Seeking advice on waiting to have children

What's available, do's and don'ts.
rebekahtoa
Newbie
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 9:01 pm
Date of your marriage (past or future): December 13th, 2010
Gender: Female
Location: Oregon, USA

Seeking advice on waiting to have children

Postby rebekahtoa » Sun Nov 23, 2014 11:22 am

I would really appreciate some wisdom and guidance on the topic of family planning. I posted in another thread (http://www.boards.themarriagebed.com/vi ... 52&t=63453) about a lot of challenges we have been having recently.

So I know that now is not the time. I'm a rational person and I have no illusions about the fact that this would be an irresponsible time to intentionally get pregnant.

But I also know that having children is a top priority in my lifetime, and being a mother is an identity that I definitely want. I have loved babies since I practically was a baby.

My husband's PhD program will take 5-7 years, and he won't even start it for a couple more years. We will both be around 26 or 27 when he starts the program, and like 33 or 34 when he graduates. Originally he had expressed wanting to wait to have children until he had finished his PhD, but I strongly disagreed and now after some conflict we have temporarily settled at a vague "in a few years" for our timeline to have a child. He wants to be confident that he can support a child before having one, and he is also facing significant chronic pain issues (described in my other post). He also grew up in varying levels of poverty, and really wants to be confident that his children will not experience that.

These are totally rational points, but I am anxious about waiting until my mid-thirties to start trying. Infertility is not a struggle I want to experience; parenthood is high on my bucket list. I respect my husband's reasons for his perspective but I also experience a deeply biological (it feels) reaction of NO. I'M NOT WAITING. WE CAN'T WAIT. I think my intensity about it made him nervous, and also contributed to his insecurity and guilt that he is not making me happy or fulfilled. That is something that he often struggles with because of his pain disability.

Women in my family usually start having kids in their early twenties, and my mother has been putting pressure on me about "not waiting too long." On one hand I'm frustrated with her for pressuring me, but on the other hand I do agree with her.

Another element of this is that I am the primary income-earner of the household currently, and I'm not sure what we would do in terms of childcare. Would I continue working fulltime and he stay home with the baby? It would not be (financially or professionally) feasible currently for me to stay home longer than 3 months. But then he would not be able to do his graduate studies, probably, since my job is very demanding and he has his pain situation. It's unlikely he would have the capacity to do graduate school and be SAHD. We have small savings but money is tight.

There is also his nephew who is living with us to consider, though hopefully we will be able to support him in transitioning to greater independence in the next year.

I have had an IUD for two years, and they're like 99.4% effective, so a child is most likely to be a result of intentional decision making and action. (Of course there are pregnancies that occur with IUDs but it is not the norm.) I don't want to defer active decision making until I am in my early 30s and need to get my IUD removed.

Do you have any advice for me?
----------
There was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world.

~Mary Oliver, "The Journey"

User avatar
happilymarriedkate
King bed
Posts: 514
Joined: Fri Jan 12, 2007 9:51 pm
Date of your marriage (past or future): May 9th, 1992
Gender: Female

Re: Seeking advice on waiting to have children

Postby happilymarriedkate » Sun Nov 23, 2014 4:15 pm

First things first- have you prayed about this? If so, what is The Lord leading you to do? From a pure informational standpoint, it appears that you have many valid reasons for why right now is not the most ideal time to have a child- money being tight, the nephew, you being primary breadwinner, husband not being able to finish master's if he were to be a sahd. Can you re- evaluate once his Master's degree is finished? Can he possibly make a compromise that you can ttc after he finished his master's degree and becomes successfully employed while only pursuing his PhD part time?
~HM Kate

User avatar
jokerman
Under the stars
Posts: 3969
Joined: Sun Nov 19, 2006 12:26 am
Date of your marriage (past or future): August 15th, 1987
Gender: Male

Re: Seeking advice on waiting to have children

Postby jokerman » Sun Nov 23, 2014 5:35 pm

We got married in our early 20s and then waited until our educational goals were achieved, seven years later. So we had children when DW was aged 30, 33 and 40. We greatly enjoyed those child-free years and we proved to be fertile as heck even though we were older. I strongly believe that people who urge you to rush into having kids are doing you no favors.

