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Aug 23 2012

On Trying to Become a Single Mother

By at 6:10 am

artificial insemination pink eggAs I sang my way down the Garden State Parkway, beach bound and gleeful, I tried not to think about what I was hoping was happening inside my body.

“No day but today!” I sang at the top of my voice, feeling the truth of Larson’s poignant lyrics. Like a true musical theater kid, I was channeling my intense feelings through song.  It had only been an hour since I had had my first IUI (intra uterine insemination) and I was feeling the power of the moment. Everyone told me not to expect anything to happen on the first try. My doctor explained at my very first visit that there would be a 20% chance of a pregnancy with each attempt, just like nature.

I’ve always known I wanted to become a mother. Ever since I was a little kid on the playground, I have gravitated to the nurturing roles of mother, leader, and teacher. There has never been a doubt. I wanted to be a mother so bad that when I turned 30, I found myself engaged to a lovely guy who was totally wrong for me. After breaking the engagement, I realized that I had to be prepared to separate my quest for motherhood from my search for my soul mate. The two might not merge at the perfect moment and the timeline for motherhood has a limit.

Now I’m 36 going on 37, single, and ready to rock. It is time for me to begin the grand adventure of motherhood. So, I visited RMA, a leading fertility practice in New Jersey, to start the process. I had all of the requisite testing and meetings and everything went well.

Finally, the day of my first IUI arrived. I went in for “blood work and ultrasound,” words my nurse at RMA must say about a thousand times a day. I wore one of my favorite shirts, the white bohemian blouse I bought in Bali this February, thinking that I should look nice, and maybe even a little bit sexy, for such an important event. I braced myself for the prick of the needle and the possibility that I wasn’t actually ovulating yet and they would send me home with no swimmers.

And then, things fell slowly into place. Although the doctor, who I was seeing for the first time because RMA is a baby making machine with a huge team of doctors and nurses, told me that she thought we might have missed the window based on the ultrasound, the timing was actually quite good. I hadn’t ovulated yet, but would soon–ideal timing for an insemination. I had 14 million sperm inserted in a very clinical, unsexy manner and I left for the beach, knowing that the next morning I would go in again for another insemination, to maximize my chances of hitting that 20% mark and becoming pregnant on the first try.

And now I wait.

No day but today!

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