Though there are a million things out there to read, watch, review and listen to about how great, or not great, becoming a mother is, I never realized how hard it would be. For years, in my 20s, I bargained that I’d have enough time to figure it all out. I married young, the first time, and figured I’d have two children by the time I was 30. No later–that would be ridiculous!
And yet, here I am, at 38, with a divorce, another marriage and countless different life choices behind me, still not a mother.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m lots of other things. I’ve managed to eke out a pretty awesome life, despite some of my glaring mistakes, so I’m not regretting my past. Just saying that I really didn’t see myself here.
My husband now has three children (two biological, one adopted) from his previous marriage. I’ll write more on what that means for us in another post. But the important thing here is that he did father biological children with no problems or complications. And then, as many men do, he got a vasectomy, which has proved to be the bane of our procreation dreams.
After we had been together a couple of years, and had many talks about starting our own family, we consulted the internet, as you do, and chose to get his vasectomy reversed. This seemed like the best way to ensure we could start trying to have a family naturally. I had no known issues that would prevent this, and so off we went, to Toronto, to have him put “back together,” as it were.
Recovery was longer than we expected, but we were told the procedure was successful, and the initial sperm analysis was okay–they were there, and the doctor predicted that they would get more plentiful and stronger with time. So off we went–me tracking my bbt and ovulation and he contributing to the effort at all the right times.
We didn’t anticipate issues, but because by that time I was already in my late 30s, my doctor suggested she refer me to our fertility clinic here. My “advanced maternal age” was enough to make her uncertain as to our chances. So we went.
I anticipated the clinic doctor we met to take one look at us healthy folks and tell us to “keep up the good work,” but I was sadly mistaken. Apparently, while my husband’s analysis had shown sperm, what we didn’t know that these little swimmers had started to produce antibodies that made it nigh impossible for them to penetrate, and therefore fertilize an egg. No matter how wonderfully healthy that was…
Crushed, we were now told that we were officially in the 1 in 6 club: those couples who experience fertility issues for a wide range of problems. Of all the clubs I’ve ever wanted to be in, this was the furthest from my mind. Even knowing how common infertility is didn’t really help. All I remember from that first meeting was a crushing feeling in my chest when I realized that the inevitability of me becoming a mother was not, in fact, the case.