I have written here often about the fact that I spend little-to-no time thinking about my lack of fertility now that I have my sons. There have been times I have even pondered whether I am truly "infertile," given my lack of a definitive diagnosis, my "advanced age" at the time we started trying, and my ability to conceive naturally on two occasions (though those pregnancies did not progress).
An online friend (not a part of the ALI community) married last year at 39 and hoped, as many of us do, to start a family with her husband. Her first hurdle was being diagnosed with cervical cancer shortly before her wedding. After (thankfully) getting the all clear on that front, she experienced an ectopic pregnancy recently that ruptured, resulting in the loss of one of her tubes.
Through the surgery and follow-up for her cancer, she has also learned that she has a large uterine fibroid that it would be very risky to remove but will make a successful pregnancy nearly impossible. After seeing what she went through with ruptured ectopic pregnancy, her husband doesn't think she should even attempt the surgery. Or if she does, attempt the necessarily risky (to mom and baby) pregnancy that would follow it.
My friend posted on her blog this morning about how she is not OK and about her feelings about likely never being pregnant or having a child who is a combination of her and her husband. Reading her post reminded me of my own feelings of grief when I realized I would never have a child who shared my genes and MM's genes.
I adore my sons and the unique individuals they are. Now that they are in my life, I wouldn't trade them for my own genetic child. But I won't deny that, before they were here, having a child naturally, who would have been genetically related to both me and to my husband, would have been my preferred option.
I have confidence that my friend and her husband will mourn their (very real and deep) loss and probably come to parenthood in some other way. I do believe that most people who want to become parents do, if they are open to multiple paths to that destination.
Reading her words and being reminded of my own feelings as I progressed along my own long and increasingly circuitous route to eventuall motherhood by a path I'd never thought of walking brought up emotions today I hadn't felt in a long time.
You never really forget.