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Pregnant at 43 and utterly TERRIFIED

(17 Posts)
Sausage2Sausage2Sausage Wed 27-Jul-16 10:52:00

Hello everybody. I have just got a positive on a pregnancy test. I'm 43 and this will be our third. I know how fortunate I am so don't want to complain, but I am absolutely totally terrified. About everything, my job, my DH, my other two kids, age gap between them and this one, money. My age. What will people think/say!? I know this has been done before, but is there anyone in a similar situation (or previously) who can tell me positive stories? I am desperate to be told this will be OK.

MinkyWinky Wed 27-Jul-16 11:08:14

Hi! I had my first around your age. It's been fine.

During pregnancy, you will get lots of people telling you about all the things that can go wrong, but it's worth remembering that things can go wrong with your pregnancy whatever your age. I actually had a text book pregnancy and while I ended up with and emergency C-section, that was because they were being ultra cautious.

Can't comment on having three, but depending on the age gap, your older DC may actually prove helpful smile.

No-one's commented on my age - then again I don't bring it up. You're not alone there are lots of 'older' mums around.

malvinandhobbes Wed 27-Jul-16 11:21:59

I am 42 and expecting my third any day. There is a 10 year age gap between my current youngest and this baby.

The pregnancy has been fine. It is probably harder than my first pregnancy (I was in my 20s!), but easier than my second when I also had a toddler to look after. There have been no medical concerns at all. Once I got myself worked up about a pre-eclampsia scare and the midwives told me I am just not that old in the scheme of things. They tell me I have fewer risk factors than lots of much younger mums.

Nearly everyone asked some variant of "Was it planned?" or the more polite "Were you surprised?" DH was quite good at replying in a way to embarrass the asker, but I was always too polite. That has been annoying, but most people are really delighted to welcome another baby.

Here are what I think will be the positives:

1). My older DC are delighted. I think having a little one around will make their teenage years more sociable. They have been such a great help during pregnancy and it is sweet to watch them mature in this way. My oldest DC is quickly becoming an adolescent. I think this would have made me a bit sad before, but since we have this new baby I feel less sad about them growing out of childhood and feel I am really able to enjoy my older kids. And this turning into a teenager thing is amusing. We are in our 40s, which may make entertaining a toddler harder - but we have two very healthy older kids with excellent knees that will pitch in.

2.)This is not my first baby, first babies are scary. I do not currently have young children to look after while also looking after a newborn. I hope I can just enjoy this newborn like a PFB without worrying that I will break it. I have considerable expertise in parenting now, and can take the long view. Little decisions about using a dummy, sleep training, creche v childminder matter very little in the long run. I think I will worry less.

3.) Money. We have more of it which is helpful. We also have had to buy nothing at all because everyone we know is finished having babies and happily giving us stuff. Although maternity leave is more expensive now because I earn more than I did 10 years ago. As above, I don't think putting the baby in the creche will do any harm at all so hopefully that transition will be less fraught.

4. My career. In the past, I let DH off the hook for 50/50 baby parenting because I though I was better at it. Now the DC are older he does do 50/50. I am going to try (fingers crossed) to hold him to his share of of the work.

5. My marriage. We communicate better now, and again we have the long view. We know each so well now, and are more gentle with each other. A couple of baby years and the expected hit to intimacy isn't going to derail our relationship.

It is an atypical family decision, but I am optimistic. It isn't that I don't panic and think "what have we done?", but I also think parenting is so much fun and we get to experience those pleasures for much longer now. (Note that I am also experiencing that calm optimism that happens at the very, very end of pregnancy).

Sausage2Sausage2Sausage Wed 27-Jul-16 11:37:49

Thank you so much both for replying. So lovely to hear from others in a similar situation. I always wanted three, and felt strongly that I would regret it if I didn't (still do). But ... I woke up last night at 3am and couldn't get back to sleep thinking about the implications (if that is, things go OK and I know that's not guaranteed). This is helping though, thanks, and good luck to both of you.

Kpo58 Wed 27-Jul-16 11:48:35

There's a lady near me with a baby in her late 40s early 50s with a 15 year age gap between her previous child and the new baby. Her older children adore the baby and no one cares that she is an older mum. Found out recently that she adopted the baby.

madwomanacrosstheroad Wed 27-Jul-16 12:03:04

Had my last baby at 44 (dc5). All went fine, easy birth, healthy baby. Pregnancy no worse than other pregnancies. Dd is now 6 and a few weeks ago was rhe first ever time that someone remarked that she was having a lovely time with her granny. Age difference between her and her eldest sibling is nearly 17 yrs.
The horror stories usually relate to first pregnancies at an older age and if you look at the statistics re downs etc rationally (calculate the odds that child does NOT have downs) they look much less scary.
Having older children is actually great when having a new baby - it means there usually is an extra body to hold/play etc so you can eat with two hands or go to the toilet by yourself.
Did not find it more exhausting than having first child (on my own) in my 20s.
Also no difference in recovery after birth.

madwomanacrosstheroad Wed 27-Jul-16 12:03:59

With pregnancy and children nothing is ever guaranteed.

