Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The big to-do

I clearly remember the days WebMD (sort of) reported on today, when motherhood was not on my to-do list.

If you look at my sidebar's reproductively focused history, you might glean that the pursuit of motherhood failed to make my list until I was 38.

As a child I always assumed I'd be a mom. Frankly, I didn't think anyone could get out of it. Once I hit teenagerhood and heartily embraced my future as an Enjoli woman, I told myself "I will do this, but on MY modern-woman terms. I will wear Charlie instead!"

Let's pause for a word from our sponsor . . .



Later as a young adult, despite adoring children, motherhood got bumped to my eh-I'm-just-not-sure-I'll-do list. It stayed there for YEARS. My feeling was why think about it when I don't have that fire? Never mind that I didn't marry till age 30 (I was in nooooo rush on that front either). Surely I'd know when/if the time was right and just act on it then. No biggie.

I'll admit that throughout that ambivalent period some part of me still assumed I'd reproduce. But it was the same part that still thought conception basically just happened to everyone.

In those days I never heard one peep about anyone trying to conceive. (Maybe that was considered crass? Or, quite probably, maybe I didn't pay all that much attention to the details!) Every pregnancy was announced as having come as a BIG surprise to everyone involved. You know, birth control failed, glances were exchanged, towels were shared, coats were hung up next to each other. Of course, everyone I ever knew would, eventually, make their BIG announcement(s). That was fine for them. I wasn't there yet. And oh boy did I balk at anyone telling me I needed to get on the baby-making stick. (Three's Company–style double entendre intended.)

At just shy of 35 (and right before a second round of major abdominal surgery), starting a family made the pretty big jump to my to-probably-do list. Concerns for my future fertility were effectively scared into me, and I followed every last recommendation about ensuring proper uterine healing. I took it very seriously. Yet I still felt a surprisingly deep (er, stupid?) sense of "time on my side." And I deferred all serious family-planning talk — in favor of chasing a "better" career and a big stretch of settled alone time with DH — to age 38, at which point getting pregnant shot straight to the top of my to-do-and-do-NOW list.

The desire hits different people at different times and in different ways. When it finally hit me in the face, its impact got right to knocking me down at every turn. Luckily, I was blessed with stamina, so I keep getting up.

At 43, I know putting "create a healthy take-home baby with DH" on my to-do list (see how I've learned the art of specificity!) doesn't mean it's going to happen.

But man, oh man, that item IS on there. Crazy I might be. But ready to crawl away from the fight I am not.

13 comments:

Tara, Atlanta, GA said...

Lisa - I stumbled on your blog one night a few months ago. I think I've read it from the beginning by now. Most of the other blogs I find I quickly move past. I'm 29 and on my 2nd IVF cycle. I think whether you're 25 or 55, this mess is probably one of the hardest things we'll ever live through. I really enjoy reading your posts and really feel like we're old girlfriends having a coffee (or a nice glass of wine!!). Anyway, I wish the best for you and hope whatever you decide, you keep your blog going.
My very sincerest wishes for you,
Tara

Cassandra said...

Here from IComLeavWe...
The WebMD headline is completely misleading. The data don't say anything about To Do lists or plans or anyone's personal decisions. Those stats say that 20% of women age 40-44 don't have children. You're in that group, and having children is clearly on your To Do list! I'm in a different group, but it's been on my list for over 6 years. Just because I mark 0 under # of children on the census doesn't mean I'm not working on it.

Best wishes to you in getting that healthy take-home baby and being able to cross that item off your list.

Joonie said...

Well, when I was in my 20s I had actually decided that I didn't want children. Yes, I know, ironic isn't it? As time went by, and I reached my mid-30s, I not only want them, but they're my number one priority in life.
When I was young my parents kept telling me I could achieve anything only if I put my mind to it. And I actually believed them! Little did I know that wanting children and "putting your mind to it" has little to do with the actual outcome!

Anonymous said...

I can bring home the bacon!! Made me laugh today. Thanks!

In Due Time said...

Coming over from ICLW...

Don't crawl away from the fight, stand up and keep fighting it. Hugs!

Lost in Space said...

Keep fighting that fight. You started exactly when you were ready. There is nothing more you can ask of yourself.

Some women have no issues getting pregnant at 38 and others have lots of issues at 22. Statistics can only tell us so much. The rest is really a crap shoot.

I'm hoping you achieve your heart's desires. Hugs.

Beautiful Mess said...

*New reader* Thank you for your comment on my blog! I really appreciate it, it's comforting for to know that even after years, I can still have my days and that is OK! I'm looking forward to many happy days. I admire your attitude and your willingness to NOT give up! Go YOU! Oh and the whale....aww that poor little thing. I think you can make it work, why not?! I've always wanted a dolphin.... Have a beautiful day!
-D *ICLW*

theycallmebobby said...

No matter what, the decisions you have made up until now have made you the woman you are and the mother you will someday be. I often say, "I wouldn't take a million dollars for the lessons I learned from IF but I wouldn't take a dime to go through it again."

Good luck and I am looking forward to reading the post about your first BFP!

Opus #6 said...

I remember that commercial, too. I'm in your cheering section. And I'm not budging, either. (((hugs)))

Jaymee said...

Want does not know age. Wishing you all the best on your journey.

(ILCW)

seriously? said...

Here from ICLW. Best wishes for your healthy take home baby!

Kristin said...

Here from ICLW...

I hope the entry on you list becomes one of the one you complete. Its such a hard journey and it can affect every part of your life. Keep fighting to make your dream come true.

nh said...

Keep on fighting to fulfil that want. It can happen and it does - I hope you are one of the lucky ones!

(ICLW)