Saturday, December 27, 2014

The older IVF patient



I recently did a consultation with a 42 year old infertile woman. She knew she needed to do IVF, and was mature enough to understand that her chances of success were low because of her advanced age. However, her bigger concern was - Am I too old to be a good mom ? Would I be able to do a good job with bringing up a baby ? Am I being fair on my child by wanting to have a baby so late in life ? Will I be able to provide her with the love and attention which she deserves ? 

She was a very sophisticated, thoughtful mature professional.  She was thinking through her decision of having a baby very carefully. This wasn’t just a selfish desire she wanted to fulfill, no matter what the long term  consequences.

There were issues with her husband as well. For all these years , her husband wasn’t too bothered about having a kid. But now that he was 45 , his midlife crisis seemed to have kicked in, and seeing all his friends playing with their kids , he decided one fine day that he wanted to have a kid too !  While his sperm count was fine , and would remain fine no matter how old he became , she was now too old to be able to have a baby in her bedroom. This caused  her a lot of resentment, that he hadn’t cooperated with her when she was younger and had wanted a kid , and that now when she had biological difficulties , he was asking her to get pregnant which was not something she could do any more with ease. This also caused her regret that she hadn’t been more assertive and vocal when she was younger about asking for her husband’s cooperation in order to get pregnant. I had to sit down and explain to her that she shouldn’t be thinking of herself as a second class mom just because she was older. In fact I personally believe that older mothers are usually better mothers. They are lot more mature, more patient, and more thoughtful they have a lot more to teach their children because they’ve seen a lot more of life. They aren’t as pushy and aggressive as younger mothers, and don’t burden their children with their personal unfulfilled dreams and ambitions. This is often why their kids are much happier , because they them allow to grow up and become whatever they want to become. They allow their children to follow their personal desires and passions , rather than be burdened by what their parents want them to do.

One of the concerns many older mothers have is that they may not have enough physical energy to keep up with the demands of a toddler. Yes, it’s true that they may have less energy, but on the other hand they do have other assets which younger mothers don't . They have many more financial assets; a larger house; can afford to hire assistants to help them to bring up their child; and will be able to provide a much better education than most younger mothers can, because they are much better off.

It’s true that their parenting style will be different as compared to a younger woman, but in some senses it can actually be better.

She was very worried that when my child starts going to school, will he be embarrassed about the fact that I will be as old as the grandmothers of his classmates ? Won’t I be completely out of place ?

I reminded her that children love their mothers unconditionally, no matter what their mom looks like, or what their age is. This is why it’s not something she should worry about . Also, you should not worry about what other people will think and say.

You need to follow your heart . The key ingredient in parenting is love, and as long as you can offer this in abundance to your child, both you and your child will be fine.

In fact, having a child will make you much younger far quicker and much more efficiently than anything else you can do , whether it’s Botox or plastic surgery . Your baby will help you rediscover the young child within you. It’s important that you should have no regrets when you are 50 . At the age of 42, you are already regretting the fact that you didn’t have a baby 10 years ago , and I don’t want you to end up repeating the same mistake again. Make a decision which will give you peace of mind that you did your best. If you follow your gut, you will be happy – and happy moms make for happy babies !

Need help in getting pregnant ? Please send me your medical details by filling in the form at www.drmalpani.com/malpaniform.htm so that I can guide you better !


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