A different path to motherhood

My name is Patrice. I’m 43. My health is great – I work out most days, I eat well, do yoga, and generally live a fairly balanced and stress-free life. Most people think I’m in my early 30s, and to be honest, that’s how I feel. 40 is the new 30 – right? Little did I know that isn’t the case when it comes to fertility. Being healthy and fit, I never worried about being able to get pregnant in my 40s. I knew several women who’d had babies in their 40s, and it seemed like every magazine article I read was announcing another pregnant celebrity in her 40s or even 50s! So when I decided earlier this year to try to get pregnant using donor sperm, I thought making the decision to become a sole support parent would be my biggest hurdle. Boy was I wrong. I had some sense that I might have to use IVF as a back up plan if I wasn’t able to get pregnant naturally. But I was completely devastated when, after some routine tests, the fertility specialist told me that given the quality of my eggs – which I was surprised to hear was related to my age rather than how fit and healthy I felt – the chance of conceiving was so low that it wasn’t worth going through IVF.  The doc started talking about using embryo donation to become a parent, or looking into adoption as a possibility. I left the session feeling like I’d been hit with a ton of bricks. I got back into my car in shock. I had always assumed that when I was ready, with the help of technology, I’d be able to have a child. I was devastated that this wasn’t going to be possibile. It took several months, lots of tears, and some counselling – but I’m through the worst of the grief. I’ve come to the realization that although I would love to have had my own genetic offspring, becoming a mom is what is most important to me, even if I have to take another route to get there. So I’m working through a clinic that offers embryo donation. If that option doesn’t work, then I’ll pursue adoption. I’m grateful and hopeful that there will still be an opportunity to become a mother, even though this isn’t the path to motherhood that I had expected to be taking.

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