2015 Survey Results Continued

This is Part 2 data of the 2015 Choice Mom survey results. The overview is here. See Part 1 data here.

Age at Live Delivery

Not all of the women delivered after first conception. Some of the notable numbers so far:

  • 38 women miscarried and are still trying to become a mother — half of them under 38, half of them over;
  • 244 women delivered a child with no loss (53.7%), 115 experienced one miscarriage (25.3%), 29 had two miscarriages, 10 had three miscarriages, 17 had more than three miscarriages;
  • Most women reported delivering their first live child between the ages of 36 and 38 (142) and between the ages of 39 and 41 (147). [Again, ChoiceMoms.org has a high number of women over the age of 37 visiting the website, so this naturally skews the age range of those taking the survey.

Comments

  • “I conceived on my first try with my 2nd child. With my third, it took 14 months.”
  • “I had twins on 8th attempt: 7 IUIs, 1 IVF.”
  • “I was worried about miscarrying being 44, so went to a specialist for prevention and he reluctantly prescribed me a cream that I applied inside my vagina 3 days after insemination for I think 21 days. I am sure it helped — at 44 I did not miscarry. Normally they do not do this, but I had been trying for 2 years and if I got pregnant it might be the last good egg, and hence I wanted to do everything I could to make it a success.”
  • “I was never able to conceive.”

Number of attempts per method

  • Of the 397 women who attempted IUI (successfully or unsuccessfully), 133 made 3-5 attempts, 104 made 6-10 attempts, and 20 made more than 10 attempts. (This does not in general view indicate if they succeeded; I’d have to go deeper into data for that.)
  • Of the 103 women who attempted IVF with their own freshly retrieved egg, 45 made two attempts, 32 made 3-5 attempts, 9 have made more than 6 attempts.
  • Of the 75 women who used home insemination as a method, 26 made more than 7 attempts.
  • Of the 44 women who used IVF with donated egg, 11 required at least 3 attempts.

Age of Delivering Last Child

Of 132 women who delivered between the ages of 39 and 41, 90.15% used their own egg. Of 76 who delivered between the ages of 42 and 44, 78.9% used their own egg. And of 16 women who delivered after the age of 45, 31.2% used their own egg.


Adoption

33 women who responded used adoption for motherhood. Of those 4 served as foster parents, 6 pursued foster-care adoption, 8 open domestic adoption, 4 closed domestic, 5 adopted from Asia, 1 from Africa, and 3 from Europe. An additional 9 women are still in the process of adopting.

(Note: there are many women who pursue adoption as their method to motherhood, but most of them are not highly engaged on the discussion boards, where this survey was announced.)

Regardless of method, most women who have adopted reported that it took less than two years from beginning paperwork to motherhood.

Comments

  • “I was turned down by two agencies due to cancer history, or told I wouldn’t be able to be matched until 10 years out (age 47) at which time I would be categorized as ‘aged out’ of the system (they preferred parents to be no older than 39.”
  • “I was told in the state of Indiana I would most probably be overlooked due to my age and no husband!!”
  • “Tried international adoption for about 1.5 years before trying to get pregnant, country programs kept closing”
  • “Started the process but was advised that as a single mother, IVF would be a preferable route for me.”
  • “6 months for paperwork/homestudy; 5 weeks, until newborn entered my home;13 more months until he was mine.”
  • “2.5 years attempting to adopt, failed adoption and moved on to donor sperm”
  • “Still hoping”
  • “13 months for first child, 9 months for second child, 11 months for third child”

Practical Matters

Leftover Embryos

Of those who responded to the question, 59 have leftover IVF embryos they might someday like to donate. See this post to learn more about the embryo donation route.

Legal

Roughly half of the 491 women who responded to the question do NOT have an estate plan in place, and more than half do not have guardianship papers in place. Reminder: these are vital interests for Choice Moms in particular and we have many articles about “legal” on this website. Read this for more if you are a mother now. Read this if you are in the process of becoming a mother.

Childcare

A majority (67.6%) feel they have adequate childcare coverage. Yet 105 women reported that they do not. I welcome more articles submitted to ChoiceMoms.org to help those who are seeking childcare solutions.

Money

Half of the 311 women who reported earning less than $60K said they worry about money, the other half do not. Interestingly, 281 women reported earning more than $60K, and 194 of those women said they worry about money. In fact, in the comments section, many women indicated they earn more than $100K but worry about money. It doesn’t go far in many of our most Choice Mom-heavy cities, like New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles.

Note that there was obviously some confusion around the way this question was worded, since some women reported their income was at both levels. But attitudes about financial concerns is sometimes less dependent on income earned than it is about personal comfort level… and city lived.

Stress and Support

A slight majority are not stressed about parenting alone — 259 compared to 220 who are. Note that some women are not yet mothers; after the first year we tend to be less stressed about the unknown.

But thankfully, nearly 81% of us report that we have a good support network around us. ChoiceMoms.org and its discussion boards continues to do what it can to help build those support networks, especially for those 93 women thus far who report that they don’t have an adequate network.

Comments

  • “I worry about college money, but otherwise we have been fine. It was very stressful when the children were less than 8, but now as teenagers it is less stressful to be single than married I think and I let my eldest, age 15, drive for the first time today. We have a great relationship.”
  • “I wouldn’t say I’m stressed about parenting alone but I do get tired of always being in charge. I sometimes wish someone were around to take care of me”
  • “Stress: Still am nowhere near having/getting a child.”
  • “Support network isn’t what I thought it would be, though other folks have helped and/or I pay babysitters and use full time daycare.”
  • “I am low income, but I do not put my energy into worrying over things I cannot control. My health and well being are essential assets I need for mothering.”
  • “I make more than $100K and I’m still stressed about money — single mom of soon-to-be 3yo trying to make ends meet in Manhattan is hard.”
  • “I felt very stressed and anxious about parenting alone when my daughter was a baby and I was in a country away from my family. Now I am back in the UK near my family and my daughter is nearly 4 so things are a lot easier.”
  • “Stressed mainly because my first child has a genetic medical condition.”
  • “Due to prematurity, my daughter has medical issues; she has seven therapy sessions a week. No local family. Long-time friends have disappeared due to lingering trauma, special needs. It’s disappointing but we are doing well and happy!”
  • “Wish I had a husband and my daughter, a father.”
  • “Went from 6-figure career woman to stay at home single mom on govt support over time. It is just much harder than I imagined.”
  • “I don’t feel stressed about my lack of partner. I feel stressed by being stretched very thin emotionally, financially and physically. I wish there was another adult to share that burden, but I don’t want the hassle of managing a relationship. It’s a bit of a conundrum.”
  • “Was making over $100K when conceived/gave birth, but lost my job when he was 10 months old, could only find part-time work, eventually had to sell the house and move to another state to live with my mom. Not exactly what was in my plan, I thought I was financially secure.”

Basic Demographics

Of those who responded, 173 are aged 42-45, 111 are 39-41, 75 are 46-50, 65 are 36-38, 34 are 33-35, 29 are over 50, 7 are 30-32, and two are under 30. This is a good general snapshot of the age range of the women who are coming to ChoiceMoms.org.

— Mikki Morrissette, Choice Moms founder

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