Get on With It

I saw some poor fool on Twitter begging people to reassure her that she will still be able to have children even though she’s 35 and not even trying to get pregnant because she’s “not ready.”

I was that poor idiot and all I can do now is say, “women! Don’t wait. If you didn’t give birth before age 27, you are already in deep shit. Stop listening to these lies and get on with it.”

33 thoughts on “Get on With It”

  1. What if she is alone and still wants to try to find a suitable man to marry?

    Also, single women may be influenced by economic insecurity and hope to be in a better financial position in a few years.

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    1. When you’re 35, you don’t have a few years. I know quite a few women who’ve waited till 39, 40, 42+ to try and get pregnant for the first time. Not one of them has conceived without some sort of medical assistance, many had a number of complications, and about half ended up never having a kid. This latter category includes a dear friend of mine from college, who would’ve made a wonderful mother, but she waited till her boyfriend was ready, then to get a house, then to get all the ducks in a row, then after a few rounds of IVF she’s 48 now, and it’s never going to happen.

      There is a whole movement of single moms by choice (SMBC), professional women who decided they would not wait around for someone to pick them, and had kids on their own. I think I would’ve done that if I hadn’t gotten married and had my first kid when I did (26). I was much younger than everyone in my cohort (all grad students, free as a bird), was the only person with a kid in grad school, but in hindsight it was a great thing. I also had two more later (34 and 38) and the difference in the toll on the body between mid-20s and mid-30s is incomparable.

      But as Clarissa points above, people don’t like to be told that they can’t do/have something, even though nature doesn’t give a flying fuck. One couple got really upset at my offhand remark (which granted I should’ve known better and kept my mouth shut) that maybe if they’d started sooner things would’ve been easier. They ended up doing multiple rounds of IVF, several miscarriages, one termination because of malformation, low sperm count (yes, years aren’t kind to modern men, either), lots of monetary and emotional cost, and they finally had twins in their early 40s.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. \ There is a whole movement of single moms by choice (SMBC), professional women who decided they would not wait around for someone to pick them, and had kids on their own.

        I know several such women, but one has to have a material base, some sort of job security, something, if one decides to take this step. What if somebody is 35 and thinks 2-3 years will make the difference careerwise?

        In Israel, a woman can freeze eggs till 40 and have a kid. Somebody I know, a single mother by choice, did that and recently had a child at 47.

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          1. Sorry, the above was my comment, but I forgot I was logged in as my fiction pseud on another device. Clarissa, can you please change the handle for the above comment to my usual one (xykademiqz)? Thank you!

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      2. And even if you are younger than 35 there are no guarantees that you will be able to have a child, so getting on with it sooner rather than later is the way to go. I married in my early 30ies and after multiple miscarriages/infertility had a healthy child in my early 40ies. Miraculously, without a medical intervention, after we gave up hope (we decided against infertility treatments early on for reasons I will not go into). We like to think that we can cheat nature, but biology does not care for our opinions.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Several women in my family have had children in their mid to late 30s, with varying degrees of difficulty, from “oops baby” to “I had eight miscarriages.”

        I think there’s a huge incentive for society to lie to people about how easy it is to have kids in their later years. Of course there are the rich with their miracle babies, but your own family members will conceal things.

        It’s only now that I’m much older that my relatives will say anything about how difficult it is to be pregnant and post natal complications. My own mother wouldn’t tell me when she went through menopause.

        Men think they can have kids forever. Even if they can crank out sperm until they die, there are limits, LMAO. I once went on a date with a man who hoped to be a first time father at the age of 50. As in, he wanted to meet someone, wait five years, and then start trying.

        Rapunzel is just a tale about how difficult it is to have kids the right way. :-p

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      4. What xycademiqz said.

        Yes, it’s possible to give birth at 45. Isolated cases exist. But the recovery gets harder and harder with each passing year. Even if you do get pregnant, even if you do carry to term, even if the child is born healthy… You then discover that you are a complete wreck and can’t do what you need for the kid. Literally, every month you are older makes it worse.

        Nobody wants to hear it. I didn’t want to hear it. But now it’s my duty to warn people who are falling into this trap.

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  2. At risk of making an unpopular post, I think that age 27 is the earliest that most women should conceive, since so many are still so immature and/or unprepared prior to that.

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    1. It’s definitely the conflict between psychological preparedness and physiological. A bad, bad, irresolvable conflict. Why do you think I waited until 34 to start trying? I didn’t have the mental health.

