Just to be clear
I DON’T think people should wait to have children …
I didn’t wait, it’s just how things panned out in my life.
The stress, the heartbreak and the angst of the journey we went on was tremendous … but we were lucky in the end, so very very blessed and fortunate to have ended up with a successful pregnancy which resulted in the safe birth of our miraculous daughter.
Where I am now is thanks to medical science and not thanks to fertility … I believe that in some way I helped the pregnancy stay on track through obsessively caring for it and for myself, exercise, healthy diet and meticulous attention to doing everything anybody medical suggested to me was a good idea. I had had miscarriages and false starts, and had fertility not been the issue we wouldn’t have considered IVF or any other option in the first place.
We had a healthy baby girl, against many many odds and count ourselves extraordinarily blessed.
Fertility declines, egg quality declines, sperm quality declines … ability to carry a successful pregnancy declines and risks to the mother and the babyaround the time of the birth increase … that’s just fact. Real medical fact.
I believe more should be done to educate and raise awareness of these issues when young people are studying sex education. I don’t believe in pressuring people to get pregnant younger but it is important that we understand that the risks and issues of leaving it late (if that is the choice that’s being made) are great. Many people (me included) didn’t make a choice to have children late, it’s simply how it happened.
Many who either wait or end up trying later in life can’t, need help or look for alternative methods of having a family. I was lucky … I am where I am, an older mother and a blissfully (broke and dishevelled) happy one at that. I will do all I can for my daughter, I count every day with her as a blessing and thank God every day for the knowledge, expertise, compassion, support, care and incredible good fortune that led us to her birth.
I love being a mother, I think I’m probably a better mother now than I would have been when I was younger, but ultimately I’m just lucky to be a mother and I will do all I can to ensure my daughter has a happy, fulfilling life.
I will be telling my her all this when she’s old enough to understand … and I will also tell her constantly how blessed I am that the miracle of Hope came into my life and our world. Ultimately she’ll make her own decisions as and when she’s ready to have a child, if that’s the path she choses .. I would like her to be aware of the challenges she may face the later she leaves those decisions. Fate may take them out of her hands as it did in my case … and if that happens then I hope she is as fortunate as we were.
The piece is online (without our photograph) at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-health/10838177/Why-fertility-is-far-from-finished-at-40.html