I am IN fertility. I am in the growth process of learning about myself, my past, my relationships, my journey from not wanting a child my whole life, to wanting a child now. I am balancing my desire to take charge and control my chances of becoming pregnant with letting go and trusting that I am on this journey for a reason. I am holding all of this as we women do, with an outward appearance of grace and strength.

But about every six months, usually after yet another hopeful cycle turns into a red river of disappointment, I run into the woods, scream at the top of my lungs and break down in tears to release the underlying feelings of unfairness that have bubbled up to the surface. Then I dust myself off and re-enter the world in a way that won’t make others “uncomfortable.” If I tell them how sad, frustrated, hopeless and fearful I am about the future, I know they will try and “fix” it by telling me stories about women they know who are my age who have successfully conceived naturally. I don’t want to hear it anymore. I am tired.

And yet… I refuse to believe that there isn’t a gift somewhere in this journey.

I never wanted children. I never “oohed” and “ahhed” at babies passing by in carriages. I had an involuntary response whenever someone asked if I wanted kids that came out as “Ick, no!” Now that my mind has changed, and I have been unable to conceive for three years, I irrationally wonder if I’m being punished for my prior rejection of motherhood. I refuse to believe that the universe does not support our desire and ability to change our minds and hearts.

They say that sexual abuse can create “blocks” that prevent conception. I have worked tirelessly on my healing for decades, and I have fought to prevent further abuse cycles, even putting perpetrators behind bars. I am a warrior. My body knows this. I refuse to believe that my past experiences hold power over my body’s future.

I had an abortion when I was 18 years old, a pregnancy that resulted from sexual abuse. I have never regretted it. I refuse to believe my infertility is punishment for my choice to terminate that pregnancy.

I spent my late 20’s, 30’s and early 40’s traveling the world for work and pleasure, trying and competing in new sports, connecting with people, trying and failing at love and marriage, and living a full life. I am proud of what I have learned and accomplished and of who I am. I refuse to believe that the path I have taken to be here, the path that has prepared me to finally be open to being a mother is in any way responsible for the challenges I have faced in trying to conceive.

I choose to believe my fertility challenges are another opportunity to learn about myself and what I want to teach my children.

Danielle D.