Help me stop freaking out about being too old to have babies.
March 4, 2013 7:54 AM   Subscribe

The internet is scaring me - is 32 too old to start trying for baby #1?

I'm 31 and my husband is 35. We are planning on trying to concieve our first child late this year or early next year (I'll be 32 and he'll be 36 when we start trying in earnest). I don't have any reason to believe that we'll have any trouble getting pregnant. We both definitely want kids, but I've been on the fence about actually pushing the button for a year or so. Now I'm feeling pretty ready but I/we want to do some adventure traveling first. We have a trip to Congo and South Africa planned for late this year and a backpacking trip to Venezuela tentatively planned for very early next year. This is all wonderful except that lately I've been getting more and more anxious about our timeline. As planned right now, I'll be 33 when we have our first child if we don't have a ton of trouble getting pregnant. I'm feeling like that doesn't leave much time for baby #2 and we had better get started trying basically as soon as #1 pops out. A 3rd seems impossible. I've been feeling like we should cancel all our travel plans and start trying yesterday, because what if [a million things that could be a problem]?

Everything I've read is telling me either that:
it's already too late and we should have started trying as soon as we got married (when I was 28) and we'll regret not trying sooner for the rest of our lives
don't worry! you can have a baby when you're 45, no prblem! In fact, my cousin who is 41 got pregnant in one month!

Neither of these feels "right" to me. Can we realistically hope to have 2 healthy children with our current plan? Are we already too late for 2? Do we need to drop everything and start trying NOW or can we wait another 10 months?
posted by tealcake to Health & Fitness (63 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
Can we realistically hope to have 2 healthy children with our current plan?

I know a number of people who have. Get it get it
posted by Greg Nog at 7:59 AM on March 4, 2013 [2 favorites]

Cold hard statistics.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 8:00 AM on March 4, 2013 [14 favorites]

Of course not! I had my first at 35 and my second at 38. Lots of people are having children later in life and it works out just fine.

That being said, please see your OB if you have any concerns about your ability to conceive. They can either set your mind at ease, or help you get any issues resolved to ease your ability to conceive when you are ready to start making small humans.
posted by tigerjade at 8:00 AM on March 4, 2013 [2 favorites]

I have no idea what you are reading, but I know many women who have had entirely healthy babies in their late thirties and even early forties. If you are aiming for 33 and 35, that doesn't seem old. There are even some related advantages to being a little older, including maturity and (potentially) financial stability.
posted by Dansaman at 8:05 AM on March 4, 2013 [2 favorites]

My wife was 32, 35 and 38 when she had our kids, respectively. Perfectly healthy and happy.
posted by jbickers at 8:05 AM on March 4, 2013

My mom had her last child at 38, totally unplanned, and he's the healthiest one of all of us.
posted by MrOlenCanter at 8:06 AM on March 4, 2013

In NYC, at least in my peer group, very few people even try for kids before the age of 30. Considering there's strollers everywhere, you're fine.
posted by griphus at 8:07 AM on March 4, 2013 [3 favorites]

My best friend was 36 when she had her first (and so far only) child. She suffered absolutely no ill affects from having a mother in her 30's (the biggest medical issue that child has had to face was an accident when she was 2), and she is by all reports a smart little diva.

You'll be fine.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:07 AM on March 4, 2013

Start trying for kids when you're ready to start trying. You've got a great year planned, and there is no reason to think that a year at this stage will make a big difference. You can't cross everything off the "to do" list before you have kids, but if you have specific big trips you don't want to cut those off at the knees.
posted by dadici at 8:08 AM on March 4, 2013

My gyno told me that she thought 31 was almost the "just right" age to have a first baby. 32 or 33 can't be THAT much different.
posted by Coatlicue at 8:08 AM on March 4, 2013

I'm 32, and just spoke to my doctor about trying to get pregnant. My husband I aren't going to be ready for a few years (if at all), and I have uterine fibroids -- my doctor was unconcerned about my ability to conceive.
posted by hrj at 8:10 AM on March 4, 2013

All of my friends who have children were in their 30's when they had them, and the kids were all perfectly healthy. I myself am the spawn of a 41 year old mother, and my SO's mother was 42 when he was born - and we're doing just fine ;)
posted by ohmy at 8:11 AM on March 4, 2013

I'm about to have #1 at 35, though I doubt I'll be able or willing to do this again in a few years. Being over 35 has it's pros and cons. We had many more genetic screens due to my age. We're in a better situation financially and as far as solo life achievements go. However, we've also had many years of freedom that are difficult to wave goodbye to.

