Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Eye On The Clock

This blog post could easily veer into Too Much Information territory.

It comes after a visit to the OBGYN this morning - the annual chore of every woman of childbearing age.

The experience is humbling. The doctor never sees the patient as she wants to be seen. She doesn't see me in my Calvin Klein stilettos, cashmere cardigan and pearls.

The only thing she sees is my perfectly coiffed hair, my painted toenails and the most intimate parts of my body.

Last night, as I showered, my razor blade paid special attention to my knobby knees, my underarm and my bikini line. Places my doctor could possibly contact during the exam.

It's these tiny grooming habits that likely make up the pieces of a doctor's judgment.

Our exhange was swift. Small talk about my trip to India and the medications I take regularly. She commented on my very irregular and completely casual social smoking habit. I made comments about my monthly cycle.

And then we talked about the big pink elephant in the room. I am 34. I am single. I want to have children someday.


Instead of responding with soft words and a reassuring list of scientific ways I can tease my fertility as I age, she was blunt and dismissive. Your time is running out, she quipped.

Well, then, I thought. I can cross you off my list, Doc.

Okay. So the doctor was pragmatic. I know time is flying with each year. But I also know my mom had her last child at 37. That's a tiny genetic shred to which I cling as I consider the logistics of my fertility.

The office exhange prompted me to make a couple comments on Twitter and Facebook. The latter resulted in an outpouring of comments from other women my age and older. Even men offered encouragement and examples of other women having children in their late 30s or 40s.

I am not alone in sharing this concern about conception.

Now, let me be clear. I am not hopping into every bed in town with the goal of finding a man to donate his precious seed.

Nor do I look at every date as a potential daddy (though I do regard every potential date as a potential mate). Rather, I know my world could serve up the real circumstances of my having (or adopting) a child as a single woman.

And that's okay with me. Really.

The mid-30s can be a biological rude awakening for a woman who has otherwise regarded time as a never ending continuum of youth.

I wish my doctor had been a bit more compassionate about my concern. I wish she had kindly presented a few options for me to consider as I age. I wish she was more encouraging about the possibilities of my future.

Thankfully, my social media circles rallied to share their own experiences and other encouraging words about my future.

This is the kind of stuff that keeps me up at night.
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Kate's Random Musings by Kate the Great is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Don't despiar! I'm amazed at how many docs have no social skills. But the reality is that as far as childbearing goes, 34 is the new 24. You're not way behind. Purely anecdotal, but I have two coworkers who ACCIDENTALLY got knocked up at 42 and 44, and they have beautiful, healthy children. It gets harder FOR SOME WOMEN as they age, and for others it makes no difference. Some 19 year olds are infertile. Everyone is an individual and has their own individual setbacks and advantages. You're FINE. And you could meet someone that ends up being your baby daddy (and life mate) on the train on the way home from work, TODAY. There is no time limit or expiration date on happiness, my love. And I do know that when the time comes, no matter how you end up getting a baby, that's gonna be one crazy-lucky kid. mwah. L