Monday, May 9, 2011

Waiting is the Hardest Part

I'm sure that by this point in a pregnancy the vast majority of women are just sick of waiting for their babies to arrive, and that they are sick and tired of all the physical challenges late pregnancy brings. That's certainly the way I feel, and from the things I've read on the pregnancy message board I belong to, I'm in good company.

But, in addition to that, I've been waiting for this baby for about twenty years. All I ever wanted was to be married and have a family. But my twenties went by, and that did not happen. Then my thirties went by, and that did not happen. I watched my friends marry and start families, and I felt like life was passing me by.

By late summer or early fall of 2005, I was done waiting. Michael was in my life, and I knew he loved me, but I didn't see him committing to me anytime soon. I figured I could get married at any point in life, but that if I wanted to have children I'd better start thinking about that because I was already thirty-seven. It didn't take too long for me to decide that adoption was my best choice, and I chose to adopt from China.

My paperchase began in early 2006, just as I began my masters program. I was incredibly busy! My decision caused Michael to tell me that he was reevaluating his life, and that he thought he would like to do this "family thing" with me. I was overjoyed at that prospect! As we talked more about it, we had a loose plan that I'd complete the adoption, then we'd get married and he'd adopt my daughter, and we'd add to our family with biological children or more adopted children.

Then he drug his feet for eighteen months. Unsure of what to do. Unsure of what he really wanted. Pretty soon it was all we talked about and it was a huge bone of contention between us.

As I completed the paperchase, the wait for China grew and grew. When I first decided to adopt, the wait was just about eight months long, but by the time my paperwork landed in China, the wait was now about a year long and growing. Just to put things in perspective, I'd still be waiting if I hadn't forfeited the adoption to marry Michael. However, I did forfeit the adoption in September of 2007, just a couple of months before our wedding.

We began working with a reproductive endocrinologist two weeks before our wedding, and did our first IUI a month after we were married. The first eighteen months of our marriage would see us do four more IUIs and an IVF before learning that Michael had stage IV kidney cancer. Then all attempts to get pregnant were put on hold. All that mattered at that point was Michael's health. We still wanted a family together, but it just wasn't our number one priority.

After his passing, I had two frozen embryos and Michael's frozen sperm from our IVF. The frozen embryo transfer didn't work, and although I didn't think I was up for doing another IVF without my husband's emotional and physical support, I did it anyway. This pregnancy is the result of that huge emotional and financial risk.

So, waiting for me has been a lot more than just nine or ten months. It's been about half my lifetime. I have known hope deferred and it has made my heart sick, but anytime now I will finally hold my precious child in my arms and have a lifelong dream fulfilled.


  1. Tom Petty had it right!

    My word verification for this comment was 'mical'.

  2. I always liked that song, Victoria, and that's the perfect word verification! :)

  3. After all the ups and downs you've had in your life over just the last few years, it sure seems like a lifetime ago.

    But I'm so happy that you have finally arrived at this point ...just days away from meeting your baby girl. Lots of love and wishes for a safe and healthy birth.

  4. Tears over here. Any moment your lifes dream will show her face.

  5. Oh, friend. What a long time to what! She is the most wanted little girl...what a story you will have to tell her about how she grew in your heart for 20 years!

  6. OK and my word verification for the above post was growse! LOL.

  7. Such a journey it has been I'm so excited for you to become a mom

  8. Dear Joannah,
    You are an amazing woman and You deserve to be a Mom after so much hardship. You give me hope and help me believe anything is possible. Pretty soon You will be holding Your precious Baby girl and all pain and sadness will be overshadowed by happiness. I wish You that from the bottom of my heart!
    Hugs and lots of strength in the last days of Your pregnancy
    Ania (from Poland)

  9. Joannah-- I hope that you have a onesie that says "I was worth the wait"-- another on of my friends who has been on this journey for a very long got that for her daughter to come home from the hospital in.

    She will be here so soon, and I pray that it's after an easy labor and that your doula helps you have the best possible birth.

  10. you are at the finish line ....whoohooo!!!!!!!!!!

  11. You story always inspires me. I wish you nothing but happiness from this day forward!

    Our Blog: Double Happiness!

  12. Soooo happy for you Joannah!!!

  13. You are in such an exciting place - the very, very, very end of a long winding journey. Any day now, a new chapter of your life will begin and I hope and pray that you will find nothing but joy.

  14. I linked to this post on my blog about 2011 posts that moved me... FYI. Have a good 2012.


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! Reading your comments is one of the rewarding aspects of blogging.