We didn’t go in for the first doctor’s visit and sonogram until I was 8 weeks along. We were excited and anxious to get a glimpse of our baby and hear its rapidly beating heart. The tech was silent as she performed the sonogram. We watched the image of the baby on the screen, waiting for her to speak. I finally asked “Is anything wrong?” She said the baby’s heart wasn’t beating and it looked like it had stopped growing a few days before our appointment.

I was blindsided. It was all so surreal. We just went through the motions at that appointment, shocked that the baby that had been making me so sick, that had been pulsing in my tummy, was no longer alive.

I’ve always known I wanted children. When I was a little girl, I used to fantasize that someone would abandon an orphan on our doorstep. In my imagination, my mother would be too busy with work to care for the child, so he or she would become “mine.” This impulse never left me, and in my early twenties I’d often boast of my intention to have five children (likely to the dismay of my boyfriend at the time). Back then, of course, thirty still seemed old, and like most of my friends, I assumed I’d be married well before then.

It didn’t turn out that way, though. Now I, along with many others I know, have found myself in a difficult modern predicament. Do we keep waiting for love, hoping it’ll come into our lives before our biological clocks run out, or do we take matters into our own hands, prioritizing the baby before the man, whatever that may look like for us?