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Jeana Bonner's Adoption and Infertility Journey

☀️ CLICK HERE to buy the Slice of Sun's beautiful products like pajamas and socks! A portion of every sale will go to women experiencing infertility. Wear to your own appointments or while cozy at home to remind you that you have this community of women linking arms with you and that you're not alone. You are incredible, sister. They make the perfect gifts, too!

CLICK HERE to join our safe, private Facebook group to meet other incredible women who are walking your path. ☀️

Read Jeana's story here:

______________________

I’ve never taken the time to write down our infertility journey. I guess in a way I
wanted to forget that it ever happened, but I know that by sharing the painful parts of our lives is where we can do the most to help others who may be experiencing something similar.

Just to give a little background to our family, my husband Wayne and I were married in 2005 while we were both college students and 21 years old. We were in no rush to have kids but I always had this nagging thought that it might be difficult for us. I didn’t really know what that meant but it was always in the back of my mind. After I graduated from the University of Utah in Health and Exercise Science I started working full-time for a non-profit education company and coaching volleyball. We both felt like it was time to start trying and it took about a year before we got pregnant.

The day of our 20-week ultra-sound was one of the most difficult days we had
experienced up to that point in our life. We had just found out that we were having a little girl and we waited with excitement for the doctor to come in and go over our ultrasound results with us. When the door opened about 6 people walked in our small dark room and the doctor began by asking if we had done any prenatal testing. She said things did not look good for our little girl. They saw water on her brain, she was measuring very small and they could also see what looked like a major heart defect.

The following weeks and months were filled with many doctor appointments and
tests and at 32 weeks our little girl, Kaelyn, came rushing into our lives via an
emergency C-section. She weighed 1 lb 11 oz and was only 13 inches long. She had been diagnosed with Down syndrome, Intra-uterine Growth Restriction and a heart defect known as Tetrology of Fallot. Those first few years with our little peanut were pretty eventful as she spent the first 104 days of her life in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and then had open-heart surgery at 8 months old.

Eventually life started to settle down a bit and we decided to try for another child
when Kaelyn was around a year and a half. I did a lot more research on fertility and we were able to conceive our second little girl Bryn pretty quickly. Our pregnancy was about as normal as they can be with her and she was born at 37 weeks via a planned C-Section.

Now you are probably wondering where infertility fits into our story and I promise I
will get to that but first we have to take a little detour….to Russia. When Bryn was a couple of months old she started sleeping through the night and I felt like a new
person. Yes, I had two babies that were practically twins because Kaelyn was two
and a half but still the size and development of about a 3 month old and very
dependent on us, but there really is something about a full night’s sleep that makes you feel like you can do anything.

Through a series of events we were led to a little girl around the age of five in Russia that also had Down syndrome and was living in an orphanage. I had never been one to think I would adopt, but after having Kaelyn and realizing how many children around the world are given up at birth because they have Down syndrome a seed was planted in my heart. We had gone through some really difficult things with Kaelyn’s life and knew that we could open our hearts and home to a child like her that wasn’t born in a circumstance that allowed her to grown up in a family. So, after a long and difficult adoption process, we brought Jaymi Viktoria home on Valentines Day 2013.

To say we had our hands full with three girls that were developmentally all under
the age of about three years old would be an understatement. When we went into
our adoption we had planned to have more children when the timing felt right. It
took a couple years for us to catch our breath but about two years later we started trying and got pregnant pretty quick. Sadly when I went in for my second doctors appointment around 13 weeks there was no longer a heartbeat. I didn’t have any signs of miscarriage until that appointment and it was a pretty devastating blow. A few weeks before that appointment we had family pictures taken and I was excited to have pictures to tell our little one that they were in my tummy when they were taken. After our loss the same pictures brought a sting of heartache every time I saw them. Now I’m grateful that we have them and I can remember the short time we had with our little one. We didn’t find out if the baby was a boy or a girl but one night when Bryn, who at the time was close to three, said a prayer and said, “Bless my baby brother.” Wayne and I both shot our eyes open and looked at each other in surprise because we had not told anyone that we were pregnant.

Fast forward about three more years and we had not been able to conceive again. I was tracking my cycles and doing everything to help us but nothing was working. Our doctor had put us on one of the medications to help me be more fertile but nothing was working. After talking with our doctor we decided it was time to do testing and see a fertility specialist. At the time I had never heard of Secondary Infertility, but that is what we were dealing with. We were both tested and I will never forget sitting at the desk of fertility clinic and the doctor saying, “After looking at your test results, I honestly do not know how you have been able to get pregnant three times.” He went on to say that with our results he would have given us less than 1% chance to conceive on our own. My cycles were really long, at the time around 65-80 days and my husband’s counts were graded very low in every aspect they tested. He told us that he was confident that he could help us get pregnant again but that it would require a form of in vitro fertilization. We were not quite ready to hear that so we asked if there were less invasive/less expensive options we could try first. He said we could try doing IUI’s but he didn’t think they had a very good chance of working for us. We tried one just to see and he was right, it didn’t work.