OldFarticus Wed 27-Jul-16 12:11:44

I am 40 and pg with my first and I will be 41 when he arrives. Like Malvin I have had no problems whatsoever and the pregnancy has been <whispers> really, really easy so far.

My obgyn says if you had an uneventful pregnancy at 25 then the chances are you will also have an uneventful pregnancy at 40 odd if you are in reasonably good health. (And we have another frozen embie so I might be a 43 year old preggo too!)

I have had some negative comments from relatives, but I don't regret my choices. I can give my DC the kind of life that they would not have had if I was a a younger mum and (for me) that is important.

Congratulations OP! flowers

sj257 Wed 27-Jul-16 12:41:34

I can't comment on the age thing, but the age gap between other children scared me to death at first, still does at times! My children will be ten and almost 9 when the baby comes.i had a crazy panic the other day that I wouldn't be able to take them to the cinema next summer holidays!

Sausage2Sausage2Sausage Wed 27-Jul-16 13:02:15

Hi sj. Yes, nine and seven here. I have been thinking about the summer holidays too! At the moment they have a lot of fun together (though not necessarily with me as I'm working). In future holidays I am going to have to work out how to manage very different activity schedules. Yikes.

madwomanacrosstheroad Wed 27-Jul-16 22:13:43

At nine and seven they will be ten and eight when the baby comes. So while the baby is very tiny you attach him/her to your breast in a sling during the film and then the older kids are old enough to watch the film by themselves and you sit in a cafe beside the cinema with baby at breast or in the pram sleeping. It is doable.

windygallows Wed 27-Jul-16 22:31:40

I had my first at 36 and second at 44 it was fine at 44 but the most frustrating was the health care professionals who constantly remarked on my age. Of course they had to monitor me carefully throughout my pregnancy but really wish they had shut up about how old I was!!

Career wise it's been a bit tricky putting things on hold a bit - just no energy to push ahead in my career!

Other than that it's all been fine and love having a toddler. Good luck op.

cedricsneer Wed 27-Jul-16 22:42:32

Malvinas, what a lovely post. We are debating similar issues about having a 4th (I'm 38) and my husband is not wildly keen. We have older kids, like you. I am going to show him your post.

dats Thu 28-Jul-16 00:23:39

I had my second baby 12 days ago, I'm 43. DD was born when I was 41. My age has rarely been mentioned, generally it's all been a very positive experience. Where you live might be a factor, I suppose - there's a lot of older mothers where I live, so it's become more normalised - both from a social and a healthcare point of view.

Both my pregnancies and deliveries were pretty straightforward - this recent one was a homebirth with a 2hr labour, no stitches. Placenta was 'perfect' - which was very satisfying as some consultants are keen to induce older mamas due to a teeny increased risk of placental failure.

It's perfectly possible to have a positive experience - wishing you lots of luck smile


dats Thu 28-Jul-16 00:26:08

...and malvin, that was a lovely post! Hooray! Best of luck with your soon-to-arrive squishy baby flowers

Cousinit Thu 28-Jul-16 01:11:33

Sausage, I could have written this post word for word several months ago when I found myself unexpectedly pregnant with number 3, my two others are 9 and 6. I am
43. I was really worried about other peoples' reactions but had nothing but positive comments. I was also terrified of having a complicated pregnancy due to my age but it was textbook with no issues and a straightforward delivery. My children adore the baby and we have no issues around jealously which we had when my second child was born. Also as the other two are school age, I am having lots of time to just appreciate and enjoy this baby, rather like a pfb. I do feel very lucky to have this opportunity again. My only regret is that I didn't enjoy my pregnancy, I spent the whole nine months worrying and there really was no need. Try not to do the same and Congratulations flowers

Sausage2Sausage2Sausage Sun 31-Jul-16 18:43:47

Thanks again everybody for replying - finally had time to get back to the PC. My terror is currently coming in waves. This morning I convinced myself that the pregnancy wasn't progressing and felt sad, then I went into a state of zen like calm, followed by total terror once again. I guess this is normal, and hormones probably don't help! Congratulations everybody.

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