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How serious is the "have kids before 30" thing?

post #1 of 52
Thread Starter 

My 27th birthday is in a month and I got married in August.  Financially there's a lot to be desired and we are trying to make the right decision about when to have a baby.  I suppose, if we want to have 2 kids, we should get started, but is it really important to have kids by the time you're 30?  Is there a medical basis for that?  Or other reasons?

post #2 of 52

I always kind of heard it as 'before 35.'


And you don't know if it is valid for you, or not, till you try at 38. Then you may get pg right away, or you may need help.


I think the whole idea is just because fertility really does decline in the mid 30s. But if you aren't ready by 35ish, and you can afford possibly needing a little help to get pregnant later on, then do it whenever you want to.

post #3 of 52
I had DD at 35..I think if I had my druthers I would have had her a bit younger, but that is because I would like to have another, and the timing just doesn't work, since I would like to wait until she is at least 3..Which would make me 40, and I think that is pushing the envelope a bit. I agree with the PP that fertility is a concern, I have a friend who became menopausal at 33 and she had to go through IVF with an egg donation in order to have her son. This is not a common situation, but it is something to take into account when trying to decide when to get pregnant. Also, your chances of having a child with Down's Syndrome or a birth defect increase with age. Not trying to scare you here, but it is true. I think you should enjoy being married for a bit before trying to get pregnant...You have time to get your financials together and plan things out before you TTC.
post #4 of 52

I don't think anyone should get pregnant before they feel ready.


Having said that, we started trying when I was 28 and we're just about to give birth any minute.  I'm 32 now, and that makes timing for #2 tricky.  I know it works for some people, but this pregnancy was difficult for me, even though fairly healthy.  (I had morning sickness until 26 weeks, have well controlled gestational diabetes diagnosed at 28 weeks, and for some insane reason, after never having an issue with hypertension, my blood pressure started rising a bit last week.  I'm 39 weeks.) 


I'm not "sick", but honestly, I'm exhausted.  I'm not sure about doing this again when I have a have a toddler running around *and* am closer to the dreaded "older pregnant woman" label.  Right now, we're planning on not going back on birth control after baby is born.  I can't say for sure that we won't change our minds on that though.  So, I would say that waiting can certainly put limits on the number of children you are willing or able to have. 


I don't know though, maybe all women who are 39 weeks pregnant can't imagine doing it again, lol.

post #5 of 52
Thread Starter 

I really appreciate the advice.  I think the medical side is important and poppies, thanks for pointing out that it may take longer than I expect to concieve or there could be other complications, I hadn't considered that.  I'm sure I'd handle complications a lot better when I'm younger than when I'm older.  I'm faced with the thought that 'we need to pay off everything, then get a house, then be settled in our careers,' to get pregnant, but I suppose other people have conceived in worse circumstances.  Thanks guys.

post #6 of 52

I would consult your OB/GYN.


I got married at 23- took us 4 years to get pregnant (at 27). Which is unusual for that age, but not unheard of.


My OB was fantastic once we realized that we were trying our best (after age 25) and not being successful with very specific planning. A few tests showed why  we would need IVF. IT then took 6-8 months to go through and get all the appointments we needed---and on and on.


I would decide w/ your spouse when you want to start trying. See what happens. Then if nothing happens by a certain time frame, consult your Dr.


Some people get lucky and get pregnant w/in a few months of trying, others it takes longer.


I , too, was told that 35 is the 'average' cut off age for women to consider---though many many women go on to have healthy pregnancies after 35, your risks are higher.

post #7 of 52

So statistically, there is the decline in fertility after 30 and a rise in things such as Down Syndrome and miscarriage but that may or may not mean anything for you.  At 31 I conceived DS1 the month before we were going to start TTC.  At 33 I conceived DS2 the first cycle of TTC.  Those are the only two pregnancies I've had and we're definitely taking birth control seriously with me at 34 and DH at 38.  They were both "easy" pregnancies and both homebirths.  So I wouldn't view 30 as some kind of deadline if you are thinking of 2 kids. 


On the other hand, I wouldn't wait for everything to be perfect to have kids since nothing is ever going to be perfect.  I would definitely start talking with DH sooner rather than later about time lines and your visions of family.

post #8 of 52

Just my opinion, but I think a lot of it is just BS. Yes, it can take longer, but it is not impossible to get pregnant at 30, or even 40, without outside help.

I am 37 and have had 7 pregnancies. #1 born at 20, #2 at 25, #3 at 29. All spaced with birth control. #4, m/c at 5w6d, conceived at 32. #5, born at 33, #6 m/c at 11w6d at 35, #7 born at 36. #4-#7 spaced only by extended nursing.

