Is my 7 year plan for quiet married life posing a risk to my 10 year plan for having kids?
July 23, 2010 12:04 PM Subscribe
I want to wait until I'm at least 35 to have a baby. But answers on Ask.Metafilter like this
and information like this
make me really really scared I'll be messing up my chances of having a healthy family. How paranoid am I?
posted by anonymous to health & fitness (49 answers total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
Okay, first: I know I can (or could) get pregnant, because I had an abortion when I was 7 weeks along at age 22 (condom broke, wasn't on birth control, was a poor college student with few options). My mother never had trouble getting pregnant, even when she remarried at 38 and had my brother a year later. She had one miscarriage when she was around 30, I think. My aunt had some fertility issues, however, and it took her many years to have two healthy children. As far as I know she didn't use IVF, though. My husband and I got genetics testing before we married and were cleared of any shared traits that might pose a problem.
I very much want to be a mother, and I know my husband wants to be a father. We both live in New York City, where most women consider my age, 28, a little early to have kids, so it's easy to not feel as culturally pressured to pop out a brood in my twenties. We just got married a few months ago and we're very much enjoying the quiet of married life and don't really want to add another person to the mix yet!
There are two others reasons I want to wait. First, I've seen how much children have changed my friends' lives. We no longer see them much at all, and when we do, all they talk about is diapers and spit-up. My female friends openly lament their dwindling sex lives, sleep deprivation, and how they feel like they devolved from interesting, aware individuals into parents who slave and worry about their babies. I absolutely recognize that this is normal, especially when someone has a tiny baby, and I know I'll probably be just like this when I'm a mother. I also know it's possible to be a mother and also read the newspaper. But I don't want to feel that identity crisis just yet. Also, I just started my own business, so career-wise it would be really stressful if I had to take off time for pregnancy and maternity leave.
I know parenting is so, so much more than spit-up and tantrums, but I want to enjoy my independence and married life for several more years before my husband and I forgo traveling, going out for drinks, and worrying about public school rankings. I think I would be a better mother if I was psychologically ready to make many sacrifices for a kid's well-being.
The reason I am worried is that many of my older friends in the city are trying to start families after 35 and having many difficulties. One friend has gone through two rounds of IVF treatments with no success, and another has miscarried three times when she tried to conceive at 39.
Right now, I'm spooked either way! If I have kids at 28, I'm pretty sure I won't have any more difficulty conceiving a healthy baby than any other woman, but I don't think I'm ready to commit to a child. If I start around 35+, I worry that I'm slipping down the same slope as many of my friends.
Am I letting a couple anecdotes about infertility spook me? How conscious should I be of my body's ability to have children in regards to my age? I'm not (yet) scared enough to actually think about getting pregnant right now, but it's a nagging fear in the back of my head. Is it valid?