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Adoption Blog: My Paperwork Pregnancies

No Longer Hoping for a Miracle Pregnancy

Mothers who come to adoption by way of infertility may secretly think, in the back of their minds, that they could have a surprise pregnancy. It's not that we aren't happy with our choice of adoption, but it's natural for a woman to feel the desire to be pregnant and give birth. My infertility stems from my body's inability to release an egg. If you don't ovulate, the odds of conceiving naturally are zero.


Ten years ago, when I did IVF, my percentage of success was an unheard of 80 percent and I did become pregnant. After I miscarried, we quickly began our adoption journey and never reentered the world of fertility treatments. I now have three amazing children through domestic adoption and love being their mother.


Over the years, I've taken medicine a few times a year to induce a period, in order to shed my uterine lining. Otherwise, I'd be at a very high risk of cancer. There were a few times when I thought I had ovulated naturally, and I excitedly held onto the possibility that I could get pregnant. But that's not how my body works. The only time my eggs have met my husband's sperm was in the lab of the IVF center.


For the past year, the medicine I was taking to induce periods began to cause migraines (another medical affliction of mine). I worked with my doctor, trying different medicines, to no avail. One of my final options was to get an IUD inserted, which would thin my uterine lining. I was shocked at how upset I got at the thought of permanent birth control. I haven't ovulated on my own since I was a teenager, but I hesitated over getting an IUD because it would rule out the slight to zero percent chance I may ovulate.


Guilt overwhelmed me as I looked at my three beautiful children. I have never regretted choosing adoption over continuing with fertility treatments. So why was my heart breaking over the idea of ending any chance of pregnancy?


I had to remind myself that the reason for the IUD was to keep me healthy. If I didn't do anything to affect my uterine lining, then, odds are, I'd develop cancer. What kind of mother would I be if I didn't preserve my health? I want to be around to see my children grow up and their children grow up.


I proceeded to get the IUD inserted. Unfortunately, my body did not like it very much. I had gotten the IUD because I want to be around to be around for my kids, but I was having such horrible side effects that I couldn't be involved in their lives. I cried a lot and beat myself up emotionally. I relived a lot of the anger I’d felt during my fertility treatments, anger toward my body for not working like a normal woman’s. I loved my kids and missed being with them because of all the problems my "lady parts” caused. I got angrier and angrier at my body, my life, and this situation.


I had the IUD removed within five weeks, and it was a freeing feeling. I got back to my role as mother. Unfortunately, the only option left was a hysterectomy. I had known this before I got the IUD. I tried not to think much about it, because it also meant the finality of any chance I had of becoming pregnant.


After the complications caused by the IUD, however, I surprised myself by being OK with the hysterectomy. I knew that I no longer had the desire for a miracle pregnancy. I only had the desire to be an involved mother to my children.


I faced a similar clarity of mind after my miscarriage, when I realized that I no longer wanted to become pregnant -- I only wanted to become a parent. That realization fueled my fire to begin my adoption journey. Now I've realized that I no longer want to become pregnant -- I only want to be the best mother I can be to my children.


My surgery is tomorrow, and I am an emotional mess. Is it because I think I'll be less of a woman without my uterus? No. Is it because now I'll never experience a successful pregnancy? No. I am a mess because I know that, during my lengthy recovery, I won't be able to do stuff with my children. I know they'll be well cared for by my husband and visiting family members. Still, I won't be the one sending them off to school, playing soccer with them, or carrying them to bed for quite awhile. I have to keep reminding myself that it's only for a short time and that the alternative, cervical or uterine cancer, is not worth the risk.


I've talked to my children about my surgery and why I'm having it done. They didn't say much at the time, so I was unsure whether they understood everything. However, the other day, out of the blue, my nine-year-old son said, "Mom, I hope this isn't rude to say, but I'm really glad your stomach doesn't work like other women's. Because if it did, then you would never have adopted us, and I really love our family."


I couldn't have said it better myself.

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Great blog. And what a sweet and thoughtful boy you are raising! I will be thinking of you tomorrow.

By yesimln on Monday, April 09, 2012 at 6:35 pm.

Danielle, I completely understand what you are going through. I recently had to start taking birth control for the first time in a decade to control my endometriosis. I cried and cried at first for the same reasons. I will have to have a hysterectomy in a few more years for the same reasons. Your post was like you being inside my head with the guilt and the dismay. You will get through this with the same strength that you had to get through this whole journey of infertility. Except this time, unlike the IVF, you will have your sweet children to remind you an empty womb is not the end of the story. Many thoughts going your way tomorrow!

By Gaby on Monday, April 09, 2012 at 8:06 pm.

I too longed for a miracle pregnancy until the time I entered menopause.  I don’t know if I can completely explain why because I wouldn’t have changed anything about my decision to adopt the two children I adopted.  But, there was a part of me that longed to experience conception, pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding - everything that others seemed to experience.  In some ways, menopause was a blessing because it brought these fantasies in the back of my mind to an end and I am at peace with my life.  Praying for you Danielle!

By shirley1 on Wednesday, April 11, 2012 at 1:14 am.

I have a ten-year-old adopted daughter who, like your son, says the most amazing things that come straight from the heart.  I feel like she was always meant to be a part of our family, regardless of what we went through to get her!  I hope your recovery goes well!

By Patty Lazarus on Wednesday, April 11, 2012 at 8:04 pm.

Wow.  Your son is SO sweet.  I can only dream of hearing my child say that to me one day.  I haven’t made it to the other side yet, and I am so discouraged.  We are in the process of adopting, having had a failed adoption this Christmas.  After 3 miscarriages, there is a lot of loss there.  I have a friend who had a hysterectomy who suffered from infertility.  She is an absolute dear, and my heart broke with hers as she walked this road.  She has no living children, so maybe your blessings are going to help you as walk this road?  I pray for your complete recovery and, for myself as well, ultimate healing.

By humbird97 on Thursday, April 19, 2012 at 9:50 pm.

Awwww love, love that kid! Hope you’re recovery is going smoothly, Danielle. I’m sure your kids are taking great care of you, which I hope involves a foot massage (but maybe that’s just me)! Be well.

By Barbara Herel on Friday, April 20, 2012 at 10:30 pm.

you completely spoke to me. Thank you for sharing!

By comotoi on Sunday, April 29, 2012 at 6:43 pm.

Thanks for speaking about this. It was so emotional for me too when I decided after 8 miscarriages to have a hysterectomy at the age of 36. You put into words how so many of us felt.

By bekkiboo on Tuesday, May 01, 2012 at 2:41 am.

There was a point in time I would have given my left arm to be pregnant. I have had 7 really early losses since having my biodaughter over 4 years ago. I can not carry a pregnancy due to autoimmune issues. 3 years of trying I always held out a little hope because my body worked once. Now I really no longer want to be pregnant. My period was a couple days late last cycle and I cried at the possibility of going through another loss, and then I was so relieved when it finally came. Life works it strange ways.

By Lyds780 on Thursday, July 26, 2012 at 9:47 pm.

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Meet the Author

Danielle Pennel

Danielle Pennel


I have recently adopted or am adopting from...
U.S. Newborn, U.S. Newborn

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