In my early 20s, I didn’t want kids.
I was never the woman who wanted to hold other people’s children, I didn’t babysit as a teenager, I didn’t even really play with baby dolls as a child.
A tragic event in my life seemed only to solidify the fact for me. After losing my mom to breast cancer at a young age, I was terrified the same would happen to me.
However, once I married an incredible man who I knew would make an outstanding father, it became clear that we wanted to share our love with a family.
I realized instead of being scared to leave my kids like my mom had, I should aim to become an incredibly strong, loving, devoted mother like she was to me.
So, we started trying, but six months went by and nothing. Then it dragged on for a year of tracking ovulation and scheduled sex with no luck. So, we went to the obligatory family doctor’s appointment and were subsequently referred to a fertility clinic.
Being told we may never naturally have children was like being punched in the stomach.
I remember feeling like the doctor must be talking to someone other than us and almost looking behind me to see who the poor, sad couple was that just received this heart-wrenching news.
We had a two per cent chance of getting pregnant naturally.
Two per cent - that number followed me around, taunted me, shattered my dreams.
My chances were higher of becoming a millionaire or living to 100 than having a baby naturally.
Becoming a mom became all I wanted. Having a child had consumed my thoughts.
I attended baby showers, signed cards of congratulations for co-workers, oohed and awed at friends’ bundles of joy and I was genuinely happy for them, but I was also concealing my own inner turmoil.
I was a mother without a child.
There was good news: The form of infertility we experienced has a high success rate with Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) in vitro fertilization (IVF).
ICSI is used to enhance the fertilization phase of IVF by injecting a single sperm into a mature egg.
Going through the process of IVF is hard to explain and (for me at least) now seems surreal.
Did I really spend thousands of dollars to be wheeled on a gurney into an operating room to have the dozens of eggs that the cocktail of drugs had made my ovaries produce removed from my body and then repeat a similar procedure to have the embryo put back in days later?
Yep, it was me and after all of that and much more, we were finally pregnant!
Almost nine months later on Oct. 1, 2014, after an incredibly fast birth that we barely made it to the hospital for, we had a beautiful baby girl and she became our whole world.
Suddenly every doubt I had ever had about being a mom disappeared and I knew that this is what I was meant to do, who I was meant to be.
I immediately decided not to go back to work after my maternity leave and to stay home to enjoy every moment and milestone of my beautiful baby girl’s young life.
I’m proud to say I was there for all of her firsts: crawling, words, steps, every school event, graduation (from preschool and Grade 1) - you name it, I was there and loving every minute of it because she was my everything.
Just over two years later, on June 1, 2017, we had a bouncing baby boy, using one of our eight remaining frozen embryos.
The juxtaposition between my girl and boy was jarring as they were opposites in every single way (despite technically being fraternal twins, as they were created from the same “batch” of sperm and eggs).
Of course, everything we went through was worth it and we truly are blessed. If we had children in any other way, they wouldn’t be our crazy, loud, endearing, sometimes frustrating, always adorable kiddos that were created out of love, hope and a little bit of science.