9 Reasons NOT To Have Babies in Your Forties

I am refreshing this article about the pros and cons of having a baby at 40 or in your 40s. I wrote it as a heartfelt but still light-hearted look at my own experiences. Since it first appeared over 5 years ago many people have added their own comments which are now as extensive as the article itself.

Having a baby at 40 is now not uncommon but many of us still have plenty to say about it.  Better get a cuppa as this is a long read…

By the way, if you would rather read about my thoughts and experiences on all the great things about being an older mother, click through to:

A Baby At 40? The 10 Best Reasons To Have A Baby In Your 40s.

A baby at 40

But if you are looking for a brutal look at the downsides of being an older parent, read on!

9 Reasons NOT To Have Babies in Your Forties

When I flick open a magazine and read of celebrities having babies at an advanced age, I do wince.

I hope that younger women aren’t getting a message that it’s a good idea to wait before trying to have babies.  It’s not.

Recently, I posted an infographic on the facts and figures about age and fertility.  That got my old brain whirring and fingers click clacking… I tend to write factual information here and not much opinion…. but….

I do hate to upset people or be controversial really…. BUT….. I have got opinions and experience on this older mother malarkey… here goes….

The human body is still the human body it’s always been. It’s designed to reproduce early.

It works best that way.

And I mean works best in that generally fertility is higher when we’re younger, and babies are healthier.

Let’s keep it that simple

I know I’m the last person who should be writing about the pitfalls of trying to have babies as an older mother, since I am an older mother.  

But on the other hand, I may be the best person, because I live the negatives alongside the positives of it of it every day.  And like most people who try to conceive later in life, I endured many bitter heartbreaks along the way.

Having a baby at 42 would have been hard enough, but I actually had twins at 42!

That’s why I wince… and also for the many people I know who tried to have children later in life, and who haven’t been fortunate enough to bring a baby home.

We rarely hear of the people who try and fail to have babies in their 40s.

We may know personally some people who try and try and try and try again… and whose hearts are broken… and who try again… and lose a pregnancy and try again… and try and try and try… and who don’t end up with a baby at all at the end of many years of heartbreak.

I certainly do.

But we don’t often read about those folks in the media.

There are probably many more women who do not manage to have children when they start late than there are success stories, don’t you think?

But of course, many people do manage to have babies in their 40s. I’m one of them.

I would like to write here about the downsides of when we do manage to have children late.

Because I’m here to tell you it’s no picnic. There’s a real shortage of both beer and skittles.

Yes, I have also written about the many upsides of being an older parent… actually heaps of my posts do show the fun we have with our young late-born twins.

But today I’d like to explain some of the lesser-talked-about negatives.

And express some feelings of which I can truly say I’m ashamed… but which are present for sure.

Nine Reasons NOT To Have Babies in Your Forties

1.   Being pregnant in your 40s is no fun… 

I knew that if we had a third child there would be a higher chance of having a baby with ASD as clearly we have the genes in the family. And I did know that having an older mother or father also raises the risk of ASD even higher.

When I realised I was having twins, believe me I was beside myself. I had just doubled the chances of having another child with a disability.

We did amnios with the twins and I can truly say that the procedure itself and the days after were excruciating. I did not want to have to deal with the choices that await a test that’s positive for an abnormality.

Thank god that I didn’t – and that was just sheer bloody luck.

2. By the late 40s… our own parents need more help 

I’m just not in a great position to support my mum as I am tied down with the wee ones. This feels terrible, I can tell you. My mum has dementia and I would love to be there for her a lot more than I am able to be.

3. I worry about my own mortality

Now, in my 50s, I have a real sense of my own mortality, a great awareness that my time on the planet may be limited. I don’t mind for myself but I sure do mind because the little ones need me.

4. An older parent is a more tired parent

It’s one thing having babies at 42, it’s quite another having two years olds at 44 and five-year-olds at 47 and now 13-year-olds at 55. I’m a pretty energetic person but honestly, I can’t keep up with them and play as actively than I did with my older boys.

My husband does make a big effort to kick the footy around with Rusty Rocket – but it can feel an effort too.

5. I will be 60 when they leave school

I will be able to draw my pension before the twins have left school! That’s a thought that stops me in my tracks. I thought I’d be retired and lounging around by the time I was 60. There will still be a lot of parenting to do!

6. I am so much older than other parents

The vast majority of the mums at the twins’ school are around 10 years younger, some much more. It’s different… it just is…. There’s a lovely mum who had her daughters in her early 20s and I am genuinely old enough to be her mother. She kindly still treats me like a friend though, and to be honest she has taught me things about being a good parent.

7. I miss my friends

Most of my own friends are leading a very different lifestyle to my hubby and I. Their kids are teens or even older and they have a freedom that, being honest, we crave. I miss spending lots of time with my friends who seem to have forgotten to have kids in their 40s. They definitely do not want to come to playgrounds with us. Some firneds go away on holidays and I cannot join them.

8. Menopause does not mix well with young kids!

It’s hard to deal with kids’ tantrums when you’re perimenopausal. I’d expected it’d be the teens who pressed all my hormonal buttons but they seem to be pretty fine (touch wood) and relish their independence. Not so the twin terrors.

9. The early retirement plans are shelved

We had always hoped to retire pretty young, but that probably will not be possible. Let’s just say we’re not going to be slightly grey nomads…. we’ll be totally grey, if we ever get there at all.

I count my blessings every day. Two twins born at term and healthy with so far just one case of ADHD between them.  That’s so lucky.

(When you have a dx of ASD in the family ADHD is not so bad, although trust me I can still weep with frustration and exhaustion after a bad ADHD day.)

When I look back I think we were completely MAD to try to have a third child. I was 40 when we started for godsakes. Somebody should have stopped me!  Sometimes I wonder: is it selfish to have a baby at 40 or in yours 40s… and sometimes I think it is.

The full force of the human evolutionary impulse was being channelled through my body. Surely it’s a husband’s job to put his foot down? I blame him!

My husband and I endured two miscarriages and a blighted ovum pregnancy before the twins were born. These experiences were painful, but I think less so for us as we had two boys at home.

I can’t imagine what it would have been like losing babies time and time again if I’d had no child at home to cuddle.

Seeing those tiny motionless foetuses on the screen was devastating: no heartbeat.

I hope my daughter and my sons are never in that position.

I hope they start having their babies earlier than we did.

And also I would like to confess that I have already started indoctrinating my kids about why, in my opinion and in my experience, it’s better to have children earlier than later.

My little daughter, aged a tender seven, is the only one of my four children who asks about babies and says she wants to be a mum.

Have your children young I tell my daughter because:

  • You’re MUCH more likely to have no fertility issues and to bring healthy babies into the world.  Harsh but true, it’s just true.
  • You’ll have more energy.
  • You need grandparents around, and dad and I would like to help. But we will be too old to be any help at all unless you get going young.
  • You might take the whole thing a lot less seriously when you’re younger and that’ll be good for the kids.
  • Having a baby after 40 is different to having one in your 20s and 30s… it just is.

I’m old enough to be my wee twins’ granny easily. I’m sure I’ll be a much better granny to their kids than I am a mum to them.

One day my little girl said to me:

‘Mum, when I’m the mum and you’re the granny, I’m not going to be a mean mother like you are.’

Let’s hope that’s the way it works out, darling!

Please my sons and little daughter, don’t wait to have children.

The human body is still in many ways just the way it has been for millennia. It’s made to have children younger not older. It works best that way.

A woman’s age is the biggest predictor of her fertility.  It will be when you are all adults too. Men’s fertility lasts longer but the quality of their sprem reduces a lot. It’s better for men to have their children younger too.

A healthy baby, born safe and well and without disability is so much more likely if you start early not late.

The chance of your heart being smashed into a billion pieces again and again is much less likely if you get started younger.

Plus I want to be an active granny. You can be the mums and dads for a change, and be as mean as you like!

For the facts and figures on age and fertility in Australia, see this post.

There’s a new government-funded website all about these issues:  https://yourfertility.org.au/

Readers, I hope that you are able to see that some of the complaining I do in this article was written in a tongue-in-check style. I love my children very much and have written about all the great things about being an older mum here.

Virtus Health - Age & Fertility image

Do you talk to your children about the right age to have babies?

If you’re an older parent, do you admit to the downsides?

Was your heart broken too?

And what are the great things about being an older parent – let’s share those too.

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    1. says: Seana Smith

      It exhausts you with very good reason! Thanks for popping over Allison, I don’t often write very personal posts and was a bit nervous about it… but keen to do more as am becoming opinionated grumpy old woman #late40scrisis

      1. says: Irrational yearning for another baby!

        Thanks Seana, I really appreciate your post. I am 42 with a 9 and 4 year old. Our older child has ADHD and severe behavioural difficulties – he takes a lot of energy and patience to parent, and some days are really hard. Despit this I feel a yearning to have another child which seems to be getting stronger as I can sense the window is closing. My husband is alarmed as hell! This helped to give me perspective. It really is genetic Russian Roulette over 40 isnt it? Especially with ADHD genes already in the mix. I will try to be grateful for what I have and hope this yearning dissipates.

        1. says: Seana Smith

          Hello, I think that it’s really common to yearn for one more child as that window does close. And maybe just sitting with that and grieving the end of fertility is worth spedning time doing. It’s nature’s way of ensuring the survival of our species!! I still remember with horror though the discussing with doctors about testing for my babes, the chances of problems were high, and with twins, twice the chance. Awful times. One of my twins has ADHD too and I am worn out!! Mine just turned 13 yesterday and I am 55 and feeling a bit weary… actually totally exhausted.

          1. says: Kelley

            I am 43 years old and never had children. I was ok with that until now. Now, I cry at the thought of being a mommy. I feel like I made the biggest mistake of my life by not having any. Should I try now??? 9mm

        2. says: Angela Stinski

          I’m going to be 36 and my husband is going to be 52 and our windows are closing well mine is his probably really should be. We have an almost 4 year old this year and I want another, but now reading all these articles I’m now torn on the thought and it makes me feel sad and I cry a lot because we want another, but don’t really know if we should. I mean I’m almost out of time and he’s 52 so that’s why I’m torn.

          1. says: Seana Smith

            Hello, 36 is still pretty young for you and men’s fertility lasts much longer. I am sure you have not run out of time at all. Your husband would be an older dad, but you wouldn’t be an older mum. How does he feel about it?

          2. says: natalie

            Don’t let this article sway you. It’s one person’s opinion. I’m about to have my fourth child at 40 and I don’t feel like this at all. Everyone is different. Follow your heart!

          3. says: Claire

            Hi there – do what makes you happy I personally think it comes down to the nature of the person you are as to how well you deal with motherhood.
            :):) if your lucky enough to be an older mummy then embrace it! X

          4. says: Oh

            Replying here to Seana’s comment that: “men’s fertility lasts much longer.”

            Male fertility also declines with age and the probability of birth defects due to low quality **sperm** increases. Not all men are virile into old age and many become infertile.

            I bring this up because the author wishes to pressure and guilt women out of having children in their 40s under the idea that they will be subpar parents compared to younger women. Meanwhile, the author gives older men a free pass. This is misogynistic.

            If a 40 year old woman is too decrepit to have a child, by the same analysis a 52 year old man also must be.

            I point this out to emphasize the hypocrisy and lack of logic in the author’s post.

            It’s sad to see a woman tearing other women down and engaging in this type of overt sexism.

          5. says: Krista Wasden

            Do it !!! I believe miscarried babies are still yours. You will have them someday to raise. Pray to God for help in your decision. I feel that he wants to tell you and he wants to send children to those who want them. I have 5 precious children with a 5 year gap and my 2 year old is the best blessing to our whole family. I’m 40 now. I’ve had 3 miscarriages and 1 stillborn and I have complete faith I’ll have them again someday because of the goodness of a loving Heavenly Father and older brother Jesus Christ.

          6. says: J

            I don’t know your personal situation but I had my boys at 34 and 36. They are happy and healthy. My husband is 10 years older than me. If you want a second, I’d say go for it pending that your husband is on board. I’m now 38 and thinking of having our third and last but NOW I feel the clock ticking. Not at 36! Best of luck to you and your family <3

          7. says: Inns

            I had another baby at 37yrs I am now 38yrs. I don’t regret having another one, he is the most beautiful soul and completes me. I wanted a sibling for my 5 yr old.
            Yes it’s true you get more tired as your older. I really feel that it’s nice for your child to have a sibling.
            I lost my mum last Christmas and I tell you if I didn’t have my sister around it would of been really hard. I lost my dad when I was 9 so I honestly have no family around. I think we don’t think about these things until it happens.
            At the end of the day do what your heart tells you.

          8. says: Seana Smith

            I totally agree that you do what your heart tells you, so if your heart telsl you to try for another baby then it is time to try. I met a woman yesterday who had her first baby at 43 using IVF,she told me her truly wonderful and heartwarming story about her and her husband who met later in life.

