Having children over age 40?


#1

Have any of you had a child (or has your spouse to the men out there!) had a child in your early or mid 40s?
Our kids are teens and we have used NFP for years, feeling that we simply could not provide (financially or spiritually or in terms of general parental involvement) for more children.

However, now we (esp. my husband) would like another child. My doctor said I could give it a shot, just needed to understand the risk and understand that it would not be likely, statistically, that I would get pregnant given my age.

Thoughts and experiences?

Taben


#2

My mother had me (her only child) when she was 42 years old. She and my father had been married for 16 years and they thought they were infertile. This was back in the dark ages of the 1950's. She went to the doctor expecting a diagnosis of menopause and came out "expecting!" She had an uneventful pregnancy and a PERFECT CHILD! :rolleyes:

Betsy


#3

My first when I was 43, my wife 41. Might have a second.
My father had 5 after 40, my mom 2.


#4

[quote="baltobetsy, post:2, topic:221426"]
My mother had me (her only child) when she was 42 years old. She and my father had been married for 16 years and they thought they were infertile. This was back in the dark ages of the 1950's. She went to the doctor expecting a diagnosis of menopause and came out "expecting!" She had an uneventful pregnancy and a PERFECT CHILD! :rolleyes:

Betsy

[/quote]

My nonna was 46. She was a remarried widow, and didn't have children.

She thought when she was pregnant with my dad..."Well, i guess it's stopped raining " (cute euphemism for menopause) until one day she felt the baby kick. This was in the 1930's.

She had a good long life- 103 years.

I was almost 40 when I had my little guy. Dh was almost 42.

Between DD and DS 2 are about 4 years. We practiced NFP but not extra conservatively...so some months we could have conceived...but didn't.

I did suffer 2 miscarriages before the baby. They were early (around 6 weeks) My doctor attributes them to some genetic defect that stopped them from continuing to grow.

About last year I did some hormone tests to see if the big M was coming. Well not yet, I'm still fertile at 41.


#5

My mom had me at 42 and my brother at 44. While I love my mom and I'm glad I'm here, it was hard growing up with a mom too old and with too little energy to run after two young children. She would get tired out easily and we never got to do things with our mom that other kids did after she hit her early 50s when we were in early elementary school. The toddler years were okay - she would take us to the park a lot but she couldn't play with us like some of the other moms did. But after she hit menopause she just didn't have the energy for us. It was also really difficult not knowing my grandparents because they were already in their 70s when I was born. When someone says they love their grandparents, it honestly means nothing to me because I have no idea what it's like to feel a grandparent's love. It's making it hard now to know what kind of relationship my parents are supposed to have with the baby I am carrying now because I never experienced that relationship myself. How often are grandparents supposed to want to see a grandchild? Once a week? Once a month? Will I annoy them if I bring the baby over too often? I just have no clue.
Also be prepared to be asked if you are your children's grandmother everywhere you go! It was so frequent that it even started to annoy me when people asked.

I guess the bottom line is to think very honestly about whether you will be able to properly care for any children you would have so late in life. I know firsthand how hard it can be on a child. I am in my early 20s but I am already facing my mom's declining health and the fact that she likely will not live to see all her grandchildren because she probably won't live for more than a few more years. If you have kids in your 40s, you will probably not be around to help them past early adulthood.


#6

I had my 3rd this year at 39 and plan to keep going.:)


#7

[quote="Charlotte1776, post:5, topic:221426"]
My mom had me at 42 and my brother at 44. While I love my mom and I'm glad I'm here, it was hard growing up with a mom too old and with too little energy to run after two young children. She would get tired out easily and we never got to do things with our mom that other kids did after she hit her early 50s when we were in early elementary school. The toddler years were okay - she would take us to the park a lot but she couldn't play with us like some of the other moms did. But after she hit menopause she just didn't have the energy for us. It was also really difficult not knowing my grandparents because they were already in their 70s when I was born. When someone says they love their grandparents, it honestly means nothing to me because I have no idea what it's like to feel a grandparent's love. It's making it hard now to know what kind of relationship my parents are supposed to have with the baby I am carrying now because I never experienced that relationship myself. How often are grandparents supposed to want to see a grandchild? Once a week? Once a month? Will I annoy them if I bring the baby over too often? I just have no clue.
Also be prepared to be asked if you are your children's grandmother everywhere you go! It was so frequent that it even started to annoy me when people asked.

