Friday 16 September 2005

excuse me while i spit some nails

Women who wait until their late 30s to have children are defying nature and risking heartbreak, leading obstetricians have warned. [source]

I would normally put a topic like this on the baby blog, but this got me furious and I think it deserves to be on the main blog. As an "older mum", I would like to say the following: these people are talking absolute bollocks. I had Jack one month before my 36th birthday. Not once did any of the numerous midwives, nurses, doctors, and consultants who treated me during my pregnancy and birth mentioned my age as a concern. So where has this recent revelation come from?

In the BMJ, the authors of this article write: "Women want to 'have it all' but biology is unchanged; deferring defies nature and risks heartbreak." Ah, now it all makes sense. How retro - we're rehashing the careerwoman as an abomination of nature argument that was so popular in the 80s. How dare we choose to have a career, an independent means of financial support, a life? Now look what it's caused - fertility problems, foetal death and abnormalities, and "heartbreak".

"Expert" Dr Susan Bewley states: "Most women playing 'Russian Roulette' get away with it, most people are fine. But I see the casualties. The best time to have a baby is up to 35. It always was, and always will be." Okay, let's recap my life before 35. The longest relationship I was in lasted 8 years, and I was with a man who didn't want children. I was working in various bookstores earning a meager hourly wage, renting an apartment, some months not being able to afford a bus pass, smoking 1/2-1 pack of cigarettes a day, 50lbs. overweight, and I hadn't really travelled anywhere. By 35, I had quit smoking, lost the 50 lbs., collected several thousand flight points, had a job I thoroughly enjoyed with a great salary, met my husband, bought a car, bought a house, got married, and got pregnant. I can afford to take a year off work (or more, if I wanted to) to care for my son, we can provide any material goods or medical care he needs, and most importantly, we have a amazingly strong relationship that has endured the many stresses of pregnancy, birth, and parenthood.

So someone explain to me again why I should have had a child before now?

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