The Clock Is Ticking Faster Than You Think
A woman’s fertility peaks between the ages of 20 to 25, which is a major inconvenience for today’s educated and career-oriented women who would rather start having kids after 30. I’m 37, and I feel like my career is only just beginning. If I have a child now, I will likely have to adjust my goals and settle for less success. If I want it all, meaning a big career and children, I think I’ll have to put off having a baby until I’m 40.
But there are risks to putting off pregnancy. After 35, a pregnant woman is considered to have a geriatric pregnancy. And that’s if she was lucky enough to get pregnant in the first place due to her declining fertility. By the time she’s 40, a woman only has a 44% chance of having a baby within a year (at 35, it’s a 66% chance). And for couples that do struggle with infertility, IVF is expensive, requires a dizzying amount of hormone injections, and is only 22% effective (at age 38–40).
Another concern is that the risk of having a baby with chromosomal abnormalities increases as maternal age advances. After the age of 30, the risk of having a child with Down Syndrome increases exponentially. Other risks associated with advanced maternal age are autism, miscarriage, premature or breech deliveries, and placenta praevia. And it’s not all on the woman. Advanced paternal age is associated with lower IQ, and neurological disorders such as bipolar disorder, autism, and schizophrenia.
Giving Birth Is A Messy Business
When people say “women have been giving birth since the beginning of time, what could go wrong,” they are either trying to be soothing, or they don’t have enough information, such as the fact that the maternal mortality rate in the U.S. has doubled in the past 25 years, and severe maternal complications where women have nearly died have also increased by 27%.
Regardless of how assiduously you’ve orchestrated your birth plan, when push comes to shoving out a baby, you never know exactly how things will go. Having a child is a major medical decision and deserves as much research and consideration as you would put into electing to do surgery.
To help you get started, here is a partial list of potential childbirth complications: vaginal tears, infection, hemorrhage, obstructed labor, and death. And here is a partial list of potential pregnancy complications: bleeding, hyperemesis gravidarum, back pain, gestational diabetes, anemia, placental abruption, preeclampsia, and miscarriage.
The Most Popular Plastic Surgery Procedure Is The Mommy-Makeover
Another fun fact about childbirth is that it tears, stretches, and inflates your body, sometimes irreversibly. Some women care less about their appearance once they are wholly consumed by the joy of being a mom, but that’s not me. I’m vain, and I want to look as hot as possible until the very last minute of my sexual appeal, which I hope is well beyond 45 years of age. Though I’m not averse to plastic surgery, and the mommy-makeover is popular for a reason, there’s nothing that can completely erase the damage of childbirth on the body. Giving up my taut and stretch-mark free figure to have a child is not the biggest sacrifice, but it is something to be grieved.
Continue Reading “What To Consider Before Having Kids, Part 2.”