In 2001, I became a statistic. I suppose I had always been a statistic in one way or another, but that year I became a significant one: I gave birth to my first child, a son we named Dominic. The notable, statistical part of that event is that I was 16 years old when I became pregnant with him, and just 2 weeks short of 17 when I gave birth to him. In 2001, the year of his birth, I was one of the 45 out of every 1000 teenage girls who delivered a child.
We never intended to become pregnant, of course. It was a silly accident that I never would have chosen to happen, and at the time I felt like my world was coming to an end. It happened so easily, so unexpectedly. Now, 8.5 years later, I can’t imagine life without him.
Back at the tender age of 16, never would I have thought I’d have trouble conceiving again, though that was admittedly the last thought on my mind. But since that time, I’ve had another 2 children (all boys), twin girls as a surrogate, and lost 8 babies, including an ectopic.
We are now trying to conceive (that’s TTC for those of you who are acronym unfamiliar) our fourth child for 9 cycles, 10 months – 10 long, excruciating months. I can hardly complain, because I know there are many others who have waited much longer for a child. It’s painful to see so many of my friends and acquaintances become pregnant during the span of time we’ve been trying. At times it is literally one person every third day announcing a pregnancy and some are very close to actually delivering their child.
Now, I’m a different statistic. I’m one of the 3 million women suffering from secondary infertility each year, the complete opposite from where I started in my journey in motherhood. I never imagined I’d be in this place while wearing this face but, here I am, wading my way through muddy waters. I successfully made it through teenage parenthood while defying those statistics; I can only hope I’ll come through to the other side of infertility. The knowledgeable women in the TTC forum have been a most helpful resource and support system in these long months, and I know that everything I have learned from them can only have helped me in my journey toward baby #4.