There is an ever present ache in my heart that can’t be filled by being an aunt or a god mother. I thought caring for someone else’s child, getting to guide them as they grow up, would stop me for yearning for my own children. But, it hasn’t.
I’ve been told since my early twenties that motherhood wouldn’t come easy to me. One glimmer of hope, in college, made me think that perhaps the doctor was wrong. Yet, years then decades passed and I discovered it was me that was wrong. I soon learned the hemorrhagic and ovarian cysts that had caused me to nearly bleed to death on several occasions were caused by PCOS, polycystic ovary syndrome; this condition was likely the reason I had not become a mother.
When I learned more about my problem, I immediately sought treatment. I went to an endocrinologist and started taking drugs to regulate my cycle. I thought it would just be a matter of time before there was a bundle of joy in my arms. But, my partner, at the time decided he didn’t want children. So I waited and waited, choosing not to force someone I loved to become a parent if they didn’t want to be.
For a while, thoughts of having a child faded to the background while my journalism and writing careers became a priority. But, every baby shower I attended, child I saw in the grocery store or visit with my god child or nephew brought the desire to be a mother flooding back. Eventually, I made my feelings known to my boyfriend and he made it clear that I, and my wishes, we’re not a good fit for him.
Years went by and before I knew it I was over forty. Ironically, ever person I dated, including the one who claimed he didn’t want kids, went on to have children. Meantime, my infertility problems had reached a critical stage. I soon discovered that I may not be able to become a mom because my age and my condition made unlikely. The only chance I had was taking extreme measures to get pregnant and I can’t afford them.
I went to a fertility doctor and tried the minimally invasive things and medications covered by insurance, however, those didn’t work. I downloaded an app to track my cycle, bought ovulation kits, took my temperature and turned being intimate into a chore rather than a joy. Still nothing happened. So, I looked into IUI and IVF but both procedures are only partially paid for through my insurance; that means somehow I’d have to scrap together hundreds to try either of these methods. Add to that the cap my plan has on expenses and it became clear that I would quickly run out financial help. It wouldn’t be long before I’d be buried under thousands in debt. And, there is no guarantee these processes would even work.
I considered my best option to have a child would be to get a surrogate. Yet, I asked but no one I know was willing or able to carry my baby. Even if I had found someone, the cost of using a surrogate is not covered by insurance. I began to panic, wondering how or if I could ever come up with the tens of thousands of dollars needed to have a baby? Then, I saw the announcement that a surrogate helped Tyra Banks become a mother and IVF helped Chrissy Teigen and John Legend get pregnant; it gave me hope that having a bundle of joy despite infertility obstacles is possible. My joy was short-lived. It hit. Those people have the financial resources to try everything that I can’t so maybe, the reality is I’m too poor to become a mom. I pray I’m wrong.
Originally published in the Huffington Post on 3/7/2016: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nika-c-beamon/am-i-too-poor-to-become-a_b_9400576.html
I get it – surrogacy and IVF are both incredibly expensive, and many end up doing kickstarter/crowdfunding campaigns to raise money for it. Not sure if you were aware, but there are loans designed just for fertility treatments that are also available – my RE’s office had a ton of brochures (as for us we used our credit card).