Getting pregnant later in life: What should we look out for?

Well, starting to try sooner rather than later is good policy. By the time she is in her thirties a woman’s fertility is declining with every year.

I would recommend learning to chart her temperature and cervical fluid cycles now even if you are not ready to start trying.

The bible of charting is Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler

Charting can help you get pregnant faster and help pinpoint fertility problems early instead of “trying for a year” before seeking medical help

Good luck!

I did this. I continued at The Job while pregnant, then got diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Which is not a big deal except when it’s not controllable, and after some monkeying around we discovered it was only controllable when I was not under constant stress. * There simply was no way to do that job without constant stress – even though my boss did his very best, and went very far beyond what is reasonable to come up with a way for me to be able to do it.

End of The Job.

So while I also liked being pregnant – honestly, I never felt so good in my life as when I was pregnant ±- I do want to speak to this: It can take some time to get used to the, um, New Job. And I will say this to you: It can take some time to get used to the New Job so you may find yourself in a role of being supportive of her in a time when you are thinking she needs to be supportive of you.

It took me about a year to even start to get my sea legs in terms of staying home and the implications of that and the effects of it. It was not a pretty transition. It was a very difficult transition.

That said, I am not at all sorry about having done it. I am ever so pleased about having been able to do it, for many reasons. Some of which were the reasons I did it and many of which are very far from what I was thinking at the time. But somebody needs to warn her, the jones from kicking the Big Job is pretty heavy and there aren’t really any good drugs to help when you get the shakes.

*Which is most unfair, as I liked stress. I sought stress. I ate stress for breakfast. Otherwise I would not have had the Big Job.

  • Delivery I could have done without, both times actually. But pregnancy was terrific.

Those are good points. I didn’t stop working for most of the time, but there were periods when I was between jobs for a good while and stayed home with the kids. I personally found dealing with an infant on my own all day to be very stressful at times. Both of my kids were the sort of baby that likes to be on you all the time and they didn’t get really good at amusing themselves until they were about 2 or 3. Getting out of the house helps. In contrast, I was laid off during this past summer and my kids, who are now 7 and 9, went to Camp Mommy. We had a blast.

A seven-year-old!? It’s difficult enough to keep up with a 4 year-old!

Marienee very good post, I forwarded it to my wife who just emailed me back…she liked it very much, and feels much the same way. Even though her superior is basically herself, she will be very missed when she leaves and her replacement will probably make some mistakes, but it’s been a long time since I heard my wife say, "I’ll be ok with not going to work at 7 and coming home at 7. So that makes me happy…

When I had my first, at 30, my doctor recommended a test that I think was called an AFP, or triple-screen, which was a simple blood test (on me, when I was pregnant) to screen for Down’s Syndrome, spina bifida, and something else that I have forgotten. No big deal, as it was non-invasive and not as risky as an amnio.

When I had my second, at 34, the new doctor called it a quad-screen, and added a test for cystic fibrosis. It turns out, I am a carrier for the CF gene, but thankfully, none of my kids have the disease. Still, a few months sweating it out, and visits to a specialist who did more ultrasounds.

When I had my third, and last, at 35, there were indications that the baby might have spina bifida. He doesn’t. We were fortunate, and I feel that we dodged a couple of bullets with the last two babies.

One kid has autism, and he’s the one with whom I had fewer ultrasounds, and delayed vaccinations. The other two seem to be ok so far, but yes, it’s exhausting for their 43-year-old father to chase them around the backyard.

What you should expect is grocery store clerks and the like asking you, “Is this your grandchild?” And going to school functions and feeling like all the other parents look like kids in their 20s and 30s. Oh, wait. They probably are. :slight_smile:

My parents were 40 and 51 when I was born. When my son was born, I was 37 and my husband was 50. As a kid, I was never aware of my parents being particularly older than my friends’ parents. I mean, all parents are just…OLD, when you’re a kid.

Oops. Sorry. You asked for biological info.

Ooh, forgot about this one. When #2 was about three months old, a plumber came to fix our washer drain. My husband was holding the baby, and the plumber said, “Cute! Your kid dropped the grandbaby off for you to babysit?” My husband sort of snarled at him, and said, “No, he’s mine.”

Husband is still a little irked about that. More so that I was doubled over laughing. :smiley:

If you do have trouble conceiving go to a doctor sooner than later. Time is of the essence. Skip the OB-GYN because they don’t have specialized training in this area. A doctor who specializes is known as a reproductive endocrinologist. Seek out the best one you can find. My husband and I have been trying to conceive our second for more than two years at this point. We just had a chemical pregnancy after an IVF cycle. I am thirty-six, very soon to be thirty-seven. We’ll be trying again in late July.

I had my first baby at 37, and the second one at 40. I advise the following to anyone planning to have a “advanced maternal age” pregnancy:

  1. Be in good shape before going into the pregnancy…it is pretty taxing on your body, even if you have a relatively easy pregnancy.

  2. Start on prenatal vitamins now. (My doctor advises me to take them all the time, because you never know!)

  3. Before hand, think through and discuss the various risk factors, the test (such as amnios) that you can get, what your plans will be if there is something wrong with the baby, and how you will handle it emotionally. My husband and I talked a lot about the risks, and once we went ahead and got pregnant, decided we wouldn’t have any of the tests. It was somewhat stressful, thinking about the things that could go wrong, especially that the baby might have a chromosomal problem like Down Syndrome. On the other hand, a close friend of mine had the amnio, so she knew the baby was fine, but she ended up on bed rest for nearly 5 months, because the test caused her to start leaking fluid. So talk to your doctor, get all the info you need about risk factors and such, and really think about it BEFORE you decide to get pregnant.

  4. Use an ovulation predictor test, so you don’t go “hit or miss” on trying to get pregnant. Worked for me the first month.

Do it sooner rather than later. I opted for later, and now it’s not happening at all. Several years of trying naturally, two failed IVF cycles and lots of tears, frustration, anger and sadness. I’ll be 40 next month and I can feel the clock ticking day by day. I wish I’d started trying sooner.

Hmm…my wife and I are young by some of the dopers that have posted here (33 and 32 for the first child 35 and 34 for this upcoming second one) but I’ll still echo some of the sentiments. To me two of the biggest hurdles are adjusting your lifestyle for kids and physically keeping up with them.

When you’re in your early 20’s, you really don’t have that much of an established life…you’ve really only been on your own for a couple of years probably. When you’re in your 30’s, you’re used to doing certain things. Going out to a movie whenever you want…or dinner. Being able to fly to Rome for a long weekend for instance…or a drive across Mexico. Sure you can still do some of these things with children…but it’s not at all easy. Both financially and just finding the time or someone to watch them…or traveling with them.

Like someone else said, chaising after a little kid is a hell of a lot harder than you think. They move…fast. Just wait till you take them to one of those “bounce on stuff” play places and have to crawl through all that crap with them. That really makes you feel old. But I still wouldn’t not have my little girl and soon-to-come little boy for anything in the world. Whatever we lost by having them, we gained so much more joy by being around them. Just be prepared for it.

Good Luck!