Reruns and Leftovers

One In A Million

Two years ago this month, I wrote my first blog entry.  The second I hit the publish button for the first time, I thought “I’m done, I have nothing more to say.” And yet, here I am, two years later.  I had no idea there was so much to say about poop and boogers.

In honor of my two year Blogversary, I am rerunning my first ever post. 

* * *

I once saw a cross-stitched pillow in a craft booth store that read “Grandma’s Are Just Antique Mommys”. I am not a grandma. I am a 47-year-old mother of a 3-year-old. I am an antique mommy.

Some of my friends who are also not 25 and have toddlers are bothered by my use of the word “antique”. I don’t find “older mother” to be any more flattering. How about “senior” or “mature” or “youth challenged” mother? I am what I am and I am not a young mother.

I went through my 20s and most of my 30s not ever intending to have a child. I had never really been that fond of babies, although I did start to get an unexplainable yearning when I stepped over that 30-year threshold. Even though kids in general terrified me and I knew nothing of the care and feeding they seemed to need so much of, something happened in my heart and I found myself looking whistfully at women with children. Nonetheless, I just couldn’t see myself in that role and my husband made it clear from the begininng that he didn’t really want kids.

Well, there is another saying that goes “Man plans and God laughs” and that is pretty much what happened to me. I had a very nice life going for myself — a husband that I adored and a nice house, friends, travel, blah blah blah — and then I found myself widowed at 34 very very suddenly.

It was two years before I emerged from the foggy anesthesia that is grief only to discover that I was 36 and alone. The women I saw strolling their children made me feel even more alone. 36. Too young to go through the rest of my life alone and I felt too old and damaged to start dating again. Single groups? I’d rather have eaten thumbtacks. So eventually I ate a few thumbtacks and went to a singles group at my church. Unlike Stella, there was no getting my groove back. Didn’t even want my groove back. I wanted my old life back.

So I came up with another plan that I would be single for the rest of my life and that would be that. Then a family moved in down the street. They knew a very nice man who was single and they knew I was single and they invited him to a neighborhood gathering. And I swear to you, the second I saw him I knew that I had found my tribe. I was 36 at the time and he was 39. We dated for two years and then married. You do the math.

We started trying for children immediately with no luck — which was amazing to me because it never occured to me that I wouldn’t get pregnant immediately. After all, I had spent nearly the previous 20 years trying not to get pregnant. After six months, a good friend who is a fertility nurse advised us to consider infertility treatment. And again, we had a plan. Ha! We would only do invitro, but we would not under any circumstances consider donor eggs or surrogates or anything like that. We would just do what we could do semi-naturally and if after that, we had no luck, we would accept that. The funny thing about desperation though is that those lines you draw in the sand shift and move the more desperate you get.

Anything that could be incompatible with conception was me. First it was the fibroids. Three tennis ball-sized fibroids. Which, again, was amazing to me because I’m not that big of a gal to be packing a can of tennis balls and not know it. Anyway, I said to the good doctor, Fine! You just go in there and takem’ out. I may have even snapped my fingers at the end of that sentence. So that is what he did — four months later after a trip down Lupron Lunacy Lane. Lupron shrinks the tumors to make the surgery less traumatic to the uterus, and apparently it shrinks your brain in the process rendering you nuttier than a fruitcake.  But I survived and recovered from the surgery and figured I’d have my baby by fall. I was certain it was all going to be worth it very soon.

Post op, I had an HSP that revealed that I only had one open tube.  Not good news, but the doctor said with invitro we could get around that. Then we found out I had a septum in the uterus that had to be removed. Yet, another surgery.

Finally, a year and half later I was ready to actually start the infertility program. I got lessons from the nurse on how to give myself the injections, three different kinds of needles, several times a day, I pee’d in cups, I gave vial after vial of blood, I drove back and forth to the hospital several times a week and finally the day arrived to see how many precious little follicles (future eggs) I had created!! Two. How many did they want to harvest? 15. I was a tad bit short. After all the surgery and all the waiting and praying and all the drugs I could not make an egg. I was now 40 and I had no eggs. That was just great.

The doctor correctly advised me to cut my losses and move on with my life. Perhaps adopt. With one tube and no eggs, he said I had a “one in a million” chance of conceiving. I sat on the edge of the paper covered table sobbing into the hospital gown until there was just sobbing and no tears.  One in a million.

I couldn’t believe after all that, it had come to this. The coming days brought a river of tears at the least unlikely times and nothing consoling could be said. Several weeks later, we made an appointment to talk to another doctor about donor eggs. The line over which we would not cross had just moved. After that appointment, we didn’t really make a decision other than to just stop for a while and lick our wounds.

