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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Over 35, Unmarried but Desperate for a Baby, Would you Consider Invitro-Fertilization?

I hope you are all having a great week so far. Mine has been quite busy but I am not complaining. It helps when you work with people who have a good sense of humour! Below is an encounter I had while en route to my recent vacation in Sweden. I thought I'd share and get your comments/opinions on it.

I ran into a beautiful woman who looked like she was 35-37 years old while enroute to Sweden. I will call her Yetunde [Yay-tun-day]. Yetunde appeared 6 months pregnant and she was glowing with the radiance characteristic of a happy pregnant woman--pregnancy really suited her.

I struck a conversation with and congratulated her on her pregnancy. She confirmed she was 6 months pregnant and was on her way to Russia. I asked if the baby was her first. She said yes. I began to express how she and her husband must be very excited since it is their first! She smiled at me. She replied that she was excited but that there was no husband. Just as I was about to shake my head in empathy and urge her to stay strong and keep going, she informed me her case was quite unique. Yetunde explained she became pregnant through invitro-fertilization. She told me that at her current age of 41years old, she got tired of waiting for "Mr. Right." Yetunde was highly educated, worked as a CPA for one of the biggest accounting firms in the States and was well traveled and very articulate.

She said, for her, it was a case of her Mr. Right never appearing. Knowing she always wanted to be a mommy, she decided to adopt. The adoption process proved to be impossible and unfavorable to single women. So, Yetunde took her efforts to adopt overseas--Russia. Thousands of dollars later, she continued to face the same challenges that made it impossible to adopt a child. At this point, she considered another alternative, invitro-fertilization. This time, thousands of dollars later and several attempts, she was pregnant and very happy. Ironically, she was on her way to Russia because the adoption drama cleared up and she could now adopt the baby she wanted. I asked her about her family's reaction. She replied and explained that at first, her family was averse to the whole IVF thing. Now, they are happy and comfortable with it. I asked her whether she had considered asking one of her close male friends to help her conceive instead of doing an IVF. She said she did and thought it was a bad idea. We finished our conversation with me commending her on being so healthy and able to have a baby at 41years.

Ladies, particularly my African sisters in the West, I am noticing more unmarried women at age 30 and above. 30, in the African traditional sense, is already considered "too old." lol! Anyway, would you consider IVF assuming the same set of facts like Yetunde? Are you worried about your biological clock tick, tock, ticking away? Is motherhood your right? I am so curious to know your thoughts so leave your comments!

Some interesting articles I found in looking up this topic:
Last-chance mothers: some single Sisters over 40 "arrange" pregnancies, rely on sperm banks or adoption agencies
Women over 40 lead surge in demand for IVF
Motherhood is my right.


My 2 cents said...

I am a single mother and actually will be a year over 30 tomorrow precisely.

You can read my ode to single parenthood on my blog.

I did not go through IVF, I opted out of a long term relationship to rear my son alone.

Best decision I ever made. I think motherhood is a blessing cause it gave me a sense of purpose and fullness.

it should be done by two parents, but women and the world is moving at a supersonic speed and the truth is the M word might not happen for everyone, my suggestion do whatever your heart leads you to do.

For "Yetunde" birthing and adopting two children is very applaudable. She is going a good thing and will reap it a thoudand folds.

Jotees Trendz said...

I was just having a convo with my sister the other day on a similar topic...She said 'the time is coming when women will solely be having their kids without men'

And i agreed with her, the world around us is ever changing so fast. Some few years ago, it was absolutely unheard of if a woman got preganant before marriage....especially in our culture of course. But look around you today, its no new anymore. So hey...IVF works for yetunde, it will and can work for many others too...don't be surprised if a few yrs down the road, IVF becomes d main word on the streets!

naijagal said...

interesting topic
is yetunde from naija ? why is she going to adopt in russia? how about the naija kids if she is?:) keep up the fab work lady

naijagal said...

yes i say women should go for IVF every woman should experience having a child with or without marriage!

Anonymous said...

Not to throw a wrench in da wheel. You ladies amazes me all the time, but as open-minded as you guys are, y'all lack a little bit of education in the child bearing department. You think you can just walk into a store and get your IVF done dime a dozen...This procedure cost thousands of dollars! Wonder why you didn't ask Yetunde how much it cost her so that you can share that info with your African sisters. "Make hay while the sun shin" or be saving those dollars for before you start your visit to the fertility doctor.
Goodluck sisters!!! said...

@Anonymous-point well taken. Actually, the costs of those procedures are mentioned in the linked articles especially the one focused on black sisters. In addition, my piece references "thousands of dollars" later. For me and most professional women, I would think cost is not an issue by the time you reach 40 and if you have pursued your career, you have the money to burn plus some insurance companies do cover the IVF procedures.

For me, it is a tough call. My personal beliefs plus the risk of such procedure makes me choose adoption. I was reading that approximately only 14% of those who attempt IVF are successful. One thing I have learned, however, is that life can be very funny and certain experiences thrown at you can refine, expand and cause your "never" to become a "maybe" or "yes."

@2 cents, you raise a very important point about the world moving at a "supersonic speed." Honestly, like "Yetunde" we professional/entrepreneurial women are busy pursuing our careers and know we can make just as much and do not have to put up with crap from men; all in the name of being in a "relationship." By the time we juggle careers and try to find our "Mr. Right," we are 40. Supersonic speed indeed!

@Coolgal--thanks jare. Thank you for updating your blog woman! I agree with you. Women can and should have children with/without marriage--it's a free world and country, abi? For me, I prefer marriage. I would highly prefer not to raise kids alone.

@Labelle-- I also had a convo with my sisters and some of my GFs. We all agreed that IVF is becoming common but most of us concluded we would not be comfortable with IVF. Some key concerns for us were: 1) child's psychologically and emotional well being; 2) the challenges of raising a child alone--most of us are from single parent homes and would prefer not to have our children go through the emotional and psychological drama we went through; and 3) health concerns-- normal healthy woman begins menopause at 50 but menopause can start as early as 35! 1 out of every 100 women starts that early--not counting other health risks as we age. Our lifestyles come with a price--high stress for most which in today's Western society means more health issues--exarcebated among us Africans since we take a while to tune into the importance of taking care of our health, first. Nevertheless, I am unwillingly to settle with just any man just because I want children which leads me back to square one if I really wanted a child and I was 40. Adoption or IVF? Adoption, yes. IVF-- honestly, time will tell. I am still a long ways from 40 :) :)

Thirty + said...

While I will not consider an IVF, I mean I would not want to rear a child without knowing the father, adoption will be preferred.

@Anon which one is make hay while sun shine if my sun shine you mean some psycophant boys who call themselves men then actually IVF is cheaper on the long term. Cos you save money on feeding his lazy arse, paying all the bills in short you are better off.

Know of some babe that eventually got married at 39 only to find the dude was some lazy bonzer who expected her to pay the mortgage bills while he wires money to his follks back home.

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