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Why Do I Keep Counting

18 May

The last year or so, there’s this thing I find myself doing constantly.

Math.

When I look at a mother and child on TV or in real life, and I hear both their ages, I automatically subtract and start judging.

“She was 28 when she had her first baby”

“She was 23…”

And so forth.

I can’t let go of it. I can’t let go of the fact that I have been on this path for three years. That if this pregnancy lasts, I will be a couple of weeks shy of my 33rd birthday when I have this baby.

I was supposed to be thirty for my first. Just barely thirty.

I rarely talk about my long-term goals when it comes to kids because the first one still seems out of reach. But the truth is, I wanted 3 kids, and now, I don’t know if that’s ever going to happen. With bed rest and me already being 2 years shy of advanced maternal age. We already needed clom.id to get this pregnancy, who knows what trouble we face if we want to get pregnant again. If I make it through this pregnancy, who knows how hard it will be to achieve and sustain a second one, let alone a third. I also promised myself and Shmerson at least a two year break if we make it through this pregnancy.

And I can’t ignore the fact that if all goes well, I’m going to be a first time mom at 33. That’s a helluva lot later than I was planning.

These last three years have taken my body, they’ve taken my identity, and they’ve taken my dream of a big family.

Women I started blogging with are already thinking about TTC number two and I’m still here, fighting to hang on to what will hopefully be number one.

And three years have gone just fighting for this.

I wish I didn’t feel the need to compare. I wish I didn’t feel like I was losing a race.

But I do feel that way, and I can’t seem to shake it.

I can’t seem to stop counting.

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21 Responses to “Why Do I Keep Counting”

  1. KeAnne May 18, 2013 at 00:53 #

    I so get this. I was a month shy of turning 28 when we started TTC. I was 3 months shy of turning 32 when my son was born. I’m turning 36 this year. Thankfully my 4-year-old embryos are from 31-year-old eggs. If we go for another child, I wonder how old our surro and her uterus will be.

    I find myself counting a lot too.

  2. Amy May 18, 2013 at 01:04 #

    I always thought I’d be done having my 2 kids by the time I was 30…because I naturally assumed I’d have my first at 28 and second two or so ears later. Instead, I didn’t marry until 32, and we didn’t seek help TTC until I was already 35.5. I lost my twins when I was 36…our first pregnancy. I would have been 37 at delivery. Now I will be 39 years 3 months by the time this baby comes. Not my plan. I wanted three living children. That might not ever happen. IF and baby loss sucks.

  3. chon May 18, 2013 at 01:49 #

    I think we all understand this. I was 30 when we started trying and 35 by the time I had a baby. I don’t have any eggs left so if we do use IVF again, if we can I’m looking at 36 year old eggs and a very low chance of being successful.

    • chon May 18, 2013 at 01:52 #

      Um no i was 34 so I’m clearly fucking senile

  4. Esperanza May 18, 2013 at 02:21 #

    I’m sorry Mo. The counting is hard. And the comparing. I do it too. I do the math to figure out how old parents are having their first, and their second (and their third) children. Here a lot of women are older (35+) when they start having kids so that isn’t as hard. For me the hardest is counting the space between children. It’s always so much less than will be between our children, and that is with us being as incredibly lucky as we were.

    I also always wanted 3-4 kids but I don’t think Mi.Vida would have allowed more than three and probably just two. Our DOR and MFI diagnoses made the decision about having another child for us. I’ll be 35 before we could start trying again and I may be close to menopause at that point. I’ve been so thankful to have even this chance I haven’t thought much about that third child yet. Maybe I never will.

    I’m just so sorry that you’ve had to go through this. That your dreams of having a family were twisted into something you never thought you’d have to deal with. That is a horrible loss to bear, on top of the devastating loss of your son. I hope, when your family building is behind you, that you find peace and happiness in the family you have. I know my mom did, despite the death of her daughter and her three stillborn sons. Despite wanting four children and only have two living children. She really was so very happy with the family she had and that brings me great comfort when I wonder if I will always look at my family and compare it to others. I think there will be a time when even those who have suffered the most horrible losses will find a measure of peace. At least that is what I like to believe.

  5. Prairie May 18, 2013 at 02:42 #

    I hear you. I, the eldest, was born when my mom was 26 (old for her gen). When I turned 26 the count down began. My first was born when I was 35. An age I previously thought would be way too old.

    But I’m the opposite if you in terms of # of kids. When we started the plan was for 1. In the ensuing 3.5 years of IF and recurrent loss, I realized my brother is awesome. So now we intend to TTC for a 2nd. Like you, my plan changed, just differently.

