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I know what you mean, exactly. I'm 34 and mother to 2 sons below age 6. I thought I started having kids at the perfect age...but you know what, I wish I started having kids earlier. Maybe at 20, or even 25. Probably then I wouldn't be so sleep deprived, frayed around the edges, with a constant backache, and always fighting the urge to lose my temper. If I were younger, maybe I'd have more energy to deal with all this. Question is, would I have been a better mother?

I check your blog daily and have done so for years. And yet I rarely comment.
What has motivated me to comment?
Lots of wine - check!
Being classified as an ex-infertile - check!
I still think of myself as infertile - yet I made it to the other side and had my daughter after confronting infertility (and even giving up for a time)
To be honest, I hadn't realised your demographic had changed. I guess it probably has...I wonder if we're all ex-infertiles. How weird to be an ex-infertile. Once an infertile, always an infertile? mmmm

I had my three children when I was very young, started in my teens. I don't remember ever feeling tired, I had endless amounts of energy. However I was short on patience. Now I am in my thirties and it is the opposite. I am a foster parent and usually only have babies. I am exhausted ALL the time but feel I am a much better parent than when I was younger. Not sure if it is because I am more mature or more experienced.

I have to agree with Tertia though. I can honestly say that while I wouldn't want to have any more babies after about 40, if I didn't already have my kids I would keep trying until I had my family no matter the age.

Best of luck to everyone, whatever your circumstances.

My husband just leaned over my shoulder and looked at your Facebook picture in the sidebar here, Tertia. "Who's that?" he asked. "Tertia," I replied. "Oh, she's pretty," he remarked.

I love your husband.

tee, the way i read your question you were asking each person what age they individually felt they were were too old to be caring for children. FOR YOU what age ARE YOU too old to be caring for children. everyone's circumstances, rationales and ideas are individual, there is no right or wrong answer. you didn't say there was.

For me, 40 is scary because my mothers brother was born with severe down syndrome. Of course the older I get the greater the chance and it isn't fair.

Way back when I thought my fertility was a walk in the park, I thought "I'm done at 40!"

But now, as I creep towards 40 (after multiple years of TTC disappointment), I realize that I am not done until I have a second child... natural or otherwise.

So yes, it's like drawing the line in the sand at 30 and saying "no way" (cause 40 is still so far away), but then you get there and all bets are off. :)

I figure, hell yeah, I'm tired... but having little ones will keep me motivated to stay active. lol.

I understood the question as well as personal question, not as judgment on others. I'm 43 now and definitely won't have another child. Although my youngest brother was born when my mother was 43 and it was fine. My mother is a strong woman and doesn't seem to age at all. But as Tertia said, my energy levels are not up to it any more. And besides, I enjoy having older children. They were cute as babies, they are cute now. But this is really MY situation. If I couldn't have children and was still trying? I wouldn't stop either, I guess.

To all those in this situation, I wish from my heart that they may be successful - today, not tomorrow. And I would never judge another woman on her way to motherhood. I understood that Tertia didn't want us to pass judgment on others - she only wanted reassurance that she's not the only tired mommie....

I wasn't the one that accused you of selling out, but I was a bit confused by the poll. You kept saying that *your* personal cut off was 40. Which I was fine with, 'cause that is your decision. BUT one of the poll's answers stated "I have no cut off age, it should be the individuals choice" and that choice was only selected by 18% of your readers. A whopping 63% chose the combination of 40-45 as a cut off. I *felt* that the readership was suggesting that I was wrong for choosing to have my twins at 40+. BTW, thank you Bobbi for back tracking on that.

I just feel that, say, your circumstances were a bit different, that you were still childless at 40, because you married 5 years later, whatever. That you still had all your scars from your incredible difficult IF road. There is *no* question in my mind that you wouldn't have had a personal cut off age. That 40 wouldn't seem *so* old. I *feel* that you have the luxury of a personal cut off age, because you have Adam and Kate. So maybe the question should be what is your personal cut off age, after you have two children?

I can see that women who are still fighting to have a child, would be very hurt by the post and poll. They are still in the struggle. You are a trail blazer in the IF world, and you represent something very special to IF. And, I might point out that you weren't exactly a spring chicken when you had Adam and Kate.

I have great respect for you and adore you. I'm not a great writer, so I just want to be clear that this comment is meant to express my view and is not meant in a negative way at all.

Once the subject becomes intense, people read more individually into the question or comment at hand. Meaning that if you bring up an intense question like this you will get intense responses. People feel accused or insulted sometimes and you wonder why? they made something personal that wasn't meant to be. But it's what we do when we're already stressed and hurting; everything feel personal. I'm glad you're not afraid to bring up the tough questions.

what do you mean 'not a spring chicken'? ;-)

i know. you are right. i was, and still am a lot older than most moms when i had my kids. very far from anything related to spring or chicken.

re the poll - that is why i stopped doing the polls. because they are damn difficult to word in a way that wont offend someone. its not easy to capture a sentiment in a few words.


I would not have chosen to be 47 when I had my son, but that is the hand I was dealt. If I had had children at another time, I would not have THIS LITTLE BOY.

And I love this little boy.

What totally amazes me is how so many commenters say how totally exhausted they are. I am not. Sure I have a few more aches and pains than I did 20 years ago, but I am NOT exhausted. Sheesh, I chase my son around the yard (more slowly...see aches and pains above), play with his cars, trains and blocks, stay awake when he is sick and I am most certainly not exhausted. I also have a fulltime job and am the major housekeeper at home.