          9. says: Reymind

            I’m a fifty year old father and have three children under 3. I mostly agreed to have them to make my 32 year old girlfriend happy. Now between work and being a father I have become extremely exhausted. I spend all of my time with the kids changing diapers and playing with them and making sure they don’t hurt themselves or each other. My 32 year old girlfriend does wake up at night for the kids. I honestly don’t have the energy and get grumpy when I am tired to the point that my girlfriend tells me that I need to do something to change. Today after the holiday weekend and my girlfriend deciding to take college courses and requiring me to do more of the parenting so she can do homework till 11 pm I had to take the day off from being exhausted and hearing the non stop complaints about not being supportive. Besides going to the gym on Saturday and Sunday morning I’m always home but I’m told it is not good enough. In case anyone at my age wants to have children please make sure you have the energy to be the best parent possible.

        3. says: Eli

          I’m in the same boat but with older boys…I think hanging out with people with younger kids helps a lot… The yearning for me is to hold a baby and cuddle it because my kids are now not cuddly…I think you get an addictive chemical from snuggling your kids and babies and that as theygrow up that drug starts to create withdrawals symptoms. And like all drugs …its not always wise to succumn to them. We have those drugs to make us procreate in our 20s and 30s or earlier but by the time we are forty we know that falling in love drug we used to crave as teenagers that falling in love or getting drunk and dancing with some hot guy is a load of crap. we used to crave going to parties and now they’re a chore…we used to crave the highest heel and now we just admit most of time we need a solid flat. Sometimes I put on a ton of makeup and some spanks and can revisit that feeling of being young but five minutes later I want my elastic waistband and my slippers. Sometimes I think it would be so cool to be in a band and be famous and rich and have a pony…but then I remember money isn’t all that fame is rather intrusive and ponies are a lot of work. And maybe the craving is there to establish our grandmother selves …. Like realistically our bodies stop having babies but for survival young ones need grandmas…and when our kids would be becoming fertile we need that craving to give us a motivation to help out our kids kids. Actually I think I’ve hit a nail on the head there. But our kods won’t have their kids when we are forty like nature might have planned to happen. I think I’m going to do some babysitting and visit people I know with babies just to remind myself of the downsides. In person. Cos I know I probably won’t ever have sex again let alone get a very young sperm sample and go through with it all… I probably could get pregnant but Christ where would I find a man who even looks genetically decent. I don’t love men like I used…all that glamour is gone. whatever hormone made me think they weren’t jerks is left my system. And if I did have one how badly would I regret it for my kids. I mean when my kids were three they wanted a sister…but now they’re teens the last thing they need in their lives trying to study is a baby?? The last thing they need when their friends come over to play is nappies around… Ya know. So if crave kids i say to myself you’ve already got kids…dpnt be greedy…consider the impact on their lives and my parents lives and the babies lofe being not really part of the family due to being so much younger. And remind myself …god ya know what …I bet there is an app that wakes you up with crying etc to yeach young girls and boys…but we could probably use an app likr that. Tremind me how hard it was! An alarm goes off with a baby at night three times and another screams at you it needs a nappy change. Oh wow I think that would sell. Anyway I think I am sure I’m not going to have another one unless I adopt or foster and that would be wonderful thing to do. As older moms we have a lot to give. But maybe we can give to the younger women by helping support them and helping society support the kids that need us most.

          1. says: Seana Smith

            I think the role of the grandparent is so crusial and so yes maybe channelling that urge for more babies could go that way. If you have never had any yourself at all then I can completely understand why people try really hard to have babies in their 40s, totally get that. And lots do… but most don’t.

            But for you sounds like a wise choice to channel your love into other peoples’ kids and then be a fab granny. If my kids have their kids as old as I did they might miss out on grandparents, just like we did – such a shame.

      2. says: Cath

        Hi Seana, thanks for such an honest heartful post on your own experiences. I’m 46 & mum to a little boy who is 3. I was 4 weeks off my 43rd birthday when I had him. I have days when I’m exhausted, I guess all parents do, I struggle to balance being the best mum I can be with my work, I guess so many mum’s do, & I definitely know I’d have had more energy 10 yrs ago. But, life doesn’t always pan out as you want. In my late 20s married I couldn’t get pregnant then, I wasn’t ovulating. I met my current partner when I was 38, after years of trying, many upsets, IVF, we amazingly fell pregnant naturally just when we’d almost given up & carried my little boy to term. I’d have loved a 2nd child, but my partner didn’t want to take the risk with our ages. I’m trying to make sure my little boy grows up with great friendships. His grandparents aren’t very hands-on, they’re all in their early 70’s, but you know what they were no more hands on 13 yrs ago with my neice either so…..a shame as I was so very close with my grandparents, I’m sad he’s missing that. Yes I worry that we’ll be so old at the school gate, & when he leaves school. No I don’t want him to have to care for me, I’ll make sure financially he doesn’t have to. But both my partner & I are pretty fit active 46 yr olds, how many 30 yr olds can hike 16 mountains in 24hrs, or do ultra marathons across mountain ranges. We’ve lived, we’ve travelled, we’ve worked around the world. We still hope we can show our son the world despite our age, & we still hope we’ve got nearly another half of our lives to live it with him & have great adventures & fun with him along the way. I can’t wait for this pandemic to be over & take him to a music festival & start showing him the wider world & all its amazement. Have I accepted that I won’t have a 2nd child, most days, almost. Love to you all wherever your life leads you at whatever age, it’s not easy, but it’s definitely worth it xxx

        1. says: Seana Smith

          Hello and thanks so much for your kind words and sharing your story. How wonderful that you did have your son. I am 57 this year and my twins are almost 15 now.My husband and I keep fit too, him more than me, he’s doing a half marathon next weekend, I am a keen swimmer and will get back to doing weights at the gym next school term. My kids do laugh at me and say I am the only Boomer mum of all their friends. I really, really hope to stay fit and well and to be a useful granny one day. Today though I am not well and am in bed with the kids and hubby looking after me, it is great that they are old enough now to be helpful. Best wishes and here’s to heaps more family fun once this bloody pandemic is over.

          1. says: Liza

            Hi Seana
            I’ve literally just found out im pregnant, im 42. I have a 22 and 17 year old and a great career. I also have health issues now newly diagnosed diverticular disease with 2 hospital admission since March. Last one 8th May and I would have been 1 week pregnant I had all kinds of drugs pumped through me and ct scans.
            After reading this it seems I shouldn’t keep it. In so scared. My husband doesn’t want it we had a retirement plan is that selfish and with my illness its not fair to bring someone into the world I maybe can’t look after properly.
            Any thoughts please? I’ve always said I would never terminate i dont think I could but I may be forced to.
            And I always wanted a 3rd but years ago! But he never did.

          2. says: Seana Smith

            Oh what a difficult situation… time to have a long chat to your GP and then to seek some counselling, some serious counselling. Depending on where you are it can be very hard to get appointments, if in NSW have you heard of likemind.org.au ?? It’s a free service. Your doctor should know of an appropriate place to talk through all your issues with an expert… whatever you decide you need to know that you have thought through all the issues and that you can live with your decision, not that it would ever be black and white, but we all need to live with the shades of grey that our decisions have brought to us.

            This article was mainlyw ritten about fertility though, and that’s not your issue at all… I had my twins at 42… I never did think of not having them, not ever… but I can tell you that two 15 year olds at age 57 is hard going some days…. only you can decide… but you need and deserve help and a lot of support. Hope your GP can be a good starting place.

          3. says: Alana

            Have them early if you can! I do regret not listening to my mother when she advised to have my last baby by 35!

            totally agree with the article. However, life doesn’t always go as planned. So if you are an older mum- enjoy it- you’re not the first and you definitely won’t be the last!

            All the best x

          4. says: Seana Smith

            I am 100% with you. When people don’t get the chance to have them younger, then have them older… there are ups and downs to both… mainly ups!!

      3. says: Heather

        Your story clearly shows your personal doubts and inadequacies, but directing them at every woman in their 40s whose motherhood journey begins then is, quite frankly, pathetic. Compared to me and my mommy network (who all started in our 40s), you sound like a jaded 80 year old who doesn’t enjoy life. Reading this makes me feel bad for you, and as a professional writer, it seems like that’s the angle you took. I also feel bad for your children who were born to someone clearly not equipped for the task. I don’t care how many clicks or comments this article gets, it’s really a disgrace to women and you should be ashamed of yourself. Some things are better dealt with in therapy, like you ruining your life by assuming you had the strength to be a parent when you obviously don’t.

        1. says: Seana Smith

          Heather, I do think you should stop sitting on the fence and say what you really think. Thanks for your input. I shall have a long hard look at myself.

          1. says: Heather

            No worries Seana. To me, fence sitting is back peddling on a trash article you wrote by trying to play both sides of the fence in the comments. I find your responses as weak as the original piece. Your sarcasm here is lame. Feel free to send another “thanks for the comment” though, fortunately for you google boosts placement on replies. On ya.

          2. says: Danielle

            Seana, this article really concerns me. With all due respect, it’s your story. However, I could only imagine how many women have terminated their pregnancy after reading this. Liza is proof of the kind of doubt you’re creating. You created some serious doubt in this woman’s life. I just pray that she made the right choice for her and not because of you and YOUR negative experience. Please keep in mind that everyone’s situation is quite different. This was hands down, the most discouraging write up I’ve ever read in my entire life. Prayers for Liza.

          3. says: Erika

            Thank you for that! No women should feel bad for trying to conceive after forty or get discouraged because of their personal issues.

        2. says: Claudia

          Heather, your comment just shows that this article somehow hits a sore spot with you. Maybe because it was honest and you are not?

          I admire Seana for posting this, because most women wouldn’t admit it. It seems to be trendy today to pretend modern women are divorced from their biology and will easily handle raising kids until they are 70 (because if those kids go to college they won’t have their own income until then, and will probably visit you with your grandkids in a retirement home – but only if they have them earlier than you did).

          I wish someone had told this to my mum when she was your age. She had me in her 40s and then my sister 4 years later because my dad guilted her into it. Then my sister was born disabled. She was totally overwhelmed by it. I tell you, its no fun to have a hormonal menopausal mother freaking out when you are a hormonal teenager ill equipped to deal with it and there is a disabled child around who is also freaking out. A lot of tableware didn’t survive it nor did the marriage. I would have loved to have my children get to know their grandparents (I would have loved to have more time with my grandparents), unfortunately when they were old enough to remember them, my dad already passed away and my mums dementia made it impossible. So they’ll only ever know them from pictures.

          Yes, my parents were more financially stable than younger parents might have been. More settled and experienced? Not at all. How could they have been? A first child is a first time experience, no matter if you are 20 or 40. And they did not have the benefit of their parents helping them with their experience as younger parents might have had. They had to figure it all out on their own, not always successfully.

          1. says: Seana Smith

            That was tough for you. I really, really hope that I can stay well and be a grandparent and able to assist my kids. I do exercise every day and keep my mind busy and I am really, really hoping that my kids will have their own children in their 20s and 30s and not their 40s. But that will be up to them. Every one has their own story.

          2. says: Mel

            So basically you’re saying you’d rather have never been born, you hate your life so much you blame your parents for your very existence. I’m sorry it been hard for you but all of these things could have happened to you regardless of when your mother and father gave you life. I think you should take a step back and be grateful for everything you do have and not focus so much on all of the stuff that hasn’t been so great (first world problems)

          3. says: Meadow

            I cannot believe the pessimistic attitudes here about having children in your 40s. I had my first and only child a few months before I turned 43. Besides being exhausted and having an achy body, every other aspect is perfect. My mother was only 18 when she had me so my son has a grandmother in her early 60s. My dad was 20 years older than my mom so unfortunately he passed away 2 weeks before my son was born. My son’s father is 15 years younger than me and I swear I have more interaction and energy than he does! His parents were in their late 30s when they had him so his parents are the same age as my mother. Not every scenario is the same. I got pregnant within weeks of trying and had a very easy uncomplicated pregnancy. Labor was difficult due to having scoliosis so the epidural didn’t work and my pelvis is tiny so I had a csection which wasn’t bad. That wouldn’t have been any different if I had been younger. While I may not have the energy of a 20 year old, I have the wisdom, patience and life experience they do not. My son was born perfectly healthy and has been tested for giftedness. He is showing the intelligence of a 7 year old at 4. I believe his high intelligence is nothing more than having an older, dedicated parent who spends all their time with him and has zero interest in partying and socializing like a younger parent. There is no way I was ready or mature enough to do this at a younger age.

        3. says: STA

          Oh my, that’s harsh. Sure it is not easy to have babies at a younger age for all women, in fact at times it is when you reach your mid life, and you see that you really wanted kids, for some of us, that is like a bulb lighting up. We never thought of wanting babies when we were younger, so the delay was in a sense a decision we made.

          But at the same time, I think having kids at the right age- as in terms of fertility, energy, the time you get to spend with your kids, is crucial. All of these things are compromised once you have a baby in midlife. It is not the best time to have babies. There is a lot of love and joy, but it is just not the same.

          And someone needs to say that to young women. Society has to take into account that women need support and planning when they are young and pregnant and it is not a death knell for their careers. It is because we dont have support systems that we keep putting it off.

          I think this post is important because it is actually asking us to look sharply at how problematic it is to think 40s is acceptable for women to go through so much physically.

