28 Is My Scary Age

watch-face

When I was 18 years old I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and told I may have difficulty when I came to trying for kids. Up until then kids had been a footnote in the plan I had for my life. I was happily cruising along, fresh out of high school with a steady (dickhead) boyfriend, planning to head into modelling, acting, singing and all the rest of it.

So the doctor looks me straight in the eyes, “This does not mean you will never have kids, but for your best shot you should have the first one before you turn 30. And I’d recommend leaving a couple of years for trying as it may be difficult.”

So in my head, this translated to one age: 28.

When the Viking & I first got together I told him all this, and that I had a deadline. He knew, he accepted it, and we both went on our merry way thinking “Oh, that’s years away”.

Except now it isn’t.

Now it’s only 2 days away as I turn 28 on Saturday. And I’m panicking.

I’m not ready! I work at a company with great maternity leave, only I’m on contract so I’m not eligible for it (I am for the duration of my contract, which isn’t long enough to get any). We have a house, but our mortgage is so high we can’t lose my income. We were planning to go overseas last year but couldn’t, then we were planning for this year and due to unforeseen circumstances and lots of unforeseen expenses as cars have been crashed into, fridges have died and dishwashers have blown up it’s now looking like we’re not going this year either.

Then there’s child support. Something not many people think about when they’re saying to me “We have a mortgage and we made having a child work” Yep, that’s all good, but it wouldn’t financially be our first child. It would be our second.

I’m scared of the pain of childbirth and whether or not I’ll actually be a good mother. I’m scared of the change to my lifestyle, because it will be a massive change. I’m scared I’ll get bored at home with a baby, or I won’t like being a mother as much as I think I will.

But with all of this going on in my head I still stare at this photo taken on the weekend, I think of how lovely it was sitting there with this baby as she lent her head against me, snuggled into me and dozed a little bit. As I put her on the sofa beside me, using my legs to protect her, and she looked up at the Viking while he talked, transfixed by his voice and manner.

Tamsin-with-Penny

I stare at this photo wondering if that’s what life would be like. And after watching me with her baby for a while, the mother of this baby said to me “I’m sorry to say this, but T, you need a baby! You’re a natural.”

I knew I wanted kids from the moment the doctor told me I may never have them. I knew, and I’ve not been shy of saying so. But now my scary age is here and I’m not ready!

Do you have a scary age? Have you passed it? Did you have a timeline for your life? 

Images: 1 2 taken by the Viking and used with permission of the child’s parents

  • Carohutchison

    T lots of people think they aren’t ready, but when a baby comes along you just figure it out. So long as a baby is loved and cared for, that’s all they really need. You’d be brilliant at it.

    • http://kikiandtea.com/ Tamsin Howse

      Thank you for the vote of confidence :)

      I think it’s the before-hand that’s really freaking me out right now.

      • Carohutchison

        The birth bit? I can’t deny that it’s hard work, but only for a couple of hours. After that you get a lifetime of smiles, cuddles and laugh out loud moments. And you get to enjoy the ‘making it’ bit at the very beginning 😉

        • http://kikiandtea.com/ Tamsin Howse

          Hehehe, good point 😉

  • http://iamevilcupcake.com/ iamevilcupcake

    I never really had a scary age. When I was married, I didn’t want kids. I soon realised it was because I didn’t want HIS kids.

    Now I’m 36, almost 37, and single. No prospects. I have a niece and a nephew now. And I realise that I do want kids. But I’ll never get them. And it makes me sad.

    You should have kids T. You WILL be an awesome mum, and travelling can wait until you’ve had kids, and you can travel all together. Get yourself in a position where it’s more viable finance wise, and then go for it!

    • http://kikiandtea.com/ Tamsin Howse

      You may still get them Cuppy! Even if you do it the way Nicky did.

      • http://iamevilcupcake.com/ iamevilcupcake

        I couldn’t do it the way Nicky did. She is far stronger than I am, and better off financially! Honestly, I wouldn’t want to do it alone. I came from a single parent family and it’s hard.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rachel.stewart.33483 Rachel Stewart

    It sort of makes me glad we just *got pregnant* because I don’t know when we’d have ever been ready. Money stuff is scary, I don’t like not having my own income, and knowing the washing machine is dying and we have no means to repairing or replacing it – but things always work out in the end, we don’t go without anything essential, we juggle and it all gets done. Though I also do wish we’d been more organised and had more things in place before we had children. Whether you would be a “good mum” though tamsin isn’t even a question, you’ll be a wonderful mum. :)

    My scary age is 5. Not ME being 5. I’m not okay with my baby boy turning 5 this year!

    • http://kikiandtea.com/ Tamsin Howse

      I’m not OK with your baby turning 5 either.

      I think not planning it is a good plan! Far less pressure leading up to it (although probably still just as scary when it happens)

  • http://twitter.com/moniquefischle Monique Fischle

    I understand your reservations and why you’re freaking out. I often freak out thinking that I’ll never be able to afford to have children. BUT. So many people have told me that there is never a “right time” to have kids financially or otherwise. Whenever it happens, you make it work. Obviously, this is said without the experience of having a child.

    I truly believe that you’ll be an absolutely wonderful mother. I really do. And for the scary stuff, you and the Viking will figure it out.

