I am 45.5 years old, and I have a OE child. I have not been able to conceive again for the last 12 years. Long story short, I just ran into a lot of issues that would not allow me to conceive.
I am now concerned that I am getting too old. I don't feel too old, but I think I am taking outside judgement (media,nosy neighbors, judgmental friends) and reflecting that onto my own beliefs. I know I will regret if I don't keep on trying. However, how do I keep blinders on and not allow other's beliefs to impact my own views? I am having a hard time with doubt. For example, some of the thoughts going on are:
- Am I doing the right thing?
- Will having an older parent be a concern for the child?
- Will the age gap between children be an issue?
- What will neighbors and friends think about me having a child at my age?
It goes on and on. I just don't know how to deal with all my conflicting emotions. Maybe I am just venting, but I would like any input or suggestions about how to stop and focus on my wishes going forward. I do believe in mind-body connection and being stress free, and I think conflicting emotions don't help keeping a stress free environment.
You've got to let go of what people will think . . . ETA
February 10 2012, 11:34 AM
First, most people don't really know your age, but enough women are having babies in their mid-forties, even through natural conception, that they'll probably just think it's a mid-life bc accident. It's also none of their business, an attitude I cultivated when I was ttc and pg that definitely made my life more peaceful.
Are you doing the right thing? I'm not sure anyone ever really knows for sure whether they're doing the right thing having kids. Seriously.
Will having an older parent be a concern for your child? I have read accounts of children of older parents who were very anxious about their parents' health, but my father was nearly 51 when I was born and my mother was 38, and I rarely thought about it. And that was true even though my father had diabetes from the time I was a very young child. The important thing is to keep yourself in good health; I think that's one reason (other than my utter lack of imagination) I didn't feel worried about it, that my mother, at least, was a remarkably healthy person while my father stayed very active, even though his health was compromised.
I can't speak to the age gap between children, but I'm sure there are ladies here who can.
Follow your heart!
Maggie (in VA)
ETA: I have also read that children are embarrassed by having older looking parents. I don't know what to say to that; I can't remember it ever bothering me, although my mother tended to look much younger than her age. The main thing, though, is that I was young in the pre-plastic surgery normative, pre-"hot mom" era. Maybe my kids will be embarrassed about me; I dunno. I am not their girlfriend or a fashion accessory; I am their mother, and I don't have a problem telling them that, either.
This message has been edited by maggie1961 on Feb 10, 2012 11:53 AM
and really thrash these issues out. Or else do some mind mapping on a huge piece of paper on the floor listing pros and cons and all related worries.
I have an 11 year gap between my (OE) DD and my DE DD and they totally adore each other more than I could have imagined.
And I'm so so glad that my older DD will not be an only child I can't tell you...
You are wise to think about all these things and to hash them out with a good therapist if possible, but as others have indicated, it's impossible to know for sure whether you're doing "the right thing." Nor do I think we're ever free of conflicting emotions for very long. I will, however, encourage you to listen to what your heart tells you rather than what friends, neighbors, even family say (or might say).
FWIW, my newborn son (DE)is sleeping in my lap right now. He is my first, and I'm 44. The only odd comments I got while pregnant were a couple of "Was it planned?" questions. I was slightly offended, but just laughed and said "Yes, very carefully!" (The other version was "Was it a surprise?" to which I usually said, "Well, we were trying, but we were surprised that it worked.")
I wouldn't rush into anything until you're ready. I wish you all the best.
It's part of the process...m (child ment/ oe and de kids)
February 10 2012, 7:24 PM
I think it is something that we need to think about and process when we are choosing to have a baby later in life b/c you are right that there is a lot of judgement in society regarding women haveing babies later in life.
I had oe children when we decided to complete our family using de's. I had had a m/c when I was almost 45 and it triggered the desire to have another baby. As I was trying to deal with this desire to have another child, I was able to process much of what you are concerned about.
