“Two years ago, at the age of 41, I married the love of my life, Alex. I came into this marriage with a teenage daughter, Nic, from my previous marriage. She is now 15.
I had been single for almost a decade when I got to know Alex. I never thought I would fall in love with him, because I had pretty much given up on love after my marriage failed.
I have lost touch with Nic’s father for a long time and have brought her up on my own. Thankfully, I had wonderful family support. During her younger years, my parents helped me to watch her when I worked late, and when I needed a break to go out with my friends, they babysat. But at the end of the day, it was just me and Nic. She was all I needed, and I was all she needed.
I got to know Alex through work ― we both work in finance and met during a seminar. We hit it off right away. In six months, we knew that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives with each other.
I was worried about how Nic would settle into life with Alex, but it has been wonderful. Although Alex has never had kids, his relationship with Nic grew very naturally and I’m glad that she has him as her father figure in life.
“They assume that if you get married after the age of 40, it’s going to be about companionship more than reproduction.”
Looking at the two of them, I often wonder what Alex will be like as a father to a newborn. I think he would love it so much. He is a very patient and hardworking man, so I think he wouldn’t struggle through the newborn days.
All the diaper changes, the sleepless nights, all the worries about falls and sickness, all the things that give other parents nightmares ― they are something I long to have again.
A lot of our family don’t know that we would like to have a baby. I think they assume that if you get married after the age of 40, it’s going to be about companionship more than reproduction. But I went into this marriage wanting and hoping for another baby.
To be honest, we started trying from day one. It was a now-or-never situation. Alex and I both love kids, and to have a baby is our dream.
We try not to tell our relatives about our plans, because we fear that it will be met with a lot of negativity and we don’t need that in our lives. There is a stigma attached to being an older mum. People laugh, or they don’t believe you. My close friends have kids in their teens, no one is talking about getting pregnant.
You hear a lot of things like, “huh, still can ah?”, or “It’s very dangerous, you know”. But then, you also hear about high profile celebrities like Jennifer Lopez having babies late in life, and you wonder, if she can, why can’t I?
It has been more than two years since we started trying. I’ve taken countless pregnancy tests, but each month we are disappointed. Alex is incredibly positive and keeps my spirits up. He will say, ‘Don’t worry, it’s only been two years.’ Although I know my clock is ticking, he still puts me at ease.
I track my ovulation every month by taking my temperature. I try to eat healthy and keep fit by running ― I go for 5km runs at least twice a week. I don’t drink and I don’t smoke. I even looked for tips in Emma Cannon’s The Baby-Making Bible to make sure I was doing everything right.
Health-wise, I don’t think I have any issues, and my husband is healthy and fit ― he is an avid swimmer. We went to the doctor for checks and the doctor says that we are fine. But the doctor did suggest fertility drugs or exploring IVF if it does not happen and if we really want to pursue this dream.
“There have been other instances where I thought I felt pregnant ― like I felt bloated, or a bit nauseous.”
Once, my period was late ― I got really excited and I thought that it was happening. When the test was negative, I was so sad, I broke down.
There have been other instances where I thought I felt pregnant ― like I felt bloated, or a bit nauseous. I would get excited and do a test. Sadly, it always turned out I wasn’t pregnant.
We haven’t returned to the doctor for any fertility treatment because it’s costly. I’m not just talking about the financial cost but also the emotional cost. I have heard a lot of stories about couples being physically and emotionally exhausted by all the treatments and jabs, and I am fully aware that after going through all of it, it may not even work. I am still undecided if this is the right path for us.
It may sound silly ― selfish even ― but I don’t think we will want to adopt. To me, having a baby is about having a little part of me and him in the child, and adoption is not the same.
I guess if I don’t ever get pregnant again, we will have to live with that. Of course I will be sad, but life has to go on, doesn’t it? I am already blessed with Alex and our daughter Nic. We have a lot of other good things to be thankful for.
For now, I choose to believe that our baby will come if it’s meant to be.”
Charlotte Chin, 43, lives in Singapore with her daughter, Nic, 15, and husband Alex, 48.
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