Thirty Seven. I remember being in my teens and early twenties and thinking that 37 sounded so damn old. So close to 40, so far away from 25. But then, 25 sounded old when I was 18…..
It’s all relative isn’t it?
You hear people, women especially, who say, once they reached a certain age they started to feel more comfortable with who they are. I’ve never really understood how that worked, for me, little miss anxious, I could never get how someone could suddenly come to the realisation that they liked themselves and they were content.
Until I reached that stage myself.
It’s been a bit of a (X Factor contestant favourite saying coming up) rollercoaster. My 20’s were taken up with getting married, getting pregnant, working out how to be a Mum and then, surprisingly, years of infertility, IVF, and a whole host of emotional & health struggles. I look back at that time now, with the help of hindsight, and wish I’d done things differently.
I’m used to be a very ‘here and now’ person. How I felt in any given moment was concrete and, once I had made a decision on something, I would go all out to ensure that it happened. IVF is a prime example. I wanted a second baby so much, it was the only thing I could focus on, the end goal. It didn’t matter how it happened, it just had to happen.
I wish I could have been more, what will be, will be, because in fact, the IVF failed 3 times and we fell pregnant naturally anyway.
I’m sure there’s a moral to that story somewhere.
But that’s not who I was at that time. It consumed me, almost every waking thought was about getting pregnant, staying pregnant. I felt like the ‘only’ woman in the world who couldn’t get pregnant. People were having babies left right and centre, and it felt as though every female I saw had a bump. Of course, that’s not what was happening, but, when you want something so much, you begin to see it everywhere.
Luckily for us, our bundle of crazy arrived, not without problems of course, and three finally became four.
The first half of my 30’s was spent trying to put a label on who I was, now the baby making stage was over, who was I? I had no idea and that in itself was a struggle for me. Having spent the best part of 10 years trying to have children & become a mother, I realised there was more to me than just that. I went back to college, I passed my access course with full distinctions and I kind of rediscovered who I was.
Now, in my late *shudder* 30’s I finally feel at peace with who I am. There have been so many life lessons, some I wish weren’t needed, some I wish were easier, but, in the end, they’ve all made me who I am. And for that, I have to be thankful.
The kids are both amazing (also annoying, I’m not going to sugar coat it!) and so much fun to be around. There is even time for a few date nights with T, the perks of having a teenager to look after her little brother. Maybe there was a reason for the massive age gap after all…..
I think (hope?) I’ve become a better wife, mother, person because of everything I’ve been through. They say you have to go through things to grow, and I feel like I needed to grow. I needed to learn a few things to finally end up where I am now. 2017 was one of the hardest years I’ve ever had, including the years of IVF, miscarriages and the birth from hell. It was an emotional battle that had no quick fix, no fast way out, no solution other than time & patience. And for me, that was the hardest thing I could go through because a patient person I was not. Which is how I ended up where I did.
But I did get through it, and now, on the other side, looking back at the anxiety, the massive downs and the huge changes, I can see it needed to happen and, despite all of it, I’m kind of glad it did.
I’m looking forward to being 37. It’s a whole new year and one where I can sit back and watch where life takes me, knowing that actually, I’m ok. I have my faults, of course I do, despite me claiming otherwise, I’m not perfect, but who is?
Thirty Seven can bring it.