/ärt/noun something that is created with imagination and skill and that is beautiful or that expresses important ideas or feelings.
Some people make babies without even trying. They just shake hands or lock eyes and BAM - she’s knocked up. Some women have only one fallopian tube and use birth control and practice the pull out method, and BAM - she’s pregnant. Have you ever seen Jane the Virgin? Well let me just tell you, she’s a virgin and even she gets pregnant.
And then there are the other women. The ones that chart basal body temperatures, map out ovulation and cycle patterns, scour endless forums and articles on the best way to make a kid. (Did you know that some people say drinking Robitussin before you ovulate will make you more fertile?) They use pesky ovulation predictor kits that splash pee everywhere, and they waste a lot of money on those oh-so-disappointing over-the-counter pregnancy tests. They are the ones that eat, sleep, and breathe about pregnancy. It’s a life of waiting, of wishing, of dreaming. With these women, the art begins to lose its form. The expression becomes repetitious and the skill becomes lost among the exhaustion and disenchantment of it all. Every single month, hope slips out of their fingers.
I know, because I was one of these women.
That art form that comes so effortlessly and innately to so many women seemed to have skipped over me completely. After groping in the dark (pun intended) for what felt like an eternity, I succumbed to getting help the “artificial way.” I felt guilty and awkward about it, like the experience wouldn’t be as beautiful or valid because they baby wasn’t made the “real” way.
But then I started working with a fertility specialist - and I swear to g-d this man was a mastermind. With one conversation, and a quick peak inside, he had a plan. With a few tweaks here and there, 650 ultrasounds, an injection here and an injection there, a little medication, and a little fairy dust - he had this formula nailed down.
He had insight, a window to gaze into all of my problems, and a beautiful strategy. It was a team effort, and took the careful coordination of nurses, doctors, medicine, work schedules, guided support -and oh yeah, my husband. Timing was delicate, and we surrendered our hearts into the hands of this doctor.
All that waiting, wanting, and trying fueled my desire even more. I endured medication side effects - like hormonal rages and hot flashes, bloating discomfort, ovarian cysts, ovarian cysts that ruptured - needle pricks, KY jelly, ultrasound wands coming at me from all directions, and the non-existent element of surprise.
And for all my troubles - a pregnancy emerged.
Now this might all sound a little clinical to you, and a lot less artful than the old-fashioned way, but let me tell you, the way this pregnancy was achieved was exquisite. If I saw that doctor today, I would probably become hysterical over all of the things he has given me.
It was a strange art, but it was like magic.
Some babies are made on accident, some with vigilant intention, some after months- or years- of desperate endeavors. Although the path to conception can be diverse, creating a human being can be the ultimate form of art. The “natural way,” or the infertility way, this process is delicate, raw, and authentic.
Oh, and to all those strangers who come up to me and ask if my twins are “real” or “natural”- they sure are.