Thursday, July 20, 2006

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I am about to begin knitting a blanket of prayers. I have a girlfriend I have known since I was eleven or twelve years old. I'm now nearly forty, so you do the math (I have hated math ever since my eighth grade algebra teacher flipped out during class and grabbed a kid by the collar for getting to class after the bell rang, but that's another story). Anyway, I have known her for most of my life. She was and is one of those genuinely good, kind people that you count yourself lucky to know. She sees the best in everyone and you can't help but feel comfortable around her. She is just that kind of person. And true to the core.

My friend and her husband have been trying and hoping and praying for a baby for years, now. They have endured rounds of unsuccessful ivf, successful ivf that ended in miscarriage and the loss of their baby girl at twenty-three weeks gestation. After all of this heartbreak, they have now set out on the road to adoption, hoping and praying that their baby is out there, waiting to become the center of their universe, as our children do. M. is the kind of person I would choose to be my mom if such things were possible.

And so I am beginning a blanket of prayers. With each wrap of yarn around my needle, I pray that this blanket will someday be wrapped around the precious soul that is to be my dear friend's child. With each stitch I pray that someone out there making one of the most difficult decisions of her life will choose my friend and her husband to love, nurture and cherish her baby. With each row completed I pray that their hearts will find each other soon.

They have been told that so often people connect because a friend has a friend with a niece who...'ve heard the story. And so, with my friend's permission, I am posting her letter below.

We are Meredith and Scott and we are hopeful adoptive parents. After unsuccessfully trying to have a baby through several infertility treatments, we have made the decision to adopt through private adoption. We need your help though; after reading our story, please take a moment to forward this message to three people.

We met ten years ago through a mutual friend who was getting married. I was living and teaching in Maryland and Scott was in Texas. After talking on the phone everyday for several months and visits between Texas and Maryland, Scott moved to Maryland. Three years later we were married. Soon after, we decided to try to start our family. After several months of unsuccessful attempts, we went through several tests.

The doctors told us the only chance we had of getting pregnant would be through in vitro fertilization (IVF). We finally went through the procedure and joyfully, we found out the procedure worked on the first attempt and I was pregnant. The joy was mixed with fear and apprehension as the pregnancy proceeded.

After 4 months, a sonogram revealed that the baby was not growing as she should and we were sent to a high risk doctor for more tests. Everything appeared normal, but she was still small. The doctors said they would need to monitor the baby weekly.

When I was just over 23 weeks pregnant, stressed and starting a new job as the department chair of a special education department at a middle school, I started to feel sick. After two restless, almost sleepless nights, feeling worse, Scott made me go to the emergency room. They did many tests and finally determined that I had severe pre-eclampsia with HELLP syndrome which is very rare at that early stage in pregnancy. I was transported to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD from our local hospital by ambulance. Our high risk doctor, who works at Johns Hopkins, stabilized my high blood pressure, but my liver was failing and my white blood cell count was decreasing.

I had to make a decision to induce labor or I could have died. Our baby, Alison was born on September 10, 2004; she was too small and weak to survive outside my womb. We were devastated and heartbroken, but physically I was healing. After several months of grieving, we decided to attempt IVF again. That was May 2005; that attempt along with another attempt in August were unsuccessful. In November, we went through a Frozen Embryo Transfer cycle. Happily, that cycle was successful and we remained cautiously optimistic. We even saw a heartbeat. During my last visit to the fertility clinic, suddenly, there was no heartbeat. I was almost 3 months pregnant at the time.

I have always wanted to have a baby, to hold and love no matter what path he or she comes to me. After talking with many people, including my brother in law and sister in law, who have chosen adoption, we have decided to take that path as well.

Scott is a sales manager and I am a special education teacher. We are an easy going, family-oriented couple. We have a Dalmatian named Isabella who is definitely a mommy's dog. We love to spend time with our friends and families and our nieces and nephews both near (MD) and far (TX and FL). We are thankful that our journey to parenthood has led us to seeking a child through adoption.