        4. says: Oh Lauf

          I find it bewildering that so many women are taking this article (a opinion piece from some random, bitter woman) so seriously. One woman is even considering **aborting** her child because of what this Seana person wrote. Ignore the article and do what feels right to you. It’s your life, not Seana’s. Women have children in their 20s, 30s, and 40s. Historically, in many catholic communities women would have several to a dozen children throughout their life during all those decades of life. It’s not weird to conceive as long as you are fertile. I have friends who had fertility issues in their twenties and suddenly became pregnant in their late 30s and 40s. I have a friend who was born when her mother was 46 and she has a thriving relationship with both her parents who are now in their 90s and very healthy and active. I also know people who were born to young mothers who passed away young. There are no guarantees or guides to life. I was told I would be unable to have children. I got married in my 20s and tried with my first husband. We couldn’t conceive and the marriage fell apart. Then at 38, I met my now husband. We got married at 39 and got pregnant on the first try. I’m now expecting my first child. My mom had me at 21 and will be a first time grandmother in her 60s. There is no calculus to life and everyone’s destiny is different. Women, do what YOU WANT to do and don’t let anyone guilt you out of it. Especially not some bitter woman who is hell bent on making her daughter miserable by pressuring her to conceive young. I feel bad for her daughter because she should make her own choices based on what feels right to her in her own life. Mommy dearest who wrote this article is a control freak.

          1. says: Lans

            I totally agree. I find the whole article hilarious! I had my first baby at 41 and starting for second at 43 with my partner at 42. Yes we have to be strict with our diets & take lots of vitamins to get the best sperm & egg but bloody hell! We are in the best shape of our lives! We don’t drink/smoke like when younger, we eat much healthier, we exercise more, we have less financial worries so therefore less stress…….in 20’s, 30’s we were partying & no way settled.

            I have had miscarriages sure, but so have lots of my friends in their 30’s…..& I have friends in their 30’s who have children with health issues – it isn’t exclusive to women over 40.

            I definitely agree historically women had babies late in life as the norm – think my nan had her last at 48…..and guess what author? It helps you live longer having kids late ……….she is an active, bounchy 88 year old still going strong. Culturally now we are just put into a box for being older mums like everything else. Fertility isn’t over until your body decides to shut up shop- not your mind. You can even have menopause babies so nature clearly doesn’t want you to stop ?.

          2. says: Seana Smith

            Hello, glad to hear that you are doing so well as an older mother. I know that many people, you, me, your granny and my pal who had a baby at 48, do have kids older. But we are the lucky ones, the fertile when over 40 ones. But just because it has worked for us does not mean that it will work for everyone. Science is science, humans are humans. But hooray for the older parents who are doing it well. I can relate to being more settled, I don’t drink now, lots of things are better and one day I WILL write a piece on what’s great about having kids over 40.

          3. says: Rachel

            Totally agree! I especially like the point you make about having babies late not being anything new. My grandmother born in 1909 had my mother when she was 45 years old, after having 10 children across multiple decades! My grandmother lived a long life that I was 16 years old when she passed away and I have very fond and amazing memories.

            I think the author is just trying to share her opinion and experience. It does not necessarily mean it will be everyone’s experience. She makes some valid points about being older parents but this is no different having kids younger, just a different set of concerns really (e.g financial, no support etc).

            Yes the science does show you have lower risks having kids younger but an healthy child is not guaranteed and I do not agree with the author making such points to scare or guilt women out of choosing to have kids later. Everything comes with risk, no matter what it is or how old you are when you choose to have kids.

          4. says: Thelma

            Yup, I agree. What the heck does this person think. My own mother didn’t tell me to have kids young, but I did. Well, at 21. She actually thought I was too young and not ready! But was overjoyed to meet her granddaughters, as I have 2. All I have to say about this article is wow! Poor little girl.

        5. says: Rachel

          Heather it’s her story . But I’m surprised to see someone with such bad mouth. It’s horrible . Empathy lady !!! Least you can do is not say such rubbish about her . Seana u must just ignore . No one is terminating their pregnancies with your story & if they are they don’t clearly have a mind of their own . So please do not pay heed to some Mums . God speed !

        6. says: Geriatric Mom

          Terrible article. Just sounds like she is insecure and comparing herself to societal “norms” for the most part. The judgment she placed on herself is projected to other women’s lives. People who get pregnant in their 40’s typically have thought about it and are in a good place psychologically & financially. My parents were 21 when they had me, were still in school, and we’re a hot mess across the board. My childhood was chaotic and full of challenges. I would have loved older more mature parents growing up. And that’s the gift I’m going to give MY children.

          1. says: Seana Smith

            Hello Geriatric Mum, my parents were very young too and we had a very turbulent upbringing… and there are many advantages to having children in your 40s which I have found out and will write up soon. I do think people need to hear the downsides too though… for many people their fertility has gone. Harsh but true. I was so lucky to have my twins in my 40s, but many friends have tried and failed to have children when they have left it that late.

        7. says: Elyse

          The author clearly does not care for her health as she should even if she had no kids. Fatigue is NOT a natural part of being in one’s 40’s or 50’s. Don’t put that on other people who know how to age well and are as energetic as they ever were. I sincerely feel sad that she has this level of disdain for her own motherhood. I feel bad for her kids but there is always therapy for them In The future.

          My mom had this same attitude, though she had us in her 20’s. That we are exhausting, she couldn’t do the things she wanted because of us, we ruined her financially and ruined her retirement, blah blah blah. It was TORTURE having a mother like this author. TORTURE. Honestly.

          1. says: Ami

            Thank you for acknowledging how much more it hurts for those of us who don’t already have kids at home waiting for us. 36 here, trying almost 2 years, 1 failed IVF. Such a lonely feeling especially when all my friends finished having kids already and are constantly having play dates together, leaving me out. So much regrets on not starting sooner. Sigh. Still praying to be able to have an healthy child eventually though no matter what age!

      4. says: Kell

        Deep down I fear I’ve always known I never wanted kids. People always told me my mind would change but I knew myself. I knew from the time I was a little girl. I never played with dolls and babies make me uncomfortable, though oddly kids really like me. I’m 39 and blessed with a wonderful partner and a wonderful stepchild whom I love. I get to be a part time parent. If there was ever anyone I would have a biological child with it would be my partner. I’ve really wanted to want it. I wanted to want it for him (he would have loved a child together) and his parents and my parents. I suppose that’s why I ended up on your post 5 months shy of 40 years old. I still take the idea out and toy with it. I understand how wonderful it is to have ones own kids based on seeing it around me. I have some legit FOMO. I still have a lot of anxiety around the ticking clock and feeling like I’m breaking my partner’s and my parents’ hearts. But your post acknowledges the reality of late attempts to conceive and also that it’s no picnic all the time, and I appreciate that so much. I feel like women aren’t really allowed to express negative feelings about kids or motherhood. And in my case, my biggest fear is that I’m right about myself: I’ve no interest in being a mom full time and would probably resent it, especially now. I won’t let myself feel like a monster for owning that. It’s not a decision, if we were lucky enough to conceive, that I can take back. But neither is NOT having kids. My partner is 50 already so I think the ship has sailed. Sorry to ramble. I just really appreciate the objective honesty from those of you who decided to try having kids later in life. Reading the comments gives me a sense of the wide range of longing and experiences women have had with becoming moms.

        1. says: Seana Smith

          Thanks so much for writing this honest comment. Every person’s situation is different. I agree that negative feelings about kids and motherhood are often attacked so people tend to stay quiet about the many downsides – many! I know several women who are in your situation, they know themselves well enough to know that motherhood is not for them. I wish there was more writen about that too. It is very valid indeed.

        2. says: Jasmine

          I had my first at 39 and my second at 42. I have more energy than my younger counter parts. I work two jobs and just finished my masters…all I have to say is this “ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE THROUGH JESUS CHRIST”

          To all the older moms, pls pls do not let this post deter you from doing what your heart desires. Having kids at an older age for me, only makes me take bette care of myself mentally, emotionally, physically and most important spiritually. To all of my older moms wanting to convince or those who are pregnant… may you find the peace and clarity you need and deserve to keep going forward in your journey…whatever that may look like. Sending you love and prayers.

      5. says: Stella

        I am 43 and will be 44 years old in August.
        I am 7 weeks pregnant with 4 children.
        By reading some comments here, I think I will stick to my decision of getting rid of the baby which is not a good thing to do though but I have no other choice.
        I wished I had all the energy to go through this pregnancy process but its rather unfortunate I can’t.
        My last born is 5 years and who knows the length of days ahead of me should anything happens
        and I am not there to support my children, they will be miserable.
        Sad but such as life .

    2. says: PregnantOver40

      This is an opinion post not a fact post… terribly negative and I think your an idiot.

      Thats my honest comment sorry.

      1. says: Seana Smith

        This really made me laugh. Love an honest comment!

        I think a lot of people miss the humour in my writing on this post…. must improve my writing!

        1. says: Yvi

          I’ve just read the article and got mad as well. I recently turned 40, don’t have a child yet because my life just didn’t go that way and my body didn’t agree either. So am I not allowed to become a Mother ever? Seeing all the countless young mothers in the media, feeling insecure about even trying to become one myself at the age of 40, there is absolutely no reason to add further discouragement. Trust me, if you’re wanting to become pregnant “at this age”, you very well know all the facts and figures and every last statistical chance of having all sorts of complications.
          Also we’re constantly hearing it from family, friends, and random people all over, that you should’ve gotten pregnant at least ten years ago, if you were right in your mind and thinking about the child’s future.
          I don’t see the humour in this article either, because miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies and countless failed attempts on top of all are taking away the playfulness and lightness that would be necessary to “get it”.
          You just make us even more feel like losers and not entitled to motherhood, because we missed the right time, for whatever reason you don’t really seem to care about anyway.

          1. says: Seana Smith

            I am so sorry that you are having a difficult time conceiving. It is so distressing to lose pregnancies and the unasked for criticism of others must be very upsetting too.

            I still do meet people who think it is easy to get pregnant even in their 40s, the mainsteam media still glorifies. I can completely understand why attempts at humour about this and my own life are not at all welcome to you. I would feel just the same.

            Best wishes as you continue your journey. I am so sorry that life is being so tough for you.

          2. says: Rose

            I’m sitting here crying at 41, with out my parents because they have both passed on , so no parents to take care of any longer, with no partner in the immediate past or immediate future and the thought of not having a child when I was younger. Of course I wish I had a child when I was younger, most of us wish we did but telling us that now doesn’t help anything does it?

          3. says: Seana Smith

            Hello, I am so sorry you are sad. This is a letter written to my young daughter,people bring their own story to it when they read it. Grief for parents is also part of my life. I do sympathise.

          4. says: Kat

            I’m 41 and have no regrets of not having any kids. Yeah, l wanted kids in my 20s and part of my 30s, but it never happened, because men kept disappointing me and breaking my heart, but that’s a whole other subject. And after l was 39 my maternal instinct died..flat lined. I’ll be 42 in a few months and am looking forward to menopause!! We live in a sick and dangerous world and l didn’t want to bring any kids into it. Anyway, l also didn’t want to be 50 with a 10 year old, hell NO!! So, when l was 39 l went and got myself a dog. Best idea ever! Now, lm living a wonderful life that works for me.:D

      2. says: Leslie

        most of the time you depend on others to have babies… what if you don’t meet anyone who wants to have babies with you until you are older? . I am a mom and I had my child in my 30’s. I see no difference between me in my 30’s and now in my 40’s. If I decide to have a second one it’ll be through donor egg. But who cares? I take care of myself, I look and feel great. Much better than some overweight moms in their early 30’s…being a mom is about having a connection with another human being. Who cares about what other people think?

        1. says: Paige

          I admire your strength in writing this post and the honesty! It’s refreshing 🙂
          I’m wondering probably more on the side of your husbands experience with all this?
          I’m 28 and pregnant with our 3rd. I absolutely love children and have always seen myself having 4 children ever since I was a little girl. My husband is 40 next year. We met after his previous marriage ended and no kids involved and we got married and had kids within 2 years of being together (knew of each other for 3 years prior)

          My husband is calling this our last baby as he is getting “too old”.
          I don’t mean to sound selfish but I’m really struggling with the thought of this being my last.
          We have had 3 kids in 3 years so I have been trying to have them “quickly” to accomodate his worry in ageing. And I LOVE the closeness in age! I’m healthy, sporty and young and am a full time mum with my husband working 5-6 days a week. My husband is very healthy and fit and far from looking and feeling his age. I think his biggest worry is as the kids grow up how will the age difference effect him and the kids.

          But I suppose my question to your husbands would be, ‘if you had your time over (obviously not regretting ur children) would you possibly call it quits and not have kids over 40? Or is there really not much difference in having a child at 40 and 42?
          Am I missing understanding him because of the 11years difference between us?

          1. says: Seana Smith

            Hello, sorry it’s taken me a few days to get back to you. I have asked my hubby to have a look and give you his thoughts but his email box is pretty full so might have a good while for him to do that. I think it’s really, really common for husbands to be the ones who call a halt to having more children. There’s probably not much difference between 40 and 42 really, but maybe he is already feeling three is enough for him. If only there were easy answers. But you are young and so I can totally understand why you’d want to have more, you’ll always be a young mum and you sound in a great place to have more, with health and fitness and the love of being a mum. I hope my husband will reply with his perspective. I wish I had had some kids in my late 20s or maybe had them all by 35… I am 55 now and many of my friends have kids all in their 20s and they are quite free. Our twins have just started high school, when they finish I will be getting my super. I feel about 150 years old today BUT that’s because I was at 6am swim squad. I think staying fit is the answer for myself and my husband, we enjoy it and it will help keep us healthy and well. Very best wishes with this pregnancy and with ongoing discussions with your husband.