So, I made yet another plan. I would have a wonderful life with my wonderful husband and wonderful home and we would travel to wonderful places and have wonderful things and it would all be…  (sob sob) wonderful. In the meantime I could not look at a pregnant woman let alone go to a baby shower. It seemed like everyone I knew was getting pregnant and I was beyond bitter.

Cut to three years later. I’ve enrolled in a graduate program to prove that I’ve gotten on with my life. I’m visiting my OB/GYN for my annual check up and I tell her I’d like to have a hysterectomy. I’m now 43 and hopelessly infertile, so what good is a uterus to me? She is open to that but hands me a prescription for birth control pills to help with the irregular and heavy periods until we can get the surgery scheduled. I take the prescription and stuff into the bottomless pit that is my purse never to be seen again.

Two weeks later, I’m realizing that I don’t feel quite right and that I haven’t had a period for some time, which was not all that unusal. Nonetheless, I go to the grocery store and pick up a pregnancy test just for the heck of it. I don’t really think I’m pregnant. I’ve probably spent a thousand dollars on those stupid tests and have never even come close to getting a positive. I take the test and it is immediately, unquestionably, and without a doubt positive. I could not believe it. Could. NOT! Believe. It. Something must be wrong with this stick. It must be broken. I just stared at it for several minutes. Then I re-read the directions about ten times. I even tried to read them in Spanish. Yes, hold the stick down, I did that. Pee on it. I did that. Put it on a flat surface. Did that. Finally I realized that I was pregnant.

Change of plans.

And that is how I became an antique mommy with all it’s mostly joys and sometimes challenges.  In the process, I learned so many things, like how to trim itty bitty fingernails while wearing bi-focals, but primarily that God’s arm is not too short, even for someone like me

And not to make so many plans.

75 thoughts on “One In A Million

  1. I love to hear stories that show how He does love to surprise us!!! You’re especially right about the making “plans” that He just laughs about!

    Happy anniversary! I’ve been enjoying your blog for some time now, have just never commented!

  2. Happy Anniversary indeed! I’ve read this twice now and both times it left me all teary and joyful. I love God’s surprises… they are better than anything my mind ever comes up with. As an antique mommy myself, I will never forget the moment I held that first little sonogram photo in my hand and saw my name and AMA emblazoned across the top. Giddy and shaking from the experience of seeing my tiny lil Bean for the first time, I commented, “Ooops you left the M off of MAMA.” “Oh that’s not for Mama, honey. That’s for Advanced Maternal Age.” Pleasant!

  3. God’s plan is not always what we think it should be, but it is always His plan…we have to remember that. Nothing can be taken for granted. Sean will always know how special he is, and how hard you fought to bring him into this world.

  4. Wow, happy 2 year blog anniversary! What a touching story, thanks for sharing it. What a good reminder that God’s plans are not our plans and He is good!!

  5. I discovered this post during one of my early visits to your site. It does much to explain your zest for life and your overwhelming love for your sweet Sean. I am blessed to be able to read these words again. Happy Anniversary! You are a delightful part of the Blogosphere.


  6. Girl,
    How many ways can one spell B O O K?
    I am teary eyed at the end of the post, and once again thanking Him for how glorious and wise a father He is to us.
    Have a blessed and beautiful weekend.

  7. well i guess i’m an antique mommy too! medical problems caused me to have a delay in having children after my 1st 2 came along. then i had them once a year! i’m 43 with a 3 yr old, a 4 yr old , a 5 yr old and a 7 yr old plus my older two. 🙂

  8. Wow, I am so glad you reposted this. I can see how much you love your son in your daily post, but now even more so because of how he came to you. Congrats on your anniversary!

  9. Okay, I cried the first time I read it, and now I’m crying again. At work. With all the bemused co-workers watching. Still, I think its worth it, because that is such a fabulous story.

  10. What a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing it.

    Probably because I am a former infertile myself (and an older mommy… I’m 37 and my kids are 5 years and 20 months) your story brought tears to my eyes.

  11. I was told by the doctor at age 23 that I was completely & utterly infertile & that the usual options like IVF etc wouldn’t work. My world was torn apart. I acted to everyone that I didn’t want kids, that I didn’t care & in time I even believed it myself.
    Then when I was rushed into hospital, in a coma & finally come round I found all my dreams came true I was pregnant. Once the fears & nightmares vanished I’ve never looked back. I may not be the best mom in the world but I love it & do my best.

  12. I’ve read that post twice now, and what a wonderful one it is. I’m a 47-yr-old antique to my 7 yr-old son, Harrison. Motherhood has been one surprise after another and very little is as I expected it would be. It’s all wonderful though, and full of surprises, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

    I enjoy your writing a lot.

