I've always known I wanted to be a mother. Growing up I babysat, I loved up my niece and nephew, and then eventually my friend's children as they came into this world. I assumed my time for motherhood would come naturally, with the grace and ease we imagine most women experience in finding themselves with child. So when I did find my partner and "settle down" and open myself up to be a mommy; and then it didn't happen, I was heartbroken. I know we all hear and read stories about this, and we know it's become more common for couples to wait to start a family, but actually going through this was among the hardest things I've experienced in this lifetime.
There have been times in the past where I had no problem sharing my life struggles, epiphanies, and growth through my writing. But something shifted with this situation. For some reason, this was too raw. I was too vulnerable. I was too ashamed. This one thing, that all humans no matter what color, class, race, religion should be able to do, I couldn't. I felt like a failure. Like a fraud. Like less of a woman. How could I share that with anyone outside of my closest, most-trusted circle? I knew I wasn't alone and I read other women's tales seeking glimmers of hope, paths of progress and solutions for acceptance. Sometimes these stories lead to successful pregnancies, sometimes they didn't, sometimes they adopted, sometimes they opened businesses. The key was that I knew I was not alone and yet I felt so very alone.
Praying for a solution.
As time passed, a year turned into two years and my fear around the subject grew as I approached and then passed the 35 year-old mark (when I women becomes considered advanced maternal age-ha!) and so we visited a fertility specialist. After some tests and then some surgical procedures, I was diagnosed with endometriosis and told it was highly unlikely I would ever get pregnant on my own. And they had an answer for us: IVF. For me in that time, in a very victim mode, this felt like an incredible injustice. We couldn't afford IVF, not many can! It felt like a stab to the heart, this blessing and miracle that so many experience without much effort, I'd have to find/borrow/steal (ok maybe not that last one!) to experience. But with this being our only option other than adoption, which I quickly also discovered would come with a large invoice, about the same as a round of IVF, we decided to go through with it. And it didn't work. And I was devastated. Devastated. I was sure this was the silver bullet, the thing that would guarantee us our baby. This was a test of all of my personal and spiritual strength. I had to reevaluate everything. What would be next? Adoption? Try again? Do IVF in Mexico? During this time, our marriage was also put through many tests. What could our future look like with no children? What would we do with our lives? Were we even meant to be together? Was this a sign? Fertility challenges for a couple who knows they want a family are so incredibly intense, it is surely one of the biggest life tests/lessons a person could go through. I'm in awe every day of my husbands patience with me. He never stopped believing our child would arrive.
By this past winter, I was emotionally spent. My prayer for a solution turned into a tearful prayer for God to take away my desire to be a mom. And after much deep-diving and discussion, we decided to take a break from the "try". To raise the white flag. To surrender. As corny as this may sound, the popular radio song "If it's Meant to Be" came out about this time and spring was just around the corner. It felt right to just let it be.
March and April are the most intense months for me at work. I knew I needed to be "on" to run our annual 400-person event, making it a good distraction from our pain. Costea's family would be coming into town for a number of weeks and so we had them to prepare for, and then work with, on our long list of home projects: bathrooms to update, basement to be finished for my yoga classes, and garden to expand to bring us a little closer to our homestead dream. So you might imagine my distraction as one day I realized I was a few days late for my period. This hadn't happened before. Even with my stage 3 endometriosis diagnosis, I'd always had a very regular cycle. I assumed it was from the stress at work and change in schedule from having family staying with us.
A few more days passed and on the way home from work one day, I decided to stop at the store and pick up a pregnancy test. I had had a dream months earlier that I had taken a pregnancy test, then another, then another, that were all positive. I could feel the elation from that dream. I remember so clearly that in the dream a Christmas tree was lit in the background. I was shown two pink lines with each test and so that's the kind I looked for this time. I brought it home and found Costea working on the bathroom floor. I took the test, and it was positive. I literally fell to my knees as I showed him the result and we hugged and we cried and we were in total disbelief. Costea never had doubts, it was me that was full of fear and, as I understand it now, impatience.
A lesson in patience, trust and surrender.
Thank you God, thank you sweet baby being for choosing us! Thank you for answering our prayers in every way, by teaching us surrender and by making our dream of being parents come true. As I write these words I am both full of joy and also painfully aware of the other women and men who find themselves in the same conundrum we lived through for just under three years. There are no words to soothe the pain of not understanding why something so wanted is not happening. All I can offer is the hope from my own experience. That miracles do happen!
And so, baby Grozav is coming in December 2018, just in time for that beautifully lit Christmas tree.