          2. says: Enough already

            there’s enough humans on this planet and 2 children are enough for anyone stop polluting the earth!

      3. says: Amanda Seys

        The post makes me sad. I have 3 kids and should count myself lucky. I had them in my 30s. I have longed for another child for 4 years. 2 miscarriages. The second caused a lot of complications. I get sad when I see small babies. My husband does not understand

      4. says: Natasha

        Well it is a fact. It is easier to have babies when we are supposed to have babies. In our 20’s to 35.
        Peri menopause and new borns is not the greatest mix. Not an opinion. Simply a fact.

        1. says: Oh

          That is NOT TRUE for everyone, Natasha. As a woman who struggled to have children in my 20s, I easily became pregnant in my late 30s. For some women fertility peaks later due to various health issues. PCOS is one of them and it is very common.

      5. says: natalie

        Terribly negative, I agree! There’s a lot of idiot 20 year olds having babies too. “Oh no, my responsible, loving, attentive parents are old!” Get outta here!

    3. says: Jal Cal

      My mom had me ( her only child ) at 43 and my dad was 39 . Now I’m 22 and she’s 66 ! I wasn’t what they planned, they just didn’t meet till later in life. While I’m very glad to have them and they are glad to have me, having “older parents” has not been easy , especially without siblings or extended family close by. I only have one grandparent left, who I’m not close to, never met two of the others, and my grandpa passed when I was four. He only visited about once a year at that time and never really had energy to do much and since he only visited once a year, I did not really open up to him easily because I was very shy and he lived across the country. My dad has always been healthy and active, but my mom, while healthy has never been as energetic as I would like. Due to her age, she was trying to get down on the ground with a 3 year old with 46 year old legs and was also going through the period where hot flashes were appearing and such ! Ugh !

      I know this a really long post, but there really is no “best time to have kids. It’s different for everyone, but when older than 40, the cons overlap the pros, at least in my opinion. Especially when you don’t have siblings . Life is good, but I would not recommend being the only child of “older parents” . Before you have kids, think about the future ahead. Your child will thank you. Sorry for the story !

      1. says: Seana Smith

        Hello, thanks for your comment. I am sure that, if you have children, you will have them much younger than your own parents did. Thanks for sharing your experience and perspective. If I am fortunate enough to live until 80, my twins will only be 38. If I died at 70 they’d be only 28… it’s all too young to not have kids. My mum is 79 and has dementia, my sister who lives close to her and looks after her the most is 50. Imagine if she was 30 and was the main carer for her old mum with dementia.

        But there’s no black and white. I love my twins dearly, they are now 12 and the older boys are 21 and 18. Another set of teenage years will be hard in my late 50s… but here we go anyway…..

        1. says: Neeraj

          It’s our human nature to come up with plans, thoughts, and goals for the future. But we need to realize God is the only one who truly knows what’s best for us. When you have plans you would like to make, or actions you need to take about a particular decision, make sure that you go to God first.

      2. says: Krissy

        While I appreciate everyone’s perspective here is mine. I am a 43 year old first time mama to a gorgeous healthy smart active 2 1/2 year old. I didn’t get married until I was 38, my husband is 4 1/2 years younger. We both wanted a family more than anything and could not fathom being a childless couple. After multiple miscarriages and a diagnosis of poor ovarian reserve, I was told by my RE that my best chances of conceiving would with donor eggs. Through the grace of God, our son was conceived using my own eggs. We lost two subsequent pregnancies with our eggs, and are contemplating trying over again, full well knowing the odds are against us. I don’t know what God’s will or plan is for our family, but before we close the chapter on childbearing we have to try, albeit fully aware of the risks involved. I need to be realistic, but also need to be hopeful. I have my reservations about being an “older” mom, but so far I feel great physically and had a wonderful pregnancy at age 41. My “43 year old knees” still bend! I Lucy weights, and ran a half marathon at 42 when my son was was 1. There are no guarantees in life. My mom lost her mother at the young age of 25. At 43 I’m still fortunate to have my mom who is 74 and waited so long to be a grandmother. The alternative of having had my son or maybe even another seems so sad to me.

        1. says: Seana Smith

          Thank you so much for your story and your thoughts. It’s wonderful that you have yur so, and trying again sounds like a really positive option for you. There are no rights and wrongs, are there? We are each just living our lives and telling our own stories. Many thanks.

      3. says: Rana

        I agree with this. I am an only child of older parents (my mom had me at 40) and I still resent her. I didn’t ask to be born. She desperately wanted a baby but when time came for her to be a parent she failed. She had a career and no energy to discipline and guide me properly. My father was pretty much a deadbeat and didn’t do much in my upbringing. I was jealous of my friends with young parents and hated everyone thinking my parents were my grandparents. From a young age I determined if I didn’t have kids by 35 I’m no having them. Those of you who defend this, still realize this is a selfish act. Your baby did not ask to be born, you made a choice to FULFILL YOUR DESIRE. I’m 40 now, no kids, both parents in bade health, daily wishing I was never born.

        1. says: Seana Smith

          Rana, I am so sorry that you are in a bad space at the moment. It sounds like you have got far too much stress in your life at the moment. Is there anywhere you can get support. I can help with places in Australia if you are here. You deserve to enjoy your life. I can see why you lash out at your mum and dad when you are feeling low. Most kids of older parents do not share these feelings, I hope mine don’t…. but it souns like you are having a really hard time at the moment.

      4. says: G

        My parents had me at 43 and 47 and promptly divorced after I was born. I am an only child. My biomother more or less went crazy and I was fully estranged by my early teens. I was raised by a single father who was old enough to be my grandfather and had health issues. A doctor when I was a freshman in high school told me he would be luck to see me graduate high school. He out lived the predictions by 15 years. Still I was a care taker and helped him recover from a couple of strokes as a high schooler and needed to delay going to college until I was 23 due to parent health problems (he remarried a woman with serious health issues as well that left her wheel chair bound). I decided not to have kids past 40 because of how fast I had to grow up but the delayed start of my adult life meant I was married late and am trying to start my family later than I would have wanted to. My dad recently passed way right after I got pregnant with my first child, but I sadly miscarried shortly after my dad’s death. Still being able to tell him he was going to be a grandpa on his death bed was so hard and I wish I had just started a few years earlier. The thought that my kids will never know the man that raised me leaves me very sad. At least my dad got to meet my husband and they were close. We took care of dad in our rental house next to the one we live in for the last year of his life.

        1. says: Seana Smith

          Thank you for sharing your story. Everyone’s life is so different and we just have to go with the flow, as you’ve done. I just read this heminway quote; The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places. That certainly sounds true for you. Best wishes on your journey xxx

    4. says: Anna E

      This post doesn’t sound fair. Not all mother’s who have children late waited or chose it to be that way. Some women are just not lucky enough to have a husband or partner to have kids with when they were young. It would be tough to follow your calling to become a mom if you are young, alone and have no funds to support your kids. Yes, there are other ways like Jennifer Lopez did in the movie the back up plan but not everyone have the funds for insemination. So with that said, how do you quench your yearning for a child? I don’t think it’s fair that you generalized it all as if it is some type of switch you can just turn on or off.

    5. says: Racheal

      Hi I had my daughter at 42 and now 45 and my littlest is 37 months, and I have a nineteen year old, tell you the truth they teach you a lot about yourself and you pass a lot of teachings on to them, there like precious butterflies there not long in your care before they leave to spread there wings in the garden of life,
      If your desire is to have children please listen, as you will regret not having them;
      It is battle sometimes,but life is, we always get through,
      to know you left a imprint on earth and you will go on and live in there hearts is precious.

      It is lonely being in old age and not having any kids to communicate with about there life and hearing what there been up to. Children love to have a sibling.

      1. says: Margaret Jane

        Just wanted to chime in to say that as a mother of 2 thinking of having a 3rd at 40 I find I have nearly about the same energy, but my husband has not. Until he got on anti-depressants a few months ago: and now he is back to his soccer-kicking, kid wrestling self.

        I just wanted to say there is help out there and it has made a world of difference for our children!

    6. says: Sarah

      I’m not so sure. Life isn’t that simple,

      I was told in my *20s* I’d never have kids. I also should have been dead as an infant (genetic disease no I did not pass on, my partner is negative and carriers are healthy). So being young doesn’t automatically equate healthy or “easy” to conceive.

      That being said after my first marriage failed due to the “premature menopause dx”, I conceived my son 1st try with spouse #2 at 32. Naturally. He not only survived a very healthy but “high risk” pregnancy (not age related at all) but was a tank. I had a vaginal birth at term despite an induction from hell most fetuses would distress from. He’s still a healthy tank to this day, reading by 3, math star, usually never sick for more than a day if that (beat measles at 8 months old in 4 days), never been on a medication and he’s now 8.

      I’m now pregnant naturally at 40, 28 weeks, and no she doesn’t have Down syndrome or trisomy, and all Doppler flow and ultrasound studies look great (I.e, a normal healthy pregnancy despite the “odds”).

      Sure this pregnancy is a bit more rough than first, but not nearly as bad as it could be. I know a “healthy” 26 year old who almost died from severe preeclampsia at 26 weeks as did her premie.

      Nothing is a guarantee in this life. Eat healthy, take your supplements, exercise, avoid toxins, get genetic testing at any age. At the end of the day just live your life.

      Sure I am/will be an “older” parent but that’s part of my life journey. I will be tired I’m sure but so what. Just because you are young or old it doesn’t predetermine your life.

      P.S. Yes ASD has been linked to “older” parents but, the real risk may be people with those genes mate/procreate later. Also you can negate sperm/egg damage and fragmentation which is linked to ASD. The interventions given to older moms such as repeat ultrasound etc may also play a role. My point is it’s not so simple.

    7. says: Sarah

      This article is toxic. It assumes that women just voluntarily wait to have children at 40 and doesn’t take into account the circumstances that have caused a later in life pregnancy. It also incorrectly assumes that you will be spared the agony of infertility, birth defects, miscarriage, and/or disability if you have children earlier. The risks for those things is always there, no matter how old you are. Instead of wasting any more time on this article, have a good conversation with your doctor and husband and then make the best decision for your family.

    8. says: davejhiltaylor

      We had ours when hubby was 58 and I turned 37. Father’s Day and Grandparents was interesting. You just have to go after what you want regardless.

    9. says: Rachel

      Hi, thanks for the insights, I’d say your opinions all hold merit. However I feel you focus on the negative on all points and I’d like to offer some perspective from my experience. I’m a 49 year old Mum to an 8 and 10 year old and beleive I am the best mother I could have been at any age. I always knew I wanted to be an older parent due to having young parents myself. There’s a lot to be said for maturity, emotional security, financial stability and life experience. There is also the added statistic that some marriages don’t last and single parenting is a reality. It is more appropriate to say at any age we are in the right position to become parents we should aim to be fit, healthy and equip ourselves with the resources and support to become responsible parents. Yes young people can have children easier but are they ready to become parents? Too often I see younger people focused on the aura and superficial aspect of being pregnant with reality hitting afterwards of how hard it is and it no longer being about themselves. Having a baby is about becoming a parent and as an older parent I felt more ready and equipped to handle the responsibility than I would have 10 or 20 years earlier. Admittedly I am a fitter older woman and yes I am more tired as an older parent but this doesn’t hinder our family life in any way. I also conceived naturally and had two natural births at 38 & 40 years old. So I think we shouldn’t pigeon whole our ages around statistics because everyone’s reproductive lifecycle would be different. I just wanted to put this perspective forward for the benefit of the older parenting group and say we shouldn’t generalise.

  1. says: Maxabella

    You’re awesome, Seana, you really are. In all honestly I reckon having my babies in my early – mid thirties was pushing it for me, I don’t think I would have made it if I was in my forties. No way. I’ve been with Bart for 18 years and it kills me that we didn’t pump those kittens out in our twenties!!! x

    1. says: Seana Smith

      Hilarious! Pump out those kittens!!

      I met Paul when I was nearly 32… we did get pregnant fast but then strung it out a bit too far! I’m so glad that I didn’t have a family with any of the boyfriends from Terrible Twenties (now referred to collectively as ‘The Desperados.’ But still, I have some twin mum pals who had their twins at 28… when they’re my age they’ll be swanning around hands free not belting off to do reading groups… they’re the wise ones.

  2. says: Alexandra

    It’s a good post.
    I agree, don’t have babies in your forties IF you have a chance to have kids earlier. IF you already in marriage, DON’T wait. Don’t postpone to have kids saying that you don’t have this or that, or not the right time, etc.
    My first one was born when I was 35 and I became 37 just 10 day later that my second was born. I wanted a third child but, let’s face it, I started too late. But such is life, I met my husband so late in my life.
    I think it would be selfish to have a third child, who would be only 20 years old when I’m 60.
    And I really want grandchildren, and hope that my kids will have kids earlier in age than me.
    I knew one of mine my great-grandmothers and great-grandfathers and I have really good memories especially about him. My kids still know one of my grandmothers. But there is a big chance that my future grandchildren will miss that great-grand generation.
    If you give birth in your forties, unfortunately, there is a chance that your kids won’t know their grandparents either.

