Thursday, March 24, 2011
I had such involved dreams of motherhood. The nurse would place the baby in my arms and I would instantly know what to do with it. I would bond immediately and be a MOM! What I didn't anticipate was the power of pregnancy.
I became a mother at conception.
Actually getting pregnant was difficult. I was my Reproductive Endocrinologist's first appointment for more years than I care to admit. Every morning I woke at 3:30 so that I could be there when the doors opened and I wouldn't be late for work. I didn't want these appointments to affect my life so they were placed out of the way. I didn't want to say that I was infertile. My baby story wasn't going to start with, "Your father and I got married and were so delighted when we found out we were pregnant with you! It was such a surprise!" No, my baby story was hard, cold and sterile, like the doctor's office. Oh, they tried to pretty it up as I tried to downplay the absolute desperation that consumed me but it was a doctor's office, it smelled like antiseptic lightly disguised by the scents of lilac and lavender. I walked in and was greeted by the receptionist, Jennifer. She had a cup of tea ready for me and would make small talk while we waited for the nurse to draw my blood. It was a set routine, we alternated my arms every day. I knew where to sit based on where the tea was placed. More often than not we followed up this blood letting game by a trip to the stirrups. The doctors looked at what they needed to see, did procedure after procedure; "This one should work!" and after a while, I ignored what was happening to my body, ignored the doctors, went through the routine and went into a dream world.
I closed my eyes and saw my hand holding a little hand. We were skipping and laughing. I couldn't see you but I could feel the happiness. I could feel the joy of being a mother. Depending on the length of the procedure, the dream was amazingly detailed or just a glimpse of our entwined hands.
My husband didn't have to go to the appointments. We-no- I couldn't get to a point where I needed him to complete the job so to speak. He knew that I left early every morning for my normal doctor appointments. He saw that I ate spinach every night because I read somewhere that it helped with fertility. He knew that I spent two hours at the gym, running 5 miles and doing strength exercises because I read that would help fertility also. He would hold my hand at night as I tried to ignore the pain and would just sit or lay there crying. He would give me a shot when I couldn't bear to stick myself one more time. I wanted to do this for us. I wanted to have his child. I wanted to make a family with him. That desire was so great, it lead me down a very expensive road.
On April 23, 2007, the shots had finally worked! We got the point that we could do an IUI. My husband was coming with me to an appointment! I got to go to a different building and see different staff. We were so excited, and more than a bit nervous. They were still closed when we got there. A lady was standing outside the door in scrubs. We thought she worked there but it turns out that she was a patient herself. She told us how she had conceived twins and lost them at 18 weeks. I gripped my husband's hand and tried to forget what she said. Why did I have to hear that before the insemination? I was so worried that it was a bad sign.
The actual insemination took place with a doctor that I had never met before or since. I sat on an uncomfortable table, a bit different than the normal stirrup contraction and held my breath. The doctor was talking but I was staring at my husband. He was gripping my hand so hard that it hurt. I said, "Pray!" He said, "I am!" I closed my eyes and with every fiber of my being, I prayed. The only thing I could think to say was "PLEASE!" There were no words for how badly we wanted this baby, I knew that God understood I was done with fertility this time, even if it failed I didn't have it in me to continue anymore.
The doctor finished up and offered a smile. "Let's hope it works!" We walked out to the car drained but it was only 7 am. We held hands as we left. I knew that it has worked. I was a mother. I could feel it already.