The typist I met last night is my age, and has two teenage daughters-- one about to graduate from high school.
And that really struck me. As if I am trying to get on a train that has already left the station.
I feel out of sync I guess, with my energy level, with societal expectations, with my ovaries...
I still feel very young, the wondrous Brene Brown of Ordinary Courage talks about age dismorphic disorder. Oh yeah. I have that. I got old without realizing it.
Facebook is not my friend. It shows me photos of people I went to school with who are now middle aged. And that must mean.....
NO, I refuse to believe it.
I did not grow up thinking I would have kids or be partnered or get married. To be clear: I did not think I would but I didn't think I wouldn't. It just was not something I thought about one way or the other. I was not someone with a life plan, someone with a clear idea of "when I grow up I'll..."
When I was married, the person I was married to did not want to have children ever. Abuse and alcoholism ran in his family through the men, and, in his thinking (perhaps quite correctly), he was just not going to pass that on.
Then there was a moment the spring of our last year when I thought I might be pregnant. Totally improbable in every way, nearly impossible but not quite. I barfed two nights in a row (and I am not a barfer)-- and I told him I thought I might be pregnant. He absolutely freaked out, flipped out, was thunderstruck and horrified and worried and angry and all things bad.
In the midst of that storm that would normally have flattened me,
I realized I was wonderstruck.
And while that pregnancy was not one or it was a very short one, I had brushed up against the wonder of possibility. I remember thinking-- what if I am? If I am, I cannot stay with this person who is so clearly wholeheartedly ferociously against it, but I WILL have this baby.
I was 36. It was 6 years ago this past April.
Folks who have known me a long time said they never thought I wanted to have kids-- and I think that is the rub, I did not Want or Not Want... I was open to either outcome by default by not having a plan or expectation one way or the other. My life has been so far from linear, so far from predictably anything, so-very-non-textbook.
But in that moment all those years ago now when I thought I might be pregnant-- that changed everything.
So, what took so long?
First, a long time of grief.
Then the slow act of healing and the slow dawning realization that the person I was then dating was never going to want to have kids with me and the heartbreaking choice of staying and not having that chance, or leaving and letting my life open to the possibility.
Then I decided to face this alone as a single mother by choice--I met with my RE to talk about insemination, met with the donor sperm coordinator, did all of the pre-work of psychologist and physicals... I did searches for sperm donors, imagined asking my friends....got completely overwhelmed and wished so much just for a random button, a sperm-esque gumball machine. How the hell do I choose such a thing??
and I summarily screeched to a halt.
Then, through some incredible luck I met my darlin'. As I dumped my baggage on the ground during our first date I told him what I was planning, that I was planning to try to do this on my own, that I was not out shopping for a donor-date, and he was kind and understanding and somehow still interested in me.
And somewhere in there I realized that he was amazing.
So I decided to give it a year. See how we were together. He is so clearly someone who compliments me. He will be such a great dad. So I went back on the pill (HAHAHA oh that makes me laugh now)
And so, a year later, we moved in together and I went off the pill and we started this ride.
Now some of you out there have led lives of certainty-- have known from your first moments that this is what you wanted and needed to feel complete.
I envy you that certainty.
But my life has not been like that. I have found myself here as unexpectedly as I would have found myself anywhere.
So here I am, nearly 42 and a half, trying to have a child with someone I love, and watching folks in my age bracket send their kids off to college.
Crazy? Maybe. And maybe nearly impossible.
But this is something I want. That part is certain. Better late than never.