Your website has given me inspiration and hope for starting a family after age 40 and the reassurance I am not alone in this desire. Today is my 47th birthday and here is my story.
I was a late bloomer; I had always hoped to marry and have children but didn't meet the right guy and make this happen until age 43. My husband was 50 at the time, also never married, but surprisingly open to the possibility of children. Within the first year of trying I got pregnant twice, only to miscarry both times early on. We saw a fertility specialist. They did the standard fertility testing on me which indicated that while my ovarian reserve was by no means exhausted, it was borderline. I was told that my chance of achieving a successful pregnancy at 44 on my own or by IVF was very slim, less than 5%. Considering the cost of one IVF cycle those were pretty terrible odds. During the same visit, my doctor raised the subject of IVF using a donor egg. I remember how shocking and weird this idea seemed at the time. But over the next few months we came to the conclusion that it was the most acceptable option for us. We worked with an agency and fertility clinic to select an anonymous donor and prepare for the embryo transfer. A pair of embryos were transferred to me in March 2005 and 2 weeks later I was pregnant!.
After a magnificent, uncomplicated pregnancy our son was born in December 2005, one month shy of my 45th birthday. He is the light of our lives. Here's where my story gets interesting; About a year later we decided to do another IVF cycle with the last pair of frozen embryos from our first donor cycle. I went to my doctor for a routine sonogram just before starting the IVF cycle and was astonished when the sonographer announced that I was already about 5 weeks pregnant! My emotions fluctuated between joy one minute to absolute certainty that I would miscarry again. The next sonogram detected a heartbeat. I still refused to be optimistic. But each sonogram over the coming weeks gave way to more and more happiness. Then we had a setback. During early prenatal testing they detected that my placenta had some cells with the extra Downs Syndrome chromosome. They would have to do an amniocentesis to know for sure whether the fetus also had Downs Syndrome and that test couldn't be done for about 5 weeks. That period was the most difficult time in my life.
The happy news is that amniocentesis confirmed that the fetus was normal. The rest of my pregnancy was smooth and I gave birth to another son in June 2007. Wyatt turns seven months old today and it's also my 47th birthday. Both of our boys are miracle children in different ways. What I've learned is that things can come to you in unexpected ways, Statistics are just numbers and it's possible to beat the odds. Never give up on your hopes and dreams.
Posted 25 January 2008
My husband and I have been married for more than 26 years when we decided we simply weren't done having children. We had five children at that time and ....wait for it.....4 grandchildren! People I'm sure thought we were crazy since our children were all grown up (the youngest was 14) and were ready to start thinking about going easy. But after having fulfilled all my dreams of having children, graduating college, having two different careers, traveling in several other countries.....the one thing that I was most proud of and had done the best was having my children. We were ready for more babies in the house. I did get pregnant at 45 and miscarried but became pregnant only 2 months later. It was a pregnancy that was very, very different from my others, but nothing that was scary-different, actually I believe it was easier. I carried alot of amniotic fluid this time, and my legs swelled alot....but had no morning sickness or backache like I had with the other ones.
We decided to have a homebirth. Most people expressed worry at that suggestion, saying I needed to be close to a hospital. The only reason they could give me was because of my "age". What's age got to do with it? If I am able to get pregnant, carry a baby and deliver a baby at 45 then obviously I am not too old to have a baby!
I went into labor on a bright sunny beautiful September morning and had our beautiful Christian at 9:00 that evening. While he did have problems having aspirated blood into his lungs, that had nothing to do with my age nor with a homebirth. He also had shoulder distocia and our midwife knew exactly what to do to help him naturally out of the birth canal (as opposed to the c-section the doctor at the hospital would have done). As for the actual birth, there wasn't anything harder about it at 45 than at 25. IN fact, I was probably alot more stoic about it 45 and could deal with better having experienced a great many things over the years that a younger inexperienced girl would not have.
We do not currently practice any birth control although I do believe the breastfeeding is keeping my cycle away (yes, you CAN successfully breast feed at 46!). My husband's grandmother had her last baby at 52! If I do get pregnant again, I will let you know! I would love to.
Posted 19 February 2008
Diane, 40, New York, US
Hi! I wanted to tell everyone out there over 40 that I had a beautiful healthy perfect little boy that I love! We tried ONE TIME and I got pregnant at 39 3/4 years old.... I was so scared with all the negative messages out there about how hard it is to conceive but I had a STRONG BELIEF that I would conceive. Also I had been preparing myself for years by not drinking alcohol, caffeine, or smoking and going to a nutritionist and
taking vitamins etc. I also had fertility acupuncture almost every week or two for over a year and I used an ovulation kit!
