Having children wasn’t something I grew up wanting. I was too focused on becoming a doctor. I knew I wanted to be a doctor from the age of 13. By the time I got into medical school, I was 25 and single. For most of my med school training I just didn’t think it would happen for me. I didn’t think I’d meet the man I’d want to spend my life with, let alone have children with. I used to joke with my best friend in medical school, that if neither one of us had met the men of our dreams by age 35, we’d have a baby together. Well, I did, and so did he.
The love of my life wanted children from a very young age. He had always been around children as his step-siblings were 10 years older and had children when he was a young teenager. He knew how to change diapers. It was foreign territory for me. Despite having treated children in residency and have them in my practice, I really knew next to nothing about being a mom. What’s so hard about being a mom?
Well, getting pregnant turned out to be harder than I thought. Irregular periods, possible PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), starting a practice, buying a home, and planning a wedding proved to be far too much for a little embryo to handle. We struggled for more than a year to conceive. Meanwhile, I had patient after patient coming in to my office pregnant on the first or second try, and then my best-friend conceived easily, making it all a very difficult year. What was wrong with me? with my body? that a little embryo couldn’t make a home in my uterus?
I eventually figured out exactly what the problem was. Stress. My infertility specialist suggested I take a break, go back on birth control for a few months to help with the horrendous acne, plan my wedding and go on a honeymoon. My daughter was born 9 months and 1 day after I got married. No fertility patient wants to hear that stress might be affecting her ability to conceive. But for me, it was completely to blame. Still, my husband and I never took it for granted that we’d conceive a second time, so when the time came to start trying, we weren’t expecting it to happen quickly.
We were wrong. I conceived quickly and my son was born 29 months after my daughter.
I adore my children. I am extremely lucky to have them. I still see countless women in my office who still struggle to conceive and I see the pain in their eyes when they see the photographs of my children in my office. I wish I could take their pain away. For some, I know that pain will cease, for others it’s there permanently.
I am reminded almost daily of how extraordinarily fortunate I am.