I talk about Bryce’s story. But I do not always tell my own. This is part of my story.
On Mother’s Day Weekend, I celebrate being a mom. I celebrate the two women who made me a mom, my children’s birth mothers. I celebrate my mother and my mother-in-law who are amazing mothers, and my sister who I love so much and is also a fabulous mother. I celebrate all of my friends who are mothers. As mothers we work hard, we do our best.
My path to Motherhood was not as easy as some.
I always knew I wanted to be a mom. I could not wait to be a mom. I was working long days (and nights) as a corporate attorney. I could not wait until I could tell them that I was pregnant and would be going on maternity leave. But every month my “friend” would come. I was not pregnant. Again. And Again.
After months and months and months of trying, we knew we needed to do something. We got tested.
I am not going to go into all of the details, but we found out that we were not going to be able to have a baby naturally and we needed to do IVF if we wanted to have a baby. We went to a highly recommended specialist in Dallas who told Terry and me that we were young and healthy and there was no reason IVF should not work for us. I took all of the meds, did everything I was told. It was not easy. It was a miserable experience, but we did it.
Not pregnant. Lots of tears. Lots of money. Lots of pain. Failure.
We will try again. The doctor said that our embryos were very good so that was not the problem. At the time, I worked as a corporate attorney at one of the biggest law firms in the world. It was a high stress job. Maybe it was stress? I remember clearly that the managing partner at the time came in my office and suggested that I take a month off to concentrate on the IVF. Rest, he said. Don’t worry. We want you to take the time. We will still pay you.
What? A month off paid to try and get pregnant? Who does that? It was awesome.
Round two – this time we were told we had perfect embryos. PERFECT. They said. As I was leaving the embryologist said to me, “Congratulations on your twins.” I cried. REALLY?
The 10 days you wait. Those awful 10 days. I waited. I felt terrible.
NOT PREGNANT. I cried. I was a failure again. But she said I’d be pregnant. The doctor called.
“You should probably think about not trying again. Maybe try a surrogate. I don’t think I can help you.” Failure. A huge failure. But they gave me time off. I am a woman. My job is to get pregnant. My other job gave me time to get pregnant. I have always succeeded at things. Why can’t I do this?
That was Sept. 8, 2001. I failed. My high-pressured job told me to take a month off and relax I get pregnant. I did not. I went back to work on Sept. 10, 2001 to face them as a failure.
The next day the world came crashing down. Literally. I watched the towers fall as my own personal world was crumbling. I was not going to have a child. I had let everyone down. I could not take it. Slowly, I began to crumble just as the towers fell.
My husband Terry worked for Southwest Airlines. I was worried that my husband was going to lose his job. I was worried there would be an another terrorist attack at any minute. My house was in a flight path. Every time a plane flew overhead I thought it was going to crash into my house. Planes flew by my office window. I thought everyone of them was going to crash into my office. I could not be in my house. I could not be in my office.
I could not sleep. I could not eat. I could not stay in my house.
I quit my job. I lost a lot of weight. I cried. I drank. I literally had a breakdown.
People told me I needed help. Terry was there for me but I know he was scared. My coworkers were there for me. They told me I needed help. Terry told me I needed help. I knew I needed help. I found a therapist. I was diagnosed with PTSD. They said that the combination of the two events happening simultaneously was too much. There were other things too that contributed to it, but those were the triggering events.
It took time to recover. I started to sleep. I went back to work. Medicine helped get me on the right path. I decided to keep going on my path to have a baby.
I would adopt a baby. I was devastated when the doctor told me to give up, but I was not going to let him keep me down. I was devastated that I felt like a failure, but I was going to find the strength to keep going.
I made some calls. I walked into Hope Cottage, a local adoption agency, and from that day, it just felt right.
I have told Karen’s – Bryce’s birth mom’s – story of recovery and how I loved her when I first met her. And I told you that I love her. I love her for so many reasons – one of which is because she helped save me too. She made me a mother when I couldn’t be a mom. She allowed me to not be a failure.
I did not have a baby grow inside of me, but I did have a baby with the help of Karen. I did not give up, I made a choice and chose another way to be a mom. I needed help and she helped me with her choice as well.
I was suffering from PTSD after 9/11 and after failing to have a baby. But Karen and Bryce saved me.
You never know how things are going to go in your life. You never know what will happen. I thought I was not going to be a Mother. So on Mother’s Day I celebrate the fact that I am a Mother. I celebrate my Mother. And I celebrate the women who made me a Mother.
Don’t ever give up. Don’t let someone say something to you and let it make you change your dreams.
Thank you and Happy Mother’s Day.