Tag Archives: older mum

Old Age Mummys

I had children in my late 30’s because of my career….

Actually that’s bollocks.

I had children in my late 30’s because I thought I had all the time in the world…..

Actually that’s bollocks too.

I had children in my late 30’s because I just wasn’t ready in my 20’s…..

Nope…………..well, you get the picture.

ACTUALLY “I” wasn’t the only person responsible for having my children in my late 30’s.  My husband was also responsible.  There was TWO of us.  It wasn’t solely my decision.  So why the hell does every report in the newspaper and on television start with:

“Women leave it too late to have children”.

It winds me up so much I could scream, to be honest.  Like we are all floating around making these decisions (whether we are doing it unconsciously or consciously) and blokes are walking behind us like idiots, merely pawns in our game of fertility roulette.  Which is ridiculous.  Not only are we not solely responsible but it suggests the men in our life aren’t having any say, when they are (most of the time).

I’m not saying that some women don’t make these decisions based on their career and I’ll mention my views on that further down, but I think for a lot of women it’s got a lot to do with marrying later in life due to various reasons and the need to be in a better financial position before embarking on the very big deal of bringing of a human being into the world.  I just wish someone would acknowledge the complexity of why we are having children later rather than simplifying it or targeting women.

I don’t think my story is unique.  I have had 3 long-term relationships.  2 of which were with complete idiots and the third with my now husband.  I was 18 when I met my first boyfriend. Fell in love for the first time and believed this was it! Engaged at 19 and then 2 years later realised he had no intention of marrying me but was “bagsying” me so I didn’t run off with someone else. The relationship was quite horrific really, he was an alcoholic and violent and I didn’t know any better. It’s only when I started fancying someone else that I had the guts to call it quits.  Which I did thankfully.  I was 21.

I started seeing my 2nd boyfriend. We moved in almost immediately, had lots in common or so I thought.  We eventually moved to the UK together but he had always been a bad egg.  This was my emotional abuse relationship. The guy was horrendous. Treated me like absolute dirt one day and then cooking me a surprise meal with candles the next. I felt trapped as I didn’t know many people in London and was barely pulling the minimum wage.  He really didn’t love me anymore and we hung on for another year, moving to a flat and trying to make it work.   I supported him through drama school and the deal was that he would do the same for me the following year.  2 weeks into my course he didn’t come home one night and 3 days later we talked it out and agreed to leave each other.  Of course, true to my form I felt stronger because my weekends were filled with the drama school and I’d met lots of new people including my future husband (although I only made a move 2 months later). I was 25.

My relationship with my future husband worked very differently. He didn’t play games. He had not had a difficult childhood. He was normal.  He didn’t like it if I tried to get highly strung over small things. He taught me to be polite and considerate. He changed me and made me realise that relationships were about trust.  He also taught me to enjoy my own company. He didn’t see me as often as I would like because he had his own friends and his own space that he enjoyed.  He grew to fall in love with me and slowly we spent more time together.  I would have rushed this all much quicker. I was aware of my ticking clock.  We had “words” one day about where we were going.  I think it did the trick.  We moved in together when I was 29.  He asked me to marry him when I was 30.  I was married at 31.

My husband wanted us to enjoy some time being married and as we were buying a house as well, we took a year out from thinking about children. On our 1st anniversary I broached the subject and he got a bit panicked.  I now realise (as does he) that for some men, they are never ready to have children, so waiting for that moment could take forever.  We had a difficult chat and then agreed to start trying.  I was 32.

For 2 years we tried without getting too hung up.  I occasionally used an ovulation kit but nothing was happening so we saw our doctor and got referred.  We then embarked on IUI with the NHS.  We had 5 go’s involving scans every two days, a trip to another hospital for my husband to “provide” sperm and then his dash back with it to the hospital I was at for it to be inseminated.  Then we had trigger injections at midnight at the same hospital.  I was 34.

