Sunday, July 29, 2007

The Road to Motherhood (Part Two)

(PART ONE of "The Road to Motherhood" APPEARED ON JULY 26, 2007)

By Rose Ross

A few days later, my husband had gotten a photo assignment to travel around the U.S. His schedule would take him all over the country for a month with weekends home. His being away would give me the time I so desperately needed. I spent most days at the movies. Sometimes I watched two or three movies a day. I spoke to no one other than my husband, except for my mother who checked in on me every day to make sure I was still alive. My friends respected my wishes for privacy and left me alone. One night after watching T.V. for hours with the sound turned off, I started to cry and I could not stop. Two years' worth of tears came pouring out. I was soaked with sorrow and self-pity.

The next morning I sat outside on the marble steps to my doctor’s office waiting for them to open. By the time they opened up I had a complete mental melt down. Although, I was unsteady on my feet, I managed to walk into the office where I immediately crumbled to the floor. A nurse lifted me up gently and held onto me until I stopped crying. When I was back in control and stable, my doctor, suggested I see a female therapist that was treating women who were having emotional difficulties dealing with infertility.

I was scheduled to meet the therapist on Friday at 5:00 p.m. I had four days to think about what I wanted to say or not say. I was hopeful and set about making some changes. I opened the fridge and dumped out all the Ben & Jerry ice cream and threw out the bottle of Vodka.I cleaned the apartment, took clothes to the laundry and started making lists of the things I needed to do. I decided that I was going to stop smoking...but not just yet. I would hold off on that one until Friday. I called my husband and told him of my plans.

"I am so proud of you. I love you," he said.

Friday came and I was already beginning to feel like my old self again. I spent the day at the Elizabeth Arden Spa and treated myself to a full day of beauty. I got a new hair cut, bought new makeup, had a manicure and pedicure and polished my finger nails and toes in a sexy shadecalled "Plum Passion". I walked out of the Spa at 4:30 and magically a cab appeared before me. The driver made it to 90th and second in no time with ten minutes to spare before my session. I asked him to drop me off at the corner, where I decided to light up one more time. When finished smoking my cigarette, I proudly threw the pack on top of the ash can on the street. It was a new beginning.

As soon as she walked into the waiting room, I knew I was in trouble. My therapist was the spitting image of my husbands ex wife. When she spoke I almost broke out laughing.She had the same voice and Jersey accent. "You’re not related to the Licht family are you?" I asked her. "No," she said, "Do I remind you of someone?"

I decided not to say anything. The session was going well until she asked me the question I was dreading. " Have you and your husband thought about adoption?"

I told her yes we had, but it was not a priority right now. She asked me about my relationships with my husband and my parents. I rattled on and she listened. Then she looked at her watch and said "we are almost out of time, but I want you to think about something and we can talk about it next week."

We both leaned forward in our chairs. We were practically nose to nose. "Yes?" I said.

"Well, based on Freud’s theory, it seems to me that you really have always had the desire to have a child by your father and therefore, that is why you have been so reluctant to explore adoption." She sat back, glanced at her watch again and with a smile, she said, "Same time next week?"

I was astounded. This was the most absurd theory I had ever heard. If she had said that I wanted to have a child with my mother, I might have listened. But my father? No way! I started to laugh uncontrollably. She looked at me strangely.

"Thank you," I said. "But I don’t think I will be coming back."

Outside the building, I ran straight to the ash can on the corner where my pack of cigarettes was still on top, just where I had left it. Without shame, I put them in my bag and walked all the way back to my apartment on 55th Street and Beekman. By the time I entered my apartment I had made the decision to adopt a child. I called my husband right away and told him. He was thrilled. "Wow!" She must have been a hell of a therapist", he said.

A year and a half later my husband and I went to Seoul, South Korea to pick up my daughter. One year later, our son, also from Korea, came to us. When I look at my children today I realize that if I had to do it all over again, I would not hesitate a second. It was a miserably hard and long ordeal but it was all worth it.

Rose Ross is a resident of Old Chatham, and is working on her first stage play.

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