I’m not sure I can adequately explain what infertility does to a woman. I know before I began to wrestle with it, I had no way of understanding how it mentally breaks you down. That you begin to live your life in two week increments; preparing to conceive and then waiting to find out if you succeeded. I obsessed about it daily. I felt inferior as a woman. I spent all my spare time on the internet reading ridiculous forums about women and their pregnancy stories. I just wasn’t myself anymore. My husband Mike, who was always so supportive, began voicing that we should give up because he couldn’t stand watching me suffer anymore. I was severely depressed.
I know this is such a cliche thing to say, especially growing up in Utah, but I knew I wanted to be a mother from a very young age. As a girl I dreamed of growing up, going to college like my parents, finding the love of my life and having 14 beautiful children. That was when I was 12...I grew out of the 14 beautiful children ideal quite quickly. And for the most part, I achieved these dreams. When I started teaching special education and working on my graduate degree, my husband Mike and I decided it was time to start our family. I was elated. I couldn’t wait to begin the wonderful journey of motherhood. I knew getting pregnant didn’t happen immediately for everyone but after about a year of trying with no luck, I went to see a doctor for advice. Blood was taken and tests were run. In the end it was good news! All testing showed that there was no reason for concern; just keep trying Preslie, it will happen. And after a little while it did.
Early one morning I saw the most beautiful blue line appear on my home pregnancy test. After going to work, barely able to keep this wonderful secret from my co-workers, I began to hemorrhage. I was having a miscarriage. I did not recover physically for over a month. Recovering emotionally took much more time. Over the course of 5 years, this happened several times. It is still hard for me to say the word “miscarriage” out loud. I don’t like giving life to the word. Somewhere in my heart I know that saying this nasty word too many times will utterly break my spirit.
After 5 years of feeling like I was being punished, Mike and I decided to stop. I was beginning to hate myself for something I couldn’t control. Discontinuing fertility treatments was the best decision we could have made. After some very intense soul searching we came to understand that our dream of becoming parents didn’t have to be over. We no longer cared about a genetic link to our child. Mike and I both agreed that adoption was the best option for us (to hear Mike's story read Rear View Mirror). After making this decision a weight was IMMEDIATELY lifted from my soul. I was filled with hope again. I knew that just because my body was broken I didn’t have to be. I know there is a soul out there who is meant to be with us. We just have to keep looking.
Part of this journey is requiring us to give our whole heart to the adoption process, and that means finding the funding to bring our baby home. As special education teachers, Mike and I have dedicated our lives to serving individuals with disabilities. In fact, that’s how we met and fell in love. While it has been spiritually fulfilling, it has left us with few resources above and beyond what we need. It costs anywhere from $30,000 to $40,000 to complete the adoption process. We continue to save what we can from our salaries and have done small fundraisers (yard sales, bake sales, partnering with CULVER’S) that have helped us raise something, but its not enough.
Mike and I are eager to apply for grants from organizations that help adopting couples, but they require that you have several steps of the costly process already completed. To complete Phase 1 of our agency's fee schedule, which would allow us to get the process started, we will have to pay $9,800. We know that in the grand scheme of things, $10,000 is nothing compared to the joy our child will bring into our lives, but we just simply don’t have it. This is why we are now asking for your help.
Will you help us bring baby Bahr home to a family ready to love her/him?
We know there are lots of people trying to adopt and that our story might not seem unique, but we have seen the miracles pouring out around us already as we try to make this happen. We know there is something greater than ourselves at work for this child. We hope that by putting this out into the universe, and making ourselves vulnerable, we can someday tell our baby that the world came together to bring her to our family. We invite you to be a part of the miracle!
If you are able, will you please make a donation to the Dear Baby Bahr fund ?
Any contribution, no matter how small, will be received with gratitude and love and will help to weave the story that will become our family’s legacy. If you are in a position where you cannot help monetarily, will you please share our story with a friend, family member or on social media? We understand that it's not always possible to give money, but your support will be felt in other ways!
For our part, we promise to keep you updated on Baby Bahr’s progress. You’re now a part of our story and while that story may take time to come to fruition, we have faith that it will have a happy ending. This website is dedicated to telling those stories in anticipation of his arrival!
With all my heart I thank you: family, friends and strangers.
May you taste the best of life wherever it finds you.