My parents taught me at a very young age that I could accomplish anything if I set my mind to it. Each goal I created and ultimately achieved throughout my childhood and young adult life helped cement this belief into the very core of my identity. With enough willpower and effort, I knew any dream was within reach.
Armed with a clean genetics report and a whole lot of "can-do" attitude, I confidently strutted onto the path to parenthood. I bought the What to Expect Before (yes, before...) You're Expecting book, downloaded all the most popular baby apps, spent hours studying lists of baby names and pregnancy symptoms, and purchased a small box of tests. I exercised reasonably, counted my calories, consumed adequate amounts of fruits and vegetables, switched from coffee to green tea, drank plenty of water, and tried to get the recommended eight hours or more of sleep every night. If anyone could get pregnant, it was me!
But then I didn't...
I still remember that first negative test - I just stood in the kitchen and sobbed in Aaron's arms. It was my fault. Surely, I must have done something wrong. When I finally stopped feeling sorry for myself, I wiped my tears and determined I would just have to try harder. I reexamined my game plan, made a few adjustments, and set out to try again.
The following month, I faced the same crushing disappointment. Just as before, I fell apart, then picked myself up and tried again.
And then again,
Eventually I realized, for the first time in all of my life, I failed. No amount of willpower or effort could get me through this. One word resonated over and over in my head and like a poison, slipped into my heart and began to dissolve the truths that had carried me for so long: