When to Try: Facing the Fertility Challenge…

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Welcome to Tuesday my loves.  Incase you have'nt noticed yet, our 'About' page has been updated with a new face and team member, and I would be so happy if you would therefore join me in welcoming Jess Billington. Some of you may recognse Jess from her previous feautures – from here on, Jess will be contributing regularly and I'm so thrilled to welcome her as part of our team. Today, Jess addresses a subject on the minds of many, many soon to be and recent newlyweds; fertility.  And what to do when life throws a huge big baby-making curve ball at you…

This question is always on a woman's mind as she approaches her wedding day, even more so when she is approaching (gulp!) thirty and worse still when the doctor tells you your chances are limited.  So, the question is, at what point do we start trying for a baby?

It's a pretty common question – I have friends who have planned to conceive the day after the wedding, those that scheduled conception around work holidays so as not to interfere with careers and many who just came off the contraceptive pill and went for it 'gung-ho' to get a honeymoon baby.  I've never been much of a planner in life and I have never really felt maternal either and wasn't sure if I would ever be bothered by the question of 'when?'.

The turning point came when the question 'when?' became 'if'…

FertilityImage Source

Finding out I had endometriosis and discussing hysterectomies at the age of 25 with the surgeon, the words that still ring in my ear are him saying "if you DO conceive it could take up to two years and you should start before you're 30 as your chances reduce".  Now, here I am, four months until my wedding, 7 months until I'm 30 and still I don't feel "ready".  Will I ever feel ready?  We dreamed of a honeymoon to Italy in the Summer but pregnancy planning will disrupt that.  So, shallow as it sounds we find ourselves asking "baby?….or honeymoon?"

My friends are in two camps: those that think I should wait and enjoy the honeymoon of our dreams then try when we are ready and those who think I shouldn't risk not trying for, what is effectively, just a holiday and who think I should be trying now!  After all, worst case scenario: I get pregnant before I'm ready, I'll learn, right?  If I leave it, I may never get pregnant at all!  The views are completely different and I can't stand not knowing the future: will I be able to conceive if I leave it until after next Summer?  My logic is saying "does 6 months and therefore tipping into the boundary of the next age bracket REALLY affect things?!" Yet I am totally getting the FEAR.

BabiesImage Source

 If I ever need a reality check I ring my mum who doesn't even believe endometriosis is a proper illness – she thinks it's a fancy word for 'bad period' and keeps telling me to leave it and 'it'll happen' but as soon as I start to relax about it all I start freaking out again and remembering the doctors words.

To make it worse, everyone around me is saying "ooooh the wedding is nearly here – babies soon!" and I'm acutely aware of my perceived role: from business woman to mother – what if I can't BECOME a mother?!  Will I just be half a woman? 

Even though it sounds crazy, it sure feels that way.  Endometriosis is a condition that affects nearly two million women in the UK alone and on average it takes seven years to be diagnosed.  On top of that there are other conditions such as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, thyroid problems, Submucosal Fibroids and Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, to mention a few – it feels like pregnancy roulette, who gets lucky and who gets blanks?!

After reading a really good article on Adoption in the August edition of Red magazine I sit down to discuss our "options" with my Fiancé Jake who is open to adoption but I get the feeling from the way he is talking to me that he also thinks my fertility challenges are completely surmountable and it leaves me worried: is he actually prepared for the fact that I might not be able to have children?

Infertility Sucks
Source: Infertility Sucks!irtlomydr 21amplas2ampo2ampa1401069266, available via Amazon

You read about it all the time in the magazines, women who cannot have children, it’s just you never expect that to be you.  So, I’m sat here writing this with a matter of months until the wedding and I’m thinking “should we be trying for a baby now?” I have visions of telling the guests at our wedding that I’m expecting, Lily Allen style which feels lovely in my fantasy, but one glance at my pregnant sister-in-law running to the bathroom to be sick shows me the reality of being pregnant on my wedding day might not be as romantic as it is in my daydream.  Then I think about trying after the wedding like most other couples I know – but if we DO conceive faster than we think we can (you hear about these stories also) we won’t be able to go on our honeymoon and as we haven’t had a holiday in 4 years and probably won’t have one for a long time once we have children, are we missing out by forsaking our honeymoon?  Also, I think it may be nice to actually enjoy being married for a little while before we start our family.

In an ideal world, we would do up our house after the wedding, go to Italy and then start trying at the end of the Summer but if we can’t get pregnant then by the end of the Summer I may be stressed out and anxious that I’ve left it too long and it all becomes one vicious circle!  It’s very cathartic writing this article as I’m getting it all down on paper but scanning the paragraphs all I can hear is the voice of a mad woman who has no idea what the answer is.  Also, what is the big issue with wanting a biological child of my own?  There are enough children out there in need of a good home that surely it would be a kinder and wiser thing to do to adopt anyhow?  But I keep thinking I want a little Jess running around with a mischievous spark and big brown eyes.  I want to be a mum and do something meaningful with my life – I want to have a go at reading her Charlotte’s Web and taking her to her first horse riding lesson.  It’s crazy to think it has to be from my body for these things to happen.  I know many cases where a woman has given birth to a baby and not loved it as she should – so I can guarantee whether it’s from my womb or not, that little girl will be loved more than can be imagined.

But am I ready now?  No not really – the business isn’t where I want it to be, our house is a mess, we haven’t cleared all of our debt yet…will I ever get through this “To Do Before Pregnancy” list?!  And like my mother says – what is the difference between 30, 32, 35?  It is only a number.  I have to admit I felt happy to see a recent interview with 37 year old Actress Eva Longoria who said yes, she would quite like a family but she hadn’t found the right man and if it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen, she doesn’t believe in listening to all this ‘clock’ stuff.

Biological clock

Source: More Women to Reset Biological Clock

J-Lo was also in the news recently talking about wanting another child in her early forties (although in saying that she does have two already).  In fact, celebrity stories such as Emma Bunton, Louise Redknapp, Anthea Turner, Anna Friel and Susan Sarandon really help awareness and give hope that problems such as endometriosis can be surmounted.  I am comforted slightly by the knowledge that the most glamorous woman ever to have lived, Marilyn Monroe also suffered.

I still wish the illness received more coverage though as so many people say “ah you’ll be fine, I had a period like that once!”  And what I want to say is “Really?  Did it stop you making love for weeks on end?  Did you have to go to the toilet in stages because of the agonising pain?  Did you ever actually lie down in the street and call a taxi because the pain was so bad you couldn’t walk?”  Look it up, it is an actual illness you know!

So, rant over… to try or not to try?  That is the question.  Jake and I decided (for now) that we won’t try until after next Summer to give ourselves a bit of time to adjust to married life and time for a real honeymoon. Having a baby at 30 or having a baby at 35 – there isn’t really much in it and we WILL have a gorgeous child join our family: whether it’s from my womb or another’s, we’ll have a baby of our own someday and I might have endometriosis but it doesn’t have me!  I’ll be tracking my journey on Love My Dress of trying to get pregnant and hopefully succeeding late next year: wish me luck!

I'd love to hear from readers – no matter where you sit on the whole 'when is the right time to try for a baby' issue.  Are you planning to try after your wedding? Are you already parents? If so what advice would you give?  Does anyone else suffer from Endometriosis like me? Please feel free to leave comments anonymously if you feel more comfortable doing so.






Annabel View all Annabel's articles

Founder of Love My Dress. Passionate Podcaster and Editor. Annabel lives in rural North Yorkshire with her husband and business partner Philip, their two daughters and menagerie of furry hounds. She loves photography, meditation, walking, being outdoors and star gazing. She is fierce when it comes to championing talent within the wedding industry and when she's not working on Love My Dress, she supports her husband Philip in the running of the family's sustainable flower farm and floral design business, Moonwind Flowers. In 2013, she became a published author.

