This week’s "Not Too Old To Be Mum" is with Mary from Over 40 and a Mum to One
First of all congratulations on your baby. How old were you when you had your baby/babies?
I'm what is apparently now classed as a 'geriatric' mum - I was 41 when my son was born in 2009.
Tell me a bit about yourself and your main reasons for having a child(ren) after the age of 35?
I'm Mary, just turned 50 and a Mum to one 8 year old boy. I've run Over 40 and a Mum to One for five years now, sharing my adventures with my son. I was always very career driven and although I loved being an Auntie I'd never really considered having children of my own. All that changed when I got divorced at 39 after being with my then husband for over twenty years. I questioned everything that I'd believed in and realised that I could have so much more. I met someone else, he didn't have children either and we decided that if we were going to have a family we'd need to start trying sooner than later.
Did you have any problems with falling pregnant? If you did, would you say age was a contributing factor?
I'd been on the pill since my mid teens, I'd been put on it for medical reasons at the time. I really thought that the length of time I'd been on the pill and that I was 40 would mean it would take ages to fall pregnant, if at all. I stopped taking the pill in mid December 2008 and I realised I was pregnant in March 2009, actually on the day that my partner and I were meant to be sampling the food for our forthcoming wedding. So no, I had no issues getting pregnant first time around!
Did you have any complications with your pregnancy or labour that you feel were caused by being older?
I was very lucky, I had no complications during my pregnancy, other than extreme fatigue in the last couple of months. I've no idea if that was worsened by my age, but I ended up going on maternity leave early in the end as I really struggled at work in the afternoons.
Were you treated differently by medical professionals because of your age? If you were, how did that make you feel?
I don't think I was treated any different from anyone else. I know if I was pregnant now aged 41 that I'd have a lot more scans than I did, but when I was pregnant, nothing was different.
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?
I guess I don't feel that I've missed out on anything, I travelled a lot before I had my son, I'd done the whole career thing, and was financially in a position to leave work and devote all of my time to my son. The downside is that I'm shattered, all the time. I have a live wire of an 8 year old, and a partner who's never here. I actually don't think I could cope with a full time away from home job now, as well as having my son. I also feel guilty that he'll always be the kid with older parents and that I may not be around for him as long as younger parents would be.
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?
Number two wasn't so easy to fall with as my son was. I spent many months hoping and then crying when I wasn't pregnant. I'd taken too much for granted after the easy time I had first time around. I finally fell pregnant, was overjoyed and then went through a painful miscarriage, ending up in hospital. I was heartbroken, nearly 44 and decided that I couldn't go through that again. I was spending too much time consumed with getting pregnant and not enjoying the time I had with the son I had. So that was it, a Mum of One I would be.
If you could do your time over, would you choose to have your children younger?
If my life had been different, I guess 35 would have been a better age, but the circumstances weren't right. It wasn't meant to be that way for me.
What advice do you have for any women thinking of having a child past the age of 35?
Don't let anything hold you back, I know so many women who've had children past the age of 35, no one even seems to bat an eyelid that I'm the age I am when I'm waiting at school for my son. But do appreciate sleep and going to the toilet in peace, these are things you may not got again for some years!Thanks for taking part Mary and sharing your story. If you’d like to hear more from Mary, you can visit her at her blog or over on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.