The hot and steamy Dear Wednesday February series, Victory and Vulnerability after 30 continues today. First up was the halftime show that reinvigorated women worldwide, followed by the deeply honest and straightforward post on dating post-30. Keep reading on for the third blog in the deeply personal and refreshingly honest series this month. Have a glass of Lambrusco or a dirty martini.... a nice, saucy meal, and, for additional laughs (and honest exchange), phone a friend and read this masterpiece out loud with dramatic effect.
So am I supposed to wait until my hair turns gray? And I don't mean the minimal hair on my head either.
Maybe I’m supposed to continue heeding the advice I’ve heard since I was 12: “Baby he will come when you’re not looking.”
There comes a time in some women's lives where conventional wisdom and the reality of aging (nicely) begin to come to a crossroad. Ok?
There comes a time where the visits to the gynecologist become less about just the normal swabbing and tata exam, and more about the common question “so are you and your partner planning to have a baby?”
Is anyone with me out there? Hellooooo.
Me and my nonexistent partner are planning to have a baby as soon as he shows up… Yep, he’s just a bit late. He got caught in traffic a few years back, and just hasn’t arrived yet.
I blinked and suddenly my uterus was no longer the hottest ticket in town. It was suddenly a signal that something was changing, and I’m not talking about the weather… I’m talking about the courageous conversation that happens on movies, just not in real life and certainly not in my life.
I AM STILL YOUNG.
But that courageous conversation from rom-coms, and thirty-something shows between quirky protagonist and wonky physician was finally happening in real life, to me! To ME! The highly attractive, nerdy, vivrant thang who found a groove that works and doesn’t want to be disturbed for a while collided with the talk. This uterus, leggo my eggo, fallopianistic process is a blessed and beautiful one, but the “you’re getting older” talk is messing up my buzz.
I chose not to sow my royal oats. I’ve been holding out mostly joyfully for a great husband, protector, and provider.
But as I sat with my legs in the stirrups, wide and gaping, for yet another uncomfy procedure… I realized something, the only time I open my legs wide is for a gyne exam, gyne procedure, doing random gladiator squats or hip-opening position in Gentle Flow.
My bed (and couch and kitchen table and floor) are for one.
There’s got to be a better way!
So recently my lovely, effervescent gyne posed a possibility that I, in a Jesus Juke sort of way, wanted to discount immediately. I wanted to literally throw a bible across the examination room for about two seconds.... when suddenly what she said made me take serious note.
Time out: You know when you have your annual at the gynecologist, and you’re just waiting for ZERO phone calls. That’s how you know all is well in the land. No woman wants to receive the call about an “abnormal pap” or anything of the sort. Ugh.
When I turned 35, I was advised to have my first mammogram. Wasn’t bad actually. I was fine. The worst part was the cold slabs I had to rest my jugs on during the exam. I would have appreciated a blanket or cup of Starbucks. Apparently, that’s not standard practice. Doesn’t hurt to leave a review after the procedure. Some music would have been nice. Perhaps even a glass of champagne after… Is that too much to ask? (but I digress)
Ok back to my original story line… In the world of dating apps, we swipe left and right periodically through a sea of non-committal, twisted rejects who barely know themselves and only want unprotected flings. When I decided to quit that time-wasting BS, I poured much of my energy into business, dog, more business, and well… lots of movies. For a moment marriage felt as far away as Antarctica, and the baby part… well I began to ponder the options of adoption (which is still very much a possibility) or just… well nothing (we won’t go there yet)
But, it was when my gyne said, “I am the baby daddy to a lot of professional women like yourself.” That my ears perked up. Huh? What do you mean?
Apparently, there are high-quality sperm banks out there which do not require a simpleton turkey baster (rookie move) or mucho expensive procedures such as egg freezing, invitro, etc.
As my gyne described the process to me, my eyes widened. Apparently my brain was in Kansas, and my body was in Oz.
I have three degrees, several certificates, and I run my own business. I can kick butt in song and history trivia, and I’m a rather good therapist. But, I had no idea or human thought that insemination was an option. Nor did I have any idea that, much like a dating site except without human interaction, a woman can choose a sperm donor from a pretty cool database far far away from her place of residence.
