I remember sitting on the front porch with my mom, the summer after I graduated from high school. My friend had just had a baby, and my mom was reminiscing about when she was pregnant with me. I had always pictured myself as a mom, even as a kid. But that night was the first time that I really remember looking forward to becoming a mom one day. Then I had the thought “What if I cannot have kids?” I brushed it off, and told myself that I was being silly, and to never worry about that again.
Fast forward eleven years. I am married to my best friend, have two amazing step sons, and my dogs are my babies. I am happy with the way my life has turned out. But one thing is missing…I long to be called “Mom.”
I once read that when you are dealing with infertility, you experience the seven stages of grief every month, and I could not agree more. First, you disbelieve, then you deny, bargain, feel guilty, get angry, cry and lastly, accept and hope. Then you have to pick yourself up, and do it all over again the following month. Why? Because, when you decide that you want to be a mom, nothing will stand in your way.
I have spent over two years now on this emotional rollercoaster. Two years of wanting, waiting and watching what feels like everyone around me, getting what I have been longing for. Two years of ovulation tests, taking my temperature every morning, and hoping that this month will be the month. We started seeing a fertility specialist eight months ago where I quickly learned to lose all sense of modesty. After testing, and discussing options, I was put on a fertility drug called Clomid. My poor husband. For those of you who have never had the pleasure, “Clomid” is the technical term for ‘Husbands beware: Extra emotional wife.’
Last May, I had my first IUI (intrauterine insemination). During an IUI, the nurse inserts washed sperm through a catheter directly into the uterus. It is a quick procedure, and relatively painless. Afterward, I laid on the table, with my husband next to me, and couldn’t stop smiling. I felt as if this was finally it! Who cares if our baby was conceived on a cold table at the doctor’s office….I was going to be a mom.
Then the two week wait began. The oh so lovely two week wait – where you have no clue if there is a baby forming inside of you, or if your “morning sickness” is just your mind playing tricks on you. Two weeks of excitingly, nervously waiting to be able to pee on a stick and hope for two pink lines….or the alternative-get your period. I was all too familiar with the two week wait.
But this time it felt different. I convinced myself that the IUI worked. After all, we just spent $300 on a procedure that gave us better chances of pregnancy. The sperm didn’t have to swim as far, and the Clomid helped make sure that I ovulated. When you’re taking Clomid, you have a 10% chance of twins. How awesome was that going to be!? I ate healthy, skipped margarita night, and cut down on coffee.
Then the day finally came….I could finally take a pregnancy test!
I disbelieved. I denied. I bargained. I got angry. I cried (and cried and cried). And then I accepted and hoped that the next month would be different. Because that is what you have to do. You have to accept. Accept, and try again. And again and again. No matter what it takes.
And one day, that hope will turn into reality. It will happen. Whether it be naturally, on a table at the doctor’s office, in a petri dish through IVF, or through adoption. It will happen. Because once you have decided that you want to be a mom, nothing will hold you back.