DE moms over 45: Does the self-consciousness go away when the baby comes?

DE moms over 45: Does the self-consciousness go away when the baby comes?

HappyBean
HappyBean

February 22nd, 2013, 4:42 pm #1

(OE MENTIONED IN POST, by the way)

This may seem very navel-gazey and a bit of a tangent from the mechanics to trying to get a DE preg up and running, but I'm wondering about this.

I'm 45 and quite likely to be 46, at least, when I give birth (ptui ptui ptui--I should be so lucky!). I live in an area where there's enough awareness of ART that there are bound to be a few raised eyebrows and pointed questions about my age and the ways and means of my being PG. Over 40, no one blinks around here, but over 45, plenty of people know that that's beyond the range of plausible deniability for it being non-DE.

Why do I care? I don't know, I just do. I guess I don't want me, or the kid, to be a subject of speculation over the years. I'm a low-key kind of gal who doesn't like people in my personal affairs. IVF seems like no big whoop, since so many women around here need it/use it, but DE seems a bit more taboo. (And, I admit it, I feel self-conscious about being an older mom and not being lucky with my OE despite diligently trying over the years)

Is it something that you're simply too busy to be bothered with once you're in the day-to-day of parenting? Are you so happy and consumed with your little nubbin that you wouldn't even care if someone were so crazy/nosy, they speculated that your child was a space-baby byproduct of being impregnated by an alien? Just trying to gather some intelligence based on experience.

I plan to be "tell" with the child after about age 5 or so, and then, I guess the cat will be out of the bag if the kid wants to share the info with friends or our family (who, I'm hoping, will be loving enough to not really care because they're already so attached to the wee scrubber). But in the meantime, before the information is shared with the kid, I'd really like to just smile beatifically and say, "Thank you for your congratulations. We plan to name the baby after you, Starshine Jasmine Fruitcake," and then not think twice about having been asked if I "needed help" or whatever to get PG, or being the oldest mom, by at least 5 years (or ten, or fifteen, or, Got in Himmel, twenty) in playgroup or whatever.

Thoughts? Experiences?

Thanks!

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BlessedThistle
BlessedThistle

February 22nd, 2013, 4:48 pm #2

I had mine at 45 but at not quite 26 weeks so really nothing mattered but my kids. No one's ever asked me about donor egg though I occasionally volunteer the donor embryo aspect of their existence just because it is so flipping amazing to me. I might care more when the kids are older and other kids mistake me for their grandma (hasn't happened yet thank goodness). But that's more for their sake than mine. Right now, my age just isn't a factor.
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HappyBean
HappyBean

February 22nd, 2013, 4:56 pm #3

I hope I land right where you are. I think this is probably just residual gunk from mourning the OE connection/attempt (which, on the face of it, isn't about OE vs DE at all, but rather, that whole try-and-fail rollercoaster, which churns you up inside).

Thanks again, BT!
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Joined: September 13th, 2008, 5:13 pm

February 22nd, 2013, 5:34 pm #4

(OE MENTIONED IN POST, by the way)

This may seem very navel-gazey and a bit of a tangent from the mechanics to trying to get a DE preg up and running, but I'm wondering about this.

I'm 45 and quite likely to be 46, at least, when I give birth (ptui ptui ptui--I should be so lucky!). I live in an area where there's enough awareness of ART that there are bound to be a few raised eyebrows and pointed questions about my age and the ways and means of my being PG. Over 40, no one blinks around here, but over 45, plenty of people know that that's beyond the range of plausible deniability for it being non-DE.

Why do I care? I don't know, I just do. I guess I don't want me, or the kid, to be a subject of speculation over the years. I'm a low-key kind of gal who doesn't like people in my personal affairs. IVF seems like no big whoop, since so many women around here need it/use it, but DE seems a bit more taboo. (And, I admit it, I feel self-conscious about being an older mom and not being lucky with my OE despite diligently trying over the years)

Is it something that you're simply too busy to be bothered with once you're in the day-to-day of parenting? Are you so happy and consumed with your little nubbin that you wouldn't even care if someone were so crazy/nosy, they speculated that your child was a space-baby byproduct of being impregnated by an alien? Just trying to gather some intelligence based on experience.

