June 29, 2015 | Cycles TTC – 8 | Cycle Day – 23 | Days Past Ovulation – 10 | HPT – Negative
I’ve never considered myself maternal. I am empathetic, and loving, but I was never the kind of woman to go gushy over babies. I didn’t babysit as a teen, I didn’t take care of younger siblings, and kids make me a little uncomfortable. But, I always believed I wanted to have children, or a child…eventually. It wasn’t something I was in a hurry to do, I wanted to live my life first. Still, when I was younger I assumed I would have had children by now. So how did I get to be 36 years old without children? It went like this:
When I was 21 I met a man and fell deeply in love with him. When I was 25, we got married, bought a house, and started a life. I was doing my apprenticeship to become a hair stylist, and he worked hourly for Whole Foods. We struggled a lot to make ends meet, but we loved each other. Fast forward 4 years, and we started talking seriously about starting our family. Unfortunately, by then things had changed, I had changed. I realized that I cared very deeply for my husband, but I wasn’t in love with him. Nothing catastrophic happened, we just grew into different people. People who wanted different things out of life. People who were roommates, not lovers. It was incredibly sad. So at 29 years old, instead of having a child, I got a divorce.
Not long after that, I met another man. The man I’m still with today. He was different from my husband in unexpected ways. He was extremely honest and open about his life, his emotions, his baggage, everything. He was incredibly vibrant and full of energy, and we had things in common I’d never had in common with my ex. We were both musicians, we liked the same artists and books, we were on the same wavelength. We became inseparable quickly.
One problem, he didn’t want children, ever. I wasn’t worried about it at first, because I figured it was just a fling, a rebound relationship. But when we decided to get serious, it became an issue. We even broke up a couple of times. When we finally got back together for good, I told him children had to at least be on the table. He said he already knew that, and he wouldn’t have come back to me if he was unwilling to consider it. This was good enough for me for awhile. I was freshly divorced and in no hurry to get tied back down. Our life together was so exciting. We were always at a club or bar or restaurant. John was somewhat of a local celebrity, and he had the hook-up where ever we went, we knew people everywhere we went, every day was an adventure. Soon I started playing music again too (in my own band), and we became a local music power couple. I felt like I was getting to live my 20’s again, the way I should have.
During that time, I went back to school for my english degree, so that was a 3 year period in which getting pregnant was out of the question. I was working as a hair stylist, going to school full-time, and playing in my band. I was putting in 80-90 hour weeks. I was just trying to get through it. After I graduated, I bought into the salon where I was working and became a partner. Things were going well, I was 34 and ready to start talking seriously again about starting a family. I started reading and tracking my cycles. But that summer something happened that changed things significantly for me. I was in a car accident.
A man ran a stop sign and totaled my car, and my right foot. My foot snapped over the break pedal with the force of the impact. It broke in 5 places, and all of the ligaments and tendons were severed. It was what they call a catastrophic injury, meaning my foot would never be the same again. I had 2 surgeries, spent 4 months in a cast, and 2 more months in a walking boot learning to put weight on the foot again. That’s 6 months off my feet, on heavy doses of pain killers, pins sticking out of my foot, so working as a hair stylist was out of the question. My business partnership, which was already rocky at that point, quickly deteriorated and then fell apart. I had to leave, sue my partner to get my money out of the company, and go on unemployment. The accident forced me to hit the reset button on my entire life. I lost my job and all of the clientele I’d spent years building (not to mention my body, my active lifestyle, my band). So now I had to start over.
John has never made much money as a musician. He gets by each month, but we’ve always relied on having two incomes. So I needed to get back on my feet financially before we could consider getting pregnant. I wanted to open a business. It was something I’d wanted to do for a long time, and I didn’t want to go back to working for someone else. So as soon as my foot was healed, we began looking for a space to open my own salon. I was on a time crunch for several reasons. I desperately needed to start making money again, and by this point, my biological clock was tick-tocking so loud I could barely hear anything else. I was 35 and I needed to get the business open and stable, so we could have an income, so I could get pregnant. I didn’t want to attempt both at once. Opening a business was stressful enough on it’s own.
By Christmas of last year, our path finally felt clear of obstacles. The salon was open and stable. My foot was as healed as it was going to be. My relationship was happy and healthy. And I wasn’t getting any younger. It was time. It was SOOO time. So we stopped preventing and started trying. Within a few months we discovered we had low sperm count and motility, and that getting pregnant was going to be much much harder than we’d assumed. And here we are. 8 cycles in and still trying. And I’ve gone from being terrified of motherhood to desperate for it. An atheist trying to figure out who exactly I should pray to for a child. A woman afraid that I waited too long, missed my window. A women who never felt maternal, hoping to become a mother.