Thursday, January 11, 2007

Something to look forward to

This year I turn 30.

When I was 20 - young, wild and in college - I sometimes thought about what I wanted out of life.
If you don't live a day past 30, what is the one thing you want to have done? Invariable, my answer was 'start a family'.

Not that I would ever say so to my friends. What young women enjoying higher education wants to admit her most burning ambition is to become a mommy? Qualifications not required (though often advantageous).

I wanted to be a young mother. Career first, would have meant delaying a family till 35, 38, 40? I knew about declining fertility in women, even back then. I wasn't prepared to take that risk.

Family first, meant I might never have a highflying career. Once you've left the job carousel, who will let you back on? That, however, was a risk I was willing to take.

This year I turn 30

With the benefit of hindsight, would I make a different choice? No. IF is bad and one of those things that doesn't improve with aging. Being young(ish) hasn't shielded me from infertility, but it's true that I have the option to set a slower pace and defer a decision about adoption until a little later. For that, I'm exactly as thankful as I should be.

This year I turn 30

I had hoped to be heavy with #2 by now. In reality, my chances of being heavy with #1 by the time my birthday rolls around are slim. Or ever?

Meanwhile, I feel I ought to invest my involuntary childfree time in building a career. Instead I can't decide whether I just don't care enough or am just too depressed.

I ought to go out, see movies, plays, expositions, ... and enjoy the good life. For the longest time, I've just wanted to hide. Hide from all the blatant fertility out there.

Seize the day. Something for me to work on.

This year I turn 30

Fortunately, turning 30 in itself doesn't bug me.

So, where were you at 30? Did you have a big celebration?
If 30 is still in front of you, where do you hope to be? Have you started planning your big celebration?


At 11 January, 2007 22:46, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oddly enough, I never set a timeline for myself. I realised time was knocking on (meaning the duration, not my actual age), but I didn't feel any pressure to have a kid or two by a certain age. Ha! Just what I would have needed - even more pressure and feelings of failure.

I'll be 30 in a year and a half. I'm not really bothered. I know that's easy for me to say given my situation, but I don't really see the sense in agonising over getting older. It's going to happen whether I want it to or not. I say that now, but I'll probably have this massive existential crisis when I'm 29 1/2.

I know it's easier said than done, but as I said above, this whole experience is so draining, the last thing we need is added pressure.

My apologies if all of that sounds very obnoxious.

At 11 January, 2007 23:00, Anonymous meri-ann said...

I, too, never set a timeline.

My 30th birthday was awesome, we had an 80's themed party and I have to say it was FABULOUS! I knew that 'one day' I'd like to have children, but I wasn't even married at that point.
I was married a couple of months after I turned 31, then we started ttc when I was 32 (closer to 33)- and I still never felt that time was running out. I do now, I'll be 36 next month and I am starting to feel it, that urgency, the beginnings of panic...

At 11 January, 2007 23:02, Anonymous Meri-ann said...

Oh, I forgot to say I know how you feel about not being bothered with the career, movies, 'doing' stuff and such- I picked up my career again in 2006 after being on hold for a couple of years; and am surprised at how rewarding I find it, how much I enjoy it and the perspective it gives me...

At 11 January, 2007 23:21, Anonymous Margo said...

I definitely had a timeline for myself, but I have sort of given up on it due to IF. However, if I had it my way, I would have at least 2 children by age 30, but that seems like a very lofty goal given our situation.

At 12 January, 2007 00:08, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm another one that never set a timeline - and have also tried never to get caught up worrying about age - IF has obviously made me face it.

At 30 I was single, so that was my main concern. I never wanted to be the desperate single either - and had a fantastic job (not highly paid), had a great social life, loads of friends, was doing extra study and leading an extremely fulfilling life.

Meeting Mr. S was a dream (at 31), it's made dealing with IF so much easier. Maybe because I was so busy/social etc. when I was younger, I have certainly resented having to 'fill my time' now.

Somewhere along the line, my approach has changed - I started looking for solutions - rather than dwelling on problems.

