I was expecting to feel a little blue about turning another year older and not yet being a mom. Last year, when I turned 35, it was pretty hard. We were trying to get pregnant and I was getting poked and prodded at the fertility doctor. Turning 35 at the same time was not easy. It was another reminder that the clock was ticking away and that I was not getting any younger.
While people age differently, 35 is the scary number you always hear when people talk about fertility. Doctors say that getting pregnant after 35 is much harder, much riskier, much more of a longshot. Fertility doctors put you in a different category at 35 than you are at 34. When you turn 35, you are considered to be of “advanced maternal age.” If I was not getting pregnant at 33 and 34, then surely I would not have any chance at all after 35. Last year on my birthday, it felt like the curtain was closing.
But, turning 36 was quite different. Yes, I’m closer to 40 than 30 now (OMG!) but it’s okay. I’m in such a better place now than I was when I turned 35. I have made peace with not having a biological child, and I no longer feel that terrible, crushing pressure and disappointment. I know now that is just not the path I was meant to walk.
I’m really enjoying life right now–I’m lucky to have a husband whom I adore, and such supportive and loving family and friends. I am confident in who I am and I actually like that person. And now that we are adopting, I am so much more comfortable about getting older. It no longer feels like some race against time that I keep fighting and losing. Sure, now we are waiting for a match (a bit anxiously at times) and everything is up in the air, but at least it doesn’t matter that I just turned another year older. Turning 36 doesn’t put me out of the adoption race–it doesn’t make me of advanced adoption age or anything. No one is going to tell me that: “Sorry, your chances of adopting just drastically dropped off.” It just means I’ve had another year to gather wisdom to pass on to my child.
So instead of feeling secretly horrible about myself like I did last year, I felt great. It rained all weekend but we didn’t care. Jamie and I ditched our hiking plans and went to a play. We drank sake, ate sushi, and devoured a piece of chocolate cake. We went wine tasting with friends and ate a gigantic basket of french fries. I stayed up late, slept in, and celebrated like my best days are still ahead of me… because I do believe they are.