On a daily basis, I find myself surrounded by women I admire; physician colleagues, advanced practitioners, sonographers, medical assistants, and administrative staff alike. Women who strive to push past the expected—not for them, but for those whom they care for whole-heartedly. Here at Kindbody, it’s a tight-knit community with the largest women-led team at its foundation and a fascinating crew to be part of, and more so to watch in action.
Their motivation you ask? It’s simple, YOU. My patients are some of the women I admire the most. The single mother who puts her search for a life partner to a halt to turn her dreams of wanting to raise a family to reality. The homosexual couple who have overcome many barriers and decided to finally overcome one more and start a family. The couple who have been high school sweethearts and attempted to conceive for 15+ years without success and now desire to have a baby with my help. The 40+ year old patient who believes it’s not too late and agrees to undergo in-vitro fertilization hoping to have a baby. These are just a few of the women who motivate me constantly and I applaud you.
I applaud you for shining the light when I underwent my own fertility struggles trying to conceive. I met my husband whilst training in medicine. After a few short years we got married. We spontaneously conceived, however our excitement was short lived as I had a miscarriage at 7 weeks. We eventually tried again for over a year with no luck. At age 35, I worried about my future fertility, afterall, this is what I practiced day in and day out. I had seen women much younger than me fail to get pregnant. I decided to undergo IVF and freeze embryos as “plan B” which inevitably became plan A. After having my little one this past year, I can truly say that the emotional roller coaster that women go through as their bodies are tested is intense and the support from those they admire and love is essential.
For me, she was always there. She was arranged to marry my father but today you would never even know it as their love for one another runs deep. She grew up in India in a generation where women were primarily tasked to maintain the household. As an immigrant to this country, she raised me and my sisters to become strong, educated, and independent. She would later oversee the entire billing department of my father’s practice. She showed us compassion, dedication, and how to cook a basic Indian meal of course. She instilled in us values and lessons that I only hope I can pass forward to my daughter. She is my mother.
To admire is to respect, to approve of, to marvel. This changes for me depending on the topic at hand as I’m sure it does for others. To be completely honest with you, when I first thought of who I admired, a celebrity initially came to mind. I thought of a woman who is a world renown actress, recipient of multiple golden globe awards for her work on screen and a public advocate for women and children’s rights. She is mother to six children, three of whom were adopted and a set of twins conceived through in vitro fertilization. She revealed to others that families are built in many different ways. She later lost her own mother to breast cancer only to find out that she screened BRCA+ and underwent a preventative double mastectomy to reduce her odds of meeting the same fate. She willingly and openly shared her journey and her struggles to teach women all around the world that hardships happen to everyone and how best to take care of ourselves. She is Angelina Jolie.
Being in the limelight and no stranger to politics, she is someone I admire in administration. I hope that I may exude the leadership skills she has held strong to in my daily activities. As former first lady and first African American woman to serve the position, she did not take her duty lightly. Her determination to bring healthy meals to all school aged children regardless of income distinguishes her. She is a model to aspiring girls globally. The former lawyer also went public with her painful experience with infertility stating she felt she “failed” or was somehow “broken”. She later had two girls through IVF. She is Michelle Obama.
Some would say to be a woman in today’s society is easier than it once was. This may be true to some degree but I would say the dynamics have introduced new challenges. Professional women now deal with “mom guilt” of working towards their careers instead of being at home and rearing their children. They call it work life balance, I call it a challenge. Education nonetheless has allowed women to become self-sufficient. We no longer rely on the income of those around us. The roles in some situations have even been reversed. This individual exemplified the concept that age is just a number. At 11 years old, she raised her voice against the Taliban’s decision to forbid girls from going to school. Her activism later led to her being shot and following months of surgery and rehab, she has regained her fervor and life goal to ensure equal access to education for women. She is Malala Yousafzai.
There are many more women who I have not mentioned here, but I hold as a beacon of what I strive to be. So the next time you are struggling with your own personal infertility journey or future, take a look in the mirror and acknowledge that there are others out there who admire you for your dedication and willingness and that…She is (YOU).
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