I know what you’re thinking, and I don’t care right now. This is my story to tell.
I spent the large majority of my life in school and working. I mostly skipped out on a lot of clubbing. I didn’t wake up hazy or hung over like some folks (no judgment).
But, with my legs gaping wide in the stirrups, completing a painful uterine biopsy after I skipped a few periods, I began to cry. I wept for the little girl that played house with Barbie and Ken (yes they were my complexion). I wept for the young woman who was told to be patient about love and went about her education and goal crushing like a boss. I wept for the 30-year-old I had once been, deciding to go for the IUD just to get rid of my cycle for 5 years (and yes I kept it in for 5 years). I wept for the 33-year-old whose boyfriend broke up with her at a darn Starbucks after church one Sunday. I wept for the 35-year-old who was ready to build a family and excitedly had the gyne remove the IUD, only to find that the guy she prayed for wasn’t there or here or there or anywhere. False starts kept showing up – some selfish and old who wanted to remain bachelors; others young and dumb who were in love with the idea of me, just clearly not the reality of me.
I wept for the 38-year-old who shaved her hair at the salon because she wanted to and spent the last half of 2019 getting eyeballed by passers-by and cross-examined like a defendant on the courtroom stand by men. Who broke up with you? Why you do that? Are you sick?
I wept because my life was changing, and I needed to stand still for a minute. I even wept because no one cares that I’m abstinent. I don’t get a gold medal or a standing ovation. I get the look. Maybe you’re familiar with the look… the look of “you too old for that nonsense.”
So anyway, my gyne described this insemination “basting (lol)” process and said she has had over a 90% success rate of pregnancy. She did also say that she wouldn’t pay for the kid’s college though, joking vividly. I was really hoping for that. But the kid will get a full ride anyway with my genes.
I asked her, “But what will people think?” Fair question.
She gave me some sage words of wisdom that I’m going to keep to myself. Just know that at 38, even I know that people will think what they want, and they can go do that… over and over… because my life is one life they can not live, no matter how hard they talk, try, and trespass.
This attractive nerd girl who wants a baby, left the gyne with another layer of freedom as she realized she has more viable options than she originally thought.
Wanna read more on the process? Click here.
Makes life more interesting, more robust, and less forced and hurried.
Nope, I’m not pregnant… yet. But I can assure you this, ladies: I am happily contemplating my options. All of them.
After all the womanly "warm fuzzies" we go through monthly, and all the waiting, and all the procedures the older generation never shared, and all the bodily changes and hormonal thrillers… knowing that I’m not done yet fills me with joy.
I am unafraid and unashamed.
So, the next time you’re out to breakfast and the server asks how you would like your eggs, tell him or her, fertilized please, not fried.
Share your gynecological adventures and musings with me to by sending me a message or commenting on this blog. I would love to share your story with other women who want to know they aren’t the only ones. Let me know if you’d like for your story to be anonymous, too. Please, and thank you in advance for sharing.
The more we know, the more we can make decisions that reflect what we desire, not what culture demands.
Have a happy, fertile, freeing, fantabulous Dear Wednesday!
#babyfever #professionalwomen #dirtythirties #fertilizemyeggs #insemination #womenonamission #pregnancyafter30 #forwomenbywomen #embracetheprocess
This Dear Wednesday Letter was hand-crafted by Dr. Joy. Dr. Joy Well, mental health clinician, confidence catalyst, professor, self-sabotage solutions and avid researcher is one of the quintessential experts on the connection between the mind, body, and immune system. Her doctoral work explored the experiences of women of color living with autoimmune diseases and how they function and experience the medical community and beyond. Once a shy, small-town girl with big dreams, Joy has found peace and purpose working with women of all ages to develop a fierce, faith-filled identity, personally and professionally. She is a clinician and entrepreneur in mental health private practice, seeing all ages, backgrounds, and genders. In her spare time, she enjoys music, movies, writing, and getting into mischief with friends. You can find Dr. Joy on social media @captivatingjoy, @drjoywell (like the fb page) and @confidentsoil.