How serious is the "have kids before 30" thing? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 52 Old 12-29-2010, 12:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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?


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#2 of 52 Old 12-29-2010, 01:08 PM
 
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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.


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#3 of 52 Old 12-29-2010, 01:34 PM
 
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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.

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#4 of 52 Old 12-29-2010, 01:59 PM
 
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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.

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#5 of 52 Old 12-29-2010, 02:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.


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#6 of 52 Old 12-29-2010, 03:09 PM
 
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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.

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#7 of 52 Old 12-29-2010, 06:46 PM
 
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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.


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#8 of 52 Old 12-31-2010, 09:07 PM
 
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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.

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#9 of 52 Old 12-31-2010, 09:29 PM
 
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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.


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#10 of 52 Old 12-31-2010, 09:39 PM
 
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#11 of 52 Old 01-15-2011, 09:10 AM
 
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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.  

 

 


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#12 of 52 Old 01-15-2011, 03:43 PM
 
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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.

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#13 of 52 Old 01-17-2011, 02:42 PM
 
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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.


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#14 of 52 Old 01-17-2011, 02:53 PM
 
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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.


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#15 of 52 Old 01-17-2011, 03:47 PM
 
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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.


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#16 of 52 Old 01-18-2011, 10:23 AM
 
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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.


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#17 of 52 Old 01-19-2011, 07:01 AM
 
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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.

 

 

Quote:
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.




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#18 of 52 Old 01-19-2011, 01:04 PM
 
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Quote:
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.


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#19 of 52 Old 01-20-2011, 06:57 PM
 
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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


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#20 of 52 Old 01-20-2011, 07:28 PM
 
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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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#21 of 52 Old 01-21-2011, 09:15 AM
 
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ITA
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NevadaMama View Post

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




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#22 of 52 Old 01-21-2011, 01:26 PM
 
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I have not read all the posts, so this may be repetitive.  Just want to share because your question is soooo familiar to me.  I am 38 now.  In my twenties I did not want to have kids at all, but I did not want to miss out, either.  So, we made a rule that we we would think about it at 27 and decide... and that would be the perfect age to get in our two kids and be done.  I planned on being fertile Mertle and everything working out just like I planned it to.  Guess what?  It didn't.  First of all, it took nine months to get preg.  Then, after that preg I got preg a year later and miscarried.  By the time baby #2 was born it was four years... putting me over my "under the age of thirty plan".  And due to the miscarriage I got to rethinking birth control and such things, since birth control increases the chance of miscarriage.  And I actually found that I liked having kids!!! Wow!! That was the big thing.... the world tell you so much about how awful it is... and not how wonderful it is to do what your body was designed for and how amazing it all is.  Anyhow.... another preg because we thought three would be a good number to have and I had a fall and lost that preg.... We did not want to stop in such a depressing way, so we tried again and got baby #3, then baby #4, and now I am 38 and preg with baby #5.  Of course, I am treated like a prehistoric dinosaur by the medical community, but this has been my EASIEST preg out of them all.  I am healthier and wiser and I have more experience to bring into this one.  If you ask my husband and I both we both will tell you that we wish we had started in our mid-twenties, though.  I feel young.... and some days I feel old, but the reality is that when we look into our future there are very real concerns of whether we will live to see all of children grow up.  On that note, I say don't wait too late. You can't get back time!!  Money... well, it is definitely an issue, but you can never have enough of it anyway and you always seem to spend whatever you have in most cases.  Don't be a afraid to take "charity" as some refer to it.  If you want a baby and you have qualify for some assistance somehow, then I say take it and be grateful that it is there for you to use.  Maybe that is not an issue... I am just saying don't let finances get in the way of a family... remember you can't get time back.  Once it is gone, it is gone.  I look at my four beautiful kids and I wonder what babies I might have missed out on in the 10 years I was on the pill.... I can't ever know or get that time back. 

 

One last thing... it is our society and medical system that "teach" us that there is something wrong with us as we age and go through childbearing.  Do some reading on childbirth... and I don't mean like "What To Expect When You Are Expecting".  I mean real childbirth books.  If our bodies were too old to bear children, then the ability would not be there.... hence, menopause.  Until you hit menopause I believe your bosy is still "able".... not broken.  Like I said... I feel great at 38 and pregnant!  Actaully, many have said this time that I look 10 years younger than I am.  What can I say... children keep you young!

