Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

What would you change? October 7, 2011

According to recent news, “Beauty queen-turned-international TV personality Maria Menounos has announced she’s freezing her eggs to make sure she can be a mom once she has achieved all her career goals.”

Menounos goes on to say: “We’re going to freeze our eggs so that we have no problems down the line.”

And I’m biting my tongue, because I want this to be true for her. When she’s ready to be a mom, I hope she gets her dream. And I’m sitting on my inner cynic, who’s yammering on about it not being so simple as that, and how life doesn’t always work out as planned. I don’t want to be that bitter old crone who has to rain on everyone else’s parade, just because my own parade had a monsoon.

So, I’m not going to do it (although I think I just did) but instead I ask you this: If you knew then what you know now, would you change anything?

I have my own answer, but I’m curious to hear yours.


20 Responses to “What would you change?”

  1. Nic Says:

    I would definetly have started trying earlier (although I was 24 when we started TTC!). I would have maybe not gone to vet school, not put my carrer first and just jumped straight to TTC. I may have had a family by now, you never know!

    I am only 27 now, but 3 years of TTC make sme feel so much older!!

  2. Lee Cockrum Says:

    I think I would have either adopted on my own, or used donor sperm early on when I was not meeting anyone I wanted to spend my life with. I did not meet my husband until I was 36. I did not “feel” old at all, and he is younger, and had a child from his first marriage, so I did not really think it wouldn’t happen for me.

  3. Kate B Says:

    I would have frozen eggs for sure. I also would have insisted on a small, inexpensive wedding and would have put our money towards adoption instead.

  4. stacerella Says:

    I never wanted to get pregnant (the idea of an alien inside of me freaks me out) in my 20s. When I was 30, I was in love and thought I wanted babies, but after that relationship imploded, I realised I reverted back to not wanting to have an alien or even a baby to raise. I got married when I was 35 and by then my thyroid disease had presented and so did a lot of menstrual problems. I was focused on getting that all straightened out and never thought much about getting pregnant given how bad my periods were. By the time it all got straightened out (thankfully!), I was rounding the corner to 40. Shortly after that I was told I probably wouldn’t be able to get pregnant even if I wanted to try because my brain wasn’t getting the monthly memo from my ovaries to release the eggs into the wilds that is known as my tubes, and that was that. I had other options if I wanted to have a baby but it wasn’t going to be the traditional way.

    I cried maybe a half hour with my husband but not because I was missing out, but because my lady junk was so messed up. I realised my focus was never about longing for a baby but longing to be normal even if I didn’t want to use the ability to get pregnant. That I wasn’t normal bugged me more than being told I’d have to look into alternatives to start a family. My husband, bless his heart, was fine with whatever I needed and wanted to do. We talked about it in abstract for years and we sort of, over time, came to the same conclusion without having to say it out loud formally. We’re happy as we are. Our work life doesn’t afford us time for a pet or house plants let alone kids. It worked out how it was always supposed to for us in the end. We are each other’s family, and together we are focused on building a strong marriage, a strong business we own and someday finally getting around to renovating our basement living space (time and money hold us back at this point).

    We are not cook-cut. No matter what we delude ourselves into believing. If you accept that early enough, you have a better chance of finding something that works for you to help heal any pain you feel about not living a traditional life.

  5. RuralRabbit Says:

    I would have started trying earlier. When I was 1st diagnosed with PCOS I would have asked more questions and would have gone to see an RE then. I also wouldn’t have been so worried about pre-marital sex 😉

  6. stacerella Says:

    I want to clarify so none of you get the wrong idea. When women have big problems with their periods, they tend to have issues like excess weight and bloat month to month. It seems like a rollercoaster of feeling like dog doo that we can’t get off of. We feel helpless, so when I say I don’t want an alien inside of me, partly that’s in jest but really anything other than that we’re already dealing with in our lower gut is too much to bear to even think about housing for nine months unless you deeply can’t live without ever giving birth. I can live without it, and the idea of adding more to my already bulging gut brings on the anxiety like nothing else does. Again, you have to walk a mile in my shoes to get that statement and to fully understand why I make it. I don’t have babies. It’s not about that. I love babies. I just don’t want to carry one in my belly. It’s not for everyone.

  7. Keke B Says:

    Heck ya… my husband and I bought a big house in the burbs once we got married, and had we known what we know now we would have moved into a small but fun apartment in the city. We don’t want to do it now because we already bought the place, and are all settled in and got a dog who now benefits from the enormous yard… but I would have LOVED to instead be living in a flat on the city’s waterfront. We are considering it now once the dog goes to the big farm in the sky.

  8. Lori S Says:

    I would not have changed a thing. I met my wonderful husband (the only man I want to be the father of my children) at 27, was married at 29, started TTC at 30 and at almost 37 unexplained infertility has currently left us a family of 2.

  9. Iris D Says:

    Our problem is male factor (and now of course because of age female factor). But I think I would not have gone to graduate school the second time around. I could have adopted, now I’m straddled with student loans and going through infertility whacked my universe so badly that I didn’t enjoy grad school, and I don’t feel I care all that much for what I studied any longer… lost my passion for it along the way. Then again, I was not consumed with the all engrossing need to have a child in my 20s or early 30s. I’ve gotten to be around my niece and nephew and I taught for years so I’ve really lived the good and bad with kids, it’s not all rosy in my eyes… so maybe a lot of what I feel now is more about my body not getting to do what it feels others do so easily, and not feeling like I fit in when I look at all the nuclear families of 3 or more around me.

