And the stats here are just numbers I picked up through the years, so I have not annotated my references. I told two friends when they turned 30 to start working on getting pregnant right away based on my experiences. Both got pregnant in their first month of trying and were totally unprepared. So what do I know?)
Annoyed, is what I was. Annoyed with the media, the science, the technology. For years I was under the impression (as was likely a whole generation) that we could really have it all. The education - yup; the job and career – yup again; the marriage/ stable relationship – three for three; and then the baby carriage – still waiting… All in that order. Advances in reproductive technology had allowed women to think that babies were so easily attainable. Coverage of all these remarkable older celebrity women able to give birth well into their late 30s and 40s. Miracle babies to women in their 50's. What a false sense of confidence this gave us.
Fertility rates do plummet after the age of 35; that magic number. But what was little known then, or at least not really highlighted to the uninformed, was that your chances of getting pregnant start falling once you hit your late 20s. In fact, the most “ripe” age for getting pregnant is likely 16 – after that it’s all downhill. There’s a reason for all those teen pregnancies.
Speaking of which, how bitter was I becoming about not being able to get pregnant? All these stupid, stupid (remember, very bitter, often not-too-nice me) young girls getting knocked up at the drop of a hat not only once, but time and again despite all the available contraceptive options, while despite all our finely timed efforts, we were getting absolutely nowhere? Had we really waited too long?
To make matters worse, several of our friends, those who were settling down a little later, even marrying after we did, were getting pregnant. It only got better -- we lived in one of the most family friendly parts of town. Babies were here, there, everywhere; baby boutiques were popping up and strollers were starting to block the sidewalks of our neighbourhood. Even when I tried not to think about it, it was always staring me in the face.
The husband, well, he was never really that caught up in it. He’s the glass half-full guy, a real optimist, and figured that we would become parents, eventually. He’s the one who usually told me to relax, and we all know how effective THAT can be … perhaps at putting your marriage in peril. Obviously without him in the process nothing would have happened, so he really was a great support. We were in this together, whenever I would let him be a part of it. I shut him out a lot as my way of dealing with the frustration. His lack of angst to the same extent of my despair, signalled to me his lack of commitment, which could not have been further from the truth. I needed him more than I would admit. To say infertility can take a toll on your relationship is putting it mildly.
I remember a few months after my physical, at a friend’s New Year’s Eve party, I noticed that a couple of the girls were not drinking. I guessed correctly that they were pregnant. And so after over a year of little or no alcohol, I promptly got myself shit-faced drunk and suffered the consequences by throwing up for only the second time in my life. Vomiting for all the wrong reasons.
I could only hope for a better 1998.
Another music post from another band I "discovered" in 1997 - and I'm crossing my fingers that we'll be able see them this August. Because they are too good. Enjoy.