    1. says: Seana Smith

      My children just lost their last grandad, we’re down to one granny and a lovely younger step-granny. I so want to be a granny myself… and yes, I can agree that it wass elfish in many ways to want to have more kids and to have the twins so late. Mother bloody Nature came calling very powerfully… I do owe it to my kids to stay as fit and well as I can… am writing this after being on treadmill. It’s my duty!

      1. says: Alexandra

        Oh, I don’t want to judge you!
        If I had become pregnant this spring, I would be expecting our third one now and the baby would be born before my 40th.
        I deeply understand you and I wish I had a third one. I just gave it up as I don’t want to give a birth after my 40th.
        And honestly, I am sad about my unborn third one. I just didn’t have the right man with me before my husband.

      2. says: Lana

        Hi Seana, I have a question for you. I have three kids ages 12, 6 and 10 months old and I will turn 40 soon. We thought we were done with three kids since we are turning 40 this year. But now we are thinking about a fourth one because having two kids close in age, like 2 years apart, can be beneficial for them so they can play with each other and support each other when they grow up since we will have less energy as we age. Also, all my friends are done having their children like 5 years ago so we won’t have any playmates for our third son. Another option is we can stop at three and sign him up for more activities as he grows up to provide him playmates. I know that having children in 40s is not easy but we had our third at 39, so 40-41 seems very close. If you had a single child instead of twins, would it have been easier in the long run? I am sure taking care of twins in the first couple of years is very hard. What if you had kids 2 years apart by age 41, would it have been easier than having twins? Thank you for your comments! Lana

        1. says: Seana Smith

          Hello Lana, that’s funny, we were just talking about this the other day. I have to say that I feel very lucky that we did have the twins as they always had each other. They do play together a lot, well, they bicker a lot now that they are teens, but when they were little they played a lot together. We were really lucky then that we had a pool and a trampoline, that kept them very busy and happy! So I can definitely see why a fourth close to your third would be very appealing. One of the big issues with havving kids later is fertility but that doesn’t seem to be an issue for you – hooray. My friends with only children have had to be a lot more organised to provide playmates, and they often end up with loads of kids at their house. I have been very fortunate to have mine in two batches of two, as it were. Best wishes as you work it out and if you do try for another, hope it works quickly and then you have two of them to grow up together.

          1. says: Lana

            Hi Seana, thank you for your feedback! I have to ask you about bickering between your twins. Do they bicker a lot now and when they were younger? Do kids closer in age bicker more often? Or is it just more common in teenagers?

            Thank you!

          2. says: Lana

            Hi Seana,

            I forgot to ask you one more question. Do you think it would be easier to have one teen when you are 55 or two teens? Do they keep each other busy or mad most of the time?

            Thank you!

          3. says: Seana Smith

            Hello, will answer both questions in one… well, our house is definitely quieter when there is only one teen at home… my two are boy/girl and very different characters and they do bicker a lot. Now they are teenagers they spend most of their time doing their own thing, lots of time in their bedrooms playing guitars and music and watching movies. Dinner times can be a bit fractious… we parents can generally maintain our calm even when the kids can’t, we’ve had practice.

            I think they actually bickered more as little kids because they spent almost all their time together. Now things can be more explosive. When we go on holiday they play more, like when we were in Lennox head in January and they played for ages in the waves which was a joy to see… it felt like they were little kids again. But of course there are never any guarantees… you might get kids who don’t bicker as they have a lot in common.

          4. says: Lana

            Hi Seana,

            Thank you again for your reply! I have just a few more questions for you, I promise:)

            1. Did your older two boys bicker as much as your twins when they were growing up? How many years apart are they? I wonder if the closer the kids are in age, the more they will bicker over the same toys or topics. But the bonus is that they will probably play more also because of their similar interests (stages of development).

            2. Do you think bickering is worse between kids of opposite genders? I would think that two boys of similar age may have more things in common than a boy and a girl of similar age, especially in teenage years. Or their personalities are more important than their gender?

            3. Do your older boys have a close relationship now that they are grown? I wonder if all this bickering is worth it at the end of their childhood.

            4. Have you ever felt that you were too busy watching after your twins and you did not have enough time for your older two sons?

            Thank you!

          5. says: Seana Smith

            Hello Lana, sorry for wee delay…. ummmm… so many things to think about. Starting at the end…. I did used to feel I was too busy with the twins and that my middle son in particular was given less attention, my eldest has additional needs above him and the twins below. He’s 21 now though, very independent and doing fine. The big boys at 23 and 21 are not terribly close really, they don’t live in the same city. I don’t know if there was much difference in bickering between the big boys and the twins… I am more patient with it all though. Yes, maybe gender makes for more bickering…. I really don’t think there are any rules though… and it really comes and goes. I found once they were teens they spent more time alone or with their own friends and bickered a lot less. Do you find that with your older ones???

          6. says: Lana

            Hi Seana,

            Thank you again for your response! I want to say that I really appreciate all your input on my questions because I am trying to make a big decision and I don’t have anyone else to ask about these matters. I and my husband are the only children and our parents think we are a little crazy to even have a third child (they think 2 is the maximum regardless of mother’s age:).

            In regards to my own children, my oldest son is almost 13 and my middle son is 6.5 (6.5 years apart) and they do bicker and physically fight sometimes, however, they do play sometimes as well. They like to play soccer and hockey together and computer games (I only let them play on the weekends though). They usually fight over things like: the middle one will take something out of the oldest one’s room, burp in his face or annoy him in other silly ways. So usually the bickering between them is the result of the middle one annoying the oldest one and the oldest one reacting negatively to the middle one’s behavior. They do spend some time apart because the oldest has a lot of homework now and sometimes he spends time with his own friends or alone.

            My baby is 10 months old now, so he is 5.5 years apart with the middle son. I foresee that their relationship will be similar to my oldest two. And maybe this is perfect and it is good to stop at 3…but part of me wonders what if I had a fourth one close in age with my baby (2 years apart), how would our family dynamics change… And how would dynamics between all my children (siblings) would change…Of course no one knows. I guess if I knew that most of the time the youngest two would play and get alone with each other, I would go for the fourth one, but if they would mostly bicker/fight, then I would stop at three. By the way the reason I think about 2 years apart because my OBGYN doctor said that I need to wait at least 12 months before next pregnancy since last birth but waiting any longer just goes against my biological clock.

            On another note about having children later in life (late 30s – early 40s), it is very interesting in my specific situation. I had my 1st son at age 26 and physically it was the easiest but I worked full time then and was attending graduate school, so I was emotionally drained! So it was the worst experience as a mother. I only had 6 weeks off for maternity leave. Then I had my 2nd son at 33 and I just started a new job, but my husband was attending graduate school then so kids were mostly on me, so again I was really drained. But better than the first time. The reason we decided to have our 3rd son at age 38 (almost 39) is because me and my husband were finally done with our higher education and my current job (teaching) is now flexible (combo of in person and online teaching). Also because I am a teacher, I got one year off to stay home and look after my baby. So even though having a baby later in life is physically more difficult, for me personally this was the best experience so far as a mother (maybe until I go back to work:) because I am so relaxed now and I have experience with kids and I just don’t rush. That’s another reason I think about a fourth child because I can stay home with my fourth child for a year or a year and a half (and with my 3rd child if he would be 2 at that time) so this idea is appealing. But I don’t have any experience taking care of a baby and a toddler at once and that seems scary. But I know that a year will fly fast and then they will go to day care…But I wonder for the next 18 years when I will spend time with all my kids during summer breaks, winter breaks, weekends and evenings, will the relationship between the youngest two make our life a lot more difficult or a lot more fun! Also, when my middle child will become a teen and will be more on his own, my 3rd son will be 8 and he would probably still enjoy some company…or not… Also, as parents, will we enjoy one quite teen (when my 3rd son becomes a teen) at a dinner table or two bickering teenagers….or two teenagers who would make each other and us laugh.. Sorry for so much writing but I fee like I summarized it all now.

            If you had one child instead of twins, would you go for another one or stop? If you only had one child in your early 40s, do you think it would have been a lot easier then and afterwards or just really depends on a day and kids’ personalities?

            Thanks so much again!

          7. says: Seana Smith

            Hi there Lana,

            That is all so interesting. You started young and have had such different experiences with all the kids. Do you live in the USA?? I think one of the things I really missed on was having family support. I am from Scotland but emigrated to Australia? Do you have family around that support you and your family? I was 42 when the kids were born, if I had just had the one I definitely would not have tried to have another child at 43 or 44 – no!!! But you are younger.A baby and toddler together is hard but also full of joy… which is just the way all of parenthood is, I think. And so many days are different… we still have days and days of calm and then explosions and bickering. I am with my 24 year old son at the momement for a couple of nights. I look at him and feel as if a giant stole my wee boy!

          8. says: Lana

            Hi Seana,

            Thank you for your reply again! Yes, I do live in the USA and I also did immigrate here with my parents 23 years ago. My mom still works so she helps occasionally but very little. My dad passed away at age 51 before I had any of my children; even though he was only 25 years old when I was born, he never got to see his grandchildren. So having kids younger does not guarantee anything either. He would have been a great support for us …I actually spend some days helping my mother after his passing because she was dependent on him, so some days I feel like I do have four children. My husband’s mom still lives oversees because she still works and eventually we plan to bring her over here, so again this probably will be more work for us than help really:) My aunt had her 3rd child at age 42 because of the second marriage, she thinks it is best not to have children after 40, but her husband thinks it is wonderful. Go figure!

          9. says: Lana

            Hi Seana,

            I have an update on my journey of trying to conceive at age 40. I emailed you about 6 months ago when I was thinking of maybe trying for baby #4 because I had a 10 months old baby at that time and two older kids, 6 and 12. My older kids play and fight well together and I thought having a baby close in age to my third one would be really nice. I also felt that I had enough energy of taking care of two little ones for the next several years.
            Well, we decided to give it a try and I got pregnant right after I stopped breastfeeding, when my youngest turned 1 year 2 months. I could not believe that it happened so quickly and at 6 weeks we saw a heartbeat but then at 10 weeks we found out that I had a missed miscarriage at about 6.5 weeks. I had one miscarriage previously at age 37 before I conceived with my third child at 38, two months after my first miscarriage. My first miscarriage was also a missed miscarriage, and I took a pill to start and complete it at home. It took me about a week to miscarry, painful physically and emotionally, but I recovered and decided to try again in two months. This time it was difficult emotionally but a bit easier than last time because I had realistic expectations and knew that chance of miscarriage was high (about 40%-50%) at age 40. However, I had complications this time. I took pills 4 times and miscarried partially and waited for 3 weeks for miscarriage to complete on its own. Taking pills made me bleed a lot, I almost went to emergency room because I was terrified. After waiting for 3 weeks, I decided to have a D & C surgery to complete miscarriage because my OBGYN warned me that I might have scarring of the uterus from the remaining placental tissue, and this can cause irregular periods in the future and possibly infertility.
            So here I am trying to recover from this roller coaster journey, from being really happy for two months and suffering horribly for the last month. I was really sick with this pregnancy also and taking care of my busy toddler was very difficult. So I am trying to make a decision if it is worth trying again. My husband is worried about my health, he thinks that going through miscarriage physically (taking pills, having D & C surgery) and emotionally is risky for my health even though OBGYN doctor says that the risks of early miscarriage and its complications are low. My mom thinks the same and that I need to focus on my own health and three kids that I already have. I think that if I did not have any children, I would go for these risks, and even if I only had one child, I would probably go for trying again. But having three kids already, and going through two miscarriages and complications after the last miscarriage, am I crazy to even think about having another baby at age 40? Are risks to my own health really this high? OBGYN doctors say it is ok to try again because I had healthy pregnancies and deliveries before, but I think this only gives me an advantage if my egg will be chromosomally normal, then I would have more chances for a healthy pregnancy and delivery. After reading online and talking to OBGYN doctors, any woman at age 40 can have up to 80% of abnormal eggs. That is a lot! The chances of a healthy pregnancy are really low.
            I also wanted to ask you a few questions. From reading your post, it sounds like you had two miscarriages. Did you have any complications? At what age did you have them? At how many weeks? I can’t imagine how difficult miscarriage is over 6.5 weeks (mine were between 6-7 weeks and I found them very difficult to handle physically, as well as emotionally). You also said that you had diagnostic procedure done to check for chromosomal abnormalities. I was thinking of doing CVS this time with my last pregnancy, it looks very scary and painful and there is a chance of miscarriage, but I think at age 40 it makes sense to do if you don’t want to continue pregnancy with chromosomal abnormality. One last thought I have is if I did found out that there was a chromosomal abnormality in my pregnancy, I would make a decision to do a D & C, but how would I feel about it afterwards for the rest of my life… It is extremely hard to terminate pregnancy when you see a heartbeat. When you did diagnostic testing, if you found out there was chromosomal abnormality, were you ready to do D & C to terminate pregnancy or continue with your pregnancy? What were your thoughts back then?

