My Eggs Are Rusty?

The common fear-based conversation about difficulties in conception, especially for women over thirty-five, is that "You are too old, your eggs are too old, and this is never going to happen." This conversation is very limiting and is wrong on several counts. Although many women don't understand the limitations of the reproductive system, there are others who are spreading false information and changing the context of this conversation. First, it is true that as we get older, it becomes more difficult to become pregnant.

Fertility problems can be a result of age because egg production declines as we get older. And the eggs that are available as we mature may be flawed, resulting in birth defects or miscarriage.

The same is true for men. One study concluded that male infertility increased each year, resulting in an 11 percent decrease in successful pregnancies. As men age, their sperm declines in quality, volume, and motility. This does not mean, however, that every woman over the age of forty will not have a healthy, normal pregnancy leading to a healthy child. Or that there are no powerful methods you can use to alter or assist your body.

Each of my grandmothers had her last child at age forty-eight! Back in their day, there was never a conversation about the inability to become pregnant past a certain age: it was assumed that women could continue to get pregnant and have babies as they matured. So I feel strongly that blanket statements about "ticking biological clocks" or women losing their opportunity to have babies are irresponsibly spoken.

So many pregnant women have taken the BornClear course at forty-two, forty-five, forty-eight, and fifty years of age, some of whom were first-time mothers. Most recently, a new friend, Agnes Chapski, told me while our five-year-olds were playing soccer and we were off on the sidelines playing with her ten-month-old, Chase, that she had assumed she would not be able to have a second child at the age of forty-six. So she had been really surprised to find out that she was pregnant with Chase. She attributes her conception to the ease and freedom she was feeling about her life at the time, even in the context of a very demanding career as the publisher of Allure magazine.

This negativity toward older women also shows up when we hear that older moms are "high risk." I ask, "What is the measurement of this risk?" I had my first child at thirty-seven and my second at thirty-nine-both were very healthy, comfortable pregnancies that led to successful births.
Although there is medical data to support many of these claims, please remember that science does not hold the exclusive domainover your fertility. The issue of age has become part of the accepted norm in the medical world. Unfortunately, this fear has led women as young as their thirties to be afraid that they won't be able to conceive. Yet we all know that every woman is different. There are many ways that you can become educated to create the best results for your particular body. You are not stuck; you have plenty of options.

For example, Barbara Powers is an amazing woman who started Amayal, a birthing center in Monterrey, Mexico. She was diagnosed with leukemia fourteen years ago and chose to go a nontraditional route in her healing process. She researched her options and found doctors who were able to teach her how to regenerate all of her cells through deep emotional work. The goal was to release the anger that she knew was a part of bringing this disease to the forefront in her life. One thing she released was her own birth experience. Today, she still remains cancer free. She owes her success to creating her own new context and to her commitment not to allow all of the statistics and her diagnosis to stop her from taking her own journey. Now she has been able to harness that experience to help pregnant women create their own contexts and make their ideal childbirths realities.

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