I was 39, 5 months off being 40 which I was strangely relieved about. I think that I felt as though I would be an older mum, but not that much of an older mum, if that makes sense,
When I was a teenager my parents drilled into me that the worst thing that could happen to me would be if I got pregnant. Throughout my 20's I lived in London, worked in one of the major museums and had quite a fast paced glamorous life. I also had a series of unsuitable boyfriends who were certainly good fun but definitely not anyone that you would want to settle down with. I met my husband when I was 28, we soon moved in together and had great jobs and a great social life. We lived in a shared house, after a couple of years we decided we wanted a place of our own. Even with two good salaries we just couldn't afford it in London. We rather rashly decided that we would give up our jobs and move to Yorkshire and live in the countryside. We did just that, but it was another 6 years until we married (we both had plenty of baggage). As soon as we were married we started to try for a baby (strangely conformist for us two really).
Did you have any problems with falling pregnant? If you did, would you say age was a contributing factor?
Having spent my whole adult life trying not to get pregnant it soon became obvious that I shouldn't have bothered as it just didn't happen. We went for tests and to a private clinic (we weren't eligible for NHS). The consultant said that without IVF it was unlikely I would ever become pregnant. I asked the odds of it happening with IVF and his exact words were "In a five horse race you have one chance of it working" having been around racing all my life I asked if our £8k would be on the favourite, he said sadly and probably not. I knew at that point that we couldn't go through IVF, I would just want one more go until we ran out of money. We decided then to give up. It was awful, I just felt that our lives were empty. I threw myself into the horses and arranged to get one of my own again. It would arrive after our holiday. The day before we went on holiday we went to a wedding and got hideously drunk (I had not been drinking for 2 years). We went on holiday, came back, luckily (for me) there was a problem with the horse and it's arrival was delayed. Over the 3 years that we had tried and failed I had taken many pregnancy tests so I had a bit of a stockpile in the drawer. 3 weeks after we got back from holiday I realised that I had perhaps not had a period for some time - after years of keeping a log of dates, temperatures etc it was quite refreshing to leave it all behind. So I did 3 tests just to make sure and hey presto I was pregnant!! (I cancelled the horse!)
Did you have any complications with your pregnancy or labour that you feel were caused by being older?
I had gestational diabetes which I was only tested for due to my age. The labour was not the beautiful peaceful experience I had hoped for! They induced me at 38 weeks due to the Gestational Diabetes, I was in labour for three days when they decided to do an emergency cesearian. I got to hold her for about 15 mins then she was rushed off to SCBU to be monitored for the day (this is done with all babies from GD mums). My poor husband had to dash between the two of us - I think he may have had a worse time than me. It took me ages to get over the anaesthetic and I did feel quite fragile for some weeks afterwards.
Were you treated differently by medical professionals because of your age? If you were, how did that make you feel?
I don't think so but I have nothing to compare it to. I suppose in one way it was good as I was confident enough to ask questions and question things which perhaps someone younger wouldn't feel able to do.
If you had children before and after you were 35, were there any differences with the pregnancy, labour and you as a parent? Would you put these down to age differences?
What do you feel are the pros and cons for having a baby after 35?
Pros; financially stable, confident in myself, my marriage and my work. I'm not easily influenced by peoples opinions, it was such a long hard journey to get here I am going to to enjoy every minute of it.
Cons; the lack of energy and tiredness. Having to listen to Little Mix and not being up with what is cool and what is not (although I like to think we are pretty cool parents!!).
Do you plan on having any more children? If not, what are your main reasons? And if you would like more, what worries you the most about the prospect of having more?
I would have loved to have lots of children but I feel that I have been very lucky. The actual birth was very difficult and I had to have an emergency cesearian. Without seeming too dramatic we just felt that it would be selfish to have another just in case anything happened to me as we now had a child that needed me (and a husband who loved us both very much)
If you could do your time over, would you choose to have your children younger?
What advice do you have for any women thinking of having a child past the age of 35?This is a hard one, certainly go for it, what will be will be but if I was talking to a younger person I would perhaps say for them to try not to leave it too late,