I’m FINALLY a Mommy Now What? 3 Things No One Tells You about the Post-Infertility World

July 27, 2014 in Other by Stephen Gardner  |  No Comments

For those of us who’ve battled infertility, the journey to grow your family is an emotional roller coaster that stays with you forever. For me, it was a process with many different trial-and-error solutions. At one of my infertility tests, my doctor peered at me over the tops of his glasses and said, “Nicole, you have less than one half of a one percent chance of having a biological child.”

My husband and I still tried IVF (a complete failure!) until we decided to go an alternate route by using an egg donor. Through that process, we had two amazing children.

I quickly learned that having a baby did not cure infertility and that being a parent after going through infertility made various aspects of parenting very different. I experienced a lack of information, understanding and support.  From those experiences, I hatched the idea of Beyond Infertility (www.BeyondInfertility.com), an online magazine with expert contributors and a private forum to give those expecting or parenting after infertility a world of understanding and support about their journey.

For example, there are three big things no one told me about the post-infertility world:

1. The guilt you feel when you are exhausted or frustrated with your child.

Every parent feels complete exhaustion or extreme frustration with their child at times. I found myself experiencing guilt every time I had these completely normal feelings because of all the trials I went through to have my children.

 2. Difficulty in your various relationships.

I had trouble figuring out how to communicate with my infertile friends after having my children because they were still struggling to have theirs and didn’t really want to hear about my “success.” Likewise, I had issues connecting with “regular” parents since my infertility ghost was influencing my parenting decisions. Then there were the roadblocks with my family, trying to get them to understand how we were presenting our children’s story to them so that they would hear a consistent message.

 3. The comfort that you love your non-biological child the same way a biological mother loves hers.

One of my biggest fears about having children via donor egg was that I would not love them the same way if they were not biologically mine. I’m so embarrassed to even say that now, but it was true at the time.  As a parent after infertility, I now know that is absolutely not the case. There is no possible way I could love my children any more than I do now. Through good and bad, they are such a gift that makes the entire infertility journey worth it.

My goal with Beyond Infertility (www.BeyondInfertility.com) is to ensure that no one else feels as lost as I did. I want every parent after infertility to have that safe place they can go to and find all the answers and support they need.

We’re a Match – 3 Families Share Their Adoption Stories

June 16, 2014 in Other by Stephen Gardner  |  No Comments

Meet three families who chose open adoption (they keep in touch with the birth mother) and see how they make it work. Raising a Southern Gentleman For Katy Lawrence, a 19-year-old high school senior with an unplanned pregnancy, the hardest thing about giving her son up for adoption wasn’t handing him over to Monica and Rodney Rogers; it was the drive home from the hospital afterward. “Your arms feel empty,” she says. “It feels like a baby should be there, and it’s not.” Although she’d chosen the Rogers, a couple from South Carolina, to adopt her son, had met them several times, and had exchanged innumerable emails and calls, the day she gave birth, she didn’t know when her next communication with them would be. For about five days after the birth, the birth mother and adoptive parents kept in touch–at a distance. Monica and Rodney, stuck in their hotel until interstate adoption agencies approved their departure for home, were thrust into the demands of parenthood. Katy and her mother wanted to visit but were also concerned they’d alarm them. By California law, a birth mother has 30 days to change her mind. (A year earlier, the Rogers had lost a baby when the birth mother reclaimed her after six days.)

Read more at http://www.parents.com/parenting/adoption/stories/making-open-adoption-work/

The Superbowl of Adoption

February 4, 2013 in Domestic Adoption, Other by Stephen Gardner  |  No Comments

The Superbowl of Adoption

San Francisco 49ers quarterback  Colin Kaepernick is adopted, but you already know that because it’s been plastered all over the news in the weeks leading up to the big game.  I suppose no one had anything else to dig up on the Superbowl stars this year so Kaepernick got the brunt of it with “can you believe he’s never wanted to speak to his birth-mother ” We heard it all week, starting with Rick Reilly and ending with Kaepernick himself.

He’s adopted. He’s always known he was adopted and he is comfortable with that. As the story goes, his birth-mother and his parents have been in contact and Kaepernick has the opportunity to get in touch with her if he wants (and his birth-mother has been quoted as saying she would like to meet him).  He doesn’t want to. Maybe he’s scared. Maybe he’s scared he won’t live up to the hype surrounding him and she’ll be disappointed. Maybe he’s scared she’ll like him *too* much. Maybe he’s scared he’ll like her too much and that will be confusing. Either way, he’s an adult and for now, he’s made a choice not to have contact.

I say we leave him alone. I say we let it go that he’s adopted- I agree it’s awesome, half of my kids are adopted- but they are just kids, regular kids. Don’t judge him, don’t ostracize him, just let him play football.