Unplanned Pregnancy at 41 - Portland,OR

Updated on December 22, 2010
J.H. asks from Portland, OR
28 answers

So...I am 41, have been debating for years about having another child. I could never convince myself to do it for a variety of reasons, financially, physically, lack of personal time, etc. I do have one daughter who is almost nine and the best thing that ever happened to me. I am satisfied with my small family in so many ways. Possibly it is just our society that made me feel like I should have another. Since I could never get myself to go through with trying to get pregnant again, that was probably my answer ( I didn't really want to!) Well, I'm now pregnant accidentally - you wouldn't think a 41 year old educated woman would let that happen, but, oh, well, I did. There will be almost ten years between the two children, and I will be almost sixty when this one graduates from highschool, also, paying for college when I should be retiring. Would love to hear from mothers who had children in their 40's and also from those who have children spaced so far apart? Thanks for your advice.

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answers from Raleigh on

I can only speak as the child of the older mother. This child will be SO lucky!! My mother was 41 when she had me. I have two brothers- one 25 years older and the other 14 years older. I call myself an "almost only child". While my oldest brother was out of the house (and out of state) by the time I was born, my middle brother was a huge positive influence in my life. Even though he moved out at 18, he was a constant in my life. He taught me to play basketball, ride a bike, drive a manual transmission- all those life's lessons. My mother and father divorced when I was 5 years old, so my mother was faced with being a single mother at the age of 46. I still don't know how she did it-she's amazing even to this day. My mom always said I kept her young and I got the advantage of having a wiser "been there and done that" mother. I don't really have any advice, however, I just wanted to tell you congratulations, and how fortunate I have always felt to have an older mother. :)

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

Hi J. H. I have had my one and only at the age of 42! So happy I did. He is an angel. i agree that we may not have the energy at 42 as we did earlier, but maybe we also did not have the wisdom at 22 and 32 we have now.

I hope this helps.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

:) Congrats!!! I have a 21 yo, 16 yo, and 9 month old. Having a baby while older is awesome (Im 36) I miss my older girls being small, and with a baby we kind of relive their infancies too. Its been a great bonding experience for all of us. For me its been neat, I was once the very young mom, now Im kind of the old lady mom... Im actually going to be a grandma in just 8 weeks. I have grown up step kids from my exhusband, that are 40, 28 & 27, so big age differences are nothing new to us. My older girls arent especially close to them, but they do have a good relationship.

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Sacramento on

I had our last at 36, so somewhat close. I can tell you having kids older in life, you don't sweat the small stuff. I don't freak out over the little things. Kids get bit in daycare? Whatever, it happens. You just have a lot more knowledge and are more relaxed. I see it as a plus.

And I heard an interesting stat about college costs the other day. The person made the point that if you're paying for daycare, you'll really paying almost as much as college each year. So, college isn't THAT shocking of an expense. Yes, you do need to save for it in the same way you do for retirement, but it doesn't have to break the bank. We're also aiming to put our kids through college while also funding our retirement. Talk to a good financial planner and you'll feel a lot better about things.

I can also see advantages to having children spaced like that. Your oldest is old enough to really help out, not just pretend help out like little kids do. And you'll have a built-in babysitter in just a few years! :)

Congratulations! I know it's a surprise but it may be more fun than you expected.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I have a brother that is 9 years older than me and we are very close. (Actually I have 2 older brothers and they are my heroes!) I had my son (my only) at 39 and I breezed through the pregnancy. You'll love it! I think that as a "more mature" mom I enjoy my child so much more. We have more life experiences to share, wisdom to impart, and the luxury of focusing on what's important b/c we are secure financially & emotionally. Congratulations!

p.s. My doctor made the mistake of referring to "advanced maternal age" ---ONCE! LOL

6 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

For what it's worth, my father is almost 20 years oldest than his youngest sister (there are 10 in between) and they have always been very close. He is more of a parent to her than a sibling, but that was actually a real advantage when she was growing up b/c he had the energy and enthusiasm to do whatever she wanted to do. My SIL is 13 years older than my husband and his twin brother and the relationship is also more "parent" than sibling, but it works for them.

I am 9 years older than my youngest sister and from experience I will tell you that we kind of grew-up in different "households". My parents were more strict with me and my middle sister (two years apart) and we all "parented the baby". I talk to her nearly every day and she calls with everything from how to boild an egg to her latest boyfriend. Our relationship is much closer now that we are adults then when she was a child. Afterall, I left for college when she was 9!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Albany on

Hi J., I did NOT have an unplanned pregnancy in my 40s, but I WISH OH HOW I WISH I did! Congratulations, you are a VERY lucky Mom in my opinion!

You and your daughter will have a BLAST bringing up this baby together. You have a MUCH more mature and thereby relaxed attitude when you're 40 than when you're 25 (least I do).

Things tend to work themselves out, and SOME things happen for a DAMN good reason!

Sending happy positive vibes (tinged with a spot of jealousy) your way!!