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#23 of 52 Old 01-21-2011, 01:29 PM
 
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Originally Posted by poppiesinjuly View Post

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

 

 

Agreed.

 

I conceived when I was 33.  Had DS at 34.  I am the last of my friends to have a babe and so damn grateful I waited.  I have more patience then I did at even your age.  I highly recommend having a babe after 30!
 


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#24 of 52 Old 01-21-2011, 01:38 PM
 
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Stastically fertility does decrease after age 30 and decreases to a larger amount after 35. The incidence of birth defects also goes up slightly after age 30 and more so after age 35. But realistically you are still talking about relatively small numbers. I can't remember the study right now. However, there are plenty of women who have kids into their 40s.


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#25 of 52 Old 01-22-2011, 09:09 AM
 
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I think a lot of the potential health consequences have been covered well by previous posters, so I'm primarily going to mention something else--what it's like to be the child of older parents.

My mother had me, her first, when she was 35 and my father was 42 (almost 43, since our birthdays are in the same month). She had my brother five years later--a couple of months before she turned 41, and my father was 49. Conceiving both of us was fairly easy for them, and I think her pregnancy with me was very healthy--she had a midwife, and a home birth, but I was early (about 36 weeks though good-sized) and that first month she worried about me a lot. My brother's pregnancy was harder on her because she was older; she had more invasive tests done than with me because of the increased risk of birth defects, but it still went perfectly well, and he was a healthy full-term infant.

Growing up with older parents had advantages and disadvantages. My father especially had lots of child-rearing experience (having had children from a previous marriage), and because they were better established financially than when they were younger we grew up in a house they had built themselves, got to go along on business trips to Europe, and had several yearly trips to the old log cabin they were able to buy when my brother was a baby. They homeschooled us and sent us to a private high school, and were able to pay for our college educations (partially funded by scholarships and student jobs too, of course). But they had less energy than younger parents would have, and money was still a concern because they were self-employed (financial freedom doesn't always happen by a certain age!), so they worked a lot, though not as much as when they were farming, in spite of being at home with us.

Looking at it now, the age difference is getting more stark. My brother is a senior in college and my father is in his early 70s, so when most people would be retired, he's still working to support a child. (Obviously this is a personal choice--to get his kids through college--and he loves his work, but it's worth noting.) Both of my parents are exceptionally healthy and active people, but they are starting to get to an age where good health can disappear quickly. My mother has been sick a lot and that's worrisome. At a time when I'm busy starting my own life and have my own young family, I'm concerned too about caring for aging parents--not that that is a bad thing, but it is something I am mindful of and concerned about. They love their grandson, but have less energy to enjoy him, and if I had waited until 35 to have our first, my father would be in his late 70s and my mom in her early 70s. That was certainly a factor I considered when thinking about timing my own family. And who knows when (or if) my brother will have children?

I have a perspective as the child of older parents that I find valuable--I place a high importance on enjoying the time we have and not taking youth for granted. I'm happy to have been born when, where, and how I was born, and I love my parents. I'm happy having just one sibling, but if they had had us earlier I might have another sibling or two. And I would love to have my parents in my life longer than I probably will.

That being said--I think it's important to have children on your timetable; I didn't think I would ever truly feel ready to be a parent, but the timing of our son was good for us. I wouldn't have wanted to have him younger than I did (25); I'm glad I didn't have him later, but my husband and I had been together nearly 10 years and married for three when he was born, and if that had been pushed back, I think we would have pushed children back as well. I plan on having my career once my children are a little older, but again, that's a personal choice. There is more than one correct choice here!

Good luck!


Stay-at-home mama married to my best friend of 10+ years. lovestory.gif  Aspiring midwife loving parenting our beautiful babyf.gif Julian, born 5/24/09. Expecting a second bean in late July 2012!joy.gif
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#26 of 52 Old 01-22-2011, 10:01 AM
 
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I always swore that I didn't want to be pregnant after 30. We didn't decide we definitely wanted to have kids until I was 27, and then it turned out I had serious infertility issues that were not easy to resolve. I finally got pregnant via IVF a month before my 32nd birthday. My pregnancy was fairly normal, if physically challenging for me, and while I got risked out of the birth center at 39 weeks due to rapidly climbing blood pressure and suspected pre-e, I went into labor on my own before I could be induced and had a straightforward and mostly unmedicated hospital birth with a skilled CNM in attendance.

