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!