  13. What a absolutely wonderful & inspiring story!!! I knew there was a reason I added you to my “hen-house!!!”

  14. I heard about a 60-year-old woman who gave birth to twins a few months ago. When asked why she did it she said to prove it could be done. So that makes you a spring chicken! I cried the first time I read this entry and now I’m off to find the kleenex box. Love your writing!

  15. Happy Blogiversary! I’m so glad you decided to keep this blog. You write so beautifully. I never know if I’m going to laugh or cry when I click over here. You have a wonderful family and thanks for letting us have a peek.

  16. At age 40, after 4 miscarriages, advice to accept that I would never have children, and a heavy heart, I learned I was pregnant. I had a wonderful, healthy baby boy and two years later another wonderful, healthy baby girl. They are now ages 24 and 22. God and life is good! I feel your joy and look forward to your new posts with a possessive pride as I vicariously re-experience those wonder years! Thanks for continuing to entertain and evoke nostalgia in your fun, witty way which is so appealing.

  17. Wow, I never read that before today. I enjoyed it a lot. My sister’s story is very similar, except that she was relatively young when she found out she had major fertility problems. She also has a septum in her uterus (in addition to many of the other same issues as you) but successfully carried twins without having it removed.

    I always wondered where you got Antique Mommy (other than deeming yourself an antique).

    That’s a wonderful story. I’m so glad it had a happy ending.

  18. what a wonderful first post! and it was just as touching and thrilling to find out you were pregnant even though i already knew you had a kid.

  19. I am so glad that all has worked out for you! That is such a beautiful story to pass on to your little one about how Great and Sovereign and Awesome God is! What a story! Thanks for sharing!

    BTW – I saw your article in Good Housekeeping while at my M-I-L’s last weekend! You are a very talented writer! I am glad you continued blogging!

  20. I haven’t been reading you very long so it is nice to see where it all started. What a beautiful example of how God surprises us.

  21. Well thank you so much for re-posting that. I completely relate to the ‘first post’ as I’m sure that all your other readers do to – press the button = is that the end of the world?

    I have two close friends [ancient like me] who are both infertile. [I don’t wish to offend anyone by using that term/label] One chose to adopt. The other remains childless. [that one causes offense too for which I willing apologise] I know a little [vicariously] of the pain, and I’m so glad that you had a different outcome.
    Best wishes

  22. I love this post. What a great story. You are right we can make plans but God is really in control. I am an older mom. In fact I have one starting high school and 1 starting k-5. We wanted more, begged for more, 9yrs later gave up had 1 then 17 months later another. God has a sense of humor. Thanks for being transparent and sharing your story and what He has done in your life. I did wonder why the title Antique mommy… Now I know.

  23. If only God would let us sneak a peak at His plans for us but I understand He doesn’t for His reasons and His reasons are always for my good. But still……….:) LOL I loved the blog and had to call and share it with my mom.
    All for His glory, ~Rhen

  24. Gracious, girl! that was your first post?!? Mine went something like, ‘Look at this cute picture of my kids’.

    You are impressive!

    Happy anniversary!

  25. Thank you so much for sharing your story. It is a great testimony to God’s faithfulness.

    I so enjoy your writing. I often laugh and cry at the same time when I read your blog. Thank you!

  26. This was a beautiful, beautiful post.
    My grandmother, married for the second time and with two adult children, was diagnosed at 45 with a tumour – which turned out to not be a tumour at all, but my dad! He has neices and nephews the same age as him!

  27. I read this not long ago, but still enjoyed every word just as much on re-reading it this time. Your story just proves that some things are meant to be, and, as happens so often in life, the good stuff comes along when you least expect it. 🙂

  28. Well, I’ve never read this one, it’s new to me and it’s an amazing story! I’m sure it gives hope to lots of people out there. Keep blogging.

  29. Happy Anniversary! Time flies when you’re blogging, doesn’t it? And the whole “Man (Woman) makes plans and God laughs” thing? I’ve been smacked down by that a time or two.

  30. That was so lovely! Sometimes I wonder, should people just drift around and do whatever the day seems to offer, with no plan at all? I have had to ditch my plans so many times, because a “crisis” has come up. Strange dog hit by car, left stranded with lunch in bag, rear-ended… More than half the times, I find out later that something beautiful and amazing happened as a result. A weird “coincidence” which enriches life! Now, I do make plans, but I’m like “on call”. “Right boss, no problem!”

  31. I didn’t realize Sean came 100% on his own. What a miracle THAT was. And what a beautiful post.

    Your perspective always makes me stop and enjoy the blessing of children. 32, 3 kids, I lose it a lot.
    I for one, am glad you had much more to say after this post.

