I’ve always wanted to be a mother. Most people’s first word is “Mom”, “Dad”, or some variation of that. My first word was “Baby.” My mom told me I loved them so much that she made me a photo album of babies so I could look through it. I adored baby dolls of every kind and would hold them and rock them and sing to them. I became an aunt when I was barely more than 2, and I still have a picture of me holding my first niece. I was sitting down with adults around, but you could see how happy I was to be holding a baby. My Mom worked in schools and day cares as I grew up and worked the nursery at church, and I was around babies every second I could possibly be. My Mom and sisters got the teaching genes. I played as a teacher some as a kid, but I never had a true desire for it. My desires were always to be a Mother.
I’ve always loved being an Aunt, and even though my oldest nieces were really more like sisters because of our closeness in age, they mean the world to me. I cry when big events happen in their life, both happy tears and sad tears, and since the age of 23 when I first became a great Aunt, I have absolutely cherished getting to be in their children’s lives. If I am honest, I kind of expected I would probably be married with kids before my nieces or at least around the same time as most of them just because I was the oldest but I just didn’t find the man I was supposed to marry until a little bit better. At 25, almost 26, I finally married and there was a mixed response about the idea of kids. I had a lot of people saying to wait a while while some seemed to hint at me having kids really soon. To say that their opinions didn’t affect me would be a lie. I’ve always been sensitive to other’s opinions, overly sensitive, in fact. I have never been the type to want to rush into having kids even though I have always known I was meant to be a Mother. When I took “Home Ec” in high school, we had the standard assignment with the babies that will cry and you turn the key to stop it. All the other girls were so excited for the assignment, but I wasn’t. I didn’t want the fake babies. I had been around babies all my life. At 15 years old, I valued my sleep and my free time, and I was like, nope! So I was the one person who took the other assignment, which was a 5-page research paper. I know they probably thought I was stupid. They probably thought having the fake baby was a lot easier. Since I was so shy and bullied in school, I don’t really know what their ending position was about whether I made the better choice, but I honestly feel like they probably ended up thinking my choice was the best. I know I definitely did because I wasn’t awakened by a fake baby. I didn’t have to carry the fake baby around all day and worry about it crying. As much as I wanted kids (in fact, I wanted 10), I had enough sense to know that I wanted to wait until I was mature enough to handle one.
So…I got married and because of all the pressure to wait to start a family, I didn’t “actively try” to start a family. I am putting that in parentheses because I also wasn’t on birth control, etc. Without saying more information than you probably want to know, I basically put it in God’s hands and decided, “I’m not going to watch the calender or try hard to have a baby, but if it happens, it happens.” I honestly felt like it would just naturally happen on its own within 1-2 years, and that was fine by me. I knew I wasn’t financially where I would like to be, which is why I didn’t try so hard, but I also felt like I may never be. There are people who ARE financially ready for a family then disaster strikes after they have kids, and what then? They deal with it, right? When people would ask when I was having kids, I would laugh it off and say, ” Someday” or “eventually” because I was kind of afraid to say what I really wanted to say, which was, “Hopefully soon!” Like most women, I honestly didn’t expect that I would have any problems.
As the years went on and it didn’t just naturally happen, I started to think that maybe I needed to look at a calendar. I downloaded a “Pink Pad” app for my Kindle and started keeping track of my cycle, etc. and actually “trying.” I even had times where I thought I had symptoms and I was a little late only for my period to start. For the first few months, I still had high hopes then every time my period started, I would just cry. I went out and bought ovulation tests only to constantly look at them and see I wasn’t ovulating. I had pretty regular periods, so shouldn’t I be ovulating? Apparently not…. As more and more people around me started to get pregnant and I wasn’t, I just got more and more depressed. If you read my blog in the past then you know I went through a weight loss journey where I lost a lot of weight, and I honestly thought that would help me. During that weight loss journey is when I was trying very hard to start a family, but nothing….I just didn’t know what to do and I was too scared to ask. I felt like people would just tell me I didn’t need kids because at the time I didn’t have a job yet and my husband was on disability. I didn’t want to hear that, so I just struggled in silence….or almost silence. I did confide in a couple of people, but for the most part, I kept quiet. My middle sister has endometriosis and had to have surgery before she could have kids, so I started thinking that might be a possibility, but without insurance, I put things off. One of my friends suggested getting on Women’s Health to check into being tested for it, so I did and got on that. The OB/GYN I had used years before as a teenager only accepted people who used it for “birth control” NOT family planning and the nurse even laughed at me when I asked about that….which was not very helpful at all! I finally went to my friend’s doctor out of town and had a Pap smear, which came out fine. They said everything looked good and nothing more was said, so I had no idea I would need an ultrasound as well.