My youngest is 16 months old today, and I have only had 3 cycles, so am not sure if I am fertile yet. It usually takes me about 3 years to conceive, while nursing one or two children. I would like it be sooner, but do not want to wean "prematurely". Lol.


I have at *least* five friends that do not use birth control and have also given birth at 45 or older. My peer group is a group of devout Catholics, so I know a lot of large families. The majority of the women are fertile, with pregnancies occurring into their 40's without outside measures. Now, of course there are exceptions. I have a few friends who have adopted after suffering with infertility. I have some friends who have had a baby every other year for a few years and then never conceived again. The *usual* pattern is a baby every other year or so in the 20's, moving  further apart in the 30's, then only a couple of viable pregnancies in the 40's. These are not statistics, but living breathing women.


Now, I think a major thing to talk about isn't just  the conception of pregnancies, but the odds of losing a baby. This goes way up with age, as our eggs mature. So, a woman may have more losses when she waits until she is over 35. I myself have suffered two losses, and hope that it doesn't happen if I were to conceive again.  Unfortunately, it seems to be common to end the childbearing years with a couple of early losses, in my experience.


My pg at 37 was easier than the ones at 29 and 33, physically. Plus, I had four older homeschooling kids, one still nursing! Pregnancy= TIRED, lol. The joy of the first baby is the time available to rest. :-)

With age comes risk, but the risk of Down's Syndrome goes from 1% to 2%. Not exactly guaranteed, obviously! 98% is good odds.

Heck, even the 30-40% m/c rate, when flipped, becomes 60-70% viable pregnancies.


Having kids is awesome. Most people never regret it. If you wait, yes, there are risks. However, a year or two, right at 30, probably won't make a huge difference. Every woman is individual.


I am not a dr., and these are just my opinions based on my observations and facts.

post #9 of 52

Just my 2 cents.... I been married for long and delay to decided to get pregnant.I was 28 and took me 4 years and 3 miscarriages to have a baby. Then, another 3+ years to my second one and another miscarrige between them. I CLW both of them,and I never rushed to weaning. I believe in the first pregnancy before 30 yo is a big plus for the energy level of the mother. A side note,my DH and I are extremely healthy, we eat well and take of ourselves way before of  having kids. My point is that you never know about what happen with our body and nature. You  might plan many thing but sometimes you can control about many factors with fertily.

post #10 of 52


Edited by ElliesMomma - 5/28/11 at 11:48pm
post #11 of 52

If you look at fertility and age graphs, you will see that fertility actually begins to decline before a woman turns 30.  But the reality is that these graphs show trends, but each woman (and couple) has their own experience and you often don't know if you will face fertility problems until it happens.  There are plenty of stories of women who successfully had first babies in their 30s and 40s, but also plenty of stories of women who struggle with infertility.  I'm not suggesting that we should all rush to have babies because of fears of infertility.  However, it would be wise to at least acknowledge that getting pregnant might happen easily or it might not, and to consider the ways that you guys as a couple might navigate those circumstances when the time comes.  



post #12 of 52


I just have to respond with an update. My *irregular* and very long cycle has been confirmed as my eighth pregnancy. ROTFLMAO.gif


So, even though I *usually* take 3-4 years to get pregnant, it didn't take as long this time. So far, things seem good. I am nervous, but am trusting God knows what is best. :-)


Physically, at 37 1/2, I am


tired and nauseated. sleeping.gif Both are good signs for me.


I like the advice recently given. Being informed of the challenges that could occur and talking about what options you feel fit your family can only benefit.

post #13 of 52

For me it is a personal thing. I really wanted to have my first before 30 - we were married in 2005, began trying in 2007, DS was conceived and born in 2009. I am now 29, and would love to have #2 before 30. I know plenty of older mothers (LOL - between 35 and 42ish) and I really want time to enjoy the kids while both DH and I have tons of energy.


You never know who may have fertility issues - I never thought I would - but it took 2 years to conceive DS. Talk with your DH and your health care provider - be they a family doc, a midwife, or a OB/GYN. DH and I wanted have a couple years of just us. We got that and then some. I stopped birth control when we were married like a year and half, as I was on the shot and knew it may take a while for it to really leave my system.

post #14 of 52

We started trying for my second child when I was 37. We waited that long because we were waiting for my husband to be admitted to pharmacy school. As soon as he was admitted, we began trying in earnest. I lost four babies along the way. Finally at 40 (41 in two weeks!), I am 25 weeks pregnant and things are looking mostly ok. I had to quit work and the pregnancy has been hard on me, but baby is safe in there so far.


