Self-Directed Ageism

Back in 1982, when parents conceived me, my mother was 32. By the time she gave birth in 1983, she was 33. She was referred to as a “geriatric pregnancy”. Nowadays, more and more people are having kids in their 30s and 40s, but terms like geriatric pregnancy and advanced maternal age still get thrown around. There is some justifiable reason for this: health risks increase with age and infertility is more common. In fact, fertility drastically lowers after 35. I had always planned/expected to have one baby before 30. Back when I was a preteen/young teen, I even told my mother that if I wasn’t married by 30, I would have a child anyway. Last night, when trying to fall asleep, I realized that if I am not pregnant by December, I will turn 30 before I have a baby. Obviously having a child (regardless of my age) is more important than my somewhat silly self-imposed deadline and if I were to be pregnant by my 30th birthday, I doubt I’ll care that I’m turning 30, but still, I felt a bit panicked. I originally thought I’d get pregnant at 28 and have the baby before my 29th birthday. I just feel like time is slipping away and I worry about the increased fertility issues that come along with age (especially for baby #2 because who knows how old I’ll be by then) and also about having the energy to keep up with my kids. I’m not a particularly energetic person as it is and I want to be a very active mom, so hopefully age won’t hold me back at all. From my mother’s own experiences of being a “geriatric” mother (hardly old by today’s societal – if not medical – standards), she advised me to have kids earlier . . . . so much for that!

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