      But then I didn’t have the physical health.

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      1. It’s a cultural oddity. Biologically, and historically, this is why we have grandmothers, right? And aunties and sisters and cousins… Historically, one man and one woman raising kids by themselves in a discrete household is an aberration.

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          1. To clarify: I wasn’t trying to explain why women have babies at any particular age, but only the peculiarity that we tend to be physically mature long before we are mentally and emotionally mature.

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            1. @ methyethyl: I understand. The reason that I posted the link is because most logical people looking at the chart come to the same self evident conclusions without having to explain themselves. The world today is more complex, but more capable of sustaining human life. A mentally mature person today has to be much more complex than their equivalent from a century ago, so as to competently deal with a more complex world and gain benefit from it.

              Since it would logically take more time for todays more-complex person in a more-complex world to attain that level of competence, reproduction would probably happen at a later age, with less need for the wider family group to support the next generation of parents.

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              1. Well, there’s “later” like in 30 and “later” like in “45.” The former is doable while the latter is extremely hard and often futile.

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              2. “Well, there’s “later” like in 30 and “later” like in “45.” The former is doable while the latter is extremely hard and often futile.”

                Sure. I’m not an expert or anything but personally consider that women should aim to conceive within a 10 or so year long period of time beginning at age 27-28, with men aiming to impregnate within the same length window yet ideally be 2-3 years older than their mate.

                Any younger and I don’t think that the parents are quite mature, while any older I think leads to problems with parents having enough energy/enthusiasm to properly raise their child.

                I also think that it is selfish for parents to be too old because they risk becoming inform or dying while their children are still quite young ie early 20s.

                Liked by 1 person

  3. Americans are very bad at comprehending limits.

    I had my first at 31. No fertility problems, no complications, everybody healthy and fine (ditto for the next two kids), but the recovery is brutal, and worse each time. Even the very minor and fairly common hernia that resulted is no joke– having to take care of an infant you can barely lift is hard. Having to do that and take care of an active toddler or preschooler you can’t lift… there’s not an adequate word for it. Keeping up with little kids at forty isn’t ideal, and I wish I could’ve had them all ten years earlier.

    In addition, in the US, we have a huge unacknowledged problem with post-birth complications because, again, we can’t stand limits. We don’t have nurses who come to your house– brand-new mothers, 48 hours after giving birth, are expected to show up and present their newborn at a pediatrician’s office just to be weighed and measured! It is not uncommon to see people taking their week-old babies out shopping, to church, etc… it’s crazy! If you want to know why infant mortality dropped during lockdown… maybe because they were home with their mothers, and not being exposed to a stream of well-meaning visitors, daycares, and public places and their germs!

    But heaven help you if you suggest that the traditional post-birth cuarentena is good for mothers and babies! That would be patriarchal and antifeminist. Limits. Americans hate limits.

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    1. I agree, gosh, so true. I noticed that when I first got pregnant, everybody’s reaction was to list the things I no longer would be able to do. Like go to the movies in the middle of the day, which is something I never did anyway. Nobody listed the things I would now be able to do with a child (go to theme parks! Watch cartoons! Get tons of unconditional love and acceptance!) It’s the limitations that people can’t stand.

      The recovery post-birth at 40 is very brutal. People often think that it’s all about getting pregnant and once you do that, it’s all easy. But hard as that is at 40, it’s not the hardest part.

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    2. “But heaven help you if you suggest that the traditional post-birth cuarentena is good for mothers and babies! That would be patriarchal and antifeminist. Limits. Americans hate limits.”

      I have long held that the 40 day no contact period upheld in Eastern Orthodoxy was a quarantine in disguise, that was either formulated by some crafty priest in the more recent past, or handed down from wise ones very long ago and forgotten in its meaning.

      In all of my years suggesting it, no one has ever argued that it was a bad idea, let alone said anything about feminism/patriarchy.

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        1. I had my firstborn in South America, and my partera insisted on the cuarentena: not try to go places or cook or clean or anything, just take care of myself and the baby. And then, when we got home, the neighbor-ladies and the building maintenance ladies got wind of our arrival, swarmed our apartment, changed our sheets, cleaned our floors, and told me in no uncertain terms that I was not to leave the apartment for 8 days. And, you know, they squealed “Que lindo!” and peered into his face to verify that yes, all gringo babies really do have blue eyes 😉 After a few days (we had an efficiency apartment with no cozy chairs), they magically appeared and installed a big poofy armchair in the lobby/courtyard right outside our door so that I could come sit with the baby and get some fresh air. They were the nicest ladies!

