I was 41, nearly 42 when Paolo and I met. I’d never been married, but I hadn’t given up on the idea. I had, more or less, given up on the idea of having children of my own. I figured I’d meet some older, divorced professor or architect who had grown kids of his own, and settle comfortably into the role of cool stepmom.

But instead, I fell in love with a man six years my junior. He too had never married, but for whatever reasons, the planets aligned and we both felt ready to make the leap—very soon after meeting, at that. So it wasn’t until we were already committed to a life—and a family—together that I got the first hints that I was infertile.

Paolo was in Italy and I was still in Florida when we both began to set the wheels in motion to get pregnant. He had a sperm analysis, the results of which he proudly reviewed with me on Skype. Millions and millions of healthy swimmers. I, on the other hand, had less positive news to share.

For more, go to Mamiverse.