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Friend blames herself for leaving it too late

(21 Posts)
Notyourusual1 Sun 23-Mar-14 22:37:09

Had a bit of a heavy evening. I met a friend I hadn't seen for a while and after a few glasses of wine, she mentioned that she and her DH who she's been with for 11yrs, were having trouble TTC#1.She also said that she regretted not starting TTC in her 20s( we're both 37 and I had my first DC at 26). I always saw her as the one who wasn't bothered about kids and more interested in travelling, clubbing etc. Turns out she had always wanted kids but put it off because she assumed it would just happen for her. They are now looking at going down the IVF route and she's pretty unhappy about it. I really feel for her and it also got me thinking about other women in a similar situation. So, just wanted to ask what age you were when you first started TTC#1?If you were over 30, what were the reason(s) for waiting? Sorry don't know how to set up a poll

drinkyourmilk Sun 23-Mar-14 22:38:59

We are in the same position as your friend. Except we've known for a while that we should have sought help earlier.

Notyourusual1 Sun 23-Mar-14 23:00:39

Thanks for the reply because to be honest I wasn't too sure what to say to her to make the situation better. How long have you been trying? How do you cope? IMHO it doesn't help to blame yourself, I'm sure you had your reasons :-)

Pipbin Sun 23-Mar-14 23:10:13

I'm about to turn 39 and have been trying for 3 years now. It turns out I have blocked tubes. It wouldn't have mattered at what age I started trying, conceiving naturally would always have been unlikely. I've just had my second round of IVF, which failed.

The reason we waited was because although we were married we simply didn't have stable jobs or enough money. As it was we started TTCing when I was on a short term contract because we knew we just couldn't wait any longer.

As for what to say to her, there isn't anything much. Don't giver her advise like 'relax and it will happen'. Or tell her the story of someone who found they were pg the day before going to the IVF clinic. Listen to her, sympathise, be a shoulder to cry on when other friends announce they are pg, even attend hospital appointments with her. One of the nicest things a friend did for me was offer to drive me to a clinic appointment. Little things like that can help so much when you are dealing with something like IVF.
Also, suggest she comes here and joins the Elderberry Pavlova threads. It's for women over 30 who are trying for #1.

eurochick Sun 23-Mar-14 23:17:49

I had zero interest in having kids or getting married in my 20s. None at all. That changed when I was around 30/31. I then waited for mr euro to be ready to commit. That happened when I was 34 (and about to break up with him and try my luck elsewhere). We got married and started to ttc. It didn't work for us (unexplained infertility) so we went for ivf when I was 37. The first cycle worked but I mc'd. I am currently pregnant from our 4th cycle and hoping against hope that this one works out.

I don't feel particularly that I left it too late at 34, although it was later than I would ideally have liked. All the tests showed that my fertility was good (on paper). My parents took over a year to get pregnant with me in their early 20s. It takes some people a while whenever they start. I know plenty of other folks with easily conceived or even accidental pregnancies in their late 30s. The downside to starting later is that I felt obliged to go down the testing and assistance route earlier than I might have done if I had been in my 20s.

FeatherFeather11 Sun 23-Mar-14 23:19:53

Agree with pipbin about telling her to joing the Berries thread. Amazing group of women who have helped me enormously.

As for me, I'm 35 and have been ttc since late 2012. Me and oh have been together for 10 years. I've never been the overly broody (although I knew oh and I would have some) type and I quite a roller coaster life in my twenties - parents getting ill, career, fun and frolics. I felt too young to have kids in my 20s. And life just happened.

Just be there for your mate. Don't bring it up unless she does and when she dos, just be there for her. Hope she gets the bfp she's looking for.

BigPawsBrown Sun 23-Mar-14 23:24:05

I don't know why you draw the over 30 distinction. Many (most?) start at 30/31, 37 is a good deal later. The 35 mark is significant fertility wise.

HopefulHamster Sun 23-Mar-14 23:25:03

This thread explains some of the reasons why women wait. Hope that helps.

