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4th at 42?

(24 Posts)
bleughhh Tue 13-Jun-17 10:12:45

Hi all,

I'm in a huge dilemma and I know nobody has the "answer" but I was wondering how old you were when you had your youngest child? I had my first at (just!) 32, second at 33 and then DH changed his mind about having a third. He finally decided he did want one when I was 39 - luckily I got pregnant immediately - so DC3 is now 2 1/2. I've always wanted four children but now worry that I'm going to be a pensioner when I'm collecting them from their A-level exams (if I do manage to get pregnant - and they do A-levels!).

My current three DC are fab, I work 4 days a week (in a 9-5.30 job so see them all every evening and for quite a while in the mornings on days I do work), we can afford another (although it will mean I have to continue working 4 days a week and less exciting holidays), everybody is healthy and DH is very keen now. He's extremely contrary...

I do get frazzled, forget forms for school/Brownie payments and very tired sometimes although DC3 is an excellent sleeper. (So was DC2 although DC1 was a nightmare and didn't sleep through until he was 3 - but I did a more demanding job then so it was harder.)

I'm not sure if I need some reassurance and somebody to say "It's fine, people have children in their 40s a lot these days and you're healthy" or I need somebody to say "Why don't you quite while you're ahead - you have 3 healthy lovely children and the little one is about to start nursery so you can have a little bit of time to yourself now and can think about a more interesting career etc...". Also, I know they need you just as much when they start secondary school and I do worry about being able to spend enough time with all of them.

Anyway - anybody been in a similar situation!? House is big enough although probably need the two girls to share. They seem happy about the idea now. (Could do a loft conversion for another bedroom if we have the funds in a few years...)

I had a miscarriage earlier this year too as we did have one drunken night where we didn't consider things carefully and decided to see what happened. I did get pregnant (and panicked but then felt happy) - the miscarriage made me hugely sad.

Thank you for reading my long ramble... (I just know I need to get on with it right now if we're going to try.)

Beijingyouth Wed 14-Jun-17 14:13:59

You sound really undecided.

At 42, having been through it 3 times before, I couldn't do the baby phase again. And all the physical play, football, etc, I couldn't imagine having that much energy at 45, 46, and I am very fit with lots of energy.

And I you've been quite lucky with only one bad sleeper out of three, but you should prepare yourself for the worst. Your new baby might be really high maintenance and not slot in. From that angle I'd say no way!

I also think that your teens will need a lot of attention in the next few years, which you may not be able to give, unless the baby slots in...

But I und stand if I had 10, 9, and 2 I'd want to have a fourth just for symmetries sake. But that is a bit silly.

I'm very sorry for your loss and wish you luck with your decision.

Sycamorewindmills Wed 14-Jun-17 14:19:15

I wouldn't. Quit while you're ahead.

TheBogQueen Wed 14-Jun-17 14:19:46

I have three and work ft. Rather you than me grin

bleughhh Wed 14-Jun-17 16:09:19

Thank you all... I'm coming round to that point of view. Still sad that that's it. All very sensible points Beijing

EwanWhosearmy Wed 14-Jun-17 16:25:02

I had my 5th at 43 grin

Got pregnant twice at 42 and lost both, then DD was born 2 months before I turned 44.

In our case our others were teens, and if we'd been thinking clearly it really wasn't a good idea. With one of two yo already then the downsides we experienced probably won't happen.

bleughhh Wed 14-Jun-17 17:31:36

Crikey Ewan!! Well done...! I know you can't really regret the decision once the baby/person exists but I get your point. Hope it's all going well!

lazycrazyhazy Wed 14-Jun-17 17:37:12

I have 2 friends who were 42 and both coped fine (one was child 3. One 4).