92 thoughts on “When to Try: Facing the Fertility Challenge…

  1. I can relate whole heartedly to this. I have endometriosis and was mortified to find out we would struggle to conceive. I have been stabbed with Zoladex more than i wish to remember. Ive been prodded, poked and operated on. I was 24 when I married but by 26 my husband had suffered a terrible brain injury and was left fighting for his life in a coma for 6 weeks. It took a long time for us to get back to normal as Colin needed and still needs 24 hour supervision. by the time I hit 30 we decided to start the ivf thing and went through 18 months of tests. Literally a year ago today we were sat down with our specialist who informed us that there is absolutely nothing they can do. With my problems and with colins brain injury we are both infertile.
    On the plus side I have several friends with endometriosis who feared they would all have to go through what we have and they didn’t. The babies appear to be popping out like no tomorrow. I wish you all the luck in the world for your wedding and the baby trying. I think what I’m trying to say is that there is never a good time or a right time. Sometimes, just knowing you are married to the love of your life is more than enough.

  2. I do understand your thought process, but at as the old adage goes, ‘life is what happens whilst you’re making plans.’ I’m not sure why you can’t book your honeymoon & try for a baby. After all it’s just having sex and that’s what you’re meant to do on your honeymoon. If you’re already pregnant during your honeymoon, what’s the problem? Ok I understand you might not want to be pregnant on your actual wedding day but you can stop taking precautions from your wedding night onwards and see what happens. It might also be helpful if your mum had a few basic biology lessons. She sounds like a doctor’s nightmare as do the idiots who don’t understand that endometriosis is a medical condition. Good luck, don’t listen to the cacophony of voices – just have some great sex and see what happens.

  3. I’ve just read your article and, to be honest, I think it barely scratches the surface of this awful subject. It’s light and breezy, as if you are deciding whether to dye your hair or not. I do think this is the way most people react when first faced with this issue but, trust me – if you go through IVF three times, like myself, there’s nothing breezy about it! There’s no, shall I wait until after my holiday or shall I not? I’m well past the stage of ‘I will be pregnant by Xmas, oh ok I’ll be pregnant by next summer then’. After a year on fertility drugs then two more years and 3 failed IVF attempts – then and only then do I think you’ll really start to wonder the big questions. Of course, I hope it works out for you much quicker and with less pain that my situation but my advice is do not delay, not for a minute. You don’t know how long and painful this path may be so start treading it straight away, face it head on and I wish you the best of luck.

  4. I think there’s a bit of a myth out there that you’ll ever feel 100% ready for a baby. There’s always something that will be more ideal than the situation you’re in right now – you’ll be earning more, you’ll have a bigger house / car, you’ll have had one last big holiday, you’ll have however much saved in the bank etc. Personally, I think that while some situations are more ideal than others, none of them are perfect as a baby changes your life totally anyway. Media portrayals of biological clocks aren’t helpful – lots of women are so desperate for a baby they want to die (some are though), and it isn’t like a ticking time bomb for everybody. If you can see children in your future that can be enough of a reason to go for it.
    We were meant to be going on our honeymoon in January (for our first anniversary) so faced a similar decision to you, but without the potential fertility issues. In the end we decided to see how it went, and as another poster says you can book the holiday later when it’s obvious if you’re pregnant or not, or bring the holiday forward etc – life isn’t set in stone. We were fortunate enough to fall pregnant pretty quickly and now our baby is due in February (20 week scan is tomorrow!) The big honeymoon is now off, but we’re taking a weeks holiday in the UK in October and that’s perfect for us – we’ll go to the Maldives for a special anniversary instead. In the toss up between a holiday and a baby it wasn’t really any contest (and personally I don’t think the two should ever be compared!)
    I will totally vouch for the fact that being pregnant (early stages at least) on your wedding wouldn’t be ideal. The sickness, the tiredness, the bloating wouldn’t make for a very happy bride unless you are very, very lucky with having no symptoms.
    Good luck with whatever path you take – I can’t wait to follow your story

  5. So so true Hollie – I remember saying the same to a friend recently who was telling me all about their plans for a baby, which largely focussed around money. Granted, their employment was in question so they were thinking sensibly, but I truly believe that when baby is gonna arrive, baby will arrive and you will pretty much just cope!
    I too agree about the portrayal by the media that ‘time is running out’. I have to say, I have never really felt pressured by any of this. I gave birth to my first child at 31, my second at 35 and I would not rule out having a third into my early 40’s {I’m 38 next week!}.
    Thanks for leaving a comment, we really value your feedback.
    Much love xXx

  6. Thank you everyone for your comments, I should probably have mentioned that my main fear with the honeymoon and pregnancy together are that I have an extreme fear of flying (I always said I would never fly whilst pregnant as I’m sure a baby could feel the distress I go through) so a honeymoon and a baby simultaneously wasn’t something I wanted to go through.
    Thank you Sarah for saying that being married to the love of your life is more than enough, I certainly have a great man and two gorgeous dogs – I would also totally consider adoption, in many ways, I feel I’m supposed to adopt. Thanks Caroline, hehe my mum is just old fashioned and doesn’t really believe in the doctors half the time – she is “proper Cornish” I’m afraid but yes, it does get frustrating when people think I’m just complaining about a period.
    Thank you for your comments Anonymous, I guess I am coming across as bright and breezy (just the way I write, honestly not a reflection of how I feel) although I have to say I’m really not ready at this moment in time and perhaps I WILL be ready before next Summer but I know I’m not ready now: I don’t think I want to push myself to do it yet, it’s been a really tough decision which perhaps I’m not conveying seriously enough with the tone I’ve used throughout, Apologies for this. Thanks for your supportive words Hollie and big congrats on your pregnancy 🙂 xxx

  7. Hi Anonymous,
    I just want to say I’m so sorry to hear of your experiences in trying to conceive. I really, really do count my lucky stars *every* single day being Mum to two, I know I could so easily have been that person who faced the same struggles.
    Thank you for taking the time to reply with such honest and heartfelt words xXx

  8. As much as you *think* you want a lovely holiday – you have all the time in the world for lovely holidays in your future.
    We didn’t have a fancy honeymoon abroad (cancelled due to redundancy) and after 14 months of trying, we fell pregnant so ended up having a UK based mini-moon when I was 13 weeks pregnant to celebrate our anniversary.
    And neither of us feel like we have been deprived, or missed out on an experience – because we are embarking on the biggest, most exciting, terrifying and overwhelming experience we are ever going to face as we step over in to becoming parents.
    Short of a lottery win – life is never, ever ‘perfect enough’ to bring a child in to the world. But it does have a funny way of working itself out when you get pregnant, so even if there are things you would like to have more of before having a baby (money, holidays) and things you would like to have less of (debt, work stress), sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and go for it because you just don’t know whats going to happen.

  9. I don’t think anybody can anticipate the pain of a journey through infertility until it happens to you. My husband and I decided to start ‘trying’ for a family quite soon after getting married and nearly three years later and with no success I look back and wish we had waited and enjoyed more time together as just husband and wife. So I completely understand the thought process behind waiting and adjusting to married life; we have no fertility problems as individuals but together we seem to be fighting a loosing battle that results in the most painful marriage you could ever imagine. Have time together, enjoy each other, and don’t rush into a journey that may take all of your strength to simply live. Best of luck.

