Baby at 46

(346 Posts)
TwittyMcTwitterson Mon 24-Feb-14 08:12:49

My lovely mum is going for fertility checks tomorrow to see how difficult it will be to conceive. At 46, she's not receiving that much positive feedback. She always wanted a big family and only had me. One of her biggest regrets.

I'm fairly certain it's not empty nest syndrome as I've lived away for 9 years now. I'm 26 and have a DD myself of 2.5 or a midlife crisis as, like I say, she has always wanted this and hasn't just gone and bought a Porsche

She's not the healthiest 46 yr old. Diets not great, smokes like the proverbial chimney, don't think she'd quit but would cut down but that's another thread has around a glass or more of wine a night. Her life is set up very much as a 46 year old. I don't imagine a baby would fit in easily. She's also self employed and recently set up her own business. She's also not in the stablest of relationships.

Most people have said about tiredness and not realising how knackering it is. However, I said that when I was 24. Her friends who had children at 38 and 40.ish have not been as supportive as you'd think.

Anyway, I'm basically asking if anyone has any constructive advice for her. She's fed up of people putting her down and dismissing it as a fanciful idea. Is it as bad as they say or should she happily go ahead?

Thanks in advance wink

perfectstorm Thu 27-Feb-14 20:14:46

Were those 7 cycles of IVF done free-of-charge, Minion? Presumably those consultants received hundreds of thousands of dollars of your money for the privilege of helping you on your journey to parenthood?

Not in this country. You see, we have a sane healthcare system, not one run for maximum profit. A friend had 3 cycles (the average) of IVF and it cost 18 grand. Thats a hell of a lot of money, and the clinic as one of the most expensive we have (very, very good as well) but a fraction of the hundreds of thousands you quoted. One of the handy things about the NHS is that it greatly depresses the cost of private healthcare, for those few people who feel the need to selectively access parts of it. I paid less for my Harmony test than US citizens accessing it - despite the lab being based in the States. Go figure. smile

By the way, is that Mangina your partner in which case LTB - or are you a man holding forth on how inappropriate it is for women to reproduce at an age men merrily drop sprogs with nary a comment from anyone?

TwittyMcTwitterson Thu 27-Feb-14 21:02:55

Didn't realise someone having children a little bit later could invoke such a reaction. Apologies to anyone offended by idiots grin

Pregnant at 24 n I felt I was far too young. You can't win

MarlenaGru Fri 28-Feb-14 08:29:01

Very late to the party but a very interesting thread! I was 28 when I had my first. I was six years younger than the next youngest in my NCT group.

In DD's year one class I am by far one of the youngest mums, admittedly it is private but I envy those mums! They are able to give more of themselves having built up careers before having their children in a stable financial life. I am expecting our second shortly and at 33 I feel a lot more prepared. Still not as financially stable as I would like but comfortable enough. This will be our last for financial reasons but if we have enough money in a few yeArs who knows!

hellosailors Fri 28-Feb-14 08:40:40

Can someone please link me to the information that "Is she aware that at 46 about 1 in 5 babies conceived will have a major congenital abnormality?". Thanks.

fluffyraggies Fri 28-Feb-14 11:54:03

Some very odd notions on this thread. Late ... but i have to add my bit.

I was born and raised late 60's early 70s. I had my first 3 DCs in my 20s.

I didn't raise them as '60s children' confused Why would i? i was in my 20s and it was the 1990s. MY MOTHER may have been a little inclined to have harked back to the 60s/70s ways with them, as that's when she was raising me.

Fast forward to now and i've remarried, am 45 and have a 4 week old baby. My 3 older DDs are now teens. Loving their baby half sister smile

I fell preg. naturally - took 2 years of ttc, but no intervention. (don't smoke, drink socially, average weight, could be fitter) Normal pregnancy and birth, healthy bubba, me and DH over the moon.

Amazingly i still wont be tying to raise a '60s baby', and even more amazingly am able to comprehend that some things have changed re: baby care even in the last 15 years. (Not much it seems, mind you ... mainly weaning advice, better support for breast feeding, no talc allowed and the internet to look at for advice. And MN!)

