This is National Infertility Awareness week. And while I have shared my very quiet struggle in other posts, I wanted to share today the story of Ava, shared with me by Meredith Smith.
I like to joke that from the time I learned I had a uterus I knew I wanted to use mine.
I was so sure I wanted to be a mother that at 19 years old I paid a man my hard earned money to have the Maiden, Mother, Crone symbol tattooed on me. I reasoned that it was an image I would never be tired of or outgrow. It was simply the phases I would proceed through as a woman. My sweet, naive, 19-year-old-self never could have known how loaded the idea of “mother” would become.
Ironically, my uterus ended up not being utilized in my becoming a mother.
My husband and I began trying to conceive as soon as we were engaged. We tried happy and carefree for two years. And then I realized it wasn’t normal for two 26 year olds to not yet be pregnant. And thus began our fertility journey. We tried several intrauterine inseminations with several different drug cocktails, IVF, homeopathy, acupuncture, probiotics, weight-loss, going gluten free, addressing thyroid concerns, exploratory surgery, reiki, ovulation predictors, not trying, yoga, meditation, visualization, therapy, a trip to England where I cast spells all over my motherland and B vitamins. It just didn’t happen, for 12 years, nothing.
In our 12th year of marriage we were presented with an opportunity we never saw coming. A family member had a baby they were unable to care for. With very guarded hearts we offered to take this baby into our hearts and home. Not sure when or if she would ever come and live with us or if we would ever actually become parents. It was terrifying to put our hearts on the line again after so much heartbreak and disappointment.
On May 5, 2018 Ava Jane Smith moved into our home and I officially became a mother! We all had some adjusting to do but the transition was far easier than any of us expected. She was perfect for us and fit into our family like it was just always meant to be. We were completely in love. This child came to me in a way and time I absolutely never could have predicted. She made me a mother and it has been the most magical experience of my life to parent her. I had no idea just how much I would love the role of mother and how little I would mind the work. I look at her with such gratitude that she even exists much less that she made her way, through some very trying circumstance, to me.
I can see now that it had to happen how it did. If it had been any other baby at any other time I wouldn’t have HER.
And she is the most beautiful thing that has ever happened to me.
Thank you Meredith for this precious look at your journey.
Photos: Lily Alayne Owen