By Lisa Amaya
Some want to live what I call ‘the typical life.’ To me, this means getting a job, marrying someone you love, having children and making beautiful memories together. My life has only sort of fallen into this category.
After graduating from college at 23, I worked as an education reporter at a daily newspaper in New Mexico. I’ve loved writing since I was 6 and I figured I’d have the time of my life in this position. Unfortunately, I was sadly mistaken.
A few months in, I wasn’t getting along with my editor and I was fired. There are always just going to be some people who don’t appreciate or like you in life. That was one of the hardest lessons for me to learn, but I eventually did.
As I was thinking of what my next career move would be, I fell pregnant with my surprise baby; I gave birth to my son on December 13, 2005.
I’ll never forget the day Jacob was born and taking him home from the hospital. There have been so many priceless moments for me. He is such a great kid.
He behaves himself at school and home (most of the time). I’m always thinking about what he might be doing when I’m not around. I love him more than he’ll ever know. I know, I know, I’m sure every mom wants to say these things about her child or children and I completely understand why.
Looking back, getting pregnant without any complications was one of the biggest blessings and gifts I’ve received in my life. Our bodies are truly miraculous. This is one of the many reasons I celebrate being a mom all the time. I’m truly grateful for this lifetime experience.
I have no regrets of becoming a parent. Jacob and I have already made so many wonderful memories together. Some of my favorites in no particular order include: visiting Disney World, watching him take his first steps, teaching him how to ride a bike and play basketball, attending his school Christmas programs, teaching him how to read, working on science projects, watching him sleep peacefully, baking cookies together, etc.
I’m not sure how I could have done it all alone and I haven’t. My family has helped me with him every day; his father and I split when he was 2. The popular saying “It takes a village to raise a child” is really true.
After Jacob was born, I figured I could become pregnant again whenever I was ready. Unfortunately, this hasn’t been the case. After numerous visits to the doctor over the years, he said the only way I would become pregnant again is by going through In Vitro Fertilization. According to statistics, one in eight couples struggle with primary or secondary infertility. As I’m writing this, I’m scheduled to begin the IVF process any day now. IVF involves many steps and medication and every couple is different.
I’m nervous but hopeful the process will work for us. Years after giving birth to my son, I was diagnosed with endometriosis. The disorder affects the cells and tissue that normally line the inside of a woman’s uterus. With endometriosis, the endometrium (tissue) grows outside of the uterus. Endometriosis can affect fertility and it can also cause scar tissue and large cysts.
Some women like myself also struggle with painful menses. Since I live 45 minutes away from Mexico, I’ve decided to see a fertility specialist over there instead of in the U.S. The procedure I need to go through is close to $25,000 with medicine if I do it here; in Mexico, it is about $7,000. Living in a border town can be a blessing and curse at the same time.
When I was diagnosed with endometriosis, the doctor removed a tennis-ball sized cyst and one of my ovaries. It was the most painful surgery I’ve ever been through so far. I think it was more painful even than giving birth.
The operation eventually caused me to have low Anti-Mullerian Hormone or AMH. This pretty much means I don’t have many eggs in my left ovary. According to Endo stats, 176 million women suffer from endometriosis worldwide. There is no known cause for the disorder.
You may be thinking why I’d go through the trouble of IVF and daily injections. Well, truthfully I would rather not; but if that’s the only way I’ll get pregnant again, then so be it.
I would like for my son to have a sibling; I realize they will be many years apart. My boyfriend doesn’t have any family left on his father’s side and I would like for him to continue his lineage. Most importantly, I would like for him to be able to experience the gifts of fatherhood for the rest of his life.
I don’t see infertility as a curse. Rather, I see it another challenge I need to overcome in life. I haven’t been much of a religious person until the past few months.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always believed in God and Jesus. I’ve always prayed to them even if I don’t attend church every Sunday. But I find myself praying to them more than I ever have. I constantly pray to St. Jude, who is known as the patron saint of hope and impossible cases. I carry my St. Jude medallion in my purse at all times. Anyone can pray to St. Jude, even if they aren’t Catholic.
If and when your prayers are answered, you’re supposed to thank St. Jude via a newspaper ad or online. All you have to say is “Thank you St. Jude for prayers answered” and include your initials. I think this helps give other people hope.
So…this month and everyday I celebrate being a mother. I also hope and pray it happens again.
Lisa Amaya is a 30-some year old mom to her 11-year-old son, Jacob. She has been writing since she was 6. Lisa earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism with a minor in history from New Mexico State in 2004. Her work has appeared in various online and print publications. Lisa is a contributor to What’s Up Weekly in El Paso, Texas. She also stays busy with her blog, Life of an El Paso Woman. Her first published book is currently in the works.