When Are You Too Old?

In yesterday’s news there is yet another older (old) woman wanting IVF.  This woman in 59, in fact she had her first child two years ago at the age of 57 having undergone IVF using donor eggs.  Now she wants a sibling for her child.  (You can’t fault that can you.)  But everyone is up in arms because she is too old to have a baby.  How can she want to bring a child into the world that she may not see grow up?  How can she think it’s safe to be pregnant at her age?  And let’s not forget that over the age of 44 the chances of success from IVF are 1% – yes just 1%.  But she doesn’t care about any of this, she just wants a baby.

A Conservative Member of Parliament in the UK, Nadine Dorries, described this woman’s plan to have another baby at her age as ‘preposterous’ and wants Parliament to intervene.  She said, ‘Once you pass the point of natural conception, that’s when you should stop.”  Read the Daily Mail for more.  Wow now there’s a statement to get most IFs riled up.  I mean I guess for Hopelessly that means seeing as he was never actually able to have kids his point of natural conception was never reached and he should never be allowed to have kids.  And those women who have unexpectedly early menopause they should not be allowed assistance.  In fact what is the point of any ART if you should stop when you pass the point of natural conception.  Stupid Cow!

Now I’m not condoning having a baby up until 100 years old and I don’t have any clear idea in my mind on when is the point of no return, it just got me thinking.

This story comes at a time when Hopelessly and I have been having the conversation about age.  A couple of weeks ago we were at the in-laws and the conversation dropped the penny in Hopelessly’s head that actually he is getting on now.  Most of the time he can’t remember how old he actually is (that should be a dead give-away that time is creeping up on him), but suddenly it occurred to him that at his next birthday he will be 37.  Something about that number made him feel old.  I mean 37 is closer to 40.  It’s definitely late-30s.  And approaching middle age for sure.  Actually is was quite funny to watch Hopelessly realise that time is a factor, something I have been going on about for the last year.  My birthday is just a week away and I guess the dreaded looming 35 seems like a milestone (and not in a good way!)

And so we have talked about being ‘old’ parents.  We both had young parents.  In the case of his folks, they did great for it, in the case of mine, they got divorced when I was really young and my mother really didn’t cope as a single young mother (she was 23, divorced with a 5 year old!).  On the other side of the coin, my Dad had my sister born on his 40th birthday, and boy is he an old fart when it comes to her, but our god-son’s parents had him later in life and his mom is awesome, a great involved and ‘young’ mom.  So maybe age doesn’t matter that much.  Still it’s something to think about.

I read something the other day that I’m going to try to keep in mind as we await our baby, “Live your life and forget your age”.  I also keep thinking that 35 or 36 isn’t that old yet anyway!


About MommyAtLast

Finally a Mommy to our Medical Miracle IVF Boy / Girl Twins who were born in November 2011. We overcame azoospermia using hormone therapy for my hubby to conceive our precious Hope Babes on our 4th IVF.
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6 Responses to When Are You Too Old?

  1. Dee says:

    Personally I feel that 59 is too old. A good cut off is 45, if it hasnt happened by then then I just dont know…

    Is she actually trying IVF with her own eggs? Surely not?

  2. Mash says:

    I also saw it on Sky News. And I’m a great believer in averages. Your AVERAGE woman can’t have kids after 45, so that’s where I think the cut off should be. And there was another reality show on just after that – a woman who had a “designer” baby to save her son’s life. She had IVF and they chose to implant an embryo that had the same tissue type as her son. They needed stem cells from the cord. And, the tricky thing was, they would never know if the new baby would have the same problem as their ill son. Very tricky, very controversial stuff. It gives fertility treatment a bad name, like Octomom.

    I also have the same thoughts about being an older mom. Also only a recent realisation! But I am inspired by my 83 year old yoga teacher who is as sprightly and bouncy as a teenager!

  3. Bratty says:

    I am 37…if by some miracle I fall pregnant this year..I will be 38 when my “bundle” will be born. My darling B will be 41….and we will make perfect parents. Life has taught us how to be patient. Our lessons can be passed on.

    I believe that no matter how old you are, you have a right to be a Mom..as long as your health is good and you have financially provided for your LO.

  4. AmandaMqn says:

    I really think age is just a number and that it’s more about how you feel then your actual age. I’m almost 27 but IF makes me feel 50 most days and I’m going to keep on trying until I have a baby, if it’s 45 then it’s 45.

    That being said, I am conflicted about an age cut-off for IVF. If we go that far, what else will they try to restrict too?

  5. ttcnot2easy says:

    Ooo.. catch-22 situation. While I do think that 57/59 is a tad too old to have a baby – I think of someone that age as being slightly younger than my parents. Or rather, when I think of my parents at that age, I cannot imagine them having the patience which has to come with having a tiny baby. My mom spends half a day with my 4-year-old nephew and she’s totally whacked.

    That said, I have a friend who is 52, and although he wouldn’t want another child (his youngest is 9 or 10), I do wonder what his thoughts would be had he not had any children and would therefore want more.

    All the statements above are totally legitimate, and I think that our thoughts on the ages of ppl having children are maybe a bit old fashioned – i.e. you have children in your 30’s (which in itself has changed over the last few decades) and a smallish handful have their children in their 40’s. We are “brainwashed” (for want of a more appropriate word) / inclined to think that by the time you are in your 50’s, your kids should be in high school / college / varsity.

    Tough call – but in this day and age, age is but a number and people are alot fitter, thereby making their minds more active and their bodies too.

    Having said aaalll this – I do still feel (from the childs’ point of view) that 57/59 is a bit on the older side. Unless the parents are 57/59 going on 30!

    My cousin married a younger woman when he was 40, and he said that he was ‘too old’ to have kids as he would not be able to throw a ball around, play, etc with them. His dad was an older dad, and he had regrets that his dad was never able to play / interact with him the way younger dads do.

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