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.