Because every woman has her own journey.
I’m from Trinidad. My grandparents, parents, and I were all born in Trinidad, but my ancestors are from India. Don’t speak Hindi, have never been to India, but feel Indian, but also extremely Caribbean—it’s just a thing. My parents moved to New Jersey when I was 2 years old, but we’ve been in the USA ever since. I went to a local college, where I met my husband, also Indo-Trinidadian. As an only daughter of four children, my parents hosted a big, fat Indian wedding in New Jersey. It was the type of wedding where we spent way more than we had, invited way more people than we should, but it was what we wanted—so we did it. And boy, was it the talk of the town. All 5 days of it.
Upon getting married, it is custom for the bride to move into the groom’s family house. I’ve always liked the house I lived in with my parents, so this was tougher on me than anticipated. Could we have moved elsewhere after the wedding? Sure, but couldn’t afford it at all post-wedding. I was 29 at the time, working a middle management job locally, and ready to start a family. Besides, my mom constantly reminded me that she had all four children by my age. And of course, cannot wait for her daughter to finally be a mom.
Periods were always weird for me. In High School, my cycle would come every 2-3 months, but I was a virgin so that never worried me. After random nights of unprotected sex with my husband over the years, never a pregnancy scare. Go us! Safe to say, I’ve never paid my cycle much attention until now.
Along comes our 1 year anniversary. My husband and I finally moved into a rental apartment a mile away from my parents. Renting wasn’t ideal, but at least it’s our own place. Still saving for a house! Finally, no mother-in-law to inquire about when I plan on feeding her son. My period is 4 months late, but for some reason I feel pregnant this time- I just do. Do I feel nauseous? No. Do I feel overwhelmingly tired? No. Have I gained more weight than usual? No. But I surely feel pregnant. I must be pregnant.
I didn’t rush to tell my husband, because I always imagined how I would surprise him with our pregnancy news. After the wait, it had to be exactly how I envisioned. You know, three pregnancy tests tied to a balloon. Duh.
I head over to Walgreens and get three different types of pregnancy tests- First Response, Generic, and Clearblue. All of which come out negative, and all I could do was burst into tears. I didn’t even recognize myself. I never even knew I wanted this so badly until now.
After several rounds of testing at the hospital, I’m diagnosed with PCOS. I’ve always had issues with my weight, but I’ve also always loved aloo pie, roti, and soursop ice cream. My mom has always been top heavy too, so clearly this was genetic. Am I hairy? Yes! But so is every woman in my entire family. My doctor reassured me that many women get pregnant with PCOS, but I would have to make big dietary changes as well as start fertility medication. Changing the diet was tough, but had to be the first step.
Clomid, Injectable gonadotrophins, three rounds of IUI, one round of IVF, and nothing. At least not yet. Our 5th year anniversary is coming; and my marriage couldn’t be stronger, but all we can do is hope—for now.
Gayatri, Irvington, New Jersey