A couple weeks ago, I got the idea to binge watch “Being Mary Jane.” It’s a show that aired on BET a few years ago and has since been cancelled except for a 2-hour movie coming late this year. It starts Gabrielle Union, Richard Roundtree, Margaret Avery, Stephen Bishop, Michael Ealy, and Lisa Vidal with many guest stars during its run such as Jill Scott , India.Arie, Ava DuVernay, and Ludacris, Sallie Richardson-Whitfield, and Kelly Rowland.
Anyway, I started to binge it since it’s on Netflix and came across an episode about fertility treatments, IVF, egg freezing, etc. I thought to myself, “Wow, this was on TV and it didn’t mean anything to me when it first aired, but now, I can totally relate.”
In S2-E5, the character, Mary Jane, was doing a story on egg freezing. She was 37 years old at the time, single and dating, and career-driven, but she didn’t have any children. She went through the initial tests that all women go through when a reproductive endocrinologist (RE) is trying to determine your ability to conceive and carry a baby with as few problems as possible.
Anyway, she went through the fertility treatments. They show her asking various family and friends for help with injecting the medication. Well, it turns out that after all of the injections, she didn’t produce many mature follicles, only 4. She found that out, live on air, and it really seemed that she was taken aback by the news.
As time moved forward, she was allowed to trigger (force ovulation) and was going to do IVF by allowing the RE to retrieve her follicles, but decided to have timed intercourse instead. In the end, she did not become pregnant.
Later, she had a conversation with her father. He basically told her that it was okay if she didn’t want a husband and kids because he really thought she wasn’t interested in that lifestyle. He said that everything ain’t for everyone.
While I understand his point, it’s not uncommon to hear this because a woman has waited later in life to have children or she hasn’t found the right man yet. I, myself, had the same conversation with my mother and she felt that I wasn’t interested in having children simply because I hadn’t had any up to this point.
I asked her why she would think that because I didn’t have any children YET, that I wasn’t interested at all. How does that even make sense? I explained that I hadn’t come across anyone that I wanted to have children with nor did I feel ready.
I mean, we all know what happens with women over 35 as it relates to fertility. We’ve been told that our whole lives. However, many women still opt to have children much later in life than society is used to… and they are opting to do it on their own with the help of a sperm donor.
Mary Jane doesn’t have the option to wait too much longer either with her shocking results from the RE. Now, it may take her a few tries, but she’ll get to baby if that’s what she truly wants. Although, you clearly see that she’s still trying to find the right man as the seasons progress.
It reminds me of a common statement I’ve heard from women in the same boat as Mary Jane:
You can always find a man, but you can’t always have a baby.
With that said, I, along with many other women, maybe in the trenches dealing with fertility issues and trying to conceive, but in the end, it can be counted on and taken to the bank… that these babies, once conceived, will be well loved, taken care of, and wanted.
This isn’t the end of Mary Jane’s journey to baby, so stay tuned…