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How old is too old?


wenbow
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I am 46, recently given the greenlight by both of my doctors to try to become pregnant.  My DH and I have 3 frozen embryos at the fertility lab, and I can't bring myself to "dispose" of them otherwise.  We have a 17 year old son and a 5 year old son.  Our 5 year old was conceived via IVF, and he is a treasure.  I would love to give him a younger sibling!

Edited by wenbow
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I wouldn't want to have babies at that age personally, just because of how old I'd be before my last kiddo would leave home, but if you are healthy and you want more children I say go for it! Nobody, including random people on a message board, can tell you what is best for your family in something like this. Some of us wouldn't do it and plenty more have had babies late in life who are loving it. It's very, very individual.

 

If you don't want to dispose of the embryos and don't really want another baby, have you considered snowbabies embryonic adoption?

http://www.embryoadoption.org

Edited by Arctic Mama
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That's a question nobody can really answer for you but you. If you want it, do it! I had one young and loved it. In fact, I always thought 30 was too old, but then I went and had a baby at 38. And as happy as I am, I will not likely have another one because I would just feel too bad that I was so old. That's not true, I wouldn't have another because I don't *want* another; but old IS a minor consideration.

 

But Janet jackson just had a baby at 55, so maybe I'm just uncool.

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I would go for it in a second - I'm almost 44 and I feel better than I did in my twenties. A baby coming to older parents really has it made, imo. Parents are well established, most likely financially sound, possess far more patience than their younger counterparts may. 

 

 

All the best to you and your family! 

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DH is the one who brought it up because I told him we need to decide what we are doing with the frozen embryos.  Now, I can't get it out of my mind!  We've talked a lot and met with all the doctors, so I am ready.  It's now or never.  

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I would totally do it!

 

I had my last two kids at 40 and 43 then the year I was 47 I had three miscarriages. I would have been very happy with another baby at that age if I had been able to carry to term.

 

I feel like I am a much better parent to the children I had later, but I undersatand why others might not agree.

 

I'm 51 now and I can confirm that this is most definitely too old for me!

 

I'm about ready for some grandchildren though if my kids would indulge me.

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Do you want your youngest to have a sibling(s) close in age or do you want to parent a child or two or three (depending on the number implanted and fully gestated) each stage of childhood (preborn, infant, toddler, preschooler, young child, older child, tween, teen, young adult) for the next couple of decades? Those are 2 different things.  In the first, you're talking about a relationship between 2-4 other people and have sort of, in a sense, removed yourself from it. In the second you're looking at the day to day aspects of what having another child or more children will require of you.  If you want to parent hands on for the next 20 years or so and then hands off for the rest of your life, then GO FOR IT!  Life expectancy and quality of life are so long and good now 46 just isn't really a big deal in the scheme of things.

Do you want your eggs preserved and used?  Then you can donate them, right? There are emotional issues to consider (your bio kids with another family you may or may not get to choose-I don't know how it works.) If you opt for 1 more and only implant 2 you might still have to deal with this issue, no?

I'm an adoptive parent. Good adoption agencies question people considering adoption.  People come in saying that they want a child to have a family. Then our agency asks if what we want is helping a child find a family or if we want to parent an adoptive child. They have a list on hand of charities that help children who need homes and a list if ways to help them that aren't adoption.  Then they have applications for the people who do want to parent an adopted kid hands on for 20 years or so and hands off for the rest of their lives. Sometimes that kind of thing helps people clarify that exactly what they want. 

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I was 41 when I had DS and 45 when I adopted DD. I have never worried that I will be "too old" when they leave home (too old for what? :confused1: ), nor did I ever feel "too old" to parent them when they were young. I have been far more active and involved with my kids than my parents (who married and started a family straight out of high school) ever were. 

 

If you are reasonably fit and healthy and like the idea of having another child, I say go for it! If that had been an option for me, I definitely would have had more.  :thumbup1:

 

 

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Well...you have a 17 yo old so you know what teenagerhood entails. For ME- once I experienced teens (and mine are really good kids :)) I knew that I could not do that stage of parenting again over the long haul. Teens cured me of "maybe one more".