You can do it too!!! I truly believe that women over 40 can do it with a STRON BELIEF that you can!
Posted 20 June 2008
Renee, 44, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia (updated 27 August 2009)
You have placed my story on your website when I fell pregnant at age 41.8 years of age and gave birth at age 42 to a late life child, Dannielle Philippa Jones who was a healthy 9 pounds 2 ounces at birth (DOB: 23 April 2007).
Dannielle is a much adored child by my husband and I including her older brother James (age 24) and sister Erin (age 20). My husband, Martin was thrilled that we were fortunate as be given a gift of another child in our forties.
The reason for writing to you today Jan is to share with you that at age 44.8 years of age I have just discovered that we are having another child due in April 2010. I will be 45 when I give birth to this child. The most amazing part of the story is that here I thought that I was going through menopause when in fact I was expecting a child. The most amazing part of this story is that this child was conceived during only one opportunity in July 2009! Although not planned (my only unplanned pregnancy) we all feel that this little soul really wants to be born given all those odds. Suffice to say, we took back to the chemist the pre-menopausal test we purchased in exchange for Folate and Omega 3 tablets. I will keep you posted on the outcome of this pregnancy but so far so good, had a viability scan which came out perfectly normal, experiencing usual nausea and sleepiness of early pregnancy so I am sure this is another wonderful journey ahead of us.
Last year in April 2007 I gave birth via caesarean section to a healthy full term 9 pound 2 ounce baby girl!
I met a wonderful man on my 41st birthday who desperately wanted a baby. After much discussion, I commenced preconception preparations such as having a Rubella booster vaccination (you cannot fall for 3 months once you have had this vaccination) and started taking Folic Acid to reduce chances of baby developing Spina Bifida. I stopped taking the pill in July 2006 and we tried for a baby – I was pregnant in August!!! This child was meant to be. Our doctor was dumbfounded but deep in my heart I just knew we would be blessed with a child.
I have two grown children (daughter 18 and son 22) from my first marriage. They have been an incredible support throughout my pregnancy and now adore their gorgeous little baby sister.
Posted 8 July 2008
Three weeks after my husband’s 50th birthday, we discovered I was pregnant. I was 45 years old and had a 21 year old son from a previous relationship. The pregnancy was such a surprise that I was sure I was in menopause until other symptoms convinced me otherwise. I had had a series of miscarriages and was sure I would lose this pregnancy as well. But as each week went by it became clear this little one was here to stay. We had pre-natal testing, tho nothing invasive – high level ultrasounds – despite the fact that all measurements were normal, the docs still gave us dire predictions of possible problems based strictly on my age. My OB/GYN didn’t open an Ob chart on me til I was 5 months along!
Our beautiful little girl was born in March, 2005 after a very easy pregnancy and birth. Now at 3 she is the light of our lives and as smart as a whip. Yes, we get tired, more so than younger parents, but we certainly don’t suffer from the insomnia a lot of our friends have. And she’ll probably be the only little girl in pre-school who knows the Beatles sing “Yellow Submarine”, and “Brick House” is a great dance song!
Posted 7 October 2008
Narelle, 52, Australia
I married my first husband at 18 years of age and was diagnosed with poly cystic ovarian syndrome at the same age. I took the drug clomiphene to fall pregnant with my first son (Ryan) who was born on 16 May 1978 (after 4 years of fertility treatment) one month before my 23rd birthday. Then I was back on the clomiphene and fell pregnant with my second son who also was born on 16 May (1980) one month before my 25th birthday.
I divorced my first husband at 37 years of age and met my (now) 2nd husband (Steve) at 40 years of age. He had 2 children by his first marriage even though he has low sperm count.
Also at age 40 years I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. The first year I lost 15 kgs of weight and surprise surprise started to have periods every 4 weeks text book style. This amazed me as prior to the diabetes diagnosis and treatment I had been very irregular and sometimes only had 3 or 4 periods per year.
Steve and I dated for almost 2 years, lived in separate houses (both of us had an adult son living with us) and because Steve couldn’t achieve an erection and the opportunity to have “real” sex was difficult we only had intercourse twice in the 2 years. We married on 5 October 1997 and Steve and his adult son moved into my house the next day. Two days later I started “dry reeching”. Steve jokingly said “You’re probably pregnant” Off to the doctor I went to be told I’m 7 weeks pregnant. Shock, horror and tears! It took me a couple of months to come to terms with the shock and get over the worry.
I had had 2 bleeds during the first 7 weeks of pregnancy so never suspected it...
