Or should that be evolution? Because who said once you reach a certain age you are too old to have children?
I’m going to put my hand up now and reveal myself as ageist and say that maybe there is an age when you are “too old”. Like 60 for example. But that’s possibly because I am not 60. Yet.
There are constantly stories in the media – in the press, on TV – that warn women not to leave it too late. The age usually cited is over 35. So I’m waaaay old.
They go like this:
You are born with as many eggs as you are ever going to get; ergo, your eggs are as old as you are. Old.
The risk of miscarriage increases with age.
Complications during pregnancy increase with age.
It takes longer for an older woman to get pregnant.
An older woman may not even be able to fall pregnant.
The risk of birth defects increase with age.
My friend was told by a fertility doctor that she would not fall pregnant without fertility treatment. She fell pregnant at 40 with the aid of … meditation and visualisation. And has a gorgeous toddler now.
There is a story in this month’s Australian Women’s Weekly about a 50-year-old woman who fell pregnant naturally and gave birth to a beautiful, healthy baby.
I just wonder if all the statistics are right? How long have these statistics been collected for? Because I have a little theory cooking that goes something like – for the past 40-odd years, woman have been able to control their fertility, with the use of the pill. So how do we really know whether every woman has trouble having a baby after a certain age, when for most of our reproductive lives (until we decide), we are actively avoiding pregnancy and babies.
We spent our 20s and if we’re still single, a lot of our 30s, trying NOT to get pregnant! And we’ve probably never really been told how in fact to get pregnant.
I’ve read an inspiring quote from Dr Christiane Nortrhrup, the women’s health guru, which says, “A great disservice is done when ‘science’ undermines the confidence of an entire group of women (everyone over 35) concerning their fertility … If you’re worried that you won’t be able to have children because of your age, please know that this may not be the case at all.”
I’m just a little bit in love with her now.
Then there are the people (usually women believe it or not) who think it’s “disgusting” and “wrong” and whole host of other vicious words condemning women for being “selfish” and focusing on their “careers” or simply having fun and didn’t get around to having babies. Well excuse me. Look at some online forums, or comments to articles like this (actually just the first one, most of the rest are supportive), for horrible proof. Or maybe don’t, because you may be shocked.
Strange that the same accusations and viciousness are never aimed at men, many of whom only come round to the idea of having kids in their late 30s.