We accepted the inevitable and had the choice of going on a 2 year waiting list with the NHS or paying privately for IVF. We had some savings and my in-laws offered some help and we opted to go privately rather than wait.  We were very lucky. I got pregnant. I was 35.

Picture courtesy of bbc .co.uk

I eventually had my daughter 2 weeks before I was 36.  My son came naturally but despite our attempts to have them close together by trying when my daughter was 6 months old, he arrived 3 years later.  I was about to turn 39.

You can see how these things snowball.  Not many people set out to have children later in life. They find themselves in less than ideal relationships without the emotional strength to leave, they find themselves not wishing to push partners away by rushing decisions. I felt I’d pushed my earlier two relationships too early and they had quickly fallen out of love with me.  I didn’t want that to happen again.  Things went this way, because that’s life, but two of us were in the driving seat (technically probably my husband was more to an extent, then) and this is what happened.  Children in my late 30’s.

AND as for women who have children later in life because of a career.  If we could climb the corporate ladder by popping out children left right and centre, then we would.  Sadly that is not the case.  At my work there are 2 women who are at Senior Management level. One has chosen not to have children at all. The other has chosen to have one child, whom she spent 3 months maternity leave with and is now back working at 8am-8pm day whilst she has her child looked after by her husband and childcare.  I’m sure it’s not what she would have liked, but she has to be around for those important meetings which inevitably happen around 6pm.  This is a good video to watch about some of the barriers women face.

So please, journalists, stop putting the blame of late motherhood on mothers. Look deeper, find the cause and deal with that.  If we can’t, then face the inevitability of an increase in IVF, the need to make it more accessible.

This is a bigger issue than the women of this world putting motherhood on hold for purely selfish reason and I’m, quite frankly, fed up with the accusations.

Trying for a third child

…or not?

How do people make these hard decisions about the number of children to have?  What’s a good number?  Presumably the right number for you is not the same right number for me.  More importantly am I being greedy thinking of having a third?

I can’t seem to shake the feeling of needing another child. I imagine it is very primal, that over whelming urge to bring children into the world.  It consumed my every thought after my son was born and only started to abate when hubby mentioned that two was really enough and he didn’t want to add another 2 or 3 years to his childcare calendar (he is a SAHD for 2 days a week).  I had to consider that, it isn’t just about me and had I been a Stay at home mum then it would have been a different story. I’m not and we have childcare to think about.

About a week ago I made a joke about having a third and hubby made a comment that made me think he was more receptive to it now.  It’s probably related to the fact that The Monster is causing us less trouble than he did a few months ago and we are realising how the two we have, are growing up fast.

Pickle was an IVF baby, but The Monster wasn’t.  It still took a while for me to conceive him though and it is possible a third child may not come easily.  That’s the first hurdle.

The second hurdle is my age and all the risks attached to that. Not just to me and my arthritic condition (amongst other things) but also the risk to a baby.  The likelihood of having a baby with a congenital condition or an issue resulting from a difficult birth.  I have to be honest, I don’t think my marriage would survive the pressure involved in raising a child with added challenges. Had it been my first, that’s a different story.  How do I feel if my third child required too much extra care that I had little left for the two I already have.  That worries me greatly.

The third hurdle is cost.  Not really on the outlay (clearly I have everything from the first two) and not from nappies, as I use reusable nappies, but as they get older and want to join clubs, do sports, go on excursions, require funding for things.  How can I reconcile my decision to have 3 children with the fact I may struggle to provide for them as they make their way in the world.

Of course, all of these hurdles are because I am a risk mitigator.  All fine and well when I’m planning the launch of a product in a European country, but human beings don’t work like that.  There are no guarantees in life. It all reminds me of a scene from Parenthood, one of my favourite movies and full of great lines related to raising children.

*******************************************************

Gill: And in all those things, sometimes they´re gonna miss.

Karen: – Sometimes they won´t.

Gill: – Sometimes they will.

Karen: What do you want? Guarantees? These are kids, not appliances. – Life is messy.

Gill: – l hate messy. lt´s so messy!

