Women In Their 30s Now Having More Babies Than Women in Their 20s

For the first time in over three decades in the US, women in their 30s are having more babies than women in their 20s.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention released data last Wednesday that the birth rate among women aged 30 to 34 last year was slightly higher than that of women aged 25 to 29. Also according to the data, women are having their first child at age 28 on average. Consider that in 2014, the average age for women having their first child was 26.3 according to the CDC. That seems like a pretty high jump in age to me, considering it’s been only 3 years since 2014!

Experts say that the change is partially due to a reduction in teen pregnancy rates. But that’s only part of the story. A lot of women, including myself, feel it’s okay to have children later. I’m 35, and I want children and haven’t had them yet. I don’t feel societal pressure to have children, only biological. And even that biological pressure is somewhat tempered by knowing many women who have had babies over 40, and the fertility options that new technology brings. I’ve definitely calmed down a bit more in the past year or so, because I know I’m just not ready yet and that it’s better to feel that I have the right partner and financial situation to raise a child than to ‘just do it.’

But, for my own peace of mind, I’ll be making an appointment for fertility diagnostic testing at USC.

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Will Male Birth Control Become a Thing In Your Thirties?

Let’s face it- the thirties are a time when we think about babies. If you haven’t had babies yet and want some, you might be thinking, ‘hmm, how old is too old to have babies?’ or ‘when can we get started?’ or ‘when will I find someone to get started with me?’ If you don’t want babies, you may be thinking, ‘wow, all my friends are having babies- how do I hide everyone I know on Facebook?’ or ‘what would happen if I accidentally had a baby? Would it ruin me financially?’ or ‘what’s the best way to stop from ever possibly having a baby? (Besides abstinence, duh).’

Whether you’re female or male, and whether you want kids or not, babies seem to pop up all around you during your thirties. I bet you have at least one friend who recently had a baby and at least 5 Facebook friends who are posting pictures of their little ones right now (I probably have at least 30 proud new parent Facebook friends…and no, I don’t mind. If any of you are reading this, I like it, seriously, post away).

If you’re female and don’t want to have kids- at least at the moment, there are many types of birth control options, including a pill that you annoyingly have to remember to take at the same time every day. This pill, a popular form of birth control, puts the responsibility of avoiding pregnancy squarely on the woman. The same can be said of BC options such as IUDs and Nuvarings, and patches and the like. But soon there might be another option.

I was reading an article just yesterday about a male birth control study done with human males (as opposed to mice males in the past), that used a new form of male birth control in the form of an injection. The injection was given to the males at set 8 week intervals for a certain amount of time, and after a few months, couples relied solely on the injections for birth control. The subjects were followed for about a year, and in that time about 2 in 100 women got pregnant. With regular, correct and careful use of condoms, about 3-5 out of 100 women will get pregnant, so the male birth control injections in this study have proven to be more effective birth control than condoms.

The problems the researchers are still dealing with are the side effects of the injections- some males complained of acne and mild depression…although female birth control methods like the pill can also have side effects- including crazy mood swings and weight gain- and those are out on the market anyway! 75% of the males in the study said they’d continue to use the method despite the side effects, so that’s promising, at least. And it’s nice to know the guys are into it.

As of now, there are bound to be many more studies before this form of male birth control will actually be out and useable. So maybe we won’t all still be in our thirties by then. But technology moves fast and I’m optimistic- so who knows?

If you’re a male reading this, would you take male birth control? Why or why not? If you’re female, do you feel like the burden of birth control rests too squarely on the woman? Or are you perfectly happy to be in charge of birth control?

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Dating in Your 30s When You Want Children

How do you date when you’re 34 and you know you want children? Not when you have the feeling of ‘well, if I find the right guy and the timing lines up,’ but the unexplainable feeling deep in your gut that motherhood is a life experience that is a very much a part of you, even if you haven’t gotten close to experiencing it. Well, I’m 34, I know I want children, and I can tell you it’s tough.

It’s tough to keep this deep desire hidden, closeted away because you know that  rationally, it’s weird/awkward/too soon and quite frankly, somewhat unfair, to bring up kids and family in the first six months of a new relationship. That’s a huge question to bring to the table when you’re just starting to get to know someone. Obviously, the very basic question of if you both want to marry and have children should be addressed. But you can’t quite talk about it at length without feeling like an intense weirdo. At least I can’t.

So how can you let the natural evolution of getting to know someone happen? How can you just play it cool? Is there even a point to playing it cool?

A few of my close friends have children or are pregnant, and for so long, our life paths were linked up – we could commiserate when we hated our jobs, or celebrate when one of us got engaged – but now, things have shifted in a big way. I can’t understand what it’s like to be married for a few years and perhaps hit a snag, or what it’s like to experience that fugue state, first year of new motherhood.