I guess the bottom line is to think very honestly about whether you will be able to properly care for any children you would have so late in life. I know firsthand how hard it can be on a child. I am in my early 20s but I am already facing my mom's declining health and the fact that she likely will not live to see all her grandchildren because she probably won't live for more than a few more years. If you have kids in your 40s, you will probably not be around to help them past early adulthood.

[/quote]

I never knew my grandparents. As a father of a 3 year old who is now 47, I'm usually the most in shape out of the other fathers. I also notice I'm not the oldest. It's an individual thing. I also notice as an older Dad I have more patience than the younger Dads. Ditto with my wife with the younger Moms. No one ever thinks we are the Grandparents.


#8

[quote="Charlotte1776, post:5, topic:221426"]
My mom had me at 42 and my brother at 44. While I love my mom and I'm glad I'm here, it was hard growing up with a mom too old and with too little energy to run after two young children. She would get tired out easily and we never got to do things with our mom that other kids did after she hit her early 50s when we were in early elementary school. The toddler years were okay - she would take us to the park a lot but she couldn't play with us like some of the other moms did. But after she hit menopause she just didn't have the energy for us. It was also really difficult not knowing my grandparents because they were already in their 70s when I was born. When someone says they love their grandparents, it honestly means nothing to me because I have no idea what it's like to feel a grandparent's love. It's making it hard now to know what kind of relationship my parents are supposed to have with the baby I am carrying now because I never experienced that relationship myself. How often are grandparents supposed to want to see a grandchild? Once a week? Once a month? Will I annoy them if I bring the baby over too often? I just have no clue.
Also be prepared to be asked if you are your children's grandmother everywhere you go! It was so frequent that it even started to annoy me when people asked.

I guess the bottom line is to think very honestly about whether you will be able to properly care for any children you would have so late in life. I know firsthand how hard it can be on a child. I am in my early 20s but I am already facing my mom's declining health and the fact that she likely will not live to see all her grandchildren because she probably won't live for more than a few more years. If you have kids in your 40s, you will probably not be around to help them past early adulthood.

[/quote]

I can give you a different perspective on having older parents. My mom was 40 when she had me, she herself was a baby of an older mother. My grandmother had babies until she was almost 50. I never noticed the difference between my mom and any of the other moms that were younger than her at the playground or any school activity. The only time I ever knew my mom was not the same age as the other mothers of my friends and classmates was when another classmate pointed out that someone's mom didn't look old enough to even have a baby. My parents lived long enough to see me get married and have my daughter. My mom is still alive and very, very active at the age of 84, still driving and still working and singing in three different choirs and winning art contests.

I think age is relative to the parents in question. If you are both healthy enough to have the baby, then I say go for it. You can speculate and analyze if having a baby at an older age will be a huge factor or not. But just because someone is much younger when they have a baby doesn't mean they are any healthier than someone having a baby in their 40s. If it is God's will for you to have another baby, and you've prayed and discerned about it, there are just as many blessings to being an older parent as there are all the negatives that people will constantly point out to you.


#9

[quote="Charlotte1776, post:5, topic:221426"]
My mom had me at 42 and my brother at 44. While I love my mom and I'm glad I'm here, it was hard growing up with a mom too old and with too little energy to run after two young children. She would get tired out easily and we never got to do things with our mom that other kids did after she hit her early 50s when we were in early elementary school. The toddler years were okay - she would take us to the park a lot but she couldn't play with us like some of the other moms did. But after she hit menopause she just didn't have the energy for us. It was also really difficult not knowing my grandparents because they were already in their 70s when I was born. When someone says they love their grandparents, it honestly means nothing to me because I have no idea what it's like to feel a grandparent's love. It's making it hard now to know what kind of relationship my parents are supposed to have with the baby I am carrying now because I never experienced that relationship myself. How often are grandparents supposed to want to see a grandchild? Once a week? Once a month? Will I annoy them if I bring the baby over too often? I just have no clue.
Also be prepared to be asked if you are your children's grandmother everywhere you go! It was so frequent that it even started to annoy me when people asked.I guess the bottom line is to think very honestly about whether you will be able to properly care for any children you would have so late in life. I know firsthand how hard it can be on a child. I am in my early 20s but I am already facing my mom's declining health and the fact that she likely will not live to see all her grandchildren because she probably won't live for more than a few more years. If you have kids in your 40s, you will probably not be around to help them past early adulthood.

