Yesterday I was at lunch with a girlfriend from church and she shared that her friend just had a baby at 43. Her first was at 40. She got married in her early 30s and she still had both time and ability to have children. I marveled that she had had a baby after 40.
Today I heard that Janet Jackson announced she was pregnant just a few weeks shy of her 50th birthday. A latter day miracle, it seems!
Why was I so surprised that these women had had a baby after 40? In part, I think it’s because many women, myself included, have a number in our head at which point fertility drops like a rock – 35. After that, I thought, you would be doing a lot of praying to get pregnant. And 40? That was the absolute point of no return, do not pass go, do not collect $200.
This perception, though, is why I think so many of my single friends are distressed about their singleness into their thirties and forties. As each year passes, they are worried that they are in a race against the biological clock…and it’s winning.
The reality, though, is that yes, it does become statistically harder to become pregnant after 35 for most women. But harder does not mean impossible. And again, it becomes even harder after 40 and you have greater risks involved for both mom and baby. But risk does not mean impossible.
I also know that many women are infertile or have other issues getting pregnant. I have a number of friends who continue to pray for the blessing of a family and yet have to wait on the Lord.
But I want to also offer hope to those of you who are watching the months tick by and are despairing. There is still time and there is still hope. Take it from Janet Jackson 😉