To TTC number 5 at my age(99 Posts)
Hello everyone. Looking for some advice as I am so confused, and have been for about a year now!
I will try to keep this short. I have 4 lovely children, aged 9 down to 2 and a half. Very blessed to have conceived them all easily with no miscarriages in between.
DH and I were unsure about number 5, mainly due to logistics (how to fit them all in the car!!). But we decided to go for it and spent most of last year trying.
Unfortunately, we were quite aware of my age (I turned 40 last year) and kept setting ourselves deadlines - like another 3 months, or must give birth by age 41, or end of year, etc - which I can see now was probably a bit silly as it was too much pressure.
Anyway, we did manage to conceive in November, but then I suffered my first ever miscarriage. It was very early on, thankfully, but heartbreaking nonetheless as you get ahead of yourself and imagine the little one joining the family.
Since then I have been torn. I still have this lingering yearning for number 5, but I am also terrified of something going wrong. I will be 41 in May and I know the odds of something bad happening increase as you age. The logistics side of things bothers me less now and I know my kids will all get enough attention, but I am just so afraid of a later miscarriage or worse. If I had a crystal ball and could see the pregnancy would be trouble-free, I would go for it without hesitation. If only!
So, AIBU to be too afraid to try again and to think it's time to say our family is complete?
Thanks for reading.
Sorry for your loss
Why do you want a fifth child?
YADNBU to feel that your family is complete!
Oh, I should have added that I am not here to debate whether having a large family is okay or not. Imagine I am asking if I should TTC number 2 or number 3, if that helps . Basically I am wondering if the risks at my age outweigh the benefits. Thanks.
Only you know in your heart of hearts how many children are right for your family.
4 isn't enough if you don't feel it's enough and wish to add to it.
Hope you are ok
Good question! I guess I just feel like there is one more. Can't explain it really, but that feeling is even stronger since I did manage to conceive. This one would be the last one - I know that for sure too. I would not be TTC number 6 afterwards.
But I guess part of me does wonder if it's just hard to close the door on this phase of my life. 10 years of pregnancies and babies and have loved every exhausing minute of it!
I was in your position but one year older.
After the miscarriage I didn't keep trying.
I grieved for probably about a year but recently that stage is over and I'm happy with my lot.
That being my experience, I would say to you keep going, keep trying.
There are very few of us that want, and can handle five.
So why not try again?
Yes the fear is bad, but the universe won't punish you for aiming high, you take the same risks as a 41 year old trying for her first.
I think the number is relevant, though, when assessing risk v benefit. I'm sorry for your loss as well. It probably would be different if you had no children and wanted to go for it, but with 4 I would probably call it a day given your age. That's me, though. It's obviously up to you!
Go for it op
What's meant to be will be
tessiebear, yes, you're quite right. The number is relevant. If I had no kids or an only, I guess the reasons for trying to add to my family would be more compelling. I was just afraid this might degenerate into a debate on large families, which is why I added that note!
You can't predict the future. Only you know how you felt when you very sadly lost your fifth little one. Could you face that again and come out the other side? Could you and your family cope with TTC possible loss and disappointment, in order to attain another child/children? Possibly unwell, possibly absolutely fine?
I'm not asking these questions to be difficult. I just think that this particular issue was a risk with your first four children but you were fortunate to navigate it without loss. Now you have stared loss in the face it is always going to be a concern.
I would recommend you have a long chat with your DH. Go over what you are willing to try and at what point you may agree to stop trying, and check in regularly as you both have the right to change your minds. Then if you go for it, do it whole heartedly and without fear and what will be will be. Good luck, and sorry for your loss
I think setting 'rules' can sometimes be good as it means you ultimately reach a point where you put the idea to bed if it hasn't happened.
It took me a long time to convince DH to TTC for number 2 and he eventually agreed on the rule that if I hadn't conceived by the time he was 35 then we stop trying (that was his cut off age for wanting a newborn). I conceived on our first cycle (I was 33) but unfortunately I miscarried at 7ish weeks. I was really upset and put TTC on hold for about 3 months. We agreed to start TTC'ing again and the new rule was that if I miscarried a second time then we wouldn't try again. I did feel a bit pressured with the miscarriage rule and the age rule but at the same time I knew we had to have limitations.
