As a 26-year-old single female, I’ve barely even thought about the idea of children.
It’s a “Sure, yeah, great, someday” kind of thing. I mean, I like kids.
But a weird thing starts to happen when you get to be in your mid-20s. People start asking you if and when you’re going to have children. Worse, even, they ask you if you already have children.
I mean, that’s great for all those ladies my age who’ve got buns in the oven or have already popped out a few little ones. But for those of us who are so not there, the “Your clock is ticking” looks settle over some faces when I reply with something like, “Me? Oh, no. No. Nope. Not for a while still. Yup.” I still get a feeling of panic thinking about pregnancy, along with a feeling that I’m just not old enough yet to have a baby.
But, hey, I get it. We all go through different phases in our lives at different times. Some women are ready for babies sooner. Some women, like me, really aren’t. Unfortunately, now that I’m in my 20s, my body has apparently begun some kind of countdown until my ovaries just shrivel up.
And I’m happy to report those looks are changing a lot from skepticism to understanding. Times are changing, people. Those looks are getting less judgmental and a lot more applauding. Because I want a career. (Thank God I’m not in my 20s in my grandmother’s generation, because there would be very little hope for me.) I want to find success. I want to accomplish very specific dreams and follow my passions. And if those things don’t happen, I’m not just going to have a baby because my ovaries might dry up by the time I’m in my 30s.
And I don’t have to. Because they won’t.
Oh, hey, technology. You are a sight for sore embryos. And so is the news that 50-year-old Sophie B. Hawkins is expecting, as reported by People. The singer decided, later in life, that she wanted a baby. So she’s having one with the help of a frozen embryo (she had that done at age 31) and a sperm donor.
And while I’m sure Hawkins is more concerned with the fact that she’s going to have a baby girl in her life very soon, I’m raising my hat to this woman who is so publicly sharing her story and giving women everywhere some much-needed hope.
This news also proves that not only can you have a baby later on in life these days if you so choose, you also don’t need a man. Hawkins is newly single.
“I interviewed a lot of divorced women and they said, ‘It’s so much easier to do it alone. You don’t have the pressure or the criticism or judgment of someone else.’ Of course, then you ask, ‘Will I miss the emotional support?’ Well, to tell you the truth, I’m getting that more from my friends than I ever got in a relationship,” Hawkins says of her decision to have a baby without a partner or husband.
And though Hawkins said she had a rough first trimester of morning sickness, she’s now in her second trimester and sometimes, she says, “I forget I’m pregnant.”
Now, don’t get me wrong. If I find the right guy and I have the right career and I decide I really, really want a child, I’m all in. But it’s nice to know that the window of options is broadening significantly for those of us who aren’t necessarily traveling down the “traditional” road.
Granted, getting your eggs frozen isn’t all sunshine and butterflies. According to USC Fertility, it costs around $10,000 to undergo the procedure, including testing, monitoring, medications and the actual freezing. To have the eggs thawed, fertilized and transferred, it costs about another $5,000. Which is definitely doable. It’s not something my 26-year-old self is ready to jump into just yet, but I love knowing that option is out there if and when I need it.