For the past several years, every time I have blown out a birthday candle I have made a wish to find someone to build a family with.
Since I was a child, birthdays have always been a big deal. My Mom is the super creative type so every birthday we would get to pick a theme. From there, all games, decorations, and prizes were related to that theme. Some of my fondest memories of growing up involved having so much fun while being surrounded by those I love on my birthday.
In University, and in my 20’s, my birthday was always a big night out. It fell at the perfect time – midterms were done and/or Halloween was over and we needed an excuse to party.
My 30th birthday was one of my most favourite memories – my boyfriend at the time proposed while I was surrounded by all of my closest family and friends at my party. My birthday cake came out with the words “will you marry me?” It will always be one of my favourite moments in my life.
After all of those incredible birthdays, nothing could live up to the past.
My birthday suddenly became a time where I reflected and realized that my biological clock was ticking and time was running out.
It seemed like with each passing moment, I was getting further and further away from my dream.
I like to be in control of everything. It just seemed like I couldn’t get in control of the type of life I wanted to lead.
I wanted the husband and two kids and it felt like the more I tried looking for it, the more it was further away from my grasp.
Every year I blew out a birthday candle or every year I celebrated New Year’s Eve, I would tell myself that “this would be the year.”
But the year would come and go. Perhaps I had a relationship at that time but it had never lasted. I would put so much pressure on myself because I really wanted my plan to work.
It had worked for other people but then I wonder if it really had.
I knew people who lied to their partners about being on birth control to try to get pregnant.
I knew people who got pregnant so that they could get engaged.
I knew people who were in horrible marriages who were just sticking it out to have kids.
I knew people who lied to themselves and tried to pretend their partner was great because it meant that they were getting closer and closer to their dream.
I also knew people who were in loving, beautiful, relationships where they had made a decision with their partner to have a child.
On my 38th birthday, I didn’t wish for a man to have a child with. I realized that my dream was going to come in a different form and that for the first time ever, it didn’t involve a man.
As soon as I took the pressure off myself to find a man, I became happier. I had to grieve the fact that I was never going to find a partner to start a family with, but it was still going to be okay.
My 38th year was the absolute best year of my life. Don’t get me wrong – it was the most challenging year of my life as well.
Going through the trying to conceive journey was tough as hell. I give credit to absolutely anyone going through the journey because it is not for the weak.
If I didn’t have a supportive family, friends and a really good therapist, I don’t know if I could have gone through with it.
At 38, I became pregnant though which has been the biggest blessing to have ever happened to me.
On November 7th, 2019, on my 39th birthday, a cake was placed before me and I just kept staring at the candle. What could I possibly wish for? I had everything I had ever wanted – I was pregnant with a baby boy.
“I just want my baby boy to be healthy and happy” I said.
This was my first birthday in eight years where I haven’t felt sad. I was surrounded by my sister and her family and it was everything. I looked around the table at my niece and nephew and just thought “life really doesn’t get better than this.”
Who would have thought that being pregnant at 39 would give me so much joy?
Years ago, it would have been my nightmare. A baby without a husband? Gosh, I have changed.
People sent me beautiful messages on my birthday such as “you’ll have help blowing out birthday candles next year” or “this will be your last birthday on your own. Make sure you celebrate it well.”
I had the best birthday and I didn’t need anything special. All I needed was family, a gluten-free brownie cake, and the knowledge that this year was going to be a year unlike any other.
I am 39, single, and pregnant and have never been happier in my life.