"You will never have a child of your own," uttered my fertility doctor as he stood there like a block of ice. "There is just nothing we can do for you at this point."
Standing up from his desk, he quickly ushered me into the hallway telling me to make an appointment for a follow-up in a few months.
I remember walking down the hall to the lobby, nurses staring at me like I was walking down death row. Sympathetic eyes, distant eyes and eyes that just seemed to pass over me. It seemed like the entire office knew my sentence, but no one said a word.
It was torture for me as I sat there in the waiting room looking out over the landscape of pregnant bellies. There were rows of bellies, in all shapes and sizes, and I seemed to be the only one without a bump. The diagnosis played in my head over and over again like a broken record: "Premature Ovarian Failure, Premature Ovarian Failure, Nothing further we can do for you."
I was 33 years old, and I felt like my life had ended. My lifelong dream to become a mother shattered. They told me that my ovaries were empty, and I was in early menopause. I had gone off the pill nine months prior, and I was so excited to have a baby after years of focusing on my education and career.
I was arrogant thinking I could easily get pregnant. Both my mother and grandmother had four kids, so of course I assumed I was fertile. But the only thing I did not factor in was that, yes they had children, but they were in their early 20s. This condition is hereditary in some cases and both women were finished with menopause by age 40. I was too late, and I had an egg count and FSH hormone level at menopausal level to prove it.
I cried for days and even had to take a few days off from work. I just couldn't face the world. I felt like a failure somehow and just the sight of a baby would set me off in tears. I was mourning the death of a dream, the death of my ovaries and the death of all hope for my future.
I had been so determined, and something was nagging me inside not to give up. I came to accept that maybe I wouldn't accomplish my dream the conventional way, but I decided that I would be someone's mother one day.
And for weeks following my diagnosis, that was what I did. I explored every option available. I was getting excited again about life and the thought of one day holding my child. It wouldn't matter if it wasn't my biological child, because being a mother for me was about love and nurturing this special little person for the rest of his or her life, unconditionally.
Hope was propelling me forward into the future. After careful research and consideration with my husband, we came to a decision on our options and began the painstaking process.
Soon after, a friend invited me out and it was the first time I had felt like being social since my diagnosis. Besides what could a few drinks hurt since I knew I wasn't pregnant? So I did. I had two glasses of wine and found myself hugging the toilet soon after.
Matter of fact, I was hugging the toilet for two days and I thought it was my body's way of punishing me for having a good time. I wasn't hung-over. I was pregnant. After four pregnancy tests, I allowed myself to believe I was having a baby.
I will never forget strutting into my fertility doctor's office, smiling from ear to ear. I just wanted to stand on top of his desk, dance and yell "You were wrong, I'm preggers, I'm gonna have a baby!" Of course, I contained myself, and the same doctor who stood there so cold like a statue when giving me my bad news, came running in and hugged me tight. "Well, I am so glad you proved me wrong. You did it," he said.
Before I knew it, nine months had flown by and my due date was a few days away. It was almost surreal; I was going to be a mother. At the end of my pregnancy, it was getting quite heavy so the doctors decided to induce.
But as soon as they began the oxytocin, my heart rate began to drop. I was feeling light headed even though I was lying down. The next 30 minutes were like a scene from a Hollywood film. I felt like I was watching my own life happen before me with no control.
Not only did my heart rate drop, so did my son's. His dropped dangerously low. I remember watching the monitor and seeing the number 50 flashing over and over again. He wasn't recovering. His heart was slowing down and we were in trouble.
Honestly, I remember closing my eyes and just thinking it was all a bad dream. This couldn't be happening to me. I just wanted to hold him in my arms, to smell him and kiss him and tell him how much I loved him.
Reality slapped me in the face when the prick of the epidural needle went in; I was having an emergency C-section. I could never fully explain what happened in the time between his heart rate dropping and his first scream. They got him out just in time.
A week later, we were allowed to go home, and that's when I felt like life really began for me. And still seven years later, when I look into his sweet eyes, I think about how lucky I am to be his mother and about the great life-lesson I learned through this amazing experience: Never give up on your dreams.
And when I look into my 5 and half year-old daughter's beautiful eyes, I think about how dreams can come true... twice.