Scheduling Your Pregnancy?

Scheduling Your Pregnancy?


Many people I know do not ask this question. They
expect to get pregnant at the same time and place in their life that
their mother did, or that their peers do, or whenever the stork takes a
rest on their roof. For those who do wonder when the right time is,
there are many professionals who can answer at least elements of the
question with far more appropriate credentials than mine.

But, one woman to another, here are some of the
random and subjective things I’ve been thinking about on the subject.
So sit down with me for a cuppaVennti and let’s chat.

There are five moving pieces of this puzzle that I’ve been considering:

Caveat: This analysis does not include other important options for raising children such as adoption.

1. Biological Age

The older you get, the harder it becomes to
get pregnant and the more risks are associated with the pregnancy. It
would absolutely suck to bank on getting pregnant in one’s late 30’s
and then arrive there and find that you can’t get pregnant. Ever.
Because your body won’t do it anymore. On the other, far smaller and
more superficial hand, getting pregnant can wreck havoc on the body. I,
a self-indentified feminist, apologize for this unhelpful heresy, but
I’d rather gain the drooping breasts and rampant stretch marks as late
in life as possible.

2. Relationship/ Support System

From what I hear, having and raising a baby
is an insane amount of work, and it helps to have at least two people
on the job. So waiting to have that extra pair of hands and resources
may be an important factor. But what if Mr/Ms Right never comes along?
And even if s/he does, starting a family can put strain on a couple-
you’ve heard the war stories—no sleep, months without sex or
communication, etc etc. If you have a relationship you gotta consider
how strong it is. Can it bear the tension? What other support system do
you have in place? And what does your partner want? Does s/he want the
sacrifices and joys that come along with this major life choice? And
how do they feel about all the other factors here?

3. Career

Ah yes. The big one. How to balance
parenting with career. Some insist that the career should be launched
first, and once safely chugging along, baby can be inserted. Others say
that’s the wrong way around- begin with babies, get their first years
out of the way, and then embark on career uninterrupted by morning
sickness. Aha, critics will say, but what if you get trapped in a web
of graham crackers and snot and never make it back to the workplace! Oh
but we will, defenders of the pre-career-baby insist, and you have to
consider you may get stuck in never ending after-work meetings and not
make it to the baby at all!!

4. Money

Having children is expensive. Once you’ve
got this defenseless human depending on you, is it important to have
financial muscle ready? How much financial muscle? Enough for an extra
setting of baked beans and tuna? Or enough for a Lacoste baby carriage
and $30k private pre-schooling?

5. Defining Self: Other

Once the baby pops out, you’re on the job,
and there isn’t much vacation time. We have expectations of parenthood
that vary, but all seem to include words like: giving, spending time,
loving, nurturing. I, from the safety of my childless vantage point,
have noticed that when many of the women I know become pregnant, their
identities become consumed with mothering. And the sooner one becomes a
mother, the less time there seems to be to figure out what else there
might be to womanhood, to self, beyond mothering.

What do you think?

What do you consider when you think of how parenting fits in the timeline of your life?

When should you schedule your pregnancy?

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