A woman’s Dilemma? is 40 too old?

I had my first child at 38 and even then, I was considered an older mum. I remembered vividly the results of my first IVF treatment.
I was shocked to learn that my eggs were so unhealthy, they started fragmenting before fertilisation.
Out of 7 eggs, 5 where so unhealthy and did not develop further. The remaining 2 fragmented before fertilisation. This left me wondering why women were built with finite number of eggs.

In this postI want to highlight women who fell pregnant after 40 as well as give my thoughts on whether there is a best time for a baby.
There is so much to read about a woman’s abilities to fall pregnant after 40. News outlets are filled with apocalyptic stories of women leaving it too late to have a baby.

The question is should you or shouldn’t you have a baby after 40?

img_3570.jpgHeadlines like “female clock is ticking”, “decline in birth rate”, certainly struck fear in me, as I tried for 7 years without success.

With the associated increase in miscarriages and other risk involved, statistics has shown that more women in their 40s are becoming mothers for the first time.

Perhaps Women who had given up, now have confidence to try again after reading stories of celebrities’ mum over 40 and improvement in Fertility treatment.
Although medically the chances of a woman getting pregnant after 45 reduces drastically. It is still possible, either with your own eggs or that a donor or a surrogate.
Women do lose 90 percent of their eggs by 30, that still leaves them with 10,000. Only one is needed to make a baby. Which means there is still a chance it can happen.

Here are some famous women who had children over 40.

  • Cherie Blair, The British Prime minister’s wife was surprised to be pregnant at 45. She was 45 when she had Leo, her fourth child. She revealed in her autobiography her surprise baby was conceived during a trip to Balmoral.
  • Halle Berry had her 2nd child at the age of 46. she thought it was impossible, but there we go. She said” this has been the biggest surprise of my life. To tell you the truth I was kind of past the point where this could be the reality. She went on to have her second child at 47.
  • Susan Sarandon was 42 and 45 respectively when she gave birth to her two boys.
  • Celine Dion was 42 when she welcomed her twin boys.
  • Kelly Preston Gave birth to a son at the age of 48, in 2010 after losing her son Jet. She’s married to John Travolta.
  • Mariah Carey Mariah welcomed twins with her then husband at the age of 42.
  • D’Angelo In 2001, she had twins with her then boyfriend Al Pacino at 49.
  • Nicole Kidman Welcome her first biological child at 40 and her second was born via a surrogate at 43.
  • Marcia cross At 45 the desperate housewife star gave birth to twin girls.
  • Janet Jackson More recently we saw Janet Jackson gave birth to her first child at the age of 50.
  • Geena Davis In 2002 gave birth to daughter Alizeh at 46 and had twin boys at 48. She has said of being an older parent: “If I’d had kids earlier, I could easily have become one of those mothers who over-involve themselves and try to live life through their kids … In my case, I became a parent with exactly the right person, at exactly the right time.”
  • Nancy grace, A former CNN ANCHOR WOMAN had twins with her husband. She told people mag in 2007, she didn’t think it would happen for her. And as part of God’s mysterious plan I am given this wonderful blessing later in life and I couldn’t be happier.

According to the HFEA, forty-something mothers are more likely to be first-timers, and their numbers are rising.

Office for National Statistics figures show that pregnancy rates for over-40s have more than doubled in the past 24 years, with 14 conceptions per 1,000 women aged 40-plus compared with six per 1,000 in 1990.

Is there a best time?
Yes. Our biology has fashioned us to produce more eggs and healthier ones at that, earlier in our lives. So according to biology this is the best time.
However, there are other factors that determine when to have a baby.
For instance, meeting the right person. For many women, not meeting their partners in their 20s and 30s have a huge part in determining when they start a family early. See this post The “age” thing
I personally have not met any older mum who put her fertility on hold to have a career. Even when they met someone earlier on in their lives, the struggle to conceive was evident earlier on.

I think the determining factor should be a woman. Everyone must look at themselves and their circumstances and ask the questions. Should I? Shouldn’t I?

Will I be happier without kids?
How will my life look like 20 years from now?
Would it matter to me a great deal if I do not have kids to leave behind?
The way you answer these questions will determine whether you will continue to try late into your 50s. These questions are personal to everyone.

One should note that having babies over 40 has its risk:
only 4 percent of IVF cycles ends in a live birth in women aged 42 and older. Miscarriage rates soar in the over-40s, from an average 7 per cent to 18 per cent, and the risk of stillbirth doubles.
On the plus side, research indicates that “older” mothers usually have more solid marriages, command higher salaries and live longer than women who have their children in their twenties. When interviewed, these women almost invariably report that choosing to delay motherhood was the best choice they’ve made.

Your body may have made the choice for you, but really the choice is yours. If you desire a baby and have answered the quesitons above, I wish you all the best in your quest as you move on to the next step in the journey.

Your Partner In Hope


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