3 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

My daughters are eight years apart and were never especially close. I don't think it's a bad thing really. I think when the younger one gets out of high school in 3 years that's when their relationship will blossom. I'll be in my mid 50's when youngest goes to college. I'm not worried about because none of us are actually going to retire in our 60's!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I haven't, but a coworker just gave birth to a beautiful little boy at 41. Her daughter is 11 and her son is 5. She thought they were done, but God had other plans. It took her a bit to adjust to the thought of having a newborn, but she is so happy to have her little surprise. Good luck to you.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Asheville on

I'm 41 now and have two beautiful 2 1/2 year old girls. I will never be able to retire! :)
I am more than halfway through my teaching career, but will have to work at least 10 extra years past the regular 30 to get them through college. If they are like most kids and take some extra time or go for a masters that will tack on even more!
Without them I could have retired at 53, but I probably wouldn't have anyway. Thats a LONG time on retirement and such a young age that I can see myself getting bored and I dont EVER want to fill my time by being a substitute teacher! That is not a job I want.
Anyway, I did wait until later in life to have my girls, BUT- and this is a GREAT BIG BUT- I dont think I would have enjoyed or appreciated them near as much if I had given birth at a younger age. Sure there are times that I think, "What I wouldn't give to have some time to myself that wouldn't make me feel guilty or worry about them", but all in all, I wouldn't change a thing! They are awesome and bring me joy everyday. Even if one is trying my patience, the other will do something that makes me laugh or just says something like,"I wub u mama!" Now who would not want that!?
and remember- You are not alone!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Augusta on

There are 9 yrs between me and my next sibling and 16 between me and my youngest sibling.
My mother was your same age when my youngest brother was born. She has done just fine, He is graduating this year.
I do wish we had been closer but since we have different fathers that just wasn't possible.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I am 39, have a 19 year old daughter from a previous marriage, a 7 year old girl and a 16 month old son with my husband. He is 52 and has two grown children from a previous marriage, a 33 year old daughter and a 30 year old son. So we have quite a range of ages going on here. I do find myself to have more appreciation for my kids now than I did when I had my 19 year old. I am able to enjoy them more because I am more focused on them. I had my 19 year old right when I was getting ready to turn 20 and I was not mature enough to really appreciate her. However, I do find myself tired a lot more now than I was then. I do not have the energy that is needed but somehow or another it all gets done. The 16 month old son was not planned, he too was a "surprise". My husband will be almost 70 years old when our son graduates high school so that's bit of a bummer but that's okay. The younger kids also have the support of their older siblings and will have all the benefits that go along with that. We are definitely not the "traditional" family but what we have works for us. Treasure your little one. Your nine year old will absolutely love the baby and you will find her to be a big help. Congratulations!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

I am 45.

My #3 son (who was a surprise too) is 11 months old. Mine are 6, 2, and not quite 1. I am tired, but happy.

Given lots of chances but not pressure to help out, I bet your 10 year old will be a wonderful helper and will probably ADORE the baby! I know mine are not so far apart, but I know some who are and they all love having a baby around (mostly:)

Good luck to you!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

My friend, had her 2nd child when she was 46. Planned.

I had my 2nd child when I was about your age.
It is fine.

My 2nd child however, was planned and we wanted a 2nd child. My kids are 4 years apart. It is great. They are 2 peas in a pod, we love having 2 kids. It is family.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

My mom had me in her late 30's. It wasn't a huge deal for the most part. My parents are older than my friends' parents and they aren't able to keep up with their grandkids as readily, but it works out. Because of the age gap, you're essentially raising two only children. They'll likely be friends, but they'll also have a lot of their childhood without the other.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on

I am not trying to be harsh, but since you wanted another baby so badly, was this pregnanacy really an accident? Either way, I can see how happy you are to be pregnant and 41 and pregnant isn't considered too old nowadays. Best of luck to you!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I had my boy one month after turning 40 and a girl 18 months later! Planned, I wanted them so badly and ejoy them emensely. I have a stepson who is 11 and 12 1/2 years apart in age to mine. He is sensitive and was shocked when we told him we were having a baby. But, in the hospital, he got so attached and protective, he wanted to hit a nurse because he thought she was being too rough with his brothe!. He absolutely adores his siblings, he talks about them all the time and can see him beeming with pride in every picture together.

I think he never thought he wanted siblings, but now, I feel it is the best gift we could have given him.

With having babies at 40 and 41 and husband 45/46, and never knowing how much future any of us really have, I feel more comfortable knowing they have each other in case anything should happen to us.

