Jessica Madison (40) and Sam (18 months)
Photographed in Portland, ME
Jessica shares -
"I am definitely more accepting of my body since going through pregnancy, birth, and nursing,
It was a tough first year. Deciding to start a family later in life, I had a life and this little person all of a sudden sent it all into upheaval like I'd never expected. It's a wonderful upheaval, but I am a planner and did not realize that this isn't something I can plan; it's all up to him. It's made me a much more tolerant person of all those around me.
It will all work out. It won't be the same or how you might think it'll be, but it'll be wonderful.
I had not met that special person for me by my mid-thirties, so I had made peace with the fact that I may never be a mom in the traditional sense. Then all of a sudden I met my husband, introduced by a friend, we immediately fell in love, were married 13 months after meeting and he really wanted a traditional family. We started trying right away, since we were both staring down 40 and we all know that means that there could be lots of unknowns with the process.
Within a year, we'd had no success, so on the advice of my doctor, started exploring infertility. We quickly found out that we could not get pregnant in the traditional sense. I come from a large, fertile family so it was a bit of surprise. Fortunately, we sped through the range of fertility treatments, right up to IVF.
Within 6 months of a diagnosis, we had undergone all the treatments and were pregnant on our first try! It couldn't have been an easier process, everything worked like clockwork and Sam was born 2 days before his due date! He is the love of my life and I'm so fortunate to be able to spend my days with him!
When Sam was 9 months old, according to my timetable, it was time to do it again. Sam needed a sibling and I would now be 40 when that sibling was born. So we underwent the treatments and we were pregnant again, just like that. Except, we lost that little one at 8 weeks. It was sad, a loss, but at my age, to be expected, our 1 in 10. So we got back on the horse and got it all going again as soon as we could. And we got pregnant again, just like we were supposed to. And again, we lost it at 8 weeks. I've now had 2 miscarriages in the last 8 months and have 5 embryos left. I think I have one last try in me.
This project seemed like a good way to document this process that I've been engulfed in for the last few years. Still hoping for the family of 4 that we planned for, but very happy with our family of 3!"