I am 41.
I realize that the rate of birth effects, especially Downs, really skyrockets after 40.
We have two boys -- in less than a month they will 6 and 8 -- how THAT happened i am not really sure.
Dh and are currently CTA -- but i am really thinking about TTC
thoughts on TTC after 40.
i have a few dear friends that have birthed after 40 (after 42 in one case) but all of the babies have been surprises -- not planned.
not sure how i feel about TRYING when the rate of birth defects skyrockets so much, but, as you can tell, i am not totally done wither
I'm not sure if "skyrockets" is exactly the right word to use. It increases...definitely. But it's still a question of statistics.
The genetic counselor told me that there is approximately a 3% - 5% chance of birth defects in the general population. Based on my age, DH's age, our family history, and the results of the NT scan, it increased to about a 5% - 7% chance of birth defects.
I conceived when I was 41 and DH was 42. We have a healthy baby girl who turned six months this week!
To me, the hassle was more being labeled as "high risk" due to my age / frequent ultrasounds / NSTs for a month / being threatened with induction. But the pregnancy itself was uneventful and the L&D was by far easier than with my first child. I know that's just my personal experience though.
First off, could people please not use the word 'defect' to mean 'disability'? I recognise that no harm was meant, but it's still a very unpleasant, negative way of talking about disability, and pretty inappropriate.
With regards to your dilemma - What things do you think you'd find difficult about having a child with a disability? How would you be placed to meet the challenges, in terms of financial resources, support, available time?
I see from your other posts that you're considering foster-to-adopt. How would you manage if you adopted a child who then turned out to have a disability? What would be the difference?
If you TTC now, would that be instead of the adoption plan or as well as (in which case I assume you'd be postponing the adoption plan)? What is it about the thought of TTC that's drawing you as a possibly preferable option to adopting?
I will be 43 in December and am currently nursing my perfectly healthy 3 month old son on my lap as I type. I had my daughter when I was 39. I had every imaginable test and was told everything was perfect. I get pregnant VERY easily but I had 3 m/c before DD and 5 before DS...no known cause. I think how easily I get pregnant isn't likely the norm for over 40 but it is possible....
I agree that it is always inappropriate to speak of persons with a disability in a derogatory way, but I do not think the OP meant to put anyone down. Should the OP have said that she was afraid that her age puts her at a higher risk of having a child with a 'disability' or instead of using the term 'birth defect'? I honestly do not understand the difference. Maybe you could explain to her and I the appropriate terminology to use so as not to inadvertently offend anyone? I would feel really bad if I did that. I have always understood the term 'birth defect' as an non-offensive general term applied to a part of the body that has anomalies present since birth. For example, my son was born with an undescended testicle. Our doctor referred to this as a birth defect. My husband had cleft palate, and my friend's son had a misshapen sixth toe on one of his feet. Again, these were referred to as birth defects by their respective doctors. These defects did not cause any of these people disabilities, but some birth defects do cause disabilities (spina bifida, for example). Is it incorrect or offensive to say that someone has a birth defect if it caused them to be disabled? I worry at my age about the increased risk of birth defects - both minor and those that cause disabilities. I think this is a normal feeling, as we all want our children to get a healthy start in life.
What if a person has an extra chromosome (t21, t13, t18) or a different chromosome abnormality? Is it inappropriate to refer to the chromosomal anomaly as a birth defect? What is appropriate term to use instead? Disabled? Do we say mentally disabled? That sounds harsh, too.
Please don't think I am being snarky. I would really like to know.
You're not being snarky at all - excellent questions and well worth asking!
I do want to stress, for starters, that I'm not speaking as any sort of Official Nominated Representative For Disability Rights, or anything. This is my personal opinion on the subject - I do think it's one that a lot of people would share, but I'm not claiming to speak for others besides myself. But 'defect' is a very negative word, and also sounds to me more like a word people would use to report a problem with a piece of furniture. I think many people would object to the implication that they are 'defective' as that does, effectively, mean not good enough the way they are. I would certainly not want my child spoken about that way.
I hadn't actually thought about the fact that some anomalies such as a missing toe aren't actually disabilities. (I think a cleft palate would count as a disability, as it does impair the ability to swallow/eat.) I think 'anomaly' is a better word to use to describe those. Then again, I doubt the OP was referring to things like a missing digit.
It's fair to say that part of the problem is that the post rubbed me up the wrong way generally, but that was the only thing I could specifically pinpoint as being definitely wrong (IMO). I mean, I do get that disability in a child can cause a lot of problems in a family and that risk of disability is a perfectly reasonable thing to take into account when deciding whether or not to have a baby, so I didn't exactly feel I could call the OP on that one. But, at the same time... when someone makes a post in which increased risk of disability is the ONLY issue they raise regarding their decision about whether to have another child, and asks whether it's 'nuts' to consider having a child with an increased disability risk as though that was some sort of blanket decision we could make without knowing anything about her own circumstances and resources... that just sounds more to me like a "Disability? Ugh! Obviously we wouldn't want a disabled child!" attitude.
I don't know if I'm putting this into words very clearly, and I don't want to be unfair to the OP when she might have good reasons to feel she can't care for a disabled child. I just feel the attitude in her post seemed to go beyond "I have weighed up my circumstances and feel there are disabilities it would be very difficult for me to handle taking care of", and into an attitude towards disability that's more problematic.
Momma Aimee, I suggest you join the Fabulous Forty Moms TTC. I think you'll find plenty of support and encouragement in their thread.
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