Photo Essay

A gift


This precious little angel of ours is named Lyla Grace. She was a long time in the making to say the least.

11 years of marriage, six years of trying finally brought this miracle into our lives. The "trying" started off like it usually does for most people: the old fashioned way. We gave it time. And more time. And more time. Hard times. False positives. Sure signs.

And suddenly it was almost five years later and still nothing.

The idea of a fertility clinic had always seemed a distant thought because of the cost, but the housing market in Phoenix (back then) was rocketing skyward, giving us plenty of equity to tap.

And tap we did. We tried six months of artificial insemination. Every month I had to watch my wife endure the pain and agony of a negative pregnancy test. I masked it better, but it hurt inside with every failure. Six tries. More nothing. Thousands of dollars wasted.

Tired of taking chances that never seemed to pay off, we turned to adoption. We attended a meeting at a Catholic adoption agency, gathered up all the information we needed, asked all the important questions and then left on a ride home that would end up life-changing.

We both decided, almost independently, that we wanted our own flesh and blood child. As much good comes from adoption, the process can be long and tiring, and even if it worked out, I had that looming, parental fear of hearing the dreaded question:

Can I meet my real parents?

No...while that was an option still on the table as a last resort, we strongly desired to see what a baby would look like that we created. In Vitro was our last option in that department, an expensive procedure that was the biggest gamble of all.

So we did it. The "harvest" yielded seven viable embryos. However a problem arose that required us to wait yet another month and a half. The embryos had to be frozen and when the day came that my wife would finally be impregnated, only four survived the thawing process.

And three of those four had some varying amount of damage because of the thaw. Only the fourth was completely perfect.

We're fairly certain that was the one.

As you can see from the pictures attached to this story, my wife became pregnant a few weeks later and in November of 2008, Lyla Grace was born.

Her first birthday is only weeks away now. The joy she has brought into our lives is unmeasurable. Certainly the financial and emotional stress we went through has long been forgotten.

All that remains is her beautiful little smile, contagious laugh and the clumsy walking.

On the outside, one may see this journey as costing a great deal. It certainly felt that was in the midst of it all. Some days seemed impossible to get through.

But that cost has faded away...and it left us with something else entirely.

A gift.

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5 responses

  • missy corrales

    missy corrales gave props (3 Nov 2009):

    thank you for sharing such a private part of your life. she's precious!

  • Raluca Chirtes

    Raluca Chirtes said (4 Nov 2009):

    adorable kid :)

  • Estelle Close

    Estelle Close said (11 Nov 2009):

    Thank you, thank you, thank you,

    I too have been through 6 yrs of IVF, spent countless $$$, the pain, the disapointment, the stories that 'if you just forget about it, it will just happen'. YES, I hear every thing you say, we have even said the same about adoption.

    GOOD ON YOU & YOUR WIFE, good luck to you both.

    You make me hopeful that our last 2 embrios will defrost & implant, fingers crossed. As i go through this month i will think of your inspirational story & your beautiful daughter.

  • Kate Osborne

    Kate Osborne gave props (11 Jan 2010):

    Ahhhh this was such a beautiful story, Mike! I teared up, I hope no one finds me crying in my cubicle!

  • Angel Warda

    Angel Warda gave props (2 Jun 2010):

    Oh Mike! You have me in tears!!!!! I am so happy for you and your wife. Nothing is as great as the joys of parenthood. I am so happy you are able to experience it. God Bless you and your family!!!! She is a blessing.....

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