            Thank you for your input.


          10. says: Seana Smith

            Hello Lana,
            Sorry it has taken me a few days to reply, we are in lockdown here and life is a bit tricky. What a rollercoaster you have been on – so tough for you and your family.

            So… I actually had three miscarriages between having my second son and the twins. I was always so glad that I had the two boys at home whenever one happened. The first one was a missed miscarriage, we don’t call it that here in Australia, but the foetus had died at about 6-7 weeks and I found out about 9 or 10 weeks. Then I had a D+C. Then I had one which just bled away at about 8-9 weeks… I could not believe how much blood there was. Finally I had a blighted ovum, where the placenta is in good shape and I felt very pregnant but there is no actual embryo at all. I had a D+C for that one too. It was so upsetting but I didn’t suffer physically.

            We decided to try one last time… and that was the twins.

            Throughout this I was pregnant and emotional and then not pregnant and even more emotional. I did a lot of comfort eating and a lot of comfort crying.

            With the twins, this was 15 years ago. We did nuchal translucency and they looked ok. But I was 42 and there were two of them… I did not like this one little bit but we did do amnios on both babies. This carried a risk of miscarriage of course. With twins, you can’t have a D+C/abortion for one twin… the doctors can inject something to kill one of the foetuses. A terrible thought. In theory we would have done that if we had to but thank god we didn’t. We paid loads of money to have a very quick result and they were both ok. It is one thing to be pro-choice, and I am, but it would have been absolutely awful, terrible to do that. I might not have done it, my husband would have wanted to… easy for him to say that. Anyway, they didn’t have any detectable issues, I feel so lucky. It was all hideous and I would never put myself through that again!!!

            If your OBGYN doctor says it is OK to go ahead, I am sure he/she is right, but that is the physcial side only. The emotional side is looked after by other doctors… and that’s what you need to think about. I was so lucky that I did not have miscarriages before I had my first two boys at 33 and 36. How lucky was I? Looking back, I can’t quite belief I kept trying through the three miscarriages to have the twins. They are 15 now and teenagers are hard work at 57!!

            Best wishes and good to hear from you. And huge hugs from Down Under.

          11. says: Lana

            Hi Seana,

            Thank you for your reply. It is also good to hear from you and thank you for your honesty and ongoing support. It sounds like your pregnancy journey after age 40 was not easy at all. It is interesting that you say that it was painful emotionally but not physically for you. For me emotionally my second miscarriage was easier than the first one because I was ready to have it given the risks, but physically I suffered from taking the pill 4 times trying to miscarry at home (cramping, lots of bleeding, etc.) and then from having hard time recovering after D&C (my miscarriage was not complete after 4 pills). I was more emotionally drained from being worried that my miscarriage is not complete and worried about the surgery complications.

            You said that you did amnio with your pregnancy, how painful was that procedure? What did it feel like (similar to what) if you can remember?

            On another note, did your husband really want this last pregnancy? My husband is really happy with three kids, he was actually happy with two, but now he loves our youngest, but does complain that he is getting older (he is also 40 like me) and running after our toddler does wear him out and he would rather spend time with older kids or on his own (workout or read a book). I think if he was as excited as me about having another child, it would be very different for me to make this decision. He is also really worried that something can happen to me while we try for another pregnancy due to complications that come with age. I am somewhat scared also, because someone needs to raise my 3 kids 🙂

            If I only knew that I can have a healthy next pregnancy, I would do it again. But if I knew that I need to go through a few more miscarriages or pregnancy complications, I would not try and just move on.

            Another interesting fact is that my aunt had her last child at age 42 just like you and she is now 55, her daughter is 13, and my aunt told me a while ago to be done with having kids before age 40 because she feels that her overall health suffered from last pregnancy. But she has never been active in the past, so I don’t know if it is just a reason she came up with or this is a true fact. She does sound like you, and I actually trust you both, but I find it hard to convince myself that I will feel much older in 10 years (I guess being 30 and 40 feels similar to me, just slightly different). But perhaps starting or going through menopause makes women very tired?

            Lastly, when you say it is hard to raise 15 year old teens at your age, can you be specific on what is hard? I have a 13 year old son (my oldest), so far I think he is pretty easy, in fact very helpful kid with my toddler and house chores, but maybe this will change in a few years…?

            If you have any thoughts on my writing, please let me know.

            Thank you so much!

          12. says: Seana Smith

            Hi there, the amnios were not sore physically but I found it all terribly upsetting and stressful. My teenagers can be a handful, they are very different and bicker a lot. It’s easier in that the work pressures on my husband and I are much less, we have more time and patience and all the experience from the first two kids. But harder in some ways too, we want to get to bed super early, they stay up much later than we would choose… both have some issues of their own. But in truth they are great kids and we love them very much and the house will be so empty and quiet when they leave home. They can also be really funny and good company. We are in lockdown at the moment here in New South Wales and it’s actually good for our family bonding, harsh for the kids though.

        2. says: Serenity

          Noone regrets having another child. But plenty regret NOT trying to have one.

          Oh and…ask The Creator, not some woman on the internet.

    2. says: Elena

      What is the difference between having a baby at 37 and 40?? Is there much of a difference between having a 20 year old at 57 than at 60?? I don’t think so. It’s just a psychological role play in your head.

      1. says: Georgie

        Thanks for this comment, I have been really struggling with the decision & weighing up all the pros & cons, but what you said simply puts it into perspective – you’re only as old as you feel!

      2. says: Art

        You’re so right. Crazy huh. People will have a child at 39yrs but not at 40yrs. Crazy. No difference. Yes its mental

    3. says: Jasmine

      I had my daughter at 38, I’m 42 now. Never wanted a child at all until later, changed my mind about the never plan
      My 4 year old is the most gorgeous angel light and I adore her!!! I’m so glad I changed my mind. But I do think she’s giving me a longer life, all the healthy things I do I never did for myself before – stopped smoking, drinking, exercise and be active with her and eat better now too.
      Also I don’t really think oh no what about my ‘ retirement’ I will have a beautiful daughter to celebrate as I get older and I did my me time and travel for so long before I had her so I’m definitely not grieving any lost idea of retirement.

      I have a bunch of friends my age with kids around the same age. I don’t recommend doing what I did to my younger friends though simply because I got so easily pregnant at 37, and after 35 you just can’t count on that so if they know they want a child I don’t recommend waiting, not that I waited I just changed my mind late.

      My sister had her first at 17 so her kids are adults she is enjoying her time now that I had in my twenties – we are in reverse!

      My daughter wants kids and I’ll be around to help but I don’t tell her start early ! My mum is nearly 70 and she still rides racing motorbikes! So i figure when she’s a teen she will keep me young in my 50s and on my toes haha, I’ll work out the rest as I go along , if she doesn’t want kids that’s ok

      Sometimes late at night I do the sums and think oh I’ll be such as such when she’s such and such but why wish I had a child younger? If I had a kid in my 20’s I would have been a terrible terrible mum- using drugs, unresolved trauma, angry and so poor. No I’m happy I got a good job, I’ve healed my life and I’m not the wreck I was earlier in life.

      I also love seeing the world again through her eyes which are so bright and delight in every little thing! It’s like being a kid again, well a happy kid which I wasn’t. My daughter has brought me a love I never knew existed so corny but true.

      1. says: Seana Smith

        I loved reading this Jasmine, there are positives too and I really must write an article about all the good things too. Love your enthusiasm and it sure sounds like you come from a lively and long living family!

  3. says: Lauren A

    I had my first child at nearly 41 (circumstances beyond my control) and, after two miscarriages, my second child at 43. Despite all my good intentions, I was just too tired to do all the things I think my kids deserved. Now I’m dealing with menopause, and two teenagers, and it is hard! I am actually older than some of the other kid’s grandmothers, and worry that it’s a source of embarrassment for my own children. I wouldn’t give up my kids for the world, but I will definitely be advising them to start earlier than I did.

    1. says: Seana Smith

      We need to talk! Thanks so much for writing this comment, I am in just the same boat and it’s tricky for people to understand that we can embrace the ups AND the downs of being parents.

      1. says: Lauren A

        I’m fortunate to have a partner who has energy enough for the two of us (just watching him with the kids is tiring enough!) so he’s the one kicking the football around the yard, taking them on bike rides etc. I’ve struggled with fitness and weight control since having the kids – my body never forgave me for inflicting it with 4 pregnancies in three years, lol – but I am trying to get back into shape so that I’m not the one left sitting on the verandah, watching them have fun.

    2. says: Kate

      I had my first at 41 and second at 43 too, and while it is inevitably hard in many practical ways, I am loving it. I feel grounded in a really important way I never did before. In fact I happened upon this article while musing about the possibility of a third! It is really such an individual thing, as individual as we are and our kids are. The hardest thing I find is a sense of when will I ever get to focus on my personal dreams again type of cc angst, because looking after little kids is so time intensive. If I’d had kids earlier I might had less of that sense of loss as I would believed I’d have time to get back to those things when the kids were older. But on other hand I went into motherhood already having done so many wonderful things in my life so I was well and truly ready to focus on my little ones without resentment.

      1. says: Seana Smith

        How lovely to read this, wonderful that you had your two and that you are loving it. Hooray for a happy mumma…. and if you do decide to have a third, please do let us know. It was me going for a third that led to twins at 42!!

      2. says: Ramya Srinivasan

        Thank goodness for someone with a healthy attitude! It felt very weird to me reading this article and most of the comments! The purpose of life is to learn, improve constantly and contribute to the advancement of humanity in whatever way you can. The goal is not to have your kids and grandkids by certain ages. That might have been the goal for prehistoric man. I feel like I need to read some technical material or literature to purge my mind of this article!
        Women- please be supportive of fellow women’s life choices. Don’t bring each other down.

  4. says: Kirsty

    Earlier this year my husband came home from the obstetrics ward – he’s a medical student – and said ‘If we’re serious about that third baby, we should get onto it NOW.” I wanted to put it off till our finances are better (you know, the student bit finished) and we’re closer to support, but he convinced me the baby’s health and my health are impacted – dramatically – by every year. We’re now 13 weeks pregnant, and I’m a little shocked at being ‘high risk’ solely because of my age… and how much more this pregnancy is knocking me around! Thank you for such a great and honest article about such difficult decisions!

    1. says: Seana Smith

      I’m going to cry, Kirsty!! Congratulations… you’ll be run off your feet, of course… but that’s motherhood. I find myself delighted to have four children now, and that’s great because it was bloody, bloody hard for a long time too. Thanks for your comment, much appreciated.

    2. says: Art

      You have a great husband. Mine forced me to wait. I wanted kids at 21 yrs he kept putting it off. We divorced then he quickly remarried and had a kid with someone else. Fast forward I met my new husband now at 41 he made me wait to have kids too. Foolishly not considering my future health. I got married at 44yrs he still made me wait because he didnt want a fat wife. Now I’m 46 trying to have kids my first kids. So I had no choice but to wait. I just met men who didnt care for kids.

  5. says: Alisoun

    This is a great post Seana! I also wince when I hear about celebrity pregnancies in their mid to late forties! I do the maths! Thank fully my babes were all born by the time I was 34 and I will be 52 when my twins complete their HSC!!
    We need to keep telling kids to have their babies young – it isn’t nearly as much fun to have an old mother or father when you are a kid!

    1. says: Seana Smith

      Hello Alisoun, you were so young to have four!! Actually a really good age to have all of yours… not that there’s ever a right time or a time when we are really ‘ready’ especially for twins, heaven help us.

      1. says: Art

        @Seana Smith. I think you’re super lucky to have twins in your 40s. Different people think differently. Age is how you feel. I’m in my 40s but I still shop at Forever 21. I’m really not the typical 40 yr old. My grandmother had her last kid at 47yrs and she saw her grandkids. It all depends. I do think you dont realize how lucky you are to have twins. Plus most people act old. I dont. I have super energy even more than my husband who is 10yrs younger.

        1. says: Vtay143

          Thank you for sharing !! I feel Exactly the same way , I am 40 and will have my first baby in 6 months right before I turn 41. I danced professionally all my life and chose to live out my dreams before settling down , which I do not regret. I also never met the right person until now , my current boyfriend is 6 yrs younger then me and we are a perfect fit . I have been doing cross training my entire pregnancy as well as dance and yoga and I am more physically fit then half the women , half my age in the classes I attend . I do not feel my age , I do not look my age and I never have . People think I am early 30s. I have a lot of energy and take very good care of myself . I believe that it Is a mind set and everyone is unique , depending on how you live your life and take care of yourself and if you choose to let a number determine your capabilities. All women in their 40s are not the same,I believe that things happen in life when they are meant to happen . We should be thankful for it when it does 😉

          1. says: Seana Smith

            It’s wonderful to hear that you are expecting your first baby and are feeling terrific. Everyone is different, and everyone’s situation is too. It’s just excellent that your fertility is still good and you sound ready for motherhood in every way. I hope that all goes really well for you xx

  6. I was in the 40s club too. The difference between celebs and us, is that they can afford oodles of help. I would have avoided it if I could have, but you have to play the hand you are dealy I guess.