Toocold Wed 14-Jun-17 17:46:23

I have a 12 year old, a 9 year old and a six month old,I'm 40, the baby was extremely poorly and had to have open heart surgery, it is one of the hardest things I have ever dealt with and my oldest had life saving surgery at two days old ( not heart) I have been extremely lucky that they ( and the middle one) are all fine with the exceptions of surgery, for me personally she is my last due to the children with complex needs I met in the hospital, It would take time away from the older two if we had a child with complex needs, my eldest has needed me so much emotionally in the last few weeks, I had no idea how much she'd need me in the lead up to teen years, that would put me off a forth, at the moment all three get some individual time due to staggered bedtimes and clubs but a forth would stretch that. That's just my personal circumstances though, I get the broody for more but I'm not sure that ever truly goes.

Toocold Wed 14-Jun-17 17:48:23

Also (sorry, thoughts keep popping up!) once they get to secondary they need you to get through the whole maze of that, when they were little I'd never have thought they'd need me this much but they do.

wetpebbles Wed 14-Jun-17 18:33:26

I had one at 42, another at 44 and have older teenagers. I can't say it isn't knackering at times, but I just go to bed earlier now. Also, no-one else seems at all bothered about my age...only me it seems.

wetpebbles Wed 14-Jun-17 18:35:49

Oh, to add to my post, health care professionals don't really like you being an older mum and will probably term you a "high risk" pregnancy.

Bythebeach Wed 14-Jun-17 18:50:51

Hmmm. So mine are 12, 9 and 4.5 and I'm 40 and in many ways would love a last baby. I don't think your age is a prob and I think with youngest 2.5 it will be nice to have two sets of two close-ish in age. I definitely worried abit my youngest was left out as the older two were close and more at the same stage although that has improved.

The reason I haven't gone for a fourth is that I feel all three need me a lot and even though I only work 3 days a week, I already feel they don't get quite enough attention each. So, I don't want to short change them further and who knows whether a baby 4 would be super chilled or basically totally monopolise my time for 2 years ... so for me it doesn't feel fair on the existing kids to do it.

bleughhh Thu 15-Jun-17 08:08:55

Thank you all for taking the time to reply. Toocold - that sounds frightening - hope the little one is doing well now.

I hear the issue of pre-teens/teens needing you a lot. That's my major concern - less time for the current three, particularly the older ones.

Thank you again everybody. I think we're going towards a 'stick at 3' decision...

Alcea Thu 15-Jun-17 09:46:38

I'm in a very similar situation to you and posted on another 'should I have a 4th' thread.
My first 2 are slightly older than yours and our 3rd is 3. We were convinced he was our last, we have only changed our minds in the past few months. I feel the gap is really growing now and fear that it will feel like I have had babies forever. My mum keeps pointing out that I'm finally 'getting my life back', so I imagine she'd be horrified if she knew I was even thinking of another.

I literally change my mind every day.

So what I'm saying is, I can't advise you because I too am so torn. I know that the sensible thing to do is not to have another, but then if we were to be sensible we wouldn't have had #3, and he is just the best thing that happened to our family smile

LostInMess Thu 15-Jun-17 14:07:59

I had my 4th at 42 having had my first at 34, so mine are 9, 7, 5 and 20 months. My situation slightly different to yours in that no. 4 was unplanned and I had already moved on mentally, DC3 was about to start preschool and I was ready for a bit of breathing room (was SAHM).

I would think carefully, especially from a work perspective. I started working in a flexible term time job whilst expecting DC4 which I think I am going to have to give up in September as I just cannot give everyone the time they need. I do some occasional evening work and am very aware that homework is about to step up for the oldest 3 and just can't see how we can manage everything if I'm not on the ball every evening. The needs of eldest and youngest are very difficult and, whilst I'm advertising for a nanny to enable me to continue, I've had no responses as yet. This could be due to all sorts of factors but does bear out that people can be very reluctant to take on 4. I certainly find it a big step up from 3. I should say that our situation is compounded by the fact that DH is out of the house for 14 hours a day minimum and we have no family support - you might find it more do-able if you have that.

On the plus side, DC4 is lovely and I'm pleased he's here but it's certainly meant that I am having to follow a different path - and I generally feel that I am running a mass catering/laundry service!

