Love and Loss:
My Road to Motherhood
by: Becca W.
At one point during my journey, I took a fertility drug to kick-start ovulation. This also brought out the best in other people—their best stories at least. It seems that everyone knows someone who has been on a fertility drugs and had at least triplets. Although these stories are just funny anecdotes from the outside, they are terrifying to someone who is taking the medicine. This drug also had side effects, which made me feel like I was in menopause. My mom was not even experiencing this stage yet, and I was having hot flashes. Some days, they came twice an hour. I had no idea my body could get that hot so quickly. One moment I was fine, and in the next instant, I was red and covered in beads of sweat. Fire engulfed my body in a matter of seconds. By the time I was finally cool and feeling normal, another surge of heat consumed me. I woke up at night drenched with my body’s sad attempt to cool itself. My emotions were hard for me to control, and I knew I wasn’t myself. I stayed on the medication for five months unsuccessfully. My doctor offered to try artificial insemination as well, but we decided to wait.
On December 4, 2003, I saw two precious lines develop on the pregnancy test. We had conceived a child with no fertility drugs and with no help from our doctor.
The next twelve hours were surreal and fantastic. Today the memory is mostly a blur with a few crystal clear moments sprinkled throughout the day. Needing more proof, I had rushed to my doctor for a blood test. That afternoon I got the call that would change my life forever. My test was positive. When I told my husband about the second positive test of the day, we were in stunned bliss. We cried and wondered how we could be so fortunate. Our dream of creating a family was coming true. My mind and heart raced with anticipation and love for my child. Although the life inside me was merely a few weeks old, I was instantly attached and in love with my baby. After all, this child, our child, was half me and half Matt—the man I loved more than anyone in the world. Our baby was physical, tangible evidence of our love for each other. This little being would be a combination of our talents and gifts, our quirks and weaknesses. That night, I had one of the moments I had looked forward to the most in the previous years. I told my parents that I was pregnant. I will never forget the moment that the words escaped from my mouth, “I’m pregnant.” We all cried with joy as I had done several times that day.
Feeling apprehensive, we decided to tell only our immediate families about our baby. I had to stifle myself from shouting the news every time I saw a close friend or stranger for that matter, but I kept my joy to myself. The day after we found out, we told our siblings. My sister-in-law and her husband came over so we could tell them the news in person. Within thirty seconds of telling them about our baby, they told us about theirs. She was due a month before me, but they had planned on waiting until their first doctor’s appointment before telling anyone. I felt happy for them and for our baby to have a cousin, but I also felt a bit heavy-hearted about sharing this time with them. It was finally our time, and now it was theirs too…shortly after they had started trying, of course. I also felt distraught about the possibility of something happening to my baby. What if I lost the baby then had to endure the rest of her pregnancy? Those thoughts were frightening but quickly went to the back of my mind as I was overwhelmed by delight. Christmas neared, and we were so thankful to have our baby growing inside me. The two previous years our families had large pregnant bellies or newborn babies. Although I had been happy for them, my heart ached at each family gathering. That year, I could hardly contain my joy.
On Friday, January 2, 2004, we had an ultrasound to see our precious little grain of rice. Such a sweet, white spot on a screen of black. It seemed fitting to me—the contrast of black and white. Our baby was the white speck in a sea of black, my moment of joy in a period of darkness. White has always been the symbol for good, and black that of evil. I would come to understand this fully sooner than I would have liked.
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