By Shanti Ray
As September is nearing I am so dreading turning thirty-five.
You’d think I’d be jumping for joy; I’m single but dating, no children, an entrepreneur, a freelance writer, working on my first novel, own car and house. Sounds good on paper right? All of that is great, but my greatest joy would be to experience motherhood.
And the closer that I get to thirty-five the scarier it becomes.
In August 2007, I lost my daughter during pre-tem labor in my fifth month of pregnancy.
During a routine doctor’s visit, I was getting an ultrasound to determine the sex of my princess, and my doctor revealed that my cervix was beginning to peak. It was my first pregnancy so I was absolutely clueless as to what this meant.
Nothing could’ve prepared me for that moment.
Fear, anxiety, and guilt took over because I didn’t know what to expect, or if I was the cause. Appointments were prepped with specialists for the following week and I went home to deal with my emotions. Three days later, while on a trip to the bookstore to purchase books to read to my princess while she was still in my womb, my water broke. I was rushed to the hospital… my vitals were taken… reality kicked in, that my princess might not make it.
I prayed… cried… And I prayed again…
Doctors and nurses came in and out of the room for three days… And then... No heartbeat, no movement, no fluttering in my tummy… I was saying goodbye to my princess long before I had the opportunity to say hello.
No one prepared me for this…
Since then, I’ve run in the opposite direction of commitment. Scared to love again, scared to get emotionally attached, scared to have sex, scared to get pregnant, and scared to go through that experience again. I’ve prayed about it, meditated, sought counseling, consulted with my OBGYN... But I am still SCARED!
In a most recent visit to the OBGYN I addressed my concerns about motherhood again.
As she discussed the risks and the age factor, my emotions kicked in. That’s when I realized that experiencing motherhood would be critical for me. It was definitely time to rethink my options.
Once home, I started researching articles on freezing eggs, artificial insemination, surrogacy, and adoption. I must admit a lot of the articles were quite scary. Three months away from thirty-five and this is what I have to face? The fertility possibility rates drop; then there is the increased likelihood of miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies, chromosomal problems, birth defects, chronic diseases (high blood pressure/diabetes), and premature deliveries. Whew, that’s more than enough to take in, especially when I’ve already experienced premature labor and a battle high blood pressure.
Now can you understand why turning thirty-five scares me? I’m so glad that I have an OBGYN that cares… That’s sensitive… That specializes in high-risk pregnancies… That educates her patients…
Ladies it is imperative that you stay educated about your health! Ask questions, and know the risks before trying to have a baby!
In the meantime, I pray that turning 35 won’t end my chance to experience motherhood.
Shanti Ray, aka Knocking on 35’s Door
Shanti Ray is a writer, entrepreneur, and community service advocate who holds an MBA and is currently working on her first novel; check out her latest work at: www.iamsimplyshanti.com.
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