Caribbean mother urges women to start families at a younger age
Many women are leaving starting a family until much later in life and may not realise that their fertility decreases from the age of 30, with a marked decrease from the age of 35.
One such couple Camille & Nathan Williams from Bermuda, focussed on their careers and put starting a family on the back burner. Camille explains how time slipped away until it was nearly too late for them.
“We are both professionals, now in our mid 40’s and have been married for over 10 years. While we both love children, and at the time of our marriage we never put a formal timeline on starting a family. I was on and off on birth control for the early years of our marriage and neither of us was terribly concerned when we did not conceive. I guess we were both very busy with our respective careers and generally had a very active and fulfilling life.
One day, about five years into the marriage and without prompting or a trigger, the discussion came around to having children. A decision was made to try to get pregnant. I saw my Gynaecologist and was put on Clomid, since my many spells of being off oral contraception had not resulted in conception. I did several rounds of Clomid, with no positive result. We took it well enough and continued with our lives. My husband never put any pressure on me, nor did I think or suggest that perhaps either of us had a medical issue that might have been the reason for our unsuccessful attempts at having a baby.
There was no pressure brought to bear from either side BUT my biological clock was ticking and a couple years ago it reality hit! I believe when you have a ‘full and dynamic‘ life it is sometimes easy to keep child bearing on the back burner, particularly when you have given yourself the opportunity with no result. You just resign yourself to your fate and enjoy your nieces and nephews. However, as the female I woke up one day and it struck me that there was a finite timeline with respect to conceiving a child and I really wanted a family. Somehow, my husband seemed to have been musing on the same subject and we had a serious discussion about seeking medical intervention to assist us in starting a family. For my part, I had already jumped ahead to the possibility of adoption but my husband was not quite so keen on the idea and thought we should explore all other options first.
We made arrangements to see a well-respected fertility specialist in Canada who recommended IVF and gave us all the pros and cons. We had established then that my husband did not have any medical impediment. I was 43 years old and the specialist explained that my chances of conceiving with my own eggs would be very slim, though not impossible. He felt that our best option for a positive result was IVF using a donor egg. This was initially a difficult pill to swallow but it made complete sense and being a very practical person and wanting the best possible chance for success, I soon begun to embrace the idea. We decided to pursue the donor IVF option through the Canadian doctor and were preparing for a follow up visit when my local Gynaecologist suggested that we seek help within the Caribbean region and that there was an excellent facility in neighbouring Barbados. I gave my local Gynaecologist a breakdown of the cost for the procedure in Canada and she felt convinced that Barbados would be a less expensive, equally professional, reputable and confidential alternative. We welcomed her recommendation and she placed a call to Barbados Fertility Centre (BFC) and we spoke with Dr. Juliet Skinner.”
Camille added, “This was the beginning of what would turn out to be a most joyful and rewarding experience. The level of professionalism at BFC was beyond compare and there was so much positive energy and support from the team that I never doubted that we would have a positive result. We were well prepared in every possible way: from the interviews, to the scheduling, consultations, psychological assessment/counselling and the actual IVF procedure. Despite us not living in Barbados, the team at BFC kept in touch throughout and made the distance seem rather insignificant.
Imagine our absolute joy when after our first and only round of donor IVF, our Gynaecologist confirmed that I was pregnant! Following a beautiful pregnancy, we welcomed our beautiful son and remain forever grateful and indebted to the team at BFC.”