It happens every year doesn’t it? With an imminent birthday comes an inventory of sorts. We can’t help but scrutinize ourselves for aging evidence and then compare and contrast the findings with our actual new age. In my case, on June 12 I graduate to 44.
A part of me howls in protest, how can that be? I offer up the following as evidence to call 44 into doubt: I can still wear the size 6/8 clothes I wore when I was 34. My long dark hair — thanks to the wonders of coloring science — shows no sign of gray. I played tennis at altitude a few weeks ago and didn’t pay for it later with any notable aches or pains. In other words, to look at me I’m in pretty damned fine shape. Now were you to quiz my ovaries and uterus they’d tell a different story. They’ve been cycling non-stop now for 30 flipping years.
On the eve of 44, women who’ve never struggled with infertility logically are nostalgic for the days of their firm, wrinkle-free skin and toned bodies. Me, I’m nostalgic for the days when I had a hundred or more cycles awaiting me. Even though I seem to have come equipped with less than perfect reproductive organs, their youth alone held promise. With each passing month there was the small likelihood (remote that it might be) of natural conception. While failed cycles brought me down I could also look ahead to the next one with hope.
My youthful outlook and demeanor aside, the calendar doesn’t lie. My once bright hope for pregnancy, like a flickering candle, is on the verge of being snuffed out entirely. In this one area of my life I feel my age.
My challenge now is reconciling my reproductive reality while at the same time not letting it overshadow all of the good years ahead of me still …