Ella mag’s editor Samantha Downes is wondering whether she is too old to have another child.
Several friends of mine and family members have had children in their 40s, and one even at 45. None of my close friends had any problems getting pregnant in their 40s.
In fact I’ve been told that 40something mums are more likely to give birth to twins; but is this more as a result of assisted conception being a more likely reason for a 40something woman to get pregnant? I’m sure someone will tell me otherwise.
Anyway of the four close friends who gave birth in their 40s – none did so via IVF. But this doesn’t mean it’s easy to get pregnant in your 40s. Out of 10 women I know from my ante natal and parenting groups who had children after the age 35, five of them needed IVF to get pregnant.
Anyway as I finally got my head around the fact that we would not mind to give our a sibling, I decided to take medical advice first. And it made for tough listening.
Both a GP and senior nurse warned me that getting pregnant at my age came with risks, my chances of developing diabetes was higher as well as other complications like pre eclampsia and of course babies born to ‘older’ mothers are more likely to be born with neural tube defects (you can go and look that one up).
I thought about this and then I read about Debbie Hughes. The woman who gave birth naturally at the age of 53.
Debbie already had three children, the oldest of which was in their 20s, tragically one of her children had died a few years back. Debbie is otherwise healthy and has grandchildren. She had not planned the pregnancy in fact she was on the pill when she conceived.
So I thought, well I’m in my early 40sv and healthy, and I could still outclass most 20somethings when it comes to a circuit class…
That was one day. The next day it was reported Amanda Holden had nearly died giving birth to daughter Hollie, Amanda is only six months younger than me and has a history of difficult pregnancies. And by the way – I worked up to 38 weeks pregnant with Imogen but if I had been her, I probably would have taken it easy from 6 months; but then she has probably the money to employ a private midwife .
I don’t believe in regrets but there are times I wonder if I should have had children a bit younger then it probably wouldn’t seem such a big deal now.
But my mid30s were when I felt healthiest and when I was at my fighting best, physically and emotionally. In the five or so years before I got pregnant I probably went to bed most nights at 9.30pm and didn’t really party hard (I’d a freelance career to build up).
Having a baby is emotionally and physically exhausting, whatever age you are. I remember my 28 year-old sister being completely knackered after she had her first baby.
The only thing of course is that when you are in your 60s, your child might not even have left school. When I’m 60, Imogen will be 23. That doesn’t really seem that old, but I may seem that old to her.
But there are lots of older mother role models out there and having children appears to have kept them young.
The GP didn’t tell me anything I didn’t know except they did tell me they were worried women were putting off childbirth till later – encouraged by women in the public eye who had made it seem ‘easy’ to get pregnant in their late 30s/40s. They (GP) told me “Most of these women had assisted conceptions and of course private medical health support on call throughout their pregnancy” something even the average well-paid career woman probably wouldn’t have access to.
Anyway the number of women giving birth after the age 40 has trebled in the last decade – and while I’m not going to be actively seeking any help to do so – it would be nice to think I may join them, maybe. This time round though I may need industrial strength eye concealer.
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