May 2011

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On Saying By Kate Marshall What do you want to be when you grow up? My youthful answers were easy, brief moments of fantasy that had me choosing to be an Olympic ice skater or an archae- ologist who stumbled upon a fascinating find. But those thoughts were only tempo- rary; the one thing I knew for sure, the one thing that never changed, was that one day I knew I was going to be a mommy. I had never questioned why I wanted to be a mom so badly. I was enamored with babies and children from a young age. Holding them was the most delicious feel- ing. Exchanging giggles was better than a Popsicle on a hot afternoon. Tending to their woes felt both fulfilling and natural. I could not wait to grow up and experience motherhood firsthand. I just didn’t know that it would be so hard to make that dream come true. In 1999 at the age of 28, my husband of three years, Jeff, and I knew the time was right to start a family. When, in those first few months, nothing happened I felt dis- appointed, but not discouraged. Our time would come, I thought confidently. But we reached the one-year mark with still no pregnancy, and were given the dreaded diagnosis: We were “officially” infertile. I was in disbelief. How could this be happening to me? It was no secret to any- one that motherhood was my greatest desire. I refused to settle for the idea that it was not in my future. Soon, our jour- ney to become parents included repeated visits to doctors’ offices and various fertil- ity treatments before we headed for the big one: in vitro fertilization. While these procedures proved grueling and often painful, what I found most dif- ficult about them was being robbed of what should have been a very sacred and intimate moment with my husband. Though most couples can resort to the privacy of their bedroom to make a baby, I was sprawled out on a cold, hard table in a bright room with numerous doctors poking and prod- ding all while Jeff was relegated to the waiting room. But it was this science that could lead me to my dream. After each procedure we hoped and waited. But each resulted in the same out- come: an empty womb. We were now going on three exhausting years full of anger, (continued on p. 60) May 2011 Yes 59

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