Monday, 11 June 2018

Not Too Old To Be Mum - Christy

This week’s "Not Too Old To Be Mum" is with Christy from Welsh Mum.

First of all congratulations on your baby. How old were you when you had your baby/babies?

I was 34 when I conceived and 35 when I gave birth to my son last year.
Tell me a bit about yourself and your main reasons for having a child(ren) after the age of 35?
I'm Christy and I live in South Wales with my husband and son. I started writing my blog shortly after the birth of my son when I was 35 as I wanted to share my journey and experiences. Having a baby later in life was not really a choice for us. We started trying for a baby when I was 25 when we had been married for a year. It took us 9 years to conceive due to a few health problems, including PCOS and Endometriosis. For the longest time we didn't expect to be able to have a child at all and feel very blessed that we got there in the end. It showed us how strong we are as people and how strong our marriage was.

Did you have any problems with falling pregnant? If you did, would you say age was a contributing factor?
We actually tried to get pregnant - with medical assistance, in my 20s, and did not succeed. When I conceived, it was completely naturally, unexpected and without trying anything as we'd already stopped trying with a diagnosis of infertility. So being older certainly didn't seem to affect it negatively for us. 
Did you have any complications with your pregnancy or labour that you feel were caused by being older?

We had complications due to my other health problems but nothing age related at all.
Were you treated differently by medical professionals because of your age? If you were, how did that make you feel?

I was already high risk due to my existing health conditions and our previous diagnosis of infertility leaving us with potential complications, but they did also mention my age a couple of times. I had "advanced maternal age" on my maternity notes and was given information about the higher risks for older mothers, including extra testing available for Down's Syndrome. Because of those recommendations we chose to do the additional NIPT screening. I actually hadn't thought I was "old" to have a baby at all so was very surprised that 35 was considered higher risk, but ultimately I knew they were just trying to ensure the safest pregnancy and birth so it didn't make me feel bad at all. If anything I was grateful that they were just trying to be as thorough as possible. 

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?
We are in a stable financial position, with a very long-term committed relationship. I'm at a point in my working life that I feel comfortable taking extended time off without it setting me back, and I feel like we had lots of fantastic opportunities to travel and do all the things we wanted to whilst we were younger. My body is more tired than it used to be and I have some back problems, my health problems have taken a toll that they didn't in my 20s, and I do worry about being older than all the other mums on the school run. I wonder if I will make friends with them or if we'll be too different due to age and I do think about how old I'll be when grandchildren are around. But then I think of my son's two grandmas and they keep up with him just fine - it's extra incentive to keep fit and try to be as healthy as possible for the future.
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?
No, we won't be having any more due to the complications that arose with his birth (not age related). If I was able to have more, I would worry most about the toll that pregnancy and childbirth has on my body, as I found it very hard.
If you could do your time over, would you choose to have your children younger?
I regret all the heartbreak we went through earlier on in life as we struggled to conceive as it was very difficult. But I don't regret the fact I have a child at 35 in any way shape or form and I feel it worked out well in the end. I'm very happy with having my son at this stage in my life.

What advice do you have for any women thinking of having a child past the age of 35?
Children are a joy and a blessing and don't let fear, worry or stigma hold you back - just embrace all the positives and be responsible about the negatives.

Thanks for taking part Christy and sharing your story. If you’d like to hear more from Christy, 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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