For women and couples going trough IVF, right now is a tricky time. The ‘ticking clock’ of fertility doesn’t stop for Covid-19, but unfortunately treatment does.
By 45, most women think they’ve missed the boat when it comes to having kids. I don’t know if I’ve missed the boat… yet. And I won’t know for a while. Coronavirus has extended this period of not knowing further. When I first embarked on this journey of trying to have a child, last year in May, I imagined I’d be well into pregnancy by now. As it is, I haven’t even attempted to get pregnant yet.
Let’s talk taboo
Talking openly about IVF, miscarriage and wanting a baby as you near menopause are all still pretty taboo subjects. In my thirties I used to have strong opinions about IVF and difficulties getting pregnant – if you couldn’t get pregnant that was because you weren’t meant to have a baby. Your body was trying to tell you something.
As I’ve got older I’ve become more compassionate. Yes, there is the body, but there is also the heart and the soul. The urge to procreate is imprinted into our DNA for the survival of the species, and so, maybe, is the urge to be a parent. For some reason I can’t shake the longing.
And then there’s being an older parent; some people think it’s irresponsible to have children later in life because you might not be around to see them into adulthood. But that is a pessimistic view in my opinion (especially as I intend to live a long and healthy life!), and I’ve witnessed many older parents being the most amazing, calm and wise caretakers of their children.
To have or not to have
Last year, when I was forced to think about never having a child or going it alone, I knew nothing about the process of IVF. I was going to have to go through IVF if I wanted to create my baby within my body, which has been a dream of mine since I was a teenager. I was briefly pregnant about eight years ago, and I LOVED it! The miracle of it overwhelmed me and filled me with love for the little being growing in my womb.
Loved-ones of mine have been through IVF, but I now know it’s a bit like falling in love or the loss of someone close – you don’t really understand it until you go through it yourself. At my age and in my circumstances, in order to have any chance of getting pregnant with my own eggs, collecting my eggs and trying to create embryos is the most urgent part of this long, medicated process of getting pregnant. I’ve learnt that it’s possible to get pregnant even after menopause; it’s a woman’s eggs that age beyond the point of fertility, not her womb. Who knew? Although I’m cutting things fine, learning this has alleviated a lot of pressure, allowing me to think once again about life outside of trying to have a baby whilst continuing to follow my dream of becoming a mum.
For those of you who are curious and interested, next week I’ll be posting Part II of my fertility journey update 🙂
Now… let’s make some deliciously healthy biscuits!
This Week’s Delicious Recipe: Lemon & Honey Biscuits
These started off as fridge biscuits – the type you don’t cook but leave in the fridge to set – and they were alright. But I thought I’d see what they were like if I cooked them, and that’s when they became delicious! If you need them to be truly gluten-free, use gluten-free oats.
Makes approximately 10 biscuits
- 4 tbsp set honey
- 1 lemon, zest of
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 pinch mineral salt
- 3 tbsp melted coconut oil
- 125g ground almonds
- 50g oats, ground into flour
preheat the oven to 180C / 350F
In a mixing bowl, stir together the honey, lemon zest and juice. Add the the salt and coconut oil, and then mix in the ground almonds and oat flour until thoroughly combined.
Make approximately 10 even sized balls from the biscuit mix, rolling them between the palms of your hands to make them round. Line a metal baking tray with baking paper . Place the balls on the paper with a bit of space around each ball. With the tines of a fork, gently flatten each ball, then turn the fork 90 degrees and gently press down again to create a criss-cross pattern.
Bake for 8 minutes until golden. Once cooked, lay out on cooling rack and allow to cool before eating (if you can resist that long!).