The other side of 35.

So… after several days of apprehension, wariness and significant self-imposed trauma, I finally turned 35 yesterday. While, in all honestly, I have to admit that it was a particularly nice birthday I won’t be lying if I say I am glad the milestone is past me. That’s just another quirk of mine I suppose. I tend to magnify the impact of events, snowball style, as the concerned event draws closer. Once I am past the date, I always feel a rather invigorating sense of relief.

It’s a strange precondition of living in a social setup (assuming, of course, that you’re one of those that subscribes to this commonplace notion of urban dwelling!) that we must spend a vast majority of our time speculating on things/ circumstances/ events which often (read: always!) never end up being quite as catastrophic as we initially imagined them to be, so strong is our conditioning to feel a certain way. Looking back, five years back to be precise, I can recall with strikingly vivid detail how every fiber of my being was resisting turning thirty. How a rather (clearly my word of the week!) raucous birthday party put together by some truly caring friends did nothing to assuage the sense of impending doom that I was wallowing in at the thought of stepping up on this crucial pedestal with no one whose hand I was holding, not even a shadow of a person. Today as I think of that achingly lonely woman, desultorily sipping cabernet in her shared Boston apartment, trying so hard not to dissolve into a self-pitying pool of tears, I feel anger then irritation then sadness at the sheer uselessness of it all. Who says that thirty and single spells loser in scarlet letters, font size 78? Why did I have to believe so strongly at that time that being alone (single) on my 30th birthday was something to be deeply sad about? Look how that turned out! Today I am married to a wonderful man who is a partner in every sense and who has given new meaning to togetherness, something I probably never would have believed at the time!

Similarly, even though I know there is a whole thriving industry thanks to women choosing to have babies later in life, yet why is it that turning 35 seems to signal the very nadir of a TTC journey? By no means am I doubting the factual portion of this argument; my point is that why should there feel such a vast, looming impasse between 34 and 35? As several doctors and acupuncturists have told me, while our fertility does tend to decline 35 onwards, the difference between 34 and 35 is not all that huge. Yet, the AMA (advanced maternal age) stamp that many clinics are only to eager to decorate you with adds to that sense of growing frustration; if only I could leash time.

Ahhh… too morbid.

Fact is that I had a really nice birthday courtesy the best husband in the world! Presents and shopping and the most divine Italian food (you guys I had BREAD!! after 5.5 months!! freshly baked, spongy soft, melt-in-your-mouth bread!) followed by a leisurely stroll and a peaceful hour spent browsing my favorite used bookstore … blissful and content is how I felt.

Some highlights:
–the spouse was insistent on wishing me at midnight despite my not-so-subtle surliness… I had Friends on in the background and just as the clock chimed (beeped) midnight, a very pregnant Phoebe’s water broke and all the cast shouted “the babies are coming!!”… my husband and I feel this was a special sign! No seriously, the episode was followed by four back to back ads all featuring babies!
–as I entered my acupuncturists clinic after shopping, she asked me how the week had been. No sooner had I started telling her how I just turned 35 than my eyes teared up and before I knew it, hot angry tears were running down my surprised cheeks! I kept saying I DON’T want to turn 35 like a petulant child being asked to vacate the sandbox because its getting late. sigh!
–at the Italian restaurant, my husband had to gently remind me to stop chowing down the bread like a woman possessed because we did have appetizers and a main course and dessert coming up!
–once we finished dinner, the restaurant’s owner and his cronies sang a delightfully operatic, Italian-style rendition of Happy Birthday for me, complete with cake, candle, ice cream! It was just so adorable!
–my neighbor and her toddler came over to wish me today with a delicious gluten free, wheat free cake and flowers. I spent a merry hour with the little girl on my lap, eating strawberries and icing from me, both of us getting happily smeared in the process!

35, here I come 🙂



Of recent, everyday feels like waking up as a different person. Almost like someone is directing you, giving you a new part to play each day with a different script. Of course no one but you is privy to the joke! Least of all, your poor husband who wonders what kind of wife he will come home to each day; smiley-chirpy-high-on-life-wife or morbid-glum-spirit-sapping-wife or rabid-bitchy-bite-your-head-off-wife… the poor guy, by this time, has probably given up altogether on regular-normal-supportive-life-partner-wife!!

Largely, though, I have been doing quite well with stray incidents of gloom and despair. Just that when the sucky bouts happen, they still end up feeling very sucky. Every time something brings me down I try and count at least 10 things that I have in my life which I had always wanted and try and calm my angrily pulsating heart. Never works. I know how this makes me sound. Thankless and unappreciative. I believe I am neither of those two things. For every day, through the day, I retain a very conscious awareness of all that I have to be thankful about. But it’s just that when the baby thoughts take over, nothing, simply NOTHING can quell that desperate yearning to feel a rapidly swelling belly, to hold a little part of yourself in your arms, to give birth to life, to watch your love grow each day, every day into someone you will be incredibly proud of.

On a randomly different note, the pottery classes are helping take away some of that prone-to-rapid-escalation negative energy. Something about working with your hands that takes away the stresses of a physical self always stalking the margins of stress.


FML. No, really.

As I stepped out of the house last evening for an acupuncture session after three weeks, I promised myself that I would no longer indulge my morose state of mind any longer. After all, there’s far greater shit out there that people are dealing with. Like Kim Kardashian’s compounded emotional upheaval of divorce round the corner plus Kanye about to propose plus need to procreate urgently since sis Kourtney has already popped out no. 2 (as in child no. 2 not the everyday stuff). Gosh.

