This blog post first appeared in skirt! magazine’s blog as a contributing blog post. Enjoy!
When I first wrote the title of this article, I stopped and thought to myself, Come on Priscilla, you’re in the south. You can’t talk about God in skirt! Magazine. But then I realized, that statement is one of the many reasons why women shy from talking about infertility. God. If you have read my blog posts or other pieces on skirt! you may recall that I am aware of the religious stigma that other people might feel about fertility treatment. But as a huge fan of modern science and the overwhelming drive towards motherhood, I have long casted aside any “fertility treatment shaming” that may come my way.
My husband and I have recently begun talking with our fertility doctor about the next step for our family. After having been blessed with a perfect, healthy baby boy, the idea of giving him the gift of a sibling, and expanding our little wolf pack, makes us smile from cheek to cheek. But we know we will not be able to go at it alone. But luckily, we have our little embryo #2 frozen in a petri dish for whenever we are ready for him. Or her.
Last month, I was at a dinner party discussing motherhood and pregnancy with some of my girlfriends, like one does of course. It always makes me wonder what the heck I used to talk about when I was in my twenties. The weather? Netflix? Who is Taylor Swift dating? Okay, fine, I still talk about those things too, but motherhood and pregnancy will now and forever be ranked as number one on my list of hot topics. So, we’re at the party, discussing the topic of getting pregnant and I mentioned how fertility treatment can be controversial to some people of various religious backgrounds. My friend Katherine, who never fails to be the voice of reason, turned to me and said, “well you know what… God lives in petri dishes too.” We all smiled, nodded our heads, and the subject soon shifted away. But what she said in that moment, I will never forget. Maybe what happens in petri dishes is highly controlled and solely based on the hands of doctors and embryologists. Or maybe miracles happen in petri dishes that nobody, even the doctors, can explain. Or maybe, just maybe, Katherine is right and God works in petri dishes too. Not a day goes by that I don’t fall to my knees and thank God, the universe, the powers that be, or anyone who is listening, that our little embryo #1, who spent the first five days of his existence living in a petri dish, is now an almost two-year old toddler who loves trains, reading books with daddy every night, and calling himself “baby” as he throws his arms around my neck.
So on this Thanksgiving weekend, I will be giving thanks once again to all of my many blessing, including the littlest one of all, who is no bigger than a poppy seed and is waiting patiently right over the bridge, at a clinic, in a petri dish.