Monday, November 7, 2011


Isn't Your Clock Ticking?

What doctors call the “paternal age effect”—a condition that affects the children of men older than 35, and especially after 40—may lead to an increased incidence of all sorts of serious problems like dwarfism, Marfan syndrome (a connective-tissue disorder), and Apert syndrome (in which the skull and other body parts are malformed)... Indeed, there has also been some association between advanced paternal age and an increased incidence of schizophrenia and autism, as well as diminished intelligence.

Did you make a perfect baby yet? Why didn't you make a perfect baby yet? We keep giving you all the reasons to make the perfect baby TODAY and you just keep not making it? Why?

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I'm a religious man, and creating the perfect baby would be PLAYING GOD.

The Lady of Shalott

Because I had to go grocery shopping today instead, is why.


@The Lady of Shalott That's what you always say.


@The Lady of Shalott

*Call me, we'll multi-task

Oh, right, I'm too old.


I'm the child of a mother who was 43 (almost 44 when I was born) and a father who was 41 (almost 42 when I was born). I don't appear to have any major defects as a result, nor does my sister, who's just three years older.


(Jane, your tone was dead-on. Thank you.)


@special_boots I don't either but I keep seeing babies on the bus and they're making me feel weird and like melty AND I HATE IT.


@Megan Patterson@facebook I had that a few years ago and it was the weirdest. But it passed. Partly, I think, because my friends started having babies who I can snuggle and then hand back. But I am terrified it will come back (the feeling, not babies) because my partner has two kids and is Done and it would... just be complicated and difficult. And also, I like sleeping. I am worried my biology will betray me.


@Megan Patterson@facebook Heh! I do that a little, like I saw the CUTEST fucking toddler conversing with his dad on the Metro today and I died. And then I panicked trying to figure out OH GOD DOES THIS MEAN I WANT KIDS.

But no. It didn't. It just meant I thought that one was cute as hell.

This happens to me a lot, but 30 seconds of processing and I always decide that yep, that kid is cute as hell, but nope, *I* don't want one. Same way I feel about puppies.


I won't make perfect or imperfect babies because of ALL OF THE POOPING DURING CHILDBIRTH.

elysian fields

@QuiteAimable you know, of all the things about having babies that Totally and Completely Freak Me Out, pooping is, weirdly, at the bottom of the list. Pooping I can handle. Pain? Not so much.

Is there some way I could I have a Betty Draper-style birth? You know, ingest a bucketful of drugs, pass out, have some freaky ass dreams, and wake up with a baby in my arms?


@elysian fields Given that I'm pretty sure season 8 of MM is just going to consist of Sally going through some serious therapy, I wouldn't recommend Betty as a model for anything related to motherhood. But good luck!


@elysian fields Um, did you know they used to tie the women to the beds during that twilight sleep thing? Apparently it didn't take away the pain, it just made you forget everything.




@QuiteAimable Wait, WHAT??

elysian fields

@punkahontas fine by me! If I don't remember it, it didn't happen, etc.


A friend/roommate of mine has Marfan Syndrome, and at an early age she started calling herself, I think, Mighty Marfan Power Ranger, which is pretty awesome.


@lue Is she available? For you see, I love her.

elysian fields

@lue I'm smiling so hard my cheeks hurt.


@melis I think she's married to board games and her cat, but you never know!


@lue Woah, my liking this comment for the 14th time I think got all the comments in this thread up to 14 likes. It was a very powerful like!

Edit: aww, nope, just appeared that way before I submitted. Darn.


You guys are mean. You might as well have just written "HEY PADDLEPICKLE, REMEMBER WHY YOUR 39-YEAR OLD BOYFRIEND DUMPED YOU AND BROKE YOUR HEART?" No fair.


Sorry, I was too busy getting drunk.


@cherrispryte This is why I liked my implanon. Because I make BAD CHOICES when I am horny and drunk. The implanon was my secret weapon against evolution. MWAHAHAAH



*Call me, we'll multi-task.

Oh, right, I'm too old.


Did anyone else read the WSJ article this links to? Holy controlling boyfriend, Batman!


@Ophelia The guy in the Daily Beast article isn't much better. "The problem is, Alexander wants to be a dad. Badly. He sees fatherhood as the missing link, the key to full happiness." I want MY child for MY happiness ME ME ME ME ME


@Ophelia Especially when you know that contraception sabotage, etc, is basically the 100% form of Domestic Abuse/method of control that men use against women.


@Ophelia speaking of controlling boyfriends, read this carolyn hax letter from a couple of days ago.

not on topic, but i have been feeling freaked out by this guy for days!!


@blahstudent Yikes. I dated a dude like that. No one should date a dude like that. Carolyn Hax needs to call this girl and tell her to RUN LIKE THE WIND.


@blahstudent Yeesh, totally.


If ancient sperm are just as dangerous, if not more so, than ancient eggs, I have another awesome reason to avoid dating men my own age. Thanks, Jane!


No, no, no! If we get the Kwisatz Haderach, he brings the sequels with him! Maybe even the prequels! Who wants that, really?


@Cawendaw Points for a Dune reference.


Don't worry, ladies! I read the linked article, and there's no rush for you to have babies! Wait as long as you want, just make sure you get knocked up by a 20-year-old lacrosse player!


@gobblegirl Yes, and whatever you do, don't have unprotected sex with old mice.


@Cawendaw Well there goes my weekend plans


Shut up, studies.




