In five short weeks I will be falling down the rabbit hole walking down the aisle and entering into a marriage, becoming a missus at the ripe ol' age of 33. For years my partner and I have learned to field questioning from friends and family around when we were getting hitched. Now that our nuptials are imminent, however, the questioning seems to have shifted.
It comes as no surprise that our peers should ask us when we intend to start a family. Isn't that the next natural step? First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes...? Family planning isn't really a hot topic in our household, when compared to other priorities like travel, our careers and our lifestyle as a couple.
With my 34th birthday approaching, I'm constantly reminded that we're under the gun. Or at least I am. If we're ever going to do this thing, we've got to pull the trigger -- soon.
Without getting all women's lib on you, men are incredibly fortunate when it comes to procreation. Aside from avoiding the obvious nine-month pregnancy and giving birth bit, men can procreate well beyond obtaining their senior status (Michael Douglas springs to mind), making their sense of urgency less dire.
Women, on the other hand, have to get their minds around child-rearing much earlier. Which begs the question, what are our options? What resources do women in their 30s have if they're not quite ready to start a family, but fear they may feel the urge once it's too late?
While doing a little research, I stumbled upon the topic of egg freezing, an emerging method of fertility preservation. Starting a family at 35 or older does raise fertility concerns, so wouldn't it be a viable option to freeze your family-to-be until you were mentally or financially prepared?
Fertility clinics across Canada are beginning to offer women the option of freezing their biological clocks by keeping their eggs -- and in some cases embryos -- in cold storage until they're ready to have a baby. An awfully convenient solution for people like my partner and I who still feel indifferent towards starting a family. These new opportunities to defer parenthood are no doubt fraught with controversy, but I'd be curious to know how many women out there would consider this as an option?
Often when I tell people that my partner and I aren't sure if or when we'll start a family, the same few questions arise. Can you imagine yourself 20 or 30 years down the road, with no children or grandchildren? Don't you want someone to carry on your family's lineage? Won't it be lonely with just you two? My answer to that last question is usually we'll just get a dog, but I digress.
The real answer is I don't know. I don't think it would be fair to bring someone into the world without an undeniable longing for them to arrive. Kind of a crap shoot if you ask me. Maybe I'll enjoy motherhood. That hardly seems fair.
On the flip side, if we were to wake up one day and decide that we wanted a child I don't think we'd hesitate for a second. If my ovaries are all of a sudden on fire and my partner begins picking out baby names, I'll know we're there.
In the meantime, I'm grateful that there are other options aside from freezing the next generation like adoption. Whichever path we choose, at least we'll know it's what's right for us.
What do you think? Is egg freezing unethical and little too scientific, or is this something you'd consider? Post a comment or tweet me @urbancowgirl.
Follow Heather Magee on Twitter: www.twitter.com/MissusHeatherM