I have a friend who is in her late thirties and is just now engaged. She is extremely happy that after many years of looking she has found her “other half”. She was excited about everything she was going to finally be able to do, including starting a family. She went in to her doctor for her yearly exam and came out of the clinic on the verge of depressed.
Doctor Killjoy (Not his real name, but it seems to fit.) decided that while he was examining my friend’s sensitive area that he would inform her of the struggle she will face while trying to conceive. Then to add insult to injury, he told her that if she does become pregnant she has a high chance of having a child with various special needs. She assumed that the doctor was just trying to inform her and prepare her, but it wasn’t what she needed (or wanted) to hear at the time.
That evening she called me and was crying so hard I could barely make out what she was saying. She couldn’t understand why she would be punished for waiting to have children until she found a good man to marry. She said something to the tune of, “Would it have been better for me to find some hobo in college and pop out his babies at 21?” I felt terrible that she was upset but I told her that the doctor was only trying to inform her of potential issues and he wasn’t trying to upset her.
It is true that women reach their fertile peak in their early to mid twenties but that doesn’t mean that once you hit thirty-five all hope is lost. I explained to her that if she is supposed to have children then it will happen. (I know I gave her the typical feel good response to infertility, but it seemed to help her.) I continued to distract her with plans for her wedding and by the end of the phone call she was laughing and happy again.
I honestly do believe that if it God’s will then my friend will have children. She is a good person and I pray that she will get pregnant when that time comes. I do realize that there are greater risks in conceiving when you are older, but I know that the baby will be loved no matter how they are mentally or physically. For now my advice to my friend is to find a more supportive and sympathetic doctor who doesn’t believe that 39 is too old.
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