NIAW 2016, Liz’ Story: Snowflake Babies
The ghost of a red-haired child (From a blog post Jan 2013)
Long before we knew we would deal with infertility, my Mom would frequently talk about what she thought our children would look like. She always guessed we’d have a child with red hair because of my fair complexion, the freckles I had as a child, and my husband’s strawberry-blonde hair. My mom’s sister had red hair, but no one else in our family did, so I was skeptical. But it always stuck in the back of my mind.
One day while I was waiting to catch a flight at the airport, I saw a young husband and wife who each looked uncannily like me and my husband. The wife was holding their baby on her lap but from where I was sitting, I couldn’t get a good look at him/her. I thought to myself “Here is a good test to see what our child will look like!” I got up to casually walk by and check and sure enough this beautiful little newborn had red hair.
After that, I figured our babies would have firey-red hair. This was always the visual picture I had painted in my mind of our child from that point forward. But as we moved along through the painful infertility process, that visual picture became blurrier and blurrier. Until finally I had to completely emotionally bury our red-haired little child. That red-haired child is now just a ghost.
An interesting realization occurred for me when I got the call last week announcing that we had a 10k IVF insurance benefit available to us. As soon as she said “IVF benefit” my immediate thought was “This means I would have to attempt IVF again.”
And my stomach dropped. I felt sick. I didn’t want to go through IVF again! NO! And it wasn’t because of the rollercoaster of emotions involved, it wasn’t because my eggs suck and it probably wouldn’t work anyway, or the doctor’s appointments, or the injections.
I realized it was because that would mean I’d have to bring that grieved child back from the dead – the child I had already buried and mourned. It felt wrong, it felt off. But more importantly, our children are already here.
Our children are frozen in a tank in San Antonio. They have big smiles and beautiful eyes. I love them more than anything.
And one of the most remarkable things about these babies is that they came with an incredible relationship with our donor and her family. This is a blessing I can’t even put into words. Our children will have another family that will love them too. I wouldn’t trade that for the world.
Of course we certainly aren’t out of the woods yet, and won’t feel that way until we have our baby(ies) in our arms. But I feel like we are finally being shown the reason as to why we had to endure the devastating sadness, despair and pain. It makes sense why we had to travel the dark path we’ve been on that led us to these babies.