Monday, 30 July 2018

Not Too Old To Be Mum - Rebekah

This week’s "Not Too Old To Be Mum" is with Rebekah. Rebekah isn't part of the blogging world, she just wanted to share her story. If you read my story of how I became a mum at nearly 40 you may remember her. She was one of my friends in the photo with me when I was single and here she is now sharing her story of how she became a mum.

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

I was 40,  and having my baby was the best 40th birthday present I could have wished for!

Tell me a bit about yourself and your main reasons for having a child(ren) after the age of 35?
I spent my twenties and thirties working in research, travelling and dating and had a great, slightly longer, single life than I had planned. I wanted to have children within a marriage and was prepared to wait for the right person to marry as I believe that marriage is for eternity, you can find out more here  When I was in my twenties I had always planned on having eight children, when I reached my thirties this reduced to four, and when I got married at 36 I reckoned that any children born would be a blessing at that point!
Did you have any problems with falling pregnant? If you did, would you say age was a contributing factor?
We started trying a few months after we got married and I fell pregnant within a few months but then miscarried at eleven weeks.  A year later we were referred to the fertility service at the hospital and after a few cycles of basic treatment I fell pregnant again but miscarried at six weeks. Following this I had two operations, a further four rounds of treatment and was just about to start IVF when I found out I was pregnant.  In order to not miscarry I had to take two blood thinners daily, one via injection, for the duration of my pregnancy and for an additional six weeks post-delivery.  

I would definitely say that age was a factor here though, as I mentioned before, through personal choice I was not in a position to have a baby in my early years.  Due to my low ovarian reserve combined with the increasingly chromosomally abnormal eggs as age increases, I do feel that having a baby at an older age was a risk for successfully getting pregnant.  At the time of early pregnancy I was very fit and healthy, I had lost weight and was walking 7 miles a day so I was in the best condition I could be for having a baby.

Did you have any complications with your pregnancy or labour that you feel were caused by being older?

Apart from taking the blood thinners, my pregnancy was text book.  I had cankles just like most other women and I put on weight but apart from that I had no medical complications. I was induced a few days early and I had to have an emergency caesarean section, but this was not like the ones you see on one born every minute where the trolley is being rushed down the corridor into theatre.  It was all very calm and when my baby was born the cord was around her neck and foot and the placenta was practically dead so she would not have survived until her due date.

Were you treated differently by medical professionals because of your age? If you were, how did that make you feel?

Not really, although at my last antenatal appointment a locum consultant told me that I needed to be induced early to avoid the risk of still birth in 40+ mothers.  I must confess, it did not instill confidence in the consultant.
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?
Pros-We had already bought a house.

We had both travelled and I could not fly during pregnancy but neither my husband nor I felt that we needed to do any travelling.  We live in Jersey and most days out feel like a holiday!

We could afford to buy a good pram and after much research we opted for the Bugaboo Buffalo.  I have no regrets about buying the world’s second largest pram (the largest being the Bugaboo Donkey). 

You get given MANY bags of used clothes, toys and accessories.  When I was single with a good disposable income of my own I bought many nice clothes for my nieces and they have all come back to me.  What an investment.

Nothing ever prepares you physically or emotionally for having a baby but I think being older gives you more life experience and hopefully wisdom to pass onto your children. However, I have seen in my own family younger mothers who have thrived on motherhood.

Cons-I think I feel more tired than I would have been if I were younger having my first baby.

I am a very sociable person and you get used to company and I have had to work hard to have company for myself while also looking after the needs and welfare of my baby. This is most often achieved via playgroups, music classes or play dates.

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?
At this point it would be a miracle if we had any more children.  I was offered IVF but it was not guaranteed and we decided that this was not a viable option for our family.  Also, in Jersey, there is no free fertility treatment over the age of 40.
If you could do your time over, would you choose to have your children younger?
Yes, I would most certainly have had our children earlier.  We joke that we will be having a joint 60th and 20th birthday party for our daughter.

What advice do you have for any women thinking of having a child past the age of 35?
Be prepared for a successful pregnancy to take time.  If you are over 35 and have been trying for six months without success then do not delay seeking advice from a fertility clinic as public referrals can often involve long waiting times.  We were referred and had a six month wait for some tests before we could see the consultant for the first time. 

Whatever the outcome, try and stay positive.  As finances allow, go on holidays, go out for meals, spend quality time together as a couple and enjoy Saturday morning lie ins! We very much enjoyed these things before our baby was born and we still do most of them now, apart from Saturday morning lie ins but we would not trade the sound of our baby’s cute voice, chatting to her toys in her cot on a morning before we go in and get her to have her milk in our bed. It’s one of our favourite times. It’s the little things that count.

Thanks for taking part Rebekah and sharing your story. 

To read other women's stories in this series click here.

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


  1. What a brilliant story, and series. I always wonder what it would be like if I had waited to have my kids. I wanted to be married and have a house too, but we were both ready for a baby (regardless of me only being 20, I am much more mature than that) and we both decided being young parents would be the best for us. I'm grateful, but also knackered too and always wonder what I have missed out on. I hope I can do all of those things and relax when I am older though. It was lovely to read about Rebekah and her family. So happy you managed to get your rainbow baby <3

    1. Thanks for reading. With Rebekah, as was with me we hadn't met our now husbands until in our mid thirties. I certainly did plenty of travelling before having kids, but not with my husband. It will be a while before that happens. The good thing about having kids young is that even though you may have "missed out" on things before having kids, at least you'll still be fairly young when you get to do them when you're older. There's pros and cons to both.


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