Thinking About My Future and My Fertility at Thirty-Six (and Eight Months)
The desire to be a mother is now something that lingers inside of me, an omnipresent hunger.
This is My Future, My Fertility, a monthly column in which Karissa Chen wrestles with her questions about fertility, motherhood, and future-planning after thirty-five.
What if you’ve made a terrible mistake? What if you’re alone forever? What if you never meet anyone else you love as much? What if you never have babies? Are you willing to be a single parent? Are you willing to give up on finding love?
You were so close to having all you ever wanted.
challenges, risks, complications, birth defects, miscarriage
Thirty-five is the age when your reproductive health begins to die.
Thirty-five is the age at which babies that make it to term have more challenges. Thirty-five is the age at which pregnant people have worse morning sickness/higher blood pressure/gestational diabetes/more difficult labor. Thirty-five is the age at which hopeful parents miscarry at a greater rate. Thirty-five is the age at which a person hoping to be pregnant will be lucky to get pregnant at all.
I thought, See? Your life is wonderful. Why would you want to have a baby when you could have all this?
geriatric pregnancy advanced maternal age , If you’re past thirty-five and anything turns out to be “wrong” with your child—or if you can’t have a child at all—you have nobody to blame but yourself.
See? Your life is wonderful. Why would you want to have a baby when you could have all
This is thirty-five
Karissa Chen's fiction and essays have appeared in numerous publications, including Gulf Coast, PEN America, Guernica, and Longreads. She was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to Taiwan in 2015-16 and received a 2019 Fellowship from the New Jersey Council on the Arts, and is a proud Fellow of both Kundiman and VONA/Voices. She currently serves as the Editor-in-Chief at Hyphen, Fiction Editor at the Rumpus, and a Contributing Fiction Editor at Catapult. She is working on a novel.
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I wanted to know more about my fertility because I thought it might help me prepare for a someday I wasn’t willing to give up on.
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It is the act of recording all this data that has helped me step away from identifying so strongly with it.