I was 34 when I fell pregnant, 35 when I gave birth, to my daughter. An only child.
Tell me a bit about yourself and your main reasons for having a child(ren) after the age of 35?
I was 27 when I met my husband. Previous relationships weren't stable /loving enough to even consider having children. Three years into our relationship we were ready to try for a baby. Due to fertility issues, we ended up using IVF. After the first attempt failed, we finally got lucky when I was 34.
Did you have any problems with falling pregnant? If you did, would you say age was a contributing factor?
After a year of trying to conceive, we hadn't been successful. Many tests later, IVF was the only option. Age was never mentioned as an issue, and I don't think that was ever a contributing factor.
Did you have any complications with your pregnancy or labour that you feel were caused by being older?
I had placenta previa - an issue that has a higher chance of occurring with an IVF pregnancy. I also had raised liver functions. Again, age didn't appear to be a contributing factor.
Were you treated differently by medical professionals because of your age? If you were, how did that make you feel?
The only two times my age was considered was:
1. When we were trying to conceive, my GP referred me for fertility tests earlier than the norm.
2. The success rate of IVF was discussed with me as this lessens with age.
I never felt bad in either case. Regardless of how old I FEEL, I'm aware that my body is ageing, and biologically speaking, conceiving and carrying a baby becomes more difficult. There is no use feeling bad about it. It is what it is.
* not applicable
What do you feel are the pros and cons for having a baby after 35?
- having more life experiences, so that I am wiser than I was ten years ago.
- being more financially stable.
- not feeling like I'm missing out on partying. I've done all that.
- having less energy to cope with early mornings
- wondering if I'll be as close to my daughter when she grows up. I'm close to my Mum, but we only have a 22 year age gap versus my 35 year age gap with my daughter.
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?
It would be lovely to have more, but I know that realistically it may not be possible. If we were lucky enough to have another, I would worry about how long I would be in their lives for, in a way that helps rather than hinders them.
If you could do your time over, would you choose to have your children younger?
No. My husband and I chose the right time for us. If not for the need for fertility treatment, then I would have been only a few years younger. My previous partner was definitely not father material.
What advice do you have for any women thinking of having a child past the age of 35?
I think it's becoming more common now for women to wait until they're older to have children. Don't let your age put you off. It's the most rewarding thing I've ever done.
Being past the age of 35 won't hinder you. Use it to your advantage, through wisdom and patience.
Thanks for taking part Justine and sharing your story. I'm so pleased things worked out for you and you now have your precious little girl. If you’d like to hear more from Justine, you can visit her at her blog or over on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.