We’re starting a series of recognizing milestone birthdays and here’s our first one: we invited internationally known blogger Tertia Albertyn to share her thoughts on turning 40. Tertia’s known for her openness in blogging – not only has she shared her struggle with infertility, she also shares other details – from Botox to plastic surgery.
Happy birthday Tertia!
Tertia’s post: I’ve never placed much store in the significance of any particular number. 21, 30, 40, it doesn’t really matter. The only numbers that mattered to me for a long time was 35, because that was the age your ovaries turned into shriveled old prunes and your chances of conception turned to zero, right? I had spent the first five years of my thirties desperately trying to conceive, all to no avail. And then I turned 35 and I got pregnant. Fancy that. And guess what I am going to be on my 40th birthday party? Yup, knocked up again. Apparently my body didn’t get the memo about the shriveled ovaries at age 35.
Being knocked up and a bit round in the middle wasn’t exactly how I pictured myself to be on my 40th birthday party. I was thinking more along the lines of toned, tanned and perky, but oh well, life is what happens while we make plans.
There is something extremely liberating about approaching this next decade of my life. My twenties were so full of angst (will they like me??) and my thirties filled with so much pain (when, oh when will I conceive?) and so I look forward to embracing my forties as a new start, the time to be me.
I’ve always been a bit quirky. Odd as my friends like to call me. Not odd in the traditional sense (tie dyed and crystal gazing), but just different. Non-traditional.
And for a long time, I suppressed my oddness and tried to fit in but no longer. I find as I get older, I am starting to embrace my inner oddness and I love it! It is incredibly freeing just being who you are, without apology.
Strangely enough, it is only now, at this stage in my life, that I have been brave enough to take chances. Even when I was a rebellious youth, I was safely rebellious. And yet, at the ripe ‘old’ age of forty, I have started my own business for the first time. I never thought I could, I thought I was too risk averse, that I needed the safety of a regular income check. Taking my passion for helping people and my experience in infertility and turning it into a business has been the most affirming thing I’ve done. Less than a year ago, along with my best friend Melany, we launched Nurture – South Africa’s premier Egg Donor and Surrogacy program. It has succeeded way beyond even our most hopeful expectations. I feel immensely proud of myself to taking this step, I have skills I never knew I had. Just shows you, you never stop learning about who you are.
As I turn forty, there is none of the angst I thought I would have, there is no sense of fear or loss, instead there is a sense of softness (and not just around my middle), of acceptance and of liberation. I feel lighter (even though I am physically heavier) and taller than I have ever felt before. As I shrug off the shackles of ‘what other people think’, I look forward to this new chapter where I am who I am, and best of all, I like who I am, warts and all. How wonderfully freeing.
Tertia Albertyn writes about life after infertility on her award winning blog ‘So Close’ (www.tertia.org). After eventually conceiving twins on her 9th IVF, she decided to channel her experiences as an infertility veteran into something positive for others. Nurture, South Africa’s premier Egg Donor and Surrogacy program (www.nurture.co.za) is aimed at helping others build the families they long for. Tertia has a MBA from the University of Cape Town and lives in South Africa with her husband and two children.
If you have a favourite blogger you’d like us to recognize as she turns 40, 45, 50, 55, or 60, email us!