Mary in Vallejo, CA



When David and I decided to start a family, we went the route of "if it happens, it happens, and if it doesn't, it wasn't meant to be, and that's okay." We knew we did not want medical intervention, and definitely nothing clinical. We wanted to make love and get pregnant, end of story.


After eight years and no pregnancy, we modified our declaration. When we were honest with ourselves, we knew that it wasn't okay if we didn't get pregnant. Though we stuck by our idea of conceiving the old-fashioned way, we modified it to include a doctor who could identify our problem. Tests revealed that it was all on me, so over the next year and a half, I focused on getting pregnant with the help of a doctor.


Temperature charts showed that I wasn't ovulating consistently, if at all, and x-rays showed fibroids that would have interfered with fertilization. So we scheduled surgery to have them removed. When the temp charts didn't show any ovulation improvement, my doctor put me on Clomid to help promote ovulation. We were all hopeful a few months later when the charts showed that I was now more than likely ovulating, but after nine months I still wasn't pregnant.


I started injections of a drug called Gonal F. Instead of going to my doctor every day for the better part of two weeks, I gave the injections to myself. I also had my blood drawn about six times and had several ultrasounds. On Valentine's Day, I got a shot to cause me to ovulate. How perfect, I thought. We could have a romantic Valentine's dinner and end the evening conceiving our child. My doctor put an end to that little fantasy. He wanted us to have an artificial insemination the following day. I explained tearfully that we wanted to conceive naturally. It was a waste of time and money, he said, to come all this way and do everything that I had just done and not complete the process by putting David's "boys" as close to my "girl" as possible. We knew he was right. We couldn't pass over the final step. I had the insemination.


I closed my eyes on the way home and visualized David's sperm meeting up with my egg. I felt optimistic, like I had every month for the last nine years. About a week later I felt cramps. I was disappointed but tried not to think about it. And then nothing happened. No more cramps, no period. I went in for a pregnancy test. I called to get the results that afternoon. I was so nervous. My heart was racing and my stomach was clenched. The nurse came on the line with excitement and told me I was pregnant.


I don't know exactly when it hit me, but soon after I thought about how obstinate we had been for so many years. I wondered what we were thinking to not look for help sooner. I mentally kicked myself for putting it off for so long. Then August was born and in those first few hours I held and kissed him, stared at his sweet little puffy face, and slept with him tucked between my arm and chest. And a new realization came over me, that everything happened exactly as it should have.