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Fertility is not infinite
If you want kids, better get cracking.


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#51 Mrs Dinosaurus

Posted 14 November 2011 - 05:54 AM

Now I'm just hoping BMJ is ok?

#52 Dionysus

Posted 14 November 2011 - 05:55 AM

I can see where a lot of you are coming from.

I too respond quite flippantly when strangers ask when I am going to have another one.

In my first response on this thread I mentioned that I should have had my eggs frozen.

Now, I know next to nothing about that process, but I wish someone had have said something to me way back then.

Yes, I quite possibly would have been offended, but it would have sat in the forefront of my brain for me to think about.

I do say to my younger g/fs that they may not have all the time in the world - of course, I know them quite well and we do often talk fertility/pregnancy/babies.

I agree with the others wrt the fact that we all these days know that fertility is not infinite - your post is by no means original.  I wonder how much we think of possible solutions though - I am a biology teacher and still didn't really think that I could/should do something to 'preserve' my eggs when I was younger.



#53 MidnightDad

Posted 14 November 2011 - 06:07 AM

I don’t know OP, I  have a hard time believing that any intelligent woman of 'late 30s  early 40s' is not aware biology is against her just because life is  otherwise distracting her. Not many woman will openly talk about  their infertility with woman they 'slightly know'. My sister in law  has had to deal with all manner of 'best get busy girl' comments and  probes from woman she 'slightly knows' but replying 'I cant have  kids' is a real buzz-kill for both ends of the conversation... don’t  you think? Even saying 'I am trying' is an unpleasant admission,  after how many months of trying does that get really stale and bitter  to repeat?  Honestly I don’t know why woman even ask these pointed  questions or tread that ground uninvited because fertility is a total  utter minefield. 'My friend said'... that you never regret the kids  you have, only the ones you don’t? I disagree with your friend and  as you, apparently, agree with your friend I disagree with you as  well. Some woman regret having kids and a larger number regret going  one child too many, but they still have enough love and sense of duty  enough to be decent parents, its just not a very fulfilling part of  their lives. As for regretting the children you never have, that at least I can relate, I regret every chocolate bar I do not  eat.



#54 baddmammajamma

Posted 14 November 2011 - 06:19 AM

Agree with you, Midnight Dad (even down the chocolate line:-)

Jen, I am in the hospital recovery from unexpected surgery. Thanks for caring!

#55 monique13

Posted 14 November 2011 - 06:24 AM

OP....

On a good day if you asked me that question I would have responded with "No work is too busy atm".
On a bad day you would get "We have been trying for 7 years now- and by the way- that is hell of a private question to ask and none of your business anyway".  I find that response no.2 makes people uncomfortable (as SOME people realise that they can come across as rubbing your face in the obvious child-less-ness).  I try to avoid it.

#56 HRH Countrymel

Posted 14 November 2011 - 06:37 AM

QUOTE (monique13 @ 14/11/2011, 07:24 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
OP....

On a good day if you asked me that question I would have responded with "No work is too busy atm".
On a bad day you would get "We have been trying for 7 years now- and by the way- that is hell of a private question to ask and none of your business anyway".  I find that response no.2 makes people uncomfortable (as SOME people realise that they can come across as rubbing your face in the obvious child-less-ness).  I try to avoid it.


Ditto... (even down to the seven heatbreaking years)

Do you think maybe Prue that you come across as a tad self absorbed?
That people with their flippant 'lets steer the conversation elsewhere' comments may NOT want to enter into a painful conversation with a stranger dealing with their personal life?
Not everyone blogs - not everyone puts their life in public for the world to comment on - some of us leave that stuff private.... even face to face.


Edited by countrymel, 14 November 2011 - 06:45 AM.


#57 maxim

Posted 14 November 2011 - 06:44 AM

QUOTE
But does anyone really regret having their kids? Those who have made a conscious, informed decision to have them? They may mourn their previous life, but to regret the children they have?


Did you read the thread on regretting motherhood just a while ago?  

I also agree with midnightdad and others who have said that this woman may have been trying for a long time to conceive and that she would have been flippant in her responses when asked about having babies.

