Monday, 4 June 2018

Not Too Old To Be Mum - Cat

This week’s "Not Too Old To Be Mum" is with Cat from Mama Cat + Baby Bee.

First of all congratulations on your baby. How old were you when you had your baby/babies?
I was 34 yrs and 3 months when I gave birth to my daughter nearly 3 years ago. I’m now pregnant again and will be 37 yrs and 3 months old when I give birth. 

Tell me a bit about yourself and your main reasons for having a child(ren) after the age of 35?
We began trying for a child when I was 30 yrs old and we just weren’t having any luck. After 2.5 yrs (the minimum time you have to have been trying) we were referred to the hospital for fertility testing, and then on to the Reproductive Unit for IVF. It took about 10 months for all the testing and IVF preparation. Then when I was 33.5 yrs we began our ICSI cycle. We were lucky, our embryo took and we were pregnant first time. 
We had one frozen embryo saved, and despite being over 35yrs we definitely wanted to try for another child. I wanted to be pregnant again. But mainly, I wanted a sibling for my daughter. We planned to use our frozen embryo when I was 36 yrs 9 months, but miraculously fell pregnant naturally 4 months before our appointment. 

We didn’t start trying for a child before I was 30, despite being together since I was 24 yrs, because life just kept getting in the way. None of our friends were having children, and we were enjoying working hard and playing harder. As a couple we both also suffered from mental health issues, and times out of work or retraining. 
Did you have any problems with falling pregnant? If you did, would you say age was a contributing factor?

Age probably was a factor. It’s a simple biological fact that both women’s and men’s fertility declines with age. We aren’t taught enough about that, the focus is usually on not falling pregnant. I think the fear we put into young people about falling pregnant accidentally gives a false impression that getting pregnant is easy. Even in a young person at the peak of their fertility the chances of falling pregnant each cycle are only about 25%. Another factor in our fertility issues was probably lack of education about how to get pregnant. I really researched ways to improve our chances when we were trying this time, I learnt loads, and it took us just 10 months to conceive (at 36yrs and 48yrs)

Did you have any complications with your pregnancy or labour that you feel were caused by being older?
I did have complications in my first pregnancy and labour but nothing to do with age. And this pregnancy I have had no complications at all. 
Were you treated differently by medical professionals because of your age? If you were, how did that make you feel?
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?
No differences related to age. This pregnancy has been different because of having a toddler to chase around too, and I also know what care I want and need more. But that’s more about it being a second pregnancy not age. 

What do you feel are the pros and cons for having a baby after 35?
I don’t think there are any cons. Health wise many people over 35 can be healthy/have more energy than younger people. Age is really just a number. It’s more about how you look after yourself. The pros, I’m not sure there are any either. Having a baby is a pretty life changing thing whatever your age, and so many other factors play larger roles in that experience.  
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?
We are considering it. We have another embryo that we’re not sure what to do with. And I’d quite like another child after this baby. I don’t see age as an issue at all. 
If you could do your time over, would you choose to have your children younger?
I wouldn’t have had children earlier in the life I had, it wouldn’t have been the happiest of homes, but in generalised terms, yes, I definitely would have liked to start earlier. Simply so I could have had even more children 😂

What advice do you have for any women thinking of having a child past the age of 35?
Don’t let what anyone else thinks stop you. It’s your body, you know it best, and you know whether you can cope with pregnancy and having a child. It’s really no one else’s business. And good luck.

Thanks for taking part Cat and sharing your story. If you’d like to hear more from Cat, you can visit her at heblog or over on InstagramTwitter and Facebook.

To read other women's stories click here.

To discuss taking part in the Not Too Old To Be Mum series, please send me an email.

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