The country's first uterine transplant (this one's not for the squeamish, but man is it cool)

The groundbreaking team of surgeons at work. Photo courtesy of The Cleveland Clinic

The groundbreaking team of surgeons at work. Photo courtesy of The Cleveland Clinic

How completely amazing is this? Doctors at the Cleveland Clinic performed America's first uterus transplant this week, as part of clinical trial on patients with Uterine Factor Infertility (UFI). The surgery, which took nine hours, was performed on a 26 year old. UFI affects women who cannot carry a pregnancy either because they were born without a uterus, or theirs doesn't function.

That's all the Cleveland Clinic is saying at the moment, at least until the press conference next week, but I'm fascinated, and of course I can't help wondering: Who would volunteer to go first? Who is this 26 year old? You don't need a uterus to live, after all. But this woman...she must really want a baby, and she must really want to carry it herself.

A bunch of the women I interviewed for my book did IVF, or adopted, or tried for years to have a baby one way or another before succeeding. Those babies? They were really wanted. And those mothers? Their Fifth Trimester experiences were not markedly different than anyone else's—except for one thing: their expectations. They expected to be so happy, so on cloud nine, that when things got hard or felt uncomfortable, they were more likely to be upset with themselves for not loving the whole experience of motherhood. But babies are babies (they cry, they don't speak much English). And jobs are jobs (they require hard work, sometimes at annoying hours). And those realities have nothing to do with the road that got you to motherhood. 

So 26-year-old amazingly brave lady: Good for you. I hope it all goes well and you change the medical world and have the baby you must want so badly. And I hope when you are healed and back up and at 'em, and maybe even back at your job, you know this: It's okay not to love every single moment of being a working mother...and to still love your kid extraordinarily.