It is hard to imagine that a 49-year-old woman could give birth to a HEALTHY baby boy without any medical intervention -- and while it was reported that Laura Linney was pregnant and just had a baby, well we can all only speculate that the act of getting pregnant was probably done with much assistance from reproductive specialists. And the question remains: should you ever give up your dream to conceive?
With my daughter, my husband and I were like, hmm... it would be great to get pregnant and literally nine months later, without even really trying, we got pregnant. With my son, it was a completely different experience. At the time, like many other women, I just assumed that as an early thirties mom, as soon as my husband and I started "trying" to get pregnant, we'd be blessed with another little fetus.
Suffice it to say, we spent months trying. Very much like Halle Berry's recent admission that she kept her negative pregnancy test result sticks in a drawer, I too, would hold onto those urine sticks, in the hopes that perhaps that second blue line might magically appear.
I remember feeling a profound cocktail of emotions; sadness, anger, jealousy, bitterness, resentment, and having to come to terms with what I felt was my failure as a woman.
We spent seven unsuccessful months in our attempts to conceive the "natural way"; we even tried every position listed in the Kama Sutra... I loaded up on fertile foods, spent hours post coital with my legs resting over my head... anything to get those little swimmers where they needed to go.
Finally, we admitted defeat, and began our long journey into the world of infertility and reproductive medicine.
Being told I was too young to do anything invasive, I was put on the popular fertility drug Clomid and was warned to do my best to limit my stress, and stop worrying... which of course is the ultimate Catch-22. How do you keep from being worried about getting pregnant, when the stress of trying and continually failing is making you miserable and even more stressed out?
I spent months sitting with other women in the infertility office, commiserating as we told each other, perfect strangers, our stories in the hopes of finding a kindred spirit in one another.
Those countless 5:30 am blood tests, sonograms, hopeful inseminations -- which my husband and I unluckily endured twice and which were slightly uncomfortable for my husband who was forced to empty his specimen into a cup which we then covered in blankets to keep warm and vital. We'd speed over to the doctor's office, trying in vein to bypass every red light, filled with the hope that this would be the day we'd make a baby.
Our marriage was faltering under the extreme pressure to conceive. It became my singular mission, and each month when my period came, the reality of having to endure another month's battery of blood tests and treatments were often more than I could bear.
My doctor was finally ready to get a little more aggressive; we did a round of injections, tons of sonograms, blood tests, an insemination and on a sunny June morning my home pregnancy test revealed two blue lines-and we were ecstatic.
As if we didn't feel blessed enough, the sonogram revealed two little heartbeats -- which my Dr. had mentioned is a likelihood with fertility medications -- and it seemed as though our hearts couldn't possibly stand any more joy or they might very well burst.
Unfortunately, our journey didn't end there, we didn't sail off into the sunset with our twins and older daughter. My husband and I were both ecstatic, shocked and ran through all the emotions that couples mull over when they find out they're going to deliver twins. Unfortunately at 11 weeks, I miscarried one of the fetuses, but thankfully, I was able to carry the remaining one to term, who has become my little Jackson.
For every mom-to-be struggling with fertility, what is the best way to handle those nagging persistent questions, like, when are you going to have another baby? In my case I told them point blank, "Listen Aunt Martha, it's not like I haven't been trying, I've only been sitting at home every other night injecting myself, etc."
How do you get through it? How do you deal with friends, even family members, who are able to get pregnant so easily and carry a baby to term, without resenting them? And finally, when is it time to stop... how long should you keep trying?
This post originally appeared on The Staten Island Family