  10. Hi Jess, I think you’re very brave sharing this post and I thank you for that.
    At the end of the day, we are all individuals with different individual thoughts, experiences, wants, desires, dreams, wishes and regrettably sometimes, medical conditions that prevent us from achieving our dreams and desires.
    I think you will do what’s right for you, though I am 100% behind the sentiment that sometimes you just have to take that leap of faith and do it! But this is a life changing event we are talking about and I think that so far, your approach is sensible and real and I so hope that one day very soon, I find myself commenting on a big celebratory announcement from Mrs treatalady.com xXx

  11. Thank you Vivienne, so true…I always find I’m caught in the “I will when….” cycle and you never feel quite financially stable or ready do you? You are very right xxx

  12. This made me feel a bit emotional – I understand that in pursuit of a goal time runs away doesn’t it and the stress of wanting it probably takes over everything. Thank you for offering a really unique perspective and reminding me to take time with Jake after the wedding for us. xxx

  13. Like Annabel, I count my lucky stars that I too already have a little brood of my own. I cannot even begin to imagine what it feels like to know that that might not be a possibility for you, so huge props for such an honest post, and hope against hope that you get the outcome you want in the end, no matter what route you end up taking to get there.
    Some of the best advice I ever received was from my grandmother who told me “If you’re waiting for the perfect time to have a baby, then you’ll probably never have a baby” – I was much younger and pregnant with my first baby – worrying desperately about how we’d cope and how it wasn’t the ‘right time’ to be a mum. Of course, it’s nothing like your situation, but I do think the advice still applies xx

  14. Thanks Laura for your lovely comments and great advice from your grandmother! I guess there is no ‘right time’ and through the experience of writing this article I think I’ve realised perhaps I’m just putting it off because of fear of the hard road ahead and the potential struggle to get pregnant xxx

  15. I feel your pain but my first piece of advice is, if you think you may struggle to get pregnant then start trying straight away.
    I am 40 and have been trying for the past 3 years to have a baby, putting it off and putting it off because I didn’t think I was ready. I found out a year ago I have Endometriosis and yes it is a horrible illness and I suffer really badly with my periods, but that as it seems has been the tip of the iceberg.
    Having struggled to conceive we went down the IVF route, and were majorly mucked about by the NHS, so we then went to a private clinic who after more tests and more pocking and prodding around I was told that I am actually infertile and will never be able to have my own baby, my eggs just don’t work! and to add to that I was told I will be going through an early menopause …………Gutted is not the word!
    We are now facing the question for egg donation, adoption or no children at all. The thought that I will never have a bay and be able to see my own features in its face make me so sad, it makes me angry that I waited so long…….who knows if I’d tried at 30 if it would have happened? Who knows if is an age thing or not? Maybe it would have never happened even at 20? BUT it’s something I have to live with.
    So don’t wait, don’t worry about the honeymoon, holidays will come and go but children won’t!

  16. I think it’s very easy for other people to say ‘don’t wait to try, you don’t want to regret it later’, but every individual and couple are different. As someone who has been ‘trying’ for 7 years, done three IVFs, IUIs, has just hit 40 and will not be able to have their own children, I still couldn’t say ‘don’t wait’. I do remember thinking I didn’t want to cancel plans to ‘live’ just to try and conceive, because if that didn’t happen I didn’t also want to miss out on a great life in the meantime. I was already 33 when we got married and we decided to wait at least 6 months after we got married as we had an overseas trip planned. Even now I don’t look back and regret not trying earlier because we had an amazing time, and it was simply the path we went down I guess… and perhaps because regrets don’t help and they can make you bitter I think. I didn’t know I had endometriosis until about 18 months into trying (thankfully I’d never had any pain – although perhaps if I did, I may have investigated earlier?). Sadly – and yes it’s been an incredibly sad journey – it’s highly highly unlikely at this stage I’ll have a child of my own, however I’ve been telling myself all along that my goal is to have a family for life, not to be pregnant for 9 months (perhaps just my way of getting through), and we’re finally on the adoption path (which where I live also is no breeze!). I’m confident we’ll get our family at some stage… and I’m incredibly thankful in the meantime for the best husband I could possibly have found. I wish you every bit of success in your journey, whichever options you take! And remember to be kind to one another – you’re on the same team! xo

  17. Hi Jess, I just want to drop in to wish you well on your journey in to parenthood. I am sure you will make the very best decision for you and your husband and I hope it’s not long before you are documenting your journey into a brave new world so we can follow and support you.
    By the way I’m getting married in 6 months. I’m 29 years old and whilst we have talked about it only in passing/light hearted mode, we haven’t seriously addressed the issue of making a family yet, I just haven’t wanted to – despite my mum and grandmother asking us literally every time we see them! I’ve wanted to get married and live a little first. I have always assumed it will happen by the time I’m 35 and have even entertained late 30’s as being a reasonable age to conceive my 1st child. ‘m not worrying about anything and this post doesn’t make me worry or want to start trying straight away. I think like the other reader says, we are all so different and should be able to approach the whole making a family thing in a way that isn’t going to be judged by society, friends, family and media.
    I wish you well in your wedding planning and baby making Jess! Thanks for sharing your experience.
    C x

  18. When I got engaged at 34, it seemed the right time to start trying for a baby – I assumed it would take a while, was prepared for heartache & thought we’d get on with planning the wedding anyway. To my amazement I was pregnant almost immediately, had to scale back the wedding & honeymoon plans, but it turned out to be the right choice for us.
    We honeymooned in a cottage in Wales when I was 6 months pregnant. It was lovely & we are so happy with the way it all turned out. I feel I was one of the lucky ones, though – so lucky to have conceived easily aged 34 and had a stress-free pregnancy. Planning a wedding if I’d been ill or tired might have been much harder. And I feel so much sympathy for those going down a more difficult path.

  19. Great post Jess, it was such an interesting read hearing from your point of view. It was so honest and also very brave of you to share with us. Thank you 🙂 I hope you and your (soon to be!) husband reach a decision you’re both happy with..
    Endometriosis runs in my family (my two Aunts and Grandmother, although Grandmother was never diagnosed although we believe she had it). Myself and fiance are not ready for children now but yes absolutely in the next few years. If it happens naturally we will be happy, if it doesn’t, we’ll look at our other options, adoption included.
    I wish there was more discussion about Endometriosis but I am happy to know that it exists on forums, blogs and wedding websites like this!

  20. Hi Jess, thanks for your post and for your honesty. I suffer from endometriosis and was also diagnosed with breast cancer at age 26. After 6 months of chemo I was told that I was infertile. I didn’t meet my husband until I was 35, we got married 2 years later and then started trying to conceive. After 6 months of trying I saw an IVF specialist who painted a very bleak picture, given my history and my age. I was scheduled to see him a month or so later when I got my period but my period never came – I was pregnant! I gave birth to a very healthy boy, who is now 7 years old. I would desperately have loved another child, I suffered a miscarriage at age 41 and nothing since then. But I am blessed with my son, our miracle boy. You just never know what is around the corner – miracles do happen! So stay positive and as for when is the best time – just take it as it comes and try not to stress about it too much – good luck!

  21. I think it’s worth remembering that your body and your baby didn’t get to read your life plan! We get married in 7 months but there’s a lot happening next year so we probably won’t try for a while – but it will (or won’t) happen when it does and there’s not much I can do about it!
    The only thing you can do is not get stressed – easier said than done but a stressed body is less likely to get pregnant. Enjoy ‘practicing’ and your hubby and leave the rest to fate!

  22. I am so overwhelmed with all of your lovely replies and pieces of advice. I will log on later and reply to individuals but wanted to say thank you for taking the time to add your thoughts and comments xxx

  23. I was diagnosed with premature ovary failure at the age of 16 and told all the same information as you mention above.. “have a child before you are 30 etc..” but I am 28 getting married in 2 months and I am just about to start the job of my dreams.. Although I want to have a family I am also cautious I need to be in the right head space.. I look forward to following journey as I think we may be on the same page…xx

  24. “I think it’s very easy for other people to say ‘don’t wait to try, you don’t want to regret it later’, but every individual and couple are different.”
    I’m so pleased a reader has said this because it really is so true and I so very much hope you get your little family soon.
    Thank you for passing on kind wishes to Jess on this very emotive subject.

