The problem is that I am 38 (at the time of filming.) Tick tock tick tock. I am experiencing the baby gap -- a void, chasm and space where there’s something missing. There is an internal panic that I am running out of time. In clinical terms: anxiety.
When I see myself on the show and hear my words of wanting a baby, I am pushed to tears. These feelings are very real. I become afraid when I think of my girlfriend who has had five miscarriages in a row after 40, and at 42, she still doesn’t have a baby. Or my other friend who froze her eggs and now at the age of 45, still single, is not taking to the IVF treatments. Right now I am holding onto the positive fact that two other of my closest girlfriends got pregnant at the age of 39 and 42 and have beautiful and healthy babies.
I look back at the last 20 years of my life and see that I have chosen freedom to follow my dreams and come this far in my career. I’ve gone through life with the mindset that so many women in my generation have started their families later due to the result of a combination of increased economic power, later marriage, the two-income family, the high cost of childcare, longevity, and a culture that rewards female independence, individualism and a strong career identity.
But, then a darker, extremely painful side in waiting to conceive sets in. This is where the panic takes over and any logical “smart” thinking, that my husband has, goes out the window. I stop believing that I need to be financially stable, have the perfect house, work less, and that I don’t want my child to be raised by a nanny. Instead, I start listening to what my mother is telling me: don’t wait any longer. You’ll regret it.
Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock…
While Clayton looks at the external factors that come into play with having a child, I consider that Mother Nature doesn’t always cooperate. All of us women have heard the bleak statistics—that women over 40 have only a five percent chance of conceiving every month; as opposed to a 20 percent chance each month for women 30 years of age--the risks of chromosomal abnormalities and pregnancy ending in miscarriage increasing. And the only guarantee with IVF treatments is that they cost tens of thousands of dollars. I have no control over biology. And these facts freak me out.