When I was in my early twenties I thought that becoming a mother would be easy. After all, everyone else seemed to be doing it and no one I knew ever had any problems. Then when I was in my early thirties, married, and ready to become a mother I discovered that wanting something does not always guarantee it will happen. Big and I tried the good old-fashioned way for three years to have a baby with no luck . I began to realize that my quest to become a mother would not happen the way I always envisioned it. There began a long and deep exploration into my heart and psyche as to how far I would go to make my dream come true.
After two years of trying and too many months of disappointment I started looking deeper into the whole process of conception. My explorations took me into the world of charting basal body temperature and monitoring cervical mucus. I slowly weaned myself off of my beloved caffeinated coffee. I stopped eating sushi. All on a quest to make my body more hospitable for pregnancy. I explored the theories that taking Robitussin would help me conceive. I decided to reject that theory, as honestly, I didn’t want to take any medications that were not deemed absolutely necessary. I was a frequent lurker on iVillage boards trying to uncover as much information and learn as much about my body and conception as I could from other women who were in the same situation or had already traversed this road.
I resisted medical testing and infertility treatments for the longest while hoping that nature would eventually take its course and all would happen as I had hoped. My marriage became consumed with this one item. We longed for a baby and for much of the time it was the main thing we focused on. I had to look deep within myself to figure out just how far I was willing to go to bring forth life. I had to hope that my husband and I could find common agreement on the path we should take.
After two years I felt defeated and somehow less of a woman for not being able to do what nature meant for a woman’s body to do. Seeing other pregnant women and hearing about other women who were having babies was emotionally hard for me. Why was it so easy for them but so hard for me? Then came the guilt. I felt guilty for feeling this way towards other women, especially those that were my family and friends. I felt guilty that I wasn’t able to give my husband the child he also wanted so much. I dug deep into my soul and decided that I was willing to at least start fertility testing to find out if there was some problem that could easily be fixed.
I allowed my body to be poked and prodded. I allowed cameras in to explore the terrain of my uterus and fallopian tubes. My tests revealed very little as to why I wasn’t getting pregnant. I felt frustrated. Again I had to go within myself to ask what I should do next. Big and I decided to explore the world of infertility treatments. At this point I was so self aware of my body and it’s rhythms that I could pinpoint the exact day I was getting my period just by how I felt and by the numbers on the thermometer.
The journey into the world of infertility is an interesting one. For the couple it is an emotional one but for the doctors it’s all about science and all very clinical. Somewhere in the middle the two meet and a bond is formed. Usually it is the nurses who help bridge this gap between emotion and science. They help make the couple feel comfortable and they give a caring face to the process and they take the time to help you understand all the procedures. They understand that for the couple this is not just another visit to yet another doctor. This is possibly their only chance to bring forth life.
I was hesitant to try fertility drugs. You see, there is a history of addiction in my family and so I will often suffer for hours or even days with a simple headache just to avoid taking even Tylenol. The thought of pumping myself full of medications even if they weren’t going to cause addictive tendencies just didn’t feel right to me. But I wanted so desperately to have a baby that I agreed to try Clomid. I was lucky and got pregnant on the first round of Clomid coupled with IUI (intrauterine insemination). Shorty arrived 41 weeks later. Big and I were over the moon and immediately smitten by our beautiful baby boy.
Now after two miscarriages I am once again exploring my way down the road of infertility treatments. It’s a slow process. You go one step at a time. First you figure out what your hormones are doing. Then you have another look at the mechanics of your insides to make sure nothing is broken or out of place. If all turns out fine then you have to make the decision as to your next step. Do you go through with more drugs and treatments or do you decide to let nature take its course again and hope this time everything works out well?
There is the added stress of already being a parent to add to all this confusion. You have to weigh your desire to have another child with your responsibility to love and care for the one you already have. I had to ask myself if this process was worth the hormonal craziness that I knew would filter down to Shorty’s life. Was it fair to put my family through this or should I do what many of my family members were telling me and just be thankful for Shorty and leave it at that? And speaking of those family members, there is also that to consider. My parents don’t seem to support my and Big’s decision to seek help in having another child. They worry about my health. They worry that I’ll have to go through the agony of another miscarriage. They worry that at my age I could have an unhealthy child. So coupled with the fear and anxiety I already feel there is the guilt that I am putting my parents through more worry than they need in their lives.
But despite all the pressure and the fears I’ve decided that I would like to give myself an opportunity to have another child and feel the joys of watching that child grow to be a thriving adult. I’d like Shorty to have a brother or sister. Big and I each have a younger sibling. It’s nice to know that there is one other person in the world that shares the same parents and family memories that you do. I want Shorty to have that. I want there to be a blood relation for him in case Big and I leave the world earlier than we’d like. And I want it for Big and me too. We love being parents. We love watching him grow. We love being given the chance to explore the world through the eyes and mind of a our child.
I’m waiting now to see if we’re going to be blessed with another baby. I’m hoping we will. But with each day and each step I must journey within my heart and soul to ask myself what I will do next or how I will handle whatever is thrown at me. If we aren’t lucky this month I will continue to explore the world of infertility treatments. For you see, I’m not ready to given up on this journey yet. I’ll take it one discovery at a time.
This post is part of a theme project proposed by Beth at Total Mom Haircut. The theme was “Explore.” I’m grateful to Beth for coming up with this idea and allowing me to participate. Go to her blog and check out the other “explore” links that were submitted.