005 Uterine Fibroid Surgery #2

2005 IVF #1, BFN #1

2005 IUIs #1 and #2, just because, BFN #2 & #3

2005 FET from IVF #1, BFN #4

2006 Exploratory surgery to remove scar tissue from fibroid sugery #2

2006 IVF #2 (w PGD), BFP #4

2006 Emergency cerclage for IC @ 16w6d (5 months + 1 week of complete bed rest at home ensues)

2007 Our son is born @ 38w by scheduled c-section

2007 IVF #3 for baby #2, BFN #5

2007 IVF #4, BFP #5, miscarriage #4

2008 IVF #5, BFP #6, miscarriage #5

2008 IVF #6, BFP #7, miscarriage #6

2008 DE IVF #7, BFN #6

2009 DEFET #8, cancelled, embryos don't thaw

2010 Decide to adopt domestically

12.17.10 Profile is live with our agency

November 2011 Consult with RE re: donated embryo cycle

Early January 2012 Cleared to proceed with deFET

January 2012 Freeze our profile

1.20.12 deFET begins
2.12.12 eSET of one compacted morula
2.22.12 BFN

3.23.12 deFET #2 begins
4.14.12 transfer 3 embryos (1-8 cell, 1-5 cell, 1-4 cell)
4.22.12 + HPT
4.24.12 Beta #1 = 48.4
4.26.12 Beta #2 = 125.7
4.30.12 Beta #3 = 777.8
5.11.12 1st U/S - Singleton!
7.12.12 It's a Boy!
12.26.12 C-section: Baby G is born, 9#5oz, 20.5"

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Hatched

As an adult adoptee who is now endeavoring to domestically adopt, I find myself thinking of my own adoption a lot. And, other than recent ponderings about extended family dynamics and my view of my own closed adoption vs. what will at least be a semi-open adoption for us now, most of my thoughts about my adoption narrative and how I view it have stayed the same. Meaning, no new revelations have come to light because of the introspection. It is a good thing that how I feel about my story remains steadfast.

Eight years ago, when I began to prepare to get pregnant, I had an appointment with my OB/GYN to make sure I was cleared to start trying but also to discuss his views on elective c-section. I had had a number of surgeries in my life and it was something that I felt comfortable with (vs. birthing a baby which was a completely foreign concept (more about why that was in a minute)). My doctor at the time was old school, from Ireland, and spoke in a deep Irish brogue. We were sitting in his office and I came right out and asked him how he felt if I elected to have a c-section (I wasn’t even sure at the time if I had the right to choose, but I figured I’d form the question in the positive and see how he reacted). His answer surprised me. He said, “It’s your body and your baby and you have every right to have it as you desire”. He went on to mention the risks and compared them to the risks of natural child birth but it felt like the issue was settled. I’d get pregnant and have an elective c-section.

It’s just that the universe is funny about plans sometimes. Who knew that all three of my naturally conceived pregnancies would miscarry and that I’d have to have two surgeries to remove the fibroids that were likely causing the miscarriages and that I’d then never conceive naturally again and would go on to have multiple rounds of IVF to finally get pregnant. But I digress. However, what is important about that string of events was that the two fibroid surgeries necessitated me having to have a c-section for safety purposes anyway. It seems that a uterus that has been cut into to remove disease is a delicate thing and likes to sometimes rupture if then required to contract to push a baby out. Go figure. Maybe the universe thought I was being cavalier in deciding to have a c-section before I’d even sustained a pregnancy and felt better if I had an actual reason for having one.

However, I DID have a reason for wanting a c-section and it was tied to my adoption. Even though I had known I was adopted all of my life, I had scant information about my birth parents and absolutely no information about my actual birth. So, while I was raised with the story about how my birth mother came here from another state to have me, no one ever shared any information about my birth. I, therefore, had absolutely no connection to my birth experience whatsoever. When I stopped to actually think about it, I felt instead like I had hatched, like I just came to be in this world. I completely underestimated the profound affect that not being tied to my own birth story had on me.

When one is raised with their birth story, one generally does not give it (being born) a second thought. As a child, it’s not uncommon to ask mommy to tell over and over the story of one’s birth; “tell me again, mommy, what you did when they placed me in your arms”. Since I had never been told any of the details surrounding my birth, I naturally never even asked the question. The idea of my life starting when I was placed in my adoptive mother’s arms was the beginning of my story. It was such a foreign concept for me to consider actually being born. I wasn’t even conscious of being disconnected from it.

I did go on to request and receive my non-identifying information from the agency that placed me. In it, my birth was described in detail. Of all the information provided in those documents, which included height/weight/ethnicity/occupation/health history of both my birth parents as well as fairly detailed information about aunts/uncles/grand parents, what made me cry the kind of tears that healing moments bring on and what had the most profound psychological affect on me, were the details of my birth. For 30+ years I had lived with the notion that I’d sort of hatched and just came to be and finally I had information that my birth mother carried me to term and birthed me vaginally and that I came out into the world like most newborns do. It connected me to myself and to this world in a way that nothing else before or since has, with the exception of the birth of my own son.

My scheduled c-section was flawless and my son’s birth was exactly as it was meant to be. It was preordained because of my own birth that he should have been born that way. It worked for me and was its own full circle moment. It would seem to others that perhaps I would have wanted a vaginal birth even more, but the truth is that I wanted one even less. Even though I had come to learn of my own birth, it didn’t erase the decades of disconnection from my birth experience. Even as I write this, knowing what I now know about both my own and now my son’s births, I have the same level of disconnection because it was never part of my adoption narrative. That is no one’s fault. I simply did not have the information until way into my adulthood.

