Friday, September 29, 2006


Today is my birthday. Thirty-five.

My ovaries are in lockdown to prevent any eggs from trying to make a run for it, via my bellybutton. Because according to the literature, 35 is when they head for the hills.

I am not one of those people who trumpets news of her birthday to everyone in the village. Nor am I one who gets mopey and depressed (about birthdays anyway. Were this to fall during PMS, Al Roker's birthday could make me mopey and depressed).

I do have some thoughts, though. Some are birthday related, most are not.

My sister's and brother in law's best friend was killed on my husband's birthday. He is being laid to rest on mine. My sister was really saddened when we figured that out, but I just said to her, "He'll always be a part of our family."

I have a friend, a best friend, that I first met while doing prenatal water classes at the local Y. Six months after our babies were born, we began a friendship that was decidedly centered around the rigors of breastfeeding, the torture of sleep deprivation and the vehement objection to letting our babies cry. There were weeks that I would see her five days out of seven. We would meet at the mall just to get out of our houses when our eyelids had to be propped open. We shared encouragement when trying to teach our babies to eat solid food without losing our sanity. I cried with her as her baby went through some emotionally and physically painful testing to make sure she didn't have a swallowing disorder, when the solid foods took longer to master than expected. We took our toddlers on a train ride to a neighboring town, then laughed hysterically as she flashed her breast to an unsuspecting commuter while nursing. She has cried with me through my three miscarriages.

Last Saturday, on my husband's birthday, she had her second baby.

It has not been as hard as I would have thought. Recently, I had the chance to speak to her over the phone, and she admitted that when she came home from the birthing center (a mere twelve hours after delivering) she did nothing but cry. She was, and still is, overwhelmed. And I put myself in that situation, mentally, and think, maybe the universe knew that I wouldn't be ready to have another at this point. Small consolation.

I am excited to meet her new little one. But something saddened me when we got off the phone. My friend said, "Take care." Take care. As is going to be a long time until we see each other again.

It's not such a bad comment, and maybe we won't see each other for a couple of weeks. Not only do I have to take into consideration her exhaustion factor, but on top of that she is typically a nervous wreck about babies, germs, infection, etc. So, she is probably not willing to let anyone near her new baby yet.

But in those two words, I guess I felt the wide chasm between where she is and and where I stand. There is an inexplicable gulf between us. It isn't anyone's fault. It just is.

I was pregnant before her last fall, and I wanted so desperately for her to get pregnant, so that we would have each other's support again. But, she and her husband weren't quite ready. Actually, she wasn't, considering the generous dose of morning sickness she gets when pregnant.

Then, all of a sudden I realized she was talking about folic acid. A lot. She was pregnant and hadn't said anything to me because of my loss. I was excited for her to be pregnant. But, I just had to grieve another unexpected loss...that dream of being pregnant at the same time and all it meant to me.

I know, it's a small thing. But that's what I find with miscarriage. It hits you at odd and often inappropriate moments. Like, going to the dentist and being able to get x-rays, when you thought you wouldn't be able to.

So turning 35 has the same effect. I'm happy. I'm okay with being 35 (although I still don't know who thought it was a good idea to put me in charge). But, I was supposed to have a baby by this time. Now, I'll be lucky if I have another child (at all!) by the time my next birthday rolls around.


At 10:25 AM, Blogger Kathy McC said...

Happy Birthday, Casey. I hope this year brings wonderful thing your way...

At 11:00 AM, Blogger DD said...

Why does it seem that the ovaries go into retirement at this time? Lazy bitches.

Happy Birthday, dear Casey. The best part of the day is having your little one sing "Appy Birday" as they stare lovingly at your cake.

At 11:31 AM, Blogger Twisted Ovaries said...

Happy Birthday!

It's always bittersweet when people we love go on to have little ones, while we're still at the starting gate. But you're not alone in feeling happy/sad, sweets.

At 12:05 PM, Blogger Erin said...

Happy birthday to you, Casey.

I hope that the chasm between you and your friend is actually much narrower than you believe. I always say "Take care" to people when I get off the phone, whether I'll see them in a day or not for months, but I just started doing it a few months ago. Maybe your friend is doing the same thing.

And I hope that not another birthday goes by without another child in your arms.

At 1:40 PM, Blogger Hetty Fauxvert said...

First: Happy Birthday, Casey! I hope this year brings you and your family happiness -- maybe not perfect happiness, since who ever gets that? -- but lots of happiness all the same.

And I'm so sorry about your family friend. That is truly awful. I think it will take a long time to change *all* of society's attitude toward drunk driving, but it is indeed changing. Slowly, but changing.

At 12:19 PM, Blogger kati said...

Happy Birthday, Casey!

I tried to get pregnant at the same time a good friend did (our first kids are the same age). She succeeded. Right after she gave birth a year ago, it was a difficult time for our friendship. She needed support that I couldn't honestly give her. Things have got better now. But it's not easy, obviously not for us, but also for our friends.

have a wonderful birthday.


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