User avatar
SquarePants
California King
Posts: 879
Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2011 8:31 am
Date of your marriage (past or future): December 10th, 2005
Gender: Male

Re: Seeking advice on waiting to have children

Postby SquarePants » Sun Nov 23, 2014 5:57 pm

Consider waiting until he had passed his qualifying exam. Maybe this could be a compromise. The preparation can be stressful, and caring for an infant at this time be difficult. Caring for an infant is obviously difficult for the mom, but it can be taxing on a father as well.

User avatar
Job29Man
Pay no attention to the folks behind the curtain.
Pay no attention to the folks behind the curtain.
Posts: 7940
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2006 3:52 pm
Date of your marriage (past or future): August 2nd, 1980
Gender: Male
Location: Hobby Farm, USA

Re: Seeking advice on waiting to have children

Postby Job29Man » Mon Nov 24, 2014 7:56 am

Hi Rebekah!
Welcome to TMB! I hope you find good answers here. We are here to help.
I'm responding today as a husband of 30+ years, father of 10 (all with my DW Sarah), and a husband who was put through grad school by DW. Both Sarah and I have been, or are, "medical field" people.

rebekahtoa wrote:I have had an IUD for two years, and they're like 99.4% effective, so a child is most likely to be a result of intentional decision making and action. (Of course there are pregnancies that occur with IUDs but it is not the norm.)
Please read this post and thread about IUDs.

And also study this chart about the effect of age on female fertility and infertility rates. We know numerous women who have delayed conception until in their 30s and presumed that they could get pregnant when they "were ready." Many women can, of course, and it's better for those who don't use hormonal BC. But we've observed a significant number who find that it's really difficult to get pregnant then. It may happen right away (like flipping on a light switch), or it may take years, or may never happen. The likelihood of difficulty is greater in your 30s and especially as you approach the 40s. Fertility isn't as easy as it looks.

We are also very, very familiar with fibromyalgia and would caution you about assuming that DH will be able to do all the difficult study and work needed to actually finish the program, and it is more likely that he would be towards the 7 year plan (rather than 5) if he does. If he doesn't start for 3 more years and then takes 7 years to finish, where does that put you age wise?
Wanting to become like Job, as described in the Bible, the book of Job chapter 29. Hence the screen name.

InGodsGrace
Under the stars
Posts: 2100
Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 3:46 am
Date of your marriage (past or future): May 9th, 1999
Gender: Female

Re: Seeking advice on waiting to have children

Postby InGodsGrace » Mon Nov 24, 2014 10:07 am

I laugh at the ones who say it's harder to get pregnant in your 30s. God is the one who opens and closes the womb.

convicted
Under the stars
Posts: 2177
Joined: Sat Oct 02, 2010 3:08 pm
Date of your marriage (past or future): June 7th, 2008
Gender: Male
Location: Colorado

Re: Seeking advice on waiting to have children

Postby convicted » Mon Nov 24, 2014 10:39 am

and science reminds us not to squander Gods opening of the womb.

http://www.babyhopes.com/articles/best- ... gnant.html
http://www.babycentre.co.uk/a6155/your- ... -fertility

Another bit to consider is the size of family that you are planning or find that you would like to have.
we realized a bit too late that had we endeavored 5yrs or so earlier that we would have likely attempted to have a larger family. As it was we faced some complications that with the increased reality of our (her) age we decided to not have any more children. We have some friends that are in the early stages, 14ish weeks, of an unexpected pregnancy. The last couple were very hard on her, this one is to be no exception. being in her later 30's has likely magnified the complications that she had with several of the other children. The husband of that same couple finished up a degree program while she was pregnant with their 4th child. There are plenty of families that have a parent embarking on degree programs while still doing family.
I re-connected with a friend yesterday that is expecting a child early 2015, who remarked after quick math he realized that when the new child(he has a son) hits his preteen years he will be 58.....the amount that he will be able to do things with his new son will be markedly different than with his 1st son.

Clearly many couples in their 30's have normal, healthy pregnancies. But it helps to look at the realities involved with waiting. Are there lifestyle changes you can make currently that would make it more....feasible to have kids sooner than later?

if you wait to have kids until you're ready, you'll never have kids.....there's some truth in there somewhere.
If our God is for us, then who could ever stop us.
And if our God is with us, then what could stand against.