If you know someone who may be looking to make a difficult and brave decision to place her child for adoption, please contact us or even if you don't, please forward this email to at least three people. We will pay all legal and medical expenses. We can be reached at 1-877-586-9453 (toll free) or 240-620-3736 (local DC area).

Meredith and Scott

update, 6/26/06
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Knitty fans will likely recognize these wild stripes.



Blogger Erin Monahan said...

I'm going to put this story at my blog too if it's ok, it's better than forwrding it to 3 people, I have a hundred or so readers a day.

I sure hope they find the baby of their dreams soon. I watched a TV show last night sort of similar, and it just breaks my heart. I can't imagine being childless.

7/21/2006 6:19 PM  
Blogger Gretchen said...

Thank you, Erin. That would be wonderful. I know what you mean about not being able to imagine it. I love Meredith so much and it hurts so much to see them
going through this.

7/21/2006 6:57 PM  
Blogger Belinda said...

This idea? This blanket? This is one of the most beautiful ideas I've ever heard of--amazing. Coming from you, I am not surprised in the least.

7/21/2006 8:08 PM  
Blogger amanda said...

What a wonderfully touching post! And the idea for the blanket is beyond words. Sounds like she is blessed to call you friend.

7/24/2006 4:54 PM  
Blogger momofmany said...

Gretchen, My friend the infertility guide put your blog in her blogs of note at the top and will write something about it soon. She may contact you, if that's okay? -Robin from Oct97

7/26/2006 3:39 PM  
Anonymous Nancy said...

Gretchen, you are an exquisite human being. My daughter is truly blessed to have you as a friend.
With Love,
Meredith's Mom

7/27/2006 3:31 PM  
Blogger Gretchen said...

Aw, Meredith's mom, you made me cry!

7/28/2006 11:30 AM  
Blogger Erin Monahan said...

holy balogna lists you as a related blog on their article about infertility
( )


8/14/2006 4:10 PM  
Blogger owlhaven said...

All the best to your friend. Ethiopia is a great place to adopt from!

Mary, adoptive mom to 4

8/26/2006 9:41 PM  
Blogger Gretchen said...

Mary--I passed along your good wishes and thoughts. Thank you.

8/29/2006 1:41 AM  
Anonymous hannah said...

My heart bleeds... only one who has lived this way can truly appreciate the pain Meredith is feeling.

I pray and hope you connect soon. I wish I had one to give to you but sadly, I am yet to conceive. More than 10 years of infertility has caused me to relate very well to where your friend is.

Gretchen, you are an awesome friend. Meredith and Scott are blessed to have you as a friend and you are blessed with a heart of gold.

Peace and blessings to you both, always.

10/13/2006 1:34 PM  
Blogger Marcela said...

I don't know how to knit, but I can pray for all of you.
People full of love like you 3 seem to be, will go over the world giving example of faith, love and friendship.
I'm sure there is a lucky baby somewhere in his way to your arms.
My pray for you from Mexico

10/13/2006 5:28 PM  
Blogger Leslie said...

How wonderful!

10/30/2006 11:28 PM  
Anonymous Michelle (oct02) said...

I hope your beautiful blanket to be is wrapped around their baby to be in the very near future. They sound like they have so much love to give. I will definitely be sending my hopes and prayers.

10/31/2006 9:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What an amazing journey. My husband and I are starting a similar process, so as I type with tears, I will pray for your friend.
Hope for sucess and wish that blanket has an angel in it soon.

11/12/2006 3:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On a whim I typed "holy bologna" into the google search bar and this blog page came up. How weird. Have fun knitting!

2/20/2007 2:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For all of the women out there that have suffered from infertility or know someone who has, be sure to check out the new, inspirational Lady Saw music video-No Less Than a Woman 'Infertility'. To hear the song and view the video enter the following link:

3/22/2007 3:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish your friends all the luck in the world. God Bless you for understanding what they are going through.I am about to start my 1st IVF cycle and I can begin to relate to them. I pray for them and for you for being such a support to them:)

6/07/2007 2:09 AM  

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