37Days to go
andrea quiroz is organizing this fundraiser.
My husband and I met 8 years ago on one of those famous dating apps. Sometimes I feel silly when I tell people we are a dating app success story, but that is how we fell in love. When we first met my husband was still in the military based in California while I lived in Utah. We dated long-distance and would visit each other as often as we could. We would have the cutest long-distance date ideas I could think of. My favorite was when we would watch movies together, press play at the same time, and laugh at the same movie lines while on speakerphone. After we dated for about a year he finally got discharged from the military and we started living together in Florida as we were both going to school for our respective careers. I have always been involved in the healthcare field and wanted to be a nurse, while my husband would work on his criminal justice degree and soon become a police officer.
My journey to wanting to be a mother started when I was accepted into a nurse residency program at Miami Children’s Hospital. I still remember being so nervous on my first day, telling my husband I was not sure if I would be a good pediatric nurse, “I have never even changed a diaper in my life.” As my husband chuckled and reassured me, I started my journey taking care of children who had different types of diagnoses, surgical procedures, and in some cases terminal diseases. That is when I fell in love with the pediatric population and knew that I wanted to be a mother. I have held so many little hands who were afraid of needle sticks, as well as holding premature babies in the NICU who needed some cuddles. I have felt the sadness parents feel when their little one is sick, as well as the pain they feel when they hear bad news from the medical team. I have also heard the laughter a child brings to their parents and the happiness that one feels when their child is cancer-free. I have experienced so many wonderful things around children, I knew that I wanted to be a mother and hold my baby in my arms.
That is when my husband and I decided to get off the contraceptive pills and let things naturally happen for us. After just a couple of months, I was surprised to be pregnant and overjoyed by having my baby girl. My daughter Sofia has changed my life in so many wonderful ways. I feel so lucky to have my little girl and enjoy her laughter and cuddles every day. Having her also changed me professionally. I have had some rough days at the hospital where I would come home crying because I took care of a sick child and just wanted to come home and give my daughter a big hug. I would also cry because I think it is unfair that I have such a healthy and happy girl, while other parents were not as lucky as me.
My husband’s experience with parenthood has been very different than mine. He became a dad in his previous marriage just a couple of months after turning seventeen years old. As a teenage dad trying to finish high school and provide for his family, he was faced with the news that his little girl had leukemia. That is when he decided to join the Marine Corps to provide for his daughter and have the best medical coverage for her. Luckily my stepdaughter fought the disease and is now a healthy teenager who enjoys playing basketball. But I know that part of my husband’s life was one of the hardest things he has ever experienced. To this day there are things, he will not share with me about it. It also makes me think how small this world is, as I had the opportunity to take care of kids with cancer in the same rooms my husband and his daughter were once fighting for her life.
My husband’s career as a police officer has also changed him in many ways. He has been to so many different calls involving children. I can tell when he is having a rough day, as he calls me quickly on the phone to ask if we are doing okay and to remind our daughter Sofia that he loves her. He has been a first responder in many situations that involved children. I could not tell you the number of teddy bears I have seen in his patrol car, ready to be given to a scared child. He also tells me how angry he is at times, seeing parents take their children for granted and allowing them to grow up in a toxic environment, while his only wish is to be able to provide a loving home to more children. He has been an amazing father and has supported me in this infertility journey. It makes me sad to think that for some reason my body is not allowing me to conceive another child with my wonderful husband.
Our infertility journey has been very difficult and filled with so many emotions including guilt. I feel guilty for waiting to conceive because I wanted to go back to school and be a nurse practitioner. I feel guilty for wanting to have more kids, while we already have my daughter. I feel guilty for asking for a grant while others would also wish for the same. But how do I tell my heart that I am okay with just one child? How do I tell my daughter Sofia I cannot have the little sister she is wishing for? I know in my heart that I am meant to have more kids and I will continue to fight in this journey and face all the obstacles that come with it.