Of course this has no bearing on whether you will be able to have two or more children in quick succession. Talk to you gyn if you're concerned about fertility issues.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 8:13 AM on March 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

I had my first at 32 and the last one at 38. Healthy bouncing babies, no complications, no issues. And that was 25 years ago. Don't read blogs, forums or any other sites that scare you. If you're healthy, great--have lots of sex. If you need to tinker with anything physical, like exercise, treating pesky dental work, etc.., get going.
posted by Ideefixe at 8:14 AM on March 4, 2013 [2 favorites]

The difference in fertility and healthy pregnancies between 28 and 35 yo becomes statistically meaningful when you look at a large sample of women. The difference between 32 and 33 for you specifically is not something you can predict based on that data, or anyone's anecdata here.

Either of the following is true
1) your fertility is mostly fine right now, and will continue to be mostly fine over the next year if you take care of yourself
2) you have fertility problems unknown to you at the moment, but they are genetic or anatomical in nature, and you've had them all along, and the extent to which they manifest will only get very marginally worse in a year, and at the end you will still be faced with mostly the same options and solutions whether or not you travel

Don't cancel your trip. Go to an OBGYN, get a fertility workup before you go for your peace of mind, and start working out and taking folate.
posted by slow graffiti at 8:19 AM on March 4, 2013 [15 favorites]

My husband and I agreed when we got engaged that we would start trying for kids when I turned 32. We were among the first of our very large peer group to get pregnant.
posted by gaspode at 8:21 AM on March 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

we've also had many years of freedom that are difficult to wave goodbye to.

Please don't let such "your life will never be the same" type perspectives scare you. A child will be the biggest treat and joy of your life and you'll never look back. Having a child is not about loss of freedom. It's about love, fulfillment, and magic.
posted by Dansaman at 8:23 AM on March 4, 2013 [7 favorites]

On a not-fertility matter: I find that when I have big life events coming up - whatever they are! even positive ones, like a trip! - I experience heightened and persistent anxiety about stuff. If there is something big and obvious to worry about, I tend to start worrying about it even if there isn't much reason to. You have a lot of positive/exciting stress coming up, along with a couple of big life changes. You are probably primed to start being anxious about something.

I say this only because I find it helpful to remind myself at times "this anxiety is just because I need Something To Be Anxious About; if it weren't this, it would be, like, a plate of beans."
posted by Frowner at 8:24 AM on March 4, 2013 [7 favorites]

Everything I've read....

Talk to your doctor. I was about the same timeline as you. From when we decided to have kids to when we actually pulled the goalie was a couple years. I got pregnant at 33 and had a really easy pregnancy (keep up with your hiking and regular exercise -- being healthy and fit can only help you), and a very hale and hearty baby girl after I turned 34. Since I was still under the magical age of 35, all the docs were completely unconcerned. Now, there's a benchmark in the medical profession at the age of 35 where they recommend more strongly certain tests and may or may not treat you like an "old lady" but it's just a benchmark.

Talk to your doc and try to put your mind at ease. Do your big travel and then get on with it. Don't worry about #2 or, hell, #3 yet. That's putting the cart before the horse in a big way.

Good luck!
posted by amanda at 8:27 AM on March 4, 2013 [2 favorites]

My mother conceived at 32 and 34. My wife conceived at 32 and 35. All were healthy babies with no complications.
posted by pipeski at 8:28 AM on March 4, 2013

My mom had my brother at 25, me at 38, and my sister at 43. All of us are still alive, and none of us have Down syndrome.

