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Leaving my relationship for a chance at motherhood

My name is Rachel. Wendy and I met when we were in our late 20s and moved in together when we were in our early 30s. We had the “kid” talk before we moved in. At that point, we were both fairly certain that we didn’t want children. Most of our friends didn’t have kids, we had demanding jobs, we lived in a very expensive city, and neither of us had the “urge” to have kids. We thought we were both on the same page. Then I threw a wrench into our plans. Around my 38th birthday, I began to wonder if I was going to regret not having any children. By this time many of our friends and our siblings had become parents. This nagging doubt about our decision to remain childfree kept coming up for me, so much so that it became pretty difficult to ignore. When I sat Wendy down to share my doubts, she was understandably upset. She felt like I had changed the rules to the game – rules that we had decided on together. Having kids was never part of the plan and she wasn’t sure that she was up for kids. I said I respected where she was coming from, but asked her to take some time to think about it.

A few months later, she was still undecided. Given my age, I didn’t think I had any time to waste. I made an appointment at a fertility clinic and had my fertility tested. The doctor said that my fertility had already started declining, and if I wanted to try to have a baby with my own eggs, I needed to start trying as soon as possible. Being 38, there was no guarantee that I’d get pregnant. She gave me a list of sperm donors and profiles to choose from. I shared the list of donors with Wendy, and she said she just can’t see kids as part of her future – as part of our future. I apologized to her, and told her I understand but this is something that I need to do – even if it means doing it alone. It was a very painful discussion and decision. I love Wendy and the life we’ve created. But I don’t want to live with regrets down the road. So I’ve decided that I going to try to get pregnant, even if it means losing Wendy – which I hope it doesn’t.

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