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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

OddFodd Mon 24-Feb-14 08:16:33

Is she rich? Is she thin? You need to be both to go through fertility treatment at her age. And the odds aren't great (and I say that as someone who had a baby at 42).

Clutterbugsmum Mon 24-Feb-14 08:17:58

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?

Or people telling the truth, that it is unlikely she would get pregnant at 46 or does she want people to agree with her.

I would have thought if she is really serious about having a baby surely she would do everything to be healthier as a person before looking at fertility treatment.

lljkk Mon 24-Feb-14 08:20:31

What is a "life set up very much as a 46yo"? I know I've not got that.
I'm 46 & still my life revolves around the children (youngest just 6yo).
I couldn't handle having another one now, but I think it's easier for her, she's had decades between babies to recover.

She really needs to stop smoking no matter how she goes ahead. She can start up again after baby is a few yrs old if she's that keen. Cutting alcohol completely would also help her fertility. Odds are that she'd have to go for private ivF & an egg donor to proceed, though. Those things are huge hassles in my mind, but maybe not for her. Do people our age get the chance to foster? Might be a taster to decide if she's really up for it.

Or get a puppy. Lots of people in her position would opt for the puppy.

TwittyMcTwitterson Mon 24-Feb-14 08:22:23

Clutter, that is exactly what I have said. You just would, wouldn't you.

It has obviously been mentioned that at 46 the chances are very slim. She has been pregnant twice since 40. I think around 41 and 42. She miscarried and I think it affected her greatly as those who were supposed to support her basically said, what are you doing wanting a baby at this age.

I'm more looking at the negative comments than chances. I'm hoping she understands just how slim they are.

Her DP is also being checked out

SnowHOHOboarder Mon 24-Feb-14 08:26:49

I can see why people are being disparaging - she is likely passed her natural fertile years, she doesn't look after her health and is not in a stable relationship. Even disregarding the age factor I would probably not be supportive of a friend wanting to get pregnant under those circumstances.

I think it's not very likely that she will achieve success with fertility treatment given her age/ health etc so could just be setting herself up for crushing disappointment.

Has she looked into fostering? It could be a way she could indulge her nurturing side?

SnowHOHOboarder Mon 24-Feb-14 08:27:37


MorrisZapp Mon 24-Feb-14 08:28:09

I think this might be one of those situations where you can cover your arse and just say 'oh ignore all the killjoys, of course you can have a baby'etc and just leave it to the HCPs to tell her otherwise.

Which I'm sure they will, sorry.

Unexpected Mon 24-Feb-14 08:28:58

It does seem that if it was going to happen naturally it would have happened by now. So I presume she is looking at fertility treatment of some kind? Does she realise that she will have to pay for this, it won't be cheap and the chances of success are very small at her age? Can she afford it, perhaps multiple tries?

Perhaps she will listen to the professionals who will tell her all the things about her lifestyle, age factors etc which you and her friends have been trying to tell her but in a more dispassionate fashion?

TwittyMcTwitterson Mon 24-Feb-14 08:30:23

She just got a puppy. She even gets ppl to babysit it in the day wink

I mean, her life is very much set up as someone who has a grown up kid that moved away. Does that make sense?

FreakinScaryCaaw Mon 24-Feb-14 08:32:02

It's strange she's living such an unhealthy lifestyle considering she wants a baby?

Treaclepot Mon 24-Feb-14 08:32:36

Just be supportive as at the end of the day she is going to do what she wants.

It is unlikely she will conceive, but many do at that age, and if you are negative now it will never be forgotten.

God I wouldnt fancy it though.

ovenbun Mon 24-Feb-14 08:35:30

Honestly, my constructive advice would be to consider fostering (although smoking and the unstable relationship would need to be dealt with first). It sounds like there are lots of things she could perhaps change in her own life that might bring her more contentment before adding a child into the equation.
On the other hand she has always dreamt of a big family and there are so many children out there dreaming of a loving and safe home. she could make a huge difference.
The cost and risks involved at having a baby at 46 are high, I think we are sort of sold a dream that we can have babies at any age and that its a right....some families do happily add to their brood at this stage, but the unfortunate fact that the risks of prematurity, disability and risks to mums health are greatly increased cant be ignored. Considering how prepared she would be to care for a baby in these circumstances needs to be a serious consideration before she moves forward.
Hope that helps
oven xxx

CrumblyMumbly Mon 24-Feb-14 08:38:57

This makes me sad - you wouldn't pick apart an 18 year old's lifestyle and decide she shouldn't have kids let alone your 'lovely' mum as you put it! Why is it a 'fanciful idea'? People used to have kids until they no longer could. You should support her and stop looking for negatives. She could have IVF abroad (Tina Malone 50), see what the specialists say. Oh yes - I had my baby at 46 - couldn't be happier. Wish her all the best from me.

Unexpected Mon 24-Feb-14 08:44:19

Crumblymummy, actually I think many people would "pick apart" the lifestyle of a woman at any age who wants a baby but who has poor diet, is a heavy smoker, drinks daily, is in an unstable relationship and has just changed jobs to one where she will not receive any maternity benefits? Her age is only one factor here.

FreakinScaryCaaw Mon 24-Feb-14 08:46:30

What Unexpected said.

SnowHOHOboarder Mon 24-Feb-14 08:47:13

She either will get pg or won't. I think it's more likely that she won't given what you've told us (and Tina Malone is the exception rather than the rule for older women having fertility treatment). Whether you are supportive or not has very little (if any) bearing on whether it happens, so you might as well support her as much as you can.

If it works she is likely to need your support (as any new mum would do!) and if it doesn't she will also need it.

FreakinScaryCaaw Mon 24-Feb-14 08:47:21

I'm 46 btw. People did have babies forever years ago but it wasn't easy.

TwittyMcTwitterson Mon 24-Feb-14 08:48:43

Crumbly, I disagree. I think under 20s get nitpicked more than anyone. You show me an age group that gets more support or interference from health visitors etc!

You're exactly the person I want to speak too! Can you tell me about your experiences please if not too much trouble.

I'm trying to support her, I really am an I really do. I just think she should be more practical about health risks for the baby and accept that her lifestyle needs to change.

She has money. I'm not sure how much but is aware she'd have to pay.

I'll have to look into it abroad re Tina Malone. grin

bragmatic Mon 24-Feb-14 08:49:09

It is as bad as they say. The idea is pretty fanciful.

TwittyMcTwitterson Mon 24-Feb-14 08:51:22

I should also mention my support will be very limited. I live just over 100 miles away and work full time

Lagoonablue Mon 24-Feb-14 08:53:58

I had Dd1 at 43 and DS 2 at 47. No fertility treatment. It IS possible.

MotherOfInsomniacToddlers Mon 24-Feb-14 08:54:34

Crumbly,if you are saying people used to have babies until they no longer could so why shouldn't she, then I think your idea of her having ivf doesn't make any sense, if she's having ivf it's because she CANT conceive naturally like people used to?!

OutNumberedByBlue2 Mon 24-Feb-14 09:06:26

I would in your shoes offer her support but also have a very real conversation with her about the practicalities of having a baby. Is there a danger that she's looking back with rose tinted glasses to when you were a baby,remembering it as easier than it was perhaps & forgetting just how physically & mentally demanding babies & young children are? Given her current lifestyle, which is completely fine iyswim for someone without the responsibility of young children or someone planning on having them, has she fully thought through the long term implications?

cryinginthecar Mon 24-Feb-14 09:17:35

Is she aware that at 46 about 1 in 5 babies conceived will have a major congenital abnormality?

If I was her I'd be considering donor eggs.

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