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watching older mums

(64 Posts)
ll31 Mon 13-Jun-11 01:07:15

must admit I started watching this prepared to be quite judgey... but...... you could see why these women wanted children and also particularly looking at twins born to 54 yr old woman in usa that actually as one of twins stated, if she hadn't done it, we wouldnt be here, so she was right to have children.....

I'd son at 36 which I thought was quite old... I really had very different reaction to this prog than I expected..aibu

thursday Mon 13-Jun-11 01:13:45

i've just watched it. superfit american lady was an example of a good result, and yes those girls wouldnt exist if she hadnt done it but i dont think that's how we judge these things is it? the spanish lady died at 67 leaving 2yr old twins orphaned. yes people can die at any time, but in the case of people having babies as pensioners, its more than likely the child will be orphaned whilst still a child.

and the 72yr old lady? what she needs is help coming to terms with the fact she's not going to be a parent, not letting her wait 2 weeks while you make a decision. talk about false hope. if someone took her money and helped her have a baby, would it then have been the right decision because there was a baby at the end?

ll31 Mon 13-Jun-11 01:19:18

I dont know honestly..from that baby's point of view probably no matter that her mother died when she was young it would have been right decision ... as she would be there... I can halfway understand... I have one child and remember absolute joy of having child.. and I suppose no one knows what willhappen in future for any of us... Its hard to decided...

lesley33 Mon 13-Jun-11 07:55:37

Sorry I didn't see the programme. But I really don't think women in their 60's and 70's should be given help to have children. Yes you can die at any age. But the chance of being orphaned or even more likely, having parents who are very ill long term, is very high.

And people can be extremely fit and healthy in their 60's and 70's, get one illness and then in the space of 1 or 2 years age very rapidly. I have seen this happen to people.

If someone can have children naturally it is different. But where medical help is given, I really think judgements should be made.

Butterbur Mon 13-Jun-11 08:02:17

I think we should be equally judgey about men who father children in their 60s and 70s. If we aren't, we are saying the father is less important in the child's life.

Just because it's possible, doesn't mean it's right.

exoticfruits Mon 13-Jun-11 08:02:20

It is plain selfish. People can stay fit and healthy but very often ill health kicks in around 70yrs. It isn't having a baby so much (it is a very short time), the baby doesn't mind the age, it is more having a teenager in your 70's and 80'-when they do mind.

exoticfruits Mon 13-Jun-11 08:04:00

I don't think that men should either. The only way it could work is if the parent (of either sex) has a partner at least 20 yrs younger.

chelstonmum Mon 13-Jun-11 08:17:46

Gosh, DH and I had a long gard think about trying for DC3 as he is in 40's!

lesley33 Mon 13-Jun-11 08:21:42

I agree that it isn't good to have a father in his 60's and 70's either. The problem is though, that men this age can naturally become parents. So unless you have enforced sterilisation or forced abortion - which is obviously not on - then there really isn't anything anyone can do about this.

It is different with mothers in their 60's and 70's as women this age do need medical help to have a child.

LaurieFairyCake Mon 13-Jun-11 08:22:55

Well, what's the cut-off point if we're going to impose one?

Perhaps when natural conception would stop - so up to 50?

exoticfruits Mon 13-Jun-11 08:38:57

I would say 'listen to your body' -if you are too old to concieve naturally then you are too old.

exoticfruits Mon 13-Jun-11 08:39:44

sorry -conceive

Jackin Mon 13-Jun-11 08:46:44

my dad had me when he was 49 and my little brother when he was 51! I'm 35 now and I must admit I'm very glad he had me! Luckily he is still about and enjoying his grandchildren.

echt Mon 13-Jun-11 08:52:55

What's the problem about parents in their older age that doesn't apply to the thick/fat/teenage/disabled/low income, etc. ?

The argument appears to be hinging on the survival of the parent.

Look at the threads on MN on the surviving and obstructive parents.

Oh, and while I'm here, exoticfruits, what the fuck do you mean by "listen to your body"? When are you "too old"?

CoteDAzur Mon 13-Jun-11 08:57:58

"Look at the threads on MN on the surviving and obstructive parents."

I believe that the point here is the undesirability of orphaning children.

Fiddledee Mon 13-Jun-11 09:01:08

Listen to your body - end of IVF get a grip.

If women want children, medically they can (however that happens) then thats great.

Met a woman who had twins at 57 with assistance, her partner who was in his 60s died 6 months after the twins were born. She was in a terrible mess as she was left with no money. But replace all those numbers with a 2 in front and it makes no difference.

CoteDAzur Mon 13-Jun-11 09:03:45

"Listen to your body" is actually good advice.

I had DD at 35 and DS at 38. Already at 38, sleepless nights were much harder than at 35, and I'm finding it physically draining to look after a 5 year old and a 2 year old right now, and frankly don't know how I will survive the holidays this summer.

