One Woman’s Musings on Her Journey from Infertile Myrtle to Marveling Mom
My Life on a T-Shirt

By Tessa Falk

I used to call myself “Infertile Myrtle.” In fact, I wore a handmade, fitted black T-shirt with this self-dubbed moniker emblazoned across the front in hot pink letters. I had even contemplated starting a T-shirt line for other like-minded, want-to-be mommies such as myself, called InfertiliTees. Because, I thought: “Even Barren Babes Deserve to Laugh.”

And though I had come up with a slew of slogans: “Fertilize This” and “Strong Swimmers Apply Within,” just to name a few, my favorite had to be “Clomid Queen.” This name, in reference to the fertility drug, became my personal calling card and, ultimately, my saving grace.

For as long as I had known I wanted children, I had also known I would have to fight my body every step of the way to make it happen. I don’t know where the notion came from or why, but fears of infertility became my self-fulfilling prophecy.

I often posed the question: “If it takes two to tango, how many does it take to make a baby?” For me, the answer would take two years, 10 months and eight days to appear. Not to mention requiring the efforts of dozens of doctors, specialists, product and pill manufacturers, family and friends and, of course, my T-shirt, which allowed me to laugh even on the days I thought I’d never laugh again.

Though the battle for baby was just that – a battle of strength, will, determination and desire, character, patience, persistence and peace – I wouldn’t change one single step. Because doing so would mean I wouldn’t be where I am today, holding my son in my arms.

Following years of tumultuous ups and downs (and enough false pregnancy tests to build a plastic, pee-infused fort), last summer my husband and I made our baby. (The Infertile Myrtle T-shirt had thoughtfully been left at home.)

Following one round of Clomid, his faithful swimmers finally met my stubborn egg and our dream of a family was realized.

It’s now been seven weeks since my son, Cooper, was born. I keep waiting for that ah-ha moment to hit that makes you realize: “Yes, you really are a mommy.” But it hasn’t come. And I don’t think it will. Having my little peanut just feels so right, so natural, like it was always meant to be. He is the living, breathing embodiment of my heart and my soul.

As philosophical as this may all sound, it doesn’t mean I haven’t been bitten by the realities of new mommyhood. I have, on a regular (almost daily) basis, been the unsuspecting victim of a wayward spray, the “poop chart” has become my latest shtick to pull out at parties and, yes, I have even resorted to bragging about my little guy’s powerful – ahem – gaseous nature.

I must admit, after one particularly agonizing, inconsolable bout of constipation (the baby’s, not mine), I considered selling him on eBay. Thankfully, I regained my senses before posting an ad, but it’s always nice to know I have an out.

I’m still working out the kinks in my new adventure as mom to a wiggling, writhing, (screeching) baby boy, but each mess-up, misstep and miscalculation is a constant reminder of how far I’ve come since my days as Infertile Myrtle (said T-shirt has since been trashed). And I’m now conjuring up slogans for a new crop of tops I can wear while pushing my little guy around. But for now, I’m most proud of the one that was recently gifted to me. In two simple words it sums up my new adventure beautifully: “Peanut’s Mommy.”

My, how life (and my fashion sense) has come full circle.

Tessa Falk is a freelance writer and new mom. You can check out her blog at