BY STEPHANIE DOLCE
So, this past Monday was my birthday, which means two things, 1) I am another year older and wiser and 2) I am getting closer to the age where giving birth to children is not something I will be doing. (The age I have where my kitchen will be closed is 42, so I have a few years left to make this happen.)
As I wrote in my book, Hello Love, Where’s Cupid, “ But with all the freedom women were given in the 1990’s, their sexuality was also something that women used and took to many extremes. Between one night stands and exploring sex in many different forms, when a 1990’s woman hit the age of thirty: Tick-tock went their biological clocks. A study done in 1995, showed that 55% of women wanted it all: A successful career and a family. In the area of fertility, women were not equal to men and they NEVER will be! Our eggs have a shelf life while a man could start a family whenever he wanted, at fifty or even sixty years old if he wanted too.” Although, research that has been going on in the past few years have found that the older a man is, the longer it will take him to get his partner pregnant. The chance of conception taking more than a year is about 15 percent when the man is over 35. Plus, as men get older they have a decline in testosterone, and therefore a decline in fertility. So just because a man can make sperm doesn’t mean that it’s high-quality sperm. Changes in hormone levels can affect a man’s sex drive, sexual function and sperm quality. As men get older, the quality of their semen declines in volume and quality. Older men have fewer and slower-swimming sperm. This makes it more difficult for the sperm to reach the egg and to fertilize it.
A study done by The University of Maryland Medical Center, reports that, although having a baby at a later age may put you at higher risk for complications, the majority of older women have healthy babies. Once you have educated yourself about the potential risks, you can turn your focus on all the things that go with a healthy pregnancy at any age. These include proper nutrition and diet, good prenatal care, and preparation both emotionally and financially for your baby and the care that will be needed.
There can be advantages to waiting until you are older to have a baby. Older women and men often find that they are more patient and realistic in coping with the challenges of a new baby than they would have been earlier in life. Likewise, they may have a greater appreciation of the joys of parenthood. Having established their careers, they may feel like they have more time to devote to the baby. [ Source: University of Maryland]
Women 35 and older account for 11 percent of first-time mothers while 31 percent of ‘first births’ now occur to women between ages 30 and 34.
So with all this said, back when I was a senior in high school, I was the sports editor of our school newspaper, and I was interviewed for the paper as a farewell to the school. I came across it recently and what struck me was the fact that I said that wanted four children, 2 boys and 2 girls, and a career that I was going to enjoy. So, looking back and looking forward part of this vision I had came true, while the other part hasn’t. Over the years while I have waited to start my own family, I have drastically cut that number of kids I wanted down. If I ever get the opportunity to start a family I definitely hope I get to have a son. And if by chance this happens a little quicker than I expect, then maybe I can have at least two kids, but playing cupid lately and hitting that tricky ground as of late, well, something’s gotta give sooner or later.
Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many.
See, many people are always “amazed” at how happy I am when my birthday comes. I celebrate for an enitre month. I don’t look at birthdays as just another day older, or get all depressed because I am getting older, I look at my birthday as another year that I have been blessed on this Earth. It doesn’t matter how old I get, but as long as I continue to live, I’ll always discover something new about myself.
You don’t stop having fun because you get old, you get old because you stop having fun.
And being single and now knowing what I exactly want, how to get what I want, and knowing that anything is possible, is something that I know I have learned this past year.
It can only get better from here!
So if your birthday is around the corner, or if just past too, don’t be depressed because you are “just another year older,” look at it as a chance to still make any of your dreams possible.
As I grow older, much older, I will experience many things, and the most important thing that I will learn will be that, to remain young while growing old is the highest blessing. At my age I have learned to love myself for who I am, to love those that love me and not waste tears on those who don’t. Age is just a number that indicates how long someone has lived. It doesn’t define us unless we allow it to.