“I’d do anything to have a baby”.
It’s a phrase I’ve heard quite a few times. It’s easy said.
But what would YOU do? How far would you actually go? Are you and your partner (if there is one in the picture) in agreement?
When I speak with people about this, they immediately start talking about their options.
Options to Become a Parent
At some point, couples usually discuss what options they’d go for if they don’t or can’t get pregnant naturally.
A common path is Fertility treatments like the drug Clomid to stimulate ovulation.
And IUI when sperm is injected into the woman.
Or IVF where sperm and an egg are mixed in lab dishes.
And ICSI when an egg is fertilised by a single sperm injected into it.
Of course, some choose donor eggs and/or donor sperm. As couples. Or as lone parents.
Others choose surrogates.
Some choose adoption at home or from abroad.
And – in the end – some people are reconciled to being childless.
Everyone is different. It’s a very personal choice. It’s my view, but none of those choices are easy. Which ones would you consider to have a baby?
Some involve tests, drug regimens, procedures and appointments.
Most involve HUGE expense, unless you benefit from free or subsidised treatments. People have gone to extra-ordinary lengths to find the money.
Many involve paperwork and red tape and legalities.
All involve time.
All involve risk … physical, emotional, financial, legal …
All involve stress, arguably.
AND all those paths have also brought great joy to countless couples worldwide. The road the parenthood is sometimes really tough, but the reward is great. I get it.
Of course, sometimes it IS the only way.
And in my experience, I have also seen some women and couples who want to rush headlong into conventional fertility treatments. Believing it to be the easy way to have a baby.
Getting Pregnant Faster?
Where I am in the UK, conventional wisdom is that no-one should panic if they don’t fall pregnant immediately they start trying.
Healthy couples under age 35 have about a 25% chance of conceiving each month, with regular unprotected sex.
About half of such couples fall pregnant in 6 months. 80% in a year. 90% in 2 years.
And that’s if there is nothing wrong with you.
But here in the UK we’re advised to speak with a doctor if nothing has happened in a year. For the over 35s, it’s usually 6 months.
So, that’s just starting to get advice after 6 months or a year. Even then, it’s unlikely that a doctor is going to jump straight to fertility treatment. Even if they do, it can be a long road to get referrals, appointments, make choices and get the treatments you choose.
Age IS a factor, of course. Fertility does decline with age. But it’s not the only factor in fertility- there’s diet, lifestyle, stress, environment and medical history.
Many things we can make choices about; many factors we can change …if we choose.
Which brings me back to my questions – what would YOU do? How far would you actually go to have a baby?
It’s no secret I’m passionate about preconception care. Whether you’re trying to fall pregnant naturally or have chosen IVF.
And in my practice, I have women and couples come to see me for guidance.
Some say “I would do anything to have a baby” and mean that they will follow my recommendations for at least 3-4 months and maintain a good relationship with their doctor, at the same time.
They change their eating habits, clean up their lifestyle, reduce exposure to environment hazards and de-stress as much as they can. We test their hair and recommend bespoke supplement programmes. They take control of their journey to parenthood.
Others say “I would do anything to have a baby” and mean that they want fertility treatment because changing their life is too hard right now. And that’s no judgement from me. Really, it’s not. It’s all personal choice.
I feel it my duty to point out to them that chances of successful treatment go up when couples are as healthy as possible before treatment starts – a healthy weight, good diet, limited alcohol or caffeine, no smoking, regular exercise, reduced stress …
I’ve also been in the predicament where couples say “I would do anything to have baby” and then it’s apparent one of them is struggling e.g. to give up smoking. I can see that it might make the road much more rocky for them.
Again, no judgement. Change can be tough.
We have to want to change more than we want to remain the same. We might struggle. We might need support and encouragement. We might need other resources.
So definitely no judgement, but I’d prefer that people aren’t so glib when they use the phrase “I’d do anything to have a baby”. Please think about what to means to you and to your partner, if you’re having a baby as a couple. Get clear about what you are prepared to do. And get on the same page.
I wish everyone success on their path to parenthood, however they choose to get there.
P.S. If you love my hints on boosting fertility, grab your space on this FREE, online, mini programme.
It’s jam packed with hints and tips. It has ALL the basics that you need to get baby-ready and boost natural fertility. Whether you’re trying naturally or via IVF.
And it’s super easy to access – you’re sent a link to the private, secure, online space. You can watch the videos and read the notes at home. Or listen to me on your headphones discreetly. No-one but me knows you signed up.