This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
To feel anxious about being 34 and delaying TTC?(52 Posts)
I’m 34 in July. I’m in a relationship of nearly 3 years, we live together (albeit unofficially because of lockdown) and looking for somewhere suitable in our area big enough for the two of us. We both want children and on a daily basis I’m feeling anxious more and more about how old I’m going to be when we are finally ready to TTC. Ideally I’d want to be living together officially, preferably with a mortgage not renting (we are saving for deposit) and be married - I’d be happy with a small cheap wedding. I don’t know if I’m focussing more on this because of everything going on at the moment I don’t have my usual distractions of life but I can hear this biological clock loud and clear. I know women have babies in their late 30s and 40s but I don’t see myself being one of them. I feel like the last year especially last few months have flown by and I don’t have time to waste. How can I calm myself down?!
If it's any consolation I had a fertility test 2 months off my 37th birthday and my fertility levels were classed as 'good'. I had to pay privately for this.
Do you understand how your cycle works and whether you are fertile each month? I recommend reading Taking Charge Of Your Fertility and Fertility Friend. I read those years ago (now have 5 DC!) and was amazing how little I knew about my body.
Everything sounds like it's moving in the right direction, so that's good.
Have you agreed a timescale with your partner?
Are you engaged?
I would want to have plans to marry after 3 years at 34 if it was a relationship I was planning to stay in long term.
Would it help if you went a got your fertility checked? Might help to reassure you. I’ve known women have healthy pregnancies in their late 30’s/ early 40’s.
Get a check done, though I wouldn’t say that you can relax completely then, you’ll at least have an idea what you are dealing with. Without sounding harsh, you are talking about what you want ideally here, what does your partner think? Does he agree with your approach? Is he prioritising a cheap wedding? Is he ready for kids now?
I would suggest you have a frank chat with your partner. If this is a happy relationship and you want kids together, it would make sense to start planning a wedding (and not to have a long engagement). Renting with young kids isn't a total no-no, but it is very rarely wise to have a child without the legal and financial protection of marriage.
Honestly, if I were you, I'd aim to marry in the next 6 months and start TTC on honeymoon. I'd also have a small wedding so I could keep saving for a house deposit.
I'd feel more anxious about been poked, prodded and stuck full of needles and treated like an oven for 9 months culminating with something ripping its way out of me, personally.
But hey, to each their own xD
YANBU at all - fertility can decline at an alarming rate. My AMH and AFC were perfectly normal at age 34 - at age 35, just a year later, they are suddenly low and it's looking increasingly likely that DS will be an only child .
Definitely get married first though - you need to protect yourself in case of split (unless you have significantly higher wages/assets and plan to continue working full time after mat leave).
Realistically how long until you
Buy some where
Can start ttc
I agree that an open and honest conversation is required and set a plan with your partner, agree time scales.
I really wouldn't panic yet. Dh and I got married 3 years after we met and were TTC 6 months later. That's a perfectly reasonable time still for you (I was 31 at the time). You can have a simple wedding in the next year if it's both what you want and TTC right away. Though we had our first when I was 32, 2nd one was born when I was 37, which was perfectly fine (both conceived within first 2 months of TTC).
Please don't stress about the whole renting vs. mortgage thing. If you want to be married and have a baby, have one, as long as your financial situation is otherwise okay. We were in no way able to buy a house when we first had dc1. I'll be 39 when we finally complete on our first house hopefully next month. We were in no way disadvantaged by not rushing to buy before dc. It gave us extra years to save and progress our careers, and we are buying a much nicer house than we ever could have hoped for back then. And it saved us the hassle of a starter house and getting stuck in a chain, which would be a massive pain right now.
I think it depends on how long you think you will realistically have to wait.
When you say you'd be happy with a small cheap wedding, do you mean you'd be happy to go down to the registry office and just get hitched in front of your immediate family, or do you mean you'd still want a "proper wedding" but not a very expensive one?
If you still want a "proper wedding" where you'll have a decent number of family and friends for food and drink and dancing then even a budget one is going to put quite a hole in your house deposit. Not to mention the fact that I think venue availability is going to be a potential problem with all the people who have had to postpone their weddings this year rebooking for next year.
I think you need to work out how much money you need for the deposit and how much money you need for the wedding and then calculate how long it will take you to save up that money. Where does that put you in terms of TTC?
