When I met my husband in 2009, he was recently divorced—no kids, I was a single mother to a five-year old. After three years of courtship our relationship progressed, and we eventually got married and decided we wanted to have a baby of our own. As a new wife, I wanted to give my husband the one thing he wanted so badly: his own child.
We started the baby-making process, and I thought I would get pregnant in no time; after all, I had gotten pregnant with my daughter fairly easy. So much so, that the pregnancy caught me by “surprise” and if conventional wisdom served me right, I—technically speaking—wasn’t even on one of the fertile days of my cycle. But, I was 29 years old, and apparently in my fertile prime.
That is why it came as a complete shock to me when the second time around, month after the month, those pink pee sticks kept registering the one line “not pregnant” instead of the coveted two-line “you’re pregnant” sign.
OBSESSED WITH FERTILITY TIPS AND TRICKS
I became obsessed with reading fertility calendars, and tips and tricks on getting pregnant. Even drinking obscure teas, lifting my legs up in the air after intercourse and taking relaxation vacations, anything to try to make it work. Nothing did.
I was devastated, and because I had already carried a child, I figured I would have no problem getting pregnant again. But this time around, I was 38 years old, and Mother Nature was less generous.
Dozens of thoughts raced through my head: Will my husband leave me? Am I not woman enough to give him a child? Did I do something wrong to injure my female reproductive organs that I am unaware of? Basically, I committed self-torture.
Every time I saw a woman with a round pregnant belly walking down the street, I would get green with envy and whisper to myself “must be nice”….
Then, eight months later, it finally happened! The pink stick came back with a double line letting me know my dream was about to come true. I couldn’t believe it, and in some ways I didn’t believe it. Now, my obsessions shifted to “I’m going to lose the baby.”
I read many articles stating that 30% of pregnancies end in miscarriage, and since I was over the ideal age for getting pregnant, the chances of my eggs having a chromosomal abnormality increased by leaps and bounds, making my chances of a loss even greater.
I was in a conundrum, although I was happy about the pregnancy, I was terrified of getting too attached and becoming devastated if something went wrong. So although I finally got pregnant, I couldn’t enjoy the pregnancy for many weeks to come, until the doctors gave me the green light, and I felt everything was progressing normally.
My situation made me self-aware of the Infertility dilemmas that face thousands of women to date. In November 2009, The World Health Organization classified infertility as a disease. According to RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, today, 7.3 million Americans, and 186 million people worldwide are struggling with fertility issues. The problem is so widespread that the group even established National Infertility Awareness Week, April 22-28.
NEW DOCUMENTARY CHRONICLES DIFFICULT ROAD TO PREGNANCY
Many online communities, websites and even phone apps have been established for couples struggling with this disease, such as FertilityClock.com, which was developed by Brigitte Mueller and Dr. John Jain to help educate women in preventing age-related infertility. The site is also meant to be used as an educational tool in conjunction with the film series My Future Baby: Breakthroughs In Modern Fertility a documentary on infertility, to air on PBS stations nationwide in September 2012.
The special series My future Baby will chronicle the real journeys many couples faced to getting pregnant. But it also will offer a breath of hope as some of these women suffered with infertility for as long as 13 years before conceiving. The cutting edge documentary will contain stunning 4D animations of the inside of the human body, and micro-lens close-ups from the medical procedures themselves, My Future Baby illuminates fertility, as has never been seen before.
I recently made it to my 5-month mark. And as the weeks keep going by and my doctor’s appointments reassure me that there is a tiny heartbeat hard at work in my belly, I’m easing more and more into the idea that I will be a mom one more time. But because I started this journey with so much frustration and disappointment, I don’t think I can finally rest easy until I’m holding that bundle of joy in my arms.
Don’t get me wrong, I am so happy about my pregnancy, and this journey has lead me to learn so much about the disease of infertility, that I don’t take this blessing for granted. I also feel that, the eight-month wait to finally conceiving was a blessing in disguise because it made me so much more aware of how lucky I am now, and it made me more empathetic to women still embarking on their mommyhood quest. I know as a mother that the worries will never stop; in fact this is only the beginning, but it’s one journey I will always be grateful for.
My Future Baby: Breakthroughs In Modern Fertility, a documentary on infertility, will air on PBS stations nationwide in September 2012.
Naibe Reynoso is a Mamiverse contributor and creator of her own blog Naibe Roams LA and you can also follow her on twitter @naibereynoso.