Tuesday, September 29, 2009

40 is not the new 30.

40 is not the new 30 when it comes to the beauty and luster of your uterus, fallopian tubes and eggs. This is not a story about Cougars and botox. I wish it was that simple.

My path to motherhood hasn't exactly been flowered with butterflies and rainbows. Trust me, this is not one of those 'poor-me' or 'how my man done me wrong.' tales. I've read too much David Sedaris to recognize that profound truths can be found in dark humor and tragedy. Infertility is heartbreaking. I am forever changed. Despite it all, I am stronger and full of life.

I'm not one to dwell on it, but this story starts with a cautionary tale that involves my somewhat complicated past.

My biological clock went off and I hit the snooze button. It went off again and he asked me to snooze it again. At 38, I knew I was ready. He asked me to wait a year, I agreed. Two years later we dipped our toes into the fertility dark sea lagoon. What a monster.

"They take the short bus," we joked when we found out his sperm swam backwards. My hormones and progesterone levels were just fine. It wasn't going to be easy, but I was determined. Two IUI's later, my fear and sadness was palatable. He spent more time in the mountains, to clear his head from the traffic and smog and everything he hated about Los Angeles.

After the third attempt, I thought I was pregnant. Elated, I shared the news with my fiancee. He looked shocked and terrified "I can't believe it. " he said, and started to sob. It took a pregnancy scare (turns out I wasn't ) for him to finally admit the truth. He didn't want to be a father. Not now. Not ever. Not even with me.

I had hit the snooze button for the last time. I had to wake up and get on with my life. I was 42, my fertility ship had sailed and I was shit out of luck without a ticket.

Or was I?

At the tender age of 43, I decided to adopt. I had a good career and support system. My desire to be a mom was stronger than my desire to find 'the guy.' I was always open to adoption and loved the idea of giving a child a better life. My single friend had adopted from China with great success. I chose a Latin country open to single moms. I was told it would take around 18 months.

I plowed through the exhausting paperwork, fingerprints, IQ test, and home visits required. It takes forever, but when you're done, you're done. And then you wait. And then you wait some more.

I was single. Single with a kid. Well, sort of. And I could write an entire blog on dating with that lump in your throat of 'how the hell do i tell this nice guy this story." But I won't. I thank my lucky stars every day that I have another story to tell.

He came into my life when I wasn't really looking. I was charmed. He was charmed. I conveniently left out my future little someone on our first date. (I wanted that second date) Date two, over home-made risotto (key to divulging awkward tales) and red wine, I simply told him. I spared him the gory details and kept it pretty factual. There was an awkward pause, then he kissed me for the first time. I hate to brag, but I'm told that I'm a great kisser.
I was elated when he called again.

In the early stages he asked me if I could still have children. I answered "Probably not," then mumbled something about 'all kinds of ways to make families," I told him not to waste his time or my time if that was a 'deal breaker." I knew where he was coming from. I feared he would have to let me go. He said, "I'm not going anywhere."

We found ourselves falling in love. He wanted to make a child. His idea. Not mine. The 'trying' was sexy as hell. It brought out a wave of emotions. I knew it wouldn't be easy. It was like pouring salt on a wound, but we we're in it together. A first, for me.

Nearly two years later and three failed IUI attempts, we're still in. We met with the Beverly Hills IVF doctor who kept us waiting for 55 minutes. We were told donor eggs were our only option. I was reluctant at first, he was game for it all. God, I'm lucky.

My adoption is still pending, we're in for as long as it takes. The backlog of waiting parents and children is staggering. The country is a bureaucratic mess and my slimy adoption agency went out of business. It's my other 'Lifetime' movie. It could take up to two more years. Maybe we'll be parents before then. We may start Spanish lessons in the winter.

One child would be incredible. Two children seems like a dream. They'd have each other. They'd share two unique different stories and a bond that's more than biological.

If you're reading this blog you know that we're on to something Hollywood mom's have been hiding for years. Science has given us promise. Egg donors are remarkable women. They have given us the ultimate gift of letting go. It's time to let go of the loss. Let go of the pain.

L'eggo my eggo, it's time for hope.