Is it just me or has anyone else noticed the influx of stories in the media discussing starting a family later in life and the implications many women are facing by pressing the pause button on having babies?
30 years ago, when my mother discovered she was having me, she felt as though she was too old to be having another child. She was 33.
Today, being pregnant with my first child at the age of 30, I feel like a fairly young-ish mother. While there are many women who chose to have children in their 20's, a growing number of women are leaving baby-making to their late 30's and even early-mid 40's.
So how exactly does leaving the business of baby-making until later in life affect not only the baby, but the mother? It seems the more common this practice is becoming, the more publicity the topic is getting in the media.
While some women are meeting their partners later in life, or some spending their 20's and 30's concentrating on their careers, many are left to wonder where their path has led them when it comes to starting a family of their own.
The number of couples turning to IVF is at an all time high, and many single women are opting for other means to secure their place in the line to become a mother. Freezing eggs is becoming more popular than ever, and not just for those women who are taking this option for medical reasons. Fertility clinics, charging between $10,000 and $14,000 per cycle, are offering women who are not yet ready to start a family due to personal reasons, a chance to freeze their eggs in the hope that they will meet their 'Mr Right' and he can help finish the process.
A couple of weeks back I read an article in The Age in which the Director of Monash IVF, Professor Gab Kovacs said 'women considering freezing their eggs for social reasons would be better off settling for ''Mr Not-Quite-Right'' as a father sooner rather than later'.
Professor Kovaks brings up a very interesting point here.
Should women who are wanting to have children simply 'settle'? Or is it that we're being too picky, looking for something that may not even be out there at all? Or perhaps the business of baby-making is a very complicated one at that, and all women have the right to chose when the time is right for them?
This topic certainly is a complicated one, yes.
Sure, it would make things so much more simple if we would all just pick-a-partner and and at a set time in or lives, around about our mid to late 20's I'd say, an in-built reminder goes off telling us it's time to make a baby.
However, how can we fit each and every woman out there into such a small box? Life is complicated.
Why should we feel as though we should settle for 'Mr Not-Quite-Right', just because we want to have a child some day. Surely an unhappy marriage wouldn't exactly lead to a happy, healthy upbringing for the children involved?!
While Mr Kovacs does bring up a good point, that perhaps many of us are leaving it until it's 'too late' to start our families, in my opinion the topic isn't just a simple as 'settling'.
One thing's for sure, it's a controversial topic. One that all women out there should take the time to think about. While we all have the right to chose when we want to start our families, there are issues that we all need to think about. Starting a family before our bodies take over and start telling us it may just be too late may not be for everyone, but it certainly is something we should all take into consideration.
What are your thoughts?