Most of us women spend the majority of our adult lives trying not to get pregnant and oh the irony when you finally try to and can’t. Some of us always fear there may be a problem whilst others fall pregnant just looking at their partner.
I think I always had an inkling there may be an issue. I had been with my husband 10 years before we got married and if I am honest we hadn’t always been careful (sorry mum). In my head I had either been extremely lucky (or unlucky depending how you view it) or maybe it wasn’t going to be that easy for us to start a family. I’ve shared my PCOS story on the blog and in some ways I am pleased I didn’t get my diagnosis until we were trying so that the fear wasn’t in my head. But on the other hand if I had known there may have been issues would I have left it so late to try for a baby? That’s not to say PCOS (or any other gynecological issue) guarantees trouble conceiving. My mum has PCOS but fell pregnant both times within 3 months of trying. The difference? My mum was 10 years younger than me when she started a family.
I was 32 when we started trying for a baby, to many that is not too late but the stats do show quite a substantial decline in fertility after turning 30. Throw in the mix, my lack of ovulation and undeniably there was always going to an issue. My husband and I have spoken very honestly about this topic but we both didn’t feel ready until after we were married, sold our flat and purchased a house. I think as people we both felt we wanted all our ducks in a row before we embarked on parenthood and I still feel the same now, well kind of. We both went to university, started careers and ultimately enjoyed a care free life in our 20’s for which I am grateful for. BUT and its a big but, had I known all the heartache, pain, tears and devastation we encountered on our journey to be parents 100% I would have tried to have a baby earlier. I would have sacrificed the carefree 20’s and endless holidays quite happily but what would have become of our relationship? Would we still be together?
Again Phil and I have also been very honest about the first year of parenting. There have been times we have argued, not spoken, not had sex and ultimately not been very nice to each other. Sleep deprivation, hormones (mine, not Phil’s) all collate to make it very hard as new parents. Especially when we also had what I would view a very secure life? A lovely house, both had jobs, money in the bank, no added pressures there? Yet it was still bloody hard. That’s when I do appreciate the age we started a family, a level of maturity to understand a marriage and what it entails and a realistic expectation of parenthood.
I was 35 when I had Austin. I was 36 when I had a miscarriage and at the earliest I will be 37 if we are lucky to conceive again. I also think about how many children would I like? 2, maybe 3 if I was being honest. I’ve LOVED motherhood, its hard beyond belief at times but its my greatest achievement in life and what I was always meant to do. If I stay at home forever with my babies I will be happy. Again, not for everyone and as mothers we all should support our life choices whatever they may be (some women don’t have a choice). Working mamas (like my own mother) are amazing but for me I relish staying at home. Maybe one day it will feel right to return to the workforce but right now I am lucky enough to have the opportunity to stay home. Again is that only possible now because of our age?
This is by no means meant as a scare mongering post and that no matter what your life situation you should drop everything and procreate, I am just being honest about my experience and how for me personally maybe we left it too late. This also isnt a dig at women that choose to delay having children in favour of career or travel? Some women even in their 20’s struggle with infertility and for some, life doesn’t present the opportunity to have a baby when they would like to? Relationships, money, family etc. the list is endless so for some its just not an option? But frustratingly for me I was in a committed relationship from the age of 21, but it was a joint decision to wait until we were married and settled.
It has worked out for us in that we have Austin and everyday I am grateful for that but I do wonder could we have saved ourselves all the heart ache? Had we not been luckily with IVF would I have then looked back and regretted my life choices? Of course I would do all the treatment again (we still are) if that was the only way for us to have a baby and I know it’s not healthy to focus on the past. Maybe all we can do is trust the timing of our lives and know that things happen for a reason? It’s just sometimes I think we tried to create the perfect life and in doing that we nearly sacrified the more important things, like having family?