  10. Angela Says:

    I can’t help it but I’m laughing out loud at “so we’ll have NO problems down the line.” What a dumb thing for someone to say at all, much less “announce.” Have eggs=no problems???? Right, whatever. ANYwhoo….what I would have changed is, for one thing, NOT spending any damn money on birth control. What a cruel joke that is. But under the circumstances I don’t think I would, or could, have done anything different. I didn’t want kids with my first husband, he was like the normal one in a family of Munsters, which I didn’t realize till several years after we were married. We were high school sweethearts and I didn’t even consider that aspect of life then. I met my current husband when I was 30 and we pretty much were “trying” since we met, haha. If I’d had kids with anyone inbetween the two, I’d be in an undesirable situation with custody. Although one or two of my boyfriends would have been good breeding stock, LOL, but I still would not have wanted to marry them just for the kids. Weird, now that I look at it that way. So the only one I want kids with, can’t happen.

  11. EC Says:

    I don’t think I would do anything differently. I started trying with my first husband when I was 27 and dealt with unexplained infertility for several years, and then dealt with unexplained infertility again when I remarried. I’m 37 now, so it’s possible that my current situation is age related, but it’s hard to say for sure (especially after dealing with unexplained infertility in the past). I don’t know if freezing my eggs when I was 20 would have made a difference, but I just don’t see myself doing that. I guess I don’t see what I would do differently!

    I think her statement is silly, though.

  12. Julie Says:

    I don’t think I would change anything. My first husband dragged his feet about the whole kid thing once we reached our “let’s be married five years before we start trying” time frame, and then decided he didn’t want them at all. So we divorced because I still really did want them. Then I met my husband, who is so much a better match for me, and then we discovered male factor infertility. We still have each other, and have our back-up plan of travel and sleeping in, and so far, I really enjoy that. The only thing that sucks is feeling left out from all my friends that are now moving on into the mommy club. But I feel that even if I had had kids with my first husband, we probably still would have divorced because he wouldn’t have been able to handle it, and I doubt I would have met my husband if I had been a divorced mom.

  13. themissruby Says:

    we couldn’t have started trying any earlier than we did, we met and were married within 11 months and threw the birth control out before we got married and i was 21 when we got married. if i could change anything, it would be how long we tried, i would have stopped sooner and at least attempted adoption – we simple left it too late to even THINK about adoption.

    but cest la vie!

    • Rerah Says:

      I also had unexplained IF at 27 with my first husband, and again with my second husband when I was 36. The first time around we were pretty aggressive (very rocky marriage anyway), but I just couldn’t put myself through that again. Of course, after a couple of years there WAS a diagnosis, but I only regret my own genetics. We never considered adoption because of the expense and uncertainty–also, I have two stepchildren to help put through college!

      My husband and I have had the opportunity to travel, and our marriage is stronger now (8 years later) than it was when we married. I can’t escape the pain, but most days I appreciate what I have and enjoy my life.

      As far as celebrity fertility goes–fame, lots of money, and access to the best clinics in the world (and cutting to the front of the line!) definitely improve your chance of success.

  14. Illanare Says:

    I think I would have not tried IVF and drawn a line after we lost our second baby. A never really recovered from the strain of IVF (even though we only had one cycle) and I think that is one of the reasons we aren’t together any more.

  15. Ficelle Says:

    I would definitely change a lot of things had I known what I know now. To start, I wish I knew earlier that I had ovarian reserve issues (both egg quantity & quality) during my 20’s, meaning, I should have assumed I might have a problem getting pregnant & just had some tests (AMH, simple hormonal count) to know my fertility status if pregnancy can wait or not. I only found it out at 36, after 6 years of trying & after I thought I was ready to be a mother. And the most important of all is to have a second or third specialitist’s opinion. I wasted almost 3 years with my OB who didn’t find out right away why I was not getting pregnant. Only when I changed doctors that I found out it was already too late & that if we had started IVF earlier, I could have a better chance. But I guess things happen like that & it is what it is.

  16. Mali Says:

    This is a tough question. I tried when I felt emotionally, mentally ready to be a mother. Not before. (before that, I was horrified at the thought of having children) I don’t know if the detailed knowledge I have now would have changed that or not.

  17. mina Says:

    I definitely would not have put back TTC because of career moves or waiting for “the relationship to develop”. I used to think “but i’m still young enough” – i started TTC at the age when all my friends were having their babys and naively thought “oh well one year more or less”. NOBODY at all had told me that it doesn’t work right away sometimes (the people who have this experience are much too ashamed to talk about it). I met my ex shortly before i’d finished university and then got my first full-time real job as an academic. We waited 5-6 years because i thought i had time, it wasn’t the right moment, i first wanted to start the career AND i wanted to live with the guy for a few years before having his baby.
    If i’d have started TTC right away, maybe we – he – would have been still enough in love to make it work. OR i would have realized much sooner that the guy didn’t actually want kids. The way it was, by the time we started TTC the relationship had started to bore him or whatever it was – anyway he wasn’t prepared to go all the way with me either through fertility treatement or the grief. If this had happened earlier i would have more time left now to maybe start over with a new partner. As it is, i have about 3 years left to find a partner who wants kids with me and then make them, at an age around or over 40 😦

  18. mina Says:

    AND i would definitely tell this woman that she can’t just “put her eggs away for later” – but that means that she is planning DELIBERATELY to go through one hell of an ordeal at a later point in her life which might not even result in a baby. I don’t think she know about that.

  19. CDM Says:

    I would not have spent so much time praying that I wouldn’t get pregnant the first time I had sex at 18 and the 2nd time with the man who’s been my husband for 14 years now…

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