Thankfully on our 10th cycle of TTC'ing again I conceived (7 months before DH turns 35) and I'm currently 13 weeks pregnant.
My advice is set yourself a target, I.e if you haven't fallen pregnant by the end of the year then you put the idea to bed.
Ps) I'm dreading the idea of 2 children let alone 5 You're a brave lady! Good luck in your journey whatever you decide to do
To my mind the risk of having a child with a disability goes up as you get older. Thats not too concerning if it is your first but you have 4 already and your first responsibility is to them. A child with disabilities would put a huge strain on all of you. Not to mention the consequences if anything were to happen to you as a result of the pregnancy. Yes its unlikely but with 4 children already relying on you i would be less inclined to take the risk of having anymore. I had a relatively trouble free pregnancy and birth with my dd and i would love another but i have decided against it as i am getting older and it wasnt an easy ride to have her and i dont want her to see that misery or take the risk of the worst happening and me leaving her.
Ultimately though only you and your dh can decide. I hope whatever you choose it all goes well for you
You don't sound ready to give up that stage of your life and 41 isn't that old these day ms
Thanks for the last couple of replies. This is all interesting food for thought.
DH and I have talked about this ad infinitum! But no closer to a conclusion. We do set deadlines, but those deadlines pass and then we still both revisit the idea, like we can't let go. I don't think he has the yearning I have though - he would be satisfied with our 4 and delighted with 5.
Kavvlar - yes, you're right, I need to consider how I would feel if it didn't work out, and that is what terrifies me. The niggling voice that pulls the other way, though, keeps saying "Well, you didn't give it a second thought TTC at 38 and would not be without number 4!", so I wonder why I don't give number 5 the same chance by being a bit more gung ho! Going past the big 4-0 really does mess with your head, eh?
Sadly (speaking as an older mum myself ) there is more chance that there will be problems in the pregnancy or congenital defects in the baby as an older mum, rising rapidly after 40 - that's why the number of kids you already have is important- I imagine there isn't much slack in your day to day routine if you have a high needs child
Saying that I am a natural pessimist so you shouldn't listen to anything I say! Only you and your family can make the choice based on your situation and beliefs
Piffyonarockbun , what you said are my darkest thoughts and worries! I am not so worried about myself though - chances of me dying are very low. But the disability thing is more of an issue, it's true. Aargh, this is all so confusing!
I wouldn't risk it past 40, I have my 4th at 37. Like others have said I would be worried about risks of being older and higher risks for baby too. Four kids are incredibly expensive, and they get more so as they get older ( something I am appreciating now that mine are all teenagers!). Just as I am approaching 50 and feeling tired and wanting to perhaps reduce my working hours slightly, I realise I can't because I am desperately trying to fund helping them through college/ Uni/ driving lessons etc. Obviously if money is no issue then it doesn't matter.
Money is an issue, but we feel able to navigate that part of things to make room for one more. The practical issues are okay, it's just my fear of things going wrong...and I have health anxiety which doesn't help me have the most balanced view of risk in issues like this.
Okay, for my amusement, I have just done a tally and I have a couple of people on the fence, 5 people against and 5 people for! ;-)
I had number one at 47. 40 definitely isn't too old, it's just a question of how many you want. If you want 5 and you could cope with 5 then go for it.
I could cope, definitely. I am just scared of miscarriage/stillbirth/disability.
As a former midwife these would be my thoughts:
Can we deal with the possibility of a disabled child or the decision making that could be faced if it were discovered in pregnancy? This has been the case in all of your pregnancies but the risk creeps up each year.
Have I got the energy to keep going with small DC for anothe X number of years and can we really afford it? Remember they do keep getting more and more expensive. If your eldest is only 9 you haven't even started the really expensive bit yet unless you've paid a lot of childcare.
Do you work or want to work? Each year longer you wait to go back the harder it gets.
Can you imagine twins? The older you get the higher the risk.
The risks to you are pretty low if you've had four easy pregnancies and normal births. You don't mention the births but if you've had all CS then the risks are bigger. Also some issues like placenta praevia do increase with each extra birth regardless of age.
Fwiw,mi doubt your yearning will go away and there are solutions to issues around pregnancy and screening etc if you are inclined. The more practical issues are much longer lasting. ( I appreciate you weren't really asking that).
I think you should go for it if you don't feel your family is complete and you feel able to cope with 5.
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