This baby will be a child of her time, with me, her dad, and 3 feisty 20 something half sisters to love her.

I am loving being a new mum again grin Much more patience and confidence in myself. DH is so thrilled and feels so special to be a dad (first baby, he's younger than me), this baby has so much love and support in her life.

Thumbwitch Fri 28-Feb-14 11:57:51

Oh congratulations fluffy! thanks

Badvoc Fri 28-Feb-14 11:59:30

I think if she refuses to give up smoking and drinking then she cannot want a baby that badly tbh.

squoosh Fri 28-Feb-14 12:16:19

Congratulations fluffy, your post made me all mushy!

floppyfanjo Fri 28-Feb-14 12:35:32

Congratulations Fluffy.

I had DS3 at 41 (and 51 weeks) DS1 was 23 at the time, so I can relate to your joy !!

Oh and today when dropping DS at pre school a small random girl tapped me on the leg and said "you look beautiful" It made a 46 year old v happy esp as some of the views on this thread were making me feel like I had one foot in the grave......................

squoosh Fri 28-Feb-14 12:44:02

Yay for small random girls floppy, they speak the truth!

MerryInthechelseahotel Fri 28-Feb-14 13:32:48

Congratulations Fluffy thanks

BoffinMum Fri 28-Feb-14 16:52:17

Brennan, the point about the depressed healthcare costs due to the NHS is a valid one. it only costs £2500-£5000 for someone to have a baby over here, with all the trimmings, and the whole tab is picked up by the taxpayer. In the US just the excess can be the lower figure, as I understand it. If you have UK health insurance with maternity benefits, say BUPA International, then they allow around £3000 for a normal vaginal delivery and you might pay a £100 excess. Again, it's on the low side because there isn't much point to going private for most people. In fact outside London there are practically no private maternity facilities, and in London those that exist are predominantly used by overseas patients who are not eligible for NHS treatment.

The other great thing is that you don't have any uncertainty about bills or coverage, and there are no days spent on the phone arguing with insurers, or difficult moments in hospital where you wonder if you can justify the expense of some test or other. Basically most of the time, despite a lot of our whinging about wards with four people in a bay and noise, etc, if you need something on the NHS someone will organise it for you. That includes some single rooms for women who have had difficult or distressing births, fairly acceptable food, surgery, tests, dressings, counselling and so on. When things get busy some of the touchy feel stuff starts to go out of the window, but the important stuff like maternal and infant mortality rates are really good, and that's the main thing. The other advantage is that thanks to NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) who analyse treatment success rates and so on, if someone if trying to flog you some healthcare thing or other than is not available on the NHS, you can usually be pretty sure the evidence base for it will be flaky, hence the need to pay for it yourself. All the established, reputable stuff is free and dished out pretty fairly, tbh. High level, experimental and advanced stuff is also available in teaching hospitals if you require something usual. I can't think of anything I have needed and couldn't get apart from I paid for a nuchal scan on a couple of occasions when I wasn't in a high enough risk group to really warrant it.

With regard to IVF, this is becoming increasingly common amongst older age groups and while I haven't needed it myself, friends have spent something like £6000 a cycle approx around here. Most people I know seem to manage to have a baby within about 3 cycles as the clinics are pretty clued up. So it's the price of a family estate car, or 18 months private nursery fees, and consequently within the grasp of the average middle class couple. Some treatment is available on the NHS but I am not sure exactly what.

Ultimately here in Blighty we think our system is really valuable and valued. It's not perfect, but we see the chaotic, patchy provision in the US, and how many people die through lack of insurance, or how a few medical bills wipe out the assets of several generations of a family at once, and it just baffles us completely. The amount you all spend on insurance compared to our relatively low tax take for this benefit seems bonkers as well - why pay about 3 or 4 times what you need to for something when you can get it cheaper? To us it looks lacking in thrift and also disrespectful of fellow citizens (Christopher Reeve's experiences after his accident only served to reinforce our views - he was very popular over here and we looked on in shock as he started to have financial difficulties due to being paraplegic).

