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You're Still Young
a blog by Liz
I’m still young
In a couple of weeks I’ll be 33. If I continue with my current, non-pregnant trajectory until October I’ll be 34 before having a baby. Or older . . .
Look anywhere on the Web and you’ll see that fertility is expected to decline at around 35.
This means well-meaning women like me who discover they are having problems conceiving will get the hackneyed cliché that is supposed to make us feel better:
“You’re still young”
So I'm still young.
The average women’s fertility declines after 35. But 90% of women prior to 35 get pregnant within 18 months of starting to try.
Let’s just say that this pretty firmly establishes that I’m not average.
There's no switch in the body that goes “pre-35 fertile,” “post-35 infertile.” Lots of people get pregnant significantly after their 35th birthday. It’s an average. Just like some women seem to have the skin of a 16 year old of when they are 30. Or Madonna has the body of a, well, young person, at 50 (and I’m not talking about her adopted kids or new boyfriend).
I have been trying to conceive for more than two and a half years (albeit with a medically enforced break, but the intention has remained). If it takes me that long again, I’ll be well over 35, which will tip the balance from “You’re still young” to “Don’t leave it too long.”
I can take the “you’re still young” from one group of people, and one only: Women who are older than me who are trying to get pregnant and aren't getting anywhere. Of course then, I get it. How many of us are cursing the fact that we didn’t start a year, two years, or ten years earlier?
But the worse person who can say this to you? Your Doctor. The first time I went to the consultant specialist after having had to navigate my way through the gatekeeper that is my general practitioner, it still took three months of waiting for the actual appointment. So when she says I’m still young, I want to scream.
I’m petrified that as far as she is concerned, there is no urgency. Waiting lists on the NHS are notorious so I want to get booked in nice and early, not have my treatment given on the slow track. And I want at least two children so already, unless I have twins, I will be at least 35 before number two . . .
I’m not young anymore . . .
What are the ‘comforting’ phrases that your friends / families/ doctors have used out that drive you crazy?