40 isn’t the new 20 or the new 30

September 18, 2017

So it turns out that 40 isn’t the new 20 or the new 30.  It’s just 40- as in my eggs are now 40.  It doesn’t matter that I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, I don’t do drugs, I’m even a vegetarian.  Eggs don’t care.  I was born with a full supply, and they’ve been with me since then.  But, if you’re a male, you get to make new sperm every couple of months.  That’s right, my spouse’s sperm are three months old, and my eggs are 40 years and two months.

I married at the age of 30 and attempted to make responsible choices.  We wanted our relationship to have been proven strong enough to weather what may come.  We had college and graduate degrees to complete and pay for.  Mostly, we just wanted to make sure that we were staying together.  A lot of relationships don’t make it, and we didn’t want to be a divided family.

All of our boxes were finally checked, we felt ready to move forward, and my eggs and I were 36.  We conceived our eldest Brooklyn without any difficulty.  I assumed that everyone had procreation ease.  I breastfed Brooklyn, she went on a temporary nursing strike (refusal to breastfeed), and my period returned.  I conceived our second child Breelyn.

Breelyn was born full term, healthy, and loved to nurse. And then, at the age of four months, she died of SIDS.  And it turns out that maybe we were right to wait to have children- until we were stable enough to weather the crap that was coming.  Statistics show that many marriages don’t survive the death of a child.  We knew this so we’re in counseling and we’ll continue to be in counseling.  And, honestly, we’re a mess, how can we not be?  But, we’re a mess together, and that matters.

So back to my eggs.  At the age of 39, my eggs, my spouse and his infantile sperm, and I decided to try for another baby.  Again, procreation seemed easy, right up until the appointment where there wasn’t a heartbeat.  And then at the age of 40, my eggs thought that they were ready to try again, and again, no heartbeat.

And so my eggs and I went to a fertility specialist.  We learned that my spouse’s sperm is just super and my eggs are well, still 40.  I’m becoming well versed on lingo like FSH (Follicle-Stimulating Hormone) which gives you an idea of your egg reserve.  Ideal level is under eight, tolerable is under 10, I’m not anywhere near either of those numbers.  Things aren’t looking good.  I’ll have an official appointment with my doctor next week to discuss what my pro-creation future looks like…

But for tonight, my eggs, spouse, super sperm, and I are going to do a bit of crying.  We’re going to be sad that we’ve lost Breelyn, that we’ve lost two pregnancies, and that our back up plan may not work.  We’re going to order some take out and eat some ice cream.  And, in the end, we’re going to circle back to our foundation- that there is always something to be thankful for… even if it’s only that your local sushi place delivers!

  • Summer Porter

    Summer Porter is mom to toddler Brooklyn Dawn and welcomed Breelyn Elizabeth who died of SIDS at age four months. Summer went on to have a pregnancy of twins that terminated with lack of heartbeats. She is a big believer in counseling and in helping others who experience child loss via www.breelynsblanketbrigade.com.

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