Toocold Thu 15-Jun-17 16:00:10

She's fine now thank you, you wouldn't know to look at her, I hope you find the answer that suits you and your family, we are all different, I know I personally couldn't do it again but you might be different .

imip Fri 16-Jun-17 10:02:59

Really only you can judge. If after considering the 'negatives' you still want another then go for it! Perhaps give yourself a date where you're prepared to stop etc if it hadn't happened and then you have a plan.

I had my 4th at 40. It's been fine. Mine were all born in 5 years, so I was in the 'zone' anyway.

Do I feel old? No not really. About half the parents at school are 'older' parents. I've never been mistaken for being a grandparent, and now all my dc are at primary school.

Justmadeperfectflapjacks Sat 17-Jun-17 21:10:09

I had baby 11 at 43. . A bonus baby!! And a fantastic toddler now!! No regrets. 6 year gap but still close to ds. .

Raver84 Fri 23-Jun-17 18:24:36

I've gone from 3 to 4 had first at 25 and the last one just now at 33. I would think very hard about a pregnancy with so many other children. We had one in between 3 and 4 that had huge complications lost her quite far into the pregnancy. That was very hard and after that i was adamant I was stopping with three, convinced that I had pushed my luck wanting a 4th. I then fell again by surprise and the pregnancy was very hard going emotionally after the one before and I was very tired day to day from looking after another three . All is well now and I'm very happy with 4 but it's hard work and I feel older, much older than I did aftet my 1st when I was 25. Go for it if it's what you all want but be prepared for perhaps some blips along the way. Though I'm sure it will be all good xx

Ugene Fri 30-Jun-17 20:33:27

I am one of six and my mum had my youngest sister with 44. Everything was very well - only my dad seemed to be one of the oldest dads for quite some years. However this changed when my sister went to school when all of a sudden children from dad's second marriages were in her class...

However I find my youngest sister somehow exhausting because she always wants to be special and different from all of us. But that probably has nothing to do with my mum's age 😅

bleughhh Sat 20-Jul-19 10:51:44


Gosh, you sound exactly like me! Had my first at 33 (just!), second and 34 and then husband changed his mind about a third. Had a nasty accidental pregnancy/miscarriage and then had a super serious chat with him a week after my 39th birthday about how I very seriously wanted a third and thought he behaved awfully when we did have the accident.

Anyway, he took it on board and I got pregnant immediately - baby 3 months before my 40th birthday! I had always wanted 4 too, as had he, but those considerations that you mention put me off going for it again. Also, I could see how much time my gorgeous new baby took 'off' my lovely older two. But it is totally up to you!! Loads of people do do it happily.

I am finding it tough as the older children need more emotional support (they are now 11 and nearly 10). Lots of school stuff, friendship group issues, anxiety re secondary schools etc. And I work 4 days a week.

Good luck whatever happens xx

bleughhh Sat 20-Jul-19 10:53:02

Ha - hilarious. I just replied to myself. Perimenopause or Alzheimer's

PaulHollywoodsSexGut Sat 20-Jul-19 14:17:11

I’m really interested as to what you decide, OP. My initial part was thinking “go for it” and I still do to some extent as you have the affordability and space boxes ticked. Do you mind me asking what you do for childcare if you work?

I had DD1 in 2016, DS in 2017 and DD2 in May this year. We plan to have DC4 in late 2021 meaning I’ll be pregnant over my 40th birthday all going well (I’ve had a mc as well OP, it was shit).

We had a shocking start with DD2, she ended up in neo natal and I was in coronary care, she was delivered at 37w and it’s been fucking hard. But she’s thriving now and her brother and sister dote on her. DD1 is now asking for a baby brother for the love of God confused

I digress - look, i would recommend you actually canvas your older two for their opinion. At 10 and 9 they’re switched on and aware that the world isn’t all fluffy unicorns and rainbows. Take them at their word and use that to mould your decision as it would be sad if you have a good relationship with the older ones soured because you’ve changed the Ts and Cs of life as they know it without consultation.

Good luck, I watch with interest and if you do go for it i wish you a successful and healthy pregnancy x

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