I’ve been plagued by my perfectionism my entire life.

I cried the night before first grade because I couldn’t independently read Baseball Ballerina, a book at a third grade reading level.

I missed a step in my first ballet solo in the fourth grade so I ran off the stage.

I took a semester off before college because I had worn myself out by over scheduling my high school resume with prep school programs, a senior editorship on the yearbook, first chair French horn, two dance companies, cheerleading, and tennis.

I have been applying my rigorous work ethic to my…

Photo by Alexander Andrews on Unsplash

“Hi Sara, It is Dr. <blank> calling from redacted. I’m calling to check on you after your transfer.”

“Hmmm, yes the pain is normal. Extra Strength Tylenol should touch the cramping.”

“Oh it isn’t, you could also try a heat pack.”

“As for the spotting that could mean a few things. It could be implantation bleeding. It could also be early signs of your period but we want to hope this was a successful transfer.”

“No, we won’t bring you in earlier for a BETA because the blood test might be inconclusive so we don’t want to do it earlier.”

Dating back to ancient civilizations in Greece, Babylonia, China, and the Middle East, Numerology is the belief in a relationship between numbers and an event or a set of letters that indicate a higher meaning. I’ll be the first to say that I’m a skeptic of these sorts of beliefs. Though raised Catholic, my nana, aunt and mom always cared deeply about signs, read their horoscopes, studied reiki and thought there was such a thing as divine intervention. In my childhood, I bought into these spiritual practices but as I got older and swept up in daily adult life, I…

The air was legitimately fertile. It felt heavy with heat as the Balinese bugs buzzed and butterflies floated around. There were large green palm leaves framing every entrance and red hibiscus, anthurium, and orchids everywhere you looked. We were literally staying in the middle of a rainforest and I was dripping sweet sweat, my skin slightly red from the sun. Bali had made me feel more alive than any other moment in my thirty one years.

At the close of our trip, we checked out at eleven and hired a driver to take us around. We landed at the Titra…

I got my first period after my loss in late December. It had been 43 days since I lost my second baby. The TTC (trying to conceive) community warns the holidays are stressful for women who are experiencing infertility. I think many dream about gifts under their tree for a baby or a special gift in the form of a positive pregnancy test. Last December, I had hoped and willed a late period because it was my last chance before IVF to get pregnant on my own. I thought I could make a gift under the tree; I thought I…

Dear Me,

Remember that your positivity and hard work has not disappeared in the face of infertility. After so much failure, it is hard to pick yourself up and believe that you can do it. That is ok. You were a person before you couldn’t get pregnant. You are still a person in all of this trying to get pregnant. Your individuality did not dissolve in the face of adversity. …

My friend sends me a few pages from a book. The book is about pregnancy and discusses the term microchimerism. Microchimerism is a scientific concept that explains how the cells of a baby live inside of the mother and the baby as life goes on. So my mother is walking around with pieces of me and my Grandma is walking around with pieces of my father and I’m even walking around with pieces of my dead babies. I’ll have those pieces in me for years. The cells won’t go away like the fetus, the sac, and the heartbeat.

I become…

On Instagram the other day, I read a post that said:

“All babies are miracles, and this one, whom I prayed for, begged the universe for, slammed the ground in hysterics for, lit magic wish papers for, saw a psychic for, did a million workout classes for, drank all the woo woo juice for, went to therapy for, injected myself with countless needles for, and did all the things for, is no different.”

And the words made me feel SO seen. I feel like I’ve lost myself in the things that I’ve done “FOR” my unborn children.

It started with…

I fervently opened the creaky drawers of my dining room hutch. Digging through the papers and the dog sweaters to look for it. I forgot if I took it out of the box. I couldn’t find it. I took a deep breath. I really needed it this time. I opened the most empty drawer again. The red felt cloth that was for our fancy knives was lumpy. It was there wrapped up, oddly swaddled.

I softly unwrapped the red cloth to reveal my Jizo. A Jizo or the patron saint of travelers in Japan originates in the Budhist belief of…

A week after my second miscarriage, Cosmopolitan published their first ever pregnant cover girl, Emma Roberts.

The IVF community I follow on Instagram hailed the achievement. This was a big deal — representation.

If you got past the stunning cover in which Emma was dressed in a Barbie pink tennis skirt with a slit up on the left side to expose her thigh tattoo and a polo, long sleeve crop top, then you’d get to an interview written by the equally ethereal and intelligent, Stephanie Danler.

On the cover, one, first questions: is this fashion? Did this outfit best show…

Emily Lepkowski

NYC woman struggling with infertility.

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