As women, there’s one thing we’re constantly reminded of… the inevitable disintegration of our precious ovaries.
I get it. Our biological clocks are ticking and we don’t want to turn around in 10 years time and think “I should have had kids when I had the chance!” But what if we’re on the “it’s not gonna get any easier” side of 35 and we’re still not ready?
I’ve had countless friends, acquaintances and doctors say, when I mention I’ve always thought I’d have kids in my 40s, “Well you know you might not be able to?”. Of course I know that. I’m not an idiot, but that’s precisely why I’ve tried to be as smart about the whole genetic conundrum as possible.
I don’t buy into the argument that if I don’t have kids right now, a childless 46-year-old me will be wishing they could jump in a time machine and shake some sense into younger me.
The reason I’m not a mum right now is not because I believe I’ve got all the time in the world because I’m sporting super human eggs that are immune to the ravages of age. It’s because I’m not ready.
And if one more person says “Well you’re never really ready” like that’s a reason to have a kid, I’ll lose it. Aren’t we more complex than that? Aren’t we able to prepare ourselves for more than one eventuality?
I’m currently getting myself prodded and poked in an attempt to work out whether my nether-regions have already packed it in or if there’s still some life left in the old girls.
If things are looking dire I'm going to investigate freezing my eggs. And if, when my partner and I decide to have kids we can't have them naturally we'll take those bad boys off ice.
"But there's no guarantee that'll work" I hear you shout. I know. Again, I'm not an idiot. Which is why I'm not putting all my eggs (pun intended) in one basket. If, heaven forbid, the defrost doesn't yield the desired bun in the oven and we exhaust all the IVF-style options, the next logical step will be to look at adoption.
"But you have no idea how hard that will be!"
Ok, so what am I supposed to do? Have a child now when I'm not ready because it'll save unnecessary hassle later?
LISTEN: Deb Knight shares her experience with fertility and IVF on I Don't Know How She Does It (post continues after audio...)
I understand if I can't have a baby when I eventually start trying it will be devastating. I also know I'll be bummed if I've frozen my eggs and they don't take, or if I try IVF and it's unsuccessful. But I'm also trying to do everything I can to be as smart as possible about my biological limitations. I know the only way to make sure I'm resilient enough to deal with the inevitable disappointment is if I've prepared myself as much as possible both practically and emotionally.
We spend so much time telling woman they shouldn't feel pressure to have kids and then when they don't we start questioning why they're not.
Surely, the only right way to do this is the way that works for you.
Do you agree with Rachel? Should women 'of a certain age' cave to the ticking clock?