This is MY story of my biological clock ticking.
Let’s start by making it clear.
I don’t have any kids.
Or rather WE don’t have any kids. Mr P and I.
We’ve been happily married over 10 years.
We’ve travelled to some wonderful places – before we met and even more since we met. We’re the couple who had a small wedding and a massive honeymoon, travelling to Mauritius and South Africa for FOUR glorious weeks. It was bliss. So romantic.
We have a stable life – a home, money coming in, family and friends … everything we ever need.
In many folks’ eyes we have the perfect set up to start a family.
Biological Clock Ticking
The noise started as soon as we were married.
We’ve had all the quips from well-meaning family, friends, colleagues and even acquaintances about “you’ll make such great parents” and “things’ll change when you have kids” or “this neighbourhood/house/garden is great for children” and the “when am I going to be a grandparent/ aunt/uncle/godparent/babysitter?”.
No pressure then.
We’ve heard them all.
And then as time passed, we had “you had better get cracking you’re already pushing 40” and “you’re not getting any younger”. Really? I hadn’t noticed. That was aimed at ME. I’m a little older than Mr P. Gee, thanks. Tell me something I don’t know. I missed the blindingly obvious. Derrrrrr.
I even had people ask if we’ve “looked into it”.
What’s that loud noise? Oh that’ll be my biological clock ticking.
Many couples my age already had kids in high school, let alone nursery!
Then more time passed. The comments started to dry up. Which – to me – was far worse.
They were replaced by raised eyebrows. “Knowing” looks. Furrowed brows. Hushed voices.
That made the biological clock sound even louder.
People felt very sorry for us. People stopped asking. People started sparing our feelings.
Our First “Baby”
We thought long and hard about our first “baby”. I gave up my corporate career beforehand.
A curly apricot Labradoodle puppy. He was born early evening during a birthday party in the kitchen of a lovely lady – he was last born of 9 pups. 1 girl, 8 boys. He was one of the heaviest. We called him Django, after a restaurant Mr P took me to on our first holiday together.
I have always been his “Mum”. He’s my fur baby. I absolutely love him to bits.
I proudly showed him off to other doggie Mums. I weighed him regularly with the vet nurse. I marvelled at all the ways he changed, learned and grew.
I despaired when he went through biting and nipping … just a phase I was advised.
People say he’s just like me. Sensitive. A bit flighty. Protective. Clumsy. An old soul.
People call him my child substitute.
We got our second dog when I was 42. I had been broody for a while. I didn’t want Django to be an only dog. We got Pepper. She’s a cream Labradoodle except she got no poodle genes and looks like a little Field Labrador. She’s as pretty as a picture.
Her name was inspired by a trip to Malaysia and Borneo – famous for pepper plantations. Her “Sunday” name is Amarante Oriental Pearl.
She was born in that same kitchen.
I love her to bits. She is exactly like her Daddy. Loving. Loyal. Funny. Clever. Likes food.
I kinda knew then that my little family is complete. I was done.
Of course, there are women who have children naturally over 40.
AND there are several other choices we can make too.
Some women choose to try for babies over 40 with IVF.
Other women choose to have babies over 40 with donor eggs.
Some women choose surrogacy.
And women who choose to adopt.
I know it now in my work as a natural health and fertility coach. Because I help many women just like that. I knew it back then too.
So why didn’t those roads work out for us?
To cut to the chase, because we didn’t go down ANY of those roads.
Because before we got married we decided we didn’t want any children.
We have never tried to get pregnant.
Our reasons are our own.
So we understand perfectly well the pressure to have children… especially when you and the rest of the world can hear that biological clock ticking.
I have often found myself saying “We have no children by choice“. Which I know is totally unnecessary. I guess it’s to save myself the raised eyebrows, knowing looks, furrowed brows, hushed voices. BUT I realise we don’t need to justify ourselves.
Just as women and couples who make different choices need not justify themselves either.
ALL the women and couples who keep on trying naturally. Who go for fertility treatment. Who choose surrogacy. Who adopt.
And those who wanted children and chose, in the end, to remain without them.
I have worked and continue to work with women and couples who are taking the road to parenthood. I help people boost their natural fertility with diet and lifestyle support and complementary therapies. I offer preconception care to those trying to get pregnant naturally or via IVF.
I understand their desire to have kids. I really, really do.
I get the emotional rollercoaster.
I get the want to have kids. I get the maternal instinct. I get the longing
I get the fear. I get the blame. I get the shame.
I get the disappointment. I get the frustration. I get the questioning.
I get the excitement. I get the happiness. I get the JOY.
I’ve shared it with others. I have HUGE empathy. As a family member. As a friend. As a coach. As a human being.
The biological clock thing. I’ve lived through that for myself.
So my learnings here are these…
Don’t make assumptions… no matter how well-meaning.
Respect other peoples’ choices. You never walked a mile in their shoes.
You don’t need to justify yourself to anyone.
And finally, never ever underestimate the huge power of empathy.
P.S. If you’re planning a baby or actively trying to fall pregnant now, check out my FREE online programme called 7 Steps To Boost Fertility.
It covers ALL the basic you need to know to get baby-fit and boost fertility. Some of my hints might surprise you. You’ll find it super-useful.
It’s for you whether you’ve pee’ed on a gazillion sticks already or you’re just starting to get your head around getting baby fit. Or choosing IVF.
It’s super easy to access via a link I send you and easy to use. You can watch all the short videos and read the notes at home on your computer or listen on headphones any time. It’s confidential and discreet. No-one knows you signed up but me.