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KRISTEN Henry thought she had plenty of time to have kids. But one night in emergency was a big wake up call.
HOW intense is that title? I’d be having a wine if I weren’t high on Endone.
It started as a sore tummy, I thought it was period pain. Fast forward eight hours and I’m waking my partner up in the middle of the night and asking him if he’d mind a short trip to the hospital.
Pretty sure he was hoping I’d woken him up for something else. Nope, it’s a different kind of emergency.
Next thing I knew I was being admitted to hospital and was fasting, as the surgical team prepared me for the possibility of surgery — but on what, they weren’t sure.
Crap, I’d never had surgery before. Hell, I’d never been admitted to hospital before. I had wanted to drop a few kilos for my sister’s wedding, but this seemed a little extreme.
Endone is fun, I feel fiiinnneeeeee. Also, this hospital gown and these compression socks? Holla! Christmas party outfit, sorted.
A little less fun is internal ultrasounds and a conversation that starts with: “One of your ovaries is enlarged and it’s posing a problem.” Turns out one of my girls aren’t happy; she has cysts, which are rupturing.
“What does this mean?” I asked. Best-case scenario; some antibiotics and a robust conversation with said ovary that’s chucking a tanty. Worst case scenario; surgery and an effect on fertility.
“Have I gone and done it? Did I miss my window of having a baby?” I asked the surgical team. “Let’s not have that conversation just yet,” they replied.
I’m 32. This isn’t happening. Let’s hope some antibiotics will do the trick. Meantime, the maternal voice in my head is screaming: “I told you so, Miss Career Girl”.
All my life I’ve chased the best radio gig — my career has been my baby. There’s always been this niggling voice that questioned whether I was playing with fire. Whether this drive, this obsession, would mean I’m putting all my eggs (literally) in one basket.
My friends have started to settle down, have babies and I always thought: “I still have time.”
Maybe not as much time as I thought.
I tell myself I haven’t been ready, I tell myself I’ve lived my life and followed my passion not the passions my nan might like me to have. All my mummy friends have this knowing smile when I say that out loud. “If I had a dollar for every time I heard: ‘You’re never ready, Kristen’.”
It’s a funny conundrum — doctors say they won’t truly know the extent of damage on my ability to fall pregnant until we start trying. Then they can assess more carefully once the process is underway.
I’m in a loving, committed relationship and my partner and I have an ongoing conversation (that tends to go around in circles) which sounds like this: “Do we try now while we’re youngish because physically we’re stronger even though emotionally we aren’t ready? Or do we wait, knowing the more time passes the harder the struggle?”
I also feel like if I’m unable to have children — is that something he needs to know before we get married? This might sound silly, but I want him to know what the future looks like with me. I want him to know what he’s getting himself into.
So, where to from here? More googling of positive affirmations and a column that’s dedicated to other ladies whose title is “Miss Career”. Live your life girl, no one else’s. But make sure you’ve got one eye on what time it is. Just in case.
Kristen Henry is one half of The Kristen and Wilko Show on MIX 106.3 in Canberra. Follow her adventures at kristenhenry.com.au.