Age can be looked at in a couple of different ways when you're dealing with infertility. The first is the inexorable passing of time, like sands through the hourglass or the ticking of the 60 Minutes clock; that aspect of age was on my mind at the start of the month as I turned 37. Realistically I have, at most, four or five years of potential fertility left. Especially as someone who feels very strongly about not having an only child, that can be tough to accept. The chances that we will be able to have more than one child are low and diminishing with each passing month. But it is the other way of viewing age that has been more on my mind recently.
There were five us there, with 16 years separating the oldest from the youngest. Sixteen years is quite a difference, and in many circles there wouldn't be that much to talk about. Yet somehow running out of things to talk about was far from a problem. (N.B. 37 is far too old to be staying up until 4 a.m.) In a group of adults with children, most often people gravitate towards others whose children are the same age. Certainly there are divisions between "young" parents and "older" parents, but they often find common ground if their children are of similar age. They have that stage of life in common, whether it be infants, toddlers, school age children, paying for college, or being empty nesters. Being Catholic women without children, we didn't have the barriers of age or number of children dividing us. There was no separation between small families and large families, just us, each of us with our own experiences. Though there were differences in where each of us is in our IF journey, the knowledge of that shared journey brought us together. It was such a joy to not let age be a barrier, but to simply appreciate the varied experiences that each of us brought to our gathering.