I felt pressure to get pregnant right after our wedding because I was older. I wish I'd waited longer to have kids.

I felt pressure to get pregnant right after our wedding because I was older. I wish I'd waited longer to have kids.
  • I met and married my husband within a year and a half. I got pregnant two months after the wedding.

  • We felt pressure to try for a baby right away because I was 38, and he was 45.

  • Although we adore our kids, we wish we'd had more time to enjoy married life before they arrived.

Within five weeks in 2008, my husband and I celebrated the birth of our first child, our first wedding anniversary, and our 40th and 47th birthdays — in that order.

It was a whirlwind, much like our romance. We got engaged eight months after getting together and married 10 months later.

It was — and still is — true love. But we both admit that we rushed to the altar. It was mostly because I was in my late 30s, and he was in his mid-40s. We're somewhat traditional and didn't want to waste time making it official.

Time was at our back for other reasons. I'm British and my then-employer had sponsored my work visa. But no job's forever. We would have gotten married anyway, but the thought of securing a green card hastened the pace.

If kids came along, it would be a bonus, we thought. I still wish we'd thought more about giving ourselves time to be a married couple before getting pregnant.

We inevitably had a conversation about starting a family

Shortly after our engagement, a friend took me aside. She mentioned the lower fertility rates among women over 35. "If you want to have kids, you'd better get moving," she said.

She scared the heck out of me. My fiancé wasn't so bothered. But, as a man, his biological clock wasn't ticking as loudly as mine.

Before getting married, we spent so much time at bars, Broadway shows, and sports events. As DINKS — a couple with dual income and no kids — we went skiing three times in a year. We vacationed in Europe. He popped the question on a beach in Northern England.

Soon, we had a deeper conversation about starting a family as an older couple. We discussed the odds of being successful. We also wondered if we'd have the energy to run after young kids in our 40s. But nothing stopped us from trying.

I'd have been delighted if I'd conceived in the run-up to the wedding. In the end, I got pregnant naturally six weeks after our honeymoon. We were lucky.

A man and woman at a wedding. The man is wearing a suit jacket. The woman is wearing a black dress and a fascinator.
The author and her soon-to-be fiancé at a wedding in the UK in 2006.Courtesy of the author

It wasn't the easiest pregnancy. Our social life was on hold as I vomited for the full nine months. But, like most parents-to-be, we happily waited it out.

Our daughter was born on Mother's Day weekend, just five weeks before I turned 40. There was the usual mixture of joy, anxiety, and exhaustion. We swapped late-night movies for midnight diapering. Our respective families lived on the West Coast and in the UK. They couldn't babysit while we returned to our favorite restaurants or went to see the Yankees.

It felt as if we'd gone from 0 to 60 in a matter of months. The engine revved up further when our son arrived two years later.

Neither of us would change our situation for the world. We have teenagers now — which presents a whole other set of challenges — but parenthood is rewarding.

Still, despite our blessings, we wonder what might have been if we'd taken a gamble and put them off. We'd have loved to have spent more time as a married couple living it up with money and no ties. We might have gone scuba diving or trekked to Everest base camp.

The ideal might have been meeting in our 20s, marrying in our early 30s, and waiting several years before kids. But you can't change the past. Besides, it's fun to keep getting to know each other — even if Taylor Swift and demands for rides drown out our illuminating conversations.

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