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Letters From Listeners

Infertility
08/21/2013

Dr. Laura,

Thank you for your video "I'm Infertile". I have read so much over the 7 years of attempted baby making. This included lots and lots of people's blogs. There are two things I think are important to communicate to someone going down this road, and I thought you might be interested, as I am sure you get these types of calls a lot.

IVF: the cost is not just monetary. After a failed IVF, the grief and loss of your babies is devastating. We've had seven, and received a photo of three of them. The blogs address it as "Oh, it didn't work, I'll try again." But the reality is that was a life, and it's gone. It was YEARS before I could talk about our lost babies without sobbing. Even now I'm tearing up more than 3 years later. I have their framed photos hidden behind a cabinet door in my office next to a teddy bear. I had no one to bury. That is my attempt at dealing with the pain. I wish I had known this going in. I wish someone on some blog had admitted it. I wish my "I WANT A BABY!!" brain would have considered it.

Fostering: Is hard, and painful, and beautiful, and worth it. You'll wonder why God is punishing you at the same time as you're aware that this is the most important thing you could possibly do with your life. We are foster parents to a 3-year-old girl (soon-to-be-adoptive parents, God willing), and adoptive parents of her 4-year-old sister also through foster care. When they moved in about a year ago, they didn't trust us. They had every right...this was the older sister's third foster home through no action of her own. She SHOULD test us. And she did. We set about proving that she could trust us.

But we never would have survived the first weeks without EmpoweredToConnect.org  and the teaching Dr. Purvis provides. What do you do when your 3-year-old throws herself on the floor, stiff limbed in a very real memory provoked tantrum? Or when she flips over furniture out of a pain induced fit? Thanks to the year we spent studying BEFORE becoming foster parents, we were ready. We still felt lost, but we were as ready as we could be.

Finally, get a family therapist when you start fostering. Someone you and your spouse can run questions by when you're lost. It will minimize "He wants to do it this way but she wants it this way" parenting disputes. Because when dealing with a child from a hard place, there's just no room for disconnect from your teammate, your spouse, the one you're in this with forever. Also, when a crazy situation comes up and it will, this is the foster system you have someone to ask. For us it was "how do we explain that the older sister is being adopted while the younger has to wait?"

I hope this helps someone.

A.
Tags: Adoption, Baby, Death of a child, Grief, IVF, Mental Health, Motherhood-Fatherhood, Parenting, Pregnancy, Stay-at-Home Mom, Therapist
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