          So I’m pretty sure the isolation period is still a thing in some places.

          But my mother still brags about going back to work after two weeks, and when the US hospital staff pestered me about who was my pediatrician, and how soon I should take my kid to see him, they were aghast when I said I wasn’t going to leave my house for a month unless it was on fire. The normal well-child newborn checkup schedule here is: 3 days, 2 weeks, and 1 month. Why anyone thinks this is a good idea is beyond me. I had a hernia and a stage 3 uterine prolapse with all 3 kids, and couldn’t comfortably spend more than about 20 minutes upright for weeks! Such things are not that uncommon, not to mention all the C-section ladies who are recovering from major abdominal surgery…

          New mothers all over the US are torturing themselves trying to keep up with a schedule arbitrarily imposed by pediatricians without regard for the health of the kids’ mothers. And all the stuff they do could easily be done by a visiting nurse! But do we offer that service? Of course not! Every time I see a wrung-out, hollow-eyed woman hauling a car seat into a ped. office with a perfectly healthy-looking days-old infant in it, I want to go find the doc who told her she had to do that, and punch the selfish bastard in the teeth.

          (climbs off soapbox)

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          1. Gosh, this brings up some memories… We had to drag our poor week-old baby to the hospital for a blood test. She was perfectly fine. This was a routine, prescribed visit. I was post-C-section, so that was fun. It’s February, we are stressed out the baby will catch a cold.

            Finally, we drag ourselves home… Only to receive a call that the lab technician broke the blood sample vial and we have to plod back to the hospital for another blood test.

            None of this improved the quality of our lives. And it was all utterly unnecessary.

            Another pet peeve is the utterly insane practice of waking the woman who has just given birth every 20 minutes to take her temperature. After 2 days of that, I started to lose my mind and my husband had to physically bar entry to the room to nurses and doctors. I’m still traumatized by that.

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          2. “So I’m pretty sure the isolation period is still a thing in some places.”

            Since my family and the extended community still implements it, I can verify that it is definitely still a thing 🙂

            Liked by 2 people

            1. Smart family and community. I’m from a culture that boasts of women going out to work in the fields immediately after giving birth. And by immediately I mean literally right after. I always found this a bizarre thing to take pride in. Only a stupid culture doesn’t value childbirth.

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              1. “I always found this a bizarre thing to take pride in.”

                To me it makes perfect sense, because the same happens to men in the culture that belongs to me. What I think is that in poor countries full of uncivilised or unintelligent people, everyone competes for social position using degraded values like violence, aggression, power, domination, displays of wealth etc. An example would be in, say, degraded parts of gang dominated Latin America.

                If a country full of uncivilised or unintelligent people becomes wealthy, people value raw violence and aggression less, but still tend to jostle for social position using power, domination, senseless displays of wealth etc. An example there would be much of newly rich China.

                The longer a country remains wealthy and prosperous, the more people abandon things like a craving for power, domination, senseless wealth etc and move towards higher values like education, conscientiousness etc even if they make a mess of it. An example of that might be in former colonial powers eg UK, France etc.

                In nations/cultures like mine and yours, which are/were full of civilised and intelligent people that suddenly became less prosperous because of war/politics, it goes backwards. People orient themselves around the highest values possible that lead to wealth.

                Personally I think that it speaks well of Ukranians, since despite all of their sufferings, they still compete based on who works harder rather than who can use violence more effectively.

                I didn’t explain that properly/comprehensively btw. But you get the idea.

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          3. “and peered into his face to verify that yes, all gringo babies really do have blue eyes 😉”

            As I recall, someone discovered that practically everyone who isn’t an albino has blue eyes, where brown eyed people actually had blue underneath a brown layer of pigment – a bit like sunglasses.

            Anyway subsequent to that discovery a procedure was invented where the brown layer was to be burnt off with a laser, so that brown eyes would permanently become blue.

            Now that I look at this post I realise that the information is basically useless unless you go back to South America and have another baby or something so that you can tell those ladies that everyone has gringo baby eyes, but…it’s just really interesting so I’m going to post it anyway 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

            1. We found the whole thing hilarious while we were there! The new-baby conversation would always go 1) Que lindo! 2) Mujer o Barron? and then 3) Ojos azules! Like clockwork!

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