This is an essay I wrote for National Public Radio’s “This I Believe” in 2007.
This I Believe
I believe I will have a child. I have to. Isn’t that what we are made to do as humans? Reproduce. I believe. I believe. I believe.
I never thought I would become one of them. Those people obsessed with becoming pregnant. People who see specialists. People who take fertility drugs. People whose one wish in the world is to become pregnant. Well, I have.
I was diagnosed with a uterus septum. I went to see my gynecologist for pelvic pain and they did a routine ultra sound. The technician was quiet, methodical, and probing with a deep curiosity. I thought she may have seen a fetus and I was pregnant! Her deep, probing curiosity became more of a concentrated stare of uncertainty. Then she left the room and came back to tell me to get dressed and go to the waiting room. I was not able to get an appointment with my regular gynecologist and was scheduled with an on call doctor before my ultra sound took place. I thought something was strange as I thumbed through waiting room magazines to see my on-call doctor talking so intensely with my regular booked solid, gynecologist.
I watched the ultra sound technician and my regular gynecologist have an intense discussion as they pointed to photos from the ultra sound. My mind flew to horrible places… I have cancer… I can’t ever have children… my female parts are messed up. But I told myself not to panic.
My gynecologist called me in. She started her speech with overly kind words and medical terms over my head. I knew something was up. She said, “You have a uterus anomaly.” I was like, “What is that?” She went into medical terminology about being a fetus in my mother’s womb…the malarian ducts… fallopian tubes, which did not fuse into a whole uterus. Instead you have a uterus septum, it appears. I can’t diagnose this and I am referring you to a specialist.”
I immediately turned on my mother. “Is this because my mother drank and smoked while she was pregnant with me?” My doctor reassured me it was just something that was a freak occurrence. Oh great, I am a freak.
I underwent a series of tests. They tested my hormones, my egg count, my husband’s sperm. They did a MRI, and a hysterosalpingram. There it was in black and white: my uterus septum. I wanted the doctor to give me a black and white diagnosis. She merely was calm. At this point, I was seeing an endocrinologist, my reproductive problems too intense and out of reach for a gynecologist. I was better off with the freak of nature doctor, right!
I have to believe I will have children, at least one. Hopefully three. But I am 33 and not pregnant. That means if all goes well, I can have a child before the dreaded 35 happens. But all the movie stars are having children past 35. For Pete’s sake, even a 60 year old woman had a baby.
What I do believe, and it scares me, is that I may not ever have children naturally. And I will have to live with that and move on to the next phase. Adoption, In Vitro Fertilization, acceptance.
I had surgery on June 28, 2007 to fix my uterus septum. I had two doctors working on me. I had multiple procedures done: laparoscopy, hysteroscopic uterine septum resection, and a polypectory.
I have to believe that medical science will help us conceive a child. That God’s grace will intervene and we will get pregnant. But I also have to believe and accept, which is the hard part, that we may not. And life will go as it is supposed to…this I believe.