It was great to meet up with some of my virtual friends and put a few faces to names. Big congrats to Grandad and Grannymar, who were joint winners in my category, Best Personal Blog. Also to Sinead and Twenty Major, who both made it three in a row – a pleasure to meet both of them too. Biggest congrats of all to Damien, who must have special powers to stretch time to be able to fit so much work into one man’s life.
But what has fannying about at awards ceremonies got to do with infertility and babies? Not a lot, so it was back to business today. I spoke on East Coast FM on the subject of women having babies later in life. I was pitted against Dr James Clinch, a former Master of the Coombe hospital, who maintained that women should have babies between the ages of 20 and 25. I wasn’t really sure what my role was to be until the discussion started, but it seemed like I was there to be the “older woman” who had had difficulties because of this. Never one to shy away from a debate on fertility, I found myself fighting the corner of the 30-something woman who is having or trying to have her first child. Gosh, we do get a lot of stick sometimes. It’s all those hard-nosed career women, who selfishly put off having babies until their 40s cos they can just do IVF and create designer babies out of all the donor sperm and eggs available, that give the rest of us a bad name.
For the motion:
1. It is certainly easier for 20-25 year old women to conceive and carry a child.
Against the motion:
1. Most women are not “waiting” to have children, many simply don’t meet their partners until later in life.
2. Try convincing 20-25 year old men to have children.
3. Our increased life expectancy has changed where we see ourselves in the ageing process and many 20-25 year olds are no longer socially, culturally or emotionally ready to have children.
4. There is little social or economic support for younger women who have children.
5. Male-factor infertility, which is not particularly age-related, accounts for as many cases as female-factor, so this affects couples of all ages.
6. 20-25 year olds are all a shower of irresponsible piss-heads who wouldn’t know one end of a baby from the other [may be a gross generalisation].