I was 29, The Mate a couple of years younger when we decided it was time for offspring. We tossed the birth control, but months went by with no results.
Months turned into years, I finished my PhD and got a job in New Jersey, where state law mandated infertility treatment, and we decided to get some tests run to see if they yielded any useful information (e.g. a simple problem, easily addressed).
The Mate and I both have chronic illnesses, and we both agreed that pursuing medical treatment for infertility amounted to inviting another chronic illness into our lives, and neither of us had the will to go that route.
Also, we weren't so sure this was the best use of medical resources, when there are people whose access to medical care is limited.
Yes, we tried adoption. Oh, yes. Guess what? It's not so easy. A story for another time.
But mysteriously, miraculously, after ten years I found myself pregnant, and after several months of radical disbelief, I found myself with a real live baby of my own.
Eight years later, he remains a miracle.
But the scars of those ten years remain, too. Those ten years of longing, sorrow and -- yes -- shame will always remain part of my life.
The years don't evaporate because I now have a child; neither does the painful part of those years, and the fact that I'm ten years older, the grandparents are ten years older....