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Why did we wait?

September 2, 2011

The question that anyone who doesn’t know us, and even many who do, ask is why did we wait until we were both 51 yrs. old to have a baby. Well, we didn’t, really. We didn’t meet until we were 45, and we didn’t get married until we were 48, although we had sought treatment six months before D even proposed.

I joke that we should have named our son “Mojito,” because without many 2-for-1 happy hour cocktails at our local watering hole one May evening in 2008, our baby would not be here.

We had been dating for over two years and frankly, we had never discussed babies. At 48, I didn’t think having that discussion was even necessary, but that night I had my beer balls on (or mojito balls, as it were) and decided to ask D straight out, “Do you want to have children?” I almost fainted when he said “Yes.” So, now we break up, right?

We talked it out that night…well, I cried mostly and he talked. He told me that he did want children, but he wanted “us” more, so if it wasn’t to be, then it wasn’t to be. I told him that although I had never been absolutely diagnosed as “infertile” or had miscarriages or other pregnancy problems, I had had some doubts since about age 35 about my ability to ever get pregnant. Starting in my late 30s, after the break-up of yet another longish-term relationship, I had decided to explore my options for having a baby without a partner. I didn’t get too far. I was at misdiagnosed (I believe) as having PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) and after years of testing and retesting and seeking second and third and fourth opinions (my favorite? a famous and well-respected fertility specialist for whom I had waited months for an appointment, walked in the exam room, looked at me and said “you’re not Asian.” Ummmm, thanks for that expert opinion…..) Asian women apparently have a higher risk than others of PCOS. Strangely enough, it also is hereditary. Yes, that one makes my head hurt, too. Infertility is hereditary….how then exactly is it passed along?

I had even gotten as far as having been accepted into a prestigious program at NYU. That was early 2002. I was days away from my first appointment at the clinic when the low-grade nagging lower back pain I had been experiencing for months turned into full-blown ruptured discs with sciatica. Months and months of agony ensued. There was an eight or ten week period that I really don’t remember. I know I woke up long enough to take some more Vicodin, Flexeril, and prednisone, and go back to sleep. I consider 2002 my “lost year.” By the time I woke up and the pain was bearable, I weighed an obscene amount of weight (I’m guessing well over 200 lbs. on my 5′ 3″ frame), and I was completely broke. I had spent the “baby fund” money on rent and living expenses.

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