This I Believe (my essay on NPR’s “This I Believe)

This was published on NPR’s This I Believe on September 22, 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.

Family Love - Always Believe


Mama's Love

Love Notes

Copyright Megan Oteri 2010


Copyright Megan Oteri 2010


Copyright Megan Oteri 2010

I am working on another non-fiction book project.  It is a series of love notes.  My husband drew and wrote a love note every day for two years.  I kept them all, at least most of them.  I am compiling them now and working on a book proposal.  I think this is a for sure thing.  I can’t credit my own creativity, but I can credit the fact that every woman would love to have this tucked in their lunch bag or briefcase.  My husband is amazing.  I will be creating a facebook  fan page for this project soon.  So stayed tuned.

Been Awhile

I have been away. In a corner. A hardwood floor of my heart. Trying to deal with going back to work.  I have been dealing with post partum. I feel much more balanced now.  But the past two months have been hard. I have realized I can’t hold all the plates.  Some come crashing down and shatter on the floor.  Some drop and roll, spinning on their side, lost in the translation of the hallway of my life.  I just can’t hold all of them at the same time.  I thought I could. I thought I should.  I thought I would.  But I haven’t.

And I am ok with that.  Now.

But I wasn’t.  I was under this impression that you have a baby.  Then you go back to work and everything should be as it was.  But it isn’t.  It is as if your world is split open and turned upside down, looking at a different hemisphere of stars.  No longer is the North Star guiding me.  Instead, I forge ahead, led by another bright star formation in my heart.  It glows in the dark and warms me from inside when I am sad.  That warmth is the heat from motherhood.  I have longed for motherhood for so long, I can’t remember not longing for it.  Not mourning the absence of it.  And now I am in the oven of it.  Sometimes the oven burns me. Sometimes it cools me.  But the oven in my heart is always on.

There are no oven mitts to protect me from the burns of being a mama.  My heart lives outside itself with the presence of my son.  He is growing so fast. So fast. So fast.  Just yesterday he started rice cereal. And the day before was his first train ride.  And before that, he fit into 3-6 month old clothes. Now he is wearing 9 month old clothes and he is still 5 months old and change.  Working has kept my mind busy and my heart burning.  I want to hold all the plates, but I have to let some drop if I wish to hold the most important platter of all – my family. 

So I go back and forth, up and down, right and left, on and off.  But my mama oven is always on. North Star or Southern Cross – I am guided by the light and love within.