InGodsGrace
Under the stars
Posts: 2100
Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 3:46 am
Date of your marriage (past or future): May 9th, 1999
Gender: Female

Re: Seeking advice on waiting to have children

Postby InGodsGrace » Mon Nov 24, 2014 10:47 am

Science comes up, I think of Abrham and Sarah. And convicted, Abraham was 100 was Isaac was born. Please, 58 is not that old for a pre teen. A difference of parenting and activity maybe. 58 you're still active, you're as active as you want to be.

convicted
Under the stars
Posts: 2177
Joined: Sat Oct 02, 2010 3:08 pm
Date of your marriage (past or future): June 7th, 2008
Gender: Male
Location: Colorado

Re: Seeking advice on waiting to have children

Postby convicted » Mon Nov 24, 2014 11:07 am

InGodsGrace wrote:Science comes up, I think of Abrham and Sarah. And convicted, Abraham was 100 was Isaac was born. Please, 58 is not that old for a pre teen. A difference of parenting and activity maybe. 58 you're still active, you're as active as you want to be.

and even they realized the limitations of age. Not to mention it seemed living to such an extended age was more of a normality back then. do you know any centenarians living the nomadic lifestyle with apparent ease? How many....70 yr olds do you know that have difficulty getting around? are you going to argue that by the age of 60 our age isn't a serious factor concerning our mobility and health?

When medical science comes up I think of Luke the physician and this thread:
viewtopic.php?f=23&t=59724

and no, for many if not most, they aren't as active as they want to be; they are as active as they can be.
If our God is for us, then who could ever stop us.
And if our God is with us, then what could stand against.

User avatar
Job29Man
Pay no attention to the folks behind the curtain.
Pay no attention to the folks behind the curtain.
Posts: 7940
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2006 3:52 pm
Date of your marriage (past or future): August 2nd, 1980
Gender: Male
Location: Hobby Farm, USA

Re: Seeking advice on waiting to have children

Postby Job29Man » Mon Nov 24, 2014 12:08 pm

We had our children over a 20 year period. There's a difference in conceiving, carrying, delivering, and recovering from childbirth, when you are younger vs when you are older. And there's a difference in energy level as to how active you want to be in participating with the child in play and such, depending on your age as a parent. My DW feels the difference, as do our friends. The athletic older parent is a rarity.

My parents were young parents, and I enjoyed that growing up. I like being a young parent. It is a factor to consider.

In Rebekah's case it would be worth answering the question whether it would be preferable for DH to be a 28-30 year old fibromyalgia patient with toddlers, or a 38-40 year old fibromyalgia patient with toddlers? A 45 year old Fibro pt with active teens, or a 55 year old Fibro pt with teens?
Wanting to become like Job, as described in the Bible, the book of Job chapter 29. Hence the screen name.

rebekahtoa
Newbie
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 9:01 pm
Date of your marriage (past or future): December 13th, 2010
Gender: Female
Location: Oregon, USA

Re: Seeking advice on waiting to have children

Postby rebekahtoa » Wed Nov 26, 2014 2:00 am

happilymarriedkate wrote:First things first- have you prayed about this? If so, what is The Lord leading you to do?

Thank you for asking this. I have, and continue to do so, but I have not reached any clarity.

SquarePants wrote:Consider waiting until he had passed his qualifying exam. Maybe this could be a compromise.

This seems like a good idea. There's not that much concerning evidence about fertility in late 20s, and hopefully he would have come to a stable place in terms of being a graduate student.

Job29Man wrote:We know numerous women who have delayed conception until in their 30s and presumed that they could get pregnant when they "were ready." ... But we've observed a significant number who find that it's really difficult to get pregnant then. It may happen right away (like flipping on a light switch), or it may take years, or may never happen. The likelihood of difficulty is greater in your 30s and especially as you approach the 40s. Fertility isn't as easy as it looks. We are also very, very familiar with fibromyalgia and would caution you about assuming that DH will be able to do all the difficult study and work needed to actually finish the program, and it is more likely that he would be towards the 7 year plan (rather than 5) if he does. If he doesn't start for 3 more years and then takes 7 years to finish, where does that put you age wise?

These are definitely my concerns! With the exhaustion I have felt the past few months, it is very difficult to picture adding an infant/child to the mix. But then that realization leaves me wondering what is going to change to allow children to be possible. I also like your point about how having FM and a toddler is not going to get easier with age.

convicted wrote:Clearly many couples in their 30's have normal, healthy pregnancies. But it helps to look at the realities involved with waiting. Are there lifestyle changes you can make currently that would make it more....feasible to have kids sooner than later? if you wait to have kids until you're ready, you'll never have kids.....there's some truth in there somewhere.

I think those are good questions, and I need to think about them.

Thank you all for your input!


Return to “Birth Control”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users