I was always sure I wanted kids. I talked about it when I was a teenager as if it were a given that I would have them someday in the far off future. There was only a very brief time in my early 20s when I wasn't sure. I'd gotten married at age 22 to a man who was 13 years older than me and who already had four children from other relationships. One of those children, his 12 year old son, lived with us for the first three years we were married and it wasn't easy being a full-time parent to a teen when I was barely out of my teens myself. Plus, I became a step-grandmother after I'd only been married for five months. It was all a little overwhelming.
However, by the time I was 25, I knew once again with certainty that I wanted children. I had started substitute teaching the year before and found I loved working with the pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten, and first grade students. I loved their innocence and enthusiasm for everything and thought how terrific it would be to have a little kid of my own. The following year cemented it for me when I was hired to teach a combined 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade class at a charter school. I had a blast being their teacher. I loved kids, and they seemed to love me right back! One of the other teachers even hired me to babysit her kids that summer when there was no school. She said I was a natural with them.
I stopped taking birth control when I was 28. We were financially secure and I knew I was ready to be a mom. Though my husband made me promise to stop talking about getting pregnant until I was 30, he didn't mind that I was opening my womb for business. He just didn't discuss it. I wasn't frantic about it happening right away. I was young and figured I had plenty of time to get pregnant. It would happen naturally before too long, I was sure. All I had to do was wait and be surprised when the stick came back positive.
It was only when I reached 35 years of age that it really hit me. I'd been off birth control for seven years and nothing had happened. I started to feel my biological clock tick and began to get concerned that something was wrong. Maybe there was something wrong with me. Maybe my husband was no longer able to have children for some reason. Maybe my eggs and his sperm were incompatible. I'd heard of that happening with couples. I was perplexed. It had never once occurred to me I might have trouble getting pregnant.
My husband was ready to have another baby, and even eager to do so at this point. Having lost his oldest child (and only daughter) in a tragic accident a few years prior, he liked the idea of having a baby in the house again. So, with his blessing and full participation, I started doing something I never in a million years thought I would have to do. I started looking for a fertility specialist. I soon found a very well-known and reputable one in my area and made an appointment. My husband and I were going to see the specialist and get tested to see if the cause of our infertility could be discovered. My infertility journey had begun.