When did I first feel like a mother? Well, it’s complicated.
I know there were plenty of times when I felt like I’d never be a mother. When I argued on the phone with the VP of Benefits at the large company where I work. When through tears, I tried to convince him that our company’s insurance should cover IVF and that infertility was a medical condition not a lifestyle choice. When he told me, that unless other big multinationals started covering IVF, they wouldn’t either. At that point, I did not feel like I’d ever become a mother.
When I went in for an IUI procedure and a couple of weeks later I got the call that I was pregnant, I finally felt a burst of hope. Then at my second ultrasound there was no heartbeat. And the tech had no clue what to do or what to tell me. And I got left in a conference room for 45 minutes, alone, before a nurse finally came and told me that the baby wasn’t viable.
When I was throwing up into a plastic bag on the way home from the hospital after my D & C, I thought will this ever happen for me? When I was spending thousands on acupuncture, fertility-enhancing massage, supplements, medications, and treatments and procedures, I thought is this even worth it anymore? After a failed IVF cycle that resulted in no embryos, I decided to take a break. I needed a respite from the endless cycle of monitoring, meds, blood tests, and my own depression and anxiety.
And then it happened. A few months later I was wondering why I hadn’t gotten my period…was it just that my cycle was so screwed up from all the fertility treatments? One morning without any fanfare I got up and took a pregnancy test and then came back to bed. I snuggled up to my husband under the covers and whispered “I’m pregnant.”
No fertility treatments, no acupuncture, no IVF, no timed cycles, no meds—just old-fashioned dumb luck led to my pregnancy. And I have no idea why. Why I was able to conceive naturally after all those years of trying? Why I was able to get pregnant when so many healthy, smart, amazing women can’t?
After years of infertility, after a difficult pregnancy, after 3 days of labor and an unplanned C-section, and after the endless months of postpartum depression and a colicky baby, I think I might finally be getting the hang of this. When I go into my son’s room in the morning and his chubby arms are raised up towards me, it’s the least complicated moment in my life. And for once I know exactly how I feel—like a mother.
“The Least Complicated Moment” is part of Bump Club and Beyond’s “Like A Mother” series. These submissions detail the first time amazing moms around the world felt like mothers. Stay tuned for more “Like A Mother” blog posts in the coming weeks.