I started working with a supportive naturopathic Dr. and also started practising hatha yoga. Over several years when I was still ttc with my own eggs...between age 45 and 47, I realized that I didn't care what others thought of me any longer. The more I connected with my spirit, the more I was able to let go of my 'ego...earth guide only'...and once I wasn't coming from a place of ego..it got really easy b/c I didn't care what society thought of me any longer. It's freedom to not fear what other's think of you. I only had to follow my heart.
I did think about how my soulbaby would feel about having an older mom but since I did have a baby with my oe's at age 43 it helped me to know that kids keep you young. I was very healthy, looked years younger than I was and with that I moved forward trusting that my child would love me and not be embrarrassed of having an older mom. I also came from a line of centurions and so I hope that I have years with my little ones...but you just never know do you. My dad was killed when he was 45 and I was only 5 so I know that stuff happens...we can't let fear of accidents, or early death prevent us from living fully...if I learned anything living from an early age without a father it was that...not to fear and to follow my dreams.
Finally, I did think about what our kids would think. Our oldest children were in high school and actually when our baby came to earth, finally, our oldest was off to University and our yougest was entering grade 1. It is what it is....it's our family spacing and dynamic. Although we have had our moments where a few of our older kids had issues with me being pg...once the baby came they were in love too....and my 3 older boys LOVE their baby brother....and we are all having so much fun with our twin baby girls whom I gave birth to last May....at age 51. When I was pg with our 7th and 8th babies last year there was some talk in my small town...and my old best friend blasted me yet again for having more children later in life (suffice it to say that she is my old best friend...her loss)
The lessons I learned along the journey to our last children taught me so much about letting go and trusting. To live fully and follow my heart and to not let fear of ANYTHING prevent me from living in spirit...it is there that I have become inspired and I know that this was the right path to take...for me. We all have to find what is right for us. I would recommend that you take some time to meditate....if you aren't a meditative type person...then go out for long walks in nature...find a place to sit and just let the Universe find you where you are...watch for signs of inspiration in life. I also found yoga my key at connected with my breath and my spirit....also it's helpful in destressing and gets ones body ready for a healthy pgcy.
Come and visit us on the over 50 board...link is above...reading some of the archives posts will help you feel less alone. We have women who are your age come on our board all the time and say...if we can do it then it gives younger women the courage to move forward following their dream. If you are making this decision to move forward to have a baby with your authentic self...then all manner of things will come to assist you...you will find new friends and supportive people...maybe people you would not have otherwise met before. All the best on your journey.
You are not too old to have a child. You would have been a younger mother if things had worked out but they didn't. YOu can't change that.
Other people's opinions are just that - their opinions. They do not live with you and thankgoodness for that.
Everytime someone says something just think 'yeah blah blah blah'. Infact stay away from people who are not positive towards the idea of having another child and or who are judgemental.
This is your life and whoever comes along will be your child... not their child but yours.
Those questions you ponder well everyone thinks of those its natural to wonder such things but don't let that stop you.
I"m 48 now but was ttcing from 40 until I got pg at 46. Truly I couldn't give a rats what people think. Silly nongheads.
You have your baby and relish the wonderful times coming up for you
Good luck to you, best wishes, THK
This message has been edited by perthkitty on Feb 10, 2012 9:00 PM
I had my daughter through DE when I was 47. I was 46 when she was conceived, and gave birth at 47. She is 4 years old now. I am very blessed.
Sure, I'm old enough to be her grandmother. That's just a fact and can't do anything about that.
It's harder to make friends on the playgrounds, since other moms are in their twenties or something. I feel like there's no difference between them and me, but I think they may feel there is.
But if that's my biggest problem, I must be doing okay. A lot of my "mom friends" (friends who also have kids and who we have play dates with) are not moms but grandmothers, as it turns out. But that works out fine too. The kids like each other! They don't care who's a mom and who's a grandma.
I need to try to exercise and take good care of myself so that I can age as slowly as possible. Not for the sake of vanity so much, but more to keep myself around for my daughter.