  32. I’ve read that post before and it made me cry then and again today. I just love how you said, “Man plans and God laughs.” So true. I’m only 29 but I had to go through a lot of what you went through to get pregnant in addition to miscarriages. Now I know God just had a different plan for me, which I’m thankful for now.

    Happy blogiversary, I’m glad you’re still here 2 years later!

  33. I love your story! I could read it over and over. It is a story, a true one at that, that is so hopeful. I’m so glad that you shared it.

  34. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post. Yours is a wonderful story, and I am grateful you shared it.

  35. Happy two year blogging anniversary. I’m so glad you had more to say after your first post. You are one of my favorite bloggers.

    Your story is such a wonderful testimony to God’s goodness and grace. Thank you for sharing it.

  36. AM…what a beautiful story. I was told when i was 24 that i would never have children and every dr i saw for years after including the last one before i got married assured me that i would have to look into other options but that i wouldnt ever carry a baby to term so to try for 6 months and document it after we got married and then they could recommend me a fertility specialist…i totally believe God lleads us to the place he wants us to be….I got pregnant w/ no assistance on my wedding night at the ripe old age of 31….blessings tho they are there are days i definitely think i am toooo old for this and others i think i could handle 10 more….
    thanks for the story and bringing up some of my happy memories

  37. I just started reading your blogs and am glad you reposted this story. God truly works his magic, and has blessed you with your son. May all your days be happy ones and cherish the moments. They grow so fast,…! Some days it doesn’t seem fast enough, but you will always manage to come out on top.

  38. Congratulations and best wishes on your anniversary. I had tears in my eyes as I read your story, which I found uplifting, as well as moving. There is a terrible irony in spending so long avoiding pregnancy, isn’t there, then wanting it so much and it not happening.
    I also identify with your comment about spending ridiculous amounts of money (in my case pounds rather than dollars) on pregnancy tests! Like you, I was lucky enough to have a happy ending, in my case with my 15 month old daughter. I’m so pleased things worked out for you with the blessing of your son. Beautiful site.

  39. I thought this would be my story but I never gave birth to a living child.

    Now at almost 55 I have 5 adopted kids ages 9-16.

    And after reading your blog I, too, call myself an antique mommy.

  40. Happy blogaversary! How cool that I read your first post today when I just made my first post. :o)

    I dealt with infertility for years, so I cried when I read about your surprise blessing. God is good!

  41. Thank you so much for this post. I’m 35 and single, and sometimes feel very sad at the prospect of never having children. Thank you for a beautiful story about letting go and receiving blessings.

  42. I too am an Antique Mommy. I was almost 48 years old when I gave birth to the most wonderful set of triplets ever born. I am so blessed to have Sam, Jay & Meg (age 2) in my life. Now I’m 50 and I feel just like I did when I had my four older kids in the early 1980’s. No I didn’t do it to prove anything or be a statistic … I did it because I had remarried and my new husband didn’t have children and had a yearn in my heart. After four devastating miscarriages, we turned to IVF using donor eggs and was successful on the first attempt. God is so good and smiles down on us daily. We are raising these kids smack dab in the middle of a Indiana Dairy Farm and counting our blessings every day. I also have two grandchildren, Kelcie and Luke, that were born 4 days a part, and they are two months older than my trio. I do have to say .. being pregnant with triplets, with your daughter and daughter in law at the same time, was a story in itself!

    Be Blessed,

  43. What a touching story.
    Thanks for sharing it, and congratulations on your blogiversary.
    I really enjoy your stories, and writing! Thanks!
    PS- also, some time ago you left me a little comment by email- I thought that was really nice! Thanks!

  44. Since I didn’t see this the first time around, I am glad you re-posted it. It is beautiful. I know someone who just went through in-vitro after several years of infertiltity. She is now pregnant and we are praying everything will go well-she has waited so long. I am sure you can empathize with her.

  45. I’m so glad that you re-posted this. What a neat story you have!! Our God unbelievably awesome!! And, I think that Antique Mommy is a lovely name. God bless you!

  46. There is a fully-fledged novel in your story – so beautifully and evocatively written. I hope it finishes with hope for the future as, with understanding, that small shadow is lifted from the heart of the heroine.

  47. “Lupron shrinks the tumors to make the surgery less traumatic to the uterus, and apparently it shrinks your brain in the process rendering you nuttier than a fruitcake.”

    That’s my favourite line! This entry, especially being your first, was so, so beautifully written! I love it!

  48. Good on you for being able to hang in there. I am almost in the same boat- been trying for 2 years, nothing’s happening. About to start tests to figure out what’s wrong. And i’m so desperate for a chiled- family and social pressures just adding up…everybody around seems to be pregnant!

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