In part 2 of this 3 part series, our very own Founder and Owner, Vivian Belmont, shares a personal story about her journey into motherhood for the third time:
An Impossible Dream? Putting Off Parenthood
My spouse, Linda, had never had the opportunity to be a mother. Gay marriage was illegal for so long, and she never wanted to be a single mom because of the hardships she saw her own single mother go through. She felt stuck because something that seemed so integral to building a family was illegal.
When gay marriage became legal, Linda was 54 years old. She said, “It’s too bad I’ll never be a mom”. Knowing what I went through to be a mother, and the incredible experience it was, I wanted her to have that too. I said, “How do you know? Maybe you could be.”
When I was trying to get pregnant back in my 20’s, I had many miscarriages. The feeling after the third miscarriage was awful. Every child I would see in the street was a reminder of my desire to be a mom. And if that desire is there, you have to do everything you can to get it. It changes your world. It changes how you see things. It makes you a more unselfish person.
And so, we both decided that we were going to be mothers. Linda for the first time, myself for the third.
Our Adoption Challenges
We first looked at LA’s foster to adopt program. We went through weeks of classes. We looked into adoption, but as two middle-aged women, the chances weren’t high. We also looked into international adoption. We found a lot of countries do not adopt to same-sex couples, and some countries have shut their doors to American adoption altogether.
Chances of Getting Pregnant? A Complicated and Risky Endeavour
We looked at what it would take for Linda to carry the baby, to experience motherhood beginning with carrying the child. If it was possible, how it was possible. We went through multiple doctor appointments and a multitude of tests from womb elasticity to blood sugar levels, and she was healthy. So we went through the process of getting her pregnant.
Linda was a high-risk pregnancy because of her age, so we were taking every precaution. She went through the hormone injections. The first three embryos were implanted through IVF. Two weren’t viable, and the third attached inside of the fallopian tube. Luckily, they were monitoring Linda so closely that they caught it early and dissolved the embryo inside of the tube before any damage was done. She had to recover from that, which took about half of a year.
Implanting the Embryo Again
After all that, we were still determined. This time we decided to implant an embryo that was 5 days old instead of 3 days old (as the first had been). At five days, the embryo attaches right away, and there is a much smaller chance of it becoming a tubal pregnancy. Usually, they put more than one embryo in because they don’t always attach. However, sometimes multiples attach. Because of Linda’s age and the even higher risk that would come with twins, we could insert one embryo. So we took a big chance. Either it would work, or it wouldn’t. The doctor looked at all the embryos and chose one. He said that one was way beyond the others, and that is the one we should use. And after the IVF, the embryo attached. And that is how we got Silas.
Conceiving and Bringing Baby to Term
Linda’s pregnancy was textbook. Because she was considered high risk, there was constant monitoring, but she breezed through the pregnancy with no issues at all. However, she did experience physical problems after her pregnancy. No doctor or OBGYN warned us about any of this or even paid attention to the aftermath of the pregnancy. Her hormones went from premenopausal to pregnancy hormones, and then she immediately went into menopause. That has a huge effect on you physically and psychologically.
The Physical Effects Post-Baby
Also, there were physical effects. Her body becomes very elastic to accommodate a baby, and then afterward her joints come back and solidified. So between the hormone swing, the metabolic and skeletal changes, it was so much to handle. The medical community really didn’t follow up or give us any post-delivery help. They did the standard six week check up, and that was it. So mothers, make sure to advocate for yourself. The data for mature pregnancies is not yet there, and we have to be our own vocal spokesmen and women.
A Labor of Love…Truly
For me, deciding to be a mother again and supporting Linda’s desire to be a mother was really because I understand how important it is for a woman who wants to be a mother to have a least a chance at doing so. I would never want her to feel like she was missing something. Check out part one of this powerful series and our journey to motherhood here: Miracle Baby Part I: Motherhood [23 Years Later?]
What are the miracles of your life? Comment below!
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