  25. Jess
    You are still young! I am 38 and newly pregnant for the first time. I stressed about it for a months and months (when we finally got down to it) but thankfully it worked out for us (so far – still early days that’s why I’m staying anon). We only met when I was 33 and got married when I was 37. Not really a whole lot I could have done about that. It took us a while to find each other. Then when we did we were in different countries for a year and a half. After the wedding we took a few months to ourselves before we got ‘technical’. That was a worry for me and a bit emotional but thankfully it has worked out. I was scared I was taking chances with my fertility at my age. The hardest part sometimes is not knowing.
    We discussed our life without children if it didn’t happen for us and we were trying to be honest about this with each other. Communication and honesty should help you through whatever married life throws at you (& us). And as Sarah said above : Sometimes, just knowing you are married to the love of your life is more than enough.
    We even talked about IVF/adoption and all the options we thought we might need to follow. I have seen so many of my friends going through so many different types of baby dilemmas and none of them are easy. But making sure you have the right partner by your side is certainly the first big step.
    I don’t have endometriosis to add to my worries and I am so sorry that you do. Life (& wedding planning) is stressful enough without adding more worries to your list.
    Look inside yourself and you will know the right answer for you.
    Best of luck and enjoy marrying your love.

  26. Well done Jess for writing that article. There’s never a right age to have a baby but when if you’re told your only option is IVF you might wish you’d started trying earlier. Just go for it now – it doesn’t always happen straight away so chances are you wont have to alter your wedding dress! Good luck x

  27. I didn’t get much of a say in the “When” aspect of babies as I fell pregnant rather unexpectedly at the age of 22, about 2 weeks after being diagnosed with PCOS. So, in that respect I’m in the, “Keep going, you can overcome it” camp. Equally, at 22, the thought of kids petrified me and I certainly wasn’t ready in many ways. We were both unemployed, living with our respective parents, and the one thing I remember my dad saying was, “If you wait for the ‘perfect’ time to have kids, you’ll never have them”. You always worry if you’ll have enough money, or if the timing works well with other life events, but you have to go with the flow and see where life takes you. I hope that doesn’t sound mean.
    Best of luck with it all, look forward to hearing more.

  28. I do not suffer with Endometriosis ( to my knowledge) and cannot imagine how being told that you may not be able to have children may feel. I am 26 and have been with my partner for over 5 years and 3 years into our relationship my Mum asked me ‘What if you were to get pregnant? Would you keep it?’ The answer to my surprise, was yes. We were in a terrible financial situation- He was still at Uni, I was a struggling Make Up Artist that had just left my full time job, we lived in a cramped studio flat in a less than desirable neighbourhood, but really thinking about it I knew we would get by, and ultimately I wouldn’t want to get rid of OUR baby. The message I’m trying to put across is, if it’s meant to be, it will be. Regardless of how financially/ personally ready you think you are. Fate can be a wonderful thing, it just depends on how you perceive it. If you are meant to conceive your own BIOLOGICAL child, it WILL happen. If you’re not, maybe you’re meant to give an adopted child a wonderful loving home. Enjoy each other, enjoy your wedding and yes ENJOY your honeymoon! I’m sure you both deserve it. Oh and Mum’s are usually right 😉
    PS- Jo’s answer really stood out to me x good luck

  29. So I go into hospital next month to find out if I have endometriosis (they can only diagnose from going in and having a look) and if I do, I’ll then learn about my fertility I would imagine which is scary. I’m 30 and I’m single, so getting pregnant is not an option for me (I’m pretty sure I couldn’t do it alone). I may feel differently about it if I was with someone but I don’t feel ready for children at all and think that even if told I should do it sooner rather than later I would still wait until I was ready. Just like my sister, who is 37 and has very severe endometriosis (one of the worst cases her doctor had seen apparently) she has just got engaged and is now talking about whether to start now before the wedding or wait til after, she didn’t try before now as she wasn’t ready, she’s still not really but she’s 37 and realises is got to start happening. I’m hopeful though as my mum went through the menopause pretty late which means she was fertile late and she accidentally got pregnant with me at 36, that’s got to be good genes surely? 🙂 so anyway, if I was you, I would not actively try until after the honeymoon but would probably come off contraception and if it happeneded it happened 🙂 It sounds like you’re following your gut instinct and I think that’s the right thing to do. X

  30. I’m 27 years old and about to get married but I’m lucky enough to know that I am ready to have a baby – I have been ‘ready’ for a while but we wanted to do things the ‘traditional’ way and get married first.
    Previously, I was always one of those people who said they would NEVER get married and NEVER EVER EVER have children. My career meant everything to me. I had moved to London to make money and be successful and that was my goal ever since leaving school. I remember I used to say that when I was 30 I’d be living in the city in a penthouse apartment, driving a sports car and living the high life!
    Then, 4 1/2 years ago, I started working at a fertility clinic and had first hand contact with infertile and desperate couples who were unable to conceive. This completely opened my eyes to the fact that, despite all the scare-mongering in PSE lessons at school, it was actually far more difficult to conceive than I first thought. There are only 36hrs in an entire month that a woman is able to conceive! And that’s without having any ‘fertility’ problems. This got me thinking about whether I COULD even have children, let alone have the choice to have them or not!
    Subsequently, a close family member who was pregnant ended up having to make the agonising decision of a medical termination at around 20 weeks. It was traumatic for the entire family and I feel that this life changing event is the route cause for my change of heart regarding starting a family. Suddenly, everything was put into perspective for me – yes, my career was important but seeing first hand what this person endured really changed my priorities in life. She would have given up EVERYTHING for her baby to have been ok and I then realised that family – not money, not fancy cars or penthouse apartments – was the most important thing in my life.
    So, now we’ve decided to ‘try’ for a baby as soon as we get married and I’m excited but extremely nervous at the same time. For me, its not a case of worrying whether I’m ‘ready’ or not to be a mum but working in this industry, I’m well aware of all the possible problems that could occur and I’m conscious that it could take years to conceive – if its even possible at all! I am every day surrounded by IVF/insemination/semen analysis/egg sharing and just knowing the scientific and biological ‘how to make a baby’ jargon just adds to the pressure.
    After all is said and done, I suppose all you can do is hope and let nature take its course. Besides, I’m in the right place if we do need any intervention! But, knowing what I know – I will be so so thankful if, in a year or so from now, we’re a mummy and daddy.
    Good luck to you Jess – don’t let anyone else pressure you. Only you can decide what’s right for you.