I plan to be "tell" with the child after about age 5 or so, and then, I guess the cat will be out of the bag if the kid wants to share the info with friends or our family (who, I'm hoping, will be loving enough to not really care because they're already so attached to the wee scrubber). But in the meantime, before the information is shared with the kid, I'd really like to just smile beatifically and say, "Thank you for your congratulations. We plan to name the baby after you, Starshine Jasmine Fruitcake," and then not think twice about having been asked if I "needed help" or whatever to get PG, or being the oldest mom, by at least 5 years (or ten, or fifteen, or, Got in Himmel, twenty) in playgroup or whatever.

Thoughts? Experiences?

Thanks!
I was 48 when I carried and gave birth to my twins. I did have a few strange encounters and occasional long stares from other middle-aged women, but no really direct probing questions. I live in the D.C. area where women often postpone childbearing and IVF is ubiquitous and awareness is high. That being said, I do not think the average person who hasn't experienced IF or had a close friend of relative who has done so is really aware of DE vs OE IVF. They just know a Miracle Occurs in the fertility clinic.

On the pink board, we were having a conversation a few weeks ago, and someone mentioned a brilliant response to intrusive questions: Why do you ask? I need to remember that for many occasions, not just ones around ttc.

That being said, when I was 48, people were often surprised to learn my age. I had had some IPL and Juvederm around age 46, but it was mostly my mom's genetics -- I looked at an old photo of her at 49, and she looked better than me with no fancy creams or medical interventions, and she smoked to boot. Fast forward three years of sleep deprivation, lack of exercise, and the stress of caring for twins, and I doubt anyone's going to be very surprised by my age. Yeah, I'm considering some more laser treatment, but it's hard: that money could buy us a vacation or go in the kids' college accounts.

Take care,

Maggie (in VA)
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anon
anon

February 22nd, 2013, 6:50 pm #5

(OE MENTIONED IN POST, by the way)

This may seem very navel-gazey and a bit of a tangent from the mechanics to trying to get a DE preg up and running, but I'm wondering about this.

I'm 45 and quite likely to be 46, at least, when I give birth (ptui ptui ptui--I should be so lucky!). I live in an area where there's enough awareness of ART that there are bound to be a few raised eyebrows and pointed questions about my age and the ways and means of my being PG. Over 40, no one blinks around here, but over 45, plenty of people know that that's beyond the range of plausible deniability for it being non-DE.

Why do I care? I don't know, I just do. I guess I don't want me, or the kid, to be a subject of speculation over the years. I'm a low-key kind of gal who doesn't like people in my personal affairs. IVF seems like no big whoop, since so many women around here need it/use it, but DE seems a bit more taboo. (And, I admit it, I feel self-conscious about being an older mom and not being lucky with my OE despite diligently trying over the years)

Is it something that you're simply too busy to be bothered with once you're in the day-to-day of parenting? Are you so happy and consumed with your little nubbin that you wouldn't even care if someone were so crazy/nosy, they speculated that your child was a space-baby byproduct of being impregnated by an alien? Just trying to gather some intelligence based on experience.

I plan to be "tell" with the child after about age 5 or so, and then, I guess the cat will be out of the bag if the kid wants to share the info with friends or our family (who, I'm hoping, will be loving enough to not really care because they're already so attached to the wee scrubber). But in the meantime, before the information is shared with the kid, I'd really like to just smile beatifically and say, "Thank you for your congratulations. We plan to name the baby after you, Starshine Jasmine Fruitcake," and then not think twice about having been asked if I "needed help" or whatever to get PG, or being the oldest mom, by at least 5 years (or ten, or fifteen, or, Got in Himmel, twenty) in playgroup or whatever.

Thoughts? Experiences?

