having babies and child spacing when over 35? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 04-22-2003, 11:21 PM - Thread Starter
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The child spacing thread has me thinking...

I just had my second child in Dec. and I turned 31 in Jan. My dh and I still would like more children but feel we had our first two a bit too close together (21 months). We've talked about having our next child when our youngest is three, I'd be 34. Possibly a fourth and if we waited another 3 years I'd be 37 I never thought I'd be having children at 37... I certainly don't mean to imply that anyone would be crazy for doing this either.

I really feel like I may have to give up our families idea of "ideal sibling spacing, 3 years, due to my age. I'd like to hear if anyone else calculates their age into their spacing decisions.

I'd also love to hear from mamas who did choose to have more or their first in their late 30's. How was the experience for you?
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#2 of 12 Old 04-22-2003, 11:47 PM
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I was 38 when my first (and only so far) was born. I have no idea how it compares with being younger, like, say 31, except that I'm pretty sure that my bones creak more than back then.

I definitely think about spacing. I would like to wait til dd is 3 yrs old, but then I would be 41.

I don't think there is a big difference between 36 and 37, though.

Anybody else?
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#3 of 12 Old 04-23-2003, 12:23 AM
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I had my first at 35. I'll be 38 when I have my second, and if we decide to have another I wouldn't hesitate to wait another three years and get pregnant at 41--I really like the three year spacing. And as far as age is concerned--it has been fantastic to be a mother at this age and I wouldn't trade it for my twenties (or even early 30's) for anything! I've packed in a lot of fulfilling life experiences before I started mothering and I know my children will benefit from that. Good luck!
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#4 of 12 Old 04-23-2003, 01:30 AM
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That's good to hear, LadyLee!

I was 34.5 when DD was born and this is something I think about alot. I would love to feel "free" to choose how long to wait, but I always worry about my age. I'm 35 now, and honestly the thought of being pregnant near 40 scares me. I worry I'm too old, that the risks will be so high, etc. But when I stop and think about it, I sure don't look my age, don't feel my age (probably don't act my age either, lol), and I think maybe it wouldn't be so awful?

So what we've decided to do is let Nature take it's course. I'm still not menstruating, but if I did get pregnant right now it would be okay...so we're not using birth control and we'll see what happens!

teapot2.GIF Homeschooling, Homesteading Mama to DD ('02) and DS ('04)  ribbonjigsaw.gif blogging.jpg homeschool.gif

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#5 of 12 Old 04-23-2003, 09:03 AM
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I had my first child at 35, and I'm 37 now and we're trying for another. We're not completely ready to have another, but we feel a definite sense of being "in a hurry" since I'll be 38 when the next baby is born if I conceive soon. Unfortunately it is harder to get pregnant this time, and is taking longer.... might be the age I think. On the other hand, I don't feel too old to raise children at this age. I can see the difference between the way I do things, and the way younger moms do things (we have friends between the ages of about 25-32 with kids our DS's age) and I know they have more energy than I do. But on the other hand, I think I have a lot of perspective on the importance of just relaxing and enjoying time with my child, that I might not have had when I was younger. So I think there are plenty of advantages to being an older mom. We are kind of in a hurry with the child spacing though, so I totally understand where you're coming from. My mom completely stopped getting periods at 44 and my sister was young too, so I really feel I should get on the ball and have the next baby. But if I were younger, I think I would wait longer. Who knows though... I guess some things aren't really in our hands.
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#6 of 12 Old 04-23-2003, 02:15 PM
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I was 32 when my dd was born, and if things go as planned, I'll be 35 when we have our second, and then maybe even 38 for our third

It doesn't scare me at all to contemplate having babies in my late 30's or even early 40's, but it does make physical fitness really, really important. At least for me. I know if I were to allow myself to get that little bit of mummy chubbiness that I see a lot of younger women carry, it would have a much greater impact on my energy level. It amazes me what boundless energy 20-somethings can have even when they're overweight. That sure isn't true for me, at least not anymore.

So there's another good reason to pack up the stroller and get a backcarrier! It keeps you in shape, and I know I need that extra help to make up for my age!
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#7 of 12 Old 04-23-2003, 06:39 PM
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I was 39 with our first, who died at birth - no connection with my age, though!!! 40 with the second and 43 with our third... who will be one year old on May 2. I had easy pregnancies, and aside from the totally unexpected and unpreventable sadness of our first, had easy labors and deliveries, too.

Who knows what kind of difference there would be if I had met DH earlier. My mother was 40 when I was born, and started having children when she was 36, so it is familiar to me.

The whole hype of "older mothers" gets me really steamed. True, there is a statistically greater risk of genetic disorders, but is that truly enough of a reason to give all women over 35 the heebie-geebies??? (I can only say this though, because we didn't have to face any horrible decisions regarding our children, and I know others who have had to.) But if you're basically healthy, have good nutrition and excerise and (hopefully) have a loving and supportive environment, why can't older women birth and parent well?

gotta go take a nap (just kidding!)

44 and proud of it
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#8 of 12 Old 04-23-2003, 06:48 PM
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I won't start to TTC until next year when I am 33. I used to think about spacing (thought two years ideal since that is what me and my brother are), but I don't feel I have that option now. I will be contstantly pregnant or TTC from my 33rd birthday until I have 3 kids or admit defeat in my 40s.
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#9 of 12 Old 04-23-2003, 06:56 PM
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I'm 30 now and have a 2 year old DS. I just started a thread about considering going back to school which would push back the plan for child#2 to 2006, when I would be 33. I'm not too concerned about #2, as I am about #3, where I would be past 35. My SIL had her 2 kids at 35 and 37 and they are fine. I just feel so much information we get is says how "risky" it is to have a baby after 35.

But y'all are encouraging me. Thanks!


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#10 of 12 Old 04-23-2003, 07:06 PM - Thread Starter
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I suppose I was buying into a bit of the fear of later pregnancy and labor...birth defects, harder to conceive, longer recovery...

I now have a renewed sense of security in our decision to follow through on our "ideal" child spacing regardless of age, or at least with less pressure to get a move on it. Thank you for sharing your stories with me. Many happy baby blessing to you all.
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#11 of 12 Old 04-23-2003, 11:26 PM
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I was 41 when I had DS so I consider any one in their 30s having children to be young. Have some one with statistics knowledge look at the rate of birth defects after 35 with you if you are concerned- even at 41 my chance of having a healthy child was over 95%. It can make a difference how it is worded. I had a totally natural delivery and ds is a fantastic child. I have many friends who delivered their first at 38, 40, even 46. They are all fantastic moms with great kids. If anything, they seem more content because a child late in life is a special blessing to them. At the playground, I honestly don't see a difference between my friends in their 40s and those in their 30s and late 20s. I do see a difference between the energy level of my 24 year old niece and myself- biologically, we were all meant to have our kids in our teens and 20s.
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#12 of 12 Old 04-24-2003, 01:12 AM
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I had Dd at 41, and thought she'd definetly be the only one, but we are not talking about TTC later this year, which would make Dd around 3 if I got pregnant somewhat soon. Our ideal child spacing would be 4 years, but I do feel a sense of hurry because of my age. But not hysteria.

I'm tending to an aching back, and my general fitness level which suffered after looking after mobile Dd replaced yoga and tai chi.

I don't worry about things like being "the oldest mom at the HS graduation." I am more patient than when I was younger, and I'm good at spending hours making filling the dishwasher fun, because I got to do lots of interesting things, like travel, and career things, before.

My energy is not what it was years ago, but I'm a much more sane person!
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