Getting Pregnant Over 35 vs Adoption

I know, I’m not the best when it comes to picking topics.

For the record, I am actually still 34. I turned 34 2 months ago, but since I’m close enough, and likely wouldn’t be getting pregnant for a few months at minimum, this research totally counts for my situation.

I’ve been doing all sorts of research on pregnancy, taking charge of my fertility (thanks for that book reco, ladies!), and getting pregnant after 35. I’ve become startlingly aware of the odds of getting pregnant within 6 months of actively trying. For over 35s, it’s something like 10-12% which is crazy low, not to mention disheartening. Women in their 20s have upwards of 50% within 1-2 months. Really, body. Why must you suck so much? Oh, and that 10-12% is reduced by being “overweight;” it’s in quotes because it refers to any poundage that makes you overweight.

And me? I’m definitely in the overweight category. I don’t believe in the BMI charts in any way, shape, or form, but rather what my mirror says. To me, they’re a complete farce. My last doctor said they’re complete BS and to ignore them whole heartedly. I’ve stopped weighing myself as numbers don’t mean anything; only my being healthy does. However, getting pregnant is easier if you’re not overweight. Disheartening again.

I wouldn’t change waiting until my 30s to get married for anything. I definitely needed the extra time to grow up, gain perspective, and know myself better. Not very many people know that I was engaged previously; at 21. I guarantee that I would have been divorced very soon afterwards. It was a horrible, rotten relationship and he treated me like absolute dirt. But I was young and stupid… and he was my first real relationship so what did I know. But I digress. My life is infinitely better for staying unmarried until my mid-30s.

Also, the older you are, the higher the likelihood is for birth defects, both physical and mental. I think. I’m going off memory here, so I might be wrong. But basically, we’re trying to decide if we’re going to take a chance or just start the adoption process. We both want children and always considered adoption if after X years we hadn’t conceived. It seems as though those X years will be way less than before. We hadn’t picked out a number yet, so it remains “X years.”

But it also means that getting pregnant will be more difficult. Sure, I always wanted to get pregnant and birth a baby, but am I being selfish with that wish? If there are so many kids in need of loving homes, shouldn’t we just go that route off the bat? My friend Sarah and her husband always planned on adopting and I think it’s totally brilliant. I’ve participated in several adoption discussions on Twitter and it’s pretty eye-opening.

Sigh. Getting older sucks. And I’m depressing myself with all this research, even if I do love the topic!


6 comments on “Getting Pregnant Over 35 vs Adoption

  1. Kari

    I think you should still try to have babies. My mom and my husband’s mom both had babies at 39/40. Also, my grandma had all three of her kids after she hit 40, and that was back in the fifties. It’s definitely possible to have a healthy baby. Sure, there are risks but there are always risks. There are risks for all those high school and college aged girls that get pregnant and don’t find out until six binge drinking nights later. And somehow, most of those babies come out healthy. There were risks back in the 80s when everyone was a chain smoker and had no clue that smoking could harm a growing fetus. I can tell you that all of my 20-something cousins came out fine after that. I’m not saying that adoption isn’t a great option, but as a woman, I know there’s something so special about the idea of one day growing a life inside you. It’s just magical, and I don’t think you’d be satisfied if you completely gave up hope. Maybe what could work for you is trying to get pregnant while also filling out the heaps of adoption paperwork. And hey, don’t you want more than one kid anyways? 🙂

  2. Kim

    Wow, this post sounds a lot like my life for the past 10 years. You know most of my story so you know I tried to get pregnant then went the adoption route then back to trying to get pregnant and well you know the rest of the story. I got pregnant with Mason at 38 and was a few months shy of being 39 when he was born. I know a lot of people that have given birth after 35 so don’t let the statistics scare you. In my personal opinion knowing what we went through I would encourage you to start focusing on being healthy and enjoy trying to get pregnant along the way! It can happen! It does happen and if it is meant to be it will happen.

  3. Meredith

    Give it a year of trying first. You haven’t even been at it that long. If after a year you’re still sporting an empty uterus, go ahead and talk to your doctor and consider the adoption process. Unless you’re showing signs and symptoms of impending menopause, you should still have a fairly good shot at trying. My dad and his partner conceived a surprise baby when she was ~40. Chloe’s currently a healthy little 4 year old who’ll be 5 in December. She apparently loves dressing up, watching SpongeBob, and playing with the neighbor kids. She’ll be starting kindergarten next school year. You should go for it.

    And let me echo the remarks of there being risks with everything. You could step outside your car door and get hit by another car, you know. Does that stop you from getting out of the car? Or walking into the parking lot to go to your car? Nope. It just makes you remember to look both ways before crossing in order to lower your risk, that’s all. If you’re healthy, live a healthy lifestyle, etc., you’re already taking steps to lower your risks. Just keep doing what you’re doing, and I think it should be just fine. =)

  4. Marie

    There is nothing selfish about wanting to have a child with your husband and your chromosomes. Don’t give up because your almost 35. (I certainly don’t intend to). Try try try!!

  5. Johanna

    You should definitely try. There are always going to be questions and statistics and as someone who is trained for research, all research can be adjusted and tweeked to represent what you want your research to show. I have a cousin who had her son at 44 years old and he is beautiful and nothing is wrong with him. Then you have me who had Stephanie in my 30s and she is beautiful (she does have Turner’s Syndrome but that is not influenced by my age, that was a fluck could have happened at any age). We still plan on having more kids not sure on the exact amount yet but definitely want more and I am not letting my age influence me from not having kids. Oh and this stuff about being overweight, if you are fertile, you are fertile, I don’t believe and neither does my doctor believe that weight affects whether or not you conceive, it does affect how much weight they want you to gain during the pregnancy but as long as you and baby are healthy they are fine with any weight. I have alot of friends who because of waiting until our 30s to get married are having children in our 30s and 40s so dont worry about it so much. Just relax, enjoy, and have fun practicing until you are ready to concieve and then just relax, enjoy, and have fun.

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