Just do it.
posted by oceanjesse at 8:38 AM on March 4, 2013

Something to be aware of (and, very much on my mind as someone who became a father at 43 with his 31-year-old wife): there is some evidence that older fathers can be tied to increases in autism and schizophrenia.

Do I think you're too late? Not at all. But you may want to monitor your second baby's in utero progress a little more closely.
posted by hanov3r at 8:41 AM on March 4, 2013 [2 favorites]

my mom had me when she was 22. Then had no other babies until 10 years later, at which point she had four other kids over a span of 8 years, all healthy.
posted by edgeways at 8:41 AM on March 4, 2013

A. Fertility declines with age (incrementally, mostly), and over a large population of women there will be a statistically meaningful difference between the fertility of 25 year olds and that of 35 year olds.
B. For any ONE INDIVIDUAL, anything goes*. Many people struggle to get pregnant in their 20s, many have completely easy pregnancies at 40+. I repeat, there are MANY people in both of those camps.

Both A and B are true. So of course you are vacillating, because you are switching from population-wide averages to individual anecdotes. The key here (and I think you know this) is to do what is right for your life, where it is right now and where it will be in a few years. I do not think it will make a measurable difference for your particular case whether you start "trying" today versus in 2.5 years. I really don't. Those kinds of changes happen over HUGE samples of women.

Continue trying to find the balance that is right for your family. Can you let go and truly enjoy that big vacation, or will you be constantly "watching the clock"? If you skip the trip and jump right into the sack today, will you feel cheated if you get pregnant within like 4 weeks and you could possibly have taken more time to wait? Only you know, but I don't think there is a right or wrong choice here that we can steer you towards.

*Well okay, we can probably rule out pregnancy at 83.
posted by Bebo at 8:49 AM on March 4, 2013 [6 favorites]

My peer group is clustered around forty candles. I cannot tell you how many of the women have pre-schoolers. In fact, out of fifteen or twenty women, only two have teenagers. 32 is fine.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:49 AM on March 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

Most of my friends are just starting their families now in their mid-thirties. My grandmother had my aunt at 40 and my mother at 43 with no complications and that was in the 1940s. And think, you have exponentially better medical care than she did. Talk to your doctor, not just about your plans for pregnancy, but about your anxiety as well.
posted by futureisunwritten at 8:50 AM on March 4, 2013

We started trying for a child when I was 30. Now I'm 34 and am pregnant for the first time - it turns out I had fertility difficulties I didn't know about when we started trying. I didn't need treatment in the end but it was a long process because I am less likely than your average woman to become pregnant in each cycle.

You don't know what's going to happen, but it's certainly possible to have a normal pregnancy at any age if you're still ovulating. All seems to be going fine for me.
posted by altolinguistic at 8:53 AM on March 4, 2013

My wife is 34 and I'm 32. We have an extremely happy and healthy 14 month old boy who was born via natural birth. We're probably going to have another in a year or two, our doctor and pediatrician are both on board and have no concerns. You'll be totally fine. Or not. It's really hard to say because as Bebo says, for any one individual, anything goes. But, anecdotally, you're all good.

Forget the loss of freedom. It's absolutely worth it. I've never laughed or smiled so much as I have in the past 14 years, and I used to be a PARTY GUY.
posted by bender b rodriguez at 8:57 AM on March 4, 2013

More anecdata: I had my kids at 32, 35, and 39 (just weeks shy of 40). I was in no way ready for kids any earlier. My only regret in not being a younger mom is the sheer amount of energy my now 2-year-old sucks out of me every day - but I suspect he'd do the same even if I were 32.
posted by Lulu's Pink Converse at 8:58 AM on March 4, 2013

What I meant by waving one's freedom goodbye is that if I were you I'd take those trips. My husband and I also love to travel and we do already feel a little sad that any overseas trips are going to be out of our range, financially and time-wise, for several years now.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 9:00 AM on March 4, 2013

I feel you. You read any relationship question on AskMe involving a woman from ages to 25 - 45 and a number of the answers will weigh in on the woman's fertility. I started changing careers when I was single and around age 30 because I thought, well, heck, if I'm not going to have kids, I want to have a career that I am super-excited about. Met my husband shortly thereafter and later had our baby when I was 33. It's certainly impacted the career switch - it's not an easy juggle and it's not clear how it's all going to look after kid 2 or 3. But it was worth it to us.