This message has been edited by elizF on Feb 16, 2012 8:20 PM
and you want to do this, I say do it way sooner then way later. Only you can decide if this is right for you. I gave birth to my twins at age 44. My goal is to maintain my health and strength and not show my age. So I hide the grays, wear my make up, and try to keep my clothing choices from aging me. My only advice if you want to have another child go aheard and start the process, it takes time plus 9 months. This I say because "you" are questioning your age so make a decision and go from there.
that your life is your's alone and that others and their opinions, in favor of your choices or not, is not for they to determine right or wrong. I myself wonder this at only brief times and I always come back to fact that what really matters is the level of happiness and contentment in my OWN home. If someone has a problem with the decisions that we have made, that is THEIR issue not mine. I actually find it amusing when I do stumble upon, what appears to be, shock, disbelief, disagreement...that we have had children late in life. other times, surprisingly, we have even seen some jealousy/envy as well. other times, some people actually will come out and tell us they think we are an inspiration, that it is awesome we are older parents and that we are defining a 'new age' of parenthood...one perhaps more stable and dedicated to the task of raising a family. everyone is entitled to their position, negative or positive, in favor or not, what matters in this situation is you and yours, and YOU MUST be strong in your conviction to that...ALWAYS.
...as it is relevant to how I am feeling today as well. As others have shared, most of us haven't consciously chosen to wait until later in life to have a child. For me, it's been a 5+ year journey. I wish I could have chosen to have a child earlier in my journey, but obviously that wasn't part of the plan. No one else (meaning those who might judge me, etc.) has taken my journey. So, until they have walked in my shoes, I will not let them tarnish me and my dreams of being a mother.
At the end of the day, all that matters is that you do what's right for YOU
February 13 2012, 12:04 AM
I've had all your questions myself, and the only one that is really important is the first one - am I doing the right thing? That is a question that parents of ALL ages should be asking themselves before they have a child, and age has nothing to do with it.
As for the age gap, my sister is 10 years older than me and we are best friends. She was my surrogate mommy when I was a child, a relationship we both benefitted from. When I reached college age, we began a more equal relationship. No matter what the age gap between siblings, there is going to be some problem to contend with. Twins and children close in age fight and compete for parental attention, and their IQs are lower than only children or oldest children or children who are spaced greater than five years apart. How's that for something to worry about! Children who are more than a few years apart will go through childhood at different stages so probably won't be playmates, though they can still have a nice relationship. If there is a 10 year or greater gap, then someone is going to be a surrogate mommy or daddy or else be entirely uninterested in the baby. The range of possibilities is really endless but the point is, one scenario is not necessarily better than another. Each has good and bad.
The other stuff - what will the neighbors think, what will the child think, etc, I believe these are really non issues. There is always going to be something, know what I mean? Nosy or meanspirited or simply closeminded people will always be part of our lives whether they are related to us by blood or marriage or whether they live next door or work at the same place. People who know and love you will want you to reach out and embrace joy in life and will cheer you on for doing so. Anyone else's opinion just doesn't matter. You have to believe that, or else you will be tormented all the time by someone, somewhere, who has a petty outlook on life.
Kids, likewise, may find something to complain about just because that's what kids do, especially teenagers who are embarrassed about EVERYTHING. I love what Maggie in VA said about how she is not a fashion accessory, she is a mother. Exactly.
Btw, you are not too old to have a child "naturally." There are a fair number of women who have spontaneously conceived kids at your age so really, it's not like you are some kind of freak.
It would probably help if you could find a friend or two who support you or better yet, are in the same place as you, so you can bolster each other.
Last thing I wanted to say is, you need to project confidence and self-assurance about the decisions you make for yourself in your own life. No one wants to mess with a woman who knows her own mind! Conveying self-doubt only invites certain busybody types to chime in with their unsolicited opinions. It's just human nature, unfortunately.