 

Do I regret continuing past my cutoff of 30? No. It was hard, I was (and am) exhausted, and I think a lot of things would probably have been physically easier in my twenties... but I think being a little older has made me better able to handle the challenges of parenting. I ended up with a wonderfully healthy and mellow baby who is an absolute joy, and I would have missed one of the best experiences of my life if I'd stopped trying at 30. 

 

My only real regret is that if we decide to have a second child, I will have to choose between spacing them closer than I'd like or being of "advanced maternal age" for my second pregnancy. I don't know what the answer to that will be, but we'll figure out it if and when we decide to go down that road.

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#27 of 52 Old 01-22-2011, 10:12 AM
 
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When my mom was having babies, it seemed the conventional wisdom was by 30. Now it seems to be by 35-40. I had one at 29 and one at 33. No fertility issues, pg first try the first time and um, "accidentally" the second time (We'd been married for 10 years, and knew full well what we were doing, so it wasn't so much accidental as lazy I suppose. Obviously we were open to having a second child!). If you know you want more than one, I would personally try to start younger than 35, but I don't think you have to run to start before 30, given the OPs situation. 31-32-33. It's not like there's a magic line at any age, it's a gentle slope that gets steeper.


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#28 of 52 Old 01-22-2011, 10:28 AM
 
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I had my first baby just after my 30th birthday after a mere 5 months TTC.  I started TTC my 2nd at 31 and it took 2.5 years, 2 miscarriages, 2 surgeries, a failed IVF and a whole LOT of money.  I was perfectly healthy, in shape, etc.  My general health has nothing to do with my fertility.

 

My RE (ranked #3 in the nation, so while I don't have stats to back this up, the man knows his stuff) says we're most fertile in our late teens/early 20s and our ovarian reserve and quality is in continuous decline. By 25 we're well into the decline. By 30 we're old.  By 35, we're "Advanced Maternal Age" for a reason.

 

So if finances are important, wait, but babies don't care how much money you have, and love is free.  Take it from someone who was on her last cycle of trying and almost didn't have the kids she wanted.  Wait, but understand that you do so at a risk.  Nobody thinks they'll be infertile until they find themselves in the middle of hell.


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#29 of 52 Old 01-22-2011, 10:32 AM
 
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Originally Posted by EviesMom View Post

When my mom was having babies, it seemed the conventional wisdom was by 30. Now it seems to be by 35-40. I had one at 29 and one at 33. No fertility issues, pg first try the first time and um, "accidentally" (We'd been married for 10 years, and knew full well what we were doing, so it wasn't so much accidental as lazy I suppose). If you know you want more than one, I would personally try to start younger than 35, but not before 30. 31-32-33. It's not like there's a magic line at any age, it's a gentle slope that gets steeper.


The only problem with this is you don't know where you are on the slope until you find out you're having problems.  How I went from no problems at 30 and infertile a couple years later, nobody can say.


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#30 of 52 Old 01-24-2011, 03:16 PM
 
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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.

 

I had a similar story, and definitely had many sleepless nights over it when I was in my mid/late 20s.  If I'd had the right partner then, I would have started trying in my mid-20s.

 

Quote:
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.

 

So base rates of fertility do decline gradually from the mid-20s to about 40, then there's a bit of a plunge at 40.  But the risk of Down's is flattish from menarche to just under 30 or so, then triples between late 20s and 35, and more than triples from 35 to 40.

http://www.ds-health.com/risk.htm

 

Quote:
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.

 

Depends what you mean by 'not ready.'  If 'not ready' means 'no suitable partner,' then yeah.  But the OP is married and is just debating getting in a better place financially before TTC.  To her I'd say, you can always work on your finances.  You can't get back time, or eggs.  And you never know how things will go until you start trying.  If you do run into any trouble, it will be important to have time on your side while you try to work it out.


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