Having a baby of my own has totally changed my outlook on everything. I see things differently. Motherhood has altered my being. I embrace it.
Motherhood is a blessing and it fits every woman differently. There are all sorts of moms out there. All different and unique and what unites most of us together is the love we have for the beings we bore or adopted into our lives.
The post you are going to read on my blog today was contributed by a woman named, Erika. I went to high school with her and what I remember most is her easygoing personality. She was an athlete but didn’t align herself with cliques. She was that girl who got along with everybody and in turn, everybody liked her.
I reconnected with Erika through Facebook a few years back. I saw that she was married…to a woman. She looked so happy. I enjoyed seeing the photos and updates she posted.
Then, much to my surprise, she posted an ultrasound picture announcing that she and her wife were expecting a baby girl. I about died; I was overcome with jealousy.
I was in the throes of infertility myself and everyone around me having a baby. Every time I saw someone’s announcement I’d get sick with envy. Then the least likely person I knew to ever get pregnant…was!
Do I sound like a jerk? I don’t mean to. I was happy for her but sad for me. As it turned out my time came just a few months later.
But I digress, this post is about Erika.
She and her wife are amazing mothers to their sweet little girl. That child is absolutely gorgeous and radiates a glow that tells you she is supremely loved, cherished and cared for. So what if Erika and her wife live an “alternative lifestyle?” It’s theirs to live and they are doing a damn good job with that baby!
I was touched to read that while her life is so much different than my own, we shared the same monthly disappointments on our journey to become moms, we had the same burning desire to have a child of our own. We are connected through motherhood and through our unwavering love for our child.
Read this post with an open mind; you just mind find a connection as well. Here is Erika’s story:
Believing in Fairy Tales
Once upon a time, in a land not so far away…wait, wrong story! Although, what you’re about to read is a fairytale of sorts. So, as all stories go, we’ll start at the beginning.
My name is Erika. My wife is Danielle. Yes, that’s right…we are two gals who decided to fall in love and spend our lives together. We had an incredible life, went on fantastic trips, bought a few cars and a house, got a couple of dogs (who were our babies!), and we had lots of nieces and nephews to love on and spoil. We were living the dream and we were happy!
Then, after about six years, I got the itch. Which itch you might wonder?! I started to think about something I hadn’t really thought was an option for us – having a baby.
We obviously don’t have the “equipment” to make a baby ourselves; and adoption is not an easy process, especially due to our “alternative” lifestyle. So the question of ‘how’ was playing in my mind. I’m not the most feminine of gals as all of that girly stuff goes, so there was no doubt in my mind that Danielle would put in all the “work” of growing a baby.
But there was a problem…I was ready but Danielle wasn’t. It took about a year for that itch to finally hit her too. Once it did, we didn’t waste any time! We were ready to jump in with both feet and hit the ground running; but we had no idea where to start.
Our first decision was determining where to get the other half of what makes a baby – the swimmers…so to speak. We went back and forth trying to decide whether we wanted a known or an anonymous donor.
Danielle leaned towards anonymous but I wanted to be able to tell my child where he/she came from; so I thought a known donor was best. Finally, I convinced her to go with a known donor and we were able for the next step.
Let me tell you, we have the most amazing friends in the world! We figured that since the cost of fertility clinics was pretty high, we would try the “at-home” method.
No, it’s not what you might think. There was no wine or dim, romantic lighting involved. Actually, there was no real contact with the donor at all other than the very awkward hand-off of certain supplies.
After months of no luck, we decided that we should go ahead and seek the help of medical professionals with our “project”. This included numerous doctor visits, multiple weekly tests, blood work and counseling sessions. After all of that and months of no luck, Danielle went in for a minor surgical procedure to see if there were any underlying conditions that could be preventing conception. As odd as it sounds, we were disappointed to find out that she was fine. Don’t get me wrong, we weren’t upset that Danielle was okay, we were frustrated that we didn’t have any answers as to why pregnancy wasn’t happening.
By this time, we were exhausted – mentally, emotionally and financially. Our hearts broke a little each month with the start of her cycle. Although, we both felt defeated, Danielle wasn’t ready to give up. So we tried for a few more months before I started to wave my little white flag. We had been trying for two years and I just couldn’t handle it anymore. And with this, Danielle agreed to stop.
As it so happens, we are in the unique situation of having two uteruses (uteri?!), so we decided to switch. Getting pregnant was not anything that I had ever considered, nor did I ever think it was an option given my “better half,” but we wanted a baby so badly; I was willing to give it a shot.
Since our financial situation had taken us pretty much as far as we could go, we decided to go back to the “at-home” method. In an effort to protect our hearts, we decided that we would only try three times, and that would be it, baby or not.
We tried once…no luck. We tried twice…nothing. We tried the third and last time…and I started to spot. Assuming that it didn’t work again, we finally began to come to terms that the only babies we would have would be our pups. That would have to be okay once our hearts mended.
Then, after a few weeks, when we had finally started to put our baby fever out of our minds, something changed in me. I started to get ridiculously tired during the day…like, couldn’t make it through the day without a nap tired. And I could NOT get enough lemon…on EVERYTHING…even on spaghetti! After about a week of this, I started to think that my behavior was pretty weird, so on a whim I took a pregnancy test.
There it was – a super faint line. It was so light, that I didn’t know if it was really there or if I just wanted it to be there. I tried to put it out of my head and go back to work. Easier said than done – I took another test later that day. Still a faint line.
I knew that we had one more test at home, so I decided to test again first thing in the morning. I took the test as soon as I woke up and this time there was no disputing the blue “+” sign that showed up almost instantly!
I stared at it for a bit in total disbelief and then went to wake Danielle. I couldn’t even speak, all I could do was show her the test. Once she realized what she looking at we both just stared at each other incredulously and then started laughing! We didn’t know what else to do! After all the years of trying and crying, all we could do was laugh.
We decided early on that we wouldn’t announce anything to anybody until after the first trimester (which if anyone is interested, was horrible for me!). When we finally started to tell people our news they totally cracked up too! I’m not exactly the type of person who fits the “glowing pregnant lady” description, so it actually was pretty funny – even to me!
Three years and nine months after we started trying, we finally welcomed our beautiful baby into the world. And our little family is finally complete. We named her Danika Marie, a combination of our names and a tribute to our moms. Our baby girl was finally with us. She is the most amazing thing we have ever known!
I guess the beginning of my story was right after all. It really is our fairytale, and our “Once Upon A Time” has most definitely turned into our “Happily Ever After!”