Thanks!
Your paragraph "Why do I care? I don't know, I just do. I guess I don't want me, or the kid, to be a subject of speculation over the years. I'm a low-key kind of gal who doesn't like people in my personal affairs... I admit it, I feel self-conscious about being an older mom and not being lucky with my OE despite diligently trying over the years"

This is me EXACTLY. I am very low key, don't like people in my business, and I feel so self conscious. All my friends are done with having kids, and quite frankly they would look at me in horror once I get pregnant. One friend even said to me that she knows someone at age 46 that just had a baby, and she said to me "Isn't that crazy?!! Who would have a baby at this age?"

She was incredulous that anyone would even think about it. So, I definitely understand your thoughts. I don't have any good advice for you, but I am facing this as well. I just wish I were like the other posters who didn't care what other's thought.
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Joined: May 10th, 2011, 11:57 pm

February 22nd, 2013, 8:04 pm #6

(OE MENTIONED IN POST, by the way)

This may seem very navel-gazey and a bit of a tangent from the mechanics to trying to get a DE preg up and running, but I'm wondering about this.

I'm 45 and quite likely to be 46, at least, when I give birth (ptui ptui ptui--I should be so lucky!). I live in an area where there's enough awareness of ART that there are bound to be a few raised eyebrows and pointed questions about my age and the ways and means of my being PG. Over 40, no one blinks around here, but over 45, plenty of people know that that's beyond the range of plausible deniability for it being non-DE.

Why do I care? I don't know, I just do. I guess I don't want me, or the kid, to be a subject of speculation over the years. I'm a low-key kind of gal who doesn't like people in my personal affairs. IVF seems like no big whoop, since so many women around here need it/use it, but DE seems a bit more taboo. (And, I admit it, I feel self-conscious about being an older mom and not being lucky with my OE despite diligently trying over the years)

Is it something that you're simply too busy to be bothered with once you're in the day-to-day of parenting? Are you so happy and consumed with your little nubbin that you wouldn't even care if someone were so crazy/nosy, they speculated that your child was a space-baby byproduct of being impregnated by an alien? Just trying to gather some intelligence based on experience.

I plan to be "tell" with the child after about age 5 or so, and then, I guess the cat will be out of the bag if the kid wants to share the info with friends or our family (who, I'm hoping, will be loving enough to not really care because they're already so attached to the wee scrubber). But in the meantime, before the information is shared with the kid, I'd really like to just smile beatifically and say, "Thank you for your congratulations. We plan to name the baby after you, Starshine Jasmine Fruitcake," and then not think twice about having been asked if I "needed help" or whatever to get PG, or being the oldest mom, by at least 5 years (or ten, or fifteen, or, Got in Himmel, twenty) in playgroup or whatever.

Thoughts? Experiences?

Thanks!
Hi HappyBean,

I'm 45 now and my son is 15 months old. No one has asked me about DE, but I did get a few "was it planned?" (you have no idea!) And most people probably don't know I'm 45: I'm blessed with a good complexion, not many gray hairs yet, and for some reason I can't fathom, motherhood has made me look younger. (I'm sure it will have the opposite effect in a few years!) I think the key to your question is in the word "self-consciousness": it's not so much what others think, or OE vs DE, but how we feel about ourselves as older moms. For me, most of the time I am so consumed with the "little nubbin" that I don't have time to think about my age OR the donor aspect. But there are times when I really feel my age physically, or when I feel some random twinge in my body and start to fear that I'll get sick and die while he's still very young. Morbid, I know. It all comes down to wishing we hadn't had the long IF journey. But I didn't meet my DH until I was 37, and we got married when I was 40. So, my predominant feeling (apart from exhaustion!) is gratitude for what we have.

Now, if we decide to go for #2, I'm sure there will be raised eyebrows. Right now I don't think that's going to happen, but if it does, I will practice the "why do you ask?" line.

Best of luck to you!

Jen
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HappyBean
HappyBean

February 22nd, 2013, 8:23 pm #7

I was 48 when I carried and gave birth to my twins. I did have a few strange encounters and occasional long stares from other middle-aged women, but no really direct probing questions. I live in the D.C. area where women often postpone childbearing and IVF is ubiquitous and awareness is high. That being said, I do not think the average person who hasn't experienced IF or had a close friend of relative who has done so is really aware of DE vs OE IVF. They just know a Miracle Occurs in the fertility clinic.

