real life

I was panicking about not being able to have babies after 30. So I had them with the wrong man.

It’s one thing that can happen when you tell women to hurry the hell up.

The author of this post is known to Mamamia, but has chosen to remain anonymous. 

Women everywhere sighed yesterday when another “expert” made headlines for telling women to hurry up and have a baby by the age of 30 or they may miss out. Is it worth just settling for the wrong partner in a desperate rush to fall pregnant?

I fell for the hype. The pressure, the scare mongering that I would be one of those who would miss out.

I fell for the statistics and the headlines.

I fell for the pressure and I wonder now if I was a fool.

Eight years ago I was aged 30. I had a successful job that made people want to talk to me when I told them what I did. I was fit, healthy and desperately, desperate to have a baby.

I believed, you see, that if I didn’t, I wouldn’t have a second chance. I believed that after the age of 30 my fertility would decline so rapidly I would be left floundering. I had an ache so raw that when I saw a newborn baby that I had to hold my breath for fear I would groan out loud with a visceral need to hold her.

When friends told me they were pregnant I felt bitterness and envy. Bile and sadness.

I thought I would never have a baby.

It wasn’t me. It was never going to be me. I had had a series of relationships, all mediocre. I was in one at the time it was barely past mediocre.

We’ve all heard it haven’t we?

How could you not? If you aren’t shacked up and up the duff by the time you blow out the 30 candles then it’s a one-way ticket to the nearest IVF centre.

Eight years ago, the media was obsessed with the ticking time bomb women were carrying around alongside the eggs which were shrivelling and dwindling daily. We saw charts and diagrams, we read feature articles and watched current affair shows all designed to make us realise that if we didn’t hurry, we would miss out.

It was like being given a death sentence. The death of your unborn babies.

And I fell for it. At the age of 30 in a dead-end relationship I decided that the only option for me was this. Him. There was no time to find anyone else. He was nice enough, he was into me, he was educated and responsible and had learnt to control his temper. He had a job and enough hair and decent genes (and jeans) and I had to suck it up as this was it for me. My chance.

I was pregnant first time round. Success. No more worrying over timelines or time bombs. Two blue lines had delivered me from what I had feared was my fate.

A barren woman.

Instead I was to be a mother, with surprising ease.

This woman had triplets at the age of 66. Post continues after video.

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He was shocked that it took so little time to fall pregnant, perhaps having bought into the hype himself and thinking that this baby-making business might actually be a way to revive what he saw as a fairly average sex life.

I was overjoyed. Life had worked out according to plan.

Except, it didn’t.

We had our daughter, a few weeks early, a tiny breech baby with legs like frogs from being the wrong way around for nine months.

Her legs straightened up about the same time our relationship began to break.

Eighteen months later we decided to try again, and this time it took longer, but only by a few months.  We were trying to save our (by now) marriage by filling our lives with children.

We had our baby then our marriage fell apart.

Possibly I know now, that I was never going to have trouble falling pregnant. Possibly those few eggs that were left by the age of 33 (as I had been led to believe) were fighters as desperate to be used as I was desperate to bare them.

Possibly at the age of 38 I am just as fertile as I was eight years ago but I will now never know because while our children flourished our relationship self imploded.

Why he left is a long and detailed story, destined for another page.

What I know now was that he was the wrong man for me.

It is hard to admit though because what he gave to me was the greatest gift of my life – my children.

In the back of my mind I wonder if I hadn’t have believed the ticking time-bomb hype would I have found someone with whom I would have been just as happy, with who I could have had my babies but just a few years later?

There is a temptation as a young woman to want it all now.

You feel a fear of missing out. A fear that maybe that hype is right, that maybe you will be, just the one for who it IS true, that maybe you should just settle, just in case.

As I look at my children now eight and six, vivacious, delightful, delicious inquisitive human beings I can’t tell you not to.

But I can say that for you, perhaps you should be wary, to consider, to evaluate a little closer than I did because maybe, just maybe your future is not going to be determined at this point in time.

Maybe, just maybe you shouldn’t believe the hype.

Do you think it’s worth “settling” for the wrong man so you can have children when you planned to?

Want more? Try this.

3 reasons women shouldn’t have kids in their 40s. (And why they’re bollocks.)

MIA: For every woman struggling with infertility who feels like a failure right now.