It sounds like you know for sure that you want to have a child (or 3!) and are ready to start planning in earnest. That may mean a shift for you guys from planning your annual big trips two years ahead, to skipping a year for pregnancy/childbirth and seeing what kind of travel appeals once you have a child. Best of luck to you!
posted by stowaway at 9:04 AM on March 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

There is no point worrying about this, because you don't have a time machine. You can't start having babies before today. What you can do is get good medical care.

Both of my grandmothers were elderly primigravidae (38 and 40) in the 1920s and 1930s. My dad's mum had four children between ages 38 and 45; my mum's mum had two, at ages 40 and 43.

Among my friends, I have one woman who had her first child at 46, one who had her first (of two) at 43, two who had their first at 42, one who had her first at 41, and four who had their first at 40.

My genetic children were conceived from my 35-year-old eggs and gestated and delivered by a 37-year-old surrogate without a hitch.
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:05 AM on March 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

For some countries (like Switzerland and Japan), as well as for some demographic groups (like Asian-Americans in the US), women's average age at first birth is around 28 to 30 years. A first pregnancy at 32 is not really out of the ordinary these days.
posted by mbrubeck at 9:14 AM on March 4, 2013

If you do anything now, make it a well-woman check-up with your gynaecologist. Let them know you are planning to start trying in 6-12 months, and ask them to help you put your mind at ease about any possible problems conceiving. Of course, this isn't foolproof--sometimes you can't predict these things in advance--but it's worth a go and might make you feel better. (Or, if it catches a problem, then you'll be ahead for knowing now.)

My parents were married for 10 years and had been trying for several years already when I was born; my mother was 38, and went on to have my sibling at 42. We are both healthy. My father believes the trip they took to Egypt a few months before I was conceived did the trick... apparently he visited the appropriate pyramid for this kind of concern! So don't cancel your travel: when you have babies you may want to tell them weird stories about Venezualan fertility secrets.
posted by snorkmaiden at 9:15 AM on March 4, 2013 [3 favorites]

NYC here, too. People who have kids before 32 are rare.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:21 AM on March 4, 2013 [4 favorites]

Don't be daft, it's the perfect age! That's when I started on mine - I was 34 when I had my first, and 35 when I had my second. (I had an ectopic at 33).
posted by Dragonness at 9:28 AM on March 4, 2013

Your timeline is perfect. I had my first at 33, and I'm not planning on trying for my second until next year (when I'll be 35-almost-36). Don't listen to people who are trying to scare you. You have to do what feels right for you and your husband.
posted by barnoley at 9:32 AM on March 4, 2013

Just to add to the chorus... I know many people, including both my sisters, who had their first child well into their 30s or even later. Now I have four nieces and nephews who are all bright, healthy, happy and thriving - learning the piano, riding horses, playing soccer, doing well in school, and so on.

I don't know where you got your info about risks, but with medical scare stories you often see statements bandied around like "If you are X, you have ten times the risk of Y". Even if the person saying that had their facts right, which they often don't, it's often the case that the risk was low enough to begin with that even ten times higher, you're still unlikely to have a problem.

An example.... the chances of having a Downs Syndrome baby do seem to increase with age, but maybe from around 0.1% at maternal age 25 to 1% at age 40. You can view that as either a scary "ten times more likely" or a comforting "99% likelihood of being just fine".

Everything I've read is telling me either that: ... it's already too late ... or ...don't worry! you can have a baby when you're 45, no prblem!

This strange split is partly explained by what I said above. Because the chances of problems were pretty low to begin with, it can simultaneously be true that "you are much more likely to have a problem" and "you will almost certainly be fine".

