Riding Bitch

The daily musings of a writer.

The Clock Doth Tick


Sometimes I am still shocked by where I am in life: a widow, former caregiver, film writer/director who still works a day job and barely scrapes by, at 42 years old. Not feeling sorry for myself, just stating the facts. Actually, I was reminded of the facts yesterday.

Before leaving said day job, whether next month or next year, I’m using my health insurance to get everything checked out. There I was with a new OBGYN, from whom I need a referral for a mammogram, getting thoroughly probed and questioned about my family, medical and sexual history. Strangely, or perhaps not so strangely, the conversation found its way to a subject which I had not anticipated discussing, and inadvertantly brought up the reality of my situation.

“Are you thinking of having children?” the doctor asked.

“I’ve… thought about it,” I answered slowly. “But I’m not really sure what my options are at this point.”

The good doctor briefly explained the options:

The old-fashioned way. Meeting a man, falling in love, making a baby.

The Baby Daddy way. Asking a friend to donate his stuff and sign away his paternal rights.

Cryobank. Shopping online for an anonymous baby daddy.

Eggs on ice. Freezing my eggs for later.


“If having a biological child is something you’re even remotely considering, the first step would be to test how fertile you are and what your time frame might be,” the doctor suggested.

“Okay,” I said. What the hell. Let’s see what this body of mine is capable of, and just how fast the clock is ticking.

Then she asked if I want to take the BRCA1 and BRCA2 test, which would tell me if I have the breast cancer susceptibility gene. At first, I was skeptical. I already know breast cancer runs in my family (both my mother and sister had and survived it). The doctor explained that the gene test would either confirm my increased risk (in which case I would start a vigilante early detection program), OR it would give me the peace of mind that I’m actually not at more risk than the average woman.

She further explained that as of this year, thanks to new health insurance and Obamacare laws, if a woman tests positive for these genes, her subsequent early detection procedures will be covered by insurance, AND if she switches insurance at any point, a positive gene-test won’t be considered a pre-exisiting condition. 

Again I thought, what the hell. Let’s test everything. I should have all the facts before making any big decisions.

As I left the appointment, tears started to flow in the hallway. I put my sunglasses on while waiting for the elevator with a mother and her two children and drove back to work, the whole time thinking about how different life would be if Kaz were still alive.

Facing these decisions alone is daunting. The idea of having a child alone is even more daunting. I know women do it all the time, but I’m not sure I want to – or if can afford it, to be honest. There’s all kinds of considerations, but the truth is, if it’s ever going to happen, the window of opportunity is closing. Anything could happen but my gut tells me the traditional route is the least likely option. Dating takes time, and who’s to say any potential partner would want to have a baby right away?

The good news is, I don’t have to make any decisions right now. The test results will come back within a couple of weeks. In the meantime, I’m focusing on my writing and Ruby, who I’m proud to say graduated Obedience 1 last weekend and begins Obedience 2 and Agility 1 this weekend. At the very least, I’m a dog mom (a good one). But as I told the doctor yesterday, “Sometimes I wonder if she’s enough.”

Author: nivaladiva

Freelance writer and independent filmmaker.

16 thoughts on “The Clock Doth Tick

  1. I am so where you are at – except I know I want children. I am just not sure how and how much time I have left.

  2. If you’re over 40, the odds are not good. There is no way to sugar-coat it or make biology different because we want it to be….I saw this firsthand at an infertility conference here in NYC (as a reporter) and the charts and graphs that doctors were showing one another were pretty clear on that point. The probable route is a bunch of IVF ($10K per round) or adoption.

    Jose and I met at 43, when it was already really late in the game and we have no family to help us financially or with babysitting. We decided against trying. Sometimes it makes me sad, most of the time we know it would have been nuts.

    I plan to blog about this “where the hell am I?” issue soon. I am in the next decade and feel g.d. geriatric in some ways already.

  3. I can only imagine the inner conflicts you might have about this. As someone who chose not to have children, my own stance is obvious enough, but then I am not a woman. For what it’s worth, I doubt that anyone really needs children to be a complete person. You have shown great strengths in areas of your life, and still have a long way to go. Bringing up a child alone, or going through a protracted adoption process, may not be what you need right now, but that is merely my take on things.
    I met my wife when I was 48, almost 13 years ago; proof enough to me, after two divorces, that you never know what lies around the corner.
    My best wishes to you as always, from England. Pete.

    • Thanks so much, Pete. Definitely lots to think about. And thanks for reminding me that you, too, met your spouse later in life. It’s always a treat to hear from you!

  4. Take your time and think! I would discuss off line but you have time!!!!

  5. All you can do is all you can do. There are so many unknowns and so many dark paths of the mind to lose yourself exploring that I feel the best course, like writing, is to focus on content. Look after Obedient No1 and look after yourself. Keep honing what you love doing and keep striving for a better balance that allows you to be your best self. If you can get even close to that then the really tough decisions will be that much less difficult.

    Good luck, as always.

  6. My comments may seem different than others but coming from a Women’s Health (Ob/Gyn) NP, I am so pleased you found someone so thorough. The things your Gyn brought up SHOULD have been brought up, but many are not as thorough. Good! I’ll hope the BRAC1/2 are negative and best of luck with decision making about having a child (I raised my son by myself, by the way … father never in the picture).

    • She WAS really thorough! We talked for almost an hour and she wrote down all these notes. I had not expected such attention. Thanks for sharing that you raised a child alone. That is inspiring – and impressive.

  7. Pingback: I’m not where I expected to be | Broadside

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