What now?

When’s the best time to start having children? We’ve asked ourselves this question repeatedly. I bet you’ve asked yourself the same. We thought early in our marriage would be the perfect time. We’d grow together as a couple and grow together as parents. If you’ve read my previous blog posts, you know that journey hasn’t exactly worked out like we wanted. Ideally, we’d just do what married people do and let it happen at God’s will. Of course, that couldn’t happen because I don’t have fallopian tubes anymore.

Monica holds an image of Lennie and Monica at the OCS Ball
At the OCS Ball in 2011.

Medical intervention is a necessity for my husband and me to have children. Upon testing in preparation for IVF, we also found out that my husband would need a more extensive procedure. I struggled with what to do for a long time. There never seemed to be a right time to make this happen because there was always a reason to wait. Let’s wait for him to finish OCS. Let’s wait for a better tour of duty. Let’s wait for me to finish school. Let’s wait for a land unit. Let’s wait, let’s wait, let’s wait. We also needed the time for my husband to spend about a month with me during IVF treatments and his own treatments. It just never seemed like it was going to happen but the years kept going by and I kept getting older.

I often think of Sarah from the Bible and her desire to have children. She didn’t trust God’s promise and found other means to give her husband, Abraham, a child. She didn’t trust God. You see, Sarah was getting older and older and still had not given birth. She didn’t see how she could be a mother. She didn’t see how her husband would be a father. My struggle is that God didn’t promise me a child. I didn’t know if it would ever happen. Was it wrong of me to attempt IVF? Am I interfering with God’s plan? Is that why we were immediately faced with obstacles? My relationship with God has changed a lot over the past 20 years but this question still remains. Is IVF the right thing? What are the odds of BOTH of us needing help to conceive? Is this a sign?

Monica and Lennie at a Red Sox game in Boston.
At a Red Sox game in Boston.

I’ll be honest, life has not been easy. I do a great job of making it seem like things are going great but my marriage has had more bumps than I care to admit. I’ve been away from my family more than I’d like. My career has had major hurdles. I’ve lost friends and family to sickness. I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety. I’ve fought with God. I’ve had a hard time. I know that children would have only made this harder but I’ve always been ready for that. I do believe in a higher power and I believe that I’ve been protected throughout everything. I am here today because something wants me to be here. I have been able to be there for my family because it’s really easy to travel solo. I’ve been able to grow very close relationships with my nieces and nephew because they get all of my love. I’ve been able to finish my degree because we didn’t have to worry about childcare. I’ve been able to go to photography conferences because I didn’t have to worry about my husband being underway and finding a place for our children to be taken care of. I was able to be with my dad when he was at his sickest and when he finally found relief from the pain of cancer. I question if I’d have been happy if I couldn’t do those things.

Today, I’m 39 and not getting any younger. I know that my chances of carrying are getting slimmer by the day. I’m at the point where I need to make a decision. Do I try it now? The timing is finally perfect. My husband has a lot of time off because we’re moving and he’s starting grad school. I’ll be on the east coast and closer to family. We are established and our marriage is in a really good place. We have more friends than ever throughout this country. We have hearts full of love. We are more ready than we can imagine and scared out of our minds.

So, last year, we decided to try again. We decided we’d do in-vitro fertilization.

Love always, Monica

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