Why I'm giving the future me the best chance at motherhood

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"Why I'm giving the future me the best chance at motherhood." Photo: Getty Images
"Why I'm giving the future me the best chance at motherhood." Photo: Getty Images

On meeting me for the first time, someone recently asked if I was working or studying. My eyes bulged as I informed them: "I am almost 40!"

I didn't look it, they replied. Unfortunately, I couldn't muster enough decorum not to blurt out, "Tell that to my ovaries".

I honestly thought I'd be a mother by now. I was a stepmother for a few years, and had that relationship lasted, and I think I would have been alright with only being a stepmom.

It's a privilege to be part of a child's life. I miss the inside jokes, everything I learned from The Kid, and the talks in the car to and from school. After the holidays, I even miss the mad scramble to find a discarded school belt. So, why would I like to be a parent?

  • Is it enough to say that it's a biological need?
  • Is it something that I've always felt was expected of me?
  • Is it because I think I'd be good at it?
  • Is it because I want to play with a mini version of myself?

I have a deep longing to raise a child. My life has taken a few twists and turns along the way, and not just romantically. I would have managed if I'd had a child with any of my previous partners. It would have been the path my life had taken. I can't afford to dwell on the "what ifs". All I can focus on is the future.

A few months ago, I took the first step. I went to see a fertility doctor. I suppose I was hoping to be told that I had more eggs than the Easter Bunny. I don't.

As the doctor assured me it was just genetics, I put on a brave face. I couldn't drink three cups of green tea a day and wish on a star to magically increase my egg stores.

Also read: 'The moment you play the baby's heartbeat': Local fertility specialist shares what keeps her going

Without any significant medical intervention, I could probably fall pregnant in the next few years. I'm not in a relationship, and quite frankly, I can't imagine I'll suddenly meet someone I like enough to procreate with in the next couple of years.

I don't want to feel the pressure. I don't want to rush into a decision. I don't feel I'm financially or emotionally ready to be a single parent, be it with the help of a sperm donor or through adoption.

Hats off to all the single parents out there. I don't know if I could do it. I've decided to freeze my eggs. It's an expensive exercise and, given my age, comes with no promises of a bountiful harvest.

I'm petrified. It feels like a huge decision, but I think it is something that I need to do, even if I only come out of it with a handful of viable eggs. The process is daunting, but I have the support of friends and family.

The hope is that I won't need to unfreeze these eggs and that if and when I decide to try for a baby, my body will still be up to the task.

My age and low egg stores are only one factors. I also have the added element of being a heart patient on blood thinners. My cardiologist is very optimistic. It will be difficult, but not impossible, like so many things in life.

I don't know what the future holds. I'm not closed off from being a stepmom again or even adopting.

For now, I want to see that I've given my future self a better chance of becoming a biological mother.

Republished on Parent24 with permission from the BrightRock Change Exchange programme.

See the original here.

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