  6. Daryl May 18, 2013 at 04:03 #

    I do the same thing. If we get to do IVF this summer and if it works, I’ll be pushing 36 by the time we have our first child. Definitely not how I pictured it, either.

    I’m sorry it’s taken you so much time and so much heartache to get to where you are now. I think you’re right to take a break from baby-making once B5 gets here. The three of you need some time to just enjoy each other.

  7. SM May 18, 2013 at 04:07 #

    I get this. We started trying when I was 28. I just turned 34. This baby is due 12 days before our 6 year mark TTC. I wanted 3 kids too. Four lost babies later, I no longer believe that all three will come from me. I am determined to have my ideal family. I won’t let infertility and RPL take that away from me. But I’ve had to give up the belief that I can carry and birth 3 children. The numbers are all around me. I can’t get away from them no matter how hard I try.

  8. sorrelen May 18, 2013 at 04:13 #

    I can definitely relate to the math. I didn’t even meet my husband until I was 29. We waited to get married to try and then it took us 3 years to get pregnant. Now I am looking at 36 and not even sure we will be able to have another. My husband wanted 3 kids and I at least wanted 2. I don’t have anything frozen but I was going through premature ovarian failure when I got pregnant with our son. Now all my friends who haven’t had any problems are onto their second kids and once again I feel left behind. I am beyond grateful for my son. I feel that infertility has stolen a lot from us.

    I hope B5 is doing well and that you are as well.

  9. missohkay May 18, 2013 at 04:29 #

    35 here and counting a lot too. I’m sorry the numbers haven’t been what you hoped and expected.

  10. Courtney May 18, 2013 at 06:07 #

    I hate this or you. The same thing happened to us, and it’s very upsetting. It’s a hard thing, really, because everyone says to be happy for what we have… but we do want more. If we try for #3 and if it works with the embryos we have (I don’t expect it will work, and I won’t do full IVF again) – I’ll be 39 or 40 when that baby comes. That was never the plan. And yes, I’m lucky to have (almost) 2 kids – but we never planned on us having our first when I was 35. We started trying at 31! It’s just so unravelling to think of when we ladies started, the years we spent trying, the energy and body changes that we spent on our efforts, etc… to end up having children so late and then to hear people say that it’s because we waited so long. GAH! I wish people would realize that we have all tried very hard, for very long, to become mothers long before we actually were successful, and that our age was not, and is not, the issue.

    But now our age IS an issue. Funny how that happens, huh?

    I’m rambling. But I just want you to know that I feel you 100% on this. IF steals so much from us, including our dreams of what we want our families to “look” like.

  11. RelaxedNoMore May 18, 2013 at 10:02 #

    I absolutely get this. My TTC journey wasn’t as long as yours, with the Butzerl born almost exactly 2 years after we started; and it hasn’t even come remotely close to yours in its difficulty.
    But. I’d wanted to have a baby with hubby (whom I didn’t meet until I was 33) much, much sooner. Only it took him about 2 years to “be ready” while I knew my fertility was decreasing with every single day I had to wait for him. And even if he’d made up his mind sooner, I still would’ve been an old mom. I always wanted 2 children, and wanted to have my first before I turned thirty. Now I finally, at long last, have my first. He was born 5 months before I turned 40. So even if it wasn’t for that f-ing infertility it’d now be difficult to have a second child.
    But even so I, too, can’t stop counting.

  12. Tigerlily May 18, 2013 at 12:39 #

    I also find myself counting a lot. We have been TTC#1 for a little over three years and all I’ve had so far are 2 miscarriages. I get where you’re coming from. Today I’m having one of those days where I feel like giving up….. Babydust and hugs. xo

  13. Meg May 18, 2013 at 15:14 #

    Yep. I always knew I’d be a somewhat “old” first time mom because I didn’t meet my husband until I was nearly 30, and we married just after my 32nd. We started TTC a few months later, so I knew I’d be at least 33. I’m finally pregnant now after 18 months and one miscarriage, but I’m only 6 weeks. IF this baby makes it, and I am still filled with dread daily about another miscarriage, I will be 34.5 and a new mom. I want two, so I am well aware I’ll be going for number 2 with old eggs. Ugh. I’d try to be comforted by the fact that my sister had her first at 33 and is having #2 this year when she’ll be 36.5, but then again she’s fucking fertile, forgive my french.

    The counting sucks.

