N.H. asks from Pittsburgh, PA on January 18, 2009
Premenopause Fertility Issues
My question is for older ladies. I am fifty and newly remarried. I have always left the fertility issue in God's hands. I did pay attention and used the rhythm method when I had regular periods. But now, my periods are changing and completely unreliable. We can't use the rhythm method. I am a little worried. What are the chances that I could still get pregnant and if I were to get pregnant what are the chances that a baby at this age would be fine and what would the medical establishment put me through, not to mention the social stigma and the physical drain. The way I feel about having another child has not changed: it would be a miracle to have one healthy child with my soul mate, and on the other hand it would be fine to not work so hard for the first time in my life. Do you know anyone personally who's had a baby after 50? I have always been athletic and I'm still very healthy and strong. Still I don't have the stamina that I had in my childbearing years. Any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated.
C.G. answers from Philadelphia on January 19, 2009
Hello, and congratulations on your new-found happiness!
I am a 53 yr. old mother to an energetic 5 yr. old! He is healthy and happy, but he also has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. He is very high-functioning, smart, and extremely social, but there are delays (speech), that have made it necessary for him to be in a hadicapped pre-school program for the last 3 years.
There are a number of risks involved with pregnancy at a "mature" age, not the least of which is the very real possibility of multiples! Certainly as we age, so do our eggs, causing the risk for Down's Syndrome, or other birth defects to be much more likely.
I would certainly address your questions and concerns with your doctor, and good luck with whatever you decide.
P.S. I am also recently widowed, so I am facing my middle-age years as a single mother. My son keeps me young, and he is my reason to keep going strong, but I struggle to maintain my stamina in the face of all his energy. I also work full-time, so I am grateful when the end of the day finally arrives! C. G.
1 mom found this helpful
N.M. answers from Pittsburgh on January 19, 2009
it's such a personal decision, but...
i've been there too. I'm a 55 yr old mother of 4 and grandma of 3, healthy, etc. I was open to a fifth angel with a new partner too. It didn't happen and I'm very glad now...for selfish reasons. It will change your life to care for a healthy newborn but will change your life even more drastically to care for an unhealthy child. Your freedom would be severely reduced. It sounds like your life is full and wonderful as it is. Fostering a child who needs a home desperatly might be a nice alternative. For those who can do it it's a great way to express gratitude for our own healthy, happy children and grandchildren.
1 mom found this helpful
C.H. answers from Allentown on January 19, 2009
S.S. answers from Scranton on January 19, 2009
N.,I had my second child at 35 y/o and my third at 37 y/o. My ob/gyn told me that once you hit 40 y/o the chances of the baby having Downs or some other problem increase from like 1 in 4,000 to 1 in 40. That being said, if you get pregnant, there are a slew of tests available-from bloodwork to amniocentesis.I personally refused them because it wouldn't change my mind either way. The choice is yours, but you should speak to your ob/gyn for accurate information so you can make an educated decision.
J.C. answers from Philadelphia on January 19, 2009
i had 4 children while on bc. if it happens, then it does. but irregular periods, even though you might be peri-menopausal, are worth a trip to the obgyn. that would actually be my concern, not if you had a baby. having a baby is normal. irregular periods are not. check those out so that you remain healthy for everyone.
B.W. answers from Erie on January 19, 2009
I'm 54, and have about 1 period a year. It always surprises me when it returns, because I always think I'm over and done with it. I have 4 kids, 2 in their twenties and 2 in their teens. I was incredibly healthy until I broke an ankle skiing at 50 and needed surgery to repair it. Since then I have had lots of tendon issues and stuff that don't just heal and go away. (Yea, I still ski and backpack up and down mtns, but now I know I'm "older") I would never opt to have a baby now, because I would be 74 before it's 21. That's not a good age to be launching children, no matter what anyone says. As is, I will be in my 60's before our youngest is out of college.
Re: birth control? We have a vasectomy, so it isn't an issue. But there are many other methods -- IUD, diaphram, condom, that you can use to be sure you don't get pregnant.
While it is nice to share the bond of having a baby between you and your spouse, it is also great to have an empty nest and have the time to truly enjoy each other, do things together and not worry about getting a babysitter, etc. And, as my mom always said, "Being a grandma is wonderful. I can enjoy the children, their cuddles and their sense of wonder about the world, and when I get tired, I can send them home and relax." ENJOY it !!!
D.P. answers from Pittsburgh on January 20, 2009
I'm happy that you're happy!
That said, I think you really need to discuss this with your OB/GYN.
Yes, the risks go up as you get older (your health, health of the baby, genetic problems, etc.). I had my first and only at 39. Today I am 45 with an almost 6 year old. So I am an "older mom" although I don't always feel like it!
However, I must admit that at times I cringe to think that I will be 55 when he is learning to drive and retirement age by the time he heads to college (God willing). You've got five years on me. If I were you, I would enjoy your new husband and talk to your doctor about how best to control the issue of babies.
Seems from your post that your real question is "what are the odds" and "are people having babies after 50" but what you really need to do is discuss it with your husband and go from there. I agree that babies are a gift from God, but I disagree with an "if it happens, it happens" perspective. Having a baby at 50 would have a gi-normous impact on your life! After all, you have 8 kids and a new husband! You don't need to have a baby with someone to make him your "soulmate"--but you already know that!
T.D. answers from Pittsburgh on January 19, 2009
I had my first child at 30, second child at 38 (with fertility drugs six years of them) the third at 42 and i would not have another one it was too much on my body and i woudl chelck with your dr because of your missed peroid and you have to think about how old you are going to be when they gratuated high school. But i know the chances of having a handicap baby is extreemly high.