Anything you can do…..

I didn’t win at the Irish Blog Awards……..but my very clever and talented husband did!!!

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].

62 Replies to “Anything you can do…..”

  1. well said feebee! I sure was not ready when I was 20-25, enjoying life too much. And I am also one of the lucky ones that got pregnant first time, the kind you love to hate;-)

  2. You’re right, what 20-25 year old is ready to commit to a baby? I sure wasn’t. I still thought I was too young for motherhood when I had DD at 29. Sorry you didn’t win the award, well done to your hubby though!

  3. I agree with all your points against the motion (particularly the last one, LOL!). I didn’t graduate from Uni until I was 22, and although I was in a long term relationship at the time, there was no way that either of us could have coped with parenthood in our early 20’s. I was in the depths of poverty (and I mean the depths, earning £70 per week working on a FAS programme, living in a glorified bedsit)until I was 25.

    As it happened that relationship (my first marriage) broke up when I was 29, so my dreams of motherhood in my 20s were well and truly washed away as a result. It took me years to get over the subsequent separation and divorce, hence I was in no fit state to try starting a family with my now beloved DH until I was in my mid thirties. It really pisses me off when people (usually men and women long beyond childbearing years) preach about selfish career women who put off childbearing while they climb the career ladder yadda yadda yadda.

    The reality of my life in the early 1990s at the age of 20-25 was that I was barely able to keep food on my table and clothes on my own back, let alone on the backs of one or more children. These are the same ould biddies who will bang on about young single mothers having kids to “sponge off social welfare”. Well maybe I should have done that, then I would have a houseful of kids reared by now and I wouldn’t have to go next, nine or near a fertility clinic. Although I would probably be divorced and still living on social welfare because I wouldn’t have been able to afford to go out to work and put myself through night college to retrain in another profession, which I did….

    Sorry for the rambling rant, but it just strikes me that having kids/not having kids in your early 20’s is one of those “f***ed if you do, f***ed if you don’t” situations, that people who have never been in that situation, and never will, just love to patronise us all with.

    Ok, rant over, totally agree with you Feebee.

    Good to get that off my chest!!

    Congrats to the hubby BTW, and heard you on Radio 1 last Sunday, well done!

  4. God knows what would have happened to me if I’d had kids with any of the boyfriends I had from 20-25. Such a long, long time ago…..

  5. I’m very surprised at the narrow gap Dr. Clinch is allowing- it seems a bit medieval to me, given the scope of medicine that’s available nowadays.

    I find that most people only begin to have a firm grasp of life and the true consequences to their actions at about the age of 28, therefore you’re right… 20 – 25 year olds who find themselves pregnant might lack proper responsibility. I sure did!

    Mind you, if we did stick to Clinch’s rule, it would sort out the population crisis! (Assuming you don’t have one baby every year… ouch.)

  6. 20-25 years old? I guess women aren’t supposed to go to college? Are all the 20-25 year old fathers going to be willing to support mother and baby?
    I didn’t even have a steady, long-term boyfriend between the ages of 20-25 – who was I supposed to have a baby with?!

  7. Well the good Dr would probably have been wiser saying 15-18 or something equally as removed from todays society.

    I’m a fella, and while I certainly now regret not doing it, I was in no way ready to have kids in my early 20s.

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