Lately, I’ve had to think about whether I want to have kids or not. In life, there is an expectation that when you get married, you have kids. However while in some cultures, there is no pressure to have kids, in my culture, the pressure is on. There is an expectation to get married, have your first child 9 months later, then the second child to keep the first child company and if none of these are boys, to continue until you have a boy! Thankfully some are kicking against this, especially in the light of the high cost of maintenance.
So imagine you are in your 40s and haven’t had a child yet. Ten years ago, you were younger and didn’t think of storing your eggs because you may have been in a relationship that seemed to be going somewhere. You watched all the movies but it was a non issue because you were young, and had plenty eggs (as my people would say).
Fast forward 20 years, no relationship and it is now a reality. What to do?
A friend recently invited me and some of her lady friends to lunch. It was a celebration of older mothers and their journeys AND a forum to discuss motherhood options for older women. I found it refreshing to hear these women openly discuss their most personal and painful journeys, stories from adoption, surrogacy to IVF and many more I can’t remember. Some of the ladies are still hopeful in spite of the challenges while a few had been blessed with a child or two at the end of the painful process.
A few things stood out for me that afternoon:
- the emotional pain that comes with the trial and error of IVF
- after a certain age (I think 35 yrs), very few doctors are willing to take you on as an IVF patient
- when a woman yearns to have a child, the emotional pain and gnawing can be likened to the inability to breathe. Nothing else matters but that desire. When fulfilled, the difference is clear!
In conclusion, I pray fulfilment for those seeking. For those undecided about the way to go, please research your options early.
Image: courtesy CNN.com