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Am I Being Selfish? Advice Needed x

(46 Posts)
responsibleme Sun 20-Mar-11 14:57:38

Hello, 1st time on Mumsnet, but really need to ask a question.
I am 39 and after the unexpected end of my relationship (he left to be with someone aged 19)find myself without marriage or children. I have been responsible my whole life believing that although not essential, a family with two caring/commited parents would be the ideal way to bring a child into the world and now find myself wanting children soon, but am still without partner.
My dilema being: -
1, Wait a few years in the hope that I may still acheive my dream(but may not)with the real threat that the longer I wait the less fertility I have.
2, Consider sperm donation (though the thought of single parent/procedure/selection scares me silly.
3, Consider freezing my eggs for a few years so that it may still be possible to have children by 45 (the max age I feel appropriate for me to have children). I quite liked this idea, but looking on various websites, it seems that many think this very un-ethical with many clinics refusing to offer the procedure.

My Question Being: -
Is this treatment selfish/unfair/un-ethical? Has anyone been in a similar situation? Have no idea what I should do for the best. Seems i'm paying a price for being responsible.
Help - need advice!!

Hatesponge Sun 20-Mar-11 15:07:30

I don't think you're selfish. I agree that the 'ideal' is a 2 parent family, however sadly life doesn't always work out like that.

I found myself unexpectedly pregnant - and on my own - at 25. There was never a thought in my head I wouldnt go through with the pregnancy, and I haven't regretted it (DS is 13 in August). For me, I always knew I wanted a baby - probably from early 20s. I was also keen to have children before 30 for various reasons, and had decided that if the marriage/children thing didnt happen for me by 30, I would be off to a fertility clinic seeking sperm donor. As it worked out, fate intervened and I didn't need to.

If you want a baby, and can provide a home for it, then I see nothing wrong with going ahead. I honestly wouldn't advise waiting for the right man to turn up and having the perfect family - I have 2 friends who did and are now mid-40s and single, and another 2 who are late 30s and possibly will end up in the same situation. For them, they wanted the whole picture more than the baby though, so had made peace (in a sense) with the fact the baby might not happen.

cloudydays Sun 20-Mar-11 15:07:44

Hi responsibleme. I'm not an expert by any means, but I do not think there's anything in any way unethical or selfish about freezing your eggs. I have a (also single and childless in her late 30's) friend who has done it, and she has told me that she feels much less anxious and worried about the future because she has taken out some insurance on her fertility.

It's no guarantee, of course, that down the line IVF would be successful if she (or you) were to get the eggs fertilised, but at least it is one more possibility for the future.

I know that there are ethical debates about the freezing of embryos , because if they are not used they're discarded, and some would equate that with abortion. But before the eggs are fertilized, they are just eggs, not embryos, and if they are discarded in the future because you met your ideal man and got pregnant the old fashioned way, there wouldn't be any ethical issue around that.

Wishing you the best of luck with whatever you decide.

Pheebe Sun 20-Mar-11 15:12:29

I was already looking in to option 2 when I met my DH. Option 3 doesn't guarantee you would be able to get pregnant and carry a baby to term as your body, not just your eggs, change as you get older. It would also be IVF and the chances of conceiving aren't much higher than for those couples with fertility issues to start with.

If you feel you are in a position to support yourself and a child I would say go for it. You'll only regret the things you DONT do. Don't keep second guessing yourself, just take the plunge.

Good luck whatever you decide

Hatesponge Sun 20-Mar-11 15:12:44

Have realised I slightly misread your OP, apologies blush

To clarify, I don't think there's anything selfish in freezing eggs. Or unethical.

However if you really want a child, you may want to consider sperm donor route (although I can understand that may seem scary), maybe not now but in next couple of years. In the meantime though I agree that the egg freezing offers some insurance.

atswimtwolengths Sun 20-Mar-11 15:16:21

I would go down the freezing eggs route; there's nothing unethical about it.

Personally, I would never go down the sperm donation route, unless I knew and really liked/loved the sperm donor. I think a baby is affected by its genes as well as by its upbringing and there are very few men I'd want to have a baby with.

Best of luck.

Rowan49 Sun 20-Mar-11 15:21:48

Hey, I'm in a similar position and have realised that I am OK with life alone but I can't bear the thought of not having children.

If I am still single in two and a half years time I will start IVF with a sperm donor. I realise it isn't for everyone but if people feel so strongly about it I suggest they volunteer for or donate to a children's charity for children who are abused, neglected, starved or hurt. I have my own home, well paid job, car etc and my child will be loved to bits and brought up in the best way I can xx

bemybebe Sun 20-Mar-11 15:25:03

The problem is that the average female fertility declines dramatically with age, whilst chances of conceiving the child with genetic abnormalities and pregnancy complications (including miscarriage) increase. Even a couple of years makes a significant impact on stats. Obviously, everyone is different and you may be able to conceive and give live birth without any problem well into your 40.
If I felt I need to have a child and had financial security to provide at least bare essentials, I would go for trying getting pregnant whichever way you feel right straight away. Good luck!

hairylights Sun 20-Mar-11 15:53:32

You aren't selfish.

