It will come as a surprise to exactly no one that knows me well that I have always wanted to be a mother. A former classmate recalls me stating the fact with unmatched conviction when I was in the sixth grade. I was eleven years old and still, the only thing I really wanted to do with my life was to have children. Everything else in the background or my future was diluted and blurry but I knew I wanted to be a mother and I knew I wanted to have more than one child. As an only child until the age of 10 1/2 with few cousins and even fewer close friends, I remembered thinking I didn’t want my children to feel this lonely. I didn’t want my child to grow up and think to himself “I wish I knew what it was like to have a brother/sister.” That’s not to say that my mom wasn’t an amazing mother. In fact, if she hadn’t been so amazing my thoughts on this subject would probably be the polar opposite of what they were and what they are now.
When James was born via emergency c-section, my doctor informed me I had fibroid tumors in my uterus and seemed surprised I got pregnant in the first place. With every follow-up exam I asked her to elaborate. I wanted to know how many, how large, what kind (there are at least 4 different kinds) and what kind of treatment options were available to me. None of these questions were answered. She’d shoo me out of the office with the promise that we would discuss it at a later time. She planted the roots of a terrible weed in my brain and refused to reap what she sowed. I would be lying if I didn’t tell you I spent many a night awake in bed thinking of all the terrible invaders in my body and all of the dreams they were drastically changing.
I’m going to stop here and address what always seems to be the elephant in the room whenever a woman starts lamenting that she can’t bear children. Let me state, on the record, If I were not able to have more children of my own, I would have absolutely no problem adopting a child. I would be the best mom I could possibly be even if I were not the birth mother. Would I consider adoption in the future even if I’m able to bear another child on my own? Absolutely.
I decided that I was going to see a new doctor. I decided on a local clinic that is affiliated with the Woman’s Hospital of Texas. I would see the doctor here and deliver a child in Houston, should I become pregnant. I had to reschedule the appointment three times because my body that had never worked quite right decided to start trying to work. Upon finally reporting to my appointment, I was first brought in to the doctor’s office for an interview of sorts. This was already a better appointment than I ever had with my previous doctor and I hadn’t even met her yet. After a few minutes of speaking I told her about why I left my last doctor. The new doctor understood why I was upset and promised to help put my mind at ease, even if it meant ordering an ultrasound so I could see for myself. After my exam, she sat down on her chair, looked up at me and said “Ashleigh, sometimes women can develop fibroids during their pregnancy, and then they will either disappear or shrink drastically postpartum.” I was a little confused. “Your uterus is perfectly normal and perfectly healthy. You do not have fibroids.” I proceeded to have an out of body experience. I floated to the ceiling and looked down at myself as my eyes began to water and I clasped my hands under my chin. Dr. Happiness (as she will henceforth be called unless you have a better idea) told me she saw absolutely no reason I wouldn’t be able to have baby number two this year. She wrote me a prescription for prenatal vitamins and said she hoped to see me back again soon. She paused, and added not to be afraid to come back if we find we are having trouble and want to talk about testing. In the span of a 30 minute appointment she completely erased almost every negative thought I’d ever had and made me feel bullet-proof. And I can’t tell you how much that means.
I am young. I am not even 25 years old. I’ve heard the line “Oh but you have plenty of time, why are you rushing?”. Anyone who knows me and knows me well will know that I am not your average 25 year old. I met and married the love of my life when I was barely 20 years old. I had my first child at 22. I’ll hopefully have my second child at 25. I can’t explain to you why my age doesn’t matter in this situation. It can’t and won’t be properly understood unless you take the chance to really get to know me. When you take the chance to know me, you’ll know that beyond all the silly and sarcasm is a woman who will spend her life loving her children and being the best mom she can be.