Infertility & age: What happens after 36? You fall off the board.

Sex and the City

I recently watched an old episode of Sex and the City “Luck be an Old Lady.”

In the episode the ladies travel to Atlantic City to celebrate Charlotte’s 36th birthday–a birthday she is not greeting with open arms.

At the end of the episode Carrie questions the dealer at the roulette table “what happens after 36?” (36 was the last number on the board). “I don’t know” he says, “I guess you fall off the board.”

In a little over a week I will celebrate my 37th birthday. And so, I find myself asking the question: What happens after 36?

When I was 26, 36 seemed a lifetime away. Now that I am 36, 46 seems just around the corner.

For those of us who have struggled to start our own family birthday’s have an even more significant attachment to them–they are the mile markers down the road to “too late.”

So today I can’t help but wonder, what happens after 36? Do we continue forging ahead with our life’s plan for “and baby makes three,” or do we fall off of the baby board?

The concept of “too late” is a concept only we can impose upon ourselves. One only has to look to find stories of the numerous women who have conceived past the “35 sell-by date” western medicine stamps on us.

Too late only happens when we decide we are ready to move on. Until then, I suppose that though the board may end at 36, rather than falling off the board, we jump over to the Poker table. We pull up our chairs and get ready to play the next hand.

“Luck be an old lady!”


  1. Hey! Our birthdays are quite close! Happy bday for next week!
    really hoping this is the year for you… 🙂

    1. Happy early birthday to you Heather! My what a wonderful year this year of your life will be! I believe this may be “our year” as well 🙂

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