This week’s "Not Too Old To Be Mum" is with Nicky from Spinnin Plates.
First of all congratulations on your baby. How old were you when you had your baby/babies?
I was ages 27 and 29 for my first two, who are now 18 and 20 years old and aged 40 for my third, who has just turned 8.
Tell me a bit about yourself and your main reasons for having a child(ren) after the age of 35?
My personal life changed dramatically and I was starting again with my youngest two children in my own home.
During this time I also welcomed a new love into my life. He did not have children but longed for one. However, I REALLY wasn't keen on having any more due to being quite poorly with both pregnancies with chronic sickness.
I was also starting to see the light at the end of the exhaustion tunnel of mummyhood! Freedom was in sight! The older two where into double figures and that brings many benefits as a parent.
However, I felt pressure to try for my partner and wanted to offer him the joy of being a Daddy. So at the age of 39 we tried!
Did you have any problems with falling pregnant? If you did, would you say age was a contributing factor?
Surprisingly I got caught literally on our first practice run! More surprising as I had been told I was also peri-menopausal.
Did you have any complications with your pregnancy or labour that you feel were caused by being older?
As mentioned previously, I had morning, noon and night sickness throughout my previous pregnancies. However, my third pregnancy I was sick from day 2 of conception, at 4 weeks I was in a hospital on a drip, and my pregnancy continued with severe Hyperemesis Gravidarum. Not age-related and completely to do with my bodies inability to carry a child without throwing up!
Were you treated differently by medical professionals because of your age? If you were, how did that make you feel?
Interestingly no I wasn't. In fact, as I worked in the maternity department at the time, I knew the team very well and I had amazing support throughout my pregnancy. I was unable to work through most of it as I was either in the hospital bed or at home in bed. Not a shining example of pregnancy in the maternity department!
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 with pregnancy other than what was stated above. During labour I was left to it more, as I'd had 2 previous children. This was no reflection on age at all.
The only negative or shocked reactions were from family and friends! Most assumed it was 'a mistake' and were surprised that it was a planned pregnancy! The medical professionals made no mention of it apart from the implications of age vs risk.
What do you feel are the pros and cons for having a baby after 35?
Having had two children in my twenties and one in my 40's, I cannot compare as those who did one or the other. I was no more or less tired at either age, I was probably more relaxed with my last, but I feel this is more to do with experience of having previous children than my age.
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?
Absolutely no way would I have more! When I decided to try for a child a month away from 40, I said if I didn't get caught quickly, that I would give up and move on. Of course, this was after having two children previously. Due to my serious illness during pregnancy and the effect on my mental health due to HG, I would never contemplate having another child.
If you could do your time over, would you choose to have your children younger?
If I had my time again, I would have children in my late 20's, no later. The reasons for this are that now I'm nearly 49, I would like to start enjoying life for me, have my own adventures and yes, be a little selfish and indulgent! Instead, I have my lil man beside me for another decade at least.
The pressure I feel to keep healthy and be around for as long as possible for him is immense and I worry about not being around for him as the years tick by. This is in no way negative, but more realistic. When having a family in your 20's, the probability of you being, fit, healthy and around for a good length of time I'm sure is higher, than it is for me now.
What advice do you have for any women thinking of having a child past the age of 35?
Go for it, but make sure you've experienced everything you want to before then, prepare financially and remember you will be heading into maturity with more weight on your shoulder and on your bank balance!
You want to be fit and healthy as a parent, so take your health seriously to ensure you're around and able for as long as possible. We can pretend age doesn't matter, but those aches and pains start to come when you least expect it!
Ignore what people think of you having a child at a different age than what people perceive as the norm. Don't feel pressured to fit into a box, do things your way, but ensure you make an informed decision!
Thanks for taking part Nicky and sharing your story. If you’d like to hear more from Nicky, you can visit her at her blog.