  14. slese1014 May 18, 2013 at 16:13 #

    I’m so sorry you’re feeling this way. It breaks my heart… but as I’m considered “elderly” by my OB, and was considered that with my first at 36, I feel really old. My plan was to be engaged, married and pregnant with #1 at 28. I was going to have 3 children all 3 years apart. Turns out I broke up with the man I thought I would marry shortly after my 28th birthday. It was 3 years later when I married the man I was supposed to marry. We waited to start trying because I was so sure it would happen. Had my body functioned properly, I would have been pregnant at 32, but as it turns out, I had to wait until I was 36. All these women who say, “OMG I don’t want to be THAT OLD when I have my first” or “I want to be done having kids by the time I’m 32-35” made my insides crumble. As if I was some sort of a failure because I was 36 instead of 26. It sucked feeling like I was going to be a failure as a mom because I was so much older than everyone else. Comparing and counting is a vicious cycle for ALIers. But the important thing is you’ve gotten this far….however old you are now. You will love and care for your baby regardless of your age. And if you go for number 2, you will do the same no matter how old you are when that happens. I feel you on this one, dear. You are most definitely not alone in your feelings. (((HUGS)))

  15. Amy May 18, 2013 at 21:30 #

    Oh, I do it, too; you’re definitely not alone in this kind of calculating. After my last miscarriage, we decided to wait to try until after my sister’s wedding so I wouldn’t have all the wondering and freaking and trying not to hope and everything else during all the planning and festivities, and I constantly second-guessed what I was doing, because the math made me nutty. My parents were a little older than most at the time, probably, when they had me – 27 and 28, and I always thought that around the 30 mark seemed ideal(ish), back when I still thought you could plan a family so easily. We were lucky with #5, and I am more than willing to believe that you will be, too, but it doesn’t erase the ideas of what should have been, not at all.

    I remember when I was a kid, even though I was never a little girl who said ‘a mom’ when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I came across a little booklet thing that had probably come inside one of my mom’s magazines; it was titled “Young Mother,” and for some reason I latched onto it and loved to read and reread it, kept it for a weirdly long amount of time; I think I only threw it out when I cleaned out my room sometime after graduation. I still think of it when I think about how far off our timeline ended up being (was 32 when he was born, so definitely not a young mother, but I do still feel grateful that I have a sliver of a chance not being AMA for a sibling, if we’re stupidly lucky again – BIG IF, of course). It still seems unreal that if our first pregnancy had been successful, I’d be the mother of a six year old now. This sucks, and I’m so sorry you’re having to wrestle with it, but you’re definitely not alone.

  16. Alissa May 20, 2013 at 02:50 #

    I know exactly how you feel. When I was pregnant with Cooper, I always did math. I was frustrated that I should be having my third baby, not my first. I should have been 28 when I got pregnant the first time and be on my second…at least. I wanted 3 originally and now I am pretty much resigned that Coop may be our only. I still hold out this insane assumption that SOMEHOW I will get pregnant on my own in a couple of years. Why do I think this? No clue. It’s not like I was able to get pregnant on my own as a younger woman. It’s a dangerous thought to have…because I don’t really think I will be one of those statistics. What you are feeling is normal and very understandable. Our whole idea of what our family is going to look like altered and we are left with a wonderful gift but also disappointment at the thought of giving up those other children.

  17. Emily Walters LeBaron May 21, 2013 at 20:07 #

    Ditto to all above on knowing the feeling. I planned on 3 kids, done having kids by 33 or so, and each about 2 years apart. Instead I’m 35, the 2 we have are almost 4 years apart, and hubby just turned 40 and has decided that he doesn’t want 3 any more. He’d still LOVE to have a third child, but doesn’t want to be 60 with a kid in high school. Given our track record the last time around that could easily happen. I get it, but am heartbroken about it. I always always always pictured myself with 3 kids and now have to readjust to only having 2…

  18. fromheretomotherhood May 21, 2013 at 21:27 #

    I relate to this post! I will be 30 when my baby is born, as long as all goes well. However, I have Diminished Ovarian Reserve and was told that clomid wouldn’t be a good choice for me. We were given the options of continuing to try naturally, IUI plus injectables, or IVF. Our RE recommended straight to IVF and we agreed, but while we were on the wait list we got extremely lucky. We feel so blessed to be having this child, but we don’t count on being able to have more. It’s sad because I always wanted 2-3. Even though I have longer to go before advanced maternal age, my eggs are sprinting ahead of my chronological age.

  19. Anna May 23, 2013 at 03:22 #

    I do the math all the time. When I meet someone who doesn’t have kids, I automatically start trying to figure out their age so I can figure out if I have someone in the same boat as me. I do the math for the babies that I should have had. I do the math to figure out how I old I would be if I had just started this process two or four years earlier. How old would I be? Would it have changed anything?

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The Ideal Family | Unexplained Rantings - May 18, 2013

    […] Mo had a post today that got me thinking. It got me thinking about what my ideal family was supposed to be. I run the numbers constantly and it always comes back to the same thing: my ideal family will not happen the way I pictured it. I’m trying to be okay with that but it still gets me. […]

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