    1. says: Seana Smith

      That’s right… I completely understand why you had that huge urge to have your second. It’s bloomin’ tough to let go off the idea of having more kids if you really want more…. or one. Thank goodness for that sweet little miss of yours.

          1. says: Oh

            “Blimey, how are you feeling about it?”

            This response is so loaded you already assume or suggest the woman must or should be miserable because she’s pregnant at 45.

            Why not just congratulate her? Or are you so loathing of all women over 40 that you have to treat her shabbily?

      1. says: Jane

        I love this post!! I found it searching for having a third baby at age 39/40 which my husband would like but I would not. I think of all these things you are talking about and it reaffirms to me that it’s not a good idea. I do not want to be 40 and pregnant. And while I have a 4 and an almost 2 year old at 38, I do wish to move on from the baby stage.

        My family history of women who’ve had babies over 40 isn’t good. All autistic non verbal, still wearing nappies at age 7, 9 and those boys were had at age 43,44. Another cousin had her first baby age 44 but she sadly passed away due to significant heart problems. I just wouldn’t want to put myself through that. I think I’m lucky I have two beautiful healthy girls I had at 34,36 and it’s time to call it a day.

        If you could write a post about how to get your husband to have a vasectomy that would be great ?

        1. says: Seana Smith

          Hello, you sound pretty definite and that’s a great space to be in. I wish I could help with the old vasectomy situation, but have no wise words. My husband put off having one for ages after our first two boys, he had a referral from the doctors but did nothing with it… then I persuaded him to try for a third (which turned out to be third and fourth, what was I thinking?). After the twins he did get one very sharpish. Good luck!

        2. says: Mamahood

          All I can say is that this post made me sad. I had my first at 35, second at 37. I am really trying hard not to want a third at 39 but it’s so so hard. The pull is so strong. Reading all of this negative realism is really hard. I do feel incredibly sad I didn’t start sooner now that I’m so in love with my babies.

  7. says: Corinne

    What a great post, I’m off to share it with a couple of friends.
    I always said that however many kids I had at 35 would be it. I was lucky enough to have three. My husband is desperate for another child, but that’s not a possibility after the last pregnancy almost killed me (literally). Even if I was able to go through another pregnancy I wouldn’t. I’m stretched to my limits as it is.
    I look at some friends who are in their mid-thirties and still just thinking about kids and I want to give them a big shake.

    1. says: Seana Smith

      I wrote in the post before about a friend of mine who was 40 and just wanted to finish a reno before trying…!!??!! Actually she does have a family now, which is great… and bloody lucky. Three is plenty! I just heard of a family going for a fourth and now pregnant with twins – yikes!

      1. says: Jane

        Regarding your last comment about people over 40 and waiting- I know a woman age 41 who has been married since 29, and they keep putting it off because they think they have heaps of time. She tells me “look Janet Jackson had a baby at 50!” “Cameron Diaz had a baby at 47” I’m like yeah but they most likely used donor eggs, and Cameron def used a surrogate so if you want your own biological kids you should start now!!

        I feel like celebrities being dishonest or not open about how they created their families are doing a disservice to women. If my friend waits until she’s 47-50 I fear it will be too late for her.

  8. I agree Seana. I know quite a few women who have tried very hard later in life to have kids, suffering several failures along the way. I know a couple who ended up adopting after 7 years of IVF failures and ended up regretting that decision.

    I didn’t think about kids until I discovered to my enormous surprise that I was pregnant (age 30), I was so focussed on trying to achieve something extraordinary in the corporate world of publishing (I know, I’ve since thought better of that).

    It’s possible I might have carried on trying to work my way further up the ladder and not realised I wanted kids until too late. Luckily they barged their way into my life earlier.

    1. says: Seana Smith

      Oh, same here… I got pregnant accidentally when I was 32, and thank God never before that. I quite admire my eldest, he fought his way through two forms of contraception to be here today. I was so lucky as I was happy to be pregnant as it turned out… we must chat through those early days sometime.

  9. says: jess

    I’m 36 and currently pregnant with no 2 (3rd pregnancy, 2nd child hopefully!). I had hoped to start baby making earlier but life got in the way. I really wish we hadn’t left it as late as we did.

    We take longer to make babies than the average couple which really does my head in. Trying to conceive is not much fun at all. Our first pregnancy ended in a late miscarriage at 21 weeks which was the most devstating experience of my life. I already know that if all goes well with this pregnancy we won’t be going back for a third. I’d be pushing 40 by then and I couldn’t face the heartbreak of losing another baby.

    I agree that it’s best to start baby making earlier but also realise that sometimes you don’t meet you life partner until later in life. Start earlier if you can people!

    1. says: Seana Smith

      How terrible to have lost that first baby, how life-changing. Wishing you all the very best with this pregnancy. Trying to conceive is no fun at all, I promised myself I wouldn’t get obsessed but I did at times. What a relief when it’s all over.

  10. says: Rae Hilhorst

    I agree with Alison, such an open honest post Seana, you are blessed to have your children. I had my first at 27 and my second at 30. Am now in my early 50’s and have tolerance 0. xxx Rae

    1. says: Seana Smith

      I have been lucky to have all these kids and these days I am quite comfy with having four… but that’s since they’ve all been at school. I really have struggled, I’m no natural. Thanks for your thoughts.

  11. says: Sam-o

    I have been with my husband since 16 and we married at 23. Why my first child was born when I was 35 and the 2nd at 38 I cannot tell you! Total madness. I constantly wonder what I was thinking. I’m so tired now at 42. I am not the mother I thought I’d be. I’m exactly the same as you. I constantly advise 2 things to young girls. First, like you, have your children young and my second is do a vocational degree, something with a clear job identity, like nurse, accountant etc because getting back into the workplace is so much easier. Especially part time work that pays ok!!

    1. says: Seana Smith

      Now that is a really good point, about a vocational degree… there’s A LOT to be written about that… I was a TV producer, a glorious career that fell apart as soon as I had my first son. Some women do manage to work in TV with families but it’d never have worked for us… even without any disabilities.

      Oh there’s a whole post to be written about that. Good points and thanks for adding your thoughts to the conversation, much appreciated.

    2. says: Nena

      I had my first at 27 and second at 30. I was tired as hell and wasn’t the mother I thought I would be. I’m putting my self back together, now in my forties.

  12. Ok this Mum of Six has to have her say! I had my 6th at 42. We conceived first try (as were all the others). I have one fallopian tube after an ectopic preg at 33). It never hindered us. We had healthy pregnancies and all the children are healthy and normal. My only problem was antibodies in the last pregnancy from a blood transfusion I had when I was having my first at 29.
    I am a complete advocate for late pregnancies if you desire a child! I didn’t stop for a second and rethink my choice to have one at 42. I am THRILLED I had her! In fact if Hubby were still keen (which he isn’t)! I would have had more!
    I am 43 now and the only reason I would stop is that I have had 5 sections now and that’s really probably enough. It wouldn’t stop me if he gave the go-ahead!
    My mother had me at 42. She is 83 now. She is independent and happy in her own home.
    There are many things in place for the elderly in the community and being the independent soul she is, she is happily using them all to her amusement!
    I don’t care how old I will be as my kids grow. I just don’t live like that. I don’t look or feel my age and people are usually shocked when I tell them.
    My husband had the opposite experience entirely. His mum was preg with him at 19. Ended up having an affair after another child and left his Dad! There are so many reasons NOT to have a child younger! At least older parents are settled, better educated and wealthier.
    It’s personal choice. If you want a baby, don’t over think it, just do it!

    1. says: Seana Smith

      Its very true that older parents are more settled and I’d have been an awful (more awful!) mum in my twenties. You have fab genes! I hope I will be like your mum, hale and hearty in my 80s and enjoying life as much as ever. Here’s to that and to things going well for people who do have kids older.

      1. says: Karen

        Just adding my 2 cents. I had my first at 18. Second at 24. I am now almost 36, oldest will finish High School next year and be grown. Did I have my struggles? Sure. However, oldest is secure in who she is. Been on honor role for 3 out of 4 yrs of High school, has a job, loves her life and independence. I am not sorry. I am sorry my first memory of having her in my arms in public was that someone would try to take her from me because she couldn’t possibly be mine. Older Moms won’t have that. It made me grow into my responsibility to her. For sure. And now? I’m not yet 40, and get to look forward to a long time being around for her. I wouldn’t trade that. It is not about financial resources after a point. It is about parenting. The end. Kids grow well enough without being spoiled. Mine have. They are amazing. And yes, in the meantime I’ve completed a Ph.D. program. So now I get to spend my 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond traveling, showing them the world. Which is beyond worth the sacrifice of having them very young.

        1. says: Seana Smith

          Thanks so much for sharing your experience. I am 55 now and my kids are 22, 19 and twins are 13. I am very concerned, especially for my oldest who has special needs… what if I die at 70, who will look after him, or even 80!! You sound more like my mum who had four kids by 29, and she had 30 years of life after kids, which I must say were probably her best years, I’m sure she would have agreed. Mum died in January and I miss her every day and am glad I was mature when she passed away… I have to live until I am 100 for my kids!

    2. says: Carol

      Hello Jody – I totally agree with you. I had my babies at 36, 37 and 39. Sure, I wish I had them earlier, but it is quite useless to wish such a thing. I am tired, but I recall being tired in my 20s as well. The only difference now is that I don’t have time to nap like I used to. For those that believe energy decreases so drastically as they age, here’s something that helps: exercise and eating well.

      1. says: Seana Smith

        You are 100% correct there Carol. I look after myself a lot better than I used to and at just 50 feel good. Sleep is the biggest key for me. Having children, especially my twins, made me learn the importance of early nights. I don’t want to be a grump, shouty mother and it’s up to me to take care of myself so I am not. Eating well is really good too and so is exercise… I’m in my gym stuff now!!

        I have to be honest though and say that having all the kids at school makes everything so much easier… I work from home so if I’m really whacked or ill, I can have a nap, which is something you just cannot do with wee kids at home, however ill or tired you are. Thanks for visiting and for sharing your thoughts.

    3. says: Art

      Thanks Jody! I LOVE your positive post. It’s the best so far. My grandmother and great aunt had kids at 47yrs and 46yrs and they were healthy and great. Both lived till thier 90s so their kids never suffered. If you want kids dont let the over 40 barrier scare you. Especially if you look young, have alot of energy, etc.

  13. I got quite weepy reading this. Those hormones… but I was thinking what a great Mum you are telling your kids that because I totally agree with you. Then I got to the bit where your daughter says you’re mean. Such a typical parenting moment.

    If I could do it again I’d have the kids earlier too. Get it over and done with 😉

    1. says: Seana Smith

      Aaarrghhh… it’s never going to be over…!! I just love feeling free and that’s the basis of what makes life hard as a mum… we have to find our wee bits of freedom where we can. Reading travel stories is a great way to have a wee mental holiday. Will be popping over to read your Zimbabwe posts very soon.

  14. says: Anne Downing

    I would have loved to have had children at a young age but I didn’t meet the right person until my early 30’s. Glad I got to experience life before I had kids. There are pros and cons to both sides

    1. says: Seana Smith

      Very, very true, there are pros and cons … I would have been a TERRIBLE parent in my 20s… really awful. I shudder to even think of it. Life is never black and white.

  15. says: Morag Smith

    Heh Soshi, great post. You know now that I’ve had my kids at 39 and 41 I think it would have been nice to have had them younger – i.e. about 32 and 35 but that’s not how my life went. but you know I am such a better Mum now than I would have been then – I needed all those years to get my head sorted out so I could at long last stop the pattern of mad/bad/dangerous guys and meet my very lovely husband. I’m just grateful that I had the chance to have kids and luckily for me how easy it was to conceive. KNACKERED though!

    1. says: Seana Smith

      Yes, it took me a long while too to get my head around what sort of a fella was good for me. Not the mad bad and dangerous to know type, the sensible souls who is there for the long haul (we hope!) Yes, you were lucky with that fertility… and I know you know how lucky. Knackered is the word… am off to bed right now myself.

  16. says: Hotly Spiced

    This is so interesting, Seana and you’ve raised so many issues. I had my first two children in my 20’s but then found out I was pregnant at 38 with my little guy being born at 39. I know how you feel about having them young and having them old! My sister in LA just turned 47. She is 39 weeks pregnant and we’re waiting to hear news of the little arrival. She didn’t plan her pregnancy however always wanted more than one child (she had her first at 43 due to not being able to find a man – that’s another issue about men wanting to have fun and not settle down leaving women who do want to marry and have children, high and dry). Anyway…as I was saying… we have this new baby coming into the family which can only be good news however children born to parents of this age are most likely to never even know their grandparents, let alone have grandparents around to help them. It’s certainly an interesting topic but with children not graduating from uni until their mid 20’s, being lumped with a huge debt from studying, that ‘play the field’ mentality before you ‘settle down’, I just can’t see too many of this generation having children at a young age. xx

    1. says: Seana Smith

      Yes, so much to ponder and be concerned about for our own children. I must talk more to the boys about this… just give them a few top tips… not that they listen to a word I say (or at least they claim they don’t.)

      I really regret that my kids never had their extended family around them, and would love them to have the benefits of willing grandparents.

