Day Twelve: Too Much Time to Think

Well, I am plodding along through this extended cycle, faithfully taking my birth control pills and awaiting my go-ahead ultrasound at the end of the month.

Don’t think I am not ACUTELY aware that I am also getting ever closer to my fortieth birthday. I dread it like the plague. And it’s funny, I don’t dread forty because of my age; I still look and feel much younger, and anyway, I always looked forward to my forties. No, rather I dread the reaction of OTHERS to my forties. Because it’s socially unacceptable to be a pregnant woman, let alone a first-time mom, after the age of forty.

I sometimes think about packing it all in right now and just adopting. Because adopting is slightly more okay at my age than giving birth. People are much more forgiving if you bring home an adopted child when you are over forty. First off, they look at you with your different-coloured baby and they feel pity–“Oh poor woman, she just couldn’t have children of her own, so she adopted”–and so that gets you away with a little bit. They still make rude comments about the colour of your child’s skin, or “jokey” comments about how much (NOT! is of course implied) he or she looks like you, but you take things one step at a time because you have your child and that is all that matters. But also, there’s the whole charity angle, like you’ve gone and rescued the youth of some unfortunate nation, and oh, aren’t you just a giving person for doing that? Please. It has nothing to do with charity. What it DOES have to do with is holding a baby in your arms, knowing that they are YOUR child, having them call you “mom”, smelling their baby smell and all the other romantic notions of motherhood. It just so happens that your baby happened to be born somewhere else. You carried them in your heart, not in your body, but otherwise, they are yours. Charity schmarity.

But being a woman over forty and giving birth? Oh no. That is somehow WRONG. It is RUDE. It is SELFISH. It is WEIRD. God forbid you should be taken seriously like any younger first-time mom. God forbid doctors should give you and your very real fears and your questions and your problems the time of day because they think you MUST have done this a few times before. God forbid the younger parents of your child’s classmates would understand the love you have for your child, instead of making mean, hurtful comments to their child or, worse, within earshot of yours, that “Tommy has an OLD MOMMY” or “How DARE she bring a child into the world at HER age? She’s going to DIE before that poor child gets through high school.” Do I really want to put everyone through that?

Sure, if I were rich and a beautiful actress, then it would be perfectly fine. I would have money and nannies and good looks and all that to make sure my child is okay when I am old. Celebrity moms over forty are celebrated for their “baby joy”. Celebrity moms don’t really have an age, anyway, because once they were 25 or 30 in a movie that you loved, so they will always be young. God, how I wish I had that luxury. But I do not. I am a young-looking 39, soon to be 40, and I do not have nannies and a beautiful image of me on celluloid to comfort my child through my old age. I just have me.

So this extended cycle has given me much time to think about all these things. And the fact that it is longer than all the other cycles is like the ultimate torture, because I feel time rushing by me like a bullet train. I am powerless to stop time, as I would be to stop the train. I just have to stand firm against rushing wind, against the dirt and the garbage and the leaves it blows at me as it thunders by, and resolve to not let them get to me.

12 thoughts on “Day Twelve: Too Much Time to Think

  1. Regardless of your age (really, is it that big a deal to people, they need to mind their own damn business), you will be one of the most awesome moms to ever walk the earth. Who cares about forty? And really, tomorrow is promised to no one. I had my first child at 26 and I could die before my kids graduate. Poo! Poo on those who would be rude because you’ll be an older mom. I’ll kick their asses!

  2. I know it’s not quite the same, but my dad was 44 when I was born. He was a MUCH better parent to me than he was to my four siblings. You are going to be a remarkable mother regardless of age. We may have to get an ass-kicking party together to come up to Canada if anyone says anything about your age.

    (And most of those actresses having kids over forty do it with donor eggs and in-vitro. It sucks that that little fact is not publicized as much.)

  3. Well, you KNOW what I think. I’ve already compiled my list of replies to insensitve comments. We’ll practice on them together.

    As far as the adoption goes, I don’t think it is charity. I think that out there somewhere is your child. Maybe not even born yet, and it is fated that you will travel a great distance to bring that child home. As would any parent. So, no – you aren’t doing it for some global message about the status of children in some poverty stricken country. You’re doing it because that is where your child is waiting for you.

    Personally, I cannot WAIT.

  4. Well, fuck anyone who wants to be mean simply because you’re not bearing children at a socially acceptable age. If something horrific should happen to me and The Captain, our daughter would be lucky to be raised by you.

    I know I don’t say this enough, but if there’s anything I can do to help out during all of this, please let me know. I have free long-distance, yo.

  5. Thank you. The support you guys bring always grounds me. It is so easy to lose perspective sometimes. I dwell too much and to often on those people around me who are judgemental and negative. GAH. I have to stop dreading the comments and the judgements of my family and my neighbours and strangers who should not matter to me. Especially my family.

    I’m sure once I go to the adoption information meeting, things will change. I’ll be able to see all the others who are just like us, and talk to the people who’ve been through it, and it will give me a much more balanced perspective. At least, I hope so. Kelly and I have talked many times, talked for hours about the prospect of adoption, and it was all positive. Just positive thoughts. That’s what I need to remember. Family and strangers be damned.

    I personally am looking forward to the day when Kelly verbally bitch-slaps The Mayor. Oh and Kelly? Add The Trophy Wife to your list as well.

  6. You know, the more I think about it, the more I realize that people are going to complain no matter what. “They” will always think that their way is better. You’ll always either be too young or too old to have a baby. Your decisions will never be the right ones for these people. Fortunately, these people will not be raising your baby. So, while in the grand scheme of things, someone may say something, it’s only going to be for that fleeting moment. People are going to ask stupid questions whether you adopt or give birth. The wonderful thing is that you have a good attitude and quick wit. They will never know what hit them.

    (I’m already coming up with retorts to the “where’d you get that baby” comments I’ll probably get. We already know the baby looks Asian.)

  7. I hope, that if someone asks “where’d you get that baby” while you are shopping, you will say “in the produce aisle, amongst the cabbages. They’re on sale this week.” And then walk away.

  8. DUDE. No kidding. One moment, you’re picking up your apple-cheeked little daughter, the next? Trying to help her “twin”, 42-year-old Bernie, out of the barcalounger.

    Just goes to show you, always check the “best before” date BEFORE you put an item in the cart.

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