If I had any idea just how difficult it might be (and I was very fertile in my 20's and early 30's), I would have tried much earlier.

post #15 of 52

Statistically, I know that fertility drops as we age, but there's no way to know where you're going to fall on the spectrum. I had my first at 24, and started ttc again when I was 25. I struggled with fertility problems for a long time (unable to conceive for over 3 years, followed by two miscarriages, followed by another couple years of being unable to conceive, followed by another miscarriage). In retrospect, I think those issues were a combination of my ex's drug use (most of which I didn't know about until later), and my extremely high stress levels. I finally had babies at 34, 37, 39 (stillborn) and 41. I'm done now.


In my case, fertility lasted into my early 40s, for sure. My first four babies were all conceived on our first attempt (ds1 with my ex, then the others with dh). My last, dd2, took...think it was four cycles, which I think had more to do with my overall exhaustion than anything else. So, in my case, there was no problem. Mind you, my mom also continued menstruating into her very late 50s, which is slightly later than average, I think, so it's possible that late fertility is in my genes.


OTOH...most of my grad class (grad '86) waited a long time to start having kids. Out of the 10 or so childless classmates I've talked to, five of them have struggled with infertility. Two of those have since had kids (talked to them at the 20 year reunion and our 25th is this year)...one without medical assistance and one with. Another has dropped $60,000 on IVF, and has now given up. I've heard through the grapevine that three others have been trying to have children, with no luck. Our grad class was about 180 people. At least 20 of those have dropped off the map and nobody has been in touch with them. There are at least another 15-20 with no kids, but I don't know if they want them, or have ever tried to have them, or not. So...if the grapevine is right, we've had eight (not counting me, as mine were secondary, not primary, infertility issues) people out of approx. 160 who have had serious fertility issues. I don't know if that's higher than the average in the population or not, but it seems high to me. I know of none who wanted children in their 20s who had any problems (that doesn't mean there weren't any, of course - just that I don't know about them).


I also remember reading acouple of years ago that risk of Downs appears to be lower in older mothers who were having second or subsequent children than in older mothers who were having their first child. I wonder if this applies to fertility, as well?


There's really no way to know.


I will say that I, personally, am not big on the whole "waiting until you can afford it" thing. When I had ds1, we were below the poverty line and struggling to make ends meet. Now, dh is making the median household income for our area, as a single income earner, and...we're struggling to make ends meet. In some ways, you can never afford chlidren, because there are always things you could be buying/paying for that you're not. OTOH, the basics of childrearing are much cheaper, ime, than most people assume. It really all depends on many factors.

post #16 of 52

I spent a lot of time worried about this. .. but I got pg on my second month of trying at 33 and had a great, healthy pg and homebirth.  I know mamas in their 20s who had a lot more complications than I had.  Personally, I think the sleep deprivation of caring for an infant is way harder to do in your 30s vs 20s than the pg part!


So yes, statistically, things can be harder as you get older. . .but I think A LOT of it has to do with the individual situation. How healthy you and your partner are, etc.

post #17 of 52

33 is still young, though. I had DS at 33 and it was easy as pie to get pregnant. Of course there can still be problems but I think at that age it's less to do with age and more to do with individual circumstances, like you said.


When you start getting 37 and up, statistically speaking, it gets to be a tougher road. A road I never thought would be tough for me, personally. I looked at the stats, and thought, "yeah, well... that's not me. I'm as fertile as the day is long!"


Age did catch up with me, though.



Originally Posted by kismetbaby View Post

I spent a lot of time worried about this. .. but I got pg on my second month of trying at 33 and had a great, healthy pg and homebirth.  I know mamas in their 20s who had a lot more complications than I had.  Personally, I think the sleep deprivation of caring for an infant is way harder to do in your 30s vs 20s than the pg part!


So yes, statistically, things can be harder as you get older. . .but I think A LOT of it has to do with the individual situation. How healthy you and your partner are, etc.

post #18 of 52
Originally Posted by kismetbaby View Post

Personally, I think the sleep deprivation of caring for an infant is way harder to do in your 30s vs 20s than the pg part!


Heck, yeah! The sleep deprivation was only barely on my radar when I had ds1. With dd2, it's just killing me.


