It was a love story at its finest. They met in college, became best friends, college sweet hearts and then they married in October 2016. First came love, then came marriage, then came…infertility.

The journey to become a mom started when Teri was a young girl. Most girls grow up dreaming of a perfect wedding and a perfect white dress. Well, Teri grew up picturing her life with children and being a mom. The rest would just happen along the way.

There were always questions in the back of her head, “Would she find someone who would love her?” and “Would she ever get married?” The thought “Would she ever be able to become a mom?” never entered her head until June of 2017 when she was handed an infertility pamphlet at her doctor’s office at the age of 29.

Everything she thought she knew started spiraling downhill – she was confused and full of questions. A month later, she was diagnosed with a congenital abnormality. To say it was devastating was an understatement. Her entire life, Teri was not aware of this condition. She started wondering what people were going to think of her now. How did she not know she had this? Will her husband still love her and find her attractive? Will he want to leave her and be with someone who can give him a biological child? Will her friends still accept her or think she is over-exaggerating and it’s not that big of a deal? How will she face her loved ones and tell them she was born this way? Are people going to think it is her fault she can’t have kids?

Her loved ones tried to offer her support and encouragement, as well as comfort her. “You can always adopt,” she was told. “Have you looked in to surrogacy?” another suggested. “Why didn’t you choose IVF?” she was challenged. Deep inside she just wanted to shout, “Let me grieve this news and let me be the one to tell you what path we want to take!” Although she knew she had support, she had never felt more alone as her voice drifted in the background due to the loud sounds of others providing ideas for her and not listening to what she wanted and how she felt.

She has been left with a hole in her heart of unknowns, judgments, insensitive comments, self-confidence issues, strains on her marriage, financial commitments, and loneliness. Her dream has been shattered, and she is scared it may never come true. She has never worked for anything so hard in her life and every day she continues to hope that one day she can finally be called a “mom.”

Teri K., IL

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