But the "it's already too late at 32" brigade seem to be way out of line with the data.
posted by philipy at 9:34 AM on March 4, 2013

Everything I've read is telling me either that:
it's already too late and we should have started trying as soon as we got married (when I was 28) and we'll regret not trying sooner for the rest of our lives
don't worry! you can have a baby when you're 45, no problem! In fact, my cousin who is 41 got pregnant in one month!

A usual, the truth is somewhere in the middle. I have a friend who had a baby at 45 easily, and a friend who had a baby at 41 with great difficulty. I have a friend in her late twenties who had difficulty and needed IVF. Its not about statistics, its just about your individual body. FWIW I had my first child when I was 35, and my second when I was 37. Both are fine, and I got pregnant easily both times. Lucky me! That just means it was easy for me to get pregnant, it doesn't mean anything for anyone else other than me.

I agree that you're beanplating because you have all these trips planned, and that nothing will greatly change in the next year. Go see your Ob-Gyn and talk to her/him about your worries. See if they will run some tests on you.
posted by Joh at 9:36 AM on March 4, 2013

My mom had me (her third) at 39 and my sister just had her first baby at I believe 34 (maybe 33) and has tentative plans for a second. Sounds right on time to me!
posted by queens86 at 9:38 AM on March 4, 2013

Of course not! Tha vast majority of my friends who are mothers had their first baby after they turned 30, and a few of them are already onto their second. As far as I know, no one found it particularly troublesome, and the only couple I know who had their first kid in their late thirties had difficulty conceiving since their late twenties. I'm in my early thirties and quite a few of my peers are going to try for their first babies this year as well. You're in good company, and what Sidhedevilsaid--get good medical care.
posted by peripathetic at 9:38 AM on March 4, 2013

Most of my peers' parents had them in their early 30s. Also, my mom was 33 when she had me, and 30 when she had my sister.
posted by discopolo at 9:43 AM on March 4, 2013

This is something you should be talking to your doctor about. All of the people here telling you that you'll be fine have no idea what they're talking about. All the anecdotes about how it will be ok are just so much BS, even if they are true and you do turn out to be ok. It is correct that the incremental decrease in fertility is likely negligible. What isn't being factored in here is whether you or your husband have any underlying fertility issues right now. If you do, and you may well not, then two years of not trying to get pregnant now could really have an affect on your chances of getting pregnant in general, as well as your options for same. If this is something you are worried about make an appointment with a fertility doctor and get an assessment. Have your husband do the same. Then you'll have a lot more information that is specific to you as a couple and you can make a decision not informed by either gross statistics or someone's sister's fabulous-40 baby.
posted by OmieWise at 9:45 AM on March 4, 2013 [9 favorites]

I got pregnant with #1 at 33 (after two lackadaisical months of not trying not to conceive, two months of half-assed trying, and two months of actually paying attention), and gave birth at 34. We're currently about to start trying for #2, and I'm 35, so we figure I'll be 36 when that happens.

The vast majority of women your age won't have any significant problems, but OmieWise is right that if you are concerned, you should schedule an appointment with your OB/GYN.
posted by devinemissk at 10:03 AM on March 4, 2013

1) Stop listening to the internet and go talk to your gynecologist.
2) There are individual bonuses and risk factors that go into your pregnancy. Your gynecologist will be able to ask you questions or perform tests that will reveal them and advise you of the results; the internet will not.
posted by SpecialK at 10:04 AM on March 4, 2013 [2 favorites]

You're not too old, although after 35 (YMMV) a whole range of challenges and pitfalls develop. Better to start as young as you can!
posted by KokuRyu at 10:22 AM on March 4, 2013

Every woman is different. Different body, different eggs, different medical history. I found trying to conceive emotionally difficult, because it was a month long cycle of hope, hope, hope, ... crushing disappointment, ... wait, wait, wait... rinse & repeat. If you are going to have an irrepressible voice in your head second-guessing yourself for postponing the trying, it's just going to make that process more awful. But, having said that, postponing 10 months is really not that long a time. Go on your fantastic vacation, enjoy yourself. 10 months is not going to make or break your fertility. I will add my statistics to the pile - I conceived my first child at 32 and my last at 41, all without medical intervention. Kids are healthy, excepting one miscarriage.
posted by molasses at 10:26 AM on March 4, 2013

