As a kid did you ever think about how it would feel to be a parent? Ever daydream about having a family of your own? In the third grade my answer to “What I want to be when I grow up” was “A mom to ten kids!”. Early on that was my dream, even though it was something I was told I would never be able to do.
I was born with Autosomal Recessive Polycystic Kidney Disease (ARPKD), a chronic kidney condition that kept our family’s focus on preventing hospitalizations and me accepting that my life would just be different…having a family of my own was not possible. As I graduated high school my dreams had been crushed, but soon everything would change.
I had the opportunity at the National Institute of Health (NIH) to ask a specialist in my disease if it was possible to have a successful pregnancy- I’d be shocked if she couldn’t see and hear my heart pounding out of my chest when I asked that question. BUT she told me it was ABSOLUTELY possible. I felt like my life changed in that very moment.
Nearly a decade later, Derek and I decided to “try”. Even though all throughout my 20’s my gut feeling told me that something was “wrong”, I let the “ABSOLUTELY possible” trump all of those irrational concerns- allowing me to fall into what I thought was my perfect, happily ever after.
To be proactive we had testing done at a fertility clinic to make sure nothing was “wrong”, you know, to reassure ourselves that all we needed was MAYBE a few months to conceive. Looking back, I definitely thought that would help speed things up for us and squash my early fears… Even though we were told everything looked “perfect” and “textbook”, it still took us nearly 4 years to conceive.
40+ months of disappointment, heart ache, negative pregnancy tests, thousands of dollars and watching the happiness slowly slip from our fingertips. That’s how long it took us to finally feel the possibility of a happily ever after that included a pregnancy. The longest 40+ months of my life.