I cried when I talked to my midwife in September. She’s good. She handed me the tissues so fast that I didn’t even see her reach for the box. And she understood. It wasn’t that I was scared or unsure about what we were discussing. It was that this isn’t how it was supposed to be. This was my back-up plan, my Plan B, my “if I’m still single when I’m thirty” plan. Well, thirty had come and gone before I was ready for it. I’ve given eHarmony more money than I care to think about.
(Allow me a brief tangent about online dating. I’m getting a little sick of hearing the ads that proudly proclaim that one in five couples meet online. You know what that would be in any other realm? A failing grade. You don’t buy a toothpaste if only one in five dentists recommend it. I’m happy for that 20% of the population. My brother met my delightful sister-in-law that way. I have many friends who met their spouses that way. But I also have many friends like me. And many friends who met their spouses in some other way. So if one in five couples meet online, how do the other 80% meet? You know, the majority of them. But I digress.)
I know that 35 is the magic number. This is not to say that women can’t and don’t get pregnant after that, but both the science and the math make me want to do this before I’m 35. I turned 33 in June. It takes nine months to grow a baby. Who knows how many months it will take to conceive one?
So here I am. I’m single, and I’m content to remain so. If I meet someone, great, but I’m going to keep living my life my way. And I know that I can do this because I have an amazing family, both of biology and of choice. My child will have tons of surrogate aunties and uncles. My child will have great-aunts and great-uncles, nonnas, gpas, omas, and grandpas. My boss has already asked if he gets to be great-uncle to my not-yet-conceived child. My mother’s friends are making sure that I know they are only a phone call away. One of my aunts has even pronounced that sometimes it’s easier without a man (and this from a woman who’s been married to my uncle for 30+ years).
I know I have a support system, but that doesn’t make it easier to stop tearing up. My plan was quite traditional. I’d meet someone. We’d get married. We’d have a baby. Sure, I’ve always said that I’d go ahead and have a baby if those first steps didn’t happen, but that was Plan B. It wouldn’t really happen. Yet there I was, asking my midwife if this was something she could help me with and what we needed to do. And she is good. I expected my friends to be completely supportive because it was something we’d talked about off and on over the years. But as intimate as a relationship with a midwife might be, she’s not someone you really get to know on a personal level. She was not only supportive but excited about the prospect. In fact, she tells me the do it “all the time” at their office. She explained the procedure, suggested books and websites, and wrote me a prescription for pre-natal vitamins. (They’re free at Meijer if you have a prescription.)
And the six months of waiting began. Or rather, the six months of waiting began about a month later. I had some work travel, and since I was still on the Pill, I might as well hold off on my period until that was done. On November 1, 2011, the six months of waiting began. I stopped taking my birth control pills, started taking my pre-natal vitamins, and prayed my periods would behave better than they ever had in my life.