Oh yeah, I got all my girlfriends together on my birthday and had a great time. But in reality I'm really not into big bday celebrations for myself.

At 12 January, 2007 01:25, Blogger My Reality said...

I will be 32 this year. 30 was probably the worst birthday I have had. I just wasn't where I wanted to be at 30. I am not there at almost 32, but I guess I have learned, at least a little, to not stress so much.

I just hope that we have our family before I hit menopause. That isn't too much to ask for, is it?

At 12 January, 2007 01:53, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like you, I thought I'd have 2 kids by then or be pregnant with my 2nd at least. Now, I've just turned 32 and baby 1 is still nowhere to be seen. I never intended to put my career before family. I never even really cared about my career. But since my family building hasn't been cooperating, my career has just built up inadvertantly. Mostly just so I can pay for my family building attempts.

Turning 30, as an event, didn't bother me so much. As a day, however, it sucked... I spent it at the RE's discovering I did not conceive in my 20's. And then I got home and got a phone call from an old college friend who announced his wife was pregnant "and they weren't really trying." Ugh.

I hope your 30th is much, much better.

At 12 January, 2007 05:43, Anonymous Anonymous said...

By the time I turn 30, I want to have 2 children, run a marathon, and have my Master's degree.

I turn 29 in March and since it takes at least 9 months to make a baby (if you are damn lucky and I am not) and at least a few years to complete a master's, I have decided to train for and run a marathon if my 3rd IVF fails in April. Note: the planned order for these events was baby, school, marathon, but since I have spent/wasted over 3 years on the first one I am deciding to mix things up and reverse it.

When people tell me their plan for having children I always chuckle a bit because you can have the best intentions but your body may not agree.

At 12 January, 2007 06:35, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When I turned 30, my relationship with my husband was still pretty new, so we didn't know about our infertility. I did know that just starting a relationship at that age is not where I had expected to be. That birthday is one of the best I've ever had though! He took me for a ski-weekend getaway; we had perfect weather at the two different resorts we skied, and starry skies for our evenings soaking in a natural hot spring pool. Heavenly!

At 12 January, 2007 10:52, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Lut,
Thirty... was absolutely wonderful. I was still with my ex-fiance, so though I didn't want to have children RIGHT THEN, I had in my head the idea that I would maybe start when I was 32 or 33... And I had no reason to believe that it wouldn't work immeadiately, or that we wouldn't still be together.
My career took off massively one month after my thirtieth birthday and I managed to get my absolute dream job. I was incredibly happy.
The birthday itself passed without much note: I was working abroad, so I think I went out to dinner with some friends (on subsequent birthdays abroad I would go out alone to the cinema, followed by an indian meal and a mars bar...).
All in all thirty was great - the crash and fear came at 35 (one year out of 12 year relationship) and the noise of the biological clock... truly deafening, overpowering, all I could think of, I became totally driven by the roar of my hormones.
Thirty, truly, is pretty good.
As for the career.
I put mine on hold around a year ago, and none of my colleauges are really clear what has happened to me. I guess it will go on hold for another two or three years. And it is not easy to get back into, at least in a structured way. I shall probably have to work out a way to freelance...
Thirty really isn't old, Lut. Things may have not turned out as you planned. But you really do have time on your side...
As for the movies and the arts and cultural fun and games, and what have you: it is very difficult to concentrate on anything like that when you are trying to conceive. But at the same time from the age of 34 I began doing things that I thought I might not be able to do when (did not allow myself if) I had children, like visit countries I'd longed to see, just to get it out my system.
It was worth it.

At 12 January, 2007 11:00, Anonymous Kath said...

Dear Lut, yup, that timeline thing never worked for me. I gave it up when I was still unmarried at 34... seeing as I had "planned" (pffffffft) to be finished having children by 30. Ah, how life laughs at our plans sometimes!

I confess that I spent my 30th birthday throwing up. So it wasn't exactly the highlight of my life. Hoping your birthday turns out much, much better than that one!