If you really, really, really want children, I recommend you do something, as soon as possible.

I am nearly forty three, and have had three miscarriages in the last year. I don't say this to scare you, but I would have done things differently if I could have.

I was with the wrong man from my mid twenties to forty, and couldn't get out of the relationship/supressed my child -wanting instintcs.

When me and my new partner started trying, we thought it might be something that might or might not happen, but more likely not.

Having got pregnant three times, it has really brought it home to me how much I want it. I am hightly unusual in having got pregnant three times in a year, I'm told (by a consultant embryologist).

Your chances at 39 are considerably better than later on. Seriously, my advice to myself at 39 would have been to do something, rather than nothing.

Were I now on my own, I'd be looking at sperm donation.

batsintheroof Sun 20-Mar-11 15:55:04

Go for it now if you want a child, why not? You can cope on your own- plenty of people do it. Everyone has a child for selfish reasons!

Or, why not consider adoption??? Then you could get two or three at once

hairylights Sun 20-Mar-11 15:56:22

PS: the chances of IVF working are very, very, very low at 42/3 (on average about 8% success rate in terms of achieving pregnancy) AFAIK (having looked into it).

Please don't be fooled into the 'I'll just have IVF later' thing - it's very invasive, statistically not likely to succeed later in life, and very, very expensive (£4k a shot, at least, more with donor eggs/sperm).

hairylights Sun 20-Mar-11 15:58:30

Also, adoption is very, very difficult. It takes a long time to be approved, you must also prove that you have stopped trying for your own (and gotten 'over' any losses). From what I can gather, they expect you not to have had IVF in the last year.

And you are very unlikely to get a baby at 39 - there are very few available for adoption - and they like to see no more than a 40 year age gap between adoptee and adopter.

beesimo Sun 20-Mar-11 16:02:10

OP go for it and get yourself pregnant straight away if you want a baby have one now. Your age is against you and there are bad times coming in this country I reckon that in five years time there is not going to be nearly so much help for single mums. I think you will be a good Mam you are a thoughtful person and any child that you have will land with its bum on a velvet cushion. All best wishes

Rowan49 Sun 20-Mar-11 16:04:59

Hairylights, sorry to thread hijack; what are the other options available for single ladies (apart from a one night stand - don't really want to do that!) xx

batsintheroof Sun 20-Mar-11 16:07:23

I reckon you need to do some temps, work out when you're ovulating, then skulk around engineering student halls of residences with a pair of cufflinks and some lube.

YellowDinosaur Sun 20-Mar-11 16:20:15

batsintheroof presumably you mean handcuffs pmsl at OP skulking around student halls with cufflinks! gringringrin

ButterflySally Sun 20-Mar-11 16:41:39

I don't think you are being selfish at all and I sincerely hope you end up with the family you've always wanted.

I'm not sure freezing your eggs is such an option, though. My understanding is that whilst embryos can be successfully frozen, unfertilized eggs can't be (although there may have been new advances in this area...I don't happy to be corrected on this one).

As for your other two options, I think you need to decide if you are happy living with all the possible consequences of your decision. For example, are happy with taking Option 1 at the risk of not having a child? Can you deal with the idea (and reality) of being a single parent if you take Option 2? Only you can decide what feels right for you.

Numberfour Sun 20-Mar-11 16:46:53

grin at batsintheroof!!

Good luck, OP, whatever you decide, though I am all for the Go For It Now Camp. Don't leave it any longer...

CheerfulYank Sun 20-Mar-11 16:52:22

Do it now! But if you don't want to, I don't think there's anything wrong or selfish with freezing your eggs. Good luck!

hairylights Sun 20-Mar-11 16:58:02

rowan I think the only option IMHO is to do something now rather than wait.

baskingseals Sun 20-Mar-11 17:04:16

you're absolutely not being selfish.

wish you the best of luck

Nancy66 Sun 20-Mar-11 17:07:05

Egg freezing is not a successful procedure - there have only been five live births in the Uk as a result of egg freezing.
39 is also quite old to have them frozen.

In your shoes I would have artificial insemination

CheerfulYank Sun 20-Mar-11 17:09:41

You could actively look for a donor, i.e. Jennifer Aniston in The Switch.

PepsiPopcorn Sun 20-Mar-11 17:16:54

1 - no, you do not have the luxury of time in front of you. Time is running out.
2 - yes, sperm donation would be a good idea in your situation
3 - egg freezing good in theory but doesn't really work very well yet

Good luck!

batsintheroof Sun 20-Mar-11 17:30:22

sorry blush

op just do it now!!!

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