Ok, I know I was pretty flippant with my comments earlier, but against my better judgement can I just say that this article kind of seems to ignore nurture in favor of nature? Marfan syndrome, schizophrenia et al are no fun at all, obviously, but my instinct (bolstered by and possibly originally derived from anecdotal evidence from parent-teacher interviews) is that if you don't feel ready to have a kid, and you then go and have a kid, there's a fair possibility that you will then end up raising a kid you don't want. And kids generally do not thrive in a home environment where they're not wanted. The older parents are having kids later because that's when they feel ready to have kids, I kind of get the sense from these articles that we're being told that said parents should have had kids younger, before they were ready, for some damn reason..

I'm not trying to diminish the seriousness of congenital disorders, and yes there are many parents who weren't that enthusiastic about childbirth at first but became great parents despite their earlier misgivings, and many older parents who planned carefully and thought they really wanted kids but still managed to become craptastic parents anyway, and also kids who were raised by less-than-attentive parents who emerged undamaged, vibrant, contributing members of society. But the implication that children with autism/Apert syndrom/Down's etc. would have been better off being born earlier as physically immaculate babies of younger parents who possibly weren't ready for them really bothers me.

tl;dr there's more to life than being born without birth defects, you have to be raised, too.


@Cawendaw This! This this this.


@Cawendaw Hmm, I hadn't thought about that but yes. Completely gross and ableist. As in, having a disability or birth defect is the WORST THING THAT CAN HAPPEN TO YOU OMG. Personally, I find that pretty offensive.


@Cawendaw I'm working to build an endowment for my city's public school system where only about 20% of students are reading at grade level and we graduate 53% of seniors. Lack of parental engagement is only one reason for this terrible performance but please hear me when I plead, if you aren't fully ready to be a parent--IF YOU DON'T WANT TO BE A PARENT MORE THAN ANYTHING--please don't have children. Life is tough out there for the little people--with disabilities or without--and they need multiple fully-engaged adults in their lives to have the best chance.

While you're deciding, how 'bout volunteering in a local school? Be around kids all day, get to know some teachers, see what it's like to handle it all every day. Kids--yours and other people's--need 'Pinner-type grownups in their lives.


@Cawendaw Yeah, this is exactly what I was going to say, and I'll add that in my view the whole perspective these articles espouse is reminiscent of eugenics. My parents had my sister and I in their thirties for becoming-doctors-type-reasons; my sister has Down's, and guess what, she's rad as hell. If they'd had kids sooner, the world might have been short a doctor or two, as well as my rad-ass sister.


@laurel +1


Stop it, I have been banging way too many random dudes lately; the last thing I need right now is for me to start freaking out that my Anxiety Nausea is really Pregnancy Nausea. I mean, shit, I already used up that three-pack of pregnancy tests...that I bought in September.


Isn't Marfan syndrome what Osama bin Laden theoretically had? So, by waiting to have kids, you're probably going to be producing the next Osama bin Laden...I mean, if you're ok with that, I guess...but...


@WaityKatie Bin Laden AND Abraham Lincoln (and me!). So, you know, roll those dice :).


Andrew and David sound like typical DC guys. I bet they are 5'8" and claim to be over 6'.


Hope that comment is enough to mask my massive anxiety re: my older boyfriend and our future children, which we both want and want to put off for as long as humanly possible.


@julia 5'8"? Try 5'4" and realllly angry about it.


@julia ME TOO. Sorry. How old is he? How old are you? Can I wait until I'm 35 to have a baby? He'll be 50? Is that creepy? WHAT IS MY LIFE?!

But seriously- I really like that you said that. A lot. The hairpin is full of making me feel not alone these last few days. Hugs and sprinkles for all.


@JoanTition 38, 28. And starting to think about it at 30 used to seem like PLENTY of time and now it is creeping up on me and I don't even have a real job right now (grad school) and AHHHHHHH. Let's start a club.


@julia I am also 28. THIS MEANS SOMETHING.

Club- started. Now it needs a long name with a lot of words so that Edith can do that thing she does.


@JoanTition Ok this is really late, you'll never see this but...


no way

@julia Somebody is going to let me have my first baby at thirty-forty or I am going to scream?


My 40 year old husband fertilized my 34 year old egg just fine (after six months off the pill and we only spend 4 days a fortnight together) and so far, no congenital disorders. I hate all that baby scaremongering bullshit.


I have to say, it's kind of refreshing to see an article about how the dad could fuck up the kid and not the horrible stupid selfish mother and her eating the wrong food/not eating the right food or sitting too much or moving around too much or smiling too much or not enough or being too pretty or not pretty enough, etc, etc.


@tortietabbie It does kind of throw a wrench in the life-plan of many a contemporary urban male (date date date until you're 42, then marry a 29 year old and breed).

Anastasia Beaverhausen

So I guess when I tell my husband it's a wonder he's not messed up, I'm right? His parents were both in their 40s and now he's 38 and no babies for us yet.

Though it is nice to know if our kid isn't the perfect spawn, I can blame it all on him and his old ass sperm.


"Several months ago, my friend Anna called to complain about her boyfriend of eight months. Bombarded by media warnings about the female biological clock, he wanted to make sure that Anna was fit for childbearing before the relationship moved forward. He had taken her to a fertility clinic where a reproductive endocrinologist drew blood to check her ovarian reserve and injected radioactive iodine into her uterus to ensure that her fallopian tubes were clear.

Anna's boyfriend was right to be concerned."

WHATTTTTT? I can't believe the WSJ endorsed the actions of this creep.

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