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40yrs old with SN child - would you get pregnant again?

59 replies

Chocol8 · 19/02/2006 10:04

Has anyone been in this position? What is the percentage of having another AS baby?

I did see a thread about the risks of late pregnancy a long time ago, but didn't take any notice as I thought I would never be in this situation.

Any comments would be gratefully received, thank you.

OP posts:
Socci · 19/02/2006 10:41

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expatinscotland · 19/02/2006 10:49

Well, you asked, so I'll be honest. Personally, no.

anniebear · 19/02/2006 11:17

have you just the one other child?

If you really wanted another Child, you should. You don't want to be thinking "if only" in 5/10 years

I suppose it also depends on how hard your life is now

I know I couldn't have another. I am up too much in the night with Ellie. It would only be Grace who slept!!!

Me, DH, Ellie and new baby would all be in our room listening to Ellie cry or chatter at 2 in the morning!!

I would also be worried to leave the baby with Ellie and would have to take it everywhere with me around the house, although she is very gentle and loving, but that doesnt mean she wouldnt pick it up by it's fingers!!

But, others on here have gone on to have other children and they are still here to tell the tale

Of course it is worrying that you may have another child with AS. I think you need to have a word with a PAED about that to see what the chances are???

But if you are longing for a baby and you know you can cope.....go for it

Sorry if that was a load of useless waffle!!!

anniebear · 19/02/2006 11:18

and reading you thread again, you didn't really want to know all my thoughtless waffle, lol sorry!!!!

eidsvold · 19/02/2006 12:37

was not as old as you BUT we knew even before dd1 was born that she would not be an only - even though generally people have a higher risk of having another child with down syndrome if you already have one. I was also 36 when I had dd2. Am now 38 and am considering a third - which would definitely be our last.

chonky · 19/02/2006 12:47

Yes - provided we felt that we could cope if it happened again, now knowing what we do about the complete lack of help provided by SS etc.

For us, we'd love to have a second, but are just biding our time until dd is going to the SN nursery for several sessions a week, and more importantly we have a more solid recurrence risk provided by the geneticists.

I don't think age comes into it for us, it's more do we have the strength to cope with a newborn and meet dd's needs at the same time. At the moment no - hopefully in the future very much a yes.

emmalou78 · 19/02/2006 12:53

well I'm 27 and I would have to give it a lot of long hard thinking.

You need to consider what the risks are of a further Sn child, if you mind, if you can divide yourself further for the attention another chid would require...

Davros · 19/02/2006 12:56

ooh Choc, you dark horse, do tell!! As you know only too well (having entertained DD when we met up recently) that I DID at 43
I've droned on MN before about this. We felt we had a very high risk of another with ASD, in view of the other people in my family with ASD so we really didn't want a boy. But we took our risk and, by luck, we had a girl and she's fine. Although it took her first 2 years before I felt able to relax about her.
Our reasons were that if we didn't take this risk, then we KNEW what the future held. We KNEW we wouldn't be planning weddings, choosing universities, getting cross about dreadful clothes and make-up, wondering if our child were gay or not etc etc... you get the picture! Not that any NT child has to get married, go to Uni etc, but they CAN and we knew that DS couldn't. We knew we would never have grandchildren, that there would be no-one to care about us when we were older. We also felt that a sibling could help DS. We wouldn't expect a sibling to care FOR him but just someone to care ABOUT him.
End of drone!

fastasleep · 19/02/2006 13:06

If you want it and you think you could handle it, then go for it.

That's all there is to it IMO, but god you must be a very strong person!

I would personally probably expect the worst (I know that sounds awful) but just so I knew what I might be in for and I knew how hard it could be... and then if it wasn't it would be a wonderful surprise iyswim..

Best of luck with your super-hard decision, don't let age come into it! xxx

macwoozy · 19/02/2006 14:04

I agree with the majority here, if you feel you have the strength to manage another SN child, then I can't see why not, age shouldn't really be the big issue here, more about how well you'd cope. I've recently been speaking to my dp about the prospect of trying for another child, we've weighed up the problems we would encounter if we were to have another SN child, and at a 1/30 chance of having another child with autism, I'm willing to take the chance, although dp doesn't feel quite the same right now. Can I ask how your dp/dh feels about this?

sphil · 19/02/2006 15:38

I had DS1 (mildly dyspraxic) at 40 and DS2 (ASD) at 42. It has been very hard at times but I'm so glad I've got two children, for all the reasons Davros says. I think I would have done the same even if I'd had DS2 first. We toyed briefly with the idea of going for a third (I'd love a daughter) but felt it wasn't really practical. Still regret it a bit though...

expatinscotland · 19/02/2006 15:44

Exactly, it's all what you and your partner feel you can cope with.

