We were driving around Hollywood on our way to dinner in his black corvette (Who drives a Corvette before having a midlife crisis? We will leave that for another day) it was our third date and he was talking about his niece and nephew. I asked him “do you like kids?” “not at all” he said. My Jewish red flag went off as I continued pressing on the subject without trying to sound desperate “Like not really you never want kids?” he paused and said “More like I rather have monkeys” he laughed. I didn’t. “More like not right now” he said. I could date that. I could marry “not right now” Hell! I was a not right now kinda gal.
About 2 years ago I hit my “Right NOW moment” but my husband still preferred the idea of monkeys. The process was painful, it required deep listening, trusting and patience which I started to wear like a Superhero Cape with which somedays I just wanted to strangle him with. The environment that surrounded me wasn’t really helpful with comments from friends and family such as “you really shouldn’t wait. It might take a long time once you start trying” “the longer you wait the harder it is. Did you know that after 35 you are high risk?” “What if he is never ready? You are never really ready to have kids” or my favorite “you should just trick him. He will love it when it’s born”. I’m sure nobody meant to hurt me but each comment felt like paper cuts.
When his “ok” moment kicked in. I don’t think he ever had that “right now” feeling but it was more of a “icanlivewithit” vibe. I was so freaking ready I wanted it to happen NOW. My sister suggested I buy pregnancy tests at the dollar store, she forgot to mention that the reason they cost a dollar is because you don’t pee on a stick it’s more of a lab process. You have to collect a sample then take a little dropper and add 3 drops to test. I took the first test the day I was supposed to get my period and felt like I had been punched on the stomach when it came out negative. It wasn’t that I expected to get pregnant on the first round it was that my deep fear of being infertile took over.
The next month I accidently traveled on my fertile days (those things are really hard to track when you have cysts) and by the third month I was ready to take things to the next level. I had waited long enough my Patience Cape was turning pink from washing it so much. I booked an appointment with a OBGYN that was also an endocrinologist aka a Fertility Specialist thinking I would kill two birds with one stone. Because of my hypothyroidism and PCOS it made complete sense.
This was by far one of the worst Doctor experiences I have ever been through. I came to my appointment scheduled at 10:30 the receptionist greeted me and a man wearing a Lab coat was sitting next to her. I waited for an hour watching the man (it was the Dr that was supposed to see me) talk on the phone, collect papers, joke with the receptionist. When he finally saw me he immediately started talking about all the tests I needed to get done and my options of doing invitro, taking pills that forced my ovulation…. my face turned the color of his coat.
The acupuncturist who I have been going for years and love said the problem was that I was exercising too much. My nightstand was full of supplements. I tried another acupuncturist who recommended a Liver Cleanse and weekly sessions. I found myself reading every fertility article and considering doing a vaginal steam and suddenly I cracked.
I did the most courageous thing I could do for myself. I stopped. I canceled the Drs Appointments, stop taking the herbs, stopped going to acupuncturist. Stopped everything that I was doing to give it some space. In a way it felt like surrendering it wasn’t about giving up but about giving it space. It was no longer a hunt. Some nights I prayed just connecting and asking for help for me and every woman struggling with fertility I must say my very short experience with this subject opened my heart so much for so many women struggling in silence and other nights I cried releasing unto the unknown. Realizing that motherhood was all about stepping with patience unto the unknown even before becoming a mother.
That same month I got pregnant. We are having a Baby Girl!!!! Of course my fear of being infertile got switched for a fear of having a miscarriage. I have been one of those really really lucky women that barely have any symptoms. In my mind the sign of pregnancy was nausea. I even read that it meant a healthy pregnancy. I was ready for it. I thought to myself before being pregnant “when I feel terrible I won’t complain” except I didn’t feel terrible. I waited for it patiently scared of what it meant to feel so good. You can never win when you are playing against thoughts. The stories in my head crept in like uninvited neighbors.
As the weeks go by, listening to the babies heartbeat, seeing her tiny hands and legs, has brought much comfort and joy into both our lifes but I’m sure the next fear will come along when I least expected.
Please know I’m not trying to give fertility advice that is not really why I wanted to share this story but I think we all have areas in our lives that require patience, space and the courage to step into the unknown. Sometimes the only way to get there is by surrendering into something bigger than ourselves.
Wherever you are in your journey if you have 5 kids, no kids, are having trouble with fertility, have struggled with miscarriages. My heart is wide wide open for you.