December 13, 2005

Like Mother, Like Daughter

My mother never had any trouble getting pregnant. She conceived her oldest (me) during a night of vacation carelessness, six years into marriage. As I neared two-year birthday, my parents decided to start trying for a second child. After all, they didn't know how long it might take. I'm sure you see the end of the story--she was pregnant not a month later.

She was the rare woman who enjoyed almost every day of her pregnancies. Her labor for me totalled six hours, all natural; for my brother it was even shorter. She says she would have seriously considered acting as a gestational surrogate for infertile couples, had she been young enough when the technology emerged. Her story is one of joy.

She has trouble understanding why T. and I haven't yet moved heaven and earth to try to have a biological child, why we adopted before we "tried." I struggle to help her understand, because I don't know the answers myself. I am not technically infertile, but I can't conceive without intervention. I celebrate the ART successes of friends (and even internet strangers), but shrink away from it myself.

As T. and I went through the adoption process, time and again we heard a similar story from the other waiting parents, "We hoped, we tried, we're infertile, we're adopting." For them, adopting was a resolution of sorts, though often a hard-earned, painful one. For us, it raised more questions than it settled. Adoption is how we started our family, but will it be how we finish it? Am I courageous enough to risk the heartache of ART? If I choose not to, will I regret never "trying"?

What is the ending to my story?


Anonymous said...

This is an old post, I know, but I just read everything tagged under "fertility" and wanted to tell you how much it resonates with me. The little moments that get to you when you least expect it, other people (sometimes even my own husband) not understanding why I'm not "moving heaven and earth" to have a biological child. Right now, I've opted not to pursue gestational surrogacy. Right now, I want a guaranteed outcome, a guaranteed family, and that matters much, much more than any biological connection. We might try it later. We might not.

Anyway, I'm glad I've found your blog. Thank you.

Jacki said...

I was going to write pretty much exactly what the previous commenter wrote until I saw that she had already said everything I wanted to say. Thanks for writing. I know that this is an old post but I've really enjoyed reading it!

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