My biological clock & deciding to have a baby
We’ve never been a conventional couple. Even though our story meeting at university sounds pretty standard, I had actually returned to university in my 30’s and Josh, while officially a mature student for taking a gap year, was… well, not mature. This age gap meant that making the decision to try for a baby was also not likely to be conventional either. So, here’s how it went...
We were not in a good place
There wasn’t this dreamy moment where we saw a baby and looked into each others eyes and ‘just knew’ it was the right time. We didn’t just wake up one day and decide we were ready, in fact I’m not sure we are there yet or ever will be - who is ready for their life to be completely turned upside down? When we made the decision mid 2016, and it was very much a conscious and well talked through decision. We were struggling with money, living in a tiny 1 bed house with 2 dogs and no garden. Josh had a full-time job, but the salary was not great and I had only just gone freelance, so earnings were not great.
On top of that we were both struggling with anxiety and quite frankly, were far from being adults. We were in denial and doing whatever we could to avoid the realities of life and still borrowing off family at the end of each month to get by. On top of all of that I was still struggling to lose weight. Although I had lost over 2 stone on Slimming World that year, there was still a good 6 stone to go at that point.
Tick tock went my biological clock
The decision was triggered from a conversation we had early on in our relationship that came back to bite us on the ass. Having already been married and separated (more on that another time) I didn’t want to get into a serious relationship with someone that didn’t want children - I had a biological deadline to consider. So, when things got more serious and ‘I love you’s' were exchanged, we talked about the idea of kids. Not wanting Josh to feel any pressure at all and willing to wait as long as biologically viable, I said something along the lines of:
"It’s fine..‘I can wait till I’m like 35 or 36, we have a good 5 years to get our shit together."
Fast forward and just before my birthday last year my mother mentioned my age and consequently threw me into a head spin:
"36?! Wait, are you sure?"
Somewhere along the way I had managed to blank my age allowing it to conveniently blur in my conscious mind. I thought back to the conversations we had early on and started to panic and of course, the Googling ensued. Countless blogs were read and 36 was apparently a big number for fertility, which of course could be bollocks, but what if they were right? Yes, I could wait but even though many women have children into their 40’s now I was worried waiting would reduce my chances of getting pregnant and that wasn’t a risk I wanted to take. I mean that’s a whole other blog post in itself - we’ll come back to that one later.
Accepting that we’d never be ready for a baby
So, there I was with this sudden pressure to make a decision and consider whether waiting would really make a difference. Would I be more ready to start a family in two or three years? Would we suddenly be better off and have all of our ducks in a row? Probably not. Because until we were forced to ‘adult’ I knew we both would continue to coast and not feel that pressure to step up our game.
For us, I think just making that decision and going in head first - well Josh going in head first (that’s what she said) - was the only way we would ever make that decision. So, the first step was accepting that we were never going to be ready for a baby - who really ever is? We then weighed up the risks and discussed whether we were willing to risk the chances of not getting pregnant if we were to wait. I also did a lot of research on having a high BMI and the age risks seemed to out weigh the risks of being overweight. So, we thought 'sod it' and decided to go for it.
And so our journey towards trying for a baby began…
So, that’s how it happened for us. We started by just agreeing I came off my pill, I was on a progestogen only pill ‘Cerazette’ which I had heard can cause miscarriages if you conceive within 6 months of coming off them (something I still wholeheartedly believe), so in October 2016 we made that step. The plan to start getting busy to produce a baby in March 2017. In fact, I know it was the 21st October more specifically as the moment is memorialised with a social update sharing my ‘coming off the pill’ kit (pictured above). And an eventful journey it would be.
We will be writing about our experience trying for a baby soon. In the meantime, you can read Dad's perspective on deciding for a baby.