On the pink board, we were having a conversation a few weeks ago, and someone mentioned a brilliant response to intrusive questions: Why do you ask? I need to remember that for many occasions, not just ones around ttc.

That being said, when I was 48, people were often surprised to learn my age. I had had some IPL and Juvederm around age 46, but it was mostly my mom's genetics -- I looked at an old photo of her at 49, and she looked better than me with no fancy creams or medical interventions, and she smoked to boot. Fast forward three years of sleep deprivation, lack of exercise, and the stress of caring for twins, and I doubt anyone's going to be very surprised by my age. Yeah, I'm considering some more laser treatment, but it's hard: that money could buy us a vacation or go in the kids' college accounts.

Take care,

Maggie (in VA)
I'm glad to know that people really aren't that nosy. And I do see a silver lining in the general ignorance about ART--"Miracles Occur" is a nice broad belief. No need to get specific, right?
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HappyBean
HappyBean

February 22nd, 2013, 8:25 pm #8

Your paragraph "Why do I care? I don't know, I just do. I guess I don't want me, or the kid, to be a subject of speculation over the years. I'm a low-key kind of gal who doesn't like people in my personal affairs... I admit it, I feel self-conscious about being an older mom and not being lucky with my OE despite diligently trying over the years"

This is me EXACTLY. I am very low key, don't like people in my business, and I feel so self conscious. All my friends are done with having kids, and quite frankly they would look at me in horror once I get pregnant. One friend even said to me that she knows someone at age 46 that just had a baby, and she said to me "Isn't that crazy?!! Who would have a baby at this age?"

She was incredulous that anyone would even think about it. So, I definitely understand your thoughts. I don't have any good advice for you, but I am facing this as well. I just wish I were like the other posters who didn't care what other's thought.
I think I'm just going to fib a lot, if pressed. "Nope, wasn't planning." "Nope, didn't need 'help.'"

I don't like to lie, but seriously? If you don't need to know, but insist on pressing, I don't know that my obligation to meet your nosy demand trumps my need to protect my privacy and my child's privacy.

I met a woman who was going ON and ON about how her daughter had a child at 46, and I couldn't get over how judgmental and ungracious she sounded. Some people...
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HappyBean
HappyBean

February 22nd, 2013, 8:29 pm #9

Hi HappyBean,

I'm 45 now and my son is 15 months old. No one has asked me about DE, but I did get a few "was it planned?" (you have no idea!) And most people probably don't know I'm 45: I'm blessed with a good complexion, not many gray hairs yet, and for some reason I can't fathom, motherhood has made me look younger. (I'm sure it will have the opposite effect in a few years!) I think the key to your question is in the word "self-consciousness": it's not so much what others think, or OE vs DE, but how we feel about ourselves as older moms. For me, most of the time I am so consumed with the "little nubbin" that I don't have time to think about my age OR the donor aspect. But there are times when I really feel my age physically, or when I feel some random twinge in my body and start to fear that I'll get sick and die while he's still very young. Morbid, I know. It all comes down to wishing we hadn't had the long IF journey. But I didn't meet my DH until I was 37, and we got married when I was 40. So, my predominant feeling (apart from exhaustion!) is gratitude for what we have.

Now, if we decide to go for #2, I'm sure there will be raised eyebrows. Right now I don't think that's going to happen, but if it does, I will practice the "why do you ask?" line.

Best of luck to you!

Jen
>>I think the key to your question is in the word "self-consciousness": it's not so much what others think, or OE vs DE, but how we feel about ourselves as older moms.

EXACTLY. I feel somewhat chagrined that I didn't just romp off to baby-land when I was in my mid- to late-30s, but it simply wasn't possible, for so many reasons.

