An appeal for anecdotes

Just a quick post today with an appeal to my lovely readers for some anecdotes. I’m working on a potential newspaper article and I’m looking for some input from women who are approaching the end of their fertile window, who still hope to have children of their own and who are out there dating or can remember how it was for them when they were dating at this age.

How does it feel? Do you feel panicked? Do you hear your biological clock ticking very loudly? Do you look at every man as though he could be a father to your future children? Do you bring up the issue of babies on the first or second date or have you found a way to relax and trust it’ll work out if it’s meant to be?

Maybe you’ve mastered the art of coolness when it comes to dating. Maybe you’ve managed to forget your age and your decreasing fertility and have learned how to enjoy your dates without those added pressures. Or maybe you’ve found the perfect way to bring up the baby issue without it sounding too heavy.

And you don’t have to be 40 or over to fit into this category. Maybe your in your mid- to late 30s but are aware that time is of the essence. Nor do you have to be dating, necessarily. Maybe you’re in a relationship, you know you want children but your partner isn’t sure. Do you wait? Do you stay? Do you go?

Finally, just to broaden it out a little more, nor do you have to be female! I’d love to hear how men cope in these situations. Does the mention of babies on the first few dates freak you out? Do you run a mile? Or do you take it in your stride, knowing it’s likely to come up if you’re dating a woman in her late 30s, early 40s. Or maybe you’re the one who wants children and you’ve tried to bring it up on dates, only for the woman to freeze and suggest you might be getting ahead of yourself.

All stories and anecdotes are welcome – funny ones, serious ones, sad ones. Please pass my blog link onto anyone you think might be able to oblige. And comments can remain anonymous, whatever you prefer. Feel free to either share below, get in touch via Facebook or email me at info{at}katherinebaldwin.com

Thank you!

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6 Responses to An appeal for anecdotes

  1. Nyx says:

    Well not fully part of the demographics that you appear to be aiming for, since I’m childless by choice (though my body being infertile does play a part). I saw that you used the hash tag childfree so though I’d pip into the topic in general.

    When I was much younger I always thought that I would have at least one child because it was what was expected out of me being female and that if I wasn’t able to have one that it meant I was less of a woman. But the thing is I wasn’t comfortable around babies or even younger children (even when I was a child myself I was more comfortable around adults then those my own age) but I though I’d grow out of it at some point, so gave it not much thought.

    Fast forwards many years, saying to people that no I’m not going to have any children, that they are not for me so forth and so on, then out of the blue it does happen a flicker of life that isn’t welcomed and before I have time to process what it means its gone, my body rejecting that flicker of life and with it goes the idea of having children as a possibility, for I’d end up learning that I have PCOS and that for what ever other reason my body wouldn’t be able to carry to term a child.

    Thus learning that my idea of dating became aimed at only those who where already parents but mostly to those who have chosen not to have children. So before I even agreed to date my now hubby I asked about his interest in having children, it was one of those questions that was asked before the dating process started. I was upfront about my lack of fertility and my lack of interest in having a child (though it has crossed my mind a few times about what it would be like should I have been able to do so).

    I’m post menopausal now and my husband and I have no regrets about not being able to have children, we have children in our lives that work for us (we’re godparents to a friends child), we’ve found the right balance for having children in our life though we don’t have any biological ones our selves. Its a roller coaster ride of emotions at times, but all in all I’ve found the right balance to be happy. I also no longer consider myself to be childless, but childfree because I’ve embraced my lack of fertility and don’t see myself lacking anything in my life.

    • Thank you for commenting, Nyx, and for sharing your story so openly. I am fascinated by the experiences of all women – whether they are in the same position as me or further down the line, whether they’ve made the choice to live childfree or whether that decision has been made for them for one reason or another. And I believe we can all learn so much from each other. So thank you again for commenting and I’ll keep you in mind for this story and others I do in the future on similar topics.
      Best wishes, Katherine

  2. Peter Breuer says:

    Your story in the press today 29.12.11 is painful.
    It speaks of a block, loud and clear.
    All unfortunates with that problem need the resolution of that block called catharsis.
    Happiness, happiness, the greatest gift that I possess.
    Happiness can be found at the end of Catharsis Street.
    Catharsis the discharge of previously blocked emotions, which obfuscate everything.
    Catharsis discharges psycho-neuroses (alias Emotional Constipation)
    I can not say it all on this page. Read Hidden Agendas, which explains and can lead you to the light at the end of the tunnel, which you descibe so eloquently

  3. Thanks for your comment, Peter. I actually hadn’t intended my story in the Mail to sound painful as such, but I appreciate it may have come across that way. My comments on ‘baby goggles’ were designed to be humorous in tone, poking a little fun at myself and others in this boat. Perhaps with the edits it didn’t quite come across that way. My conclusion to the article – about the decision to remove my baby goggles, enjoy my life as it is today and accept what will be will be in the future, whether that includes children or not – is the point I really wanted to get across, although this may have got a little lost. But of course, as I mentioned, there may indeed be sadness – depending on how things turn out. I agree with your theory on catharsis and have done a fair amount of it over the years and continue to do so.
    Best wishes and thank you for reading and commenting,
    Katherine

  4. Blue Rabbit says:

    Katherine, thank you so much for your article in today’s Daily Mail. Reading your words felt like seeing my very own thoughts and conversations which I am having right now. I am a newly single 37 year old lady who is ready to become a mother. I have been having conversations with other single childless friends who are all in the same boat as me. We are asking: where did all the years go, surely we should be settled down with children by now?!

    Unfortunately, the relationships have come and gone. I honestly thought my most recent relationship would have gone the distance and progressed to marriage and a family of our own. However, this was not to be.

    I am now longing for a baby before it is too late for me. I am panicking if I can actually have children! I’ve never tried before and just kind of hope that it will happen. We seem to spend our 20’s and early 30’s holding out for the right guy and the best relationship we can manage in which to bring forth a child. Yet, are relationships don’t last and I have reached the stage where I feel it is all too painful, perhaps I should have a child alone.

    I am ready for parenthood. I have a good support system and I know that I can rise to the challenge of becoming a single mum. I know too many women who have left it too late to try and have regretted it.

    I am considering sperm donation from a good friend of mine. He knows I desire a child and he wants to help me. I know that he will leave me to get on with things and not complicate things like having a child within a relationship which may have broken down. I’d hate the thought of joint custody and the drama which goes with it.

    I know that some people may say that I’m being selfish, considering parenting alone, but so many men and women do it already. I’d be no different!

    I do not want to miss the opportunity of experiencing pregnancy, of becoming a mother and nurturing a child of my own. Unfortunately, for many of us, finding a life partner has become more difficult than I ever imagined. Although, I haven’t given up hope…..in the meantime my clock is ticking and I’m not convinced I should waste anymore time!

    X

  5. Thanks for your comment, Blue Rabbit. I’m pleased you liked the article and can relate to it, or maybe pleased isn’t the right word! It can be a difficult place to be. And I have that exact conversation with my friends all the time: Where did the last ten years go? What happened to our 30s?
    Re motherhood, pregnancy and so on, I guess we all have to find our own path. I’m still at the stage of trusting – trusting that what will be will be and if it happens or doesn’t happen, I’ll be OK with that. Of course, that might be easier said than done and it’s easy to say today when I assume – rightly or wrongly – I might have a bit of time left. I’d like to think you have a good amount of time left, too, but then none of us every know. That’s what makes it all rather challenging!
    Best wishes for your journey and I hope you find peace around your decisions.
    Katherine x

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