I regret delaying fertility treatment to have 2nd child

The Yomiuri ShimbunDear Troubleshooter:

I am a female part-time worker in my 40s. I would like to know your opinion about fertility treatment.

I got married in my mid-30s and gave birth two years later. I wanted to have a second child and underwent fertility treatment in my 40s, but it was not successful.

In my late 30s, I talked with my husband about getting fertility treatment, and he said: “There’s no guarantee that we can have a baby through the treatment. I don’t think you need to try.” So, I waited for some time before undergoing the treatment.

The other day, I told him that the treatment would have gone well if I had begun it earlier, and he said something like: “I didn’t say that you don’t have to undergo the treatment. Are you saying it’s my fault?” There seems to have been a misunderstanding between my husband and me.

Every day, I wonder why I didn’t start the treatment earlier. We’ll likely end up having only one child. Whenever I see people around my age having two children, I can’t help but envy them. I can’t hold back my frustration. How can I accept having only one child?

A, Chiba Prefecture

Dear Ms. A:

Have you ever thought of why you want to have another child and why you are frustrated with having only one?

Does that come from comparing yourself to others? Or is having several children and raising them a way to identify yourself? Do you think you are unhappy with only one child and can’t be happy without having another one? Is your life with one child a negative situation that you feel you must “accept?”

I think you need to reflect on those things.

You have a child, a husband and a part-time job. Can’t you be happy with such blessings?

You should realize the happiness you now have, cherish your relationship with the child you do have, and focus your mind on living a pleasant day-to-day life. If you do that, I think everything will change for the better.

Junko Umihara, psychiatrist

(from Feb. 22, 2019, issue)Speech

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