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The Career vs. Family Quandry

Dear Sugar
I'm so confused right now. This past year has been very challenging career wise. I've never worked harder but I've never been so driven either. I'm reading every possible book I can find on advancing in your career and becoming a professional etc... My problem is that since I've been married for eight years and since I turned 28 I've been feeling like it's time for us to have a family.

I've been trying for a few months now but nothing is happening. I don't know if I can get pregnant or not because I haven't been on birth control for almost a year. My husband says that I shouldn't feel pressure and that we're still young - but I feel like if I keep waiting I may never be able to have kids. It's making me really upset. Stressed Estella

To see DEARSUGAR's answer

Dear Stressed Estella
First let's talk about trying to conceive. Couples who are dealing with fertility issues often experience a range of emotions from anxiety to frustration, or from hope to utter despair. Have you gone to see your physician recently?

As a first step, make an appointment to discuss tests and your fertility questions. There could be a number of reasons why conceiving isn't happening for you right now. Are you having sex at the right times of the month? Has your husband's sperm level, pH balance, consistency, movement and believe it or not shape been recently checked? These are all factors when examining male fertility.

You will need to go through your own range of testing to check: hormone levels, thyroid hormones, a heart and lung test and you may even need an ultrasound (it's not painful) to make sure your pelvis is in good condition.

Once you are in the clear which hopefully you are, relax. Eat right, exercise and try not to stress about it. Not only will your sex life feel like a chore, but you don't want obstacles to get in the way of your marriage, you want to overcome them together and be a stronger team in the end.

One way to reduce your stress level is to look at your career. Are you working so hard to get ahead that you aren't taking care of your body? I know you are driven and you want to get ahead, but you can have it all. You are 28 years old.

Many women have successful careers and also have children, but you will ultimately have less time for yourself. Let things happen naturally and they will all work themselves out when the times comes. Stressing isn't going to get you ahead at work, and it's not going to get you pregnant either. Lean on your husband; he sounds supportive and loving. Good luck to you both.

Join The Conversation
nycchica nycchica 10 years
Best of luck, Estella! Hang in there, 28 is very young so you have plenty of time to try. Wishing you positive thoughts!
sjpwannabe sjpwannabe 10 years
pregnancy is one of the the many wonders of the world. you can't put it on the calendar and pick a day it will happen. we spend so much time having it drilled in our heads that we will get pregnant at the drop of a hat (and I don't want our young readers to take this lightly) that when it comes to the time when we really do want to get pregnant we expect it to happen overnight. many factors need to be considered such as what DEARSUGAR mentioned above. then again my ob told me it could take from 3-5 years due to some of my past health issues so we started trying and i got pregnant right away. whoops!
crispet1 crispet1 10 years
Good luck. I know this can be stressful, but permitting stress to enter the equation will only worsen your feelings. Relax, take a deep breath. First, conceiving is not always BAM, as easy as your 5th grade teacher indicated. I have a friend who is also career-oriented, 29, and trying to conceive. Its been many months for her too, and no pregnancy just yet. Think of it this way, you want to be ready for a child and you want to avoid stress during pregnancy. Take time to give your body time, you dont have to be a baby-making machine! This way the pressure will be off of you and having sex with your husband wont be on the To Do List and will be what it should be--pleasurable.
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