Like many people, my life looks very different now that it did ten years ago. At 35 years old I like nothing more than a quiet night in snuggled up with my cats and a nice cup of tea. Ten years ago I was a drinking, smoking, festival frequenting mess, fluctuating between bingeing and half starving myself. I was also miserable. Now here I am and, other than the people I love, I would say my number one priority is my health. I eat (mostly) paleo, I CrossFit, I sleep well. I try and do everything right. So what was my motivation for this dramatic change in lifestyle? Am I trying to look hot to find a man? No! I got married last summer and bless his heart, he loved me when I was at my heaviest, most unhealthy self so I think he is pretty happy with how I’m doing right now. Am I hoping to squeeze in to size 0 jeans? Definitely not, and if I was it wouldn’t be CrossFit I was doing. These thighs!
No, my one true motivation is that I want a family. I love children and I want a family of my own but the timing has just never been right. I know what you’re thinking…the timing is never right. Whilst that may be true to an extent there are varying degrees to everything and trust me when I tell you that emotionally, spiritually, financially and geographically, the timing has never been right. It is a sad fact that as a woman, regardless of what else is going on in your life, you only have a certain amount of time to reproduce and as soon as you hit your 30s you become only too aware of that. This is a direct quote from the NHS about age and fertility: ‘When it comes to fertility, age matters.’ Right, no beating about the bush there then! That is not all. It goes on to state ‘In women, fertility declines more quickly with age. This decline becomes rapid after the age of 35.’
I am a natural worrier and I have shed many, many tears questioning ‘what if I have left it too late?’ I know I’m not the only one. One of my best friends wanted nothing more than to have a family of her own but she never met the right guy and when 35 came and went she began to give up hope. But she did meet someone rather wonderful and when they started ‘trying’ she was pregnant in the first month. They now have a beautiful, healthy son who they adore. This may have been luck, she may just be a very fertile person and she never knew it, I don’t know. What I do know is that she is one of the healthiest people I know. She runs marathons, she rides a bike, she climbs, she gardens, and she eats well.
Here’s the thing. Whether you are single or in a relationship, gay or straight, rich or poor, you can’t predict how age is going to affect your fertility, so there is no point worrying over what may or may not be. The best thing you can possibly do is concentrate on what you can control and ensure that you are your healthiest, happiest self so that if and when the time comes you are mentally and physically ready to be the best mum you can be.
Main photo courtesy of Rx’d Photography
Baby Otto courtesy of Rachel Hatcher and Trevor McDermott, two of my favourite people in the world.
The author trains at Reebok CrossFit Connect
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