For some reason I always get a little blue around my birthday. Which is weird because I absolutely LOVE the actual day. I wrote a recent post about 46 being the downhill slide to 50.
This year my birthday took a weird turn though. If you are squeamish about menstruation then you might want to jump off right here, fellas. As women we deal with it such a large portion of our lives that it becomes mundane. A part of life. Like paying taxes. Or expired milk. It is going to happen.
Until it doesn’t. And with my personal experience every time it didn’t come, I was pregnant. So imagine my shock when my app informed me that I was five days late. Yes, there is even an app for THAT.
This completely threw me for a loop. At this point I decided to keep it to myself. No need to give my husband a heart attack at age 43. He worries about providing for his family and especially a large one like ours. He really hopes to retire one day before he dies. If we ever gets our four reasons for living off of our payroll.
I let it ride. Each day expecting my old friend to show up. Then for some reason that Saturday I was sitting in a chair in the bedroom and thought it was a great idea to Google pregnancy at age 46. Take my advice. Don’t do that. You see a woman is born with all of the eggs that she will ever have. And just like everything else in the body, they lose their youthfulness.
After age 45 I read that:
*You have only a 1.2% chance of getting pregnant
*You have a 54% chance of miscarriage
*Your baby has a 1 in 35 chance of having a genetic disorder
*You have a 60% chance of delivering by C-Section
*You have a 100% chance of being broke until you die
I am not going to lie. That thing that some of you guys have where you have a certain number of kids and know without a doubt that your family is complete? Well, I don’t have that. If not for the enormous financial burden that each child adds to the family then I would have absolutely had more. Well, that and my husband said no way in hell were we having a fifth.
But by this time I was uneasy. I would never want to bring a child into the world knowing these dangers. And this is why we get married. When you have worked yourself into a frenzy, there is someone else who is required by the contract of a marriage to share your worry.
I went to my husband. To say he was shocked wouldn’t even be a fair statement. He was more like not believing the words that were falling out of my mouth. Our last child was almost ten now. I told him that it was imperative that he go to Walgreens for a test. Like now. I surely could not do it in my current emotional state. He grabbed his keys and off he went.
It was so surreal to be holding a pregnancy stick after all of these years. I had to read the instructions to make sure they even still worked the same. I know you won’t believe me but I actually botched the first test. I held it wrong. Or shook it. Or maybe missed it all together. It never activated. Thank goodness he got a two pack. This was not his first rodeo
I was way more careful the second time. I placed the cap on the end and waited for what seemed like years for the result. And then after two excruciating minutes.
First a flood of relief. Then a punch to the gut. Menopause. More than likely I was beginning menopause. I had always had very regular cycles. Never had I been seven days late unless I was growing a baby. I guess that has to be how it starts for everyone though. There has to be that first indication. The first time you are late. Or miss a period altogether only to have it return with force the following month. From what I have heard about menopause it can be a long, annoying process.
But did it have to piggyback my downhill slide to 50? I had to let the father of my ONLY four children, off the hook. I returned to the bedroom where he sat waiting and handed him the stick. After seeing the not pregnant and not being exactly sure how I felt about it yet, he just looked at me expressionless.
I told him that it had to be menopause. I was officially old now. No longer relevant in reproduction circles. It was a lump to swallow. He gently said that he would be too worried about my health and the health of a baby if I was to pregnant at this time of our lives. And he was not wrong.
I was just starting on a new journey. And like all other tough journeys I have been on in life, I would embrace it and find the most optimistic way to enjoy the ride.
Only later did my husband admit that he had actually let himself go there while I was locked in the bathroom. He had envisioned a Daddy’s girl. Or a son that may have wanted him to coach another round of little league sports. Now, a part of him was sad for the baby that would never be. But only a tiny, sliver of sadness. Nothing that a cheeseburger wouldn’t fix.
We are blessed. I am thankful for my family. It is my biggest purpose. I guess I probably shouldn’t go Google menopause though.
Oops. I already did.