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Forty-seven year old Jacky Erdogan, a Scot who transplanted herself to Northern Cyprus in 2004, believes that she was meant to have a baby and will not give up trying.
Erdogan, who will marry her current partner—whom she met in an electrical shop in Cyprus and moved in with in 2007—says her “expectations were high” for getting pregnant in her forties.
“My attitude was that age didn’t come into it at all” says Jackie Erdogan, “I didn’t see it as being any disadvantage whatsoever, as far as bringing up a child goes.”
Her enthusiasm is remarkable for a woman who has already suffered four miscarriages, her first at 43 with her former husband and the latter 3 with her current fiancé.
Hitherto unable to carry a pregnancy after two months, she states, “After my third spontaneous abortion I started to think there might be a problem with my body.”
“I started to research about possible reasons and slowly began to believe it was my body age that might be causing the problems—I began to be less confident about my situation.”
But Erdogan refuses to give up.
“Although I have had bad luck I still believe my body is producing eggs and as such I am able to conceive and give birth, one day” she says.
After starting with the “natural method” at 45, after several months of being together with her fiance, she quickly moved on to Clomid and injections of Chorionic Gonadotropin.
According to Erdogan, “I have been almost destroyed by the loss of 4 pregnancies, unable to believe or comprehend how it keeps happening again and again.
“Every time has become more unbelievable than the time before, also a great sense of frustration but mainly loss.”
Despite the emotional and physical trauma of her losses, she says she still believes that she will have her baby, “no matter what I read or hear”.
She has benefited from a very supportive fiancé, and the presence of her mother, who also lives nearby in Cyprus.
Her doctor—whose main concern is that she conceives before the onset of menopause—has also been refreshingly sympathetic.
Erdogan is quick to point out that it is not unusual for Turkish or Cypriot women to have children in their 40s and 50s.
“So I feel very hopeful now, I feel my doctor is actually concerned and trying to help this time”.
However, despite “some fantastic friends who have also helped” from afar in Scotland, Erdogan has also felt some emotional isolation in her experiences.
“I have felt quite alone at times too, that it is happening to me—a bit like an illness I suppose people try to help but can’t fully understand as it is happening to you and not them.”
She says that she is determined to keep trying “until there is definitely no chance”.
If Erdogan definitely qualifies as a “glass-is-half-full” brand mom hopeful, then it comes as no surprise that her only negatively stems from the dark side of public opinion of older mothers.
“I don’t care one little bit about my age, or what others think. It is my life and my body, nobody else’s.
“I have many youthful years left and lots of love, wisdom and life experience to give, despite my physical age” she continues, “I would give a child the best life because of my age, not in spite of it.”
Erdogan is unrepentant when she states that she “avoided being pregnant all these years” because she wasn’t ready.
When asked what she would advise other older women in similar situations, she is nothing short of adamant:
“Don’t listen to other people or the media who say anything against it” she advises.
“It is your body and your life and we—as women—are the life-givers.
“Nobody has the right to say you should or should not have a baby, at whatever age. It’s the usual story, society deciding what is right by applying (their) rules and placing stigma, where they should be none.”
Again, Erdogan—the eternal optimist—sees only the assets that later life mothers have to offer their children.
“We can give children more patience and understanding– I believe that comes with age.”
“I do not regret having had such a full and interesting life and waiting until now to have my child. And I look forward to the day I will hold my baby in my arms.”
Of the future, Ergodan is the visionary—according to her, change is already here, we simply need to acknowledge it.
“The sad thing is nobody complains about people being helped ‘unnaturally’ to live longer—but they protest at us wanting to mother past the age of 40, when thanks to the very same technology we have many years left to do so .”
“Where is the logic in that?”
“My wish is that every woman at every age could have their baby and that the stigma will be no more in the future” she says.
“I can see the world changing into a time when older women like me want to have their children at a mature age.”
Notes for this blog:
Jackie Erdogan would like to hear and share support with other women trying to conceive in their forties. Email: email@example.com
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