Rachel Altman spent 10 years trying to have a baby. She’d been through seven IVF cycles between the ages of 31 and 38 and, finally – in a doctor’s office seeking a second opinion – she “just knew” it was never going to work.
“I always hoped I’d know. You don’t want to be that person who does 30 cycles and mortgages their house and has nothing and it still doesn’t work,” she told SBS Insight. “But you also don’t want to stop the cycle before the one that would have worked.”
The now 39-year-old moves between tears and smiles but her eyes are always sad during the four-minute clip posted to Facebook by SBS Insight.
Altman grew up dreaming of children and, a year on from her final IVF cycle, she has accepted the fact she never will.
She also has some ‘controversial’ advice for young women: if you want to a family, start trying early.
“Somewhere along the line it became not politically correct to tell women in their early 20s that they needed to be out looking for a husband,” she continued. “But… They need to be out looking for a husband.”
Her story is jarring because of the way it could – and probably does – happen to anyone. When she was 30, Altman had a boyfriend, a home, and they were trying to have a baby.
“We’d been talking about it for a while and when we bought the house we decided to start trying,” she said. “It took about eight or nine months to fall pregnant and unfortunately that pregnancy was ectopic.”