Because I’m too old.
“She’s been trying for 12 months. And nothing. So she had to get hormone injections just to get things happening down there, and still not pregnant.”
These are the kind of stories I’m being overexposed to. I understand that it might be my age, but every conversation I have with another female human being heads towards that dark, scary word – infertility.
I am no stranger to pregnancy questions. I’ve been dodging them for the past 3 years (started the day after I said “I do” to my husband).
But in the last year, it is no longer a matter of when, but, if you don’t get preggers today, you N-E-V-E-R will.
And to be honest, I’m feeling the pressure. And I’m not the only one.
At a recent catch up with my girlfriends, I found out I was the only one on birth control. And let me just clarify, not one of my friends wants to get pregnant. Now, they all had their reasons for ditching the pill, but there was one truthful, no BS reason – the fear that prolonged used of the pill makes you infertile.
Now, I am no doctor, but throughout my 15 years on the pill, I’ve asked many a doctor that question – is my Uterus’s body guard doing me harm – and they’ve all said no. Or that there isn’t enough research to substantiate the claims.
But still, for my friends the possibility that the pill could make you maybe-possibly-infertile was a better reason to stop taking it than the fear that you will-very-definitely-get-pregnant without your bodyguard.
Now before I go on, I need to say this. Infertility is a very real painful truth for some (1 in 6 in Australia). I know friends who've tried for months that turn into years to get pregnant. I know friends who've had to say goodbye to the dream of ever having children. I know friends and family who are far too familiar with the process of becoming fertile through medical intervention. And for them, my heart breaks.
But I also have friends who have got pregnant on the pill. I know family members who got pregnant within their first month in 18 years of going off the pill. I know women who conceived in their 40s.
But you don't always hear those later stories.
Instead, everywhere I turn I am told that, at 31, I'm done for. I can pack up my ovulating bags and settle into a child-free life. If I believe the stories, my chances are slim to none.
It's not just the random stories that run through the gossip vine either. In November last year, I found myself on holiday on the London Tube on my way to visit Kate Middleton for tea (or just look at her beautiful palace). And across from me was an ad for IVF. After staring at the ad and all its statistics for 10 minutes, I decided to bail on Kate and take my husband and his sperm to the fertility clinic because if I wasted another minute, I would never have children. Thankfully, common sense came back to me.
I can't remember what the ad said, but it went along the lines that if I ever wanted children I should've fallen pregnant at 13 when my eggs were at their peak and if I even wanted to try today at 31 there was no chance it would happen without hormone shots/IVF/someone else's egg.
And this is not the only ad I've seen that has said something similar. In fact, there are ads like these in my local paper that I get to flick past every day. I understand IVF clinics need to make money, and they don't really want to scare our ovaries, but they do.
Now, I can handle the fear (sort of). Probably because falling pregnant is in my future and not in my now (sorry, Mum). But I also know that those who are trying to fall pregnant right now, are feeling more than a little overwhelmed.
A friend of mine blurted out to me the other day that she thinks she's infertile. You see, she's been trying for 3 months. She's in her mid 30s. And she's not pregnant. I did what any friend in that situation should do, I gave her medical advice. I told her that 3 months wasn't that long. That she could start stressing at 6 months. I told her that her periods weren't even regular (she confessed this to me as well). And I told her stressing wasn't going to help her ovaries.
I also told her not to think about Jane from down the street who had to have IVF at 30. Or the 23-year-old at work who got pregnant in a month.
Because here's the thing. While we all love to share stories of each other's ability or inability to conceive, an influx of one or the other does more harm than good.
Especially, when we are talking about the possibility of not having something most of us dream of. Like kids.
What kind of stories have you heard of people struggling to get pregnant?
SCROLL THROUGH the gallery for 15 things you need to do before having a baby...
Want more? Try:
Follow iVillage on Facebook
When you become a parent, you don't leave your brain in the delivery suite. That's why mothers with kids of all ages come to themotherish.com; because they're still interested in news about entertainment, health, current affairs and food along with an inspiring and useful stream of parenting advice and support.
Most importantly, they come because they want to hear personal stories of parenting directly from other mothers, without fear of judgement.