It’s official: EVERYONE J and I know is pregnant and/or just had a baby. Not surprisingly, most women we know are around our age – in their early 30’s. I guess our biological clocks are all ticking around the same time, or, like me, our friends were also baby-shamed by their doctors at their last physical exam. My OB gave me several scary pamphlets on fertility the last time I was in her office. Basically, they all say the same thing – age 35 is the age of reckoning for most hopeful mothers.
According to this BabyCenter article:
In your early 30s, your chances of getting pregnant are only slightly lower than in your late 20s and your risk of a miscarriage or a baby with Down syndrome only slightly higher — but at 35, that decline in fertility begins to accelerate. Age 35 is also the point when Down syndrome and other genetic abnormalities become more of a concern, so experts routinely recommend amniocentesis, chorionic villus sampling, or other detailed fetal screening during pregnancy from the mid-30s on. Miscarriage rates also rise slowly but steadily as women age, as do pregnancy-related complications. A woman over 35 is more likely than a younger woman to have an ectopic pregnancy. Cesarean rates are also higher for women over 35: First-time mothers this age have a 40 percent chance of a c-section delivery compared to 14 percent of first-time mothers in their 20s. Experts say these increased cesarean rates are caused by pregnancy problems like fetal distress or prolonged second-stage labor, which are more common for older mothers.
So I guess it should come as no surprise that most of my friends and myself started looking into baby-making in our early thirties. Unfortunately, we’ve heard from several of our friends that they are already experiencing a lot of trouble conceiving, and we know at least three couples who went through IVF.
When I think about it, the whole baby-making process in the 21st century is just so unfair, and this goes back to the point I made in my previous blog post. I spent nearly my entire twenties, as I imagine most women do, studying my butt off in college and later grad school, paying my dues in the workforce, paying off my student loans, and finding the right man to marry (and believe me, this takes time – or in my case, 26 years). I was no where near ready to have a child in my twenties. But when we finally reached a (more) stable point in our personal and work life and can begin to entertain the thought of responsibly bringing a person into the world, our bodies are telling us that somehow we’ve missed the baby boat.
That being said, Baby Z, Daddy and I are that much more thankful that you came into our lives at this point in our lives. Thank you for making it easy on us. I hope we keep saying that until you’re 18 years old.