Another Mother’s Day is upon us and I’d like to wish all of you wonderful women who selflessly care for your families, a fabulous day! I salute you!
While Mother’s Day is usually filled with love and laughter as we celebrate those special women in our lives, for some it’s not such a happy day. For those who’ve suffered the loss of a child or a mother, the day can be filled with mourning and sadness.
And for some women (like me) who want or wanted to be mothers but aren’t, the day is a reminder of a dream deferred.
I’ve always wanted to be a mother. I remember as a young girl, playing house and taking care of my baby dolls. As I got older, I figured having a family was something that would just happen. But it hasn’t. For many reasons.
Many of us women put off having children because we’re more focused on our education and careers. All throughout medical school, residency and fellowship, becoming a doctor was my number one focus. I honestly didn’t direct much energy anywhere else.
And now that I am ready to settle down, I haven’t met my person. YET!!! It’s hard out here in these streets.
I’m not alone though. The average age of first time mothers is increasing as more women are waiting until their 30s and 40s to start a family. Most births are still to women under 35, but birth rates have been increasing to women over 35 for the past 25 years.
This might not be a bad thing. Studies have shown benefits such as better maternal financial standing and more emotional and educational support for children as older parents are less stressed about income and job security and can spend more quality time with their children.
However, there are things to consider if you decide to put off starting a family.
Fertility is finite.
I recently read an interview that Bajan pop star Rhianna had with Vogue.
These days she shares the same anxieties about her well-being as many young women her age: “OK, so now that I’m 30, are there things I’m supposed to do? Should I be worried? Should I be freezing my eggs? What do you do at 30?!”
Read the entire Vogue interview here.
Like Rhianna, all women in their 30s who want to have children someday should have a conversation with their doctor.
There are many causes but female age-related infertility is the most common cause of infertility today. The chance of having a successful pregnancy decreases gradually but significantly beginning approximately at age 32 years and decreases more rapidly after age 37 years.
Your doctor can perform tests to assess your fertility (such as the quantity and quality of your eggs) and your chances of successfully getting pregnant. If having a family is something you truly desire, discuss your options such as freezing your eggs. I’ve met women in their late 40s and 50s who say they wished they had done this. Other options to consider include artificial insemination, IVF, egg donation and adoption. Ladies, take control of your reproductive health.
Looking back, I wish I had focused more on my personal life and not just my career. I wish I had gone on more dates and lived my life more fully! I however take solace in the fact that nothing happens before it’s preappointed time. I also have faith that God is working all things out for my good and I will meet my husband and have a family. #affirmation
For now, I’ll spoil my nieces and nephews and enjoy my freedom and sleep. And sleep. I’ll intentionally enjoy this stage of my life!
If you’ll have a not so happy Mother’s Day because of a loss you’ve suffered, my heart goes out to you. I’ll be praying for you and sending positive thoughts your way.
And if you know anyone like this, show them extra love on Mother’s Day.
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