We are back to blogging!!! I am so sorry for the hiatus, I opened a practice (just for women!) and Emma moved, etc, etc, etc. We are here now and committed to bimonthly posts! Both Emma and I agree our favorite part of writing the book was interviewing such a diverse group of women. We wanted to keep doing that so are embarking on a series of blog posts that features a new woman’s narrative monthly along with our take offering insights, coping skills, and statistics in a follow up post 2 weeks later.
We start with Jessica Luty Kabrhel, mom, therapist, friend (and also one of the most fashionable people I’ve ever met). These are her words:
I was 39 when my little boy came into the world, a squishy mess of gangly limbs and bright blonde hair. He was delivered by emergency c-section after 24 hours of labor, half of which was in the middle of the night in my basement. I didn’t want to wake my husband until it was absolutely necessary, but the fact that my labor presented in my low back and buttocks made it a very long night. I was relieved to finally hear his wail, my assurance that he was okay.
Becoming a mom at 39 wasn’t my choice. I tried to get pregnant for several years and was ultimately told that I needed a donor egg as mine were “too old”. We entertained that possibility and ultimately decided that money like that was better spent on adopting. We spent the next year collecting everything we needed to become adoptive parents. We were JUST about to finish the process and make ourselves available to be adoptive parents when I found out I was pregnant. It was the shock of our lives when that little stick gave us a plus sign. And, suddenly, we were THAT story. The one where, if you just forget about it for a little while, you get pregnant. The one that well-meaning people like to throw around to help you feel better when you’re hoping to become pregnant.
Becoming pregnant after so many years of ovulation tracking, IUIs, IVFs, temperature-taking, and finally making peace with not being able to have a biological child was incredibly overwhelming. It felt like a frighteningly fragile invasion more than a miracle. I couldn’t truly relax for many weeks, until my optimistic nature took over to ensure that I didn’t spend ten months in a panic. It was also helpful that my doctor looked at me and said, “Just because you had trouble conceiving doesn’t mean that you will have trouble carrying a baby to term.” She was so matter-of-fact about that, and about the fact that women my age have babies every day, that I had to exhale.
As a young woman, I wasn’t ever sure that I wanted to have children and never even thought about it seriously until I was 30. I married at 33 with the idea that we MIGHT have children. I worried that I may have trouble, as I’d had various ovarian and uterine difficulties in my twenties. I will never know whether my “heart shaped” uterus or my cranky ovaries had anything to do with the years that I struggled. Maybe my little one simply came when we were both ready. Nothing prepares you for the struggle to get pregnant, but that struggle made me more palpably grateful to be his mother than I could have ever imagined. I don’t know if I would have always been the mom I am today, or if the struggle created me. I do know that I look at him every single day with conscious wonderment and gratitude. Every bout of fury, every tear, every silent curse, every wrinkle, every ache was paving the way for the little boy who is perfect for me in the most miraculous ways.
There isn’t a scientific explanation for everything. Sometimes it’s inexplicable.
Jessica Luty Kabrhel lives outside of Baltimore, MD with her husband and two children. She is a psychotherapist who specializes in trauma as it relates to motherhood.