We have a close relative who was trying extremely hard to conceive for many years. She was repeatedly preached upon by "well-meaning" friends and relatives about the need to start a family early and when it was known that she was unable to conceive, goodness, the number of suggestions coming forth by smug know-it-alls about how to do it was incredible to hear. From adopting because once you adopt, it is easier to conceive to IVF which as a couple, they steadfastedly refused because they were Catholics.  They were nonetheless an amazingly strong couple and she finally had a baby at the age of 40 naturally. (I hope this story brings hope to those who are TTC'ing at the moment as well).


#58 Linza555

Posted 14 November 2011 - 06:50 AM

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that, I'm pretty sure 99.9% of women know when they want to have a child and if they run into complications know what their next option is, just sayin..

#59 Mrs Dinosaurus

Posted 14 November 2011 - 07:28 AM

Hope you're better quickly BMJ.

I also agree with Midnight Dad

My mum openly regrets having me so young - it took me a long time to be able to reconcile that with the fact she loves me, but of course she does. It's just that having a baby at age 22 halted what could have been a stellar sporting career - she was representing Aus at the time so it wasn't even a dream or maybe that she lost, it was a very definite "your career is over" kind of end. I feel really sad for her but she did a great job raising us and obviously I'm glad I exist original.gif

#60 Its Percy

Posted 14 November 2011 - 09:25 AM

Yes must agree with the others who are saying they replied similar when asked such a stupid question. We tried for a couple of years to have number 2- we got pregnant easily, just kept miscarrying. I would say similar things like "oh we want to enjoy number one while we can" or " I have plenty of time". Little did they know I was crying hard inside.

All the questions changed me - I've become more sheltered and don't share anything of my life anymore. DH says we should've just said we miscarried but then you get all the "oh well you are a little bit older now" - I was 36 at the time so not that old.

Anyway just another who found the whole post to be quite on the nose.

#61 RichardParker

Posted 14 November 2011 - 09:35 AM

Or, how do you know she wasn't desperately wanting to start TTC but her husband was telling her they had to wait for whatever reason.  Agree with all of the posters who point out that this is not just a case of women being selfish and stupid - they need a cooperative partner as well.

#62 Pandorasbox

Posted 14 November 2011 - 09:45 AM

QUOTE (Greenbad @ 14/11/2011, 10:35 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Or, how do you know she wasn't desperately wanting to start TTC but her husband was telling her they had to wait for whatever reason.  Agree with all of the posters who point out that this is not just a case of women being selfish and stupid - they need a cooperative partner as well.


100% agree - that was my first thought on reading.  I know lots of women who are in relationships where things are in flux a little and they are concerned about adding children to the mix, or they are trying desperately and have had several failed IVF attempts, for example - and "Oh no, I have too much to do with my life first" is what they say when they actually want to crumble into little pieces and admit they are desperate to have kids but their partner doesn't want to, or they are on the verge of divorce, etc.

Years ago I had the same feeling about marriage - "When are you guys getting married" is a really dangerous question - because often, one partner wants to and the other doesn't and they are trying really hard not to air their dirty laundry.

I am amazed that you would give her a lecture on fertility and take that risk.  I would have had had a pretty harsh response let me tell you!

#63 Onyx

Posted 14 November 2011 - 09:54 AM

I haven't read all replies, but I just want to say that fertility issues can occur at any age, and although it is more common in people over the age of 35, it can happen to people a lot younger.

I was 23 when I started to TTC. I fell pregnant the month after I turned 25. DH will be 30 when bubs arrives.
I didn't expect it to take 2 years of trying, because I had "Age on my side".

My SIL is 33, she tells me often how she wants to have kids, but thinks she has forever to fall pregnant. When I told her it took us 2 years to conceive, at first she didn't believe me and told me "I must of been doing it wrong". She has been with her partner for a lot longer than DH and I have been together, however there seems to never be the right time to have a baby. She may be lucky and fall pregnant first go when they decide the time is right, or, she might not, and it may take months/years or never happen.


#64 Feral-as-Meggs

Posted 14 November 2011 - 10:18 AM

I don't believe there really was any aquaintance at a BBQ, I think the "conversation" was made up to create a (pretty overdone) blog topic.    

Frankly I'd rather hear more about OP's babies.

#65 baddmammajamma

Posted 14 November 2011 - 10:48 AM

QUOTE (meggs1 @ 14/11/2011, 11:18 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I don't believe there really was any aquaintance at a BBQ, I think the "conversation" was made up to create a (pretty overdone) blog topic.    

Frankly I'd rather hear more about OP's babies.


