I won’t bury the lede, as we journalists often say: I am pregnant with a baby boy due in June.
It is the most incredible, exciting, life affirming thing for me to have a baby on the way, especially because it comes after years of disappointment, ugly crying and carrying around a deep sense of shame that my body couldn’t do what everyone else’s body seemed to do so easily.
For the past four years, I have been feverishly chasing motherhood — hoping, and praying, and deeply wanting more than anything else in this world to be pregnant and to bring home a healthy baby. All this, while desperately willing my way through rounds and rounds of IVF and pressing forward through wild, rocky news cycles that required me to look and sound calm.
I agonized over sharing this news because I am both deeply grateful for this incredible blessing, and deeply aware of how reading yet another pregnancy announcement might hurt women who are still struggling to become mothers.
I couldn’t post a photo of my growing stomach with a cheery announcement. ... I’ve found myself in tears reading those sorts of announcements.
That’s why I knew in my heart that I couldn’t post a photo of my growing stomach with a cheery announcement. I don’t mean to imply in any way that those posts are wrong. In fact, I wish I could genuinely make one of my own. What I mean, though, is that it would not be genuine of me to do that, because I’ve found myself in tears reading those sorts of announcements, feeling agony knowing that unfortunately, that was not my reality.
So if you’re a person whose body isn’t doing the thing you deeply want it to do, if you’re a woman whose path to motherhood has hit speed bumps, potholes, roadblocks and detour signs that have forced you on a winding, painful journey, this message is for you. I empathize with your struggles. I see your pain. And, I hope my story provides both comfort to those still in the struggle to get to motherhood, and affirmation for those whose paths have left deep scars.
Intellectually, I knew that IVF is something many, many women rely on to have children. My brain told me that I wasn’t alone, but my heart felt broken. Personally, the moment I decided I needed to do IVF felt like admitting a failure. There was a deep shame that I had to use science to help my body have a baby.
It helped that so many women have been transparent about their journeys and all the different ways people arrive at motherhood. But still, there were so many nights when I cried myself to sleep feeling a deep sense of resentment at my reality. And maybe this is the thing that people don’t talk about enough: IVF, while widely used, can still feel like a lonely, all-encompassing hell when you’re in the middle of it.
It took over every aspect of my life, and forced me to live what felt like two lives. I found myself squeezing in doctors' appointments between live reporting segments at the White House, Googling the nearest local fertility clinic while travelling on assignments in cities big and small across the country, giving myself shots in tiny airplane bathrooms and forcing myself to smile on crowded television studio sets after doctors called with bad news.
IVF also put me on a rollercoaster of emotions. I was both sad and excited to start the process. I was scared but eager to begin the shots. I was anxious but determined to freeze my eggs. I was terrified but curious to know how many embryos my husband and I could create. I was crushed when a round failed, and over the moon when a round finally worked.
As I think about the road I’ve traveled, I’m profoundly grateful to have an employer that offset the cost of this fertility ordeal. I'm aware of how many women don’t have that option and won’t be able to access healthcare that helps make their dreams come true. My heart is with you as you try to get the help you need and want.
I am ecstatic that all of this — my harrowing journey — is leading to a healthy baby. I cannot wait to teach him about how much his mother and father loved him into existence and waited years to hold him in our arms.