At 12 January, 2007 11:10, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, those big round numbers. Do you know, I cancelled my last birthday, and if I'm not in a state to enjoy the next one I'm cancelling that, too. Not cancelling, exactly - just postponing. I plan to have them all at once when I'm good and ready.

Who's with me?


At 12 January, 2007 18:11, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Lut, from where I am now, thirty just seems so damn young (but you are allowed to drink, drive and vote, right?)
At thirty, you should not have to be dealing with the crap you have been dealing with. I felt like I was lucky in some ways that I didn't start through all this until I was 39.
I hope turning 30 for you this year is better then what you might expect.

At 12 January, 2007 19:42, Anonymous statia said...

If it helps, I got pregnant at 30, just shy of my 31st bday. So the 30's? Not so bad.

At 12 January, 2007 20:11, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember it clearly.
I was in Florida on holiday with my boyfriend (now husband). I cried my eyes out the whole day because I had imagined that I would be at a different point in my life at 30...married with a baby. And I had neither.
I've made progress on one front but not the other.

At 12 January, 2007 20:45, Anonymous Anonymous said...

ahh 30. I wish. At 30 I was still a couple years away from trying. We had other things we wanted to do first. If we only knew...

At 12 January, 2007 20:56, Blogger Just another Jenny said...

I was at the same place you are when I was turning 30. Infertile and unsure which direction I wanted my life to go. At the time I was planning my wedding so it went by without much fanfare.
I hope that your 30th year treats you well and ends with your dreams coming true.

At 12 January, 2007 23:14, Blogger zhl said...

I was single when I turned 30 and spent 30 days traveling in France, where they call you celibataire. I had a blast. I also turned 20 in France.

I knew that I would get married later than most but did not, of course, think that I would be facing turning 40 this year without children. But the plan is still on to celebrate my 40th in France. Unless of course, I'm too pregnant to travel. Ha!

I think a party, a trip, or something you really want is important to mark these big birthdays. Especially when you don't have what you really want. That's why I made turning 30 such a big deal. That and it was fun.

At 13 January, 2007 00:28, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep, pretty much the same as you. We wanted to have our first child by the time I turned 30. Well, I'm almost 31 now - and at this point, well, I've stopped trying to plan anything. Too much turmoil.

All we can do is make decisions today based on reality, and everything else is just going to happen around us whether we like it or not. Frustrating, but true, especially for us "Type As."

My 30th birthday was this past April, 3 days after our first consult with the RE where we learned "for sure" that IVF/ICSI was our only shot. So, yeah, not really my best birthday.

At 13 January, 2007 00:31, Anonymous Anonymous said...

30 The BIG 3 0. Three decades.

I may be 12mths away from it, but I still hate the sound of it.

I wanted to be a younger parent. I wanted to have my kids before I turned 30.

My parenst were in their mid 30's when I was born & I always hated being one of the people at school, who had older parents.

I have until April. After then, I will be 30 before I have my first.

I suppose the next main birthday after that, is 35.

Oh, please. One way or another, please let me be a parent before I turn 35.

At 13 January, 2007 04:25, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just turned 30... it wasn't a big deal really- though I too had hoped to have my family almost finished... I have 1 and working on 5 yrs of trying for #2.

My plan for my next 10 years to it find myself content with what I have, try (try hard) to not get down because of what I lack.

At 13 January, 2007 11:39, Blogger Millie said...

Wow. 30 seems like such a long time ago now. I met my husband just a few weeks before I turned 30. I wasn't looking and there he was. I had a joint huge, celebratory party with a friend who is exactly 2 weeks older than I. We had a band, helium tanks and lots and lots of jello shots. Sooo much fun.

When I turned 40 I had a sophisticated cocktail party at a champagne bar.

Good times, good times. I wish you very good times on your day as well.

At 13 January, 2007 20:17, Anonymous Anonymous said...

30 in itself isn't bad. It is hitting it without child that can be hard. I remember that ALL too well. My DH and I agreed that we'd have at least one child by 30 when we met in our early 20s. Well, the official IF struggle started with the RE at 27 1/2 years old.