I just don't get it. Am I so weird?

T, I always feel so sad when you go back and apologise for one of your posts. That a commentator you don't know could make you feel bad.

Your post was great, and I think it is an excellent point to discuss. I think that you and just about all of the people commenting kept it personal, about themselves. As I said before, I'm done at 34 because I have 2 kids. I'm sure I'd think differently if I were 40 and hadn't had a child. But we are talking about our personal views, and I loved reading all of them. Don't be sorry. And don't ever think you're "selling out" because you have a wide readership. Women who have never experienced IF are learning so much here. And I think we learn from them, too. Keeps everyone from becoming too locked up in a bitter IF world. Yes IF is horrible, yes it is wonderful to support each other. But let's not shut the rest of the world out. God, how boring would that be?

And, ahem, you weren't exactly OLD either when you had A & K. I don't think you were that far off being a spring chicken at all. Especially when you compare it to 60 ;)

I was 23 when I had my first and 25 when I had my second. They are now 5 and 3.5 years old. And I am exhausted every night!! But I think it's more to do with the fact that they are so close in age, so active, and I also babysit an 18-month-old. I think motherhood is exhausting, no matter how old or young you are when it happens. I DO think as you get older, you become more patient. I am entirely more patient now than I was when my first was born.

I had my first child when I was 21 and my 4th a week before my 28th birthday. I think that it is different for everybody. I am always the youngest mom at my eldest daughter's school and often I get asked if I am her older sister, which by the way I looove. My dad was 40 when he had me and I was his 5th child. I think that older parents are more impatient but then again it is up to the individual. Nowadays, women have kids later in life because they study and have careers. 30-40 years ago women had their kids earlier as women weren't as career orientated as now.

I live in Thailand where there are many older men ( in their 60's) who have young Thai wives and newborn babies. It is odd to see, and I often think these fathers are grandfathers! Also having a child in your 60's you don't have as much time and energy to play with your kids, but as I said before different strokes for different folks.

At the end of the day, children are the most precious blessings and my greatest loves, as long as they are cared for and loved it doesn't matter how old one is when they become a parent.

I think that is horrible that you were accused of selling out. Just terrible. The majority of all the comments were personal cut off ages, not to mention you didn't write them! It's too bad you don't control all the people who comment on your posts to make sure that no one will ever be offended... geez. What were you thinking? :)

I didn't meet my husband until I was 40, we didn't get married for another two years. I didn't have the opportunity before and now I feel "I" am too old. I also have health issues that would make it risky at this age. Besides I'm exhausted now and I don't HAVE children. HAHA

I actually chose the no cutoff choice on the poll, I feel it is up to the individual, and that's how I took your post, what does each individual feel for themselves.

I do feel I miss something not having children. I love children and enjoy their company, but I also am beginning to think of my later years and not having that extended family around me as I grow old. Yet, at the same time, I am okay with it. Go figure.


I didn't think sell-out at all when I read your post. But as a 40 plus woman just now adopting my first child, I was a little confused.
It is fine to talk about personal choices, but you must understand how much older women are always assaulted for waiting, when in fact, waiting had nothing to do with it. We were only waiting for the right guy to come along -- which doesn't happen on anyone's schedule.

I do think it's a valid -- and good question -- to ask how old is too old, and I think that you were very sensitive in stressing that you were talking about your own choice. But even that part confused me. Are you really telling me that you will terminate the pregnancy if you fall pregnant at 41? I don't think so.

Personally, if I didn't have the number of my age staring at me all the time, I would feel this is the perfect time to have a child. I look and feel young, have a very youthful attitude, flexible work schedule, money and a lot of the self confidence that comes with age. But really, it's not even that money and experience trump energy. I am full of energy. More so than 20 years ago.

But I also think that some of the sensitivity to your post is related to a similar discussion a few weeks back on ALittlePregnant. Like I say, the age question is a valid question to ask. But I was stunned -- absolutely floored -- by the number of judgmental comments posted on that site -- posted by women who were themselves undergoing fertility treatments, but somehow felt it was OK to judge someone else because of their age. It's sort of like the saying about people who live in glass houses.

Personally, it also bugs me when women get upset when other women don't disclose the use of a donor egg. I say, it is no one's business. And, in a world where we are trying to drive home the point that all paths to childhood are acceptable, that the child will be loved just the same, getting angry when people don't disclose donor egg feels to me like an unnecessary way to highlight the child's differences. (Not that you asked, I'm just saying).

That is a very good coda--"for those who have the luxury of choice"-- and one I think gets edited out of all these articles coming out lately. I always planned on being a young mom... but then my college relationship ended and I'm still looking at 31. I don't know how long it will take, and once I find him, how long it will be to settle down, and once we start trying, how long it will take from there.

The personal cut-off date, and I do think you worded it right, is just that--personal. To get evolutionary, reproduction is a primal drive, regardless of situation and life expectancy, so the argument against late-in-life children as a rule doesn't quite work. Not so long ago, people didn't expect to live past 30 or 40. In some countries this is still true. Women also expected to face death down during childbirth, regardless of their age. And yet, thank heavens they all chose to reproduce, or we'd have no society.

Ideally you want to see your children grow up and have families of their own, but to deny someone a child because they might not meet their grandchildren or because they get winded chasing them through the house... Busting out the actuarial tables to determine someone