Most little girls want to grow up to be mothers. It is ingrained in us at an early age by what toys our parents chose to buy us. Little boys are often bought toy trucks and rowdy toys. Little girls are almost always bought at least one doll.
There is a misconception existing in that all women who want babies can have them. I have watched a cousin struggle with infertility and three pregnancies lost since before I married by husband in 2002. My paternal aunt was unable to conceive and carry to term. For these women, as well as me, others having a child becomes more of something taken for granted and more cherished.
I was not supposed to be a mother. At age nine, I was diagnosed with ovarian dysgerminoma. Unlike most cases of dysgerminoma the cancer was unilateral and spared my left ovary. Six years later, I underwent what the doctors termed an unlikely recurrence and almost went through radiation. The cancer spared my ovary yet again though I did lose a kidney because of how it grew.
Other problems compounded the situation. I have no thyroid gland and have undergone other conditions not conducive to having a child such as endometriosis. In May 2003, I was focused on graduate school so I could afford IVF or something to assist in getting pregnant. In my case but certainly not every case, I was blessed with the conception of my first son born later that year.
Fertility for me worked backward. I spent more than twenty years of my life watching cousins have children and wondering if it would be me. Doctors were not optimistic. There is a face they try to hide when the question is raised as a childhood cancer survivor; especially when there are other complicating factors that ask if she is fertile. As a matter of fact, when my daughter was conceived 10 months after my son, my main doctor admitted her never thought I would be a biological mother.
The process of bringing my children into the world has been bittersweet. I would do anything for them including giving them my own soul but genes cannot be controlled by humans. Both my sweet children have Cowden Syndrome-an extra A nucleotide on the PTEN gene- and if I could take it back I would. So far, few problems have exhibited and multiple times a day I pray it stays that way.
I never thought I would be blessed with children. When my nephew was born and I was 22 years old, I cried on the way home certain he would be the last baby in the family. The funny thing about life is we never know. My infertility lasted eight months, a small time compared to most but it felt a lifetime for me. The birth of my daughter happened a few months more quickly. They are eighteen months apart and my world.
I know my experience with infertility cannot compare to those who have been unable to get pregnant for years, lost pregnancies, and feel hopeless to change the situation. The conception of my son fell during a week I prayed to God for a sign he was there and that I could not deny. There are no coincidences and maybe God’s answer for your pregnancy isn’t “no” but “not right now.” My son brought my faith back with the answered prayer. If it happened prior to this point, I don’t know if I would have faith. Faith is the only thing in my life that surpasses my children. My children remind me of almost losing my faith.
When I was actively trying to get pregnant, I learned the language BFP (big freaking positive and I had two of those), BFN (I had dozens of those), CP (the higher the cervix-the more fertile you are), and more.
I send many BPS your way.