Prior to life with COVID, my husband and I loved to travel. Whether it was a weekend getaway road trip or an international adventure, one of our favorite things to do is to explore. There’s nothing like taking in the sights and sounds of a new place, soaking up the atmosphere, and enjoying just being where you are. 


Of course, some of that enjoyment goes away when you’re on a strict deadline to get somewhere fast. I remember one time we completely miscalculated the amount of time we needed to get to the airport. We were in Barcelona and had a flight we needed to catch to the next city.

Quickly, our plan of using public transportation was scrapped, and instead, we sprung for a cab. The streets of this beautiful city where we had been casually strolling, taking in the scene just moments ago became a source of stress: how long was it going to take to get there?

Refresh my GPS app, recheck our ETA, internally root “come on, come on, come on” (because that helps), start to strategize: “Okay, when we pull up, you pay, I’ll grab the bags, do you have your passport handy?" We have to run.” Somehow, we made the flight. 

Another time. we weren’t as lucky. That time it was a train connection in Milan. We had just a few minutes to hop off one train and transfer to another that would take us to our destination. After a mad dash through the train station (trying to follow signs in a language we don’t even speak), we finally found the right platform and ran up just as the train was pulling away. Huffing and puffing and sweating, we looked at each other and said, “well, now what?” 


Well, “now what?” ended up not being so bad. We figured out when the next train was going to be, we confirmed which platform it was leaving from, and then all of a sudden we could relax. There was no rush anymore. We could walk through the train station and take it all in. We could run across the street and grab a delicious bite to eat. We could wander and shop and take in a bit of a city that we never even planned to have more than 10 minutes in. 

We had time. 

That sinking feeling of “oh my gosh, I’m running late and I’m going to miss out” is one that I lived with pretty much constantly during my first 4 years of infertility. Andrew and I started trying for a baby around the same time many of my childhood friends did, too. I remember one of my friends texting me that she was having a baby the same month we started trying. My first instinct was to text back, “omg! we are having a baby soon, too!” Luckily, I did not send that text.

When I realized we weren’t getting pregnant right away, and somehow my friends who had started trying after us were, there was a severe sense of urgency to see a doctor immediately. Come on, come on, come on, let’s get this show on the road. 


For years I pushed myself to get pregnant, desperately trying to keep on a timeline similar to my friends. I imagined we would all hit motherhood milestones together. As the years passed, I continued to do IVF, and my friends' babies turned into toddlers, turned into big siblings, turned into kindergarteners. And that’s when I realized, I missed the boat. I watched the dreams of my timelines for motherhood sail away over the horizon. No matter how hard I tried, I could never catch up. 

As I stood, huffing and puffing on the proverbial dock in my mind, we decided to take a break from IVF, a break from the treatments, the trying, the non-stop pushing to get the destination of parenthood “on time.” 

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And for the first time in a long time, I felt like I could finally catch my breath. I felt like I did in Milan- that I had been given the gift of time. That I could stop rushing and start living. Spend time discovering life, not in transit to the next destination, but just the here and now. 

For the past two years, that’s what I’ve been doing. I’ve stopped stressing about an imaginary deadline (like trying to get my kids into the same kindergarten class as their cousins, because hello, that ship has sailed), and found comfort in the idea that at 33, with embryos on ice, I have time.

I don’t know how long until the next boat comes, but until then I’m enjoying the ride.


Lauren Citro and her husband Andrew live in San Diego, California, and have been married for 8 years. She feels a deep connection to other couples walking through a diagnosis of infertility and is passionate about sharing her story in hopes of building community and encouraging others in their journey. Lauren loves traveling and exploring just as much as she loves staying home with a good book, but her perfect day would always be spent at Disneyland. You can find Lauren sharing bits of her story, as well as encouragement for other infertility warriors, on her blog or on Instagram @growmyfamily.