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I really want a baby. We are married and had been trying without success for a baby when I had an accident which means I'm still in pain 6 months later. I don't have much hope of getting better any time soon - treatment seems to be about pain management and I don't actually know if I'll ever get better, but I might in a few years. I'm still not able to do my job properly as a result. Pregnancy would put stress on the part of my body which is injured and to get/stay pregnant I would have to stop taking the painkillers which allow me to do the little I can do. I'm frightened that I wouldn't be able to work at all during pregnancy and that I might not heal sufficiently to go back afterwards.
But. I am 32 and we originally wanted four children. My career is important to me and I planned to share the maternity leave with DH and go back to it after 6 months. It would also help financially to be able to go back to work - we could cope without it but if I couldn't go back at all clearly we'd lose the maternity pay.
How long should I wait? It can take so long to conceive - I'm really worried about this after the initial period of failing to conceive. Would you risk losing your career/job to have a baby? I worry that people will think I'm awful if I do.
You don't always have the choices you would want in life, so it is important you look at the actual choices you have now and not the ideal/original plan.
I have arthritis and had to come off my medications to TTC, it took longer than I would have liked and my career is not where it would have been otherwise. I was off sick and not entitled to maternity pay. However, being a few years behind career-wise doesn't feel important, life isn't a race. Having my DD was more important and it was a case of choosing between the two - I am really happy with the decision I made. People take time off from work for a multitude of reasons, which you are now learning, does it really matter if you get the next promotion at 34 instead of 33? However, age does matter considerably in relation to your family decisions.
If I were you I would talk seriously with your consultant about the risks to your health and the best time health-wise to TTC, that is what will still matter 5 years from now. Being a bit further back at work than if life had gone to plan won't matter so much. Forget the tiny details about maternity pay unless you desperately need the money, focus on your health. Good luck, I hope you can be happy in the decision you make.
Thank you I'm glad it's worked out for other people. If you don't mind me asking RunnerHasBeen, were you able to go back to the same job? We could manage without the maternity pay (though I would feel awful not contributing) but the thought of having to leave my job or burning my bridges with so much sickness terrifies me - a lot of my self-esteem and happiness is tied into what I do.
I don't know how long to wait really - it's heartbreaking with friends all around me having adorable babies.