I’d like to tell you what it wasn’t. And don’t get me wrong, it’s not that none of the following didn’t have the ability to absolutely destroy me, they did. But let me tell you what it wasn’t, so that you get to feel what it was…

It wasn’t that I went to a foreign country and had IVF procedures done on my body that should have been done under anesthesia, but for some reason they were done without. It wasn’t that I have once woken up in a pool of my own blood and fainted before I could reach the phone to call for help. It wasn’t the needles. The 382 needles. Yes, I counted. And it wasn’t that I was the one who had to insert these same needles, into my own body, every single day.

It wasn’t that I ended up feeling that IVF shouldn’t stand for “in-vitro fertilization”, but rather “I’m very fed up,” or “I’m very frightened!” It wasn’t the pain. It wasn’t the loneliness. It wasn’t everything you think of when you hear the words “infertility” or “IVF”.

It wasn’t that.

Because I was strong enough to face all of that. I did face it all, and I survived all of that.

This is what it was….

It was the trembling of my hands when I sat in the small medical-equipped room and saw the doctor’s look of absolute despair. He had given up before even telling me what the problem was. It was the slow play of the doctor’s lips telling me that I would never be able to have any children of my own. It was the empty chair outside the doctor’s office where my late mother and absent father should have sat to give me a hug when I came out of the room that had given me the worst news of my life. It was not knowing what to do, how to process the information or how to live with myself. It was the sleepless nights wondering what I had done wrong for the one thing that I want the most in this world, to be denied from me. It was not knowing how I could exist without ever having any children of my own.

But what is it now?

It is now that after several fertility treatments, I can watch my heart in someone else’s tiny little body, walking around and jumping up and down, leaping off kitchen stools, drooling on carpets, falling asleep on table tops and eating crumbs from old jacket pockets. It is the smile on her little face when I walk through the door. It is how she calls me ‘mama.’

It is now knowing how important it was that I never gave up. It is success. It is motherhood.

It is me trying to help any other woman. In any way I can…

Tunu. Y.