Grandma: (Wandering into room) You know, when l was young Grandpa took me on a roller coaster. Up, down, up, down. – Oh, what a ride. –

Gill: (sarcastically) What a great story.

Grandma: l always wanted to go again. lt was just interesting to me that a ride could make me so frightened… so scared, so sick, so excited… and so thrilled all together. Some didn´t like it. They went on the merry-go-round. That just goes around. Nothing. l like the roller coaster. You get more out of it. Well, l´ll be seeing you in the car.

Karen: She´s a very smart lady. Come on, Taylor. Your ears are ready.

Gill: (sarcastically)A minute ago l was confused about life. Then Grandma came in with her wonderful and effecting roller coaster story. Now everything is great again.

Karen: l happen to like the roller coaster, okay? As far as l´m concerned, your grandmother is brilliant.

************************************************************

So part of me wants to throw caution to the winds.  I want another child, because I love the ones I have so deeply I want to create the family unit of my choosing. I want my children to have noise and emotion around them, arguments, laughter and learning to understand others point of view.  Of course it could all go horribly wrong, especially if having a third creates unwanted friction later on in life. The one who doesn’t talk to the other two.

I was one of 3 children growing up, until the age of 11.  At 11 years old by older, adopted brother killed himself.  His story is for another day, but after the age of 11 I was only one of 2 children.  It felt very small to me, very vulnerable only being 2 of us.  My mum only had her third because when she unexpectedly got pregnant 6 months after I was born, she couldn’t bring herself to have an abortion. After 13 years of infertility and then having me, she knew what a miracle it was. So despite being in a bad financial situation at the time, she went ahead and had my sister.  I cannot imagine how awful my life would be if she hadn’t had my sister.  My parents were old school English parents, who didn’t “talk” or share emotion. Our household was one of sadness and walking on eggshells from the age of 11 until I left home at 18.  My sister got me through that and we have that shared history.  I can’t help thinking my experiences are clouding my thoughts about needing a third. Whether it is a deep-seated fear of something going wrong in years to come, or the need to create that family unit I felt crumble away at that young age.

I feel I need to make my decision soon.  At this moment in time I will be 41 if I was to get pregnant in the next few months and I do feel I am pushing the limits of my own health (due to my condition) if I do.  I’m also very much aware of how tired having three children will make me, so the sooner I decide the better.

How did you decide your family was complete?  Have your experiences growing up influenced the size of your family?  Really need some help of this one.

XX Bella

Forty and Fertile

I used to be infertile. well I thought I was, it turned out I wasn’t but after years of trying for a baby we went through 2 years of various fertility treatments through the NHS and then privately. We were very lucky, our first IVF attempt we got pregnant and our daughter was born 9 months later. we then kept trying. we got pregnant naturally in that first year which ended with a very dramatic miscarriage at 12 weeks. I didn’t give up hope and our son was born when my daughter was 3.

why am I mentioning all of this? Because getting pregnant isn’t an easy task for us. We thought, for many years, we would be childless or possibly adopt, but to be here now with two beautiful healthy children, we feel truly blessed. However I can’t shake this feeling, this need to have another child. Whether it stems from my own background of growing up initially in a family of 5, and at the age of 12, losing a brother and being in a family of 4. Maybe it’s the fact that a few years ago I fell out with my only sibling. We talk now, but I can never forget what happened. I don’t have any parents to talk to (mum is no longer alive and dad is disabled and can’t talk) so I felt very lonely with no other family members to talk to. I want to give my children choice of who they talk to, who they get on with. More children can share the burden of elderly parents ( which home to put them in) and selfishly, I can hope one of them will visit me at Christmas.

Of course, the real biggie, the proper selfish bit, is wanting another baby. Another amazing little miracle that is a part of me. We don’t earn much money though, can we afford the childcare or even the maternity leave? At 40 I’m a bigger risk for complications, baby and me.

Lots to think about. I don’t think the discussions have finished, but due to my age, I must make a decision soon.