Women in my family have had children far into their late 40s so I'm fairly sure that I'm still quite fertile at 40, but we have decided not to have any more children because we are listening to our bodies and they are telling us what a bad idea a baby at 41 would be.

I'm actually in pretty good physical shape (I run 5 km x 3 times a week) but babies are exhausting at an entirely different level.

uselesscamhs Mon 13-Jun-11 09:11:08

I tend to agree that men and women shouldn't become parents in their 60s and 70s [plus 80s and 90s for men] for the reasons already given above. There is plenty of research into the emotional impact of losing one or both parents before the age of 12 which suggests that it is a cause of psychological problems in adulthood.

Unless. Perhaps.

There is a younger generation to whom the children are equally attached and who are happy to care for the children in the event of illness or death. I don't think that this is a common situation today.

In RL I know a couple who had a baby without fertility treatment when the mother was 57 and father a similiar age. The child is co-parented by mum and dad and their aunt. It seems to be working well so far.

revolutionscoop Mon 13-Jun-11 09:14:35

Totally agree with Cote. I'm 37 with 3 dc and have found the sleepless nights far more physically and mentally draining with my third child than I did with dc1 at 29, when I just seemed to bounce back each day. That said, my own mother had her third child at 43; I can't imagine how she coped, but she did, with alacrity.

2BoysTooLoud Mon 13-Jun-11 09:19:40

I had my kids in late 30s and early 40s.
Think about my own mortality more since having kids but don't anyone dare say I shouldn't have had them!

exoticfruits Mon 13-Jun-11 09:24:49

Oh, and while I'm here, exoticfruits, what the fuck do you mean by "listen to your body"? When are you "too old"?

You are too old once you have passed a natural menopause (I know one woman who has had a very early one so this doesn't apply and she is pregnant now with donated eggs) -however it does if you have an average or later one.

Old age is no fun-I know a lot of elderly people and they don't like it.My mother was is superb physical shape until 82yrs but has gone downhill quickly, I am finding it hard to become 'the parent' in the relationship at my age-I don't think I could have handled it in my 20's.

I am an older mother, I had my last at 40yrs and I would have pushed it to 44yrs, even possibly 46yrs but not beyond.

I am saddened by the fact that my DCs never had active grandparents. My eldest (born 10yrs before) got the best of them but they hadn't the energy or stamina to bath 2 toddlers and put them to bed. If you are amuch older parent they miss out completely on active grandparents.Mine had died before I was born, or soon after and I felt the lack as a child.

It isn't the baby stage that is difficult.The baby is quite unjudgemental.I should think the teenage years are a nightmare if you are in your 70's lying in bed at 2am wondering where they are, or getting phone calls at midnight 'can you pick me up'.

Fiddledee Mon 13-Jun-11 09:25:26

CoteDAzur I am the same age as you and similar aged children, although eldest doesn'ts start school til September. I am not physically exhausted at the end of the day - brain dead but not physically tired (and I exercise most days). Have contemplated having a third at 41 and 90% ruled it out and I know I need to decide yes or no very soon.

I think my body would have handled pregnancy much better in my 20s but sleepness nights I am not convinced. I have more energy now than in my 20s and alot more patience.

I am not sure I will be able to handle the menopause and having small children though!

TheBride Mon 13-Jun-11 09:27:31

Met a woman who had twins at 57 with assistance, her partner who was in his 60s died 6 months after the twins were born. She was in a terrible mess as she was left with no money. But replace all those numbers with a 2 in front and it makes no difference.

Yes, but you cant just quote anecdotes. A few people die in their 20's, 30's, 40's BUT you are statistically much much more likely to die once you go above 60. If you have a child at 60, you've got around a 50% chance that you'll live to see them reach 18. Have a child at 35, and the odds are closer to 95%.

My personal feeling is that 50 is the upper limit. My mum is 63 now, and although she's in good health and really active, would she be able to cope brilliantly with a thirteen year old? Hell no.

exoticfruits Mon 13-Jun-11 09:27:35

People seem tothink they won't die. I spent my DCs childhood thinking ,'how would they manage without me?' It is a weight off my mind to have them at a stage to cope.

huffythethreadslayer Mon 13-Jun-11 09:27:45

I don't like the idea of having children in my later life as I'm not hugely fit and I'm quite lazy. I also think you miss out on a lot of the later stages of your childrens lives. I had my only dd at 36, though, which is probably late to some people. I always consider myself an older mum and I worry that my grandchildren will come when I'm too darned old to be much help to their mum. Couldn't be helped, though. I had intended to have babies much earlier in my life.

The argument about listening to your body is a sound one to some degree, but like many others on this board, my body would never have coped without assistance, so I can't agree with that point fully. In previous generations I would undoubtedly have been childless as I needed quite a lot of help in conceiving and carrying dd. Medical intervention is available and can't be ignored, particularly not if your urge to have a child is really strong.

I think exceeding the point of natural fertility is a little dangerous. I know some people have babies in their late 40's but to go into mid/late 50's is surely pushign it a bit???

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