I couldn’t think of a dignified way to explain to the doctors that my boyfriend of three years had pulled out of the sessions we were about to start.She is still blaming men for her own failure to start trying to have children sooner, of course, but at least she is telling young women to learn from the consequences of her mistakes. It probably hasn't occurred to most women who are putting off child-bearing until the deadline to realize that if men do the exact same thing, they will be waiting until they are in their fifties or sixties to have children.
We had been for all the tests and I had psyched myself up to start injecting myself with a cocktail of hormones. I was just about to go to the pharmacy to pick up the drugs that would kick off our quest for a baby when my boyfriend, a successful broker, phoned me.
His voice was emotionless as he told me he didn’t want to go through with it. “It’s all too much,” he told me. “Maybe next year…”
Maybe next year? The sad truth was I didn’t have many years left. I was 37 and increasingly desperate to start a family. But despite my ticking clock, I had heard those three words many times before, from him and a previous partner to whom I had been engaged several years earlier.
Indeed, the truth is that I have experienced nothing but trouble whenever I have attempted to persuade a man to have children with me.
To suggest, as some experts do, that somehow the age at which women conceive is within their control, is naive and misleading.
There are still some stubborn taboos about conception, and one of them involves the myth that deciding to have children is something women and men do together in an open and honest manner.
For some lucky couples it may be like that. But that is not my experience, nor the experience of many of my girlfriends.
I’m sorry if I offend any male readers by suggesting that they do not always play fair in matters of fertility. But in my experience men increasingly behave with terrible selfishness when it comes to giving up their bachelor lifestyles.
Yes, perhaps women should try to have babies early — but not because that is the best time to have children, but because it might be the only time to have them. For if, like me, you have spent your thirties being involved with a series of men who enjoy their freedom, you will know it is simply a statement of fact that today’s young males really aren’t keen to become fathers.
Why should men not spend their 30s and 40s having fun, after all. They have plenty of time in which they can still have children, right?