  31. I never normally reply to articles I have read, but felt compelled to do so.
    I will never forget coming around from an exploratory operation to see why after many years of extreme pain what the problem was, to be told by the consultant I had extensive endometriosis and was the worst case he had ever seen and that unfortunately he felt it highly unlikely that I would ever have children. Words cannot express how I felt. The disbelief and shock particularly as I had been banging my head against a brick wall since the age of 14 trying to get someone to believe me regarding the pain that no pain killers would help and the extremely heavy flooding that I suffered that lasted sometimes for 3 weeks at a time. I was 17 when I had my first operation to remove an ovarian cyst but no mention was made of Endometriosis. I continued in pain like yourself often curled up on the floor writhing around in agony. I married at 21 to the most wonderful man who felt hopeless watching me in so much pain. Sex at times was unbearable. I saw the same consultant who had operated on me again and was told that it was just an excuse not to be a good wife in bed to my husband and that I must except that I was now married and get on with it!! Yes totally unbelievable hey. Fortunately, he retired and I had a new consultant who wasn’t sure and said I had been seen before by a consultant and nothing was wrong. It was only when I had said we had not used any contraception for 2.5 years that he took me seriously and took me into hospital to have an exploratory operation. After the diagnose I was put on Danol which was a male hormone to stop my periods to try and clear the endometriosis up. The side effects were awful to say the least and after yet another operation when my left ovary had to be removed because of a massive chocolate cyst caused by the disease, my husband said enough was enough and that he wasn’t going to let me continue on those drugs. I started fertility treatment and after a few months got pregnant. It was a multiple pregnancy and I spent nearly all of the nine months in hospital. I miscarried all of the babies apart from one. After an horrific labour when they nearly lost me and my baby I won’t say all the details as it was truly bad I eventually gave birth to a beautiful baby daughter who had to be resusitated. She was worth all the pain and the months in hospital. The disease still rampaged through my body affecting all my bowels etc so my consultant said after another two operations to diathermy it away unsuccessfully, do you want to try for another baby as in six months we will have to do a total hysterectomy if you don’t have one now. Yes was my answer. So after more treatment and against my husband’s better judgement I went ahead. This time we had a beautiful son. By the age of 29 I had had an hysterectomy and removal of the remaining ovary which burst on the operating table it was so diseased. In total I had 7 operations. I have now been very happily married for 30 years and our two children are the best things that have ever happened to my husband and me. I am so lucky to have them and could not imagine life without them. Well the reason that I am reading your blog on Love My Dress is that my gorgeous daughter is getting married next year and to say how proud I feel is an understatement, I know that I will cry loads of tears of joy on the day.
    I would say to you follow your heart not your head regarding having a baby. Don’t leave it too long, you could regret it. But if it was me, I would get married and try for a honeymoon baby, you will be relaxed, happy and carefree which will help. Have faith, I did, I never gave up and it was tough going, more so than I could write here. I feel sad that your mum feels it’s not a proper illness, as it certainly is. I however, had the same treatment from my mother-in-law who was not excepting of it either, so I do understand.
    I wish you and your future husband all the luck, love and best wishes in the world and sincerely hope that your dream to have a family comes true, as there is simply no better feeling than the love you feel for a child of your own. Our two children are our world and we love them with all our hearts even now they are all grown up. But if you do adopt, how special will that child feel to know that you chose them and that they were so wanted. Either way, no amount of holidays or material items can ever replace the love of a child and being a family together.

  32. I need to compose a proper response to this and promise that I will do that later, but this comment has just stopped me dead in my tracks.
    What an unbelievable message of hope and positivity, just unbelievable, thank you so much xxxx

  33. I am so touched by all your responses to Jess today, thank you so much from the bottom of my heart. I hope to reply on a more individual basis later once I’ve cleared my to-do list, but really, huge thanks xxx

  34. What a thought provoking topic today Jess (and Annabel). I think every case is as individual as we are but it takes a post like this to see just how many people can sympathise and empathise with your situation. I am currently in a similar situation regarding fertility. It’s not something I discuss greatly with friends or family but something we as a couple have had to think about since we were seriously involved. You see it’s not me that has a fertility issue, it’s my husband. It’s something he’s known about since childhood as he has Cystic Fibrosis. So along with the doctors telling him he won’t live to see his teens/20s/30s etc etc, he has always been afraid someone wouldn’t want to be with him when a) he might not be around in 10 years or b) he cannot naturally conceive children. He told me early on in the relationship (giving me a chance to ‘get out of jail free’ I think!) but it hasn’t affected us.
    Luckily he has had good health so far with his CF and we can go down the route of IVF in order to have a child together. Not ideal but then every path in life isn’t put there to let us glide through with no problems I guess! We have had our issues with the NHS too as they at first refused us for being too young (late 20s). This was despite the fact we are classed as infertile. There is NO possible way we can get pregnant no matter how hard we try naturally (due to the lack of a Vas Diferens due to his CF). They want us to wait until 35 which seems crazy as nothing will have changed in regards to fertility but I will have gotten older and my now younger and healthier eggs will have a significant lesser chance of being successful. It’s a waiting game now to get on the NHS waiting list (1st try might be when I’m 38yrs old?).
    As a newlywed I also endure the comments from colleagues “So are you trying for a baby now then?” and “When will you be popping out some babies then?”. We try and fend them off kindly with the usual “When the time’s right. We want to enjoy being married for now.”.
    If the time comes and we are blessed with a baby, it shall be all the more special for us but for now we can’t let it rule our lives. We enjoy other friends and family’s children and treat them instead. Pressure can make it seem like a chore and so we make plenty of time with each other and talk about our feelings (positive and negative) to make sure it doesn’t consume us on the inside.
    So in answer to your question “When is the right time to try for a baby?” our time is now but our journey is just longer.
    I wish you and your future husband all the luck in the world and look forward to reading your updates 🙂
    Sara x

  35. I can totally relate to what you are saying and I agree and would advise not to hang off to long.
    My problem started early 20s with an ectopic pregnancy. I was devastated, I had an operation and lost my right tube. At my follow up appointment, I was brushed aside for any treatment being to young and having 1 tube left to go away and try.
    For years nothing happened, it drove me mad, constantly charting temps, reading every book, searching the web, diets, you name it we tried it. We should have shares in Clear Blue with the amount of money we spent on tests! I was back and forth to my GP for referal and finally we got an appointment for the fertility clinic. More tests were done and they decided to try and clear my other tube which was now blocked too, op done and sent home to recover and try again!
    A year later and at the grand old age of me 34 and hubby 36, we were finally on the list for IVF. After our inital appointment, we were back 2 years later for more tests, bloods, sperm samples etc. At the results of my test we were given the terrible blow that I was in premature menopause – you could have knocked me down with a feather.
    I had been feeling strange for months and my period was never normal and I put the mood swings down to pressure of trying to concieve. We were told they would give us one chance at IVF and if my eggs didn’t respond to the strongest drugs available then no more treatment would be available to us – it never worked.
    I dont want my story to scare anyone but time is precious, it really is and if there a slight chance that you may have trouble concieving then I would get the ball rolling so to speak!
    We have accepted that its just going to be us and we have adopted the Carrie and Big “me and you, just us too” phrase and are enjoying life!

  36. I can totally relate to what you are saying and I agree and would advise not to hang off to long.
    My problem started early 20s with an ectopic pregnancy. I was devastated, I had an operation and lost my right tube. At my follow up appointment, I was brushed aside for any treatment being to young and having 1 tube left to go away and try.
    For years nothing happened, it drove me mad, constantly charting temps, reading every book, searching the web, diets, you name it we tried it. We should have shares in Clear Blue with the amount of money we spent on tests! I was back and forth to my GP for referal and finally we got an appointment for the fertility clinic. More tests were done and they decided to try and clear my other tube which was now blocked too, op done and sent home to recover and try again!
    A year later and at the grand old age of me 34 and hubby 36, we were finally on the list for IVF. After our inital appointment, we were back 2 years later for more tests, bloods, sperm samples etc. At the results of my test we were given the terrible blow that I was in premature menopause – you could have knocked me down with a feather.
    I had been feeling strange for months and my period was never normal and I put the mood swings down to pressure of trying to concieve. We were told they would give us one chance at IVF and if my eggs didn’t respond to the strongest drugs available then no more treatment would be available to us – it never worked.
    I dont want my story to scare anyone but time is precious, it really is and if there a slight chance that you may have trouble concieving then I would get the ball rolling so to speak!
    We have accepted that its just going to be us and we have adopted the Carrie and Big “me and you, just us too” phrase and are enjoying life!

  37. This actually brought a tear to my eye! Being in the same position as your daughter – about to get married, thinking about the future – I turned to my own mum about this whole issue of when is a good time to have a baby. She said with 30 years of wisdom, its always the right time, and its always the wrong time, but its always wonderful. So the old adage that ‘mum’s know best’ is clearly entirely true!

  38. Your mum is certainly right(as we are lol). It is never the “right” time & You can never be prepared for motherhood, it’s a real learning curve at whatever age or stage in life, but there is simply no greater experience. My daughter is 25 and will be 26 when she marries and my son is 24 and I still get a kick out of hearing them say “Mum” when I pick up the phone and they are on the other end.
    I hope you have a wonderful wedding day and that you are both blessed with children at some stage.