It took a couple more years for us to finally get on the same page and figure out a
way to make IVF a possibility both emotionally and financially. After our adoption I
had experienced situational anxiety and depression, then adding the fertility
struggle onto that, I wanted to make sure I was in a good place before we opened
ourselves up to something like that. We found a great doctor at the University of
Utah Fertility center and got to work. After the egg retrieval we ended up with about seven viable embryos. We didn’t do genetic testing on them because the cost for that was more than we were able to spend. Our first transfer went well and when I went back at the 6-week appointment we found out we were pregnant. We were even able to hear the heartbeat through an internal ultrasound.

I was so excited for the 10-week checkup with my OB to hear that little heartbeat
again. I had learned after going to the appointment alone for my first miscarriage to never do that again so Wayne and I got a sitter and left for the doctor. After we got checked in we began to wait, and wait and wait. In the time we were there our
doctor got called to go to two deliveries and didn’t realize they had not sent us
home. Three hours later she came in and felt so bad that we had been waiting so
long. She pulled up the ultrasound machine and started to look concerned. She
couldn’t find a heartbeat but didn’t want to lose hope so she sent us to the high-risk wing to use their more advanced equipment. There was no longer a heartbeat. We were crushed. This little embryo was our highest grade one and after finding out it didn’t make it brought so much fear and anxiety about the ones that we had left.

How many times could we go through this? Were we being selfish? Should we just be happy with the three beautiful girls we had? So many thoughts and fears went through our minds. After a D&C they did testing and found out that we lost a little girl that had a genetic condition called Trisomy 13. It didn’t make sense logically that she was the strongest embryo, but I had an overwhelming feeling that she needed those weeks of life that we were able to give her.

After a few months we got ready for our second transfer. Everything went well and
once again we found out that we were pregnant and were able to hear an early
heartbeat. At around 8-9 weeks I had run a little bit on the treadmill in the morning
and then started to feel cramping and had some bleeding. Of course we had family pictures with Wayne’s family that day and it took everything I had to keep from crying. I was sure I was miscarrying and that we were losing this baby too. I made an appointment with my fertility doctor and thankfully the cramping and bleeding stopped. I was able to carry our little double rainbow boy Alek to full term and he was born August 2, 2019, around five years after we lost our first baby.

We often get remarks about the eight-year gap between Bryn and Alek, people
wondering if he was a little accident. It’s ironic because getting him here was
anything BUT an accident. It took everything we had emotionally, physically and of course financially. Growing our little family has been full of miracles, but it’s also
taken a lot of work and courage on our part. I am so grateful for the lessons of
empathy, struggle and understanding it has given me. I hope that in sharing our
experience others who travel this type of difficult road will be able to find peace,
hope and comfort. There were many along our path that led us to where we are and because of their bravery in sharing and encouraging us, we didn’t give up. I know everyone’s journey doesn’t end the way they want, and all throughout ours, we didn’t know if we would be able to welcome another child into our family. We tried to put our trust in the Lord and know that as long as we did everything in our
power, if things did not work out the way we hoped, he would heal our hearts and
help us to move on if that is what it came to. The thing that helped us most
throughout this journey was to love the life we had right now but not forget the
longing we had for another child. Without that we wouldn’t have been willing to
grow through the stretching of our hearts that infertility brought about.

Instagram: @jeana_bonner

☀️ CLICK HERE to buy the Slice of Sun's beautiful products like pajamas and socks! A portion of every sale will go to women experiencing infertility. Wear to your own appointments or while cozy at home to remind you that you have this community of women linking arms with you and that you're not alone. You are incredible, sister. They make the perfect gifts, too!

CLICK HERE to join our safe, private Facebook group to meet other incredible women who are walking your path. ☀️

To read Kelsey Mitton's infertility journey, click HERE.

 

4 comments

  • Thank you so much for sharing your journey! ❤️

    Caytie on

  • Absolutely amazing family and journey!

    Patti Clark on

  • Your story is so beautifully written. I know that it was such a heartbreaking journey to get where you are, but sharing your hardship and strength to get through it, will inspire so many!

    Cherissa on

  • I love this family so much! Thank you for sharing Jeana’s story!

    Heather Seal on

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