Good luck, nine months go by both quickly and slowly. It sounds like you are a great Mom and will be great at 41 also!!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Eugene on

my two were born 11 years apart, different fathers, both wonderful people, have always had a good relationship (40 & 29 now). it sounds like your "accident" is a wonderful blessing! enjoy!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Sounds like you have been blessed with an absoluteley wonderful and irreplacable gift. Congrats!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tulsa on

i had mine at 40 my oops. mine are 19 yrs 3weeks apart. and they are very close. my oldest looks at his brother like his kid. my other step kids are close with him too. relax it was meant to be or you wouldnt be pregnant. and they will tell you you are a high risk for downs dont panic mine didnt have it. you will get better ultrasounds and more frequent they will be 3d and are really cool you can tell what the baby looks like before its born. you will also have to do stress test. you just lay there and watch tv :) my oldest is old enough to be my youngest dad. :) but fair warning pregnancy is harder at 40. its harder to get up and you wear out more easily and its just harder but it will be over before you know it. my delivery was harder too. but that doesnt mean yours will be. mine got stuck for 18 hrs. but I think I am the minority.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Provo on

I am an older mother and I feel that I am a better parent now then when I was in my twenties. Yes, I have a daughter in college and a six year old and a sixteen year old at home. I would have another child also. I am in a better mental state now to enjoy my kids. My two children that are still at home with me are boys and they seem to have a giant rivalry going on like most boys do. When my daughter was home she babysat my young son and they are still the best of friends. Since you have a girl already things will be a lot easier. She will become a helper and a mentor really fast. Be sure to realize that there is a reason for this pregnancy. It may be a while before it becomes clear but you are chosen.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

I had my daugher a few days before I turned 40 adn my son at 41. we were financially stable and I was able to quit my job to stay home..

it is great.. congrats..

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Yakima on

Our younger two bring us so much joy. The things that bothered us raising our older three we have realized don't matter in the big scheme of life. My husband is able to spend so much time with the younger two kids and go to their school functions . He had to travel so much with his job when the older ones were little he didn't get to do those dad things. He took all of them sledding all by himself saturday something he NEVER would have done before. The older ones are tough on the little ones and remind us you didn't let us do that. It has made the older ones realize how hard it is to take care of babies. I have a sister that is 13 years younger than me and I am very close to her. Just make certain you plan special time for the older one.



answers from Seattle on

I had my first at 38 and twins at 41. I would have loved to have had children earlier, but I didn't meet my husband until was 32 and we didn't get married until I was 35. We started trying right away, but had fertility issues - I don't believe it was because of my age as my mother had fertility issues in her 20s and couldn't get pregnant until she was 34, oddly. She adopted three and then had me at 34 and my sister at 38. Women in our family seem to get more fertile as we age. That aside, I love my children and don't regret it at all. I know what you mean about the age thing, but my parents are in their mid-70s at the moment and are quite capable with the children. My mom even came to stay with us for three months when the twins were born, getting up with me in the night for feedings, etc., and she was 75 at the time. I think if you keep yourself in good shape, then it shouldn't be a problem. Of course, I don't know any differently. I do have a friend who had her first at 26 and her second at 37 and she swears she was way more tired with the second, but I wouldn't know... I won't have the college issue, as I'm Canadian and the kids can go there or to college in Ireland (where their father is from). Both are waaaay less expensive than the US. But as for being pregnant in my 40s, well, it was all fine. I delivered healthy 7lbs twins (each!) vaginally at 38 weeks (I was induced) and I didn't have any problems due to my age. In the case of my friend, her first daughter is now able to babysit for her second daughter, which is incredibly handy. Also, I must say having twins and a two and a half year old was incredibly tiring. It would have been nice to have spaced them out just a bit more in many ways... if I had had the time biologically... :-) Good luck!



answers from Corvallis on

Hi, I'm 42 and trying for number 2 after having my first one at 40. Of course I don't have any other children so I can't speak to having yours so spaced apart. I completely understand your concerns about being almost 60 when the baby graduates. I've often thought how many people will come up to me and say how nice it is that I could attend my granddaughter's graduation. I think about what I might miss out on because of my age; her marriage, grandkids etc. But I wouldn't miss this experience for anything. I think having children at a later age gives you WAY more patience that you otherwise have at younger times, possibly more resources and feeling overall better about yourself and your position in the world than in your early 30's. Additionally, I think it will be a great experience for you older daughter. and such a great situation for the baby to have an older sister that won't compete with her, but only love her. Sounds great to me. Good luck to you.



answers from Seattle on

I am going to be 41 when my baby is born next year. I got married when I was 37 and had my first when I was 38 and got pregnant again with my second when I was 40. I think I am better mom now then I would have been in my 20's :) Sometimes I worry about being 60 when they go to college, but then I know I won't be the only one :) Congratulations on your pregnancy.



answers from Portland on

http://flowerpowermom.com/ check out this website/blog, it's all about motherhood after 40.



answers from Seattle on

I'm 41 and would love to be pregnant! In fact, am trying very hard to become pregnant. My daughter is only 3 1/2, so if I do become pregnant, there won't be as much space between them. I have a sister who is 9 years older than I am and one who is 12 years older. I grew up really loving them and am still close to my sister who is 9 years older in particular, and the children of the sister who is 12 years older. My mother was 39 when I was born. I did feel like my parents (mother mostly), was "old", but I think that was attitude as well, and I don't think I'll feel as "old" as my mom seemed to me. Good luck. You can always send your child to an in-state public university, btw.

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