No, seriously though. Kardashian woes aside, there is a lot of serious shit out there that people are dealing with. So I told myself to stuff the pity-fest, hold my head high and strut the street in manner of Carrie Bradshaw doing her thing. And I did. Only to get triple-slapped, Tom & Jerry style. Metaphorically, of course. For my practitioner was very visibly pregnant. Glowing. She was extremely nice about the whole thing, almost apologetic as she announced the fact. I was genuinely pleased for her. As I had been when my previous acupuncturist in LA had told me that she was pregnant. Or when the very first time I went for acupuncture the lady who treated me was 8 months pregnant. I’m not a hater; these are all extremely skilful practitioners all of whom have been very kind and helpful to me plus they are all really nice people. And I wish them all the very best.

But it does nothing for my already peaking frustration levels. As I walked out of the clinic, trying hard to look every bit as composed as I had when I walked in, I could not help but marvel at God’s intended message. Either he is desperately trying to reassure me that hey look all these women around your age are pregnant and so will you be. Or he has one twisted sense of humor.

Oh well. At least the PMS seems to have exited theatrically in a grand finale of thundering sobs. Standing ovation for the period which is finally here!!



Of course now the one time I eagerly await my period, it decides to act like hot shit. My first period after the D&C came exactly 30 days later, lasted the regular 5 days and was followed by a clockwork ovulation pattern on CD 15. Am I to be blamed then for expecting Aunt Flo to do her thing and show up when she promised me to?

TTC is an emotional journey like no other. Every single physiological act associated with the female body becomes, by turn, cause for jubilation or depression. Usually doomsday-like in premonition, the very same menstrual period can have you turning cartwheels (metaphorically, always metaphorically!) in delight when it arrives on time after a miscarriage. So it is that right now I wait for it while next cycle onwards I will be wishing and hoping fervently to say goodbye to it for 9 months straight. Sigh!


This is getting crazy…

Either PMS has hit the roof or there is something genuinely amiss here. I haven’t felt this awful in a long while (of course the very definition of ‘long’ here is rather contentious!). All I can think of is how much I want to be pregnant and have my baby. I feel terrified at the thought of waiting and I feel terrified at the thought of being pregnant and worried to death. The miscarriage lingers around like an unwanted specter casting its ominous shadow on everything.

I don’t want to be like this. I want to go back to the way I have been in the past few weeks; hopeful, positive and staying cheerfully busy. No I haven’t exactly been feeling chipper but considering all things I think I was doing very well indeed. And now I’m in this sticky, quicksand-y place which I cannot seem to peel myself out of.

It’s like the whole world is getting pregnant but me. Anyone I talk to knows at least one person who is expecting a baby. If there are so many pregger women out there it should be simple right? I want it to be simple for me also. I want to be one of them. Gosh even reading what I have just typed makes me wonder as to how much more cuckoo I am going to get. But no censoring this. This is what I feel today and I hope that soon there will come a day when I will be able to look at this and laugh and feel eternally grateful to God for giving me the sunshine that is missing right now. Touchwood.


P to the M to the S

Of late the PMS factor’s become pretty darn terrible. I pendulate between bitch mode and outright sap mode. This month is the latter. For I can’t come up with any other reason to explain why, when nothing has happened, am I so weepy and sobby and in a perpetual funk. Even the trusted cleaning fairy act did not save me today. I mean if after washing, drying and folding two loads of laundry, vacuuming and dusting the entire apartment, washing dishes, cleaning kitchen, unpacking, putting clothes away, making lunch and dinner I am still not feeling all zen-like then something must be the matter. And since nothing really is, I shall pin it on good ol’ PMS.

Baby-sat neighbor’s daughter again today. She is a little delight but was clearly not in her element away from her parents… and unlike the last few times when my parents were also there to give her company, this time it was only me, the Ipad and a few scattered items that I refer to as emergency playthings. I happily spent an hour or so taking care of her and then her dad came to get her. After she left, the house suddenly seemed a thousand times lonelier than it was before. That’s when the frenzied vacuuming began. To no avail though.

I don’t know what’s worse. Feeling like crap or feeling like crap because you are feeling like crap. Conundrum much? Let’s hope tomorrow’s a better day.


Back home…

Just got back from a relaxing few days in Vail, CO. Husband had a work event to attend and I tagged along. The place is truly stunning, each trail introduces you to a different side of nature, each more gorgeous than the other. Even the freeway makes for a beautiful drive!

So I should be happy right? Or at the very least mellow and zen-like? Well… it’s not like I am the exact opposite but at the same time I can’t say I had a brilliant holiday. Fact is, once I step out of the house, despite my sincerest efforts I cannot stick to my diet at all times. Organic food is hard to come by. Vail has super expensive restaurants and none of them are organic. The only organic grocery store we found about 20 miles away only carried specialized items and no produce or groceries. Safeway does have some organic stuff but what could I have apart from fruits? It wasn’t like I had access to a kitchen to cook. Husband I were both thinking that we should probably invest in a timeshare; not only would it be more affordable but staying in a condo-like situation allows you control over what you eat and helps you save money as well.

Anyhow, I am really glad to be home. Back to my routine from tomorrow onwards. It is very unsettling to be away from home and not have any control over my efforts towards baby-making. We are more determined than ever to have a baby now and as long as I am dedicated to the cause, I know I will feel okay. Low/no carbs, organic food, long walks and yoga–here I come!