  39. This is not an advert but whenever I read such stories from women trying to get fertility treatment via the NHS but to no avail I want to scream it from the rooftops.
    If you are under 35 years of age, have a BMI under 28, have healthy ovaries and pass a few screening tests such as infectious diseases and genetics you can get IVF for FREE in a private clinic such as the one I work at.
    Basically, its a scheme called egg sharing and means that if a woman who needs IVF (perhaps because of a male factor or fallopian tube problems), undertakes treatment and donates half of the eggs retrieved (there is usually a surplus of eggs harvested in IVF) to a woman who needs donor eggs (early menopause etc), the egg sharer gets her treatment entirely free of charge with NO waiting list.
    Its really something I feel should be publicised more as I hate to think that people assume they can’t have treatment just because the NHS says no.

  40. Life will always present obstacles – there is never really an ideal time, you just have to go for it and not worry about what if. The most important thing you need is faith in a positive outcome. Positivity and a belief that it WILL work out are I believe key to it actually happening. I am epileptic, I was diagnosed as a teeneager and told I would have to take medication for the rest of my life. At this point they told me if I ever wanted to start a family I must see a consultant to plan the pregnancy and should never just get pregnant as the drugs I took could cause terrible defects mentally and physical to a baby. My Mum advised me to consider not having a baby. Fast forward nearly 15 years from diagnosis and I was getting married and my husband and I made the firm decision we wanted to start a family. We took advice from a consultant and I was put on a ‘safer’ anti epileptic drug. What this drug did to me almost destroyed me and my husband to be, I felt like I was seriously losing my mind, I was desperate and depressed and in a terrible state, my husband to be could not understand what was happening and could not cope anymore, four months before our wedding he told me he was leaving me. This kick started something, the realisation that I was not ok, that something was seriously wrong and when we put our heads together we realised the problems had started when I went on the new drugs. I phoned my consultant and tearfully told them what was happening to me, he confirmed it was the drugs and took me off them that very day. The result was I was put back on the more dangerous in pregnancy drugs. I felt so helpless, sad and that having a baby was not meant to be. I remember it was Christmas and I was surrounded by family and their children and I felt at that point like it was just never going to happen for me, I cried and cried and noone knew what to say to me. I desperately wanted a baby. I came to the decision I was in such mess mentally (fours months prior to my Wedding) I paid to see a private pyschotherpist to attempt to sort my head out. This man saved my life and changed it in ways I could never have anticipated. He introduced me to self belief, positive thinking and controlling my own body through my mind, now I know this all sounds a bit pie in the sky, I thought the same, he suggested I come of my epilepsy medication, I thought HE was crazy, but I believed in him and decided to try it. My consultant supported me and told me (off the NHS record) sometimes in life you have to take a risk. I took that risk, I believed right from the beginning I would get pregnant, that my baby would be safe, that I would not start convulsing in labour -oh the list of what if’s was endless but I had faith it would all be fine. The end result? I came off the anti-epileptic drugs, as soon as it was safe we started trying, I got pregnant immeadiately, I had a safe healthy pregnancy and I gave birth to the most beautiful, normal, healthy baby boy in the world in 2011. I never had a fit, nothing. I choose to stay off the drugs and this year my consultant signed me off from his care – defying all medical evidence available on my type of condition. I might add too I’m in my late thirites – all the odds seemed stacked against me at one point but I took a different approach and how I’ve reaped the benefits and I’m a Mother, the most wonderfully, precious experience of my life. I wish you well, do it when it feels right for you and just urge you be positive and believe – it will happen if you want it enough.

  41. I seriously had no idea about this! I’ll see if I can find some info on the web and post it here, though if you know of any relevant website Louise, please do post a link here!

  42. Hi Jess. Amazing post, going through exactly the same thing in my head. My wedding is 8 months away and I am almost (gulp) 28. Sounds scary written down! All my friends have children already and I have put off having them for a few reasons… I didn’t feel ready, I wasn’t married and I put my career first. I’m a fashion designer and the high stress industry doesn’t really allow for maternity leave, it certainly isn’t child care friendly. I’m not getting the same point as you Jess… I don’t want to leave it for too long after the wedding before trying for a baby but then again I have work to worry about, money, honeymoons… most of all I’m thinking of changing my career and doing a PGCE after the wedding which rules pregnancy out for another year, also I’m a bridesmaid at my best friends Cyprus wedding in 2014! I just seem to keep pushing the baby thing back. My partner is desperate for a baby and I feel a bit guilty on him.
    I have not been diagnosed with endometriosis, I’m too scared to go to the doctors but I have THE worst problems with my periods. Since I was about 15/16 I have passed out with the pain, thrown up, gone all clammy, had migraines, lay on the floor. Sometimes the pain was so bad I have lay on a public toilet floor and rang my mum to come get me because I was unable to move. Now-a-days my periods wipe me out for a few days, I get exhausted, headaches, nausea and the worst pains ever. Life is hard around that time of the month. My Mum said I should get checked because of the baby thing, she doesn’t want me to get diagnosed with anything too late. No pressure! The things us ladies go through.
    I really hope everything works out perfectly for you Jess no matter what order it happens in 🙂 xxxxxx

  43. Oh my God, I have just read all of the comments, many have made me cry and I’m so very overwhelmed by all of these stories – it has really put things in perspective for me and made me feel glad I took the leap to share something so personal for a blog I’ve only just started writing for where I haven’t “found my feet” yet. Your stories are incredible, many of you have been through things I couldn’t even imagine and I’m so honoured to get this many replies from strong incredible women and mothers. Sorry I’m so late, I’ve been in meetings all afternoon but promise to now respond to all of the comments individually – they have all helped so much. Thank you for welcoming me to Love My Dress and sharing with me today xxxx

  44. Thank you for this, I know you’re right and I’m not sure what’s holding me back – the words “I don’t feel ready” don’t feel like they really cover it. The pregnancy roulette thing is so cruel and it feels like luck happens to some and not all…we are mentally preparing ourselves for adoption already and strangely, I feel really good about adoption so I’m not sure if maybe that’s my fate? I cannot imagine how you get over something so finite as being told it’s a no-go situation and I guess you can’t think ‘if only’ or have regrets… good luck on your decision: egg donation/adoption or no children – please keep us updated as I plan to update the fertility issue regularly xxx

  45. Thank you so so much for this – to be honest, all of these replies and so many opinions – it’s been incredible but so many views and I’m spinning: one minute I’m going “oh yes we’ll wait” and the next minute I think “let’s start trying today!” I’m so confused. Your reply is so wonderful and it’s good to hear of someone adopting, I don’t hear nearly enough about it and it’s something I’ve really started to consider as an option, even at this stage: I actually think it’s an amazing thing to do and wish you the best of luck on this journey, please continue to check in with us as I update on my experiences, I would love to hear how the adoption process has been xxx

  46. Wow, I just read this entire post and all of the comments too, incredible! I started to cry when I read about planting the tree…sorry, it’s been a bit of an emotional day today! Interesting that you mentioned about relaxing and enjoying a night dolled up etc, loads of people say when you relax it happens. I giggled at the legs in the air after intercourse bit, I’ve read things like that and wondered if it actually helps! Thanks for sharing that Annabel, it’s really inspiring xxx

  47. Thanks Caroline, even reading your comments have made me feel more relaxed about things. We always said we wanted to “enjoy being married” before trying to conceive, especially as we are prepared for a long tough journey plus I just haven’t felt broody yet – I wonder sometimes if I’m broken 🙁 I just read a post by Annabel about when she wanted children and she said it just came on a few months after 30, it hit her. Hopefully that will happen to me as I’m not 30 yet! Thanks for taking the time to write something and keep following the journey, you never know….we may end up trying for children at the same time! xxx

