Todd and I got married in November 2012 so naturally, people began asking us, “So… when are you going to have kids?” shortly around New Year. And by people, of course, I mean those intrusive aunties with no regard for boundaries -- and the occasional well-meaning friends without a filter. Luckily, Todd doesn’t get embarrassed easily and would always have a witty comeback like "Practice makes perfect.” (Now you can see why I married him).
But after a while, we were done “practicing” and ready for the big leagues -- or so we thought. We began trying almost four years ago and it took us nearly two years, eight months, and two weeks to finally hear the three most magical words ever strung together: “You are pregnant!” The nine months that ensued following those three words were some of the best days of my life -- not because I was pregnant -- but because what I had endured to become pregnant.
After trying naturally for two years, we did six months of IUI's and then finally moved to IVF. It was a long, tiring and exhausting process. I had four embryos and we transferred one and were fortune to be successful on the first try. Turns out, one out of every eight couples in America has infertility issues. But how many of them openly talk about it? Not very many, I realized. And although all of our stories differ, they’re all rooted in the same emotions, aren’t they? Optimism, frustration, hope, exasperation, confusion, fatigue...
I’ve experienced it all.
So allow me to step on this soap box for a minute while I tell you what I wish someone had told me: the whole process will be super draining. All those needles, early morning drives to the clinic for bloodwork and ultrasounds, all the phone calls from the nurses saying that it was unsuccessful, going for surgery for the egg retrieval, doing an embryo transfer and so on… it will take an emotional, mental and physical toll on you.
But hang in there.
And surround yourself with people with whom you can be vulnerable because I guarantee you will ugly cry at some point or another. That includes not just your partner, but your doctors and nurses too. Todd and I were fortunate enough to find this support not only in our healthcare professionals, family and friends, but also in other couples who had already walked a mile in our shoes.
Now looking back, the only thing that was missing was something I didn’t even know I needed at the time: Baby Ganesh. My obsession with elephants began at the age of 15, so it was only a matter of time before it extended to Ganesh, at the age of 16. And it’s no secret -- some of my students at school even refer to me as Mrs. Patelephant! (What can I say, I’m surrounded by witty people). Here’s a small sampling of my collection.
So as you can imagine, when I discovered Baby Ganesh while I was in my final trimester, to say I was excited is an understatement. I just can’t help but feel Baby Ganesh would have brought some hope and comfort into my life during times of uncertainty and obstacles. And of course, what a great addition he would be to my collection.
If you’re going through a difficult time like I once was, I hope my words helped. Todd and I are sending you our best wishes, good vibes, and a little luck -- in the form of Baby Ganesh -- from across the internet. Our son Aiden is truly a miracle and he turns one this Summer. And no, aunty, we’re not thinking of trying for a second one yet…
By: Shrina Patel & Todd Grunow