As it turned out when we checked out my diary for the previous year – same time – I had noted all the symptoms of pregnancy – late period, nausea, bloating, tingling breasts and then a heavy period. Early miscarriage without our knowledge at the time but if this hadn’t happened the baby would have been born mid May like my first two babies.
Total number of bleeds before 20 weeks of pregnancy was 7... Stressed because of my age and the chance of problems for the baby, non-working husband, financially unprepared (these were the negatives for me) however the positives were (aside from the 7 bleeds) I only had 2 days of nausea and no problems whatsoever – just a normal pregnancy like my first 2 babies. The ultra sound at 33 weeks was exciting ... a daughter!!!
Because of my diabetes I had to be induced” and Pia Bethany was born on 8th May 1998... healthy 7 lbs 9 ozs... after only 2 hours labour (Ryan was born after 4 hours and Travis was born after 3 hours) So I figure that your body doesn’t forget what needs to happen no matter what your age. Ryan was 20 years old and Travis 18 years old when Pia was born. Steve and I both believe that if she hadn’t been induced that she would possibly have been born on 16th May like the “boys”.
Pia is now 10 years old and has been absolutely awesome... I have worked since she was 4 months old (still work full time now) and my husband has most definitely been the most fantastic dad to her doing everything and anything that needs to be done. She is growing up very mature for her age in a very peaceful loving atmosphere. I believe she has the better life by having older, previously experienced, parents.
Steve and I both believe that Pia is a miracle child and thank God for blessing us with her.
All the best to other over 40 mums ... and thank you for creating such an encouraging website.
Alison, 44, Registered Nurse, California, US
My name is Alison and I just turned 44 years old last week. I am a single mother by choice. I am the mother of a delightful two-and-a-half year old boy named Evan who I gave birth to at 41 years old. When I got pregnant with Evan it was the most wonderful thing that had ever happened, and even though his dad has not been interested or involved at all, we do just fine. Actually when we split up...my stress level went down one-hundred fold.
So this summer I decided to try and make Evan a brother or sister and to my joy and amazement I have conceived with the help of a sperm donor and am now 8 weeks pregnant. I feel in my heart that this baby is perfectly healthy, even though it seems that all the literature available is somewhat pessimistic.
I love being a mature mom. I am patient and I am so ready to make sacrifices for my children that I would not have been happy about in my twenties. I am tired of people making negative comments, but you have to let them go in one ear and out the other because this is our life...and we are happy.
My son is well-adjusted, secure, trusting, smart...he is already potty-trained at his young age! I do feel that my age, wisdom and the fact that our household is a happy one free of stress are all major factors in his happiness.
I hope that all women will allow themselves to have the dream of a happy family...even if your love-life does not allow for it. We are able to make our own choices now and if someone comes along later to be a positive factor in that great. But if not...you will be ok too. You will have each other.
Sarah, 43, UK
My name is Sarah i am 43 years old and live in Kent, England. My family consist of my husband, my eldest daughter who is 16, my two sons who are 15 and 7 and last, but definitely not least, our special little gift Emily-Jane who is now 14 months old.
I can vividly remember feeling very tired and very sick and at the age of 41 the last thing I thought was that I could be pregnant. After missing two periods and still feeling rather ill, I felt it best to take a pregnancy test and, yes, there it was: PREGNANT! I didn't know how to tell my husband; I knew he would be just as surprised as myself. It was as if he knew something; about 15 minutes after I took the test he phoned me. I could hear he had mixed feelings and he told me we would talk when he got home. We discussed all the pros and cons. Money and child care were the biggest issues. I would have to go back to work and ask my mum, who was 72, to share with childcare.
As it was, I was a month further on into the pregnancy than I thought I was. I was extremely lucky with my pregnancy; I had no problems apart from feeling a little more tired than I had done with Lucy and James. I enjoyed the pregnancy and carried on working until I was 34 weeks’ pregnant. I had to have a membrane sweep 4 days after my due date, but gave birth to our healthy 61b 10oz baby girl at 11.30am on the 11th September 2008 with no complications. The only strange thing was she had a knot in her cord, which apparently, is rare but more common in older mums. This just told me this little madam was meant to be. My 16-year-old daughter did not leave my side for 2 whole days after the birth; we girls stuck together through what was such a special time in our lives.
Everything has fallen into place and I have managed to balance work and family life just as I had done before I found out I was pregnant. I know we have been blessed with our midlife baby, and for whatever reason, she is meant to be. The world is a better place for having Emily-Jane in it. I am not an overly religious person but there are some odds that we cannot explain. A midlife baby is a gift!