on the “when [is it too late] to have babies” debate

Clearly the “when to have babies” conversation has reared its head again in popular culture.

I’ve read the articles from The Atlantic and THE WEEK and wanted to just share my two cents from an email convo with a friend. Certainly I’ve gone through the motions that many other women have, one moment feeling like I need to get pregnant tomorrow and drop all career aspirations before it’s “too late”, then only a year or so later, realizing I am so far from being ready to have a child, maybe I’ll never have one, then five minutes later worrying that one day I may regret this kind of thinking… Guys, I suspect, don’t go through quite as much turmoil on this topic. Who knows? But definitely women are talking about it publicly.

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2013/07/how-long-can-you-wait-to-have-a-baby/309374/?single_page=true

So here’s my “current position”. Or at least, what I said to my friend:

Yes, I also worry a bit about how old I might be when having kids… but it doesn’t change the fact that I’m not ready yet. I was just reading today in a birth book that the risk of birth defects or disability due to a woman’s eggs being “old” is quite minimal, 3 in 1000 at age 35 or 1 in 100 at age 40 – that’s 1%, or, less than your risk of getting pregnant while on the pill! I think it depends on how much you want to take your chances, balanced with the financial stability or mental space and parenting maturity you could offer a child at an age when you feel more ready for pregnancy.

They say women have always had children late into their 30s and even 40s, the difference today is that women have their first child now in that age range, so their bodies might not take to pregnancy and labor as easily and complications could result. Who knows when I will have kids.?! It might be a while. But in the meantime… I’m making sure to go through my pre-pregnancy checklist and keep my body healthy, muscles well-toned, and use organic products and avoid environmental exposures so that I can prevent any issues that could come up due to “advanced maternal age.” And then who knows? My sister has disabilities and she is the joy of my life. She doesn’t have a terrible life at all. Certainly that’s not what anyone’s hoping for but it’s a point that no one brings up. Women at all ages have children with disabilities and they still love those babies, and there is more and more technology to help them live full and meaningful lives.

I find the whole conversation about babies and age very interesting. The moms I know say if you wait until you feel ready you will never have children. So is it also that as a society, as women, we push back having children because we want to feel “ready” first, and then rush into it right before or after its too late? I’m starting to think it really doesn’t matter, you have them or you don’t, but it’s not worth it to think too much about it…

Your thoughts?

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