Sometimes I wonder where I went wrong – how did I get to be 34 and so close to that danger zone when I know I want children? Thirty-seven is when fertility seems to decline in a major way (according to a good old Google search). Okay, let me be honest with myself. I do know what happened. I was in a six year long relationship and I let time slide, not quite realizing how all that time spent would affect my life down the line.

While people say “You have time!,” they don’t really get it. Sure, I have time to have a baby, but there’s all that other stuff that comes before baby – getting to know someone, letting your relationship evolve and finally getting to that point. And then, you hopefully want a year or two of experiencing married life without a new baby…so no, there isn’t time.

So, what does one do? All I know is that motherhood will be a part of my life. And if I don’t make it naturally in time, there are other options. Adopting and fostering are the two that come to mind.

I think about the idea of motherhood as a concept a lot lately. It can mean a lot of different things that aren’t conventional. It’s about taking care of someone – imparting knowledge, helping bring someone to their highest potential. And there’s a lot of ways to do that.

Baby Fever in Your Thirties

Baby Fever in Your Thirties

I’ve always been a fan of cute things.

I love little animals, especially baby animals, and can watch cute cat videos for quite awhile- sometimes over and over again. When people talk to me about their dog or cat or any cuddly pet really, I always want to see a picture. Or two. Or three.

And I think I’ve always kinda loved really cute babies too. Cute human ones, I mean. But although I’ve always found some human babies cute, I’m quite particular, and I never really liked kids, even when I was one myself.

Lately though, I’ve noticed my love of cute little things increasing even more. I’ve always loved cute animals, but now I’m absolutely obsessed with them. I squee out loud when I see an adorable puppy in a sweater, and photos of baby pigs and pandas can bring happy tears to my eyes.

Today at work I saw an adorable baby with tufts of crazy hair sticking out everywhere. He/she made me really happy. I pointed him/her out to my coworker, a male in his late thirties, and he said ‘awww, so cute’ and then asked, ‘Do you have baby fever?’

I immediately said no, and felt embarrassed and even ashamed, weirded out by that question, especially from a guy. Baby fever seems like such a cliche in your thirties. But then he informed me that he thought HE was having baby fever- not only noticing cute kids way more, but getting obsessed with his nieces and nephews like never before.

So that was shocking. Maybe baby fever isn’t just a cliche woman thing, but can happen to guys too. He’s in his late thirties, so perhaps it happens to guys a bit later? Is baby fever even a real thing? Does being in your thirties cause this for some people?

I don’t know if I have baby fever, really. At least, I won’t admit it just yet. But I love cute things, for sure.

And so I conclude with a video of a cat building an igloo in the snow. And just in time for easter: some of my favorite very cute bunnies. And all of their friends. 🙂

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When You’re Far From Where You Want to Be

Oh guys, I’ve been in a funk the past couple of days. Over a lot of things, but the overall feeling is that I’m so far from where I want to be at this age (33). I know we’ve talked a lot about this on the blog, and most days I can buoy my spirits by telling myself “You can’t compare yourself to others!” and “Everyone walks their own journey” or a new, personal favorite “Trust the timing of your life.” But some days, those mantras just don’t work. Some days, you just feel down and you can’t help it. That’s been my week.

Why? Well, it’s a lot of things. But the main thing is that ever since I was a little kid, I wanted a big family. I’m an only child without a large extended family, so it makes sense that I would desire that connection. I thought I was on my way to possibly starting my own family – I was engaged, and I figured I’d have children within the next few years. But then we broke up. And man, it’s hard to go through a breakup at this age, because if you want kids and don’t have them already, that ticking clock only gets louder and louder. I’ve been reassured that I have until I’m 37, but that doesn’t provide me much reassurance at all.

I was feeling okay that my career was moving slowly – because A) I chose something incredibly challenging, screenwriting and dramatic writing, and B) I had found my partner with whom I could have children, so that provided some relief. But when the floor fell out from B), it affected how I felt about my slow-moving career. Because now I have this other huge life goal I want to accomplish: having a family. Which distracts me from my writing, and has in fact caused me some legitimate writer’s block. I’ve never really believed in the concept of writers block, but lately, I do feel like my creative well has been parched.

I didn’t realize the extent of my frustration until I reached a tipping point last night while catching up on Season 4 of Homeland. I found myself getting jealous and angry of Carrie (Claire Danes’ character) for having a baby when she doesn’t even want one! It sent me down a spiral of frustration at all those people, err…TV characters…(how about Mindy on The Mindy Project!) who have children who never really wanted them to begin with. Again, I have to bring myself back down with all those mantras and reminding myself “my time is coming.” And also, laugh at myself, of course, because umm…when you’re jealous of TV characters, well…enough said.

So how do you begin to change your life when all your goals seem so far away? I don’t know. For now, I’m trying to take everything hour by hour, day by day, and hope I get to a place someday that feels like home.

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