This year, I finally got on insurance and since my old doctor left the practice unexpectedly, I had to go to a different one. The lady I see now is actually a Nurse Practitioner, but she is the only doctor I have ever had that asked me “Do you have kids?” “Do you want kids?” and when I said “Yes”, she encouraged me to get started because of my age, which is when I told her that I had “started” and let her know my fears. She sent me for a pelvic ultrasound (an outer one not inner), which also came back normal. It was then that I told her about buying the ovulation tests and everything, and she referred me to a fertility specialist out of town…as in 2-3 hours away depending on which office I go to! Apparently this lady was good because my nurse practitioner used her and she delivered her twins. So…with finally some hope, I made an appointment and went to see the fertility specialist, also known as a reproductive endocrinologist.
At my first appointment, she looked at my lab results and said my progesterone was low, which could mean I wasn’t ovulating well, so I had that lab redone to compare as well as some more labs. I then was told I had to return for an HSG (hysterosalpingogram) which is a special x-ray where they insert a catheter inside you with a balloon then inflate the balloon inside you (which made me feel like I was having horrible, horrible period cramps!) then release dye into the fallopian tubes to see if it comes back out, which would indicate that they are not blocked. They then deflate it, remove it, and voila! You’re done. I had this done on Monday afternoon, and the doctor who did the x-ray gave me just a basic rundown from what he could see, and I will be returning Tuesday to get more information from my doctor. I was told that my right fallopian tube is probably blocked. I was heartbroken. I had pretty much thought I just had an ovulatory dysfunction, which is not great but she had a preliminary treatment plan worked up where I would get shots and go through IUI or just timed “activities”. Hearing that I had a blocked fallopian tube threw something else into the mix that I didn’t expect. There are a few family members and friends that are in the loop about this, but it has been overwhelming to say the least. It’s hard, and people don’t always know the right things to say. I feel like a lot of people mean well and I realize that deep down, but it’s not always the things I really need to hear. I honestly don’t know what the next step will be, but I do know this journey could possibly be time consuming and will be expensive. Having a baby is obviously not cheap but when you have to do fertility treatment in order to start the process itself, it’s even more expensive. Adoption is a common topic to bring up, and I’m definitely not against it, but at this time in my life, I feel like there is a hole inside myself and I feel that I was meant to be a Mom. I feel so much love within myself that is just wanting to carry a child and give it love. I know I will never be rich in money, but I know that I could give a child all the love in the world. Insurance covers birth control and in some places abortion but they don’t cover fertility treatment. I could possibly need surgery to fix my fallopian tube. I know I will need injections and medicine and other procedures. There are financing places you can go through, and I will definitely be looking into them, but when all is said and done, it could be thousands that I will have to pay over a period of time.
By posting this and sharing this, I am opening myself up to hopefully support but also possibly criticism and negativity. I know there are people that will be very against what I want because they feel that if you don’t have the money, don’t do it. This is an aspect that honestly infuriates me. Whether a couple has a lot of money or not, people can give their opinions, but in a regular (lucky) situation, they get pregnant if they want to and other people’s say doesn’t really matter. In my situation and others like mine, people can say I don’t need a kid and what can I really do? I can try financing, credit cards, etc. and maybe after all the money spent, I’ll have a child, but maybe I won’t. It’s hard opening up to people about this. It’s hard knowing I will have to hear some negativity or other people’s plans that might not be what I want, especially when it comes from people who don’t really understand from my point of view. I will also be opening myself up to more people wanting updates and there are times honestly where I just don’t want to talk about it. Sometimes when my mind is on something else for a moment, the last thing I want is to be reminded of this horrible nightmare called infertility, which by the way, doesn’t mean the inability to ever have a kid. Infertility is when you have tried for 1 year and have been unsuccessful whether by not getting pregnant or just miscarrying over and over. Seeing yourself diagnosed with “infertility” feels like a nightmare when you once dreamed of having a big family.
I am sharing this story in hopes of gaining support but also to help break the stigma that comes with infertility. I posted recently on FB about feeling inferior on Mother’s Day because they are celebrating mothers and I haven’t been able to have a baby myself. One of my friends told me that I should never feel this one, and I am a woman regardless of whether I can ever bear a child or not. That meant a lot because it’s hard as a woman to feel like you are unable to do what other women can. Finally, I am sharing this story to ask for help, whether it be through ideas or even through donations. Please know that I absolutely hate having to ask people for anything. I also know that a lot of people are like me in that they don’t have a lot of money to give. Please know that I don’t think any less or better of a person depending on what they have to offer me. As family and friends or even if you’re a stranger just reading this and maybe thinking you would want to help, material things are not what I consider in liking a person. Unfortunately, medical bills cost money, and I am in need of coming up with ways to raise money to help out with future fertility treatment. I am considering starting a Gofundme account, but they do take fees out each time someone donates money. I have also considered giving out my Paypal email for people to send donations as “friends and family payment” so there are no fees accrued. I have had a friend offer to do a fundraiser (not saying names here). If you have any ideas for me, please let me know. Good ideas are worthwhile to me if you aren’t able to do anything else. Gofundme does allow for anonymous donations, which I know some people may prefer, so I am kind of waiting to see what response I may possibly get and what everyone thinks.
I know this is a long blog, sorry!! If you would like to private message me on FB or email me at Greeneyedramaqueen@gmail.com instead of leaving your response in the comments, you may do so!