Confident boss women are usually content with their lives—making six figures, moving up in the corporate world, launching a business, or purchasing a home. But when it comes to being married and having children, some women never get a happily after. Their womb is empty, and they are infertile falling short of the ultimate dream.
Insurance Executive Kimberly Gowdy hoped to find a happily ever after as she always yearned for a child. However, trying to become pregnant, sometimes succeeding but always failing to carry a baby successfully to term, she reluctantly had to face the truth that she was infertile.
After three miscarriages and being trapped in an abusive marriage with a spouse who valued his drug addiction more than his wife, her dream was shattered. She believed her happy ending was never going to happen.
Kimberly had no problem getting pregnant, the problem was carrying to term. About 10 percent of women (6.1 million) in the United States ages 15-44 have difficulty getting pregnant or staying pregnant, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Holding on to her faith and strength, Kimberly left her marriage and moved to Atlanta, GA for a new start. She eventually met and married the man of her dreams who wanted a child as much as her.
The couple would start the process of having a child only to be faced with the racial and societal pressures of parenthood. But after seven failed surrogacy attempts with two embryos left, the biggest surprise came in an unexpected package.
It has been eight years since her journey. In that time, she chronicled her experience and recently birthed a book entitled The Colorless Womb.
The book encourages women who are having trouble conceiving to never give up. It shows that all things are possible and that freeing your mind will allow you to see more than what is on the outside.
This Mother’s Day if you are a woman struggling with infertility and feel like you have no options left, Kimberly’s prayer is that after reading her journey you are reminded to stay focused and to never give up.
Q. What inspired you to write your book, The Colorless Womb?
A. After my losses, I ask God to allow me to birth “a thing” anything. A business, a book, an invention, anything that I could say I’d done on my own. Originally I lacked the confidence to write, I hired someone to put my words to paper. Unfortunately, the portrayal of my story wasn’t captured, it also opened me up for legal retribution. I remember sitting in the parking lot of a Sprouts supermarket. I asked God, “why had I wasted so much time and money on a book that didn’t pan out, the answer I received was absolute perfection. God said, “you asked me to allow you to birth “a thing,” how is having someone write your story, any different than using a surrogate to birth your son” at that point, I sat in front of my computer, and got it done.
Q. How important was it for you to have a child or family?
A. Having children was extremely important to me. As the eldest of 8 children, I’m used to a big family. Naturally, I believed that there was no question that I’d be a mom to at least two or three of my own.
Q. When did you realize you weren’t able to carry a child to term?
A. Well, I was told there were measures to help combat the problem, a procedure known as a cerclage. However, even with this preventative measure, at five months I experienced the same problem. At that point, I realized that it was highly unlikely that I would carry a child.
Q. When you found out you weren’t able to carry a child to term, how did that make you feel?
A. What went through your mind? I compared myself to other women. All my siblings had children, being the oldest, I felt ashamed, angry, bitter, and confused. I felt like I was being punished for something.
Q. Why do you think people feel like the “I” (infertility) word is taboo?
A. I think some people feel a sense of shame when it comes to infertility. Not realizing that it's no more taboo than someone who has a problem with any other parts of their body e.g., heart, lungs, kidney, etc.
Q. Why did you decide to go with a surrogate?
A. I’d met the man of my dreams, he had a dream of sharing a child with me. Although surrogacy wasn’t my first option, I knew that the only way to bring a child into the world would have to be either adoption or surrogacy. We started with the former, but the latter happened organically.
Q. What was the best and worst part of your surrogacy journey?
A. The worse part of surrogacy was the feeling of inadequacy. Seeing someone do the very thing that I thought all women were made to do. At times the pain overwhelmed me, but I knew this was a means to a beautiful end. The best part of surrogacy was becoming a mother in all of its splendor. Not everyone desires motherhood, but for those of us who do, this feeling is like no other.
Q. How did you feel about a woman carrying your child in her uterus?
A. At times I felt like a failure. I’d made such great strides in my career, maintained what I believed was ideal body weight, lead a healthy lifestyle, and yet I was unable to do the one thing that I believe all women were meant to do.
Q. Was adoption ever an option? Why or why not?
A. Adoption was an option, if it were solely up to me, we would likely have adopted a child. We are now going through the process to hopefully adopt a child. My husband, however, really wanted to exhaust all options. In the end, we were blessed with a son.
Q. How important is it to help other women who may be struggling to have a family?
A. When I was going through my struggle, I didn’t know of any “regular” people, who’d taken the surrogacy route. There were only celebrities. At the time, Angela Bassett was the closest I’d come to someone who was a black woman who’d chosen surrogacy. I feel compelled to show women that surrogacy is not just a Rodeo Drive but a Main Street option as well.
Q. What is MOBY?
A. Mommy Older Baby Younger. (MOBY) is an organization that represents women who become moms, on or after the age of 35. Whether through traditional means, adoption, surrogacy, or a mother figure to a young child through marriage.
A. What motivated you to start MOBY?
Q. Older motherhood is a huge demographic which strides in technology, a woman may have a little longer to decide if motherhood is right for her. Being a MOBY has a unique set of challenges, our appearance (not wanting to look like our child's grandmother), health and wellness, societal stigmas, and trying to fit in with younger moms with the same school-aged children.
Q. What encouraging words would you give women who are trying to have children, but it isn’t happening?
A. I would suggest they turn it over to God. After you’ve done everything in your power, rely on the ultimate power. Regardless of how things happen or not, just know that He sees the end from the beginning, and only He can make you content where you are.
You may find Kimberly Gowdy on social media – Twitter & IG: @colorlesswomb_
FB: thecolorlesswomb The Colorless Womb is available on all digital platforms and at Barnes & Noble. Website: www.thecolorlesswomb.com