Well, it happened… My birthday that is. This past weekend I turned 29. This is not that ominous all on its own. I mean, I have no qualms about getting older as some women do. I like that I’m aging, I feel I learn a lot each year and treasure that growth. But, unfortunately, turning 29 has special significance tied to baby-making for me. See, I always assumed I would have my first child at 28. Well, assumed isn’t really correct, it was more like planned. In my” life-planner” I had decided that this would be the best age to have one’s first child. Objectively. I’ve thought this since I was in my late teens. I just assumed it would happen. It seems to just happen for most everyone, doesn’t it? But now my birthday has passed and I have not, in fact, had a baby… I have to say it’s left me feeling slightly overwhelmed!
Having been trying to conceive for some time it seems silly to me now that I would have had a “date” in mind for bearing our babes. It obviously seems shockingly foolish in hindsight. But I did. I always thought that by 28 I would be established in my life: have a house, be married, have been together long enough to really know one another without the pressure of kids, would have traveled, have money in the bank… It would obviously be the perfect time to start our family! All of these things have indeed occurred. We are ready. So very fucking ready. And yet, no baby. But even thought we’ve been struggling to get pregnant I have clung onto this notion all year. I’m 28! It’s ok… I get to be a parent at 28!! It was as if, maybe, the universe just knew that I wanted to be a mom at 28 and so that’s why we haven’t gotten pregnant the last two and a half years! But now that I was 28, bring it on. But then months dragged on and nothing. Drugs came and drugs went and nothing. Then our first IUI happened. Perfect. I looked through the calendar and if this one worked I would at least be pregnant by 28. Pregnant mind you, not a mother, but I was willing to stretch the fabric of my plan to make it fit. But then it didn’t happen. I wasn’t pregnant. And then I was 29.
So even if we’re incredibly lucky this second round, and I do wind up pregnant, I will still be 29. I will still have to come to grips with the unraveling of an idea that I have clung to during the ups and downs of treatment. All of my dreams about what my little family would look like at this point are all for naught. We still don’t have a baby. Our family is still only two. And I’m 29.
29 without a baby.
As this sinks in and I cope with the shittiness that it is I also start worrying about how in only one more year I will be 30. The year at which female fertility starts plummeting off a cliff!! Well, most females… I, on the other hand, am apparently already in steep decline. But what does the big 3-0 mean for me? Me with my itty-bitty eggs? Me with my already diminished ovarian reserve?
Will my fertility fall off sharply AGAIN at 30?
If it does will I be capable of conceiving at all?
I never believed I would have to ponder this. I truly believed that some time in my 28th year I would have a baby and I’d be getting on with life. It never occurred to me that I would get this close to 30 without a child. What now? As I pass all of these milestones in my life, marking year after year… birthday, Christmas, New Year, Summer, birthday… How do I cling to hope? How can hope be constant as my life changes and rushes on? I feel as though it is slipping through my fingers, no matter how hard I try to hold on. I wish I knew. I wish I knew what the future holds. I wish I knew if trying past this point will be rewarded. I wish I knew if IVF would work for us. But I don’t. I don’t know anything.
Here I am at 29. With no baby. And slipping hope.