Gina Carson, aged 43, Massachusetts, US - Three children aged 23, 20 & 2
I want to commend Jan on this wonderful website. It is uplifting and inspirational. I never thought that I would divorce after almost 23 years and then fall in love marry a younger man and want a child with him. I already had two grown daughters.
I had a miscarriage which devastated me, but I learned a lot from it and 4 months after my miscarriage I conceived my daughter Hope.That is why she got the name Hope because we hoped so desperately for her. I was 40 when I got pregnant and 41 when I had her.
I won't lie and say that I wasn't afraid of an abnormality, but I was more afraid of the pain and whether I could do this at my age. However, with the love and support of my hubby I did, with no problems and went all the way naturally. I hate needles so I never considered an epidural. I didn't want drugs; I wanted to do it myself and after 9 hours of labor I was truly blessed.
I am 43 now and my daughters are 23, 20 and Hope who just turned 2. I am having symptoms of pregnancy, but if I am not then I will be soon, because that is my mission right now. All that matters is having another baby. Thanks to Jan and all the other remarkable women who have given me friendship, love, support and wisdom.
Update: Gina went on to produce a beautiful baby boy!!
Lesley, aged 47, UK - Three children aged 23, 19 and 18 months
I had been divorced for five years before I met my current husband, Simon, now aged 38, at a social function four years ago. Although he also had two children from his previous marriage, we did tentatively discuss having a child of our own, but accepted that because of my age it might not happen.
My two sons relished the idea of having a younger brother or sister and were actively encouraging us to go ahead and produce. I admit that although we weren't practicing contraception, we also weren't actively trying for a baby and just adopted the attitude, "If it happens, it's meant to be". Well obviously it was meant to be because in September 2000, when I was 45½, I discovered to my delight that I was pregnant.
We didn't tell anyone for about four months, which was really difficult because I wanted to shout it from the rooftops, but realistically I knew that I could miscarry. Yes, I was worried, particularly since everything that I read seemed so pessimistic.
I didn't have a difficult pregnancy, although I did suffer from a lot of backache, but then that's a normal symptom of pregnancy anyway, irrespective of your age.
When I was one week overdue, I was admitted to hospital for an induction. After a very quick, 5 hour labour, Harriet was born, weighing in at a very respectable 8lbs 9oz.
I don't regret a single minute of it and my message to other women in their forties who are trying for a baby would be, "Don't give up hope and don't be brainwashed by all the negative articles and comments that you read. We're not all clones and not everyone's reproductive system shuts down at the same point".
Christiane, aged 47, US - Two-year-old twins
Ever since giving birth to my fourth child in my early thirties, I had taken the birth control pill. At the age of 44, my doctor advised me to stop taking it because I had symptoms that suggested that I could be at risk of a thrombosis and, at my age, it was advisable to practice an alternative method of contraception.
Everything that I had read suggested that the chances of conceiving at 44 would be extremely slim, so rather irresponsibly my husband and I stopped using any method of birth control. Two months later when my period was late, I didn't think for one moment that I could be pregnant. I was suffering from severe abdominal cramping and assumed that my period would arrive at any moment. When I began to feel nauseous and my breasts became very tender, I took a home pregnancy test. Imagine my surprise to discover that I was pregnant - even though it hadn't been planned.
My husband, Doug, didn't speak for about half an hour after I told him. He was totally shocked! He soon came round to the idea that he was going to be a midlife dad, but was naturally concerned about the risks involved to both me and the baby.
Our next shock came when we had the first ultrasound scan and we were told that there was not just one baby, but two. That explained why I had been suffering from really severe nausea and vomiting, but I was also told that the sickness was also the sign of a stable pregnancy.
We decided that since we had been blessed with two more children, we would love them no matter what and so decided against having an amniocentesis. Although we were told that the risk of miscarriage was very small, we just did not want to take that risk.
By the fifth month of pregnancy, I was so huge that I did not think my abdomen could possibly stretch any further. Yes, I suffered a lot of backache and abdominal "stretching" pains and the more my pregnancy advanced, the more difficult I found it to walk anywhere without having to sit down every few yards! Other than that, I felt very well after the sickness eased off around 22 weeks.
I really enjoyed coming back with some smart comments to the few people who decided to impart their uncalled for and negative comments, most of which were based on limited knowledge of pregnancy after 40.
My last laugh came when I delivered Amy and Josh just ten days prior to my estimated due date. They were both born naturally following an eight hour labour, with minimal intervention from the medical staff. Amy weighed 6lb 8oz and Josh weighed an amazing 7lb 2oz.
My advice to other older women wishing to have a baby? If anyone tells you that you're "too old to have a baby", don't believe them. Thousands of women, including myself, are testimony to the fact that anyone with a womb, ovaries and a menstrual cycle can indeed become pregnant!
If you have a positive experience you would like to share, please e-mail me at jandersen8888 at live dot com