This will be long, sorry. Moderators, feel free to move to IMHO if it better belongs there, I wasn’t sure. Disclaimer - I’m already planning on discussing some of this with my gyn at my yearly appointment next week.
I’m coming up on 31 this summer, and my proverbial “biological clock” has been ticking for a few years now. (I hit 28 and suddenly started thinking about children EVERY DAY. Please shut up now, brain.) The research I’ve done seems to say that female fertility drops a few percentage points a year after 30 (the numbers vary per website), has a large drop after 35, and becomes extremely difficult without donor eggs after 40. Charts like that of Down Syndrome risks increasing each year are increasing my nervousness. However, there are plenty of examples out there that say that it’s nothing like impossible to have a healthy baby after 35.
My husband (who is 31) wants to continue to wait, issue number one being outstanding debt that he wants to pay down first. Issue number two is our physical conditions.
Number one is the most clear cut problem and the hardest to argue with. We both have good jobs but are nowhere near one of us being able to be out of work for an extended number of months, so I’d have to go back to work pretty much immediately. One car loan and all college loans will be gone at the end of 2008. We’ve paid off a few credit cards in the last few years, but the rest of it won’t be able to be seriously tackled until after that 2008 date. Having a child now would extend the process for another few years, best case scenario.
Issue number two is what keeps this decision from being a clear cut budgeting vs. percentage risk game. To be frank, I’m in fairly poor condition. I’m roughly 350 pounds (at 6 foot and a little), and have high blood pressure. Diabetes, heart disease, and back problems run through both sides of my family, though I’ve dodged all of those bullets so far. I am actively trying to watch my diet and exercise more (mostly walking), but I have no reasonable expectation of getting to 300 pounds or less within the next couple of years. My husband is also out of shape, though not as badly as I am (he’s at about 320), and is also working to fix that a little.
[Possible TMI alert] My periods have been extremely irregular for the last few years (since I went off of the pill). I’ve gone as long as nine months without a period, and I’m currently averaging two to three months in between. [/TMI]
SO, my questions are:
What risks are there (health-wise, for my child and for myself) for having a child now versus waiting?
How long CAN I wait before pregnancy becomes impossible or impossibly risky? Am I already too late?
Does the financial side of the picture change your answer at all?
I didn’t mention it above, but both my mother and one of her sisters are schizophrenics, and both my mother and father are bipolar. Is the chance of mental illness increased at all by waiting? I couldn’t find anything on the topic.