If you think you'd be starting in a year or 18 months' time then maying waiting wouldn't be too much of a risk. In any case, you haven't been with your partner all that long and if you've only just started living together then you probably want to be doing that for a while (I'd say a year or thereabouts) before you commit to having a child together. If you've only just moved in together then you still have a lot to learn about each other.
That said, I wouldn't wait too long. If you think you need more than 18 months to get on the property ladder and get married, you might want to think about prioritising TTC over one or the other.
I am 34 and have been TTC for a year. Before that I'd been tracking my ovulation and had been off hormonal contraceptives for three years. I ovulate consistently and although my FSH is a tiny bit higher and my AMH a tiny bit lower than I would like, I have a good antral follicle count and my doctor says my ovarian reserve is good. My husband has excellent quality sperm. I've had four early miscarriages and so far no one has been able to figure out what the problem is. I wish I'd started trying sooner.
I echo those above that are saying get a test done.
We had a tough time TTC and without going into the details in the end came to terms with not having children.
I had a fertility test done when I was 37 and mine was shot.
There's no harm in getting a test done if it comes back telling you your fertility is on the wane and spurs you on to TTC sooner. But it can also come back totally normal or even good and make you think you have nothing to worry about and can afford to put it off, which might not be the case.
I’d have some tests however do bare in mind that they will only tell you half the story as you could go on to have unexplained infertility further down the line i.e. failing to get pregnant but for no known reason. I waited till 37 (well not waited, more wasn’t in the right place to try) and two years down the line have had to have IVF, suffered two misscarriges and still no baby but theres no medical reason why it’s not not working for us. All test results have come back absolutely fine. If you're starting to feel anxious about it then that sounds like you’re ready to try.
If you feel like this then why wait? What would be more important? Having all that stuff sorted before TTC and possibly running into difficulties or TTC now, and having the baby you wanted. All the other stuff can wait and be sorted as and when. I'm getting it may be a year or two before all this is in place? That takes you to 36. It may also then take some time to conceive. I would do it now.
if you feel like this then why wait? so OP feels more secure, they aren’t at the mercy of landlords, so if she becomes a SAHM she’s protected by marriage
Well yes, having security would be better than not obviously, but that's not going to help if by waiting she is unable to have a child because she left it too late. Marriage would also be preferable but not a necessity.
But OP could equally get pregnant tomorrow - waiting a couple of years will unlikely make any difference, waiting 5/6 years could. That’s why I was asking about a rough timeline.
I don't blame you for feeling a bit panicked, but so long as you've got a realistic plan in place for trying in the next 1-2 years and your DP is 100% on board then you're more than likely to be fine. Obviously nothing in life is guaranteed.
Are your periods generally regular? If you're on hormonal contraception (especially the injection) then I'd come off that, and consider a fertility check as suggested by pps. Definitely start tracking your periods as it makes it much easier to time things when you do start trying.
I got pregnant at 36 on the 1st month of trying. Sadly lost the pregnancy and got pregnant again (again 1st month) at 37. Expecting to have the baby aged 38. So IME not necessarily a quick process, but (touch wood for both of us) hopefully should happen.
Oh, and the Mumsnet consensus is always to get married firstst. Obviously if you're going to be a sahm or in any other way dependent on your DP then this is very sensible, but if it's not then I would personally prioritise getting pregnant.
A couple of years could make a lot of difference in my opinion. Fertility starts declining at age 30, at 35 there is a large drop in fertility due to egg quality. There is a 15 to 20 percent chance of getting pregnant at 35. And that's for people with no fertility issues or unexplained infertility. If OP starts TTC at 35 and it takes say 2 years, that takes OP to 37 where the chance of getting pregnant is further reduced. This could just be worst case scenario. OP maybe lucky. There are many many people who have no problem having babies into their 40s, but having said that there are people struggling to conceive even at the age of 25.
I get the time line though, if OP managed to get married in 6 months and then TTC it wouldn't be so much of an issue.
Have you thought about how many children you’d like? If you want more than one, I would have a serious chat with your DP about timescales. I had my first when I was 35, then a number of miscarriages and my second when I was 38. As you get older it is not just fertility that declines. You are more likely to miscarry, and have pregnancy complications. I would maybe think about your cut off point (ie Ideally I’d like to have my last child before age 42, or whatever that would be for you), and the minimum age gap you’d like (if you’re having more than one).
Join the discussion
Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Get started »
Please login first.