 

Teens are great but require a different kind of energy. With an older teen you already know what you are getting into ;)

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Speaking strictly for myself and not at all trying to put my feelings/opinions on anyone else (we ARE all different) -- I wouldn't do it. At 46 I could have handled a newborn w/o a problem, I think. But now I'm 54 and at this point in my life would I want to be dealing with the needs of an eight year old? No. Absolutely not. I'm very, very happy that my youngest is 18 and can take care of himself. I can tell a huge difference in my energy level now versus what it was eight years ago.

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So is the idea putting in all 3 at once, with the possibility of triplets, or doing one now, and then another one next year, and then the last one the year after that?

There are 2 in one cryopreserved glass straw, and 1 last one in a last glass straw. The 2 are first to transfer. If not pregnant, we might try the last one. I would stop there.

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For me, personally, I would not. But you are you and are not me. :) Only you can answer that question. But I will say that I am glad I had my last one in my mid-30's. I'm getting tired. Lol

Edited by Kinsa
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We are all different, but I feel that would be too old for me.  I started into perimenopause not long after 46.  My kids were born when I was 40, so they are 10 now and man do I get tired.  It could just be the menopause, I don't know, but just the thought of being 64 before my youngest turns 18 exhausts me.  :)

I know there are people who feel younger and menopause doesn't bother them.  Maybe you could look at how your mom & paternal aunts / grandma aged and see if graceful ageing runs in your family.  :)

 

I wouldn't destroy the embryos in any case.  I think there is an adoption option though I don't know exactly how that works.

Edited by SKL
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Do you want your eggs preserved and used?  Then you can donate them, right? There are emotional issues to consider (your bio kids with another family you may or may not get to choose-I don't know how it works.) If you opt for 1 more and only implant 2 you might still have to deal with this issue, no?

 

Yes, donors can choose the family:

http://www.embryoadoption.org/embryo-donation/

Edited by MercyA
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Well, I just turned 46 and I do NOT want to start over again now, although I have only felt that way for the past few years. When I was 40-42, I still very much hoped we would either have more children or foster/adopt. But now I am glad my youngest is 12 and not 3. I am tired and I want to focus on different things.

 

With that said, I would not want to keep embryos on ice. I would want to either have them implanted and see if they take or offer them as snowflake adoptions. There's so ething that bothers me philosophically about life being suspended indefinitely in that manner.

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Well, I just turned 46 and I do NOT want to start over again now, although I have only felt that way for the past few years. When I was 40-42, I still very much hoped we would either have more children or foster/adopt. But now I am glad my youngest is 12 and not 3. I am tired and I want to focus on different things.

 

With that said, I would not want to keep embryos on ice. I would want to either have them implanted and see if they take or offer them as snowflake adoptions. There's so ething that bothers me philosophically about life being suspended indefinitely in that manner.

 

 

This sums it up for me.  

 

I am going to  be 52 with a 16 year old and a 17 year old.  I am tired.  Looking forward to launching them and breathing a little.  Teens are exhausting. And they all eventually turn into teens.

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I had my youngest at 42 after years of recurrent pregnancy loss. We would have tried for another if we had been younger, but my dh was 46 and felt he was just getting too old. I'm glad we made the choice not to try again because I'm in my early 50s and I think I'm less patient and feel like I'm ready to move to the next stage of life. I'm happy that my children are getting old enough not to need the constant care that a baby or very young child needs, so for me it would be too old.

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I think that question varies by person. For me, I'll be turning 52 with triplet 12yos. I do not have the energy I did six years ago. We were always on the go back then and I loved it. Now I often just find it tiring. And although they're good kids, the whole tween and hormonal stuff with them while I'm at the other hormonal end, just isn't a wonderful combination. However, I can't imagine life without them and I'd do it all again in an instant. :).

 

But I was seven years younger than you when I started. And while I've considered having another baby over the years, I realized I'm too adjusted to the way our family works as the kids have grown older. I also think about sleepless nights again, and I'm too tired; I need my sleep. However, I don't have eggs/embryos saved, and it would be extremely unlikely to get pregnant anyway. So it's a different kind of decision than yours.

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I feel so weird saying this.

 

As others have said, it really is about how you feel.

 

Since you asked though...

I was a later in life baby and I am jealous of adults who still have living parents. It is also hard that my siblings had parents for much more of their lives.

