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Single mother by choice at 45

(32 Posts)
Lily7050 Mon 01-Jun-15 22:24:57

I always wanted to have a child but thought that my child deserves to have both loving parents and have decent living standards.

Until recently my financial situation was unstable, I had to move jobs and countries.

Now I am more or less settled, got a well paid job and my own flat. I am already 45, lost hope to find a partner to have a child together and financially can afford to raise a child on my own. So I am thinking of conceiving with a donor sperm.

I will have to get back to work 3 months after the child is born but can afford to pay for private childcare.

Another issue that stopped me from having a child on my own is my health condition. I got psoriasis which is somewhere between moderate to severe. I do not want my child to have psoriasis. I have read that if one of the parents have psoriasis the probability that the child will develop the condition is somewhere between 15%-50%. Prenatal diagnosis of psoriasis is unavailable.

If anybody here has been in similar situation please share your opinion.

Would it be irresponsible in my situation to have a child as a single mother?

Of course I am going to meet with fertility specialists to discuss my situation but would appreciate if single mums of similar age could share their thoughts.

karmagetsyou Mon 01-Jun-15 22:34:06

I know 3 people who have done this in their early 40's.

As long as you know what you're signing up for then go for it!

I'm single & have been from day 1. It's tough but I wouldn't change it for the world & I know it was the right choice (I was 36 when pg now 38)

Had I not have conceived the way I did then I would 100% looked at going down sperm route.

As I said, 3 people within my group have done this.

With regards to your health, it could happen to any of us, you have no idea how the health of your child is going to turn out, you've no idea what personality they will have - my midwife just told me, love and security that's all they need grin

MakeItRain Mon 01-Jun-15 22:40:06

I think that you can talk yourself out of and into so many things in life. Everything is a gamble really. Your children may get psoriasis, they may not. But all of us may get some illness - I don't think you can put things off due to a 'maybe' (which is so much less likely than the 'maybe not' anyway)

I'm a single mum in my 40's (not by choice though). I LOVE having children. Of course there are some things about being a single parent that are tough for me and some things that are tough for them. But overall, being a mum, and all that brings, outweighs everything for me.

The right private childcare can be fantastic - you just need to look carefully - and if you could take 6 months off at least I would!

I would say go for it! Don't live life regretting that you never tried. Good luck!

DressingGown Tue 02-Jun-15 07:02:05

Have you a good support network? You'll see a lot of posts in here about how tough it can be by yourself. Having said that, I've been LP since dd was 3.5 months, and it's miles better than being with someone who just added stress!! Miles. Go for it, I'd say, but think about how you'll make time for yourself. I'm only just trying to figure it out now and dd is almost 2. It's important to maintain your wellbeing and sanity by having a life! All the very best luck.

YonicScrewdriver Tue 02-Jun-15 07:04:29

One of the options you could discuss is donor eggs as well as donor sperm. This may be necessary anyway depending on your own egg quality.

Best of luck.

DressingGown Tue 02-Jun-15 07:05:45

Oh, and I have psoriasis. I have to say that I didn't even think about it when I got pg. dd seems fine, but if she develops it then we'll cope. Without wishing to belittle it, there are worse things than psoriasis and none of us know what things might befall our LO. The world is full of unforeseen illness, disease, and tragedies. But it's also full of smiles and cuddles and surprises.

Persipan Tue 02-Jun-15 10:09:39

I'm 38 and undergoing fertility treatment as a single woman, so I personally clearly have no issue with that route!

You might want to swing on over to the infertility section to find out more about the treatments involved. Without wishing to sound discouraging, your odds using your own eggs at 45 would be really quite low so that's something to factor in.

