Tuesday, May 17, 2011

IVF: Gearing Up For Round Two

So I wouldn't have my first child at 42 but I could still get pregnant at 42. I read gossip magazines when they came my way (Hello, OK) and focused on the Hollywood stars in their late 50s with their 10 year old children. Some of the children are adopted and even though I was still far away from considering that option, I revelled in the fact that a woman in her 50s could be the mother of a small child and that it was acceptable. I loved it that the pictures looked happy and natural.

If I had to have a Hollywood body in my 50s, so be it. Whatever it took not to be the mother at the school gates who looks like the grandmother. If anyone could pull it off, I could. Years of being an indoors person had saved my skin. I'm uncomfortable in the heat and sunbathing has to be the most boring passtime ever invented - I'd rather watch the paint dry. I'd have to get my weight down but I'd done this before and I could do it again. I was ready for 'round two.'

Meanwhile, my friend M had a party for just her women friends. There were about 15 of us of all ages, cheese and wine, and even a programme of activities (M is a great one for organizing). The first activity was an ice-breaker. We sat in a circle and everyone had to tell a short story or some unusual  information about themselves. Some of the accounts had to be made up so that afterwards we would all vote on which we thought were true and which not.

One woman had a small baby with her. As she dandled him on her knee she said, "This little thing was the result of IVF and he's a miracle baby because we only did it once and it worked." I liked that story. Other stories were more or less interesting but varied enough to keep us amused. A very attractive woman who looked about my age, told us she was in fact 48 and had had her daughter at 44. She was now trying to conceive again for a second child. I liked that story too.

We completed the circle and M suggested we take a ten minute break to refill our glasses and then reconvene for the voting. She also suggested that when we come back, we sit in different places to make it more of a challenge to remember everyone's stories. I wasn't so interested in all the stories, though there turned out to be a few surprises, as I was so focused on the baby stories. The woman with the baby was easy to remember - he was still sitting on her lap.

We all voted 'yes' as it was such a simple story. Why bother to make up something like that? It was so matter-of-fact that it was almost boring. The woman laughed, "I lied! I got pregnant the old fashioned way eight months after our wedding." I was furious with her. How dare she laugh off IVF as if it were a frivolous detail - like where you had sex when you conceived and in what position. I missed the next vote entirely as I was busy regaining my equilibrium.

The other baby story woman was also easily remembered as everyone had been fascinated by her. She was the oldest woman in the room and the most attractive. Thankfully her story was true. I didn't yet realize what trying to get pregnant at 48 entailed, but I was reassured that she wouldn't be trying if there was no hope.


  1. What a rather daft 'joke' to make. My brother is about to embark on his fifth IVf journey and I feel he would not have enjoyed hearing that!

    well done you for keeping your cool x

  2. I wouldnt of been impressed, I dont see it as a joking matter at all. Not something to be used like that. I became pregnant at 20 the natural way, I never ever gave thoughts about motherhood until I saw those little lines which told me I was expecting a baby. From then onwards I discovered the journey of motherhood and how some mothers really do undertake one hell of a journey to get to the stage I so easily did with 'some guy' my heart breaks when I hear of such journey's where it takes people who want to become mothers/parents so many attempts at IVF, so much money and sometimes it not going right. I want everyone who wants it to experience what I have by becomming a mother! I'm rambling, it's late. But yes, I can just imagine how you felt when she just laughed off IVF like that.

  3. Emma and Northernmum - it's funny you should both say that as I wrote these words about two years after the event but whilst I was still trying to conceive. When I put them into the blog yesterday I toned down my words because I couldn't believe how angry and upset I was over it. How quickly we forget the rawness of the emotions during the process.

  4. I remain amazed at how insensitive some people can be. Maybe it's because I got married at 34, well after 3 of my younger siblings, so I had my share of pressure and heartache, but I am always careful to avoid saying anything potentially hurtful. You never know what someone is going through privately. My favourite insensitive (and daft) comment came from my uncle, well before I'd even met my now-husband "We want children from you!" Argh.

    Anyway. I was very lucky to conceive my son 5 months after I got married, with no problems, but now we are trying for another, I'm 38, and six months in, nothing has happened yet. I was so sick when I was pregnant that it took a long time for me to work up the courage to try and go through it again, but now I'm feeling pressured and worried and wondering what I may have to go through to achieve a second pregnancy. It has been a shock to me, since the first one was so easy. It gives me a lot of hope when I read blogs such as yours, knowing that many women go through an awful lot to get pregnant and yet do still meet with success even if it takes time.

  5. Beth - My mantra was and still is (for other people) never give up. Regarding insensitive comments - the things I'm uncomfortable with now are sometimes things I remember saying to others before I was in the thick of it. I hope I've got wiser. Good luck with your plans, I wish you an easy journey to success.