Should We Be Sympathetic to a 42-Year-Old’s Fertility Struggles? (editorial)

Should We Be Sympathetic to a 42-Year-Old’s Fertility Struggles?

Update by the blog owner, Christian Pundit (I’m SoloLoner2 on Twitter):

I am not the author of the following (article first hosted on Babble); I linked to it, but the link now redirects to a Disney site.

I myself don’t have a strong opinion about this topic but do lean towards thinking no, society should not be un-sympathetic to a 40-something’s fertility struggles.

I just found out today that one of the women mentioned in the piece below wrote an editorial about this work by a Carolyn Castiglia that appeared in a mainstream publication.

(Link): When George Clooney became a dad at 56 he got kudos. But older moms like me get shamed – by Anna Klein, via NBC News

^That page links to this very blog post you are reading now

I, Christian Pundit, am not the author of the editorial. I only provided excerpts of it here because it covers one of the topics I kind of regularly cover on this blog.

By the way, if you read Castiglia’s wording carefully below, she was not “shaming” Klein, as Klein remarked in her NBC Think piece, which links to this blog post – she was actually in support of Klein. 

(Link): Should We Be Sympathetic to a 42-Year-Old’s Fertility Struggles?– via Babble, link now re-directs to Disney

NOTE: the original link, hosted at, above no longer works. The essay can be read in an archived format (Link): here

    By  Carolyn Castiglia | August 14th, 2013 at 3:35 pm

“These are the days of ugly emotions. Infertility hijacks your schedule, damages your relationship with your spouse and unleashes in you terrible jealousy of other women, women who conceive easily, without thought, without drugs, without dozens of days lost to medical intervention. Women whose biggest problems are swollen feet.”

Those seem like fighting words coming from a 42-year-old woman trying to get pregnant for the first time, I thought. Surely this woman must understand that at her age fertility problems are to be expected when trying to conceive for the first time. How could she be so angry? Didn’t she see this coming?

Moreover, like so many people do when confronted with this sort of thing, I thought, ”Are we really supposed to feel sorry for a 42-year-old woman who is doing IVF when she could just adopt?”

That was my honest, gut reaction to Amy Klein’s first Motherlode column about her fertility struggles. I pitched a response essay to my editors here at Babble, but then I paused. I know this is a hugley hot-button issue for people, and I didn’t want to write something knee-jerk and inflammatory that would make great link bait but earn me lots of contempt.

So I Googled Amy Klein, read some of her stuff, then sent her a handful of questions via email.

She graciously answered them.

Her answers reveal more about her background and helped me appreciate how Klein came to be a 42-year-old trying to conceive for the first time. If you’re a young woman, they should give you some perspective on how to handle your reproductive future, as well.

Our exchange is below. It has been edited slightly for copy purposes.
— end excerpt —

The essay ends on this point; note that the author was supportive of Klein (edit: sorry, this was part of Klein’s quote; I initially thought this was Castiglia speaking, but she’s quoting Klein here):

I honestly think it’s all okay: marrying young, not marrying, having children later, not having children at all. It’s so hard to remember that each one of us was put on this planet to live out our own particular journeys, and there’s no one way to get there!
— end excerpt —

Prior to that, here is what the author says – and it’s not critical of Klein or women in her situation:

CASTIGLIA: I married young because I knew I wanted to get married and I wanted to have a family. In marrying so young, I made a choice that didn’t work out and I’m now divorced, but I have a beautiful daughter.

It seems that often women are cornered in these ways: wait to find someone you feel truly compatible with and enter a marriage you feel as certain as possible will last but then deal with potential fertility issues, or marry young and take your chances when you’re still quite fertile.

Not that it’s always an either/or situation, but still. Based on the way things have played out for you, what advice would you give to younger women when it comes to love/marriage/babies?

I mentioned on Facebook a while back that women should take the time they need to try to find a truly healthy love relationship, but that if they don’t find a great partner by their mid-30’s, they should just have a baby alone
—- end excerpt —

Read the rest of the page here (link no longer works):

(Link): Should We Be Sympathetic to a 42-Year-Old’s Fertility Struggles? – (link appears to be dead now)– link originally to Babble, now re-directs to Disney

New link:


– hosted on Internet Archive, article originally at Babble

Related posts this blog:

(Link): Misapplication of Biblical Verses About Fertility (also mentions early marriage) – a paper by J. McKeown

(Link): Fertility crisis myth? Rates unchanged, even though more waiting to have kids (articles)

(Link): If the Family Is Central, Christ Isn’t

(Link): The Decline in Male Fertility (article)

(Link): With Menopause Reversal, Women Could Be Forever Fertile

(Link): Infertility/ Kids/ The Male Biological Clock

(Link): The Bible Does Not Teach Christians to “Focus On The Family” – The Idolization of Family by American Christians (article)

(Link): Un Happy Mother’s Day – universal church continues to worship parenthood, family

(Link): Un-Happy Father’s Day!

(Link): Salvation By Marriage Alone – The Over Emphasis Upon Marriage (and “family”) by Conservative Christians Evangelicals Southern Baptists

(Link): I’m Childless, Not Child-Incompetent (editorial by G. Dalfonzo) – The Christian Tendency to Worship Family, Motherhood, and Children

(Link): Why all the articles about being Child Free? On Being Childfree or Childless – as a Conservative / Right Wing / Christian

(Link): Population Decline and Bay-bee Obsession – Patriarchy, Quiverfull, Traditional Family, Christian Gender Complementarian Nuts

(Link): Mormons and Christians Make Family, Marriage, Having Children Into Idols

(Link) Have we made an idol of families? by A. Stirrup (copy)

(Link): Fatherhood Not Quite the Producer of Manly, Mature, Godly Men Some Conservative Christians Make It Out To Be

(Link): Get Married This Year! and other lies (from L. Turner’s blog)

(Link): Article: Smart Women Are Stupid for Choosing Not To Have Children

(Link): The Deification of Family and Marriage (re: Kyle Idleman book)

(Link): I’m Childless, Not Child-Incompetent (editorial by G. Dalfonzo) – The Christian Tendency to Worship Family, Motherhood, and Children

(Link): Jesus’ Family Values by Deirdre Good challenges conservative Christan emphasis on “family” (copy)

(Link): Cultural Discrimination Against Childless and Childfree Women – and link to an editorial by a Childless Woman

(Link): The Child Free City

(Link): Childfree Christians / Childfree childless

(Link): Do You Rate Your Family Too High? (Christians Who Idolize the Family) (article)

%d bloggers like this: