I sometimes get a bit sick of the tide of commentary on the rise of the older mum. Or to be more precise, the plight of the older woman trying to get pregnant most recently dragged up again here by supposed friend of the people Kirstie Allsop.
Why do we beat women up for what is essentially their own choice and none of our business? We can think for ourselves, we can make informed decisions and we should certainly not be made to feel bad if we decide to wait until we're in our late thirties or even early forties to procreate. So what is the deal here? Have we found a new way to beat women up?
It's also offensive that the assumption is we don't already know how reduced our chances are going to be. I mean come on, you'd have to be from Mars or at least incredibly stupid to not know that your fertility rapidly declines after the age of thirty five. We are quite literally bombarded with the negative aspects of modern fertility choices all the time not only from the media and 'well meaning' celebrity breeders but also our friends and family regardless of how supportive they think they are. "Don't you dare wait, don't have a career, you'll be sorry, have your babies early", ...blah, blah blah, yeah, yeah, we hear you.
And the thing that really gets me roaring with feminine rage is the fact that in most of these articles the presumption is made that women make a choice to have their babies later on in life when in fact I would dare to predict that only a small percentage of women actually do think consciously to themselves, "I know, I'll build a career and then have a couple of babies when I'm forty. Sure, it's a bit more difficult to have a baby at that age but there's always IVF, right?".
It just doesn't happen like that.
Let me tell you what usually happens.
A generation of girls grew up knowing that they had choices. We knew there were options in life other than getting married and having babies and so we exercised those choices and bloody loved doing it too. However a perilous result of this emancipated womanhood was strength, balls, independence and courage. No longer would we put up with the lily-livered boyfriend - kick that one into touch - or the one with the wife - cheating bastard - nor the bullying coward - leave that one and never look back. The result of this increasingly selective tribe of females is that more and more of us ended up still single in our thirties, or married to the completely wrong man as in my case but that is a whole other story. Are you still with me? Am I ranting?
So here we are womenfolk, we are strong, we are independent, we are listening to Destiny's Child on repeat, alas we are single. What happened? Where have all the good men gone? Why am I suddenly always the single one at parties, weddings, funerals? Better get myself a boyfriend before all my eggs run out!! Panic! Panic! Get me the internet right now!
I'm sure there are a million different versions of this story that could be told by a million different lovely ladies who most certainly did not expect to be like me and looking at the number 40 on a birthday card before having had any children. I think every single one of those ladies deserves our love, our wishes of luck, love and good fallopian fortune.
Our support and our sisterhood are essential because whilst it isn't easy to get pregnant at forty, and none of us expect it to be, it is possible. Yes naysayers I am daring to say it, you can get pregnant, you bloody can, I am living proof of it and I am surrounded by other ladies who also managed it. True that massive amounts of shagging are required (and perhaps a shot of clomid) and at our age who can really be bothered when there's tea and Downton Abbey, but shag my dears and you have every potential of conceiving - total respect due for my incredibly eloquent words of wisdom.
So that is my message. You bloody can get pregnant, just try and try and try again and listen only to positive vibes, ignore the mass media, your smug 'got pregnant on the first go' friends and family. Ignore the doctors who are all mean and negative and will basically tell you that you are too old to have a baby and most of all ignore bloody Kirstie Allsop who should know better given she was no spring chicken when she had her babies and who should think herself lucky that she did and who would do well to remember the large number of women in their forties who are still looking, trying, hoping, praying and those who might never be lucky enough to experience the joys, the pains, the muckiness of motherhood.
Here endeth my ranty moan, I'll get back to my knitting now.