“Larken” means fierce, like the fierce realities of motherhood: beautiful and difficult, rewarding but oh-so challenging.
Meet Katherine Torres, RN, Seasoned Labor & Delivery Nurse, and soon-to-be first-time mom. After an international romance and rollercoaster conception, Katherine shares her story with Larken including how her career has impacted her outlook on it all:
I graduated from NYU College of Nursing 2012 and started my career at NYU Langone Medical Center. I worked as a labor & delivery nurse for a decade and now I’m the Patient & Family Educator for both Labor & Postpartum units for a hospital in Tucson, AZ. I met my wife in 2003 while studying abroad in Scotland, where we dated for a year. In 2015 she sent me a message on LinkedIn to see how I was doing. I visited her that summer in Tucson, AZ and then moved there later that fall. We’ll be married 5 years this August and have a full house of 5 dogs and 4 cats.
After being a part of so many births, I never dreamed it would take a herculean effort for us to get pregnant (minus the obvious fact that we are a same-sex couple). Over the course of 3 years, we would undergo 7 or 8 Intrauterine Inseminations (IUIs) in the doctor’s office and several at home attempts. My mother gave birth to me when she was 38, yet it seemed my 38-year-old eggs were not up to the task.
We spoke to a few friends about the grief we were experiencing and, in the process, one couple offered to donate the embryos they would not be able to use. After much deliberation we decided to take them up on their offer. I flew back and forth from AZ to California where our embryos were frozen for my IVF procedures. Our first transfer in August of 2021 was unsuccessful. We had told so many people we were going to do this, colleagues, bosses, friends, and family. It was devastating to explain to everyone afterward that it did not work. It was also emotional and painful returning to work with birthing patients who were having happy and healthy pregnancies.
So, for our second embryo transfer we kept it a secret. The only person who knew was a friend in California who would meet me for a meal on the days I went for treatment. I asked Alexa to play Al Green’s, “Let’s Stay Together,” for the moment the embryo was transferred. The medical team laughed, and it was a moment I’ll remember forever. We are now eagerly expecting a baby in August of this year.
What are you most looking forward to becoming a mom?
I am most excited to meet her and hold her. I feel like she already has a personality in utero, and I can’t wait to watch her character develop.
What are you most nervous about?
The baby has grown from an adopted embryo and I wonder what she’ll look like and if we’ll bond. I worry people will remark she doesn’t look like my wife or I. I also worry about my history of anxiety and depression that puts me at a higher risk for Postpartum Depression.
How has your career L&D nurse prepared you for your pregnancy?
I’m well-versed in the medical language surrounding pregnancy and the signs and symptoms to watch for that signal a normal situation has become an urgent one.
What has been a surprise thus far?
The overwhelming amount of information and options for every aspect of pregnancy. I've been having a hard time deciding what items are right for me.
Who are your biggest inspirations for motherhood and parenting?
My sister and brother-in-law are incredibly present parents. I admire their ability to listen and hold space for their kids' feelings. They also add laughter to situations whenever possible which makes everything easier.
Number one pregnancy essential thus far?
Pillows! My pregnancy pillow which I double up to get extra height between my knees has been easing my lower back and hip pain as she grows.
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