About a year into our relationship, my boyfriend and I decided to stop using birth control and just “see what happens”. He was obviously fertile since he already has a daughter. Getting pregnant seemed to be rather easy for women in my family so we thought there was definitely a good chance of his agile sperm finding their way to whatever eggs I still had left. Low and behold, I found out I was pregnant on the last day of January the following year, about 5 months after we stopped using birth control (the pill). I was shell-shocked but very excited. I’ve had a number of friends be in the position of needing fertility specialists and utilizing IVF (in vitro fertilization) to get pregnant, so I was surprised by how quickly it happened for us. The only sense I can make of it is that this little soul really wanted to be in the world and for whatever reason, she wanted to get here through me.
Little OLD me.
I used to cuss… a lot. This fact was made abundantly clear to me when I started spending a lot of time with my fiancé’s daughter. The words f*** and s*** just flew out of my mouth all the time. I immediately noticed them – but only after they had already left my lips. A little too late. So I began to curb my colorful expressions as much as possible. Then, as if by mother nature herself, the words were virtually removed from my vocabulary after the baby was born. Not entirely of course, but certainly around the girls. I have to say, it’s actually a relief to know that I kind-of have control over when and how I use “profanity”. [I actually hate what I just said… “use profanity”. I sound like a square mother of a geeky kid I never wanted to hang out with. But here I am. Utterly amazing.]
This whole cussing thing was only one of many changes I underwent during the pregnancy and period in which my life was supposed to change forever. Everyone said my life would never be the same and that I would feel joy like I’d never known the second she came out of me. That was not exactly the case. What I felt was terror. And a lot of “oh my god, what have I done.” I’d also heard a lot of people saying that my pregnancy would be difficult because of my “advanced” age. Another great confidence-builder. The truth is, I’ve never been more prepared and felt settled enough to be a mother than right now. So I’ll be 60 when she graduates high school… big deal. I’m going to be better off financially and emotionally at that point than I am now. And the thought of having a kid at 22 instead of 42 is frightening. Granted, someone else’s 22 may have looked much more promising. Sane, even. But at my 22 (hell, even at my 32) I was drunk a lot of the time, directionless, broke, searching for happiness on the outside and never finding it. I finally got sober at 35 but only after hitting an emotional bottom. Not everyone has to be driven to such a low spot to get to the point of being ready to admit we didn’t know everything, but that’s what it took for me. But I digress…
Now that I’ve gotten past the “baby blues,” (which for me was more like “baby crippling-depression”), I have to say that I couldn’t be more excited about the life ahead of us. I feel so lucky to have this little one in my life and it kinda feels like she’s been there all along, just waiting for the right time to show herself. Like being fashionably late to a party. Or like how a seasoned card player knows exactly when to join the game. [I like thinking of her as an old soul. Yeah, this one’s been around the block a time or two.]
I dig being a mom and it just isn’t as scary as I thought it might be. I owe a lot to my friend Kim who showed me how doable it is to have a child over 40 and, in her case, make it look like a breeze. It’s a matter of knowing I can do it. Not hoping or wishing, but knowing. I’ve done many difficult things in my life and just about everyone with a uterus has been or is going to be a mother so how hard could it be? Now, before you say to yourself, “oh my god, you just wait… you have no idea what’s coming your way,” … I know. I know it will be incredibly challenging, time-consuming, heart-breaking, gut-wrenching, pain-inducing, and punch-in-the-gut misery at times. But so what. Life is like that anyway. I can’t think of a more fun way to suffer than this one. 🙂