Twenty years ago Genealogy was not a consideration in my own mind. After 10 years of marriage, my childless husband decided he wanted to have children after all. For those first ten years, he was glad I had been there and done that and there was no pressure on him to become a father. We had seen a short news piece that said that woman who conceive at an older age live longer.
Over Margaritas in a Mexican restaurant he boldly told me that he wanted to become a father. My mouth fell open in amazement and then I said “okay”. So began our adventure together. We used ovulation kits and did it faithfully as much as possible at the appropriate times. Nothing resulted.
One day at my general practitioners office in consultation about my cholesterol with the nurse practitioner, I told her about our efforts to become parents. She said to me, “I’m not saying you are infertile but at your age you don’t have time to waste.” Then recommended her gynecologist to me.
I made an appointment and just before that we saw another news piece that informed us of our low odds of success at my age. I was devastated and went to the place where I often poured my heart out to my God, the place where I had stood to marry my husband, and lamented that he married such an old woman.
At the gynecologist’s office, we saw on ultrasound that I had an egg developing, so the doctor prescribed a shot to jump start my chances. It was the very last egg I ever produced. When the doctor’s effort failed, he said there is a way and we rejoiced.
Thanks to advances in medical science we have two wonderful sons. When they were conceived I knew nothing about my own genetic roots and so it was not an issue to me. Fast forward twenty years and inexpensive DNA tests are available. My whole family has had our DNA tested at 23 and Me.
On my page there, I see my daughter, my nephew and a whole slew of cousins. I have also been able to discover who all 4 of my original grandparents were (both of my parents were adopted and died knowing next to nothing about their own origins – my mom did have her DNA tested at Ancestry, as did I, but it didn’t help her during her lifetime).
I carried my sons in my womb and they nursed at my breast. No one could be more their mother than I am. I’ve been with them almost every day of their lives, though I have had to be away from them occasionally. My husband has never been away from them. He is genetically related to them.
It is odd to wrap my own mind around the truth. They are not related to me genetically nor to anyone else I am related to genetically. There have been times, when in an argument with my husband, I have felt keenly he has more right to them than I do. Even so, I love them with all of my heart. My youngest son did lament to me that he has none of my genes but he would not exist otherwise. The reality has to be absorbed by each of us. In fundamental ways, nothing has changed.