I’m coming out of the closet…
I was impregnated by a woman.
My children are perfect. They’re beautiful. They are happy and healthy. They are half of me and half of my husband. But, I was impregnated by a woman.
When we first met our fertility doctor, I didn’t know what to think. She was smart with the perfect blend of kindness and stoicism. Although she looked young, somehow knowing she was a mother herself offered me a sense of relief. I’m not sure why, really. If I were 50 pounds heavier, I think I’d still be an effective health coach. As an RN in the mother-baby field, I believe I served my patients well prior to me becoming a mother myself. I suppose I was just grasping at straws to make a fearful experience feel more comforting. Who knows!
Dr. R, my husband, Joe, and myself have spent a lot of time together. We’ve had hopeful appointments, what-the-heck-happened-and-what-do-we-do-now consultations, and lots of in-between. There were less invasive procedures prior to us deciding to move on to the IVF cycles – the last pick in the science lottery of baby making. With each of these cycles (and there were more than just the 2 successful ones), I was required to be monitored 7 days a week due to certain medical risks. Each appointment included a doctor’s exam, an ultrasound, some blood work, and a follow up phone call. This call would let me know what dosages of each medication should be taken that day and when based upon the most recent lab results. There were pills and lots of shots – many I could give myself, but some had to be given by my husband. There are some places I just can’t reach! One of the first conversations Joe had to have with his new boss in the midst of negotiating salary and vacation time was that he needed to be home by 9 PM every night to administer my shots as it was time-sensitive.
We chose to keep this journey to ourselves with the exception of a few friends and family members. I was scared to jinx anything, to hear anyone’s opinions, to learn of someone’s sister’s dog’s aunt’s friend who tried 10 rounds of IVF to no avail…you name it. I was scared! Everything felt so out of my control that being able to decide who would learn of this big secret of ours was something I needed. This was MY body, MY challenge, MY journey, damnit!
Spring of 2013 we learned we were pregnant. I endured hyperemesis gravidarum and was terrified of losing the baby until the moment she was born. My husband and the few friends and family members we told were paramount in getting me through to the other side. Joe and I were blessed with Magnolia Mae in October 2013. What a miracle! She was and always will represent pure joy to me.
We began to open up slightly more about our infertility struggles at that time, but not completely. We knew we wanted a sibling for Magnolia, which probably meant another rendezvous with Dr. R down the road. As long as our struggles still felt ‘fresh’, I needed to maintain that sense of control wherever possible. It may be hard to understand, but I really needed that – for me.
Fast-forward a couple of years and another long, scary experience with hyperemesis. All hands were on deck to get me through again; this time with a toddler at home as well. January 5th of this year, we welcomed our son. Jagger Jack is our gorgeous, healthy, little rock star. He is miracle number two and has completed us in so many ways.
Now, I am ready to open up. Finally, I am ready to share. I don’t want sympathy, but rather the benefit of catharsis that has started as I type this and will grow when I click submit and send this off into the depths of the blogosphere. I would like to help others who are currently experiencing the intense emotional rollercoaster that is infertility and who need to reach out to someone that understands. I am ready to release the contents of the vault and forgive my body. I’m not sure why this was my path, but I know it has made me a much more patient mother and thankful person. I love my husband, family, and friends a bit more after feeling them carry me through these obstacles with such grace. I linger a little longer than my old self would have as I rock my daughter to sleep. I cherish the middle of the night wake-ups to nurse my newborn because I know how close we were to missing out on their existences here on this Earth. I am forever grateful.
I was impregnated by a woman…twice…and it’s the best thing that has ever happened to me!