Hats off to anyone having a baby at 40, tho! I just had the last DD2, at 34 and my arse is dragging enough already.

noddyholder · 19/02/2006 15:50

Can I just ask a question as someone with little knowledge os SN Is it more likely that you will have a further sn child if you already have one regardless of the age thing.I hope no one is offended by this question I am just interested xx

Davros · 19/02/2006 15:56

Noddyholder, some SNs are more likely if you've already got a child with X or Y, one of those being autism.
Choc, you know me, I'll be indiscreet here, but if its with another partner then I think you've got much less chance as you're using a different combination of genes....
I'd have loved a third but we thought we'd better not risk it, boo hoo. We did have to think about "what if" but we mostly put that to the back of our minds once we'd decided. I found it a bit embarrassing to tell people I was pg at 43 though.

Chocol8 · 19/02/2006 17:36

Thanks very much for all your opinions - all of them are really appreciated. Thanks for being indescreet Davros, heh heh yes, the "dark horse" has a new partner. He has a son from a previous relationship, but it is something we'd like to do - but if it's gonna be ever, it's gotta be soon!

I can see that I may get looks being preg at 40/41, especially on those days when you feel and look it.

PMSL at Expat - i'm sure your ass ain't really draggin!

I'd love a little girl...sigh! My ds is excellent with babies and children and would probably assume parental responsibility as soon as he/she was born!

OP posts:
MeerkatsUnite · 19/02/2006 18:12

Will take a slightly different tack here:-

If your periods are still regular then its is more likely you are still ovulating (although even normally fertile women have the occasional anovulatory cycle).

If your periods are now becoming more irregular over time then I would seek medical advice sooner rather than later. Blood tests can be done to determine your hormone levels linked to ovarian reserve.

Generally speaking as well fertility declines with age.

Am sorry if any of this seems downhearted - this is not the intention but you should be aware of the above.

getbakainyourjimjams · 19/02/2006 19:29

1 in 30? shite - glad I didn't know that before getting pregnant with ds3 (ds2 was conceived/born pre-dx so no need to make a decision). Will watch him even more anxiously now! I heard it described as over 100 times more likely to have a child with ASD than joe public- 1 in 30 sounds worse!

I think Davros' reasons are sound. I'd go for it in your position. I must be an optomist!

Socci · 19/02/2006 19:32

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getbakainyourjimjams · 19/02/2006 19:38

Yep- but you never know which camp you are in. Actually we guessed that our risk was lower if we were careful as we figured ds1 was triggered. I've assumed that both ds2 and ds3 have a high potential of becoming autistic and have added in safety measures (no gluten before 2- or I'm sure development is normal, no jabs before 2 unless life or death, ditto antibiotics), careful with tuna etc.

LizLocket · 19/02/2006 19:48

I've read that the recurrence rate for ASD in a subsequent child is 2-3% higher if you already have an affected child. However I think the recurrence risk is actually higher than that in AS or HFA in some families. My H works with a lady whose three sons all have AS to one degree or another and I've heard of other families with several members affected. In my H's family there is a 'strike rate' of 50% of AS or AS traits. I don't think the genetics of ASD are at all well understood.

Despite this it didn't deter us from having a second child, we just kept our fingers crossed ;) We both wanted another child and felt it was important for DS1 to have a sibling something that is evident evert day when we see them playing happily or otherwise together! I'd love a 3rd child but my H is worried about having another child with ASD. I think another sibling would be good for both my sons but do have to consider the impact of another child NT or ASD on both children and our family. Tricky one!

Liz x

wads · 19/02/2006 20:03

I'm 37 with a 5yo SN DS & a NT DD 2yo. Have just found out I'm pg & admit to worrying about whether the baby is a girl or boy as I know a boy has a higher percentage risk. Also I'll have an amnio this time which I would never have considered before, but now feel older & more at risk. I should add that DD has been the best therapy ever for DS, & I think SN kids enjoy siblings as much as, or even more, than NT kids - maybe they feel able to experiment more in the safety of family/home than out in the real world?

getbakainyourjimjams · 19/02/2006 20:16

Having a sibling has been a bit irrelevant for ds1, but I hope, as Davros says it/they will be someone ot care about (not for) him in the future.

That 1 in 30 has really shaken me up Socci! If someone posts nuchal results of 1 in 30 on here it's very major, I didn't even know I was taking that sort of risk when having ds3. Now he's 13 months I can say that if he is ASD (which I'm definitely nowhere near ruling out) he is higher functioning (considerably) than ds1.


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heartinthecountry · 19/02/2006 20:42

Choc - you don't look 40 at all so I doubt you would get any looks - anyway, if you did I reckon you're hard enough to take it!

I had thought the same as davros about the different genetic base...

Socci · 19/02/2006 20:51

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nooka · 19/02/2006 21:52

My sister has two SN children with a NT (well relatively - he's dyslexic) child in the middle. I think that it is very hard for him, but very important for my sister and BIL to have him for the reasons given by Davros (neither of the other children are likely to be able to live independantly, and the older one has significant health needs too). One of my best friends has a SN son followed by an NT daughter (who she had at 43) and I know she worries about how horrible her son can be to his little sister (and how very glad she is that she had her). Other families I know have found it really works well all round. I think it probably depends on the characterists of the special need, and how much of an impact that has on the rest of the family.

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