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If you were talking about the IVF now, I would be scared to have multiples. But that doesn't sound like it would be an issue since this isn't IVF? I don't know if they just use one?

 

Definitely a very individual answer. My parents had me later in life (mom was 41) and sometimes I do wish they were younger. Dad is in pretty good health (better than many men younger than him) but Mom is not (her Parkinson's has taken a toll on her). She can't even hold my daughter let alone do the things my MIL does with her grandchildren (babysit, take them out, even read books). If she didn't have Parkinson's I still feel like she'd have a harder time with some things at her age. Also, I don't know if they had trouble relating to other parents at school functions, etc. I do remember Mom being self conscious about her hair when my oldest sibling graduated and that's when she dyed it. I'm 34 and I can't even keep up with my toddler so I can't imagine how some people that are older or in worse health do it (but age is just a number to some extent, so ultimately it's probably more about your health, finances, etc.). My grandmother died this week and she lived to 101. You never really know how long people will be around.

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I am 46, recently given the greenlight by both of my doctors to try to become pregnant.  My DH and I have 3 frozen embryos at the fertility lab, and I can't bring myself to "dispose" of them otherwise.  We have a 17 year old son and a 5 year old son.  Our 5 year old was conceived via IVF, and he is a treasure.  I would love to give him a younger sibling!

 

I'm a year younger than you.  I FEEL as young as I ever have.  I'm energetic and in decent shape.  However, I also have a daughter in college and I can't imagine sending a kid to college when I'm pushing 70.  I don't know if I could pull off being a vital, active grandmother at that age and I believe active participation is how you build a relationship with grandchildren.  

 

I have a friend my age who just had her first baby a few months ago.  They didn't think they could have any.  I'm thrilled for her, and I'm sure people manage.  I'd figure it out if I had a surprise, but I wouldn't intentionally start over at this age.  At this stage in life, I can just cool my heels for a few years and wait for the next generation.  I'm looking forward to helping my kids when they need me in adulthood and my ability to do that would be limited by adding a baby to the family at this point.  

 

Only you can answer this question.  I know my answer, but I have a cousin my age who has a toddler and a baby younger than her first grandchild.  Her mother did the same thing.  My grandmother is still around at 93.  With that sort of longevity it IS possible to start over and keep everyone thriving.

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There are 2 in one cryopreserved glass straw, and 1 last one in a last glass straw. The 2 are first to transfer. If not pregnant, we might try the last one. I would stop there.

 

 

Okay... my point was basically, you say you don't want to dispose of them in some other way... but if you implant 2, you could have twins, and you'd still have the 3rd one left, and would you be okay with disposing of that one at that point?

 

Anyhow, I don't think kids with about a 6 year age gap are going to be all that close, so I wouldn't have that as a consideration. And you can't provide younger siblings for all your kids... one of them will have to be the youngest. 

 

As to the age thing, not a clue, since I'm nowhere near that... my youngest should be in college when I'm that age though, and I think the freedom that'd give me would be great.

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I knew someone would say that kids with a large age difference won't be close. I have not found that to be true at all. My 18 year old was snuggled up watching Star Trek with my 10 year old today.

 

My 7 year old is counting down the days until my 21 year old is home from college so they can make books and play SIMS and cook together.

 

My brother is 13 years younger than me and he would say that I've been closer to him than any other person has been.

 

I think there are a lot of valid concerns, but the idea that the age difference is so great that they won't be close is absolutely not one of them.

 

In fact, the hardest part of having kids with a wide age spread is the real grief when older ones grow up and move away. I wish I could spare them that sadness but that doesn't mean we would be better not to have had the younger ones at all.

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I knew someone would say that kids with a large age difference won't be close. I have not found that to be true at all. My 18 year old was snuggled up watching Star Trek with my 10 year old today.

 

My 7 year old is counting down the days until my 21 year old is home from college so they can make books and play SIMS and cook together.

 

My brother is 13 years younger than me and he would say that I've been closer to him than any other person has been.

 

I think there are a lot of valid concerns, but the idea that the age difference is so great that they won't be close is absolutely not one of them.

 

In fact, the hardest part of having kids with a wide age spread is the real grief when older ones grow up and move away. I wish I could spare them that sadness but that doesn't mean we would be better not to have had the younger ones at all.

 

This is going to vary I guess between family members. I was NOT close to my sisters growing up. We are all 4 years apart, with the oldest being 8 years older than me. We are closer now as adults, but it took some time to get there. I mean, she was off at college part of the time I was living at home with my parents. I don't think we ever attended the same school. By the time I started elem. she would have been in middle school/jr. high.

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I personally wouldn't want children at that age, but that is up to you, not me.  My father was 47 when I was born, was sick is my late teens and died in my twenties.  By the time I was 15 my father was retired and not really into kid things.....he was into slower paced, retired guy things.

 

 

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I think it is very different in homeschooling families. There really isn't an issue of attending the same schools.

 

I thought of that, too. But then I also thought, when someone gives birth they might not have any idea what their schooling plans will look like down the road. My kids have a six year gap and I worry about that sometimes. I wasn't ready for another one sooner, though.

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The age difference between my kids bothers me somewhat (the other day someone assumed my kids had different dads --her DS was going to NYC unaccompanied to see his dad, and she assumed mine was doing same). I think it would be really odd for my DS for me to be pregnant now.

But you should do exactly what you want.

Edited by madteaparty
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My godmother had two kids in her 20s and the adopted another at about 42. It's a world of difference as re mothering.

 

I wouldn't say no, but I would think that you should be realistic as to what this will look like. I've been a super-energetic person most of my life. The thought of having a 12yo at my age and looking forward (haha) to the teen years as a 60 yo mom makes me depressed. That said, there are a lot of people much more child-centered than I and if you are one, then completely ignore my post

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I forgot to say - I worry about my health as I get older and my kids still need me.  I worry about leaving my kids to struggle without a parent.  I realize this could happen to anyone at any age, but it feels different now ... those years of feeling invincible are long past.

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For me (me, me, me), absolutely, positively not.  But I had my first at 21 (5th at 33) and am looking forward to the days of enjoying my grown children from afar.  (Maybe don't tell my 6yo that!)  30 years of parenting and 21 years of homeschooling seems like my maximum ability!  I don't think everyone else should aim for that or limit themselves to it!

 

 

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How old are your parents now and what's their health?

How old are dh's parents and their health?

Your and dhs grandparents?

 

Get a little picture of your own future health.

 

Are you or dh in the position of having to provide elder care, how would that work when you are 50 and have a 4 and 12 year old as well as a 21 year old who like to occasionally see Mom or Dad.

 

I wouldn't look at 18 being the end of parenting. You can't predict how childhood will go. An illness or learning disability may mean a child takes longer to launch. A typical child may have other circumstances that could need support. I really think 25 is a better estimate. Most will launch sooner, but it's better to look at the longer range number. So now you are looking at 72. My mom was doing well at 68, 70, she's really dropped off physically at 77. So for me doing this could mean going right from parenting to needing assistance. And not being an active grandparent to any children my older child had.

 

So for me it would be a no.

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I have slightly older parents and I am 11 years younger than my oldest sister.

 

I agree about the many benefits of older parents.

 

They are all true.

 

Here is the drawback to me that I haven't seen mentioned.

 

My step-dad (we are extremely close) had his first heart attack when I was 11 and then he had a lot of health issues for the next couple of years, up until he had a triple bypass -- after his recovery from that he really was much better when I was a later teen.

 

My mom has always been (and continues to be in) great health and to have a lot of energy.

 

But my step-dad wasn't "young" to have a heart attack when he was in his 50s.

 

So really -- I would encourage you to consider your husband's health as well as your own.

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I have a four year age gap between my boys. They played together for about four years. Outside of that, one was too young or the other was too old. They love each other but they aren't close.

 

Meanwhile, I am in the midst of elder care, and am glad that I don't have small children. So no, I wouldn't.

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Some things to consider:

1. Your health (now and for the next 20 years)

2. Your husband's health (now and for the next 20 years)

3. Will your husband still be earning money when the youngest is old enough for college or do you want to help him/her to go?

4. As an older parent (30s when kids born), I see the younger moms and realize I'll not be as fun a grandma they will be. Seriously - they will be in the 40s+, I'll be in my late 50s+.

5. Your parents and in-laws health. Do you both have multiple siblings? I'm so thankful my sister lived close and could take care of my parents when they were ill and close to death. I had littles (my parents were much older when I was born too - my siblings are much older) and wasn't able to do much to help vs. fly in some weekends.

6. Closeness of siblings. I'm not really close to my siblings. One sister I don't know at all really. I sorta remember her - but not much. Another sister - well, we talk on occasion, but we aren't close. We don't have many of the same memories. I'd guess the relationship, in many ways, is like that of a neighbor you lived by for some of your childhood.

 

 

Ultimately, it is you and your husband's decision, and I wish you the best!

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I don't think age is even the issue (though it's certainly something to think about) as much as, do you actually WANT more kids, or do you feel like you don't have a choice because of the embryos? If you didn't have to make a decision about them, would you still want more children?

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I feel so weird saying this.

 

As others have said, it really is about how you feel.

 

Since you asked though...

I was a later in life baby and I am jealous of adults who still have living parents. It is also hard that my siblings had parents for much more of their lives.

Well, since you brought it up...if my parents had kids so much later, I would have been without parents as a toddler, not a teenager.

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We are so fortunate to have our two but had six miscarriages along the way and desperately wanted a third.  Someone mentioned that you will always regret not trying for another.  Now that I'm closing in on 50, I disagree. The change in my energy and raising a child through adolescence has given me the closure that I couldn't get any other way.  I can't imagine if I had a little one who needed me for their daily needs while needing to balance the emotional needs of teens.  

 

Another aspect that I haven't seen mentioned is that the baby(ies) may not be neurotypical.  Could you balance the drain of OT, PT, and the emotional concerns you'd have for that child as you go into your 50's?  I agree with someone else that as you age in the 40's, you see a big difference in energy level.

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I honestly felt as good or better in my 40s than I did in my 30s. Part of the reason is that I had more time to take care of myself now that my children were a little older and more self sufficient. (I had children in my 20s and 30s.)

 

I think the better question to ask than, "Do I feel young enough to have a baby in my 40s?" is to instead ask, "Will I feel energetic enough to raise a *teenager* when I'm in my 60s?"

 

I could've managed fairly easily to handle and care for a baby in my mid-40s.  Would I be able to handle those teen years in my 60s is an entirely different question.

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I don't think age is even the issue (though it's certainly something to think about) as much as, do you actually WANT more kids, or do you feel like you don't have a choice because of the embryos? If you didn't have to make a decision about them, would you still want more children?

 

This is a very good question.  It took us 7 years to finally have DS, who is now 5.  I wish it had not taken so long, but infertility is not for the faint of heart.  By the time he was born, DS #1 was about to turn 12!  So, yes, so much for the fairytale of having two children who play together all the time and share similar experiences.  I would love for DS #2 to have a younger sibling from the frozen embryos, and I have thought long and hard about a 5.5 year age difference.  I am 5.5 years younger than my oldest sister and she is my main champion during this decision right now.  I love her so much!  Although I may not have been super close with my oldest sis when we were children, I sure don't know what I would do without her now!

 

I feel as if I will regret it if I do not try.  It will haunt me forever.  Everytime I see moms at the grocery store with two children a few years apart I long for this.  It would be amazing if one of our embryos were to become another loving member of our family.  As my OBGYN said, they are just there (in the lab) waiting for me!  She is not the doctor who would be transferring them, she would just be my OB, but she is all for it!  I was afraid my docs would warn me against this decision to try to become pregnant, but I left both docs' offices feeling more and more as if this is the right thing to do in our life and for our family.   I don't feel my family is complete. 

 

My teenager does have a different father, and he spends a lot of time at his father's house lately since his dad just broke up with his gf.  We live in the same neighborhood, about 5 minutes apart.  DS #1 has a job and will be a senior in HS next year.  We have his college plans all laid out and the money is saved in a 529 college savings plan. My ex is very attentive to his needs, as am I. 

 

The answer is YES, I want another child very much!  I have about a 50% chance of 1 out of the 3 remaining embryos becoming a full term pregnancy. I have been down the infertility road so much, though, that if it is not meant to be I will be sad, but not broken.  However, I will have regrets if I do not try.

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