As 30 approached for me I was beside myself. In many ways reading your post reminded me of how I felt then (I am now 31 1/2). I had never felt so depressed about an impending b-day as that one. I think it was that I was going to pass a goal that I hadn't met. I had buried myself in my career as a way to deal with my sadness and while it brought me some happiness I knew it was just filling the time.

So, on my 30th we went out of town with friends. I told my DH I wanted nothing for my b-day and really didn't even want it mentioned. Of course, I was shooting up with follistim for yet another cycle. Well, blessed be that was the cycle that worked. My 16th IUI. I ended up pregnant that very month -- so I guess 30th b-day wishes can come true.

Oh, I do hope that yours will, too.

At 14 January, 2007 22:35, Anonymous Anonymous said...

30 was the last "deadline" I set. Like a year and a half ago. Surely, surely, I'd have a baby by my 30th. And there's NO WAY I won't at least be pregnant.

Well, I turn 30 next month. And there's NO WAY I will be pregnant by then. I'll be lucky to be cycling by then.

I'm not looking forward to it - in fact, I'd like to take a few birthdays back.

I know it's not the end of the world. But it's not where I wanted to be - and it's just another marker on this seemingly endless journey.

At 15 January, 2007 03:39, Blogger projgen said...

30 was a GREAT year for me! Although, if you had asked me 5 years earlier what I pictured for myself at 30, it would have been very different for the reality that ultimately made me happy. I was married, and thought I'd be eventually creating a family with my first husband when I hit 30 (although at 25, the LAST thing I wanted was kids, and wasn't sure if I'd ever really *want* them. Ironic, eh?).

Instead, I was divorced, starting a new career, surrounded by new, awesome friends, all of whom had things in common with me, having a blast, with the whole world in front of me.

30 was great. 40? Now 40 sucked. But not because of the usual. 40 sucked for me because my cycle hadn't worked, and 40 meant I moved off one statistical graph onto another in terms of the odds of IVF working for us.

At 15 January, 2007 12:28, Blogger Thalia said...

30 was great for me. I had a fabulous birthday in a friend's apartment, and my gay exbf came over from california to cook for 30 of my friends. I looked fabulous in a scarlet dress I'd bought the day before on a whim. All was right with my world, despite the fact that I was single. 31 was a lot harder, and 40 has been very difficult.

I hope you get to experience real joy for your 30th.

At 15 January, 2007 19:17, Blogger Twisted Ovaries said...

I didn't have a time line for family either. My 30th was a couple of years ago-my boy arranged for a surprise long weekend in Prague. We had a fantastic time, and it was just what we needed.

At 16 January, 2007 15:52, Anonymous gabby said...

I pouted for my 30th b'day. We had just started ttc but after 4 months off the pill, I had only O'd once. I knew something was wrong. 31 wasn't as bad as 30. It's those darn decade ones that are so tough for me!

At 16 January, 2007 16:35, Anonymous Anonymous said...

30 was great, I was in paris and went to dinner at an incredibly expensive place and walked around the city- i was travelling for work so I ate with co-workers but it was still awesome and memorable to this day. I thought at 25 that I would be finished with a masters at college, married with 2 kids and an amazing career. I have no idea why I thought I could fit all that into such a short time span and at 25 I was no where near that...

At 16 January, 2007 17:45, Blogger Fertile Soul said...

I am sorry you are turning 30 and is not as you wished. 30 is just so young to deal with the prospect of never having children.

I have always a house full of children--naively, i thought a good dozen would be great! So when i turned 30, i began to do the math and realize that my hopes for a big family may not materialize. And then, only one year later, my hopes for a family at all were sent to hell!

Welcome to the 30s. May it serve you well and bring you joy.

At 16 January, 2007 20:56, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm 30 in about 29 days. My husband is throwing me a party but I always wanted to be a young mom. I hope that 30 has some pleasant suprises in store for us all. Best, Tanner


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