Sperm: 525 billion; Egg: 0

windsorstar.com

I remember being in the supermarket round about when I was 34 and the kids were 4 and 2.  I could still fit both of them in the little sitting area of the grocery cart and I would soon learn that this containment is what contributed to grocery shopping being a small respite for a couple of glorious years from the everyday hectic schedule that was my life.  I was a very new single parent and my life was consumed with child rearing and making a living so we could be at the grocery store.

A woman approached us in the produce aisle and commented on how cute the girls were.  I must have made some comment about how they kept me busy and life was busy and I was always busy, busy, busy and oh yeah, tired.  Her words to me were this:  Just wait until you’re older and your body no longer produces eggs and you’ve dried up.  You’ll wish that you could have this again so enjoy it now.

Okay crazy lady in the produce section, I thought, something of yours has dried up and it could well be your brain.  I gave a hesitant smile and pushed past her to the mushrooms.

Yet, I’ve never forgotten the encounter or her words.  Here I am ten years later (please don’t do the math) and those two sentences seem to have taken up shop in the recesses of my brain.  I’ll be damned if at least once a day I don’t think about how I’m inching my way toward expiry, soon to cross-over into the reality of empty egg cartons and the void that surely must accompany that, at least for some amount of transition time.

I’m struggling.  There, I said it.  The crazy thing is I don’t think this is even about me wanting to create another child.  Maybe the real crazy thing is that I’m apparently on the fence about the completely insane and idiotic and unlikely idea of producing another offspring.  Let’s put that aside for now.  The biggest part of this whole thing is losing the option and in doing so, saying goodbye to a huge piece of what I associate with my femininity, my being a woman, some of what I perceive as making me valuable, dare I say, desirable.

I’m really hoping for the guys to ring in here and say “hey moron!!!”, women are not desirable to us because they can reproduce.  They’re desirable because they’re soft and curvy and young.  Rats.  I guess I’m failing here on a couple of levels.

Enough about the guys though, I’m actually pretty interested in what other women are experiencing.  I know several women who have had a kid or two or three and can say without a shadow of a doubt that they’re done. No how, no way are they having any more children.  D-O-N-E.  They’re glad they’re reproducing is over with even if they have ten or fifteen more years of fertility ahead of them.  They say it loud and proud.  I never quite understood the proclamation.  That absolute certainty line has always been a wavy one for me.  Having said that, I haven’t gone out of my way to have another child.

I also know women who have chosen not to have children or who have not had children due to circumstances.  Does the clock tick as loudly and as ominously for them?  Is post-fertility a welcome stage?  I think every one of us struggles at one time or another with aging but as women is hard to ignore that a large part of what makes us biologically unique is taken away, like it or not.  Bam.  Here’s a hot flash instead, sucker!  Wouldn’t it be more fair if at least at say age 50 penises rolled up like the wicked witch’s legs when the house landed on her?  We aging women would at least have a nice pair of ruby slippers to look forward to.

Nope, I don’t like it.  I don’t like it at all.  Aside from saving tons of money on sanitary products I’m not quite seeing the upside.  Yet.  I’ve heard other women speak about post-fertility as a wonderful, creative time – a new chapter in their life.  Hmm.  I’m just a wee bit skeptical, a wee bit freaked out, and a wee bit pissed off at the psychic from the grocery store.

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13 thoughts on “Sperm: 525 billion; Egg: 0

  1. I do not want to have another child, but I still feel a profound loss, even after four years, that I absolutely cannot. I have no choice, and that happened sooner because of medical reasons rather than later for biological reasons. I have found though, that for that piece lost there is a peace gained. I hope you find that someday too.

  2. I obviously can’t comment from a woman’s perspective, but the ability to reproduce is not something I’ve ever had a list of qualities to look for in a woman. What matters to me is what’s in her heart, and who she is as a person.

  3. I think what you feel is perfectly natural. Just so you know, I’m coming at this from ‘the other side’, so to speak. When the time came and the eggs turned themselves in to the hot flashes, insomnia and temporary memory loss, it was not an easy thing to experience or accept. Some women sail through without experiencing any of these symptoms but I have to think they are still acutely aware of what has occurred in their bodies and what it means.

    I would be very surprised if those women who have entered menopause and who had earlier determined, no kids, or no more kids, didn’t at least think about what this biological change means: ‘definitely no more biological kids for you”. Still, I think they may have the advantage of having found peace with their decision early on and went on to have, hopefully, built a life that is filled with many other of life’s blessings.

    Having gone through the ups and downs both physically and psychologically, I am happy to report that I have come out the other side, and am very happy with my life. Me: I’m a Mom of 1 now grown young man. I do have grandkids now and that has definitely sweetened this time in my life. Also, their father, (my son) is a joy to behold as he embraces his role as “Daddy”. Additionally I’ve now have the time to do so many things I never had the time to do when I was raising a son and working full-time. While those “things” may not seem to equate to the joys of motherhood, you just may find later on, when it’s your turn, that it’s not about the face value of things but what those other things stir up inside of us.

    Just know there are many more good and meaningful things to come, even if you can’t see them right now.

  4. I think your feeling are perfectly natural. As for myself I am forty (exactly). I have not started menopause and no matter what people tell me I do not want to …ever. lol. I hate the women’s time of torture each month but, I will take it over menopause. Anyway, I have had my tubes tied and knew I did not want anymore kids at the age of 23yrs. I have been happy with that decision the years after but have recently just felt conflicted because I am not finally married to someone I dearly love like crazy (5 yrs. now). He is younger than me and has never had a child and I know he would like to. It is really hard–I feel torn of wanting one and now I can’t to being glad I can’t. Frustrating. By the way the penis’s rolling up was too funny.

    • I think as women we are naturally designed to be more aware of our bodies, our choices, and the stages of change and aging than men. I think satisfaction is a moving target that we may occasionally visit but then find ourselves separated from again.

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