A good friend of mine recently came to me with a dilemma. She's about to finish graduate school and was unsure as to whether or not she should try for a baby now, or wait until her life was little less hectic and her career more established. It might seem like an easy decision to make for some, but when you're older the answer isn't so clear. So if you're asking, "Should I have a baby after 35?" know that you're not alone. These questions aren't easy to answer, and the answers are often complex.
I would know — I've been there. I completely understand how difficult it can be to answer these questions and weigh the pros and cons. The decision to have a baby is arguably one of the most important decisions a person can make. And, as you get older and life gets more complicated, it's typical to wonder if you should have a baby after 35.
Looking back, I can tell you that, personally, I am absolutely glad I did. Waiting to have kids until I was in my 30s meant that I was able to establish myself in a career and gain some financial stability before having children. I had also been through a lot before deciding to have a kid in my late-30s, including a marriage, two kids, a divorce, and a second marriage. I had the life experience that let me know my family wasn't complete. And then I had our son.
It wasn't easy, though. Of my three pregnancies, my last (at age 38) was by far the hardest on my body. I have made peace with the fact that I will not likely ever fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes ever again. And in having to deal with rude comments and questions about my age, health, and family planning, I've been forced to grow a pretty thick skin.
In the end, and always, the only person who can decide if you should have a baby after 35 is you. If you think you are leaning in that direction, though, here are some signs to look for from someone who has been there: