The Fork in Road Has Egg on It

Two weeks before my forty-(garble) birthday, Hubs and I had dinner with another couple, visiting relatives from out of town. The discussion led to family, which unavoidably veered into the subject of my BIL and his wife’s pregnancy and that crashed head-on into, “When are the two of you going to have kids of your own?”  I quietly explained our situation and mentioned our pregnancy losses.  I tried to make light of it to avoid bringing the party down.  “Old eggs,” I lamely joked.

A look of confusion crossed the face of one of our dinner companions. “You’re not old,” she replied, “You are my age, right?”  (She is in her mid-30s, so bless her.)  When I told her my age, she said, “Well, you certainly don’t look like it.”   While the thank-you was the first thing that sprang from my lips, my mind mused, “If I were your age, I’d have younger eggs.”

Last week, I found myself bristling at the onslaught of “29 again?” jokes that each birthday inevitably brings.  Every time I heard one, there was a groan deep down inside of me saying, “I wish. Twenty-nine year-old eggs would work.” 

What’s with all the egg on the brain?   Two months ago, I got the news that egg donation is the recommend course of action for me if I want to have baby. It is an option I cannot afford.  (Chalk that one down next to adoption.) 

 Every month I find myself standing at the same fork in the road.  My choices:

  • Persistence  –  Pray that there is a good egg left in there
  • Acceptance – Move on and try to find fulfillment elsewhere

Each month I’ve chosen persistence, but at the same time contemplated preparing myself for the alternative.  Like someone who is trying to quit a bad habit, I keep telling myself, “Just one more. This is the last month.  If nothing happens, we’ll stop.”  Then, I run into the same fork and am forced to make the same choice. 

However this month, my fevered, egg-obsessed mind has been searching for signs.  I am sad to say I’ve found them in the form of statistics. At my age, I have a 1-3% chance of concieving naturally. Around same odds as winning the lottery, and I imagine about the same odds of finding anything that I’m looking for in my purse on the first try. (Among those who beat the odds, one in 33 will have a fetus with a chormosomal disorder  and one in 49 will have a child with Downs syndrome.)  It’s sobering.  It’s sad.  I’m standing here – feeling bereft and broken, contemplating fairness and faith.

I always told myself that the final true road was yet to be determined; that it would either take an act of nature or an act of will, but deep, deep down I held a glimmer of hope that my persistence would be rewarded. That hopefulness has got me feeling a little foolish now.  [Insert the “egg on your face” pun here.]

Would I like a miracle to happen?  Who wouldn’t?  It is likely to?  They don’t call them miracles for nothing.  I think it’s time to head down the other path.  The road ahead is long and difficult, and the destination is not quite as concrete as the other road.  For now I’ll rest here and spend a little time with my dream.  It’s  an old friend, so I won’t rush our goodbyes.

I probably should also take this opportunity to clean out my purse.

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kathleen
    Apr 30, 2012 @ 12:17:14

    “The road ahead (acceptance) is a long an difficult one” . . . . Like the success of your persistence wouldn’t be?

    Don’t rush yourself saying goodbye to your old friend, but it may help to go to wordpress and search the “autism” tag and read a few of those blogs. As they say, the grass is NOT always greener. Please forgive me if I seem harsh, and I apologize if my analogy seems to oversimplify your struggle, but when “life” denies my my dreams, (and it DOES) it helps me a little if I try to imagine what “life” may be “saving” me from.

    And if you are not destined to be a mother, start really looking for what you ARE destined to be. You know – “if you can’t be with the one you love honey, love the one you’re with.” 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

    **Blessings**

    Reply

    • Quasi-Momma
      Apr 30, 2012 @ 13:12:45

      Thank you for your comments. Yes, you’re right their would be lots of difficulties – seen and unseen – if the other road was successful! (Nothing in life is ever certain, and believe me that is something I’ve gathered from my experience.) I think the acceptence road seems daunting to me because the outcome is hazy.

      I think the realization that I’ve come to here is the potential damage I’m doing to myself by holding onto the hope that “it” will happen without considering what exactly a fulfilling life would look like otherwise. I do see it as an opportunity, so there is room for possiblilties. But I think I need to recharge a bit before I tackle that.

      I also need to look at my reasons for wanting a child of my own so badly. I’ve always wanted to be a mom, but right now the desire is heighten greatly. So many circumstances of my life leave me feeling like an outsider: stepmotherhood, pregnancy loss, and now being the only person female in my immediate family without a child of my own. I often find myself thinking that having a child would bridge the gaps in my life. (I realize that might be delusional thinking, but this space is reserved for exploring the good, bad, and the crazy. And there it is: crazy on a platter!)

      The one area I did not touch upon here, but also weighs heavy on my mind is the increased risk for another miscarriage, given my two previous ones. That stacks the stats a little more heavily against me too. If I beat the odds and did get pregnant, Hubs and I often wonder if we could take one more loss. Or, as you pointed out, a child with Austim or Downs. It’s a lot to think about.

      Thanks for the candor and support!

      Reply

  2. l00zrr
    Apr 30, 2012 @ 20:21:39

    My husband and I are in a different boat. We’re trying to decide if having kids is something we actually want. One question we asked ourselves is do we want children so much so we’re willing to risk having a child with mild to severe disabilities. The answer for us was a clear No. I think we all have a dream-family – the perfect marriage, the perfect kids, the perfect life. But this is only a dream. Parenthood is hard, expensive, and sometimes there are very little (if any) rewards. My two cousins are a good example of this – both daughters raised the same way. One is precious and loving. The other is rebellious and harsh. There are NO guarantees, there are no dream-families.

    My husband and I are also in the process of exploring reasons “why we want, and don’t want, kids” – as you pointed out “I also need to look at my reasons for wanting a child of my own so badly.”

    Obviously choosing to not have kids is VERY different than having the choice not be available to you. I think it is easier to count your blessings when you have a choice. But I also think it is MORE important to count your blessings if you do not have a say in the matter.

    I love your blog. You write very well.

    Reply

  3. Mali
    Apr 30, 2012 @ 22:33:38

    I wish I knew what to say to you. At 41, my eggs were too old, and we discovered my tubes were blocked after a pregnancy loss (a year earlier they had been fine), so there was really no choice.

    What I do know is that hopefulness isn’t foolish, but there is a time to turn that hope towards something new, a different hope and a different dream. You’ll know when you are ready. You can’t rush it. But I can tell you that the path over here is pretty good, and the fact that the destination is uncertain is, in some ways, the most exciting and wondrous and hopeful thing about it.

    Reply

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