  • TurtleD

    I have been reading Kiki&T for a while now but this post has really moved me to comment.

    I was diagnosed with PCOS last Friday. I’m almost 29. I’m single and not in a position to think about having children right now. I guess I passed my scary age without even knowing I should have been scared. But I’m sure scared now!

    Two of my close friends announced their pregnancies this week and another gave birth to an adorable set of twins and it’s made me realise that no one’s circumstances ever make them feel ready for kids. One is about to start a 12 month work contract in Europe and is due to give birth in 6 months, another just bought a house.

    It’s a question that only you and the Viking can answer but if you want a baby start trying. If it takes a while then you can still do those things that you planned to do and if it’s quicker than you expect then take it as a blessing and enjoy it. I don’t say this lightly but you’ll find a way to make your finances work because you’ll have to. Necessity is the mother of invention. But at the end of the day you have to do what will make you happy deep down.

    • http://kikiandtea.com/ Tamsin Howse

      Don’t be scared. One of my close friends has PCOS, is 30 and pregnant. It’s not impossible at all and the good news is the hormonal upheaval from pregnancy usually fixes the issue causing PCOS in the first place so any kids after the first one will be easier.

      • shelie

        I’ve heard from a number of places that much success can be found in the cycle immediately after stopping taking the pill. Not so sure about other forms of hormonal contraception, though. But the message seems to be – only stop the pill when you’re ready for success, and see what happens that very first month! (But then don’t let it get to you if you have success straight away….even completely normally fertile couples only have a 20% chance of success in every cycle)

  • http://twitter.com/melissasavage Melissa Savage

    Oh this. Yes to all of this. I don’t have any medical issues related to childbearing or step children but yes to everything else. When I was 24 and my boyfriend broke up with me I was devastated because 28 was my scary age and I wasn’t going to hit it. When I was 28 I got really clucky but wasn’t quite ready – had only just met Jelly, was still renting. When Jelly and I got engaged I reset the ‘try for a baby age’ to 32. That’s my next birthday and I don’t want to think about it. I want to live overseas and our mortgage is enormous and Jelly’s income is freelance, so financially it’s terrifying. And that’s before I start on childbirth and lack of sleep and all the other crap associated with having kids. Urgh. Help.

    • http://kikiandtea.com/ Tamsin Howse

      Hold me?

      • http://twitter.com/melissasavage Melissa Savage

        You know what I want. I want an accidental pregnancy, because then we just have to do it. Because I can’t see myself wanting to take that step without a push. But of course I’m one of those people who’s pill always works.

        There’s such a divide among the ones who’ve had kids and the rest of us who are terrified of that. None of the mothers commenting regrets having kids, but I’m not even sure I really want them and can think of so many important things to do with my life and I also know a bunch of older childless women and they are all awesome and have great lives.

        Gahhhhh!

        • http://kikiandtea.com/ Tamsin Howse

          Yes! I’m with you.

  • Leah_loves

    T… Do it now.. all those other things can wait. None of them have a deadline. This does.

    You will NEVER regret it if you do have children, but you may regret it if you don’t. Is that a risk you’re willing to take?

    You can make it work.

    • http://kikiandtea.com/ Tamsin Howse

      Thank you. I needed that.

  • http://www.VeryJane.com.au/ Very Jane

    Oh T, I can understand how you might be terrified, but don’t be. Never having even met you, it may be a little far-fetched to say, but I just know that you will be an absolutely wonderful mother :) xx

    I can imagine that the prospect of childbirth, extreme financial pressure, work/life balance, fitness as a mum and all the other worries about having babies can become quite overwhelming, and I can certainly relate to all of those; but then when you add PCOS, and fertility deadlines into the mix, well, that’s when the whole situation becomes radically complicated. It’s the unknown, and that’s what makes it so scary.

    I had an absolute plan. We were going to pay off our mortgage, and then we would start trying in my mid-30’s, and have two babies in quick succession. Ha! Well, I’m now 36, and I have a 14 y.o daughter, and 9 & 7 y.o sons. Let’s just say that the unplanned Plan B absolutely kicked Plan A’s ass. I wouldn’t have my life any other way. If I had too much time to think about the prospect of being a mum and all that it entailed, I think I would’ve frozen like a bunny in headlights out of panic, particulary in respect to financial pressure. But as broke & on the bare bones as we have been over the years (some years were extreme), we have always managed to make it work. And as for my babies, they are the absolutely highlight of my life. Thank goodness my plan didn’t work out :)

    • http://kikiandtea.com/ Tamsin Howse

      Frozen like a bunny in headlights. That’s exactly me right now!

  • Detachable Princess

    You cannot – CANNOT – decide whether or not to have a baby based solely on rational reasons. There is NO pro/con list. Does your heart hurt? Does your tummy feel funny? Do you feel like something’s missing? Then DO IT.

  • Carly Findlay

    What a beautiful honest post, T. I wish you all the best with your journey to motherhood.

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  • shelie

    You’ve already heard this from many of the others, but I just want to also (belatedly) chime in with my vote of confidence that you’re going to be a great mother, and that no matter when it happens, you guys will make it work. You’ve got a community of family and friends around you to chip in and make the load easier, too!

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