Maggs, you have said more directly what I was hinting at in my post. The conversation sounds too contrived (and the three gay friends who live in the three gay international meccas of San Francisco, Paris & Shanghair sounds a tad scripted as well).

Prue, I've admired your past blogs entries, especially your candor about your IVF journey and difficult birth experience. This particular blog post is just not in the same league.

#66 Stoked

Posted 14 November 2011 - 11:22 AM

This blog post reminds me of my own encounter with a 'well-meaning' acquaintance at a barbeque. She kept asking when we'd start having babies, and even after I exhausted all my jokey answers (including the "can't start right now, we're at a barbie, it will have to wait till we get back home" which was my last resort), she kept badgering me. So I said, still smiling, 'You know, not everyone can have children'. To my astonishment, her reply was a loud and dismissive 'Oh, nowadays *everyone* can have children with IVF'. A few 'No, they can't' - 'Yes, they can' ensued, at which point I had enough and simply walked away. I now regret being so polite and nonconfrontational. Next time anyone starts lecturing me on the subject of babies I am going to tell them to bugger off.

Edited by Stoked, 14 November 2011 - 11:23 AM.


#67 Belf

Posted 14 November 2011 - 11:46 AM

QUOTE (meggs1 @ 14/11/2011, 11:18 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I don't believe there really was any aquaintance at a BBQ, I think the "conversation" was made up to create a (pretty overdone) blog topic.    

Frankly I'd rather hear more about OP's babies.


I thought this, too, whilst reading. At least I hope it is the case. Giving a near-stranger a jovial "lecture" on their biological clock is appaling behaviour. I went through IVF for many years, and would have been devastated to be engaged in such a conversation.


#68 PurpleNess

Posted 14 November 2011 - 11:56 AM

Another pointless blog about the limits of fertility, you can stick your opinions. I'm 40 & 4 weeks away from the birth of my first child with a man 10 years my junior - am I glad I waited - hell yes! Don't patronise me OP, my fertility situation or that of the lady at the BBQ is NONE of your business. Not that it is your business but I conceived naturally after only 8 months so put that in your pipe.

Edited by PurpleNess, 14 November 2011 - 11:57 AM.


#69 reng

Posted 14 November 2011 - 12:33 PM

Gee, it's brave to bring up the whole 'babies' conversation at a BBQ!!  

My sister has been trying for 5 years now, and she could write a book on the comments she's had from people.  She is yet to decide if our family or her husband's family are the worst - but she has developed a good deflection strategy in public to avoid awkwardness and emotional outbursts.  Similar to the 'lots of time' strategy.  She is 'only' 30.

#70 Pandorasbox

Posted 14 November 2011 - 12:47 PM

QUOTE (PurpleNess @ 14/11/2011, 12:56 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Another pointless blog about the limits of fertility, you can stick your opinions. I'm 40 & 4 weeks away from the birth of my first child with a man 10 years my junior - am I glad I waited - hell yes! Don't patronise me OP, my fertility situation or that of the lady at the BBQ is NONE of your business. Not that it is your business but I conceived naturally after only 8 months so put that in your pipe.


I feel like cheering:-)  I'm 38 and 4 weeks away too, would never have wanted anyone but my DH to have a child with...and he just took a while to come along!

#71 MidnightDad

Posted 14 November 2011 - 12:57 PM

As I said my sister in  law went through many of these 'get busy girl' baby making  conversations and it tore her up inside. We also have family friends  who are infertile because of cancer, and the poor woman had to endure  the spectre of these types of conversations as well. Frankly people,  particularly mothers, should really get a clue about this. However  the point the OP wanted to make is valid, even if made poorly. As a  dad with two daughters I would like them to understand common  reality, and part of that is the realisation that biology has limits  and people (woman and men) tend to ignore it in many ways, because  they consider themselves to be more their 'mind' than their body, so  they smoke, overeat, don’t exercise, etc. The question/joke goes  'If your body was a car, would you buy it? If the answer is 'no' then  you go on to ask what you should do about that (assuming you actually  can do anything) On top of that denial people can also draw a DNA  short straw or they can fall victim to accident or misadventure.

