I just finished (this morning!) reading the novel "State of Wonder," by Ann Patchett. I've loved her style ever since I finally listened to the people who said that "Bel Canto" was amazing and beautiful even though it was pretty much about terrorism. In the novel, among other things, a group of scientists have found a tribe in South America in which women never experience menopause and therefore can continue getting pregnant and giving birth their entire lives. They care for their babies as they can, trusting that when they can't their own daughters and granddaughters will be there It presents the idea as something that pharm companies would love to get their hands on and make millions with, but controversial for all sorts of other reasons.
It was a lovely novel, and I recommend it to any of you looking for summer reading.
So imagine my surprise when I'm browsing through the pregnancy articles on the Huffington Post not three hours later and I find a link to this:
An article on beginning motherhood (and parenthood) in one's late 40s and 50s (and even beyond).
The article talks about women being brought out of menopause to get pregnant, women freezing their eggs or using donor eggs along with their husbands' sperm in their own wombs. How there is arthritis and high blood pressure to deal with. How "a child born to two 50-year-old parents will lose her father when she’s 25 and her mother when she’s 30."
But make sure you keep going! At the middle of the article, there's a shift. The article also talks about how children born through IVF score better on intelligence tests. Children of older people find their parents more involved because they're aware of how much they had to risk and fight to have children later. These women having babies later are living longer. After all, "now the average woman lives to be 81. At 50, she’s nowhere near dead."
I'm curious as to what you all think. On the one hand, I don't want to judge a woman for wanting a baby at 50 any more than I would judge someone for wanting one at 25 - as long as she really wants the baby and believes herself to be as ready as she can be emotionally and financially. On the other hand, I am in awe of a woman who would take on all of the physical effects that I've felt so far even 22 weeks into my very easy first pregnancy - what would morning sickness, trying to sleep comfortably, carrying 30 extra pounds around, and labor all be like at the age when many people are getting hip replacements, knee replacements, hormone treatment for menopause symptoms, etc?
I know we have some slightly older mamas in this group (I'm 26 and have absolutely no idea what it would be like to be even 15 years older and getting pregnant), and I would love to hear your perspectives.