[/quote]

I don't look anywhere near 'grandmotherly'. No one has asked if I'm a grandma. :D

When are baby was in the NICU my DH asked the doctor, "Did this happen because we are older?" The doctor snapped back, "you aren't old."

BTW the grandmother I mentioned earlier was 81 when I was born...she died when I was 22.


#10

My first 3 children were conceived when I was in my late 20's. My last 2 (twins) were born when I was 38. There was a major difference in energy/patience level by the time I was 38. I don't know how people in their 40's do it. Now I'm 56 with 2 grandchildren I can barely keep up with because I am in lousy shape. You need to be in really good physical and mental shape, would be my advice, if you are going to pursue this.


#11

I'm the 7th of 11 kids from a big Catholic family. My mom who is now 69, gave birth two three of my siblings after she reached age 40. She gave birth to the baby of the family when she was 48, and have no major complications from any of those pregnancies. Additionally, she never had any of those births by c-section.


#12

Down Syndrome is a serious risk. You won't like it.


#13

[quote="Reservoir_Dog, post:12, topic:221426"]
Down Syndrome is a serious risk. You won't like it.

[/quote]

Do you perhaps have a personal experience with someone with Down Syndrome that you can share in this thread?


#14

[quote="Reservoir_Dog, post:12, topic:221426"]
Down Syndrome is a serious risk. You won't like it.

[/quote]

risk at every age having children.


#15

Why do we always talk about Down's children being a RISK? My son has Down's.He has blessed our lives abundantly.


#16

It’s a fair and factual statement to say that the older a woman is, the harder it is to get pregnant, esp after 40. No one is saying it’s impossible, but a woman is much more fertile in her teens and 20’s then she is in her late 30’s and 40’s.

Yes, it is also a fair and factual statement to say that the incident of downs also increases with age. That is not to say that getting pregnant in your 40’s always means you will have child with downs, but there is an increased risk.

It’s also important to say that yes, for many, having a child when they are older is more of a challenge in the area of “can I keep up” with them.

Should these be facts be taken into account for anyone (esp a woman) of having a child in later life? That is something that only they know.

Some wont mind the risks, others will.

When it comes to downs, that too has a spectrum. Some children have more mild cases of it, some can be severe, and everything in between.

My thoughts to you would be to be prayerful and be well informed so that when you make the decision, it’s one that was indeed, well-formed.

God Bless! :thumbsup::thumbsup:


#17

No plans.Trust God.
Was that Mother Teresa? Anyhow.It’s good advice.


#18

[quote="taben, post:1, topic:221426"]
Have any of you had a child (or has your spouse to the men out there!) had a child in your early or mid 40s?
Our kids are teens and we have used NFP for years, feeling that we simply could not provide (financially or spiritually or in terms of general parental involvement) for more children.

However, now we (esp. my husband) would like another child. My doctor said I could give it a shot, just needed to understand the risk and understand that it would not be likely, statistically, that I would get pregnant given my age.

Thoughts and experiences?

Taben

[/quote]

Taben, you also did not mention how old you were.

Being closer to 40 than to 50 will certainly give you a better chance at getting pregnant.


#19

[quote="apricot_yogurt, post:15, topic:221426"]
Why do we always talk about Down's children being a RISK? My son has Down's.He has blessed our lives abundantly.

[/quote]

I don't understand that mentality either!! May God continue to bless you and your son. I know his life is a blessing to all around him!

I had my most recent little baby at the age of 40. I see no change in my fertility, so I'm just waiting for God to bless us again. :whistle:


#20

[quote="PatriceA, post:13, topic:221426"]
Do you perhaps have a personal experience with someone with Down Syndrome that you can share in this thread?

[/quote]

My sister, born to my then 40 year old mother. She has lived her 45+ years at home, and has the mental and emotional age of a five year old. The amount of personal attention she needs has been and is all consuming and never ending. Normal family dynamics change and there might not be a lot of time for other children, grand children, retirement.

And I don't want to hear, as I've heard maybe a half million times already, that they're God's little angels.


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