Lily7050 Tue 02-Jun-15 22:03:41

Many thanks to everyone for all your support.
I going for an open evening at the Lister Hospital next week.

karmagetsyou Wed 03-Jun-15 13:20:00

That's where my friends went. Good luck smile they now have lovely babies/toddlers

cestlavielife Wed 03-Jun-15 14:32:32

i think psoriasis should be the least of medical conditions to worry about...nasty yes but there are many many more disabling conditions out there that cannot be tested for. having a condition mummy has too and knows how to deal with, should make it easier?

go for a child yes, my friend had kids at age 44 and 47...(donor eggs) -tiring but loving it.

but accept you might get a child with or without health/medical needs. it's that age old thing - i don't care if it's a boy or girl so long as it's healthy -surely, when you desperately want a child at 45 it should be i don't care so long as it's happy and loved?

or, have a plan for what to do if it isn't eg give up for adoption.

fiveacres Wed 03-Jun-15 14:34:16

I don't think we as parents care necessarily about health. You love your baby because you just do. It's because of them and the potential impact on their lives.

I don't see anything wrong at all with what you're doing OP - but at 45, is conceiving likely? Would donor eggs be something you'd consider?

Starlightbright1 Wed 03-Jun-15 22:26:30

Can I say you also need to think about support networks. I am a Single mum who is approaching 45 but have an 8 year old. I love it but am aware I have no family for him to go to should something happen to me.

I really don't think I could do the sleepless nights again...

However despite not going out from one year to the next he is so worth it

girliefriend Wed 03-Jun-15 22:36:26

I am a single parent (dds dad might as well have been a sperm donor hmm )

I agree with pp that plan for 6 months maternity leave, pregnancy and birth can take quite a while to recover from and 3 months will fly by in a sleep deprived blur!!

I feel so blessed to have dd but there are of course challenges along the way, I am lucky to have supportive family and friends, it is good to have some support if possible.

It is also (and this goes for all mums regardless of their situation) impossible to predict how you will feel once the baby is here, right now going back to work and putting a baby is childcare doesn't feel like it would be a problem. However once the baby is here it may feel like a big problem!!

Lily7050 Wed 03-Jun-15 23:27:24

@cestlavielife: my concern about passing psoriasis to the child is not about keeping the child or giving up for adoption. Living with psoriasis for 30 years I simply do not want my child to have the same difficulties.
I do not care it is boy or girl as long as the child is healthy.
If I have a disabled child I won't give her/him for adoption but will blame myself for putting a child through the miserable life.
Maybe I am wrong.

@fiveacres: I will find out about my chances to conceive next week or the week after.
My friend's brother's partner had her 5th child at 49, conceived naturally. She might be from lucky 1%, who knows.

Donor egg may be a better option, in my case.
But then if it is donor egg and donor sperm, it sounds easier to go for adoption, though not sure about paperwork required.

YonicScrewdriver Thu 04-Jun-15 05:44:39

Adoption may take a long time and if you are approved very few children in the process are babies.

paxtecum Thu 04-Jun-15 05:56:47

An adopted child would need you to be off work for at least a year not three months.

I think you should read the threads in Adoption and you will get an idea of the needs of adopted children.

cestlavielife Thu 04-Jun-15 17:32:19

you would have nothing to feel guilty for...have you had a good life despite psoriarasis? a good job, a home, friends? can a person with this condition have a good life despite the challenges?

maybe seek out some counselling with a good therapist or genetics counsellor to explore this issue. genetics counsellor can tell you about risks.

there is no guarantee with any pregnancy or even getting an adopted child. you cant rule out any condition - or maybe you can for now but you have no idea what might happen in the future. having a child, you have to be prepared for whatever is thrown at you.... especially having one on your own.

btw - my disabled SLD ASd child does not have a miserable life - he is hard work but when things are put in place he is a happy chap.

Many disabled peopel go on to have kids knowing their kids might have the condition take eg Warwick Davies - sorry its a DM link but i think you see happy kids there

i can totally understand ruling out a life limiting condition or a degenerative one... but you do have to be prepared to accept challenges of one or more health conditions who knows what along the way.

I can also understand you not wanting to pass on a condition - but you cant test for it so that means you have to go down donor egg etc to avoid it... - BUT you may still get a child with a completely different condition! or one who has an accident later and acquires something even worse....if you "dont want a child with x" - that is fine - but the only way to have a zero risk of any kind of health condition now or in future for a child is simply not to have a child... fact.

rather than focusing on one condition, how do you deal with unexpected challenges generally?
are you calm, capable, not phased? always glass half full?
how will you deal with sleepless nights?