My road to marriage/motherhood has been similarly long and bumpy (you know, as opposed to the woman who just strolled into it, no problem, ie NO WOMAN EVER.), and aspects of that trouble me, though not enough to forego mothering entirely.

I am more than willing to alternate "why do you ask" with "oh (insert white lie here)" or "you don't really wanna hear a baby-makin' story, do ya?" (wiggling eyebrows). We can practice our verbal defense moves with each other.
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Stacy
Stacy

February 23rd, 2013, 12:10 am #10

(OE MENTIONED IN POST, by the way)

This may seem very navel-gazey and a bit of a tangent from the mechanics to trying to get a DE preg up and running, but I'm wondering about this.

I'm 45 and quite likely to be 46, at least, when I give birth (ptui ptui ptui--I should be so lucky!). I live in an area where there's enough awareness of ART that there are bound to be a few raised eyebrows and pointed questions about my age and the ways and means of my being PG. Over 40, no one blinks around here, but over 45, plenty of people know that that's beyond the range of plausible deniability for it being non-DE.

Why do I care? I don't know, I just do. I guess I don't want me, or the kid, to be a subject of speculation over the years. I'm a low-key kind of gal who doesn't like people in my personal affairs. IVF seems like no big whoop, since so many women around here need it/use it, but DE seems a bit more taboo. (And, I admit it, I feel self-conscious about being an older mom and not being lucky with my OE despite diligently trying over the years)

Is it something that you're simply too busy to be bothered with once you're in the day-to-day of parenting? Are you so happy and consumed with your little nubbin that you wouldn't even care if someone were so crazy/nosy, they speculated that your child was a space-baby byproduct of being impregnated by an alien? Just trying to gather some intelligence based on experience.

I plan to be "tell" with the child after about age 5 or so, and then, I guess the cat will be out of the bag if the kid wants to share the info with friends or our family (who, I'm hoping, will be loving enough to not really care because they're already so attached to the wee scrubber). But in the meantime, before the information is shared with the kid, I'd really like to just smile beatifically and say, "Thank you for your congratulations. We plan to name the baby after you, Starshine Jasmine Fruitcake," and then not think twice about having been asked if I "needed help" or whatever to get PG, or being the oldest mom, by at least 5 years (or ten, or fifteen, or, Got in Himmel, twenty) in playgroup or whatever.

Thoughts? Experiences?

Thanks!
There's joy in having a child but it doesn't change the fact that as an older mom, you will always be an "outlier" of sorts. I was in my early 40's when I had my child, and although I know moms who had babies at 39 or 40, I am still the oldest of anyone I know. I think about it a lot, and although I do my best to stay healthy & exercise, it doesn't change the facts. I also spend WAY too much money on my skin because I'll be d@#*ed if anyone ever calls me a grandma!!

I often read stuff like "age doesn't matter" on these boards and "kids will keep you young", but I do think it's a serious consideration. Now that my guy is older, I guess he does keep me young because I'm hanging out with little kids and younger parents, but boy, I sure did not feel young in those early years! Not to be a Debbie Downer, but I do wish moms on these boards would be more realistic about the age thing. I'm always calculating how old I will be at certain milestones in my child's life and it makes me feel sad.

Although I don't typically feel isolated, it is different having a young child when most of my peers have teenagers or college students. I do definitely feel different at times, and hope that my age doesn't cause my child pain or embarrassment later on. Seems like I'm always reading on the boards how older moms feel isolated and alone in the journey and I know that can't be good for their little kiddos.

I know that I may get bashed for this post, but I've always wished people would be more truthful about facts of being an older mom. Yes, there have been older moms all throughout history, but it's usually with super fertile women who have had many kids. I have a friend with 6 OE kids, and the oldest is in his 20's while the youngest is 4. The whole family helps out, and I do think this is very different than have one or two first children late in life.

I wish I could tell you that the concern about being older goes away, but I think it will always be there in some form as the child grows, because let's face it, so will we (grow older). I think it's very important to consider your support system because having a child is incredibly overwhelming in it's own right, let alone trying to do it a phase in life when your peers are "over it".
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