One of my friends sent me this article yesterday and I’ve read it twice since. I urge you to read it, it’s so superbly done. For many reasons this story resonates with me and is something I’ve wanted to discuss for a while since finding out I was pregnant… waiting until later in life to have children.
While I have struggled with infertility, I’ve struggled even more with the decision to get pregnant in the first place. I discussed this feeling in my book a little, but wanted to go a little deeper into it here. As long as I can remember, I never felt a strong urge to be a mother. Even as my friends began lamenting how much they desired babies, I didn’t feel the primal urge- the deep hunger for offspring- in my bones. When I was around little kids and babies, instead of feeling like my ovaries might explode from desire, I instead felt a little more like ” Man, I’m glad I get to leave here by myself”. Like the author of the above article, I cherish my alone time. As you know, I too struggle with anxiety, and am by all accounts an introvert. Once I get out and around people I enjoy myself, but choosing to go be social is the hard part for me. I’d much rather stay home and watch Netflix with Andrew than go to a party. Cancelled plans are my drug of choice.
At the same time as all my peers where having babies, I was birthing a career. Right when I “should” have been having kids at 32, I was busy signing my first book deal and frantically working to keep up with demand of this blog and my long client list. I loved it, it was everything I had hoped for and more and didn’t feel like anything was missing. Not only did I not have room in my life for a kid, I didn’t want to make the room. But I felt this societal pressure to WANT to have kids, and I am an easy victim of peer pressure and bucking to what the media deems I should want. So we pulled the goalie, per say, and kind of half-heartedly tried to get pregnant for a year. Knowing now what I know about conception, our “trying” was total bullshit. All those years we spent worried about accidentally pregnant, and it turns out you have like, a 48 hour window to get pregnant. And with both our travel schedules alone, this made it impossible half the months of that year. I was never worried about it though because I was still so ambivalent about the whole thing. Every month I would be “sad” externally about not conceiving, when really inside I felt a rush of relief.
And then I turned 34 and started thinking, well, what if something is wrong with me? I had heard grumblings about damaging my fertility from doctors when I was being treated for anorexia in my teens, and the fear started to creep in that they were right. What if I couldn’t get pregnant naturally? What if this took five years? I love to comply to a schedule, and so far everything had happened as it should: married at 26, first home purchased at 26, career solidly in place by 30…so the baby thing was started to fall way off schedule, and that stressed me out. So we went to see a fertility doctor who told us basically, there was no reason I wasn’t getting pregnant medically, but to speed things up since I was “older”, we should try IUI.