Omgosh. As the clock struck midnight on my birthday, I was officially “advanced maternal age”. Or, I would be, if I were pregnant.
I have been infertile. I have been in “spontaneous abortion”. I have adopted. I have been in a high-risk pregnancy. I have been pregnant with twins. I have been bedrest-ed. I have been C-section-ed. I have been on death’s door. But I’ve never been advanced maternal age before.
We hope for more children. We have been married for twelve years. We have three children, but none of them were created in my body. (One was created in someone else’s body; two were simultaneously created in Petri dishes.) All three of them belong in our home and in our arms.
Facing many of those issues when I was still in my 20s was … well, difficult. And important. It shines a light on the fact that I am now thirty-freaking-five. I don’t mind the number. I don’t mind the laugh lines. I don’t mind the squishy belly. But I do mind the fertility consequences of being 35.
We don’t know if we will be blessed with more children. We do know that I now would be in a completely different category if we were to attempt any more fertility treatments. We probably won’t, though, since 15 rounds is probably more than enough for a lifetime. We do know that egg quality goes down in a straight line from the age of 21 in a healthy female. We do know that endometriosis gets worse with time. We do know that the chances of conceiving a baby in any 35-year-old body decrease sharply.
If I couldn’t get pregnant in my twenties, the likelihood of getting pregnant when I am of “advanced maternal age” is ridiculous.
I am happy with my three boys. I am (finally) no longer sad each month when I realize I am not pregnant. However, I have the nagging feeling that someone is missing. I don’t know if that is from our miscarriage(s), or if there is really a soul out there who is trying to come to our family.
I can live contently with my three boys, even though I once wanted eight children! I am not always the best mother. I get terrible headaches. I am not always patient. I am stretched very thin. I am sometimes anxious and I am always tired and my neck always hurts. Nevertheless, I feel another soul out there.
Does she know I am of “advanced maternal age”?
This post was originally written as members-only content for Beyond Infertility, a website about parenting after infertility. I am regular contributor to their website.
One thought on “I Hit “Advanced Maternal Age” at Midnight”
Yes O.M., she does and so does our Father. That feeling of someone missing haunted me for a long time, I found my answer in the temple. I finally have peace in my heart and hope you can find the same. I know there are no more coming to my Earth life, but that doesn’t mean you should let yourself lose hope. My older sister had those feelings too and at 47 delivered her 3rd and last “oops how did that happen daughter?” 17 years trying unsuccessfully after her first oops at age 18. she found out her kidney issue was because of her second daughter, who was a total thrilling surprise. She figured she shouldn’t be greedy and gave up thinking about it. 9 years later she ha found out she was 5 months, not in menopause with her beautiful youngest. Each was wanted, loved, difficult, and proof God gives us who he needs taken care of when he is ready.