I’m amazed, but I guess I shouldn’t be, how concerned the media is with fertility right now. Did you see this snippet on the Today Show, almost a month ago now? After catching this by chance, I saw the topic in other places for instance the campaign website powered by First Response pregnancy test; The video controversy aired on AOL; Huffington Post’s Emma Gray also took on the same story about this add. Young mom bloggers Michelle Horton of Early Mama (love her radio interview (which Chaunie also featured in addition to her own take on the topic) and one of her pieces just about fertility), and Chaunie of Tinybluelines, have been talking about having babies at young ages and the subject of fertility before all of this started, as have others. There have been controversies over IVF treatments, and now we’re starting to hear more about freezing eggs.
With all that said and linked, you may have seen this piece on Baby Panic, which I shamelessly tried to get you to watch the day I was taking part. Most of the women in this segment are doctors and/or authors. They’re in their 40s-50s. They’re living what is buzzing in the media. Having children later in life. I represented what is becoming a rare exception, a woman in her 20s having a baby at a time when the world is telling me I should still be climbing that career ladder, breaking through the glass ceiling.
Abby Huntsman asked me, “did you get pregnant at all because of this panic as you get older it becomes more difficult or simply because you wanted kids younger?” I love this question. I answered half of it, but it’s a great question.
Definitely as I said in the discussion, David and I wanted to start our family now on the younger side of life so we could hopefully have more energy to keep up with our children as their reaching milestones, but also so we could be on the younger side when the empty nest happens and we have time to enjoy just the two of us.
However, thinking about my fertility and my husband’s fertility did still play a big role in our decision. I love the book “Taking Charge of Your Fertility” (also see the official website) because it gave me the information and tools I needed to get to know my body, how to know and understand my fertility, and to use my fertility to the greatest advantage. I’m a natural researcher, I love digging for answers to big questions, the more knowledge the better in many subjects. When I was 24, I knew I had hit ‘prime baby-makin’ time! I knew that after age 30 the quality of chromosomes contributed by husband could start to go down. To give us and our potential children the best chance possible, we didn’t want to wait.
So far so good for us. Elijah has been the picture of health. Our first attempt at conception met with success. Pregnancy, though not wonderfully comfortable, was without complication. There was no need for any additional fetal testing as I was young enough not to cause concern in regards to certain disorders. My recovery was quick and fantastic! My weight melted away speedily! (Off camera in private discussion, one interviewee revealed that almost 1 year after birth she was still hanging on to almost 30lbs of baby weight). To give you an even clearer picture of how well recovery went for me, my midwife at my 6 week checkup, told me I had healed so well I almost pulled off her glove…. More information? I have had no problems with incontinence (kegel ya’ll, kegel!). I snapped right back. You’re welcome for all those juicy tidbits!
Obviously the HuffPost did not have time for that thorough of an answer, but I wanted to share with you all more of the process of our decision making to have children on what seems to be the young side of life. Maybe it will help someone reading this to think about the choices their making.
Career opportunities will be there. Educational pursuits will be there. You can do pretty much anything you want with the rest of your life with minimal trial. Having your children and rearing your children may not always be this easy.
If you’re waiting until you think you can afford it, consider that no matter how much money you make, you’ll always think you need more (by the way, the longer you wait, the more expensive it may be to have children as your fertility and partner’s fertility declines). I remember living single and working to pay for college on about $10,000/yr. Not easy. I definitely felt like I needed more. My first big girl job brought in somewhere close to $30k/yr. Living on my own I thought I was doing pretty well for myself, especially compared to a few years prior. When I got married and there were two of us to support, we were making together almost $50k. We didn’t know how good we had it. We paid off his credit, my wedding ring set, his student loan within 9 months. We still thought we needed more. Then I went to a job paying 1/4 of what I had been earning, it seemed a huge loss. Then I went to earning nothing but love and smiles from my baby. All this to say, you can make it on what you have, you just have to learn where to make the cuts.
Trust me, your children are worth it.
Back in the day, I’m talking way back, people expected to struggle, to scrimp to get by in the early years. They looked forward to it, they enjoyed it. Those were the “good years.” That was life. Houses, cars, property, a fat bank account was something to work towards, not where you started. My generation has majorly lost site of that. My generation wants everything settled, and then some right now in the way of wealth and possessions. Lets get back to the simple. It’s a happier place to be. I know 🙂