Because every woman has her own journey.
I’d be lying if I said my life hasn’t always been perfect. I was raised in Savannah, Georgia and the daughter of a surgeon and elementary school teacher. My sister and I always had a super close friendship and moved to the west coast for college together. At age 20, I started dating the athlete who would later become my dreamy husband. After our big Southern wedding in Spring of 2013, my husband and I embarked on a journey to parenthood- a journey that began when my husband and I were 24 years old. Periods were always regular for me, even at times when I was on and off birth control. At first, we decided to just see where things went naturally, without monitoring my cycle or anything of the sort. Besides, we had our entire lives ahead of us.
After about a year and half of trying with no success; we decided to start a sex calendar, where we pin-pointed ovulation nights based on cycle start dates. Six months later, zero luck. By this point, our relationship was strained, and romance was sort of out the window. The increasing pressure from my mother-in-law most definitely did not help any situation. Now, at 27, I decided to seek help from my family ObGyn Dr.H, who worked in a highly-rated Savannah clinic. Although always very kind, she encouraged me that if my period is regular—I just need to take prenatal vitamins, carefully monitor ovulation with testing strips, and come back to her in another 6 months.
After using these flimsy ovulation strips for two months, I start thinking they are a sham. I went for a second opinion at a different clinic on the other side of town. My new doctor quickly set me up for an ultrasound, and blood test. I soon found out that my FSH levels were sky high and conceiving naturally would be nearly impossible. Part of me hated her for telling me the truth. I surely did not want to believe this could happen to me – at all. I immediately set an appointment for egg retrieval in order to begin the IVF process. As emotionally draining as IVF can be, I was hopeful—because why not? At my retrieval, zero eggs were retrieved. What made matters worse; a week later, I learned that my husband was cheating on me with the bartender at our favorite spot. It was over. My perfect life was over.
I moved to Charleston, South Carolina, to get away from it all. At first, I felt completely suffocated. For the first time, things were completely not in my lane. I was navigating a new city, with a few distant cousins as my only connection. Several years later at 33, I went on to marry a widower with a 5-year-old son with ASD Level 2. Autism is a difficult diagnosis, but he couldn’t be a more perfect child. Elijah is my son-- the child I’ve waited for my whole life.
Jess, Charleston, South Carolina