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Too old at 40?

Discussion in 'Pregnancy' started by cornflake, Jan 13, 2012.

  1. cornflake

    cornflake Established commenter

    Subject says it all.
    Am very aware that lots of these threads are from much younger mums-in-waiting. However, I only moved in with my partner last year, following a change of job and area, and we still don't actually have a place of our own (just rented for now - though I do own a house in my previous location that is rented out). He would love a family - though not above this relationship - I worry I am too old, have a chronic fear of medical stuff, a few minor health issues and we are not financially stable as he has massive debts. I also enjoy my leadership role in school, and would like to aim for Headship at some point in the next 3-5 years. I can't decide if I am being sensible saying no to children, or very unfair to him.
    Whilst I would like a child, I can't help but feel irresponsible by hoping to have one now... by which time I'd probably be more like 41. I know there is no certainty in concieving anyway - and at times I have wanted to throw caution to the wind and just let be what will be, but what about the child? Is it fair on them to have elderly parents? (Mine were, and I had little relationship with them at all ... I wouldn't want that for my child. We were also extremely short of money as a family. Are these things unduly influencing my thoughts - are they behind my cautiousness?).
    Advice? Thoughts?
     
  2. cornflake

    cornflake Established commenter

    Subject says it all.
    Am very aware that lots of these threads are from much younger mums-in-waiting. However, I only moved in with my partner last year, following a change of job and area, and we still don't actually have a place of our own (just rented for now - though I do own a house in my previous location that is rented out). He would love a family - though not above this relationship - I worry I am too old, have a chronic fear of medical stuff, a few minor health issues and we are not financially stable as he has massive debts. I also enjoy my leadership role in school, and would like to aim for Headship at some point in the next 3-5 years. I can't decide if I am being sensible saying no to children, or very unfair to him.
    Whilst I would like a child, I can't help but feel irresponsible by hoping to have one now... by which time I'd probably be more like 41. I know there is no certainty in concieving anyway - and at times I have wanted to throw caution to the wind and just let be what will be, but what about the child? Is it fair on them to have elderly parents? (Mine were, and I had little relationship with them at all ... I wouldn't want that for my child. We were also extremely short of money as a family. Are these things unduly influencing my thoughts - are they behind my cautiousness?).
    Advice? Thoughts?
     
  3. Early forties is not an unusual age to get pregnant - it happens all the time! Obviously fertility is different in every woman, and as another poster said on another thread, fertility goes down a bit after 35 as a general medical rule of thumb. Saying that, my sister and several friends, as well as womenwho work at my school who I don't know very well are all up the duff with an average age of 42. Anecdotal yes...
    As for your financial situation, I can't really comment. Everyone's perception on that matter will differ. What I will say though, is that you don't need to be 'financially stable' to be an excellent parent and to bring your child up to be a good member of society. Good luck with making your choices.
     
  4. Paradoxicalgirly

    Paradoxicalgirly New commenter

    I'm 42 and have an 8 month old. I had three miscarriages at 38, 39 and 41. I assumed these were age related but my consultant laughed at me when I suggested this as all my tests came back with results she'd expect from someone in their 20s.
    My mum's friend had a son in her late 30s - and he has a marvellous relationship with his parents! (He's in his late 20s now)
    I think the relationship between parent and child has more to do with personality than age!
    Go for it!
     
  5. toeinwater

    toeinwater New commenter

    My friend had her first at 38 then a second 2 years(ish) later. I think it's very much down to the individual. Can you see yourself not having a child? what are the implications for later in life as regards feeling you've missed out, disbanded family meaning fewer people are there for you (this is a personal feeling I have as we always have big family Christmases), not having family there in your old-age etc. Not happy thoughts I know, but worth considering. Then of course there is the hand fate deals you and it can all be taken out of your control!
    Good luck with whatever you decide!
     
  6. It is impossibleto say whether it is too late - that depends on your body. I strongly believe though that fertility is entirely individual and the medical profession's obsession with the age 35 is damaging and creates a lot of anxiety.
    In my case I didnt have regular periods until I was about 28 - it is therefore ludicrous that I was more fertile in my 20s than 30s (although I never tried to get preg in my 20s). My great grandmother had 10 kids and my grandmother was her third (she had her when she was 33). God knows how old she was when she had her 10th but it must have been older than 41. My ex next door neighbour had her third at 41 - no problems and she had difficulties conceiving in her 20s.
    Of course equally there are people whose fertile time is earlier and you may be one of them - who knows?
    It is definitely not unfair on the baby - think of some of the parents you see as a teacher!!!!
     
  7. katycustard

    katycustard Occasional commenter

    I had my last two at 40 and 43 and they are now 14 and 11. I don't feel old, lots of parents in my youngest one's class are a very similar age to me. My husband is 61 and I asked him if he feels old, his honest answer was 'some days yes, others no'.
    I don't think the age of your parents determine your relationship with them, it's more an attitude of mind and what you do with your children.
     
  8. cornflake

    cornflake Established commenter

    Thanks for all your thoughts.
    You are of course right re personality and quality of relationships - maybe I should stop worrying about that aspect. I also know that finances aren't everything, but growing up in a breadline family, where my parents genuinely spent every waking moment wondering where the next meal was coming from (I saw the bank statements after my father died), is not fun for anyone either. That said, I probably earn a great deal more as a deputy head than many families, for which I must be thankful.
    I am fully aware that I may not be fortunate enough to concieve anyway, and yes, I can imagine a life without my own children as being happy as I have many interests which being child free would enable me to pursue eg travel. However, for my partner, I think he would appreciate the opportunity to have a family life - and I feel incredibly selfish denying him this. 4 years ago I would have been much more confident about embarking on the adventure, but we weren't living in the same city then!
    Maybe I shall just trust to fate and see what happens.
    Thankyou all for spending time to share your thoughts. In real-life, my best friend just says "go-for-it" - but she is very family orientated!
     

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