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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Baby Race

If anyone who reads this is female, single, in their thirties and has never had children - STOP now please! Do not depress the shit outta yourself like I managed to do last night by watching Channel 4's Baby Race.

Now as an intelligent 33 year old woman I obviously knew the general statistics on fertility etc. but watching a four women between 33 and 35 years of age having their fertility checked was actually shocking. To see one be told that already IVF was probably her best bet just gobsmacked me. The programme scared the beejaysus outta me. I'm just gone 33 and single and it really didn't throw out much hope for those of us thirtysomethings who have not yet had children and are still single. (Especially if like me you're in small town Ireland/England and you're not exactly bowled over with choice on the man front!)

Whilst I wouldn't even contemplate going down any of the routes mentioned in the programme (sperm donation, IVF, adoption, or simply finding a partner asap with a view to getting knocked up) anytime in the near future, the programme certainly made me feel like I may at least need to consider what I really want sometime sooner rather than later.

Do I really want to know if I'm still fertile or whether my eggs are deteriorating like snow in the Sahara? Having given it due consideration my answer right now is no. I wouldn't consider any of the options mentioned right now as I'm kinda old fashioned and would like any children I have to have both parents around in a loving and stable relationship. (I know it doesn't always work out like that but I'm entitled to want / wish for that). Also, whilst I see many friends and family with beautiful children I also recognise that children are bloody hard work, even when there are two parents around.

One thing that bugged me was one of the experts in the programme did mention the usual "many women are choosing careers and leaving having children till later....blah, blah, blah". Not all childless women in their thirties have made a conscious decision to put their career first. I'm single and childless (sounds v. bleak doesn't it?) because if I ever have children I would like to do so in a loving, committed and stable relationship (preferably marriage) and so far I've not found that. I am not in my current situation cos I have an absolutely amazing career that I put before my personal life. Obviously some of these people have never ventured out on the Irish (or UK) single scene!

Anyway just a few thoughts on what I found to be the most depressing programme I've watched in a long, long time.

Others who watched the programme and have made comments include Rachel2205 and TheCatGirlSpeaks


doris said...

I didn't see the programme... I can see that it would be depressing. I'm ten years older than you and acquired my two as "accidents" along the way. No way were they intentional and I had them both by the time I was 32 and as a single parent. I reckon it is easier when you have always been a single parent rather being part of a relationship that then splits - but that doesn't have to be the case. So I want to say is that it is not so bad doing it on your own. Of course the ideal of a partnership is out there.

When my kids were 8 and 4 I met my Mr Doris and he has well and truly become "Dad". He is a better one than one of the natural birth fathers ever was.

I have friends who were waiting for Mr Right and the right situation. One has just found him and she is 45. They are not sure what the situation is regarding kids. Another is still waiting and wanting. Another found out her Mr Right and then after a number of years just before she was 40 decided to try for a child to find out she had already gone through an abnormally early menopause. It sounds like the programme you watched!

Maybe I feel justified now for being a bit of a "slapper" and getting around!

It is such a difficult situation. And yes, I know what you mean... they always say women are putting career first when actually there just are not enough decent men.

Curly K said...

Isn't always funny how things work out? Maybe if I'd had an accident along the way things would have been very different (but of course I couldn't have had; I keep telling my mother that I am her only virgin daughter because there is no proof to the contrary!!!!)

There never is an easy way in life. I have a number of friends who were in your situation and are now settled as well, its great. I really admire anyone raising kids on their own (except for those women who just go endlessly from man to man and have a baby with each of them - one I know off has 5 children by different fathers - like use contraception for God's sake!)

doris said...

I never thought I'd have kids by different fathers and then I found I had 2 and then meeting Mr Doris I realised if we had one then I'd have 3 kids by different fathers..... and what if it didn't work out with him then I'd be just like these mothers who end up with 5. I've known one or two myself and they had the best of intentions when they started out.

But Mr Doris was happy not to go through the baby stage and to be dad to the existing kids.

Curly K said...

Doris, I know what you exactly what you are saying and I appreciate that it can be difficult if you begin a new relationship with someone who wants their own children etc.

I did actually think long and hard before I put that comment in, as I didn't want to offend anyone. But I decided to leave it in because I do believe that there are people out there who are being irresponsible. I think that it's incredibly messy having say five children who are only half brothers and sisters, all with different fathers.

Sorry if my opinion offends you, I really don't mean to but I'd be lying if I said anything different.

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