My mom had my brother when she was 34, and me when she was 36. It is probably a personal thing in terms of how long the biological clock will let it go, but I don't think 33 is too old (I hope not, because I am 28 and haven't even found someone to have a kid with yet!).
posted by thesnowyslaps at 10:52 AM on March 4, 2013

I agree with the advice to maybe have a well visit with your OB/GYN just to ease your mind a bit. But, as another data point I had my first kiddo at 35 and am typing this to you as a queasy "elderly" multigravida mom of my second pregnancy (39 and will be 40 before I deliver this little one). We conceived within the first 2 or 3 months with the first. The second took a bit longer (maybe 6 months), but frankly we were not as good with tracking when to try (see very busy 4-year-old first child). I am a member of the 4th generation on basically both sides of my family to have kids later. Like everyone said, the overall statistics say that it is more difficult to conceive later, but there are lots, and lots and lots of us who do it.
posted by goggie at 10:54 AM on March 4, 2013

If you go in for your own workup pre-trip, why not send your husband in, too? Get the facts on both of you and then go enjoy the trip (and/or plan whatever special strategy you'll need on return).

I am not planning to have children. BUT I just want to add a piece of anecdata in the other direction. Childhood friend of mine, super-healthy, super-healthy husband, mother and sister with no problems, is having a very difficult time. Married at 30, now 33, lots of problems. She would likely have had the same problems at 25--but it wasn't until a number of workups that they actually found (one of the things) that's wrong. She's got good odds to have healthy biological children eventually...but she never, ever thought it would be her, and would never have considered a fertility workup at age 30, right after the wedding.

Get the facts! And then you'll have a better idea of what to do.
posted by skbw at 10:55 AM on March 4, 2013

Agree with everyone who says you and your husband should both get tested for potential fertility issues. Otherwise, it's just a battle of anecdata. When you have some specific information about your unique reproductive situation, and about his, you'll have a solid foundation for your plans.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:02 AM on March 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

My first was at age 36, and my second was at age 39, and they are awesome!
posted by hollyanderbody at 11:29 AM on March 4, 2013

We started trying to have kids when I was 29 and were finally successful the first time when I was 34 and the second time when I was 36.75. Ironically, the first pregnancy, below the magic advanced maternal age of 35 was more monitored and difficult than the second pregnancy as an old lady. In fact, I had no trouble conceiving the second time around whereas I had a whole heap of trouble the first time.

That being said, there are some women out there who suffer from premature ovarian failure or other infertility-related problems. Turns out I had a problem with blocked fallopian tubes, which was not age related.

The best advice is to meet with your GYN before you plan to start. If you have weird lady party issues, that would be the time to discuss so as to determine if they will cause you problems down the road.

But, 32 as a general matter? Spring chicken-esque for having kids.
posted by Leezie at 11:31 AM on March 4, 2013

I'm 31, my partner is 35, and I'm 25 weeks pregnant right freaking now.

Almost spooky, isn't it?

All I did was take care of myself and have sex. That's pretty much it. Absolutely not too late for you. And it probably won't be too late at 32, either.
posted by Jilder at 11:37 AM on March 4, 2013

I had baby #1 last July (4th!) at 42, and had the easiest pregnancy ever. My daughter is spectacular, healthy, happy and an all around dream.
posted by tristeza at 12:01 PM on March 4, 2013

Agreed with above comments that statistics regarding the general population don't provide any definitive information about you and your husband as individuals. For all the happy endings, there are stories of heartbreak that aren't so readily shared. I had a friend who quickly lost her fertility in her late 20's. She didn't find out until she started having menopause symptoms, and by then it was too late to do anything about it. For her, a year or two made all the difference. Another friend started trying for a baby in her early-mid 30's and had several miscarriages that delayed the eventual conception and birth of her first healthy child by a year and a half. It was a very scary time for her.

