IMG_2918In my journey to motherhood, I first had to let go of the ideal of getting pregnant “naturally” through a beautiful and romantic interaction with the love of my life. You marry another woman, that’s part of the deal.

Doing IUI was no fun, but it worked the very first time. I got to carry our baby in my own body, and then I powered through the cracked and bleeding nipples, the bad latch, the not gaining his birthweight back. Finally, we had a toddler who could nurse upside down while playing.

I used my body to create and sustain this perfect baby who grew and grew. I believed, intellectually, that all ways of creating families and feeding babies were valid. But secretly, I drank the Kool-Aid. I was She-Ra, Princess of Power, creating the next generation with my all-powerful body.

When our son was a year and a half old, we started trying again. The doctors had told me to expect it to take multiple tries, but I knew my childbearing hips obviously meant my body was designed to make babies. This would be a breeze.

We proceeded to go through IUI, IVF, and multiple miscarriages. My emotions and my body were a wreck. Because of all the chemicals I was pouring into my body, I had gained 20 pounds, my pelvis separated twice, I was been depressed and angry, and we had blown through our savings. My marriage was rocky, and after being on and off bed rest and with such low energy, I was having trouble being the kind of mom I wanted to be.

Luckily, Boston has the best healthcare in the country. I HAD to keep going, because eventually I’d get pregnant and carry a baby to term and be able to nurse and it would all be worth it. Finally, my primary care physician sat me down and said I couldn’t keep doing this to my body. If I did get pregnant, I’d probably be on bed rest most of the pregnancy, pumped full of hormones, joints askew, and unable to take care of the child we do have. There would be long-term effects on my body.

I grieved hard. Letting go of the idea of being She-Ra was devastating. I felt defective. How could I not do the most “natural” thing in the world? Teenagers who don’t even want babies can do this. How was I not able to execute this most basic of human functions?

We began thinking about adoption and filled out paperwork with the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families. We both knew we could love an adopted child as much as one we conceived “naturally.” Before we got married, we had agreed to have one biological child and then adopt the second. I’m an elementary school teacher, and many times I’d wished I could adopt my students who were abused and neglected. My wife is from Sri Lanka and had always understood how many children there were who needed homes. Then our son turned out to be so amazingly wonderful, and it had been so easy to conceive, that we threw that plan out the window. I loved the IDEA of adopting, but I just couldn’t let go of my experience of making and feeding a baby “naturally.”

My heart was broken, and I couldn’t imagine it would ever heal.

Amazingly, though, it has. Our son will turn 4 this summer and is over the moon about the baby brother or sister we will adopt, as are my wife and I. Unlike the fertility treatments, this has a guaranteed positive outcome. We don’t know the timeline, the sex, ethnicity, or personality of our baby yet, but eventually, we will be a family of four. It’s been a brutal process letting go of “natural,” but I’m finally here. I can bottle feed our adopted baby, and still be She-Ra.


  1. Thanks for sharing your experience with us Cora. You and your family will be sharing your lives with an adopted child soon.

Comments are closed.