My difficult, but not impossible, mission to be a mom

Written on 05/19/2022
Editor BizNews

Sharon doesn't know what the future holds but she's giving her future self a better chance at motherhood. It will be difficult but not impossible.

Why I’m giving the future me the best chance at motherhood.

By Sharon Paine

Recently, on meeting me for the first time, someone asked if I was working or studying. My eyes bulged as I informed them: “I am almost 40!”

I didn’t look it, they replied. Unfortunately, I couldn’t muster enough decorum not to blurt out, “Tell that to my ovaries”.

I honestly thought I’d be a mother by now. I was a stepmother for a few years, and had that relationship lasted, I think I would have been alright with only being a stepmom.

It’s a privilege to be part of a child’s life. I miss the inside jokes, all things I learnt from The Kid, the talks in the car to and from school. I even miss the mad scramble to find a discarded school belt after the holidays.

So, why would I like to be a parent? Is it enough to say that it’s a biological need? Is it something that I’ve always felt was expected of me? Is it because I think I’d be good at it? Is it because I want to play with a mini version of myself?

I just have a deep longing to raise a child. My life has taken a few twists and turns along the way, and not just romantically. If I’d had a child with any of my previous partners, I would have managed. It would have been the path my life had taken.

I can’t really afford to dwell on the “what ifs”. All I can focus on is the future.

A few months ago, I took the first step. I went to see a fertility doctor. I suppose I was hoping to be told that I had more eggs than the Easter Bunny. I don’t.

I put on a brave face as the doctor assured me it was just genetics. I couldn’t drink three cups of green tea a day and wish on a star to magically increase my egg stores.

I could probably fall pregnant, without any major medical intervention, in the next few years. That said, I’m not in a relationship, and quite frankly can’t imagine I’ll suddenly meet someone who I like enough to procreate with, in the next couple of years.

I don’t want to feel the pressure. I don’t want to rush into a decision.

I don’t feel I’m financially or emotionally ready to be a single parent, be it with the help of a sperm donor or through adoption.

Hats off to all the single parents out there. I just don’t know if I could do it.

I’ve decided to freeze my eggs. It’s an expensive exercise, and given my age, comes with no promises of a bountiful harvest. I’m petrified.

It feels like a huge decision, but I feel it is something that I need to do, even if I only come out of it with a handful of viable eggs. The process is daunting, but I have the support of friends and family.

The hope is that I won’t need to unfreeze these eggs, that if and when, I decide to try for a baby, my body will still be up to the task. My age and low egg stores are only one factor.

I also have the added element of being a heart patient on blood thinners. My cardiologist is very optimistic. Like so many things in life, it will be difficult, but not impossible.

I don’t know what the future holds. I’m not closed off to being a stepmom again, or even to adoption. For now, I just want to know that I’ve given my future self a better chance of becoming a biological mother.

  • This article first appeared on the Change Exchange, an online platform by BrightRock, provider of the first-ever life insurance that changes as your life changes. The opinions expressed in this piece are the writer’s own and don’t necessarily reflect the views of BrightRock.

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