  48. Thanks Bride123, your attitude towards it all is really great and perhaps being less stressed about it helps conception (I’m starting the believe there is something in this!) I have a type of endometriosis called “recto endometriosis” – I won’t go into details as I’m sure you can imagine! But recently I started getting periods when going to the “ahem ‘PROPER’ toilet” so went back to the specialist as they were concerned (I was tested 5 times by the way for bum problems before the GP found that I had ‘recto-endo) on my notes, so for years they thought the two weren’t connected!!) Anyway, I hadn’t seen the specialist in 5 years and was really pleased to say they had an endometriosis specialist nurse working there (she was incredible – I may actually interview her for a follow-up article to this) and there is also now an endometriosis support group available in Cornwall which is amazing – and if it’s available in Cornwall, there might be one near you (since NOTHING happens in Cornwall…I mean, we only have ONE Topshop in the entire county, no good wedding fairs and no department stores at all, I have to drive out of the County to find MAC make-up….just to demonstrate how “behind the times” we are. You may find a support group if you look around xxx

  49. Thanks Karen, it’s stories like yours that make me just think I have nothing to complain about – I cannot even IMAGINE having breast cancer in my 20’s and overcoming everything to have a little boy: congratulations and thanks for sharing your inspiring story with us today xxx

  50. Hi Vicky!
    We most certainly are – I’m getting married in 4 months, have a dream honeymoon planned for 9 months time and am also finally doing the job of my dreams as well. I feel so guilty in a way for not being “ready” or feeling broody or really feeling anything except fear of regret so it’s good to meet another kindred spirit. With Annabel’s permission I’m going to update every 2-3 months on how we think/feel about it all and any progress so please do keep checking in and letting me know about your plans and progress also xxx

  51. Hiya, your reply has really resonated with me and you are right – the main thing I am struggling with is not knowing. I read in a magazine “if you knew you could plan and have everything you wanted what would you do?” and my answer would be have our honeymoon next Summer then try next Autumn but the thing is that is the dream plan and things don’t ever go to plan do they??!! Congratulations on your pregnancy and I will continue to look inside myself and hope one day I just know that it’s the time to try xxx

  52. Hi Amy Georgina, thanks for commenting and it doesn’t sound mean at all. I’m so pleased with all the comments today (it feels like group therapy and I’ve taken so much from the discussion). I definitely have to “go with the flow” more in life in general – I’m afraid I’m a planner, a perfectionist, a people-pleaser and a stress-head workaholic so a recipe for disaster! My New Years Resolution is to relax more 🙂 xxx

  53. Hi Kylie, fantastic response! Thank you so much, I’m a big believer in fate also and really believe in what you are saying – I do think if it doesn’t happen I will give a child in need of a loving home a wonderful family and I believe things will work out for the best in the end (I hope!) I may not be so optimistic as the journey continues but for now I have hope and believe in positive thinking and trusting fate a little. Thanks for taking the time to reply today xxx

  54. Thanks Caroline 🙂 that is (the current) plan to try after the honeymoon…for now. Perhaps…it keeps changing but as things stand right now at 19.12pm on the 18th September 🙂 I can’t even imagine being single and going through these worries so I have a lot of respect for that. Hope your sister gets pregnant soon – keep us posted xxx

  55. Thanks Louise, another superb reply and wow I never knew there were 36 hours in a month to get fertile – that’s pretty tough going. I guess you have really insight because of your career. The termination sounds awful, I can’t even imagine how everyone in your family went through that but often it takes something this tragic to make us realise what really matters doesn’t it? And it never is the house, the car and the diamonds. Thanks for sharing today and please keep us updated with how you get on xxx

  56. Your story has moved me to tears today and I’m so grateful and honoured you chose to share it with us, especially since you don’t normally comment and I’m new to Love My Dress. Your story is so sad and yet so hopeful and full of love at the same time – it’s incredible. I cannot believe what you have been through, it is so intense. Consultants can be so inappropriate and horrid – I cannot believe what your surgeon told you about not being a good wife and to get on with it! How out of line!! My first specialist told me stress was causing it from moving house?!? And my second consultant was a superb surgeon but a cold man: when I went in for my first operation ever I was so nervous and he treated me so coldly and horrible and later, when I fainted in his office he told the nurse to “get rid” of me as he had other people to see!
    I am so glad you finally ended up with two lovely children despite your trauma and how lovely that your daughter is now getting married too! 🙂 Even though your story is painful and sad, it is hopeful and shows how despite tragedy, there is a silver lining – your advice about a honeymoon baby is great as I imagine I will be more relaxed and carefree on holiday in the sun. Thank you ever so much dor sharing with us today and taking the time to comment, it is much appreciated xxx

  57. Thanks Sara for your lovely comments and I’m so sorry to hear about your husband, that must be so challenging for you both. I cannot believe with a case such as yours that the NHS are sticking to their standard operating procedures and rigid rules – there should be some kind of IVF “fast-track” service! Do keep following as I plan to update every few months on here and would love to see how you’re getting on too xxx

  58. Thank you so much for commenting – I think your story has hit me the most today and I have no words to convey how I feel after reading it. Despite all of the sadness in previous posts, the general feel has been one of overcoming adversity and I cannot even grasp how difficult things must have been for you to go through all of this and then realise it will never happen for you. Time really is precious isnn’t it? I love that you have adopted the Carrie & Big motto – your strength is incredible and utterly admirable. Thank you so so much for commenting today and making me see things a little differently xxx

  59. Hi Cath,
    Thank you so much for sharing this – I am currently seeing a psychotherapist about fear of flying and this is something I may discuss with her also. I have read stories in magazines similar to what you are saying but to hear a “real woman” tell her story, so to speak, makes me realise just how powerful our minds and the concept of positive thinking really are. Thank you so so much for sharing this and congratulations on your little boy xxx

  60. Hi Sam,
    Thank you for leaving your comments and sharing with us. The first thing I have to say is please see a doctor – your symptoms sound EXACTLY the same as mine were so you may have endometriosis and not know it – it takes on average 7 years to be diagnosed, it took me two years, three internal examinations, one ultrasound, one invasive surgery and two specialists to discover it plus 6 months of “diary keeping” to track periods, painful sex etc. Please please check it out – the giveaway signs for me were painful sex (especially towards the back vaginal wall), feeling faint all of the time, lying on the floor in pain, heavy bleeding and the only pain relief is heat – extreme heat (eg shower head on full power at a very high/bordering scalding heat pressed against my abdomen and lower back) so please get checked out – don’t be scared. I’m hospital phobic and am embarrassed to say I even faint having my blood PRESSURE taken (that’s BAD!) and if I can do this anyone can. I will be there through Love My Dress every step of the way so we can chart our journeys together. Feel free to email me for further support [email protected] and thank you for your kind comments xxx

  61. Wow, quite an article! I have to say that a lot of the overall thought process sounds a lot like where I was 18 months ago. I had just turned 29 when we got married and all I heard fro
    everyone was about how babies would surely follow. It INFURIATED me- how dare they? I had a house that needed restoration, had just started a new management job at a brand new place and we were waiting for our mega moon in the August. We talked about babies, but they were always a future concept. I am pleased to say we did everything we wanted to do. The very second I hit 30 I just wanted a baby, I can’t explain it! It was a little like a light bulb had turned on. We were SO lucky and I got pregnant right away but had an early miscarriage. That really put it all into perspective- it seemed like the little things I cared about before now didn’t and I wondered why I’d waited so long. Thankfully, I’m now 17 weeks pregnant and all is great! I am glad we got to do what we’d planned, but if I were in your case? No way, id be starting now. The thought this could never be happening to me is rather soul destroying. As for getting to do your honeymoon? I’m certainly going to let a baby slot into our lives, not let it dictate ours so much, so there is always time to do things away from your baby, hell, even take him with you! I wish you every happiness, whatever happens with you. All I will say is that when it feels “real” you wondered why you hadn’t done it before! Luci