That's the British position, anyway.

BoffinMum Fri 28-Feb-14 16:54:28

Congratulations from me too, Fluffy. thanks

Gossipgirladdict Fri 28-Feb-14 17:20:46

I too am coming late to this, but would like to add my story...

DD was born a month before my 39th birthday, after years of ttc and IVF (paid for ourselves privately). We always hoped for a sibling for her, (more for her than for us, I already felt so very lucky to have her) but as our fertility problems were due to severe endo and scar tissue it seemed very unlikely. As time went on, we got on with life, enjoying our precious daughter.

Six years later, at the age of 44.5, I found I was miraculously pregnant (naturally). We had worries, of course, but there was never any question of what we would do. I actually had an easier pregnancy second time just don't ask me about the birth. DD2 arrived a month before my 45th birthday and is now, at 15 months, playing happily at my feet. The joy she has brought us, her sister and our families, is immeasurable.

I feel no 'shame' in being an older mother. My daughters will want for nothing. With years of working behind us, we are comfortably off, with a small mortgage. DD1 has dancing, swimming and gymnastic lessons (and DD2 will get the same). We have lovely holidays, the girls wear beautiful clothes (not designer or anything and not 'old-fashioned' either). DH has worked himself into a senior position that has allowed me to take a part-time role with term-time only working. (I am not boasting here, it's just how it is).

My girls have a great life, surrounded by love. I wouldn't swap places with anyone, 10, 15, 20 years younger or not...!

P.S. Congratulations fluffy!!

fluffyraggies Fri 28-Feb-14 17:27:49

Aw, bless you all for your congrats grin thank you.

MN a nest of vipers? Not today flowers

perfectstorm Fri 28-Feb-14 17:57:23

Aww, adding another congrats to you, Fluffy!

OddFodd Fri 28-Feb-14 18:09:38

Congrats from me too fluff

I did mention the financial ease of being older earlier in the thread gossipgirl but it has made being a single parent to a child with SN bearable. I can afford to pay for private treatment and work part-time. If I were young, it would be horrendous because I wouldn't have the time or money to access him the support he needs

IfNotNowThenWhen Fri 28-Feb-14 18:25:50

I dunno. My Nana had my dad at 46 (or maybe 47-she was always a bit sketchy about her age) and she smoked and lived on chicken soup and egg and chips.
And her husband was 11 years younger (which he, apparently was clueless about)
I try and channel her chutzpah daily!

Your mum does need to quit smoking, really though.

BrennanHasAMangina Fri 28-Feb-14 19:29:29

Thanks for that, Boffin. I'm actually a British born-Canadian citizen, not American. Our health care system sounds very similar to the NHS and I think both are AWESOME. I have no idea what provisions are in place for those who desire IVF treatment here but I believe it's covered provincially for x number of cycles and then must be funded by the individual (I imagine there is an age limit?). At that point, I think it gets EXPENSIVE.

Mrs DV - Noooooo.....no more babies here. I got married at 22, had my DC at 25, 28 and 30 (respectively) and then closed up shop PERMANENTLY. I am done with that rigmarole and DH and I want to travel more when the kids are a bit older. Plus, my dogs are excellent baby substitutes smile.

Dollybird86 Fri 28-Feb-14 19:34:07

Does she need to physically carry a child would adoption or fostering not be an option there are lots of children that need a loving home.

bakingtins Fri 28-Feb-14 19:48:48

I think adoption and fostering have now been mentioned several times. The smoking, drinking, poor diet/health and unstable relationship would all count against her. Age in itself not a problem unless she wanted to adopt a baby, most agencies will only place a child where the age gap is <40 years, so she'd be considered for a child 6+, if she was otherwise suitable. I don't think the age gap bit applies to fostering. You can't foster and run a new business either, and I imagine an adoption agency would take a dim view, you would need to be available for the child.

Isn't it more about suddenly realising that her fertility is at an end and horizons in that department are suddenly closing in, and needing to grieve for lost opportunities? If she was serious, she would have cleaned up her act whilst TTC.

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