“You’re running out of time,” said my OB/GYN following my latest exam. Does she think I don’t know my own age? I wondered.
“The last time we talked, we discussed that this is the best time for you to get pregnant,” she continued. “So what’s going on?”
It took me a moment to process the gravity of what my doctor was saying. I felt my stomach drop and tears begin to form as I thought about how my greatest dream was slipping away. I’ve always wanted kids. In fact, I can’t imagine my life without any. Yet, time is passing by and I’m not closer to motherhood.
I cleared my head and responded, “I understand. At this point, I may have to proceed on my own.”
“Well, I hope that’s not the case. In the meantime, I think you need to talk to a high risk doctor about your autoimmune condition to see how it would affect you during a pregnancy. Right now, your blood work looks good, you’re at a great weight and your exam was perfect. However, I’ve never had a patient like you. Do you know of anyone else with IGG4-RD that’s had a baby?”
“No and neither has my rheumatologist. All I know is my body overreacts to any virus, incision or changes of any sort. It might not be kind to a fetus. Combined with my PCOS, bringing a child to term won’t be easy.”
“Ever consider a surrogate?”
I want to see and feel my child growing just like other women, I thought. But, I replied, “I don’t know that I could afford that.”
“A lot of people have success with crowdfunding. I think you have a unique story that would resonate.”
“I’ll think about it,” I muttered. But, I thought, I don’t want to beg people to support me. No matter how large my medical bills have gotten over the years, I’ve always tried to pay them myself. I can’t expect strangers to care about my struggles.
I slowly got dressed and contemplated the reality that I may never have children of my own.
I thought, I never imagined surviving all of my medical struggles to end up without a family; with no one to love or care for me as I age. I paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to survive surgeries, procedures or a lymphoma scare because I thought the best years of my life were yet to come. But, now I have to face the fact that with every passing day I get closer to having to face my greatest fear that I will be childless; that the future I envisioned will not come to fruition.
How am I going to face this? I wondered. I suppose like every other obstacle in my life: think, plan, pray and never give up.