When you're trying to conceive, it's common sense to undergo a full medical exam. Part of that exam may include fertility testing, which I went through so I could know what my uterus looked like, what my egg reserve was, and to ensure I was STD and disease free. As you can imagine, that exam is stressful (to say the least). I couldn't help but wonder if (and hope that) the thoughts going through my mind were things every woman thinks during her fertility testing (hello solidarity) and since I'd sworn off the internet until my results came back, I had no way of knowing for sure.
Being in my mid-30s, I fall into the category of advanced maternal age. While that category doesn't mean people are giving up their seats for me on public transit (or that I'm having dinner at the early bird buffet) it does mean that, because I'm over the age of 35, getting pregnant might be harder for me than it is for younger women, according to the Mayo Clinic. There are so many things I adore about being in my mid-30s: increased self-awareness, the ability to apply the perfect winged eyeliner, mind-blowing orgasms, and pretty much never having to do a keg stand for attention again. However, this whole "advanced maternal age" thing doesn't sit all that well with me.
Still, since this is the only body I've got and I want to have a live birth, I've decided to go along with it and embrace my "maternal age" like the self-possessed woman I am. As any chronic worrier will tell you, the more information you're essentially armed with, the less you tend to stress. Or, as Bob tells Charlotte in the film Lost In Translation, "The more you know who you are, and what you want, the less you let things upset you." So I got probed, and had my hormones tested, all in the name of knowing exactly who I am and all while the following things ran through my head:
You Think Of Your Body As Separate From Your Identity
I'm a kid at heart. My eggs, not so much. In fact, I found out that I'm an average egg. I scheduled my exam when I was ovulating, and not only did my ovaries appear on screen, so did the eggs they were producing. Each side produced six during this cycle, which my physician said was "average" for a woman my age.
But wait, does that mean I'm average? Oh my god? I started to feel like my body was working against me.
You Remember Your Body Is Part Of What Makes You A Unique Individual
Talking myself off the ledge, I realized that, hey, average is not bad. Not only that, but my body is mine, and I've been inhabiting it my entire life. Anxiety, depression and a depersonalized view of your body is an actual psychological disorder called Depersonalization Disorder, according to WebMD.
When undergoing fertility testing, it's tempting fall into traps that insist your body and mind are separate which, of course, they are not. Now might be a good time for some yoga, merging the union between body and mind.
You Self-Shame For Not Having Children When You Were Younger
If only I'd had children in my 20s when, according to the American Association for Reproductive Females, is a woman's most fertile years. Why did I wait, again?
You Remember All The Reasons You Postponed Motherhood, And Validate Your Choices
Oh, I waited because it took me a while to settle into myself; because I took years fulfilling my childhood dream of writing a novel; because I attended graduate school; because I spent time as a party gal, making up for my nerdy college years. Most importantly, because I wasn't ready to be a mom. Phew. OK. I'm solid.
You Curse Yourself For Every Occasional Smoke, Drink, And Fast Food Binge
I should not have indulged in a hedonist lifestyle. What did I do to my egg reserve by treating my body like life was one big party?
You Remember That Everything Is Fine In Moderation
Medical Daily reported that quitting drinking for one month can repair liver damage. Obviously, if you have an issue with alcohol or any unhealthy habits, you should discuss your condition with a physician. But the good news is, living a life in moderation is key to optimal health. Fit Pregnancy recommended eating healthy as soon as you find out you're expecting. So, give your former party girl self a break.
You Get Jealous Of Everyone On The Street Pushing A Stroller
Mommy-envy is likely going to happen when you're going through your fertility testing. According to Parents, even Blake Lively has mom-envy. Great. Like that's supposed to make me feel better?
You Remind Yourself That Someone Else’s Fertility Has Absolutely No Effect On Yours
Oh, wait a minute. Not only is envy linked with despair, according to PsychCentral, it's illogical in this case. Someone's ability to conceive has 100 percent no effect on yours. It's just that simple.
You Get Furious At Every Platitude That Has Nothing To Do With How You’re Feeling
If I hear the platitude, "It will happen when you least expect it," or, "What's meant to be will be," I will get angry-Beyoncé on your ass. Sorry, but there are things women trying to conceive just don't want to hear. During my fertility test, those things ran through my head nonstop, maybe because I feared they were true.
You Decide However You’re Feeling Is OK
But then I took out my imaginary bat and smashed those platitudes like they were car windows and I was actually Beyoncé. I'm going to be a mother; I just know it. So however I'm feeling now, will pass in time.