I turned 42 yesterday at 11:28pm. The time period before my birthday has been hard these last few years, as the fertility window gets increasingly painted shut, until it cannot be budged open ever again.
This time in my life has been filled with all kinds of illness and sadness. There is of course, the four miscarriages that I can't seem to shut up about, augmented by my mother-in-law's two bouts of cancer, the second of which will be almost inevitably fatal. She turned 70 last month. There was also my dear father's less serious bout with cancer (if cancer can be less serious). He came close to death due to pneumonia from his low white blood count, which was then followed by his ever-escalating Alzheimer's/dementia. He is 77 now. More peripherally, was the death of my (estranged) mother due to breast cancer the day after her 73rd birthday, and the death of my biological father last year, a week after his 62nd birthday due to lymphoma. I hardly knew the man, but he was so young, and I will never meet him again. Unless my sister told him, I don't even think he knew that I had a son.
But things could have been a lot worse. So much worse. For that I am thankful.
The strange thing that has happened to me lately is that all of the above has made me appreciate how much time I have left, rather than how little time could be left. I COULD die tomorrow or next year or in ten years, but I could also live to be 90. Old age is entirely possible, even likely for me because every single female in bio family has made it to their late eighties, and many have made it well into their nineties. My life may not even be half over. Or it may. But since I don't know I might as well keep setting new goals for myself, and not sit back and feel "safe." Because safe is a crock. The best laid plans can end in a train wreck - and my reproductive history is a testament to that.
So my goals for the near and not so near future are as follows:
•Get healthier. Eat better, practice yoga more, be stronger. I actually am in okay good shape now and am by no means overweight, but I want to be one of those 60 year old women that people always point as a role model for taking care of yourself.
• Have another career. I actually like my job right now. I work for a good company, I'm paid well, and my bosses appreciate my work. But I am not passionate about it. It's advertising for God's sake. I'm not exactly making a positive mark on the world. If I started a new career at fifty, I could have and eighteen or twenty year career, which is not even as long as I've been doing my current work.
• Have another kid. Okay, so it's a goal. You don't attain all your goals. When I told my husband this, he shook his head sadly and said that he couldn't go there again, the fear and anguish of trying again - IF I could still get pregnant. It has been over a year since my last miscarriage. But I would adopt, and he is more willing to talk about that possibility now, although only in the most theoretical terms. Unfortunately, this is a horrible time to adopt. My husband is unemployed, and while that is temporary, he is also reevaluating his career and looking for new direction. His mother is battling terminal cancer. His father will need a lot of help if his wife is gone. I am making this a goal because I still want it as much as I did three and a half years ago, when my nightmare began. And I don't care what anyone thinks anymore. I don't care about the age difference with my son. I don't care about being an older parent. If I've said it once, I've said it 100 times, my grandmother was 46 when my dad was born. I figure that gives me until at least 44 or 45. These days you're not a REALLY old mom until your over 50 (see Geena Davis and Angela Bassett.) I just like kids and being a mom. And I like the idea of adopting. So, there it is.
As part of my new view on life. I've realized I need to change my perspective on this blog. I cannot be a full fledged member of a club that is filled with those struggling with infertility and recovering infertiles. I am neither these days, and the isolation I feel when I read some blogs now is totally contrary to the feeling of relief when I first found this little corner of the world. And frankly, my readership has continued to diminish, along with the drama in my life. I will still write about infertility and adoption, because those are issues that are close to my heart. But I am going to change my contacts list to "old" friends and the few blogs that I read on a regular basis. Please do not take it personally if you are no longer on my contacts list. This is about me Moving On.
(By the way, Heidi (Lost and Found) if you read this I would love to get a password to your blog! I could email you, but I thought I would put it out there, while I was thinking about it.)
I am also going to incorporate some memoir stuff into the blog. Memoir sounds so pretentious, it's really more like rambling on about myself, mostly for my son. I always thought it would be great to have in writing my Dad's childhood and personal history. He was always such a great storyteller, and now that he can tell stories no longer, I feel that lack of something written more acutely. So interspersed with my rantings, I'm going to start writing some essays about my life. I figure that the sheer threat of an audience will make stick to my task.
So, um, see you around, I guess.