I think it really does depend on the individual, but I'm not sure that health, as such, is really the key. My health was trashed when I met dh, and it wasn't much better when I had dd1, but my fertility was fine. My health when ds1 was very young was great - but I couldn't get pregnant to save my life (I'm sure this was on my ex's end, admittedly). On the flip side, at least two of my former classmates who have had long-term fertility issues, starting in their late 30s, were/are very, very healthy - just not fertile.


I'm not sure what factors are involved, but I don't think it's as simple a matter as how healthy we are.

post #19 of 52

I truly hope that I don't offend anyone or get any flack for my opinion, but this is something that I do feel strongly about, so I just wanted to throw my 2 cents in.


Before becoming a SAHM at age 28, I spent 5 years as an RN at an Ob/Gyn & fertility clinic - I worked Maternity at a large hospital for 4 years before that (2 years as an aide while in nursing school). Believe me when I say, I have seen everything!


I really believe that this is one of those rare cases when you have to believe the statistics. I have seen WAY more heartache, broken marriages, tears, miscarriages, special needs babies, stillbirths, seizures, and even death in women over 30 who were trying for their FIRST child. I am emphasizing "FIRST" here because it is statistically easier to conceive again and have a healthy pregnancy into your 30s if you've already had a child in your 20s. With that said, I think it is in a woman's best interest, for the sake of her health and that of her child, to have her first baby while still in her 20s.


In my 9 years working with mamas-to-be, I have rarely seen a trouble-free first pregnancy with a 30-something woman - I have never seen a trouble-free first pregnancy with a 40-something mama. I know there are exceptions to the rule, of course, as I'm sure some mamas on here have had awesome pregnancies and healthy first babes well into their 30s or 40s, but I'm just commenting on my experiences.


You have to remember, that this trend of having children later in life is something that women have only been doing for the last 40 years or less - this is not what our bodies are meant to do. We are trying to beat thousands of years of evolution to make life more convenient for us. Your body doesn't know that you need to have a home, car, master's degree, and xxx dollars in the bank before it's ok to get pregnant. Please, this is JMHO - I'm not judging you or your choices. Just remember that all choices have consequences, and if you decide to wait, you might be in for a tougher time than you thought. Then again, only YOU know when you're ready to have a child, and if you feel that you need to wait, then all the best of luck to you when you do decide to go for it orngbiggrin.gif

post #20 of 52
Fertility is just like anything else. There is no "bright line" cutoff. So people come up with lines anyway-- sometimes you hear 30, sometimes 35, sometimes 40-- but those are all random places to draw the line. The truth is that fertility is on a continuous decline from, I believe, the mid-20s. So as a pp mentioned, you always have to take into account the *possibility* that you won't be able to have kids when you try, and decide how you'll deal with that. Heck, you have to take that into account when you are 22, because you never know whether you will have trouble or not until you try.

And let me note that there are also plenty of good reasons to delay childbearing. I'm not talking about having everything "perfect," because that will never happen, and I think we put too much stock in owning a house, being at a great place in a career, etc. as prerequisites for having kids.

However. . . having a partner? A stable partner, stable home life? Feeling you have the circumstances to actually take care of a baby when you have it? Yeah, those things can be important. Obviously, moms get pregnant without these things and make it work, and that's awesome. But I don't think it's first *preference* for most of us to *have* to do it in tough circumstances. And frankly, as someone who always knew I wanted kids but didn't even meet my DH until I was 30, things like what NevadaMama says above scared the bejesus out of me. I didn't want to cheat myself out of a family, but what the heck was I supposed to do? It is really easy to say that "you should start before 30" when YOU were able to do so. But sometimes the circumstances just don't allow it.

And I really don't believe the statistics show the situation to be as dire as you paint it, NevadaMama. Because it's NOT a bright line. And, in fact, having babies is *exactly* what our bodies are designed to do, in our teens, 20s, 30s, and sometimes beyond. I wasn't able to start until 32. Was it harder, physically, than it would have been 10 years before? Almost definitely. Sure, it gets harder. Does that mean I should have had kids with a random guy in my 20s just to start earlier? No, no, and no. Please remember that not everyone who starts having kids later is doing so for frivolous reasons. Life doesn't always work out the way we'd like, and yes, the road may be harder, but I think it's alarmist to warn women that it will be SOOOOO much harder after a particular birthday, because I don't think that is statistically borne out. If you have statistics to back up what you're saying (specifically that there is a dividing line at which all kinds of problems start rather than the gradual decline we all know about), please, throw them at me.

I just don't think anyone should rush into having kids when they *know* they're not ready, or time their kids closer together than they feel comfortable with, just because they get alarmed at pictures like the one you paint.
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