Shawnee Barton
Last November, our little girl, Charlie Grace Merriman, was born. Just after her birth, I overheard Mike describing her to his mom over the phone. “I wish there was a word for 'more perfect than perfect,'” he said. I couldn't agree more.

Two thirds of IVF procedures on healthy women under 35, like me, fail. We easily could have gone through multiple IVF cycles without having a baby. I’ve had a hard time rationalizing why things work out for some families and not for others. There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason. That first doctor we saw estimated our chances of conceiving to be only 5%. That number keeps popping in my head as I look at our beautiful Charlie, and I feel so lucky.

We can’t claim to love our daughter any more than other giddy new parents love their babies, but all the pain and effort has certainly made us appreciate Charlie just a little bit more. We have fewer complaints about things like sleepless nights, endless dirty diapers, and loss of privacy. At one time or another during our infertility battle, I dreamed of having to deal with all of those blessings.
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