  17. says: Mel

    Hi Seana, I feel so conflicted by what you’ve written, because while I too have lived the ‘downsides’ of trying to become a Mum over 40, I also now live the daily joy and amazement that becoming a Mum at 46 to twins has given me. And the pluses outweigh the negatives a million times over, because many of the things you mentioned – how much energy you have, how much family you have around etc… well, if you’re overweight and 25 with parents who were ill or passed young, it’s the same! It’s not exclusive to older parents. And I never cared for being a childless grey nomad… give me a house filled with children’s laughter (or whinging) any day. I stared down the barrel of a childless future for a lot longer than many do. Only met hubby at 39, married at 40, miscarriages at 41 and 42, then 10 long heartbreaking rounds of IVF from 43 to 45 which included a miscarriage – I know what it’s like to see a flickering heartbeat fade away to nothing. Then, hubby and I did something that uplifted our souls and gave us this new amazing chapter of our lives… we went on a ‘baby safari’ to Cape Town as we playfully describe it and sought a beautiful young egg donor to help us create our family. And what a happy ending it has been. We met some incredible people, and it took me to places emotionally and literally that I never thought I’d go to. So, I type this now with my 2 year old twins sleeping quietly beside me. And I just don’t ever think about AGE. I instead think about the STAGE I am at…. and that is a devoted, happy, overworked, sometimes knackered desperately proud and grateful mother of twins who can now drive past a school or playground or look at friends’ baby photos… and not feel heartache. Instead, I get excited! Do I wish I’d started earlier and hadn’t had to drain the bank balance and scrape the bottom of the emotional barrel for many years on end? Absolutely. Would I do it again if it was the only way to get the same result? Absolutely. Of course I tell all my friends have babies young(er) if they get the chance to avoid making IVF doctors any richer than they already are, but life just doesn’t always work out that way! But I also recommend study, career and travel, travel, travel before you do pop out bubs because all of that becomes a hell of a lot harder as you know apres children. I love being an older Mum though, I am content, mature, I can handle it… I dont miss the corporate jungle… and my parents are still young enough and healthy enough to enjoy their young grandkids…. OK, I’ll stop now… got to get some sleep before the morning’s Peppa Pig session 🙂 x

    1. says: Seana Smith

      Blimey, what a journey you have had and how fantastic that you have twins, two little people. I just found myself nodding all the way through as I read your comment. So very glad that you have your family now, safe and sound, a happy outcome after going through the fires you did. Thank you for sharing your story.

      1. says: Mel

        Thanks Seana! A boy and a girl no less! Hopefully they won’t mind that Mama has wrinkles when I drop them off at school… but I know I’ll embarrass them in many other ways throughout the years… surely that’s our job?

  18. Very well said Seana!!
    Your story took a lot of guts. I had my last at 37 after 3 years of IVF and miscarriages. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.
    I am also so much tireder with my little ones than I was with the older ones.

    1. says: Seana Smith

      Me too! I was piggybacking the twins around this evening and wrestling with them – my poor old knees. They have no idea the pain they put me through. I thought I was having my first menopausal hot flush, but it was just the effort of carrying a big 7 year old upstairs!

  19. says: Seana Smith

    Late 20s sounds great… (mind whirrs as I calculate how old I’ll be when Teens are that age…) I remember a friend of mine saying: ‘DO EVERYTHING you want to before you have kids..’ and I really had no idea what she was talking about… and now I SO do.

  20. says: Vanessa

    Hey Seana

    There’s an 18 year gap between my brother and me. My mum had my brother when she was 20 and in her first marriage in the late 1950s. She was an “abandoned wife” by the time my brother was six months old.

    By the time my mum married for the third time, at the ripe old age of 36 to a man (my dad) 10 years her junior, she really thought she was done with kids. Of course the younger husband wanted to be a dad.

    My mum was 38 when she had me and 40 when my sister was born. In the 1970s that was OLD!!! My sister and I were oddities amongst our friends to have such an old mum.

    My mum complained about it all the time which really had a bad effect on me in particular. I felt unwanted. That she only had us for my dad. She was embarrassed, I think, and really didn’t want to be a mum at that age. She wanted a career and a life outside of having children. She loves us and always has but knowing all my life that having us seemed a condition of her marriage to my dad has always made me feel sad.

    I always wanted to get married and have a family. My drug and alcohol addictions I became wedded to in my 20s and early 30s didn’t make me for an attractive wife but when I did accidently fall pregnant at 33, despite being drug/alcohol addled and extremely depressed I thought this would be my only chance at children. I divorced the addictions and have since given my life to raising my boy, who will turn 5 years old not long after I have my 39th birthday in 11 days.

    I don’t know if I’ll ever meet Mr Right, and I mourn the fact I’ll probably never have another child (I struggle so much with one) but I’m so glad that I kept my “accident” and didn’t wait for the RIGHT time or the right dad to have kids.

    I have a lot of single friends in their late 30s and 40s who keep waiting. I tell them to go it alone if they really want to have kids. Get a donor sperm if they have to. One friend waited until she was 46!!! Mr Right never came, three IVF cycles and a shitload of cash later and she’s childless and heartbroken.

    Despite being almost 39, I am one of the younger parents at our daycare. I think times have definitely changed and women who have kids in their late 30s and early 40s are not so strange as they were in the 70s. But the physical challenges are still there.

    My mum hates that now at 77 yo, despite being in good health (and looks great too!) she can’t pick up my baby niece who is (22 months old now). When my sister has her second child it will be even harder.

    So I agree with you. If being older mum is hard. Being an older nanna is even harder.

    Sorry I’ve written an essay! But this issue is close to my heart.

    Great post. Thank you.

    1. says: Seana Smith

      Thanks so much for this, and I’m sorry it took a while to get up on the blog properly. Over zealous spam. So many good points, and you clearly understand your mum even though it must have been tricky at times and sometimes hurtful when you were little.

      I do try to curb my tongue with the twins a lot and NOT say… ‘I can’t I’m too old…’ and I do do lots of boisterous play with them. It’s the facts of our lives though, I am older, an ideal age to be a youthful granny! Of all the problems that families can have, ours are pretty minor.

      I would have so loved the kids and I to have a grandparent around to love and to love us all, ours are so so far away. It’s terrible and I am full of regret. But again these are the facts of our lives. My father’s lifelong addictions drove his daughters away – we had to save ourselves. His drinking killed him in the end and he was in a sorry state, poor man.

      I have my own demons and the drink is one of them. I’ve been off alcohol all year and feel so much better for that, mentally as well as physically. We have a lot to talk about at the next bloggy conference.

      Thanks so much for persevering and for sharing your story.

      1. says: Vanessa

        Well done on the 1 year sober milestone. It just easier from here.

        We will definitely have to catch up at the next bloggy conference.

        Re comments – I’m having trouble commenting on a lot of WordPress sites. I’m a slackarse commenter at the best of times and here I am, doing my bit, and my comments won’t come through. The universe is against me this week.


  21. says: Angela

    Thanks for this post. I had my two boys now teenagers in my early to mid 20’s & so thankful as its so exhausting.

    I have not been the most energetic parent due to back problems & health. This causes me to cringe at the thought of having babies & young kids after mid 30’s but if you are super healthy or its your only option then I know I’d even put myself through it.

    My ex-husband was an only child to parents aged 36 & we have lived firsthand the impact of older grandparents starting at 69/70. However on the flip side my boys have experienced caring or putting up with grandparents only 10-15 yrs. younger than great-great parents (my grandparents) deal with dementia, deaths etc.

    My children too Seana have not escaped the genetic whirlpool of ASD/ADHD. It is very challenging plus sometimes an ADHD ODD etc early years diagnoses may in fact turn out to be a ASD one mildly in disguise. My 17 yr old went many years until 12 with full on everything till ASD dx explaining the resulting behaviours.

    If I had waited I might not have spectrum kids but then I have grown so much by my experiences, have grey hairs coming as I approach 40 this year & await my eldest’s 18th in Jan!

    My eldest states he’s not having kids till he’s in his 30’s I cringe but him being mild ASD its better than younger. Plus he’s seen firsthand an older father & grandparents & a ‘not as old mother’ that’s not able to do everything so I don’t have a great argument/position in convincing him the otherwise. I will however start stating facts like fertility & risks.

    Thanks for the post.

    1. says: Seana Smith

      Thanks for reading Angela and for sharing your thoughts and experiences. I love your term ‘genetic whirlpool,’ that sounds so right. I think you were wise to get going 10 years before I did… my son with ASD turns 17 in a couple of weeks, and I just turned 50… and the twins will soon be 8. It’s madness!! But like you, I have grown and learned through my experiences, and am a much better mum than I would have been: look for the silver linings. My son at 17 is pretty happy and busy, so glad he has two years at school still as I am sure that we will all miss the structure school gives him.

      Good to hear from you.

  22. says: Deborah

    Alas some of us have no choice. I finally gave up on meeting someone when I hit 41 and then I tried (unsuccessfully) off and on via assisted means (obviously using donor sperm at $900/pop) to get pregnant until I was about 44.5.

    One of my best friends was in a similar situation. Finally met someone at 40, married at 41-42 and then spent several years trying get get pregnant (IVF) and miscarried several times before deciding to use donor eggs. She just gave birth to her first child at 45.

    Another of my friends was the same… Didn’t meet anyone til in her 40s then did IVF and was unsuccessful.

    People who find a partner in their thirties are very lucky to get that early start!

    1. says: Seana Smith

      Yes very true. It’s totally understandable why so many of us do try to have babies in our 40s. And it’s hard going on everybody and hardest for those who don’t end up with children. Painful. I was lucky to meet my husband when I was 31 – seems very young now.

  23. says: Seanna

    I’m a 41 year old mom of 3 girls ages 15, 13 and almost 9. My first pregnancy at 24 was a blighted ovum, my oldest daughter had a birth defect that led to open heart surgery. We were told it was a random gnenetic fluke until after we were pregnant with our second two years later. I did everything right with my first born and was so healthy and had natural childbirth with no interventions. After she was born I realized I couldn’t control everything and tried epidural second time around and it caused all kinds of problems, stopped labor and nearly killed us both! I was 28 by then and 31 when my third daughter was born complication free and healthy but for a small hole in her heart (by then they decided it could be a genetic link) but it grew back I consequentially and they are all healthy beautiful girls. Despite having two strong, health conscious parents my girls lost their dad to a glioblastoma brain cancer. He was 41 and it was one year ago. as a news photographer and volunteer for Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep I’ve seen many tragedies in lives of every age. Now I know that what is important is living the life we are given and finding the blessings along the way. Mostly letting go of the illusion that we can control it. I now know life deals so many things we cannot control and it is a waste for any of us to live with regret or think another way would have been better. Almost a year ago I lost my husband after watching him suffer the most hellish end. I’ve seen many families of all ages and walks lose babies. And yet I feel blessed with what I had and what I will have. Forgive yourselves and relax and embrace the gifts in your unique circumstances. We all have loss and regret no matter the choice so find peace with who you are and find your joy without dwelling on what you can’t change. We only get one life and each is so very different; we cannot judge nor advise.

    1. says: Seana Smith

      Hello Seanna, thanks so much for getting in touch. I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your husband. And I completely agree with your ideas that we all need to embrace the life we are given … and that judgement is not helpful … and giving advice too in so many ways.

      Three years ago our beloved next door neighbour lost his life to cancer, a devoted husband and father of three young children. His death had and continues to have a profound effect on we neighbours and friends… for me, I learned that life is not in our control and that terrible things happen, that we must keep talking about people who die… and that life is to be lived each day, never taken for granted.

      From your Australian near namesake, Seana xxxx

  24. says: Kirsty

    Thank you so much for your Post Seanna 🙂

    I searched online for anything online to help me justify my recent decision and thankfully came across your page. I am grateful to you as it has helped me in a way with my grief.

    My story : I married and had my two Daughters at 24 and 26 , beautiful healthy girls , great pregnancies and births … lucky me !
    Sadly my husband and I divorced and after 15 years being a single mom I met an amazing man 11 years older than me . We moved in together with our 4 kids ; my two now 17 and 15 and his 16 and 14 . Life gets slightly complicated as a blended family and we are both pretty busy but we’re looking forward to the kids now growing up and retirement within the next 5 or so years.
    Mother Nature however had other plans and at 41 I went to the doctor thinking I was going through menopause , surprise of my life finding out I was in fact pregnant .
    Of course a part of me was happy ; but fear gripped hold of me as I started to ponder the reality of our situation . My partner would be 53 when the baby was due and I would be 42.. what about our teens and how embarrassed and shocked and disgusted they would be …. our friends who were all free like us with teens and having to start again when we thought we were near the finish line… I was also reminded by many that the risks to myself and baby were so much higher and having to wait until 12 weeks pregnant to find out if an abnormality was picked up , scared me so much. What about the other disabilities they can’t pick up in testing , how would I cope with a disabled child in my later life ?

    My partner was supportive; but was certain a baby was not what he expected at his age and that he never felt he had toddler energy anymore. He would also be almost 70 when baby was 17 …

    A few agonising weeks went by and we made the very heartbroken decision to terminate . Its been two weeks now and I am still going through immense grief and loss .

    I don’t know if I made the right choice ; but I will never truely know now .

    lots of love to all the women out there who face any difficult choices related to motherhood

    Thanks Again