On Monday 9th April I will be 37! I realise that many either love or hate birthdays and some people don’t like the idea of growing older but for me, I LOVE them. I really appreciate having a birthday and becoming a year older is a luxury not afforded to everyone. I also enjoy the fuss, the celebrations and the time with my loved ones.
This time of year is a busy one for birthday’s in our house as Phil’s is the 23rd March, Austin’s 24th and then mine a couple of weeks later. A house full of Aries (should be fun during the teenage years) and a whole lot of celebrating throughout the month. This year does feel slightly different though as it’s the first year I’ve really thought about my age in relation to my ‘biological clock’. I know at 37 I am still young, but there is no getting away from the fact that there is a slightly louder tick tock pounding through my uterus this year.Those once rather high fertility success rate figures are now also starting to steadily decline.
I have always felt very lucky that we have frozen embryos which were collected when I was 34. I would like to think that had I been single or not ready to have children I would have had the foresight to freeze some eggs in my 30’s but maybe not? I have always wanted children so l like to think I would have been proactive in preserving my fertility. After our miscarriages last year I had some further testing and general fertility checks to see if much had changed since my last tests when we started our fresh IVF cycle in 2015. One (and probably the only) bonus of PCOS is that eggs don’t seem to be in short supply and five years on my AMH levels are still very high. I have a really good egg reserve (more relative to someone in their 20’s) so that is alway’s a comfort to know. The quality of the eggs though, no doubt will be different and this was explained to me.
Although it was hard not having any answers re our miscarriages, I like to look at the positives and that is, there is no glaringly obvious reason as to why it happened or that it will happen again. As I approach this birthday and Austin enters his 3rd year of life I have suddenly felt the overwhelming fear that my infertility will now almost certainly determine how big our family will be. I can honestly say I wish we had children sooner. I know there are a million reasons for having children later in life but in all honesty none of those reasons make up for what we are still going through now. I really do wish we thought about having a baby earlier. My path to motherhood will most likely always be via medical science and suddenly 37 is a scary number. When we started fertility treatment I was 32, I felt like we had time on our side and when Austin arrived I felt so lucky and confident we would be able to complete our family before I was 40.
I’ve made no secret that I would have chosen to have 3 children of course I am aware that having Austin makes us the luckiest parents and I am also aware how many couples are still waiting patiently for their first. But it still pisses me off that ultimately I have no control over the number of children we will have to complete our family. I along with many other women leave that fate in the hands of doctors and fertility drugs whilst trying to remain positive each year that goes by.
This really wasn’t supposed to be a depressing or sad post just a realisation that by turning 37, so do my eggs. This week also marks the anniversary of our first miscarriage. April 2nd 2017 a scan in EPU confirmed our one and only natural pregnancy had come to an end. I’ve spoken so much about our losses and although I think about those babies and what would have been EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I don’t want my focus to be guided by that sadness anymore.
Whatever our family status, I will always try to be happy and grateful. So, this is a new year, a new birthday and I will remind myself every day how bloody lucky I am to be (almost) 37.