  62. Hi Jess, what a fantastic post. I know very well how you feel at the moment when you say “I’m acutely aware of my perceived role: from business woman to mother – what if I can’t BECOME a mother?! Will I just be half a woman?”
    MrFox and I are currently debating the baby issue – I’m 38 before September is out, so time isn’t on our side, and we get married in March. I’ve had a couple of miscarriages, so being realistic, we should start trying asap. However – things are going really well at work, we’re really getting somewhere and I’ve just been given a small team of my own.
    So, it might just not happen at all and I don’t know if I feel sad about that or not, because deep down I know that I’m not ready. I do know that I’ll feel as if I’ve let us both down if we don’t try though.
    My family is large and entirely populated by women who just keep churning the kids out. My younger sister was pregnant on day one of her honeymoon! She’s just had her third. I’m not being put under pressure by the family, but I am doing it to myself. MrFox is so good with kids, he absolutely adores them and really wants them, so it’s me that could be the problem both mentally and physically.
    I don’t have the same medical issues as you [that I know of] but I completely understand where you are coming from. I don’t know the answer either!! Good luck 🙂

  63. Brilliant, heartfelt and honest – thank you Jess for sharing (and great to see you on LMD!). The only right answer is the one that feels best for you guys. Trying to conceive is a funny old game and nature will just do it’s thing (or not), as it fancies. Frustrating but true (and spoken from experience). Follow your heart x

  64. HI Jess,
    I read your post and all the comments and also feel compelled to leave a wish and a thought for you – and all the other women who’ve replied. I thank God that I have not had experience of fertility issues myself – my best friend suffers from endometrioses and I will be sure to send her a link to this post as I’m sure she’ll find it helpful. I also wanted to let you know that two of my dearest friends couldn’t get pregnant and decided to adopt. They adopted a beautiful little girl at 18 months old and by miracle then conceived naturally a few years later to have a little boy. Having spoken to them about it, I know they would definitely advocate adoption and have had a wonderful experience from both perspectives. I think families come in all shapes and sizes, and though every one is so incredibly different, with its own history and realisation – one things for sure – like someone above has said ‘there’s never quite a completely right or wrong time but whenever and however it happens it will always be amazing. You’ll be an incredible mum xxx

  65. Thanks Luci, so sorry to hear about your miscarriage but how lovely that you are pregnant now – congrats! So many people have told me that they hit 30 and then suddenly want a baby, I wonder if that will happen to me? I’m 30 in 7 months so we’ll see! I’m scared I’ll never have that feeling – that broodiness – I think babies are cute but there is no way I would have one now if it wasn’t for the fertility issues so I really hope mother nature hurries up and gives me that feeling too! Please keep us upddated on the pregnancy xxx

  66. Hi MissFox, I know exactly what you mean – I have three incredible sister in laws, each of them with two children (well almost, the most recent one is due in January) and so we are surrounded by babies: careers are to pay the mortgage really and there is nobody in my friendship group or family who works for passion like I do – I own a business and that business feels like my baby half the time! But there is such an expectation on me (and in a way I do it to myself!) to have a baby right after the wedding because every womans dream is to be a mother, right?
    And I keep thinking it will come….the feeling will come, but what if it doesn’t? I am not very “homely” eg don’t cook very well, would be more likely to buy a cake than bake one, don’t hoover every 5 minutes and have no idea how to change a nappy – I feel like I’ve failed before I’ve begun. The truth is I’m different to my sister-in-laws and I’m hoping I get my head round that one day: that I can still be Jess AND run a business AND be a mother but like you, it never feels quite right? I’d be interested to know what choices you make and if/when you decide to try so please do keep me updated.
    Jess xxx

  67. Hi Jenny,
    Thank you for your comments 🙂 It’s so good to hear positive experiences about adoption, I don’t know anyone who has adopted so I rely on stories such as yours to find stuff out about it. Thank you for taking the time to share xxx

  68. Thanks Jess, I too have a phobia about hospitials which is hardly surprising and unfortunately have encounted far too many unsympathetic medical staff, it can scar you for life, it has me as I have obviously not revealed all my story just a brief basic account; however, the end product of a baby is what always kept me going.
    I would also like to add that I had a full career and I note that you say you work for passion well, so did I. It is possible to combine motherhood with a good career, not easy, and you very often meet yourself coming back. As much as I needed a family with all my heart I also neeeded to be fulfilled on another level. I don’t think my children suffered, in fact I strongly believe that that by working I was a good role model to both my children. My daughter is a professional working woman and expects to share all the household duties with her fiance and childcare when hopefully they have a family and my son has grown up learning to value women as equals and fully supports and encourages his partner in her career. So I think being a working mum can have very positive effects on children. Its really just trying to find the balance which is not always easy. There is never the right time to have children, as when you fulfil one ambition whether it be career based or the yearning for some material item that you think is necesssary it will be replaced by something else another reason not to have a baby and before you know it, it could be too late.
    Unfortunately, after juggling both a rewarding career combined with really the best job if not the hardest job in the world of that as a mother and not forgetting being a loving and supportive wife as well, I became seriously ill again and unfortunately am now virtually housebound. I have lost the carrer that I worked so hard for, but just think If I did not have my precious children and my wonderful husband I would have nothing. I would be lying if I said I do not miss work as I do every single day, but really and truthfully what keeps me going is the love of my family. So what I am really trying to say is that nothing not even the best most fulfilling career in the world could ever take the place of your own immediate family when the chips are down. Take it from me I know! So as I said previously, follow your heart not your head and do what is right for you, but don’t see having a baby as having to make a sacrifice to your career. Where there a will there’s a way!!! Wishing you the best of luck with your dilema. xxx

  69. I am getting married in January, and I also have endometriosis. I read this entire article just repeatedly nodding my head and thinking ‘thank god it’s not just me!’ Thanks for this, really helped. I’m 26 so I think we’ll wait until after our honeymoon but my fiancé has a daughter who is 4 (my soon to be step-daughter!) so we don’t want the age gap to be too large. Oh the decisions and complications!
    Thanks for writing.

  70. Hi, I have only just seen this post re- Franky’s post about her un-planned pregnancy.
    Jess, I suffer from endometriosis too and I have had several operations to rid myself of the ‘clots/cysts’ and like you have never felt the urge to have a baby. I was mis-diagnosed for over 12 years, and even went through a painful removal of my appendix because the doctors suspected that as the pain. As I was diagnosed 4years ago, i went through all the questions with my doctor and they kept telling me I should start trying for a baby, one because it may be difficult and second because having a baby can ‘rid’ the endometriosis. Now, I am quite a level headed person but things did strike a sore spot with me that I may not have a normal conception but on the other hand I wasn’t going to start trying for a child just because it may cure my health issue. I am now 31. I have only just decided that I may be ready to start trying to conceive in a couple of months or even mid-2013. To tell you the truth, I am not sure if I am sure Im ready- is that odd? BUT I know I want to have children and I know I never will be ready. So while i have semi-made up my mind and with the knowledge it will be hard, I am ready to try. I am not going to change anything, I am not going to put myself under pressure, and I am certainly not going to look for my optimum time to conceive. What i do know is that, if I cannot have a child naturally I know there are so many other options, in-fact, adoption for me would definitely be a way i would go. There are so many children who do not have a family and if I am ready to give my love, then it means i can give my love to someone who needs it. I hope you find the answer you are looking for and that you dont have to fly to have a honeymoon. You could have a wonderful cruise or even drive to france and stay in a wonderful chateau. I had a mini-moon in cornwall and didn’t feel that i missed out on the ‘white sands and sun’ honeymoon. Good luck xx

  71. As someone in a similar position (not infertility but a partner affected by a dominant genetic disease) I’ve looked into what the NHS does and doesn’t offer – and all NHS trusts should offer at least 1 course of IVF for cases of infertility. You may need to push your primary care trust for it. Do you have a supportive GP? Because if you could get them to help you, they may be able to get you on the waiting list sooner. Good luck!

  72. A truly beautiful post. You have highlighted the opinion of many women, there is always pressure on having children but everyone is different and as long as it’s right for you, that’s all that matters. There are always options open for couples who are struggling to conceive for whatever reason, good luck.

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