Thursday, July 16, 2009

How Old is Too Old?

I read where the "oldest woman to give birth" has died, leaving nearly-3-year-old twins. And on the news I saw that in India, two women older than she had also given birth; one in her early 70s (that would make her MY MOM'S AGE) and another one just 70, I think. In full disclosure, I have nothing against in vitro fertilization. It's a boon to couples who want a biological child. It's amazing science. But. Assuming that nothing is wrong with your fertility, after a certain point, our pipes shut off. There's a reason for that. There are many reasons, actually. Hormone levels naturally wane. We get older. Pregnancy's not a disease, but it's not for sissies either! There are still many mysteries in the process, and yes, sometimes even in this day and age, the baby dies, the mother dies - all kinds of things can happen. At some point, whether or not you have had the chance to become a mother during normal childbearing years, you must submit to the fact that you are aging and there's a biological or religious or karmic or whatever reason that you can't have children. The woman who died recently said that she lied to the clinic - telling them she was 55 (their cut-off age) when in reality she was what? 63? And that it was something she "always" wanted but it didn't happen in the normal course. So you lie? And you huff and puff about how your mom lived to 101. And as you can see, that's obviously no guarantee that YOU did. The clinic literally had to bring her body out of menopause. HINT TO CLINIC: That should have been a clue? I'm not a medical person, but it seems that even 55 is a bit too old. See comments below. Whether or not it's fair that men remain fertile well into their 70s, I maintain that the oldest a woman should be is somewhere mid-40-ish - or prior to menopause. Once your periods have stopped, that's kind of your sign that a natural pregnancy isn't going to happen. Be a really, really good aunt. Be a foster grandma. Be a volunteer. Just don't try to fool Mother Nature. Medical science is phenomenal. We can do so many things. But just because we CAN doesn't mean we SHOULD.

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