Lily7050 Thu 04-Jun-15 22:30:53

No, my glass is more often is half empty sad
I can survive couple sleepless nights during working week but then have to compensate over weekend.

On Lister Clinic's website I have read a couple of stories of single women having children with donor sperm. But those stories do not tell you how they coped after the baby was born, whether they had family members helping them, etc.

I was hoping to hear stories and possibly get advice how full time working single mums manage on their own with babies.

For example, I think I may need a live in nanny at least during the first month, as nobody from my family will be able to stay with me.

I do not have large savings, got a mortgage so cannot afford to be off work for a long time. My job is quite demanding but pay is not bad, in my opinion, so I do not want to loose this job.

When I was a child my parents struggled to meet the ends and were stressed too much, insecure and unhappy.

Basically, I am trying to assess whether I can manage to raise a child on my own, on my salary, say, around £50K-£60K a year, i.e. no benefits/ tax credits, without getting overstressed and insecure.

fiveacres Thu 04-Jun-15 22:32:59

My direct and honest answer would be 'yes.'

Yes, babies wake up. They do settle into a routine of sorts and you adjust accordingly. They tend to wake up early which can be annoying.

Live in nanny is a great idea, as is an au pair.

cestlavielife Fri 05-Jun-15 20:36:49

What us the gross cost of a nanny in your area ?
What is cost of full time nursery ?
Will you have friends or family to call on if you or nanny or child is sick ?

You would get thru it if you have to
think of other challenges in your life you have got thru.
Or set yourself a physical challenge I don't know a major bike ride.
But be realistic it will at times be a hard slog.

DressingGown Sat 06-Jun-15 00:41:16

Oh you can definitely do it. I'm 39, work full time, earn similar, dd (almost 2) is in nursery full time, and we have wonderful weekends and evenings and the odd day off together. I had worse than no support when she was born (XP didn't leave until she was 3.5 months, but was generally out drinking/ going missing for days at a time/ generally dicking me about). Went back to work at 5 months part time (because by then I was really suffering with the total isolation, loneliness and depression of my situation), 7 months full time. As I said earlier, support it important. You need space to breathe. If you can afford a nanny, I think it's a great idea. Fingers crossed for you.

Lily7050 Sat 06-Jun-15 12:50:58

@fiveacres and DressingGown: many thanks for your support.

@cestlavielife: I live in west London and work near London Bridge.
Cost of a nanny is £10-£15 per hour but after some internet search I will need someone qualified as Maternity nurse.
Nursery is £1000-£1500 a month. I think it is better to have a nursery close to work rather than close to home as they charge additional fees if parents are later to collect children.

RandomMess Sat 06-Jun-15 12:56:42

I think you'd regret not trying, you are financially in a good position and have thought various options through!

With regards to psoriasis, dh has this and had we known about psoriatic arthritis perhaps we would have had fewer dc but we have to hope for the best and teach our youngest (who developed skin lesions as a toddler) how to self manage her skin and help her deal with stress etc.

There are certainly far worse health conditions our offspring can be unexpectedly suffer from.

ElizabethG81 Sat 06-Jun-15 20:31:41

You could look at a post-natal doula instead of a maternity nurse - they would come for a few hours per day, and could possibly also help at night if you needed it.

ItsRainingInBaltimore Sat 06-Jun-15 20:44:25

I don't think the psoriasis or the lack of partner are necessarily the issue.
For me the concerns are your age and the fact that you live abroad and would have to return almost immediately to work.

Any potential child would have a pretty elderly mother (relatively speaking) no siblings, no father, no wider family network around them and a mother who, as the sole breadwinner, has no choice but to work long hours. You would be having a child at an age when many people are anticipating becoming grandparents. What if something happened to you - who else would your child have in the world? And what if you got early onset Altzeimers or similar? We all anticipate having to care for our frail elderly parents at some point, but not many of us want to be doing it before we are even out of our twenties. That burden is an awful lot for one young person to carry with no support from anyone else.

Sorry if that's not what you want to hear, but it's honestly what I feel.

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