I started ttc in my twenties. Still had to resort to help before getting pregnant when I was 30. For some people it just won't matter when they start, though the earlier you begin the more things you can try if there are issues.

BingoWingsBeGone Sun 23-Mar-14 23:28:11

I was 32 when Ttc #1. Had met dh at 28, married at 32 and came off pill at the end of out honeymoon. It took 3 months to conceive and dd1 born at 33. Dd2 followed at 35.

I do think hormones kicked in massively having come off the pill - cerazette seems to have a bit of a reputation for it (not that I knew it at the time!)

StrawberryGashes Mon 24-Mar-14 09:13:00

Dc1 surprised me at 19, TTC dc2 at 24 and that took a year and I had a mc in that time too, I'm pregnant with dc3 at 26 and that happened straight away.

WishUponAStar88 Mon 24-Mar-14 09:19:46

I am mid 20s and pregnant with my first. Always wanted children (relatively) young as although I know infertility can be present at any age but I would've never forgiven myself if I left it another 10 or so years and then found we couldn't have children. That said I have been lucky in that many people have not met their partners at a young age, or struggle to get a secure job etc. We are married, have a house and secure jobs. Without this security we would have probably waited. So easy to see how years can pass by without children and then realise it's potentially too late. Good luck to your friend.

BecauseIsaidS0 Mon 24-Mar-14 14:22:57

My 20s were a catalogue of bad relationships and my 30s were lonely as I just gave up dating. I then met a wonderful man and married him last year at the grand old age of 39. I know these are not my best years for fertility but there is no point in crying over spilled milk - had I had children with any of my former boyfriends it would have been an absolute disaster. So I try and hope now grin

Devonloch Mon 24-Mar-14 14:31:13

I got married at 29 and wanted to wait until I was 30 to try. I was very aware of all the publicity about women leaving it late so I thought 30 was a good age. I just wanted a year of marriage first but also a new job as was so unhappy in my last one. Started trying at 30. I am going to be 35 this year and still no baby. I did have moments where I kicked myself for waiting for that extra year but I now realise as we are totally unexplained that chances are we would have had problems when I was 25. Luck of the draw I guess. Many people I know have had babies after 36 with no issue. I sometimes suspect that people who do have probs between 35&40 would have had problems when they were younger. Fertility doesn't just fall off a cliff on your 35th birthday, it's a slope downwards....or so a doc recently told me.

stowsettler Mon 24-Mar-14 15:10:18

I never started ttc. I wasn't particularly maternal and I was very sure that I didn't want kids with just anyone. I remember wondering if it would ever happen to me, but it was never something which I yearned for.

I met DP on my 36th birthday and DD was born 6 weeks shy of my 40th birthday. She was an 'accident' and I realise that we were lucky not to have any problems, either conceiving her or during the pregnancy.

However I would agree that for many people, problems will occur whenever they start ttc. IME fertility doesn't just disappear on your 35th birthday.

Notyourusual1 Mon 24-Mar-14 15:16:55

Good luck to you Pipbin and Euro. Fingers crossed for you. I'll def recommend the berries thread to her. Bigpaws, I think the average age for a first time mum is about 28, so not sure that means most start trying over 30, but I stand to be corrected. Hopeful, thanks for the link, I 'll pop over and have a look. Wish upon a star, you are so right in saying that the earlier you start the more time you have on your side in case things prove more difficult than you thought. I guess I m trying to understand why you would delay something you really want if you seem to have everything going for you? Eg partner, finances, home etc. I can understand, delaying if you don't have a job, are homeless, have health issues or haven't met the right partner. Otherwise you just need to weigh up your options and decide on your priorities. Kids are always going to cost money. The more you have the more you spend on them. As long as you have a secure, happy home it doesn't matter whether it's rented or mortgaged with a spare room. By the way we didn't buy our first home until DS was 1yo. We didn't have that much money, not long out of University but both had secure jobs. We'd both travelled before kids and still do with kids. When they've left home we'll still be young enough to carry on seeing the world and hopefully have more money to do it in luxury. I don't feel as though having kids young by today's standards, has hindered me in any way, careerwise or otherwise. It all depends on your outlook. You are also more able to run around after them as a younger mum so that's another bonus. Anyway sorry for the long post, just needed to get that off my chest

Hedgehead Mon 24-Mar-14 15:56:37

I started TTC at age 30, and had a MMC. I think 30 is still okay, but as you're asking about 30 and up, I missed out on conceiving in my twenties because I gave that entire decade away to a total twat he hated children and never wanted kids. When I was about 26/27 I started to get broody and then finally met a man at a few years later, got married and now TTC!

