real life

I was told there was a less than one per cent chance of becoming a mum.

Meet the little boy this writer calls her ‘Lotto win baby’. 

Our six-month-old son, Axel, is our Lotto baby. I was told I had a less than a one per cent chance of falling pregnant – that sounded similar to the odds of winning Lotto. That’s why I call him The Lotto Baby.  On the days I look at our finances however, I lovingly call him The House Deposit.

He’s our Lotto Baby not only because I was 47 at the time of falling pregnant, but my partner who is female was donating her eggs to me so I could carry.  It was the only way we wanted to have a baby, despite us doing a lot of soul searching when the times were tough.

I might be a little reckless in saying this but if you are on your own, “fortysomething” and you desperately want to have a child, then go ahead and try.  Going it alone is not for everyone but I would hate for you to miss the opportunity of becoming a mother because it’s just so amazing and you will have so much to offer.

Here are my words of wisdom to help you with your journey:

Opening the door to hope

In my late 30’s I did one round of IVF with a former partner and I didn’t fall pregnant.  I wanted children more than he did and I was so gutted when I didn’t fall pregnant, I just didn’t have enough emotional fortitude (let alone the money) to continue on the journey without my mate’s full support. I came to realise that my purpose in life was not defined by my having children.   Plus I was already parenting a step child.  So I fully accepted the validity of my life without children “of my own”.  I even became excited about the prospects of what the future held because I discovered a freedom in the possibilities ahead of me.

Don’t give up, but know when to let go

My guess is if you’re over 40 and you’ve tried to conceive naturally and have been unsuccessful, you are considering or already participating in an IVF program.  IVF is the biggest, most expensive roller coaster I have ever been on.  Our Lotto Baby is even more precious because that cycle was going to be last cycle. Ever.

We did a lot of soul-searching to get to that conclusion.  Letting go of desperately wanting a baby was a relief.  I felt that we could get back to the business of living instead of being overly stressed out by appointments, drug protocols, and health regimes all geared to getting pregnant.  Know when enough is enough and have a good honest talk about it.  At one point I thought we were done, but my partner wasn’t ready to give up.  So despite my reservations, I agreed to another cycle and thank God I did.

Throw your heart and soul into it, but don’t lose your sense of humour

I can’t tell you how many times my partner and I had arguments or “tense discussions” about all manner of things.  Stick together, talk about your feelings, be cautious about not projecting your stuff onto your partner and forgive each other as quickly as possible.  Holding onto emotional baggage will not increase your chances of getting pregnant.  I am sure that laughter will.

It’s your baby no matter what the geneticists would say

Once you are on the IVF merry-go-round, many options will be presented to you.  One such option is to receive donor eggs (or embryo’s using donor sperm too) from younger women which increases the chance of getting pregnant significantly.  Strictly speaking, I received a donor embryo conceived of donor sperm and my partner’s egg.  There may be no genetic link but that did not affect my love and feelings that this was most definitely my child.  So if the doors of motherhood seem closed to you because you can’t conceive, consider a donor program.


Clean up your life – the payoff is big

While the many pregnant women walking out of the local methodone clinic were a reminder that women can fall pregnant in the most challenging of circumstances, we enlisted the help of naturopath, Francesca Naish.  Francesca has written many books on natural fertility and has trained many naturopaths.  Even though my partner and I weren’t going to fall pregnant naturally, preparing our bodies was in my opinion, a key part of our success.  Did you know that the health of the egg that women release commences three months before it starts its journey down the fallopian tube and has a direct impact on the health of your baby? We learnt so many interesting things about the state of our overall health that many of the protocols introduced to assist our fertility have become a way of life and we continue to reap the benefits.

Parenthood is not just a young person’s game

I believe at 48 I am much wiser, calmer and patient person who is more aware of “her stuff”.  Hopefully that will translate to more conscious parenting.  Physically I am in good health but I do experience tiredness and soreness.  However that has more to do with having a child who is very large for his age rather than me feeling my age.  I don’t think a younger woman with less physical strength than me would cope with our child.  He’s a tank – all 12 kilos of him.  Thankfully I am strong enough to care for him until he is able to crawl.

Now, the question I am most often asked is “Will you go again?”.

I don’t have the answer to that today.  Stay tuned. I might be writing another article about mother hood at 49!

Do you have a pregnancy success story you'd like to share?

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