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  • I come from a large family full of Catholics, gypsies, and Catholic-gypsies. Every holiday was (and will be) full of screaming and laughing people, and there will always be children-lots of children. I've never known an event where there wouldn't be some kind of kin with an infant on their hip; so naturally, I grew up expecting to marry (young) and become a mother (young).

    The distinct allure of burp cloths and baby wipes attracted me since childhood. I always wanted to be educated, but a career never really meant that much to me. My goal in life was to have a large family and to cultivate a loving and happy home, which is something that I never quite had while growing up. For 27 years that was my definition perfection: love, marriage, and children.

    But, in April of 2013 I found out that I will never be able to conceive a child.

    (Before I move on I would just like to point out that this is the first that I have written down and thus the first that I have read the fact that I will never be able to have children. My emotions are all over the place right now. I'll save you the biology but not the psychology.)

    It didn't sink in at first. I can clearly remember the conversation with my doctor, and I can even remember the song that was playing in the lobby as I left my appointment (Sweet Dreams by the Eurythmics). My mind understood the science right away, but it barricaded the consequence for weeks.

    The impact of what my infertility would have on my vision of the future didn't strike until after I read an essay by Emily Witt titled “What Do You Desire?” Her article doesn't have a damn thing to do with children and very little to do with love (I'm not going to write a summary or a review of Witt's essay-do yourself an “un”favor and read it) but in my opinion has everything to do with personal strength and respect.

    For the first time in my life I cannot see myself waist deep in brightly colored Fisher-Price toys; my future wardrobe no longer has Gerber stains, and I will never have to suffer the indignity of owning/driving a minivan. For the first time I can see MYself in MY future. The thought is as crushing as it is liberating.

    I didn't realize that I actually wrote myself out of my own happiness. “Give love. Give life.” It was always “give” and never “desire.” I sacrificed my own Wants to help nourish the Wants of others-a type of selfish self-neglect.

    One sentence that took less than five seconds to say completely wiped out 27 years of what I thought was my desired happiness. One sentence now has me redefining love, relationships, sex, and My Own role in My Own future.

    I would write more, but as it turns out I am actually only two months old, and there is far more for me to learn than speak.
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