What my gynecologist actually said was, “Given that you’ll be 50 this summer, the odds of you getting pregnant without reproductive assistance are pretty slim. So we may want to consider not going forward with birth control.”
What I heard was, “Why do you need foreign bodies and substances inside you, woman? You’re just a dried-up old hag anyway.”
Not that I want to be fertile. Oh, heck no. The thought of being pregnant at this stage in my life is about as attractive as scabies. I don’t want the monthly inconvenience that goes along with female fertility, I don’t want any more children, and I’m okey dokey with being old enough that people consider me wise enough to be taken seriously.
I just feel, as the kids say, some kinda way about this and I haven’t figured out what kinda way that is. I don’t want to be a dried-up old hag, though, I know that.
My doctor gave me a lab order to get some blood drawn to test for my Anti-Mullerian Hormone, which is some kind of hormone produced by your body that has something to do with your body either producing or releasing eggs. I could look it up, but I’m old and tired and I don’t feel like it. Apparently, if you are in your fertile years, your AMH level is between one and seven somethings per something, so if you are below one, you don’t much have to worry about getting pregnant. We were going to see if I was below one.
A week later I came back for the results. I was not only below one, I was below point one. In fact, I was point-oh-two. For comparison’s sake, a GUY my age, who doesn’t even have eggs, would expect to test about a point seven.
“If you get pregnant with those levels,” my doctor said, “It’s God’s will.” We laughed and laughed, because it was a funny and true thing to say.
It’s not an original thought that the differences between the way men and women age isn’t fair. Men age on a graceful downward slope, getting older day by day. Women walk along that gentle decline with their male partners until one day, BAM, they fall off a cliff that has suddenly appeared along the way on their paths. If they’re lucky, they land softly and don’t break a hip along the way down.
I think that’s what happened. I didn’t see the drop off and the fall surprised me. My husband is a good bit older than me and he just keeps on moseying. I thought I could saunter on like he does. When I landed, the breath got knocked out of me. No long term harm – I didn’t break a hip or a leg and honestly, I didn’t even chip a nail. Truth be told, I’m better off. I might technically be dried up, but I’m not a dried-up old hag, unless hag is an acronym for Happily Aging Gracefully.
I just need to catch my breath. I’ve still got a long way to walk, and there might be a few more falls to go.
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Lori B. Duff is an award-winning author who practices law on the side. Her latest book, “If You Did What I Asked in the First Place” was awarded the Gold Medal for humor in the Foreword INDIES awards in 2019. You can follow her on Twitter at @LoriBDuff and on Facebook. For more blogs written by Lori, click here. For more information about Lori in general, click here. If you want Lori to do your writing for you, click here. If you want Lori to help you market your book, click here.