I’m 41 and decided this year I will attempt to be an SMC. I first thought about it three years ago but then decided to do two rounds of egg freezing instead (got 20 eggs).
But I had second thoughts, and then met a guy. He wasn’t the “one” but it made me believe I don’t want to give up on child with a partner just yet. Since then I made many life changes and had some amazing life experiences.
But now I’m older, eggs are older, and also I feel I’m really ready to be a mom. My career only fulfills me so much, and I want to give and have continuity. A child, sadly, is a more reliable source of love than men.
I’m scheduled for an insemination next month. Of course, right after I made an appointment, I met a guy. I don’t think it’s going anywhere but it makes me think perhaps I should still hold out, at least for just a few more months.
I could feasibly do IVF when I hit 42 in January or also use frozen eggs, but that’s risky. Thoughts?
Some responses from the Wise Women on the SMC Forum:
I met someone when I was in the middle of trying to conceive – I’d already done a couple of rounds of Ivf and a bunch of embryo transfers and had one more upcoming.
Obviously I was further along than you, and deep in the throes of infertility. I was a “Plan B” SMC who had a hard time giving up on the dream. I can say now that this is the only thing I regret. I am now age 38, and realize that I should have started sooner and stopped waiting around for a guy that I had already been waiting for all my adult life.
I was honest with the new guy before we even kissed and told him I was trying to conceive with donor sperm. I figured if he was going to stick around then fine, but I wasn’t slowing down for anyone. I had a miscarriage 3 months into our dating. He was super supportive. But then, after I did another round of Ivf 5 months later, he ghosted me. It was a complete shock. I’m so glad I didn’t delay anything for him or I may never have gotten to have my son.
In my opinion, once you hit 40 there’s no man on earth worth delaying motherhood for and being a single mother by choice is now the best choice I’ve ever made and the one I’m proudest of.
I felt a great deal of relief separating my desire to be a mother from my dating life. If you can make this leap in your mind, then you can manage both reasonably well. Any guy who doesn’t respect your choice to be a mother on your own terms, isn’t a guy who respects you as an independent woman and probably isn’t worth your time (in my opinion!).
I am a bit unusual in that I was dating someone when I decided to pursue SMC and he was (and is) someone I don’t want ‘more’ of a relationship with. We see each other twice a week. I don’t want to move in together, I definitely don’t want to marry him. I in no way wanted him to be baby daddy. What we have is separate from my pursuit of motherhood. Although he’s great with my daughter. Our relationship suits me. I’m not sure it suits him, but I’ve always been honest with him and he has stuck around. There’s lots of variations beyond ‘traditional’ and having a child doesn’t in any way prohibit a romantic life.
I would ask myself, “Is it so important for me to do this with a partner, that I am willing to risk being childless my entire life?”
There are no guarantees even with 20 frozen eggs. Hopefully you are lucky and your journey to a successful pregnancy will be short whenever you chose to proceed, but how would you feel if you held out another five years for a guy, then you broke up, and then you tried to get pregnant on your own and failed? If you are ok with that risk and then pursuing other paths to motherhood such as adoption, then, you could wait. Otherwise, I wouldn’t advocate waiting.
You can decouple your desire to be a mother from your dating life. There is no time limit on “true love”, but there is on fertility. Many people I know meet their “true loves” later in life, and sometimes those true loves are men who already have grown children of their own from a prior relationship and have no desire or need to father their own biological child with a new partner.
The future is a mystery and could hold a wonderful partner, but, it might be twenty years before you meet him…
I had a similar situation although it turned out to be something that fizzled out as quickly as it had started. I told him I was trying to conceive, and he put a little pressure on me to wait, but I also decided that no guy could be the right guy for me if he wasn’t prepared to be supportive of my choices and ultimately, be ok with adopting any child I had conceived via anonymous donor.
It turned out not to matter in my case, but I am glad I didn’t put anything on hold given how it all played out.
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