Monday, January 3, 2011

Darwin . . . I can beat your silly little theory

My mom was infertile.

Something I discovered long after she passed away.   I do remember her saying something once about endometriosis – but it wasn’t exactly a topic of conversation when I was a kid.

I knew my parents “waited a long time” to have me, but I never asked why they “waited” when both came from big families and all their married brothers and sisters had a gazillion children themselves.  I knew that they were devout Catholics who married at 21.  The story they gave me was that they wanted to be a little older before kids.  In retrospect I am not sure how much this was true.

I discovered this a few years ago when I was looking through my baby book.  Deep in the recesses of baby shower cards there was a handwritten draft of a letter.  It was addressed to the jury commissioner about 2 yr before I was born asking to be excused from service so she could attend an appointment with an infertility specialist she had been waiting to see.

I’m not sure how much infertility was actually treatable in the 1970s but after what I can now calculate as 7 years of trying . . . I came along.  She was a great mom, but I can now relate all too well to a feeling she had for a long time.  It was 6 years before my sister was born.  I am old enough to remember my relentless wishes and pleas for a sibling – I was probably just making it worse.  I know they wanted more kids but the cancer intervened before they could have had that prized boy they wanted.

I wish I could talk to my mom.  Get the truth.  Maybe we would be able to relate, maybe she would be my confidant.   Its hard to know what our relationship would have been like because she passed when I was still in my rebellious stage.

I tried once to broach the subject with my father but he just dismissed it and said he couldn’t remember.  As much as he does this a lot when it comes to memories of my mom, the difference was, this time, when I asked again he got defensively angry and told me knot to look into it any more.  Period.  End of story . . . there was going to be no further discussion.

Apparently this gene line was not supposed to continue even to me let alone beyond.  But I have something she didn’t . . . thirty something years of research in infertility to help me out.  I miss my mom frequently and will probably miss her more when I am one too.

On a happier note, thank you for all of your comments.  Its really nice to not feel so unique anymore!


  1. I'm so sorry that you lost your mother, I have no doubt that makes it harder. I too have PCOS and crazy irregular cycles (I'd get a period once a year or less if my body is left to it's own devices.) My mom is the same way, she took clomid to get me and a year later or so , my sister, (on her first cycle of clomid both times, jerks!) then ended up getting pregnant with my 2 brothers later as surprises. (There are studies out there indicating women with PCOS may be fertile later/longer than non-PCOS' seems to be true in my mom's case.)Anyway, I actually got a little annoyed with her after my first cycle of clomid failed because she got pregnant so easily with it, I just assumed it would work for me too. And then of course she had 3 completely uneventful normal pregnancies with nary an ultrasound (+ one with complete placenta previa and emergency c-section at 29 wks), somehow I managed to get HELLP and severe IUGR by 23 wks with my first pregnancy, which is nowhere in my family history at all...not even pre-eclampsia or chronic hypertension. So, sometimes, family history doesn't matter all that much at all.

    On the bright side, you know that your mom did get pregnant, so take that as a sign of hope that you will too.

  2. Seven years. Wow. Your mom is a hero. You're right, you know so much more now than people did back then. It's going to happen for you.

    I'm so sorry that your mom passed away too early.

  3. Here from LFCA - it must be so hard to only be able to piece together bits of your mom's story, instead of being able to ask. Welcome to the blogosphere! You will always find someone here who's been through something similar to you.

  4. This has to be a conversation to have. My grandmother was 38 when she had my mom--28 when she had my uncle...I once asked WHY and was told "I never asked, I don't know..." Given what we're going through makes one realize these conversations are oh so much more important to have!

  5. I just found my way to your blog via the Infertility Monster blog. So sorry that you have to be here with us, but wanted to wish you a big warm welcome!

    My mom tried for three years after a second trimester miscarriage before she conceived me. She had given up on pregnancy and started down the adoption path. I was her miracle baby. I never got the whole story about her journey until she came with me to a RESOLVE meeting last year and shared. It is incredible the things that we don't talk about, or gloss over that have so much meaning. My aunt also has a story about loss and yearning that I hope to someday learn more about, but it is a difficult door to open.

    I've read thru just a few of your posts, and look forward to becoming your newest follower.