If my daughters  came to me and asked when they should have kids I would say plan to  have them before 30. If I had sons I would say plan to have them  before 35. Although biology goes down hill for men slower than woman  (males have 3% loss in fertility per year after 24) you don’t want to arrive  in a situation where you are 60 and your kids are teenagers, or in my  situation... where my dad sired me when he was in his fifties  (boo-yah!) only to die of heart failure a few years later. In other  words you always look ten years down the track for what is important  to you, and realise that some things might need to be sacrificed now  in order to increase the chances of you ever getting what is  important to you in life, and that may be children or that may be  your own boat. In the case of smoking, giving it up now instead of  hearing in ten years you have cancer. In the case of trying to have  children, starting sooner rather than later even if it warps your  current plans and life style.

Edited by MidnightDad, 14 November 2011 - 12:59 PM.


#72 F.E.B.E

Posted 14 November 2011 - 01:49 PM

As someone who has access to Prue's facebook page, I can assure you that the triumvirate of  gay friends is very much real!

I am also about the same age as Prue and from a smiliar school background. The kids issue has really started to rear its head in my social group and some people are reaching 35 and deciding to go ahead with unplanned pregnancies or solo parenting (from conception) because they don't know if they will get another shot at it. Babies were very much an afterthought after study and career for most of us including myself, however I started at 30 and thankfully did not have any problems.

I would love to tell women approaching the big 3-0 to just consider how they plan to manage their fertility over the next 10 years if they have choices. Actually having that conversation is a minefield though, as these comments can attest.

#73 prue~c

Posted 14 November 2011 - 02:37 PM

Wow. Such a negative response. And here was I thinking it was something a lot of women would agree with.

So clear a few things up.

I don't make up characters for the sake of writing a blog. And my three volunteers certainly exist. Not my fault that they are all living in the great gay diaspora.

The conversation in question was the catalyst for this blog post. She initiated the chat with me by telling me she "couldn't wait" to have kids. So I went along with it. I don't apologise for telling her fertility is a finite resource. She may have been TTC - I don't know - and I more than gave her an opening to talk about it by mentioning our struggles. You know, in case she wanted to talk to someone who had a bit of an understanding. Sometimes virtual strangers are the best people for unloading on, but she just said they would eventually get around to it, and I left it at that.

When I was TTC, I talked about it with anyone who would listen. Even now, when people ask if there were twins in my family, I tell them no – that we needed IVF to conceive. Yes, I realise not everyone feels the need to share their private life with the rest of the world, but I made a decision to be completely open about it in the hope others would know they are not alone.

Oh and as for the subject matter being old hat – sorry. I'll try and be more original next time. To cut or not to cut? Bottle or breast? Controlled crying? Vagina vs elective c-section?

#74 Guest_Cat-O-Holic_*

Posted 14 November 2011 - 02:47 PM

QUOTE (EBeditor @ 14/11/2011, 02:49 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I would love to tell women approaching the big 3-0 to just consider how they plan to manage their fertility over the next 10 years if they have choices. Actually having that conversation is a minefield though, as these comments can attest.


How are women supposed to "manage" their fertility? (genuine question). I've just turned 30 and had my first, but had I still been separated from DH or not had a partner I don't really know what else I could do to "manage" my fertility until Mr Someone came along. I wouldn't know the first thing about freezing eggs or the costs involved etc.

#75 reng

Posted 14 November 2011 - 02:56 PM

If it helps, the issue gets continually thrashed about in horse racing too.  With 300 years worth of data, the racing industry is a great one for studying a whole range of subjects (it's my job to do this!).  

A healthy racehorse lives to 20-25 years, with a few getting to 30.  They are reproductive their whole lives (no menopause in horses).  However, after 16, not only does their fertility drop, but also their rate of 'winner production'.  

Since male horses have a LOT more progeny than female horses, it is hard to compare the relative drop off.  But both males and females produce a much lower rate of winning progeny (to all foals) after the age of 16.  For example, Zabeel produced 18% stakes winners to foals in his first two crops (conceived at ages 5 and 6).  (Stakes winners are the top 2% of the whole population, so his figures are very impressive).  Now that he is 25, he is getting only 3% - and averages about 6% across his whole career.  His fertility has also fallen from 92% live foals to mares covered to only 70% now.

However, the numbers don't stop people breeding from older mares or stallions - and they haven't stopped the continual arguments or examples of older horses producing top class racehorses.  

So while the trends might be there (in both horses and people), they aren't going to stop people doing their own thing anyway!

Good on you for being open about a difficult subject.




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