In my twenties I didn’t think too much about having kids. I was busy figuring out who I was, starting and building my career in PR, making friends, going to parties, having lovely holidays and generally having a great time.
In my early thirties I went travelling for 6 months and on my return found myself unexpectedly setting up a small PR agency just before the recession kicked in.
For the next five years you could really say that the company was my baby because it certainly was a full time job in both hours in the office, and time thinking about it when not in the office. I had a ball, but it was hard work and I was delighted when I moved on from it to a corporate in house role half a decade later… my, time really does fly when you’re having fun!
My new role represented a more grown up me and job security that would enable me to have a nice family life. I was in a relationship at the time and had started to think about marriage and babies in the future. The relationship came to an end, but my new job flourished.
Over the next five years life continued and all was good. I dated, was in relationships but none materialised into the big love that I wanted to start a family with. The closer I got to forty the more I could hear the unfortunate tick tock of my biological clock, and the more my want for a baby grew. I started to think about what my future might look like if I didn’t have a baby. There were a lot of feelings, but mostly I just thought that it would be incredibly sad.
I started to think about having a baby on my own as a back-up plan. I moved out of the house share I was in and into a two bed house on my own, that would suit just me and a baby if needs be. At that point I gave myself a couple of years to meet ‘the one’ before making a final decision. These years were quite lonely as it was a mix of forced optimism and slight desperation, which ultimately was too much pressure for any type of real relationship to develop and work. The stakes were too high, rather than moving forward, I paralysed myself.
Things changed towards the end of summer in 2018. I was on a beach in Croatia when I got a call about results of regular blood tests from my local surgery. Everything was perfectly fine, phosphorus levels were low this was not a concern as I wasn’t trying for a baby. When I explained that I while that was correct right now, I did plan on trying for a baby in a year or a year and a half, either with somebody, or on my own, she was very clear in her response. The time was now or potentially not as all.
While I knew it was harder to conceive when older, I really didn’t know how much harder it got from the age of 40, and how dramatically fertility dropped year on year after that. She also highlighted the fact that even if it did work out for me, I would most likely be 45/46 having my first baby, and to think about how I felt about that. It was the latter that really sealed the deal on me making my mind up in that moment to just go for it. If I’m honest I think I was quite relieved to have made the decision, so I could stop thinking about meeting somebody, wondering would it work, worrying about wasting more time etc.
So sitting on that gorgeous beach, that day was my first real step in becoming a mama.