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5 Things I Wish My Loved Ones Understood About My Early Fertility Expiration Date

I am 27 years old and have just been told that I likely have only five years left to carry children.

I am 27 years old and my 10-year plan has just been upended.

I am 27 years old and my priorities in life have just done a 180, bringing starting a family to the top of my To-Do list.

A couple of weeks ago, my focus was on starting Grad school, advancing in my career, and imagining a life of fun outings to baseball games and theme parks post COVID-19. Suddenly, I am thinking about Cryobanks, Home Insemination vs. In Vitro Fertilization, the next year and a half of my reproductive health, insurance loopholes for Queer families, and planning my career around life.

I know I am not the only woman that has experienced such a sudden change in priorities based on fertility concerns and family planning. Of course, everyone is different, but here are my top 5 things that I want my loved ones to know as I navigate this new reality and timeline.

1. I am grieving control of my life’s plans.

I had a plan. A carefully laid out plan for my career, my education, marriage, buying a home, and having babies. I was excited about my plan. And now I am being told that if I want even a chance to carry a child, my plans have to drastically change. And quick. It is a grief process. Please be patient with me.

2. I am thankful to know that I may be able to carry at all.

Up until this point, I did not know that it would be possible. Now I have hope. But I also have the pressure and stress of not missing my very small window. I feel as though I owe it to myself to take action and to make progress toward beginning my family. I am not going to miss this opportunity.

3. I am learning a lot.

Since being given this news, I am constantly researching. Researching my diagnosis of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. Researching fertility treatment. Researching the many avenues for conceiving a child as a woman in a Queer relationship. Researching as I lay in bed, on my way to work, during lunch, and in between school assignments.

4. I do not need your input if your input is negative/judgmental/inappropriately critical.

Feel free to keep the “should’ve started sooner,” “should just be with a man,” ‘\”I didn’t think you would ever have kids,” “you need to put your career aspirations on the back burner,” “you should just try x, y, z” comments to yourself. I have ZERO interest in them.

5. At the end of the day, I know what is best for me and what I want.

A lot is changing in my life. Priorities. Values. Plans. I want kids. I have always wanted kids. My only plan right now is to do all that I can to have kids and to give them the best life that I can. That includes having a loving family. That includes having a successful career. That includes continuing my education. That includes making a home. That includes having a passionate life. And that includes setting the best example for my future children as I can, starting now.

I have three cats who I adore.

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