Monday, 1 November 2010

How I came to be an adoptive parent...PART 1

As it is the much publicised and much tweeted National Adoption Week, I thought I would dedicate a post of my occasional blog to my adoption experiences.

I have ever since I can remember wanted to be a Mum. I had a baby doll when I was small who was my pride and joy and I remember being age 7/8 years and being bothered by my lack of cousins (and therefore babies) as my extended family has never been close. When I was in my early teens through to university I made myself available for as much babysitting as possible and clung to people with babies and small children like a limpet. I was certainly keen. When I didn't mensturate until I was 16 my major concern was that if me periods didn't come it would mean no babies later on.

I met my husband when I was in my final year. I was instantly smitten (and still am), and the feeling must have been mutual because within 4 months we were engaged and married exactly 12 months later. As soon as we were married I wanted to start a family but agreed that we should wait a while and sort out our finances (as i had just graduated and needed a job) and decide where we would settle. However we didn't wait long because we decided to just leave it up to God and nature about 5 months after we were married. We don't like to hang around!!

However, hanging around is exactly what we did as month after month I would feel bereft about the monthly bleed which I so wanted when I was 16. What was once a sign of my fertility seemed to signal problems with just that. We went to the doctor after a year of trying for a baby. We had a few tests including an hystereosalpingogram for me, and we were diagnosed with a 5% chance of natural conception, and given notice of the 2 year waiting list for IVF then only allowed one attempt on NHS. The stinger for us really was that we would need to consider donor sperm for a more successful outcome.

It hit us like a brick, the baby I had dreamt about all my life would be unlikely to join our little family. My world went very dark for a about a year, and I was medicated for depression and encouraged to seek counselling. I couldn't face the counselling in the early days but I soon was given some perspective.

Our friends son was born alive at 20 weeks, and he lived for only an hour. We were shocked to the very core and could not imagine the pain of having a child and that child then dying. This put my misery into perspective. I then started counselling, which gave me the opportunity to grieve for the 'dream baby' .

We decided that we would prefer not to pursue IVF for the sake of my mental health and because we were uncomfortable with the idea of using donor sperm, we decided a child whom we adopted would not be biologically linked to either of us but adopted by both of us.  Therefore we looked into adoption.

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