With Melissa's uterus 80 percent scarred, they knew they had a tough battle ahead, but they weren't intimidated. And exactly one year after their initial IVF cycle, they started the process again.
For some reason, though, Melissa no longer responded to the hormones, and it took three attempts to get just two good embryos, which they transferred. The unfortunate result was a chemical pregnancy—essentially a false positive. They tried one more time, to no avail.
Perhaps it's my body, Melissa reasoned. And so they decided to take a nontraditional route. Melissa's sister, a physician, offered to be their surrogate and carry the baby for them. It wasn't your run-of-the-mill approach, they knew, but Seth and Melissa were willing to try just about anything. Melissa's sister would be implanted, as would Melissa. It was a possibility that they could be carrying Melissa and Seth's children at the very same time.
But disappointment reared its ugly head again when it didn't work for either of them. And one more go of it—with Melissa's sister as the sole carrier—didn't produce either.
It was the summer of 2008. Seth and Melissa had ridden a two-year-long roller coaster with nothing to show for it, and their spirits were down.
"All I want is to be pregnant," Melissa told Seth repeatedly.
"What you really want is to start a family," he pointed out. Melissa agreed with Seth, and they mutually decided to explore adoption.
Neither of them knew much about it, but they were focused on doing something, anything, to make their dream of having a baby come true. So they attended a seminar, researched independent versus agency adoption, and settled on pursuing a combination of both—placing ads and sending applications to two agencies they felt comfortable with.