Meet Christina (the one writing), Katie, and Kennedy from Baby Bailey Mama Drama!
Tell us a little bit about you and your infertility journey: Our journey is a long one, full of many details but I’ll try to make this little blurb short. My wife and I did Reciprocal IVF. This is where one woman uses her eggs, has them fertilized by a donor sperm, and then has the other woman carry the fertilized egg. Our first round of IVF was not successful. Our second round was successful but we had a bumpy pregnancy. We miscarried one of our embryos (we had two implanted) and the embryo that did survive was surrounded by a huge blood clot that could have ended the pregnancy (but luckily it didn’t). In the end we had our beautiful daughter Kennedy. We enjoy sharing our life with others and helping out anyone we can. We are continuing our journey currently and are in the process of baby #2. We had our first BETA test which showed we were pregnant! We are excited but cautious as we continue with this process for our second child.
Why our Instagram account was created: We started our Instagram account to help TTC couples and LGBT couples. When we were struggling to make our family, we sought out Instagram accounts and blogs of families who were undergoing fertility treatments to help make their family. Reading blogs and following many families on Instagram gave us hope for our family and got us through our toughest times. We wanted to do the same for others and provide hope to families.
The purpose of our Instagram is to connect families, and TTC couples, and anyone who supports these people. We also like to share any products that benefit our child and enhance our lives. We continue to stick to this purpose by creating quality photos and fostering positive discussion.
What led you to the decision of the route you are pursuing or pursued? Katie and I had been thinking about a family since we got married in 2012. I have always wanted kids and Katie didn’t want kids until she met me. We always knew we wanted to do Reciprocal IVF. Whenever we talked about having children Katie had always said how much she wanted to carry my egg so we could both be a part of the process.
What things helped you cope with infertility? When we were struggling to make our family, we sought out Instagram accounts and blogs of families who were undergoing fertility treatments to help make their family. Reading blogs and following many families on Instagram gave us hope for our family and got us through our toughest times. We wanted to do the same for others and provide hope to families. We still feels so much support as we continue our journey for our second child. I know that whatever happens, I have a community around me who understands what I am going through.
How did you and your spouse encourage each other while on this journey? Katie and I encouraged each other throughout this journey. We didn’t give up. We didn’t argue about how we were going to have children. We discussed the various options and were supportive of each other’s options.
Was giving up on adding children to your family ever considered? Never. We knew we wanted children we just needed to find the right path. It was a lot of discussion about what we could handle emotionally and financially.
Infertility can often be very expensive, what have you done to help alleviate the costs? I am a big saver. When I met Katie, I realized she was the complete opposite. As our relationship grew, she too saved. Saving has allowed us to create our family. My mom was also willing to lend a helping hand if we needed it.
Who offered you support during this process that really stood out to you? What did they do? Our nurse was AMAZING. She stood out to us and fought for us to make our family the way we wanted to. We actually plan on giving our next daughter (hopefully we eventually have another daughter) her middle name.
Did you ever deal with unsupportive people during your journey? How did you handle this? We did. We leaned on each other and reassured each other that what they were saying was painful and they were out of line. This is the way we want to create our family and we need to put our family first. We need to not worry about what other people think because we get to make the decisions, not others.
Do you think your infertility journey is going to or has shaped the way you parent? Definitely! We worry about our daughter extra. I know everyone will say they worry about their kids, but we have been worrying since we started creating her. I don’t think people who haven’t undergone fertility treatment worry about their eggs being withdrawn, then worry about the creation of their children in a lab, then worry about their little embryo sticking once transfer comes, etc. The stress from this whole process to get pregnant is crazy. The financial part of it also plays a role. You get so frustrated at that time thinking about how much money is being spent to create a child. I think you also view other people differently. I can’t tell you how much I dislike the statement “oh we weren’t trying, it just happened,” or “I didn’t expect to get pregnant that fast.” When you undergo fertility treatment, it drives you crazy when you see children created around you so easily. I try not to think about how many steps we had to go through to get our daughter because it would make me crazy. In the end, every step is worth it! I am so happy with our family! I would be happy to see fertility treatment for LGBT couples to be covered by insurance in the future. There really isn’t a cheap way to have kids if you are gay and be loyal to your relationship. I don’t think that is fair.
Are you going to share your infertility journey with your children? We definitely are. I even saved all the information from the donor to share with our daughter one day. We are not ashamed to share how our family was made.
What is the most valuable piece of advice you’d like to share with our readers? We spent thousands of dollars making Kennedy. This is nothing compared to what some couples have spent to have a baby. Once we had Kennedy, the money spent just became a number and nothing else. There are so many options now to becoming a parent. Whatever road you chose to go down, be positive. Be there for one another. Having a baby has created a tighter bond between the two of us. We are now a strong team and teamwork has become a key part to our marriage. Teamwork was something that still needed improvement in our marriage before Kennedy was born. However, the process to create Kennedy tightened any weak areas in our marriage.
To every person out there who had done IVF, it truly changes who you are. The journey we go on is like no other. I am so happy we decided to try again because if we didn’t, Kennedy wouldn’t be here. I do still think about the “what ifs” with embryo adoption. We almost went through with it and I wonder if we would have two babies by now. I wonder what they would look like and how they would be quite a few months older than Kennedy is now. I think about our little boy or girl we lost who was supposed to be here with Kennedy right now. I think about all the tears, worries, and stress in this journey. I think about all the joy we will have now that she is here. I don’t know how it feels to be a mother who has a baby the male/female way without any labs or doctors helping you make your baby, but I do know the feeling you have seeing a baby you once saw a picture of in a dish. That feeling is the most amazing feeling I will ever have. I am so grateful for the help of science and for being alive in a time that has a process such as this. Reciprocal IVF made our dreams a reality.
Want to contact Christina or Katie? Instagram: babybaileymamadrama, blog: babybaileymamadrama.wordpress.com, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.