Guest Blog by Tara Roberts
My name is Tara Roberts and my infertility journey began in 2008. My ex-husband and I were planning our wedding, I was in my early thirties and we both wanted children right away. I stopped the birth control pills I had been taking for years and we started “planning” our family. After several months of trying (and our wedding) when nothing was happening, we sought the advice of a reproductive endocrinologist. The results were: he was fine and I had “unexplained infertility.” Because of my “advanced” age of 34, In Vitro Fertilization or IVF was recommended and the program was created and we were ready to begin.
Due to issues that were bigger than we were, we decided to end our marriage. Heartbroken, my journey to having a child had been stalled. I chose to focus on myself and put my infertility issues on the back burner.
Not long after, I met my current partner, Dave, and we hit it off immediately. I knew this was my future partner and after a few short months, we discussed the options of having a child together. From the very beginning, I was completely open about my wish to have a child and my struggle to conceive. And from the beginning, I found my biggest cheerleader and support in Dave. Both he and I were put through another battery of tests (good ‘ol insurance wanted to make sure I was indeed having fertility problems!) only to find out what my doctor and I already knew: the problem was me. Unfortunately, my insurance company refused to cover the cost of IVF, stating they weren’t convinced I needed it and I was devastated. Without that coverage, I wouldn’t be able to go through IVF, and most likely wouldn’t be able to have a child. I began the appeal process with my insurance company, but after years of dreaming of becoming a mother, I was sad, lost, and ready to give up all hope.
Looking into our options, Dave and I attended the Resolve New England Conference in November 2013. We perused the vendors and collected paperwork from everyone, planning to review and make some decisions when we could sit down at home. During this time, we came across author Kristen Darcy giving out free copies of her book, Love and Infertility. She was pleasant, personally autographed a copy of her book and wished us the best. I was excited to read a book from the perspective of someone who had struggled with infertility and won! I placed it in our bag of info and we continued around the conference.
When we got home, Dave and I really didn’t talk much about the information we’d gathered at the conference. I quietly prayed the insurance company would reconsider and began Love and Infertility.
During this time I was teaching a few night school classes in addition to my teaching job during the day at a local high school. Being so consumed with my fertility issues, I walked into work one evening with no plan to begin the class. I pulled out Kristen’s book because I remembered that she had an interesting exercise that she recommended readers do.
I wrote on the board the quote from motivational speaker Napoleon Hill mentioned in chapter one, The Dreams List, “Anything your mind can conceive and believe, you can achieve.” The kids came in scoffing at the ‘corny’ quote on the board.
In this chapter, Kristen recommends writing the following, “If I had unlimited time, talent, money, and support from my family, here is a list of all of the things I would do with my life for the next twelve months” and then just brainstorming ideas, no matter how outrageous and after about five minutes or so, Kristen instructs choosing the top three goals we have for ourselves for the next year.
Working in an urban district, my night school students have dreams for themselves they hold as dear as I felt about becoming a mother. I passed out loose leaf paper and together we drafted our lists. Once the kids (and I) had our lists, I instructed them to choose their top three and handed out index cards. On my card, I wrote the following:
1. Become a mom to a healthy baby/babies
2. Get a VP (vice principal) job
3. Remodel my basement
I kept this card in my day planner and instructed the class to keep theirs in a similar place. Like the book suggests, I didn’t look at it every day, and in fact, almost forgot about it.
So much can happen in a year.
When registering for this year’s Resolve New England conference I noticed Kristen was returning. I went to my day planner and there it was. My Dreams List. I noticed that I actually had progress on all three items in the past year. I had won my appeal and went through IVF and had my perfect baby boy on October 7th. I’d actually interviewed for a vice principal position (I didn’t get the job, but hey it was still progress!) and our basement remodel had just begun! I also remembered that one of my students that I actually kept in touch with from that night class last fall listed that she wanted to pass the state firefighters’ exam and I’m thrilled to share that a few short months ago, she contacted me that she’d passed it!
I made a mental note to stop by and chat with Kristen at the conference and bring my list. I was so excited to share with her my news. Likewise Kristen was thrilled to hear my story and turns out she was looking for a sign of her own that day…a sign she “…should keep doing this.” (I think she should!)
I don’t know if it’s magical thinking, positive thoughts or just plain coincidence, but I encourage people to make their own Dreams List. You never know what will happen; putting your dreams or wishes out into the universe makes them available for fate to make them happen.
Thank you Kristen!! xx