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Are There Any Mothers Out There Like Me?

A week later, I was in the office of my OB-GYN, telling her about my plans for artificial insemination.

“Congratulations,” she said, the first I’d heard. She squeezed cold goop on my belly, pushed the ultrasound wand across it and said, “Good news, your follicles look nice and plump.”

“Really?” I asked.

“I see one right there,” she said.

When she opened the door to go, I thanked her. “You’re welcome. Honey, this is the best thing you’ll ever do for yourself,” she said.

Out of her office, I looked around wildly for someone to tell, “Guess what, I’m still fertile!” Then the partnerless part sunk in. So, I called my sister and shared the good news.

A few days later, I took the next step and went to my psychiatrist’s office, there to develop a titration plan to ease me off the antidepressant cocktail that had kept my major depression manageable since my mid-20s. I was determined to have the safest pregnancy possible, and antidepressants posed possible problems for the baby, I’d heard. My two close girlfriends with depression had stopped their meds before conceiving. My general practitioner had reassured me, “Once you’re pregnant, you’ll be so happy and excited, you won’t even miss your medicine.” I wanted to believe her.

My psychiatrist seemed to weigh the risks versus benefits, saying, without a “negative romantic relationship in my life,” a depression-triggering event was unlikely. “Let’s get you pregnant by the New Year!” she encouraged.

I got off one medication with mild emotional discomfort comparable to PMS. With the other, I dwindled my dose down from 30 milligrams to 10 milligrams, effortlessly. To my inquiring mother, I said, “I’m doing really well!”

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