Lately I've been pondering what to say to the women in my life who I'll call "waiters." I'm not talking about women who are single, or may never want children. I'm talking about the ones who are in relationships, happy and stable ones that have lasted several years (sometimes more than 5), actively talk about wanting children, and aren't having any because they are "waiting." I'm not alone in this pondering either. Here's an article about how older parents are changing everything we know about society. Worth the read, I'd say.
On the one hand, from the outside, I'm a weirdo. Got married very young for this day and age, had first child just after finishing undergrad 1.0, so she can look like a surprise rather than very carefully planned. If you look at the (absurdly vast and torturous) amount of school I've attended since, it makes a lot of sense that we wouldn't have had another child in that time because nobody has children while in school (ahahahahahah... how wrong our perceptions of college students today are...). Aside from the Grand Faceb.ook Pregnancy Announcement, I have not really talked about our lousy fertility with anyone aside from a friend who also has PCOS.
I'm not sure how to put it delicately to friends/family either, or if it ought to be delicate at all. Infertility stinks and you are increasing your odds by waiting to even try. Yes, if you aren't "ready" for a real reason (we have no jobs or healthcare, we are about to lose our house/housing, we are seriously ill), wait by all means. But I really worry that with all the stories of successful ART in older couples, folks in their 20s have zero sense of declining fertility and increasing risk of birth defects and other ickiness like developmental delays and all that jazz.
I sort of feel like I have the responsibility to share my story so the myth of awesome fertility into your 40s goes away, and to go with it, the myth that infertility only happens to women 35+. But then I think, "But is it worth it? What if I'd just make people annoyed with me?" I hate the mommy wars with a passion, and I'm all about making the right choices for you and your family. My worry is that so many people are making choices without understanding the consequences that they'll kick themselves later.
And of course, I'm shy. It hurts a lot to talk about waiting a year to get pregnant and have it end in miscarriage twice including a d&c just before finals (super stress! Terribly healthy). But then I consider that PCOS is hereditary and I have female relatives in exactly this "waiting" zone who may have no idea they have it because of taking oral contraceptives for years (probably almost 20 for one of my cousins with zero children).
So I never know what to say and I haven't said anything yet, but I feel like I shouldn't wait either. On the one side, I hate squashing the fun of being young with "you won't be young forever and you may not magically be fertile so don't wait forever!" doom and gloom. On the other hand, I hate the idea that someone who has a choice to wait or not is waiting and winds up with an infertility heart break.