I know for some people this topic is uncomfortable, but for a lot of women my reality is their reality and too often we’re quiet about it. Which is why I am sharing my story with you. Hopefully, my truth will help someone else who is struggling with their truth and the decisions they’re faced with.
Growing up it was always my dream to be a mom, and not just a mom of one or two kids I wanted a whole baseball team of kids. I never thought this dream would change and never in a million years did I think someone would tell me it would not be possible to have children. Somehow, the dream changed and the bad news came.
As I entered into my career I started rethinking how many kids I really wanted; it went from a baseball team to just one or two maybe three max. I thought I had found the one, and we tried for years to get pregnant not once in seven years did we even have a pregnancy “scare”. You know that feeling when even though you’re trying, you get nervous wondering if you were successful? That feeling never came for me, instead it was always just disappointment when we realized every month we failed to conceive. During that time we’d fight, I’d cry and feel like less of a woman. Afterall he already had two kids from a previous marriage, so it was obvious to me that I was the one who had something wrong. It didn’t help when he would say “You already have two kids, they may not have come from you but my kids are your kids.” I know that he said that to try to make me feel better; and I loved his kids so much but, I still wanted to have a child that had part of me in them. My mini-me.
After seven years of trying, we finally consulted a specialist who confirmed what I was afraid of. I’ll never forget sitting there with a white gown over me and being told “let’s go to my office, I’ll have someone call your boyfriend to meet us and we’ll talk.” Getting dressed, I was shaking and feeling sick to my stomach. No good conversation starts this way at a doctor’s office. Inside her office she delivered the news “You have a hostile uterus. Unfortunately, even with IVF treatments you have less than a 1% of conceiving and even less than that of carrying to term.” After hearing those words, I honestly can’t tell you what she said. All I remember is feeling sick, less of a woman and everything in the room going quiet. On the way home, I couldn’t talk and couldn’t think of anything else than the words she spoke to me. It felt like a little piece of me had died, as though I was no longer whole knowing that I would never have a family of my own.
It took months of counseling to start feeling better about myself, believing that my not being able to have children did not mean I had less value and that there were options to start a family even if it wasn’t the way I had pictured it. It took a new relationship with a man for me to broach the subject with him. He wanted to try, so I said ok and had my heart-broken all over again. This time it was extra hurtful, we consulted with five different fertility doctors and each one refused to take our money saying ” We can’t in good conscience take your money. We know it won’t happen for you.” The few people who knew, would say “You never know. I know someone who was told they couldn’t have kids, they adopted and then they got pregnant. It could happen.” You smile, know that they’re trying to help but deep down those stories hurt more than help.
Fast forward to a few years ago when news broke of a woman who had a uterus transplant and was pregnant via IVF. I remember when I saw the news story on her I felt so happy and thought there’s finally a chance! That thinking quickly disappeared when news broke of her body rejecting the transplant and the pregnancy. Once again, there was hope then it was quickly taken away.
So why am I talking about this now? Did I get pregnant?…No. Is it National Infertility Awareness Week?…Nope. This is coming out now for two reasons. One, at a recent doctors visit with a new doctor I was lectured on trying to decide if I want kids and to start trying before time runs out. I just looked at her, gave an awkward laugh and asked if she had looked at my file. She admitted she did not have time to read it and when I told her my story her response “You never know for sure until you try.” I obviously need a new doctor. The second reason, a phone call from a listener telling me she hadn’t smiled all week until something I said made her laugh. I asked if there was something I could do for her and if she needed to talk. I wasn’t prepared to have her tell her story of infertility, trying repeatedly and have her dreams not come true. I quickly shared my story with her, letting her know I knew her pain. I wish there was something I could tell her to help her feel better, and she said I already did just by letting her know she wasn’t alone on this journey.