1987 to 1993 – this one is a little long but it is pivotal to our lifr
When you are a little girl, no one ever tells you that motherhood may not be in the cards for you.
In 1987, I was 25 (almost 26) when we decided to start a family. We were both thrilled. David is the baby of five and I am the oldest in my family – just me and my sister. I can tell you that I was not prepared for what was about to happen. Not EVER being able to have children NEVER entered my mind.
The first month – no good. As the months passed by, I began to hate (and I mean really hate) all these women who had children that did not deserve them. This was directed at women who abused or neglected their children. When we hit month 12, we decided that I would go to the doctor and hopefully get some answers. I had some testing done and everything seemed to be in order so we kept trying to no avail.
By the time we were into year 2, my doctor suggested a fertility specialist. So we met with him. I really did not like him from the beginning (he has 4 kids, UGH! What could he possibly know about what we were going through?). He did more testing on me. Even a very painful biopsy of my uterus. Lord help me, I thought I was going to throw up.
Finally after about 6 months, he decided to do some tests on David. The doctor’s office called David and he went to the doctor without me. We thought it was just another round of tests or some results. They told him that there was a problem with his metabolism and it was affecting the motility of his sperm. It was not something that could be fixed. He called me and came by the office.
Through all of this, this moment is forever etched in my mind. When I opened the car door, the pain and anguish on my husbands face shook me to my core. The hurt and disappointment in his voice – I can’t even… We were not going to have children. We talked about it for days. We went to see the fertility doctor again. Basically, he closed out our file and said there was not a chance we would have children (or if you look at the documentation, a 99% chance that we would not have children). This broke my husband.
As the days went by and this started to seep in, I really began to shut down. I was so disappointed in GOD, not my husband. How could he do this? We were good people. Somewhere in this process, we started the adoption process with our local Catholic Charities office. We spent abut two and half years on that list…moving from number 18 to number one.
We had no idea how hard that process was going to be. It was on open adoption process. We had to write letters about ourselves to potential baby mama’s. And then, when they didn’t choose us, we were devastated and had to start all over again.
30 was hard for me – harder than turning 40 or even 50!
I was fast approaching 30. All of this had taken a toll on me. I had gained some weight and was really unhappy. I felt very disconnected from David and I felt that I was just not good enough to be anything especially a mom and wife.
About this time, I changed jobs. I went to work for a home improvement company that someone I knew had purchased. It would be an easy job, closer to home. Little did I know that I would be put in a situation that I never imagined for myself. I loved my husband but something happens to you when your self-esteem is so low. You begin to think that maybe greener pastures are out there for you…
Actually, in hindsight, there were not greener pastures out there. It was really all about me and my extremely low self-esteem. I had just turned 30. Still childless and 30. Everyone could see the sadness in me. I could feel the disconnection with my husband.
This guy (no names) that I worked with noticed it too. We started talking and he seemed genuinely concerned. My husband was also concerned. We were not getting along very well. Honestly, I don’t remember a lot about this time other than my husband really fighting for our marriage. I never, not for one moment, stopped loving him but I did think, for a time, we might not make it.
I am not sure when something inside me shifted but we decided that we had enough invested in our life to make it work. We had yet another disagreement about our relationship but this time, we talked, really talked. I felt like David was really listening and opening up about how he felt. I had betrayed his trust but he was willing (and so was I) to make this marriage work. I stopped talking to the other guy and told him that my marriage was far more important to me than anything else and that he would have to move on. That was in January of 1993.
I can honestly say, there was NEVER anything physical between us, not even a kiss or anything. I just was not that person. I let a little attention and my low self-esteem steal my heart (for a very short time) away from my husband. It took me several years to believe that we were going to make it. My husband is an awesome man. I hurt him and while it took him awhile, he completely forgave me.
As we were working through all of this, my husband gave me a gift of a photo shoot with Expression in Photography for Valentines day. I was hesitant because my self-esteem was still really low and I would be doing some boudior shots.
I was also late. I was never late.
I took five home pregnancy tests and they were all positive. I called my doctor. He asked me to come in immediately. When I got there, he wanted me to take another pregnancy test. I told him I would on one condition. “If it is positive, then you are paying for it”. He walked back into the room and said, “I guess I am paying for this test”. We were pregnant. Not sure how, why or for whatever reason but we were. He was in shock (this is not the fertility doctor just my OB/GYN that had referred me).
At around 2 AM on the morning of October 29, 1993, Michael Stewart Cook was born. He was so tiny – 6 pounds, 1 ounce and he was purple. Scared the crap out of me. At the time of his birth, there were 9 people in my room (teaching hospital). I got to hold Michael for about 30 seconds and they whisked him away to the neo-natal unit. David did get to carry him there. After they did a thorough check, they brought him back to me. He was beautiful. Healthy and whole.
I knew in my heart that we had made it through the toughest time in our marriage so that we could share this moment. We gave ourselves the wonderful gift of a second chance, and Michael was our gift from God and the universe that we had chosen the right path.
To be continued in Part 4…
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