Inshock73 Mon 24-Mar-14 16:59:57

There isn't an ideal age for all women, it depends on meeting someone you want to have children with and who wants to have children with you! One thing I notice is everyone still puts all the emphasis on the woman but most men aren't ready in their 20's and a lot still aren't ready in their 30's. Children weren't on my radar in my 20's and tbh none of my friends or work colleagues had children in their 20's. I entered my 30's in a long term relationship but we were both unhappy and I knew we would split and I didn't want to bring a child in to the relationship, by 33 I was single. I met my partner at 35, 3 years later I wanted to start a family but he didn't, another year later he'd changed his mind and we've been ttc ever since. I kick myself for not ttc sooner but I can't change the past and neither can your friend. The kindest thing you can do for her is just listen, there are lots of women who have left it til their mid 30's to start ttc.

squizita Mon 24-Mar-14 17:09:15

Over 30 (I would say 31-37) is completely average in my area (West London). Have been told my numerous experts that Drs in different areas have different ideas about when fertility sinks based on social norms not medical fact!

Turned out after starting trying at 33, I had a condition which caused repeat miscarriage. This is 100% not age related... but prior to being diagnosed every GP and local gynie tried to write me off about it. The specialist stated 'you've had this since puberty - you'd have lost a baby at 19 had you conceived then' and it was a weird kind of relief.

I still get 'judged' because I'm an older first time mum- and I'm pregnant after 2 months post-diagnosis-trying, now I have meds to help me (and it's assumed this is by choice, and my miscarriages linked to this). Drives me potty!

squizita Mon 24-Mar-14 17:11:42

Oh and if it's a comfort to her... I'm a year younger than her and my Downs screening came back as 1/100,000!!!! So the 'you WILL be high risk' thing is also variable. smile Rather grateful given the stress with the losses et' over the years.

time2deal Mon 24-Mar-14 17:25:11

I wanted kids in my late 20's, but the relationship just didn't support it. I met my now husband when I was 30, and started TTC at 33. I wanted us both to be ready for it, not just because I was the right age!

I'm now 37 and finally pregnant with number 1 after 4 difficult years. Some issues age related, but who knows really. The issues are not just me either, so it could have happened at any age.

I don't wish I'd started earlier, as it would have been with the wrong person. It would have been nice to meet him earlier, but I can't change history so no point regretting it! It's not just about money and houses, but about finding the right stable relationship to raise a child.

PacificDogwood Mon 24-Mar-14 17:26:07

I had 4 DSs between 37 and 44.

I know that reasons for not having children earlier are different for most people/couples. I don't think that generalisation help. Having said that, apparently less Chinese girls are available for adoption because more Chinese women now work outside the home, have careers for which they defer TTC, then struggle and adopt. So I've been told anyway…

Anyhoo, I did not meet DH until I was in my late 30s, got married at 31, had 4 MCs (never had a problem conceiving, strangely hmm), then had DSs without much drama.

OP, I don't think there is anything you can say to make your friend feel better or that would help. Just listen. And hug. And listen some more.

Re risk wrt to unborn children: people get v frightened by odds that they forget that the chance of something not happening is usually higher. Most Down's babies are born to women under 30 btw (because they tend to have less screening) and many, many conditions are not screenable, so IMO things that need considering are 'how would I cope if my child had additional needs' and 'how old will be I be at the school gates' wink and 'until what age will I need to work to get my DCs through their education' grin[depressed]

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