I recently conducted a consultation with a 42-year-old infertile woman. She was very well aware about the fact that she would require IVF. She also had the maturity to understand that her advanced age was a definite disadvantage when it came to success with infertility treatment.
And not surprisingly, there were a barrage of other questions and doubts that she wanted to throw at and discuss with me. She was worried about whether she was too old to be a good mom and whether she would be able to do a good job with bringing-up the child.
The other qualms she had were about whether it would be fair to her child, if she decided to have a baby so late in life; and whether she would be able to provide her with the attention & love she deserves.
A Case for Age- the late bloomer
This particular patient was a thoughtful, mature and sophisticated career woman who had given a lot of thought to her decision of having a baby. This was not a sudden crazed decision she was making because she suddenly realized that her body clock was ticking and neither was it a long-suppressed desire that she was seeking to fulfil. But it wasn’t just her infertility that was the problem.
As is the case with a number of infertility cases I deal with, it takes 2 to tango- her husband had issues of his own- not really related to infertility, but more a mid-life crisis one. He wakes up one fine morning, and realizes that he is the only one in his group of friends that doesn’t have a kid. And so he suddenly decides to move from 0-kmph to 100-kmph and wants his wife to get pregnant at 42 years of age.
The Fertility Issue
Though his sperm count was fine, unfortunately, age had played its hand, and his wife was not as fertile as she was 10 years ago (when she really did want to have a baby). Needless to say, for my patient the entire situation was laced with a lot of resentment, frustration, regret, angst and futility. She rued the fact that she had not been more aggressive in her stand of wanting to have a baby when she was younger and now the situation just threatened to engulf and drown her.
When Age is a Definite Plus
Situations like this are becoming more common today. There is an entire breed of top-notch middle-aged women professionals who feel that they want to have a baby in their lives. In my opinion, older mothers are generally better mothers. They are patient, mature and thoughtful and are a treasure-house of experiences which they are eager to share with their child.
Wipe Away the Grey Hues
There are no aggressive and pushy hues in their nature and because they have had the chance to realize their dreams & fulfil their ambitions, they do not burden their children with fulfilling any of their personal unmet ambitions. The energy-level aspect also always crops up in an older mother’s mind. She feels that she may not have the physical strength to keep up with the demands of a growing child.
Though this may be partially true, the fact also is that older mothers are more financially stable, have a larger house and the capacity to hire help. All of these aspects cannot be overlooked and are a definite plus for an older woman who wishes to have a baby. Some women catapult their thoughts even further into the future, and worry about how their children might be jeered-at by their peers, for having a mother who is old enough be a grandmother.
Looking Beyond Doubt
But I know from experience that though all these fears are valid and natural, they are unfounded. When it comes to parenting- the key ingredient is love and as long as you are able to give this unconditionally to your child, you and your baby can take on the world. A child will add bounce to your step and a twinkle to your eye.
There will no doubt be worry on your brow and a number of other trials and tribulations you will have to deal with- but then, that’s what being a parent all is about. So don’t tarry any further and let the years roll by. You may be older, but remember you are bolder and wiser too !
Need to connect with other older mothers ? You'll find the website at http://oldermum.co.uk/ very useful.
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