So, while there may be many nuances to adoption and many degrees of openness, I encourage every mother, who has either birthed a baby or had one birthed for her, to share the details of her child’s birth with him/her because that story frames how they came into the world and connects them to their humanity. Unless you have been raised without that knowledge you simply cannot appreciate how profound it is to know.

‚ÄúSome people say they haven’t yet found themselves.
But the self is not something one finds; it is something one creates.”
~Thomas Szasz

11 comments to Hatched

  • […] what the information might reveal. Remember, heretofore I had an almost zero connection to being born and knew nothing of my birth parents, the reasons for being relinquished, or any information about […]

  • SusanG

    This is so interesting and I wanted to comment because although I am not adopted, I don’t know my birth story at all and I can’t say that I’ve ever really even thought about it much. I wrote my girls’ birth story for them shortly after they were born so that I would remember it all, and even as I was doing that, it didn’t occur to me to wonder about my own. I just thought I’d write to give you another perspective on it. Maybe I’m an anomaly? (Wouldn’t be the first time…) Maybe if I knew the story, or only knew parts, or if I could never know for whatever reason, maybe I’d have thought about it more.

  • This is such an interesting post. Thank you for sharing your experience.

  • I also want to thank you for sharing your story. What a unique perspective that many of us wouldn’t be exposed to. You described your feelings about it so well that I really felt like I was in your head walking around in your thoughts :) (not so sound weird…)

    -here from the Friday Round-up

  • Thank you for sharing your story and giving me something to think about.

  • Chickenpig

    Hello! I’m visiting from the blog roundup.

    This is a very interesting post. I too had a massive fibroid and had to have extensive surgery to have it removed. I was told that if I ever became pregnant (it was a big IF, since I had already undergone 2 rounds of IVF by this time due to my husband’s sperm being total crap) I would have to have a C section. At the time I was a little sad, but not terribly, the idea that I was ever going to actually have a biological child was already slipping away. Fast forward nearly 2 years, and I was pregnant with twins and rapidly approaching my scheduled C date, and I had to go in for an emergency C at 38 weeks. I felt totally disconnected from their birth. One minute I was pregnant, 15 mins later I was not. When I went into the hospital it was for a regular check up and NST, a rainy, warm November afternoon. When I came out I had two babies, it was December, and there was a blizzard. I should have been more mentally prepared, but I wasn’t. In my mind I had another week, I was going to go into the hospital and have SOME kind of birth experience. But no. I felt like I was taking home someone else’s babies, like the hospital staff was going to run after us as we walked out the door. So, if you want to feel like you’ve adopted your children and want to be connected to them that way, I agree with you 100%, a C section is the way to go. I can’t say that I recommend an emergency one, though.

  • […] vs. Birth Experience As a follow up to this post, I see a clear delineation between one’s delivery experience, which is specific to a mother, […]

  • Mel

    This is so incredibly powerful. I’ve been chewing on a post you wrote last week about being in the adoption world both as a potential adoptive parent and an adoptee. It’s just illuminating to read these insights. But even more, it’s how thoughtfully you approach them.

  • Sue

    Great post, gave me a few things to think about. Thanks.

  • Lovely post. Great quote.

    I’m sorry now that I haven’t written my children’s birth stories. I’m afraid a lot of details are blurred and lost to time. But I was just thinking today that … even though it was major surgery and somethings were unpleasant … I’d relive it anytime, many times if I could.

    I hadn’t thought much about how birth stories ground and define part of us. All I know of my story was that I was four weeks early … delivered by emergency c-section because of a placental abruption. That was told to me very matter-of-factly … my parents are a nurse (who did a lot of OB in her early career) and a biochemist, so medical details/language are so much routine and just sort of roll off the tounge. But at some point … maybe when I was pregnant myself … and I really thought about the possibility of abruption and what that kind of delivery must have been (trauma!) … wow. That I know of … no NICU even though I was premature — I was fine. I went home a week later with my mom (stays were longer then), no complications. But hey. What an entrance. My mother has never once mentioned being freaked out beforehand or anything emotional about the whole thing. Just that the anesthesiologist scraped the roof of her mouth badly (she was out for the emergency c) and it took a long time to heal.

    Interesting to think about.

    R, I’m so sorry you had such a bad experience. You don’t really get past the things that happen to us in those most vulnerable, defining moments.

  • R

    Interesting post. And one that has reminded me of a story I am loathe to tell my third son. My first two children were born without an major complications and we have a few cute bonus moments to go into the “birth story.” But my third son’s birth was the most horrible experience of my life. The on-call doctor was the problem. For weeks afterwards, I suffered from PTSD in particular moments that triggered a memory (and generally speaking, I’m a pretty tough cookie). I felt very violated by the doctor and cried through my son’s birth. I was overjoyed to meet him, but I couldn’t emotionally get past what had happened. And then within a few weeks, I suffered a life threatening hemorrhage that ended my fertility (not that I intended to have more, but it was still emotionally painful). Many doctors encouraged me to sue the one that delivered my child b/c of her behavior and her errors. But I just couldn’t bring myself to relive what happened. I don’t know how or what I will tell my son about his birth. I never want him to feel guilty. Even writing this makes me so, so sad.

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