I'm not trying to fearmonger anyone, my husband and I don't have plans to conceive until we're 32-33 also. But within the next year or so, we'll both be seeing the doctor to make sure everything is ship shape.
posted by keep it under cover at 12:04 PM on March 4, 2013

For what it's worth, my "plan" is to start getting serious about the baby-making when I turn 32. So I totally think you'll be fine.
posted by kat518 at 12:49 PM on March 4, 2013

I would start by taking stock of fertility signs. E.g. Do you have regular periods? Do you ovulate? (thyroid issues or PCOS can disturb that). The book Taking Charge of Your Fertility can help you know your body and track your fertility and give you data to work with.
posted by meijusa at 12:52 PM on March 4, 2013

How many children do you absolutely want to have? Are you hoping to have three (your question mentions a third) ... or would you be happy with one or two? Of course, anything can happen at this point, all the other comments are correct on that front. If you want one or two kids, you are PROBABLY absolutely fine waiting another year or so to start. If you really want a whole little brood... well, the answer might be different.

Personally I myself would absolutely not try to have a child at 40. For all the "I was born when my mom was 42 and we were both fine!" anecdotes, there are others who have genetic issues or complicated pregnancies ... or worse. They are sad stories, and while they don't happen to everyone, the risk goes up GREATLY at that point... Honest opinion.

But mostly the advice to talk to a gynecologist yourself, if you are unsure about your own circumstance and potential risk factors, is best. And it is definitely going to be easier to do your vacationing and adventuring now, if you plan to have the next 5-10 years be about raising little ones. Adventuring can indeed be possible with children but it's much more difficult logistically, for all the obvious reasons.
posted by celtalitha at 1:09 PM on March 4, 2013

Agree with the advice to talk to your doc and that your plan will probably be fine!
Just another anecdote, but it took me about 8 months to get pregnant at 36 with one completely blocked fallopian tube (endometriosis), and we were really only trying very intentionally (tracking ovulation with LH strips, no other treatments or interventions) for about 2 months. Still two months to go before we get to meet the bean, but everything has gone really smoothly so far. I think your odds look very good :)
posted by pennypiper at 1:11 PM on March 4, 2013

For what it's worth, I know several people who had kids in their mid 30's without a problem. I also know 2 women in their late 30's or early 40's who had major problems (one had to go on bed rest for fear of losing the pregnancy, one spent 3 years trying, including fertility treatment, and was never able to have another child).

If having kids is absolutely your number 1 priority for your long term life, than you should probably do that. If you have to skip some traveling right now that would be a bummer, but it would be even worse if you got to do all of your traveling, but then couldn't have the number of kids you want.

I can understand everyone telling you that you have time, but the fact is that you won't know how much time you have until you start trying. It's about figuring out your biggest priorities and making those happen. You're on the cusp of when the timeline starts to become an issue, and you don't want to push it too much.
posted by markblasco at 6:35 PM on March 4, 2013

Kids at 33 and 36, here - no problems with either, though it did take me more than a yr (and 1 miscarriage) to get pregnant with kid1. Kid2 was a piece of cake -- I gave the ovulation test kit to someone else after using 1 strip. I'm no superwoman, either, and have a thyroid condition.

That said, your situation is your own and unique, and there are no guarantees in life. I have friends who needed IVF in their 20s to get pregnant. We just don't know sometimes.

But you can't turn the clock back, and if life demands you wait a bit longer, wait. In the interim you can get off the pill, chart your cycles, and tweak your diet and supplements to create the best case scenario (or whatever it is you should do, talking to your doctor would be the best course).

And for your own sanity, you can stop Googling stuff... this is one of those times when it's best to narrow your info down to well-edited and reviewed sources, like your doc, WebMD/Mayo, and professionally published books with solid research behind them.
posted by hms71 at 9:47 PM on March 4, 2013

I am still on the fence about having children and my gynecologist told me I have a few solid years left to make up my mind. I'm 35.
posted by getawaysticks at 6:19 AM on March 5, 2013

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