When I met my now husband, I was 37. I had gone through several breakups in my early and mid-30’s where I mourned the fact that I would ever have kids. I had read the statistics and I knew my chances were slim. I had contemplated freezing my eggs during one anxiety-riddled weekend when I was 34, but that ship had sailed by the time I met hubby.
And when hubby and I got married, I was 39, just a few months shy of my 40th birthday. So to protect myself, I told my husband I didn’t want any children. We fought about it and I didn’t tell him my deep dark truth: that I was ashamed we couldn’t have children and I would fail him.
Other People’s Fertility Struggles
I know it’s a challenge that other women have faced, and despite his support and love for me, I couldn’t let him know that I was truly frightened to want what I may never have. I also watched two of my sisters navigate their fertility struggles, so I knew the chance that we could never have kids was a very true reality.
But I also knew that when I met him, it was the first time I met someone who could be the father of my children. Despite being told time and time again that it would be next to impossible to meet my husband in D.C. – that is what happened for me. So I knew that I would be brave and take a leap of faith into this next adventure.
No More Negative Nancies
The biggest thing for me was that I wanted to try to have children without naysayers in my head. I stopped talking to negative Nancies about it, or anyone who had a complicated pregnancy and would project their experience onto me. It’s easy enough to Google “pregnancy at 40” to drive one nuts, and I knew if I had anyone with even a niggling bit of negativity, it would affect me.
Admitting I Wanted to Be a Mom
It wasn’t easy. I felt extremely vulnerable finally admitting that I wanted to have children and I would try. It was the scariest thing I admitted in my life because when I was all in, that meant this dream could easily be dashed. We decided to try naturally, and if after six months nothing happened, I would head to the doctor for possible next steps. We got pregnant within five months of trying.
While pregnant I shut out all the questions about me being “high risk” and “what about a baby with chromosomal abnormalities?” and instead focused on what I had control over – surrounding myself with positivity, having medical providers that were honest yet believed in me, and continuing my healthy habits of working out, juicing, meditating, and chilling out with supportive friends. All of these choices made all the difference. My medical providers kept it real, encouraging me to take a spate of blood tests to determine risks, etc. yet were supportive of all of my healthy habits and cheered me on. The friends I grew close to during my two pregnancies are ones who are my ride-or-dies even today. Also, all of the exercising and juicing I did birthed two amazingly healthy baby boys.
I share this story because I’ve been there, and I’m on the other side. This is all to say: it’s OK to be scared to want something and to pursue it anyway. I hope the tips in this blog give you a sense that this can be a dream fulfilled for you too.