Sunday, September 13, 2009

With Most Bad Things, There Are Good Things Too

In our culture, it’s odd (and obtrusive) that people feel the need to be nosey. Once you find "the one", people are constantly asking "when are you going to get married??" Once you are married people are constantly asking "when are you going to have children??" Lesson #1 - unless you are CLOSE family or friends, don't ever think it's okay to ask people that question. Some people in fact don't want kids or choose to have kids later in life and for others, perhaps there are fertility complications. When continually asked "when are you going to have children?", and there are fertility complications, it just about pours salt into the wound. Whichever the reason, unless you are close family or friends, it's no one's business but your own!

Up until now, our infertility hasn’t been grand public knowledge and it is with great hesitance that I write even this much. Those close to us, of course, know but we don’t spend a great amount of time discussing it as, to this day, I still can’t understand why it had to happen to me. (Not that I would ever wish this upon anyone else.) In a nutshell and without sharing too much info, I was born with a condition that has left me healthy but without a uterus. One in every 4,000 women have this condition or a form of it and, fortunately for me, my case is mild as it could have left me without other girly parts. I have known about this since I was a teenager and not one day has gone by since the day I found out that I am not deeply saddened by it. Unlike most teenagers, I never got a period, but I did “develop”. (And boy did I develop!) My Mom made an appointment with a well known gynecologist (Nancy P.) who I am proud to say is still my doctor and trusted friend. After a variety of ugly tests we had a diagnosis and on December 13th, 1989, we met with Nancy to find out what it was.  Before we learned anything, we sat in Nancy's office - me trembling while my mother had tears rolling down her face in fear of the worst. (insert boatloads of tears and uncontrollable sobbing here) My doctor explained the condition, gave us some helpful printed materials about it and talked about the good news and bad news moving forward.

Good news - I have healthy fallopian tubes, ovaries and most likely, healthy eggs.
Good news - I’ll never get a period in my life.
Bad news – I have this condition and because of this, I’ll never be able to carry a child.

Now, to some teenagers, this news wouldn't mean much at that point in their lives, but to me it was disturbing because I have ALWAYS known that I want to have children. I had dolls I would not part with and a younger sister by 6.5 years who were all “my babies”. I started as a mommy’s helper for our neighbor and then was babysitting for their baby girl when I was 12, if that. To this day we babysit our family and friend’s children because we genuinely love them and we’re happy to spend time with them. Not a day goes by when I am not sad, frustrated or angry I was born this way. Feeling ill-equipped and inadequate is a horrible, devasting feeling that I know many women can relate to. Many others can’t and I appreciate those in my life who have tried to put themselves in my shoes. Over the years, I have been thrilled with joy each time I hear someone I know is pregnant or had a baby. I am most definitely chipper for the guests of honor at a baby shower and happy to play with the kids at birthday parties, but inside it can be painful and hard to put on a happy face. Not because I’m jealous, but because my situation sucks and it’s not fair. (I know, life isnt’ fair, but this is how I feel and I’m entitled to it.)

The positve part to this is, I have a husband who loves me regardless of my condition and together, we will survive and prevail. For those looking for love with difficulties such as mine, I did not scoop up the last compassionate, loving, very handsome man, but I did get one of the best! This finally leads us to our recent decision to pursue surrogacy in India, so off we go!

1 comment:

  1. You have every right to be frustrated and all your friends know you have a big heart and are happy for all of us, as we are for you as you begin this journey! You both will be fabulous parents and your child will be so lucky to have you!