Have you ever gone on a road trip to a place you’ve never been?
Maybe you had a map or GPS to guide you, but maybe the destination wasn’t exactly where you were told it would be. Maybe it was somewhere off the beaten path, down a country road where GPS couldn’t guide you.
For me, that’s what the road to motherhood was like: a destination that I couldn’t quite find on the map. The trip seemed to take forever, with harrowing obstacles in the way, but when I finally got where I was going, it was pretty incredible.
I didn’t choose the path to motherhood until I was 40 years old. After two miscarriages following accidental pregnancies at 23 and 30, I didn’t think motherhood was on my map at all. I was ambivalent, unsure, afraid of committing to something that didn’t seem likely to work out for me. And then I turned 40 and it seemed like that place I might want to visit one day — motherhood — might soon be closed to me forever.
Armed with tons of knowledge about conception and pregnancy for women over 35, I took the plunge, barreling down a dimly lit road into the unknown. The result was a miscarriage at 41 and a heartache I wasn’t sure I could survive. I was hopelessly lost and it was too late to make a U-turn back 10 years to when I chose not to try again after my miscarriage at 30.
I don’t know what made me keep going— stubborn determination, I guess — but the next two times I got pregnant, I carried to term. Maybe it was the progesterone supplement my doctor prescribed, maybe it was simply luck and determination to reach my chosen destination, but at 44, I found myself the mother of two babies under 2. Joy and exhaustion became my companions on a road trip that hadn’t turned out quite the way I expected, but in many ways had turned out better.
My path to motherhood was much like traveling to a place I’ve never been before: Getting there seemed to take forever and I wasn’t sure I’d make it at all. But once I was there and had a chance to catch my breath, I knew it was absolutely worth the journey and the view was all the more beautiful because of everything I went through to get there.