Why Am I worrying About Fertility In My 20's?
If you ask a little girl who does she want to be when she grows up, the answer will differ every time. I remember going through many different phases: one day I wanted to be an Engineer like my father, a supermodel the next day and then a Scientist the next.
One thing that was incredibly far from my mind was the thought of being a mother.
When I was a teenager, Hispanic’s had the highest teen pregnancy rate, 137 pregnancies for every 1,000 teens. I grew up watching shows like “16 and pregnant” and “The secret life of the American Teenager,” that depicted the hardships and struggles associated with having a baby in your teens. Plus, seeing my mom struggle with three kids, I swore to my death that I would never allow my kids to be in the same position that I was in growing up. I was so scared to have a baby before marriage, and I ensured that I took every precaution to prevent it from happening. I had a plan, I was going to get married at 25, enjoy two years of marriage, and then have my first baby by 27.
Well, here I am, 27 years old, unwed, and not yet a mother. I am not even entirely sure how I got here. One day I was 15 with a plan and the next thing I knew, I was turning 27, and my life was restarting itself like an uncalled-for reboot. Some people will read this and say “27? You still have plenty of time”.
Well, tell that to all the individuals that make it their business to point out how much time I don’t have. I knew things were changing when my family started asking me when I was going to have kids and then following up the question by saying “the clock is ticking.” They sure have a way of making a girl feel old.
Don’t get me wrong; I love my life just how it is. I enjoy being able to plan a quick getaway or vacation anywhere I want to go, without having to consider a plus 1. I appreciate the pure leisure of doing absolutely nothing at times. I am still trying to figure life out! I'm still trying to figure me out...and honestly, I think the United States is also in the process of trying to figure itself out.
However, enjoying life doesn’t make it that much easier to stop thinking about the subject of starting a family. For every significant milestone in my life, two of my girlfriends become new moms. It is so hard to ignore something that is consistently happening around you. You congratulate your friends in person, you see announcements on Instagram and Facebook, and wonder, who’s going to be left to have a baby when I have one? Who’s going to be my belly buddy? (I just made that up, I think LOL) You begin to wonder if there is something wrong with you or if God deemed you unfit to bring life into this world.
In my early 20’s, I was in an extremely toxic relationship for five years. Time wise, it was a critical part of my childhood “plan”. Instead of dealing with the toxicity of the situation, I allowed time to pass, crippling my “plan”. I knew we were not going to get married or have kids, but I let 25 pass me by without a care in the world. Instead, I focused on my career full force. I told myself, “Hey, at least I’ll be successful and rich enough to afford IVF If need be.”
YES, I SAID THAT.
It wasn’t until that relationship ended and I reconnected back with my childhood girlfriends, that I realized how debilitating those thoughts were to my mental health. During a girl’s night out, I realized how many other females of all ages, feel the same way, yet we never speak about it even though we should.
I don’t remember how the topic was brought up, but I do remember blurting out:
“I am scared of the thought of not being able to have a family."
they all shouted at the same time, “Me too!”.
We grabbed a bottle of wine and spoke about our fears and concerns for the next few hours. We looked up the statistics about fertility and age, which only made us drink even more wine because we’re all near our 30’s and the statistics are not in our favor. Our concerns differed from period irregularity to being able to find the right one to settle down with within time. An overall emotional conversation filled with laughter and tears, but it was necessary. Suddenly, for the first time, I didn’t feel so alone, and I found people who understood me. I left my friend’s house with a sense of peace in my heart and mind. A silent understanding that everything was going to work out.
I wish more Women spoke openly about their fears and concerns that only other Women can understand and I would like it if people would stop asking me questions about things that I have no control over. You never know what the person next to you is currently going through in their life.