Motherhood...Nah, I'll Take Paris Instead?
No one who knows me would ever accuse me of being outwardly maternal. While other little girls liked to play house and swaddle baby dolls, I was swept away by day dreams of traveling to far away places and doing "big" things. This desire intensified when my Mom bought me a copy of Cosmopolitan Magazine in junior high. Scary I know, but amidst the glossy pages of big hair and frightening shoulder pads, I found impossibly glamorous images of achingly chic women stepping into an Air France Concorde on one page and walking the streets of Paris on the next. I read articles about being a career woman and "tips" on making it in the professional world. I knew in my young soul I wanted all of that!
Fueled by drive bordering on the demonic, I plowed through high school, college, and law school, with nary an image of motherhood or babies along the way. My singular focus was on building a life of fierce independence and financial security. Within months of graduating from law school and being admitted to the California Bar, I began my career as a prosecutor. As a young trial attorney, I was thrown into a teeming cesspool of thieves, chronic drunks, dopers, drug dealers, wife beaters, gang members, juvenile delinquents, perverts, and sex offenders. (And, those weren't even the defendants...of course, I jest.) Despite the grinding workload, ridiculous hours, and the pervasive "good old boys' club" of the courthouse, I was making my dreams come true. Between my salary and relatively generous allotment of vacation time, I touched down in London, Paris, Lisbon, Madrid,Venice, and Rome, as I had always dreamed. With my career on a vertical trajectory, in an environment that hardly encouraged more familial pursuits for female attorneys, the possibility of having a child was about as attractive as having a tarantula caught in my hair.
...And Then True Love Intervened...
Then it happened. I fell in love with and married the only human being on the planet who truly "got me." It was (and still is) the real deal oatmeal. I soon began to feel a stir in my being that urged me to reproduce with this man. I felt for the first time in my life that there was something more than my career. It appeared that there was a shred of truth in the seemingly self-righteous refrain, repeated by the minuscule group of women I knew with children, that "when the right man comes along, you will want to have babies." I had previously dismissed such words as the involuntary din of those indoctrinated into the cult of baby worship. But, in my case, they were right. Ultimately, making a shift in my priorities was less of a problem than the bitter irony of coming to this realization at the age of 38.
The Truth...If We Only Knew
No academic, professional, or personal challenge could have prepared me for the road ahead. Indeed, at 38, I knew that the path to baby might not be easy, but I had absolutely no clue how our quest to go from "we to three" would change my life forever. I don't believe it is possible to accurately articulate the parade of painful emotions which lie in wait on the journey to baby, for those of us who have struggled, or are struggling with infertility. The feelings need not have a names, nor titles to leave us in tatters.
What is abundantly clear to me, as I look back on what started almost 3 years ago, is that I wish I would have known what was ahead of me. I wish my husband and I could have been better prepared. We stared down the tempest without blinking, but endured devastating hits along the way. Our journey brought us closer and forged a bond between us that I dare say is usually reserved only for those united in battle. It took work, faithful adherence to a clear set of convictions, and keen respect for the lessons as they unfolded.
Defy Uncertainty. Define Your Journey. Live Extraordinary!
The fertility and adoption journey is no cakewalk. In sharing my story, the goal is to empower others with the practical tools needed to thrive on the journey and emerge with their personal well being and their marriage or partnership intact. I know, because I have been there. This journey and what I have learned along the way has made me feel stronger and more excited about my life than ever. Trust me, it can be done.
Talk to me!