Or, as one woman on a flight with us said, “Precocious.”
We have a lot of conversations with strangers when we’re out in public. Those conversations often start something like this:
“Oh, what a darling. Is he your only one?”
“Are you going to have more?”
I used to feel pressure to hem and haw before answering that question. Giving some complicated story about my ex and I splitting, about not having a partner currently, about just not knowing if I would ever have another child.
But lately, I’ve started to recognize my power.
I’ve been on a long journey of personal growth over the last three years. You know that feeling, when much of what you’ve learned comes together in a way that blows your mind? While I always knew, in a cerebral way, that I had choice and power in my life, I had never experienced that power in a visceral way until now. Now, I’m realizing my new strength is tied into my exploration of fertility.
Single motherhood has been a roller coaster. I’ve had to find my own financial footing, navigate unconventional living arrangements, and learn– not to only accept my choices, but to embrace them. And, the truth is I would LOVE to have another child. I’m 34 and getting closer to 35 every day. I’ve been told my whole life that my eggs are tiny ticking time bombs that start blowing up around 36 and go downhill from there.
Now that I’ve asked myself what I really want, instead of feeling forced or compelled by my age into the decision to have another child, I am resting in the possibility that I can choose the way my life plays out. I can intentionally model my diet and exercise to preserve my fertility (which also happens to help with weight loss as an added bonus).
Here are basic steps I’ve been following to balance my hormones and preserve my fertility:
- I manage my blood sugar with an “every meal, every day” approach. Meaning, food before coffee (gasp!), plenty of water, and more protein and veggies than grains and dairy.
- I nurture my adrenals with gentle exercise and consistent sleep.
- I take supplements specific to my concerns—magnesium to help prevent waking up between 2-3 am, Vitamin D and Optimized Folate to help improve mood and prevent episodes of depression.
- I listen to my body by eating when I’m hungry and stopping when I’m satiated.
All of those awkward cartoons we had to watch in fifth grade about eggs coming down through Fallopian tubes, and never once was there a suggestion that I could impact those eggs and that system. In that narrative, I was a helpless victim who was waiting for a prince to come, and fast– in time for us to pop out some children before I turned 36. But, approaching my body as though it’s a garden to be nurtured and nourished feels so much better than trying to control something that is out of my hands.
It’s so much more empowering to hold a view of myself that I’m in the driver’s seat of my life. That I am at choice. I am proactively preserving my fertility for as long as I can. And I’m optimistic that the steps I am taking are improving my overall health.
But it’s bigger than my fertility, I’ve made a choice to take control of my body and my future. Looking at the possibility of giving life to another child has been a profound place for me to start to wrap my hands around building the life I’ve always wanted. That life begins with me.