View Full Version : Am I too old for large age gap between babies?
Hi. I'm 35 yrs and DS is 10 mths old.
I have always wanted a large age gap between the 2 children I plan to have. My ideal gap is 4- 5 yrs. I really enjoy the one-on-one with my baby at the moment and really want him started at pre- primary when I have number 2, so I can have that special time one-on-one with new baby too. I have a few friends with very young children close in age and it seems stressful and exhausting. I was also unlucky enough to suffer ante-natal depression whilst pregnant (which was thankfully sorted out before bub was born).
My concern is this- waiting this gap will put me at 40 yrs old for baby no. 2. I am very aware of the increased risks with age. Should I get on with no. 2 before I really want to, to try to avoid these extra risks? What do people think?:confused:
Apparently 40 is the new 30! Just ask Nicole Kidman, Naomi Watts, Elle McPherson, Jennifer Aniston... the list goes on :D
While age does play a factor in pregnancy risk I think lifestyle choices should be more of a consideration. I think the 1-1 time is special and if you feel more comfortable having a larger gap then by all means do so. Many of my friends are older mums and they didn't really have any more problems in their pregnancies in comparison to the younger mums I know.
I'm going to go the other way. I had a lot of trouble getting a successful pregnancy with my daughter (I'm 37) - the specialists told me that by this age, my eggs were 'mutating' with each other and causing issues with the chances of a viable pregnancy (charming I know).
I have 3 friends now who left trying for their first baby until late 30's, early 40's and unfortunately after failed natural and IVF cycles are coming to terms with not having children in their lives. One beautiful friend has undergone grief councelling - as expected she is devastated.
I understand your desire for the age gap and it may work...but there is the risk that it won't. If you desperately want another child, I would be considering falling pregnant sooner rather than later. It's hard isn't it? We have all these years where we aren't ready and then our body seems to speed up the clock?
Best of luck with your decision:hugs:
hels- I am of the same opinion. I want a large gap (perferably when DS is settled in school), so when I do have no.2 than I can really enjoy them all over again just like I did with DS.
And I also would only like 2- I want to pour as much into my kiddies as financially possible and don't want to stretch the limits too far.
And although I am still young and have plenty of time- I am having a hard time supressing my urge to have another now (esp seeing as I know about 10 ladies who are currently pregnant).
But being of the age of 35- I would definaately be weighing up my options. I find thinking about which option you could live with easier. For example, for your own circumstance;
would you be more upset that you waited and than found out you couldn't have any more
would you be more upset if you didn't get your larger gap but was blessed with another now.
Good luck in making that decision.
You do whatever it is that feels right for you. but with our choices there are always consequences. if you feel that loosing fertility possibility is something you can handle then wait. but if you definately want that 2nd bub i would err on the side of caution and have them sooner than later.
also increase in congenital probs increase with age etc..
i have had my last bub last year at 38 years. i have had 4 miscarriages since i was 30.. this is the only one that stuck since my last child 8 years ago, prior to that i had 3 children in 92,94 and 97 very easily.
take care in your choice.
Thanks- it is certainly a lot to think about.
I might add that my decision is further complicated by my anti-abortion stance (just for me, I don't judge anyone with different opinion on this). So obviously, the possible congenital birth defect increase with age is a very nerve racking prospect for me.
I haven't given as much thought to the fertility issue, as we got pregnant first time we tried, but I have to accept that this is a possible complication with age too!
Damn the biological clock! I wonder if we (humans) will evolve to have fewer conception problems as we age.
As everyone else has said - it is up to you. And fate. And your general health status etc ... so many factors.
I must confess I probably would have liked another bub, but we decided that we were just that bit too old to go through the first year again. I was less worried about carrying the baby etc at age 39 or so, and more about the sleepless nights, crying etc.
I know I don't handle lack of sleep well, and it was hard enough when I was 34 and 36 ... I think starting it all over again now (38) would be VERY hard (for me and Nick).
As to the physical side, yes the risks are greater, and yes, your fertility might be somewhat impaired. But that's still a lottery like any other ... my Mum had a pregnancy scare in her 50s! Some older women have problems, some don't and unfortunately, the doctors can't always be helpful as your specific chances (beyond the lovely statistics.)
Personally, I think a small gap has its benefits, and a big gap has another set of benefits. You get a wonderful family regardless of which you choose, just with different challenges. :goodvibes:
well i just fell pregnant with my second at 38 (first time round) seems to good to be true - I think everybody is different and yes either way you choose will be a risk.
I think having children closer in age will allow them to be closer growing up. There was a five year gap between me and my sister and we only started being friends in our late 20's. Eg I was 17 and she was 12 ---- absolutely nothing in common.
It also depends how long you can afford not to work??
Best of luck with your choice - you could compromise and wait 3 years between, at least then no 1 will be talking and toilet trained
If you are happy to take the chance it might not work out, go for it. I would discuss with your GP/OB as well as they may be able to give you a personal medical perspective.
Personally, I would not do it but it is such a personal (can I say it again :p) decision.
I had 2 in 2 years and although it is full on, my friend has a 16 yr old and a 2 yr old and her life is very busy also. Just different issues.
Helsbells, you are freaking me out, I am 35!!!
I have two little people and really want a third, but their father and I are no longer together, so it's not happening... I've never thought, well this is it, I'd better have another one right this second or I won't be able to at all.
So I don't know... I mean how would you feel if you waited and then couldn't have another? Is that worth changing your plans for? It's very hard for me, who fell pregnant very easily, to even consider that I might have problems in the future conceiving or carrying a baby, how about you, what does your instinct tell you about that?
Personally speaking, I will have to wait to have another baby, and it might not ever happen. I am okay with that. What do you feel?
it really is a huge decision isn't it!
My current plan is to wait at least 5 years and then think about another, but I worry that after all that time and with a much older child I wont want to go back to that baby stage again, plus it took a while to get DS and I will be older so it might take longer, plus DS and his sibling wouldn't be close at all....
I spend time every day stressing about this decision..
This is something I can definitely relate to. I had my first baby (DS) at 34 but it was an unplanned pregnancy so that kind of freaked me out at the time anyway! My DP and I decided to have him and he is now 2.5. I'd always planned to have 2 kids if I was ever to have them because I've never thought of myself as somebody who could cope with lots of kids even though I love them very much. Ideally, I wanted about 4 years between my DS and the next bub for reasons similar to yours BUT my partner is 12 years my senior and HE was actually the one stressing out about having kids sooner rather than later because he was worried about being around long enough to see them grow up and having the energy to cope with their demands.
As a result, I am pregnant now and expecting number 2 in 3 weeks! Honestly, I don't feel ready to deal with a new baby as I feel my DS still really needs a lot of my time and attention and as a result, find myself freaking out about the impending birth and wish I'd waited a while. I know I would have been 38 when trying to conceive but for me personally, it hasn't been a problem so far. I've been fortunate enough to conceive quickly and easily but then again, my mum was 40 when she accidently fell pregnant with my baby brother, and my paternal grandmother was also 40 when she had my father (the youngest 0f 9) and also an accident. So I think genetics plays a big part and I have a feeling I might have been okay even if I chose to wait another couple of years, but who knows? I probably would have taken that risk and left it to fate. If it was meant to be then great, if not, I would have been happy that I had my DS.
However, it is your decision to make and there is so much to consider. The main piece of advice I would like to give you is trust YOUR instincts and go with what feels right. You are not neccessarily "over the hill" biologically but you might need the help of your doctor in determining your chances of conceiving,etc. Also, do you feel you won't have a problem dealing with sleepless nights, etc as you get older? Some might cope better than others there. And how about your DH/DP? Is he happy either way? There are a few things to think about there and I know it's not an easy decision and wish you luck with whatever you chose to do. :)
I have just turned 40 and am trying for #5 (no large age gaps for my lot). I have always fallen pregnant easily, and last time was no exception, but I also just experienced my first miscarriage, which I feel might be attributable to my age. At 40 the % of healthy eggs are not as great, so you may not find getting pregnant as easily as you would now.
From personal experience, I've found the ideal age gaps to be less than 2 years (the older one hasn't developed jealousy yet) or over 3 years (when they've hopefully outgrown the terrible two's and can be reasoned with).
I love having 2 littlies. Put them in the double pram and just do everything you normally do, except you have 2 to do it with!
Something to consider...my mum grew up in a family that had 3 children at 7 and 5 year age gaps. She has always felt quite disconnected from her brothers. She likens it to growing up in a single child family for each of them. As each was 5 years or more 'away' from the others they had very little in common.
5 years is alot for kids. So much changes in 5 years. I've always been closer to my next brother who is only 2 years younger, and felt more 'motherly' to my youngest brother who is 7 years younger.
I'd be wary of that age factor too. Past 35 fertility begins to decline rapidly. You don't want to wait too long and have to go IVF or have it fail on you altogether.
IMO I would have to say to not wait, simply for the reasons you already suggested.
I guess you have to ask yourself, if you do wait out the 4 years and then try and it doesn't happen, are you completely okay with just having the one bub? It may not eventuate and you may go on to have another healthy bub with no problems ttc, BUT if it doesn't happen, well I guess that's something you have to consider.
Once it's too late, it's too late. Unfortunately none of us has that crystal ball so if it was me I'd definitely be trying in the next 6 months :)
Good luck with a very hard decision :hugs:
I wouldn't leave it that late.
I read recently that by 40 90% of a womans eggs are genetically defective. That's why it's harder to fall pregnant in the first place, gives us the higher miscarriage rate (usually quite early on in the pregnancy) and also the high possibility of having a bub with DS or another trisomy. This of course increases with every year that goes by.
Many celebrities that have had babies 40+ used IVF to do it & it is thought that most of them have used donor eggs so you can't pay any attention to older celebrities pregnancies.
I had 3 pregnancies within the space of 12 months, the last one being successful at the age of 42. From what I read I had only a 5% chance of having a live bub at that age (total risk throughout the pregnancy).
I also had a DS scare when I got a 1/37 risk factor, had an amnio and luckily all was well.
Then of course there's all the extra risks of the pregnancy - more likely to get GD, high blood pressure, pre-eclampsia, issues with the placenta etc etc. I didn't have any of them but apparently they are commonplace.
I guess it depends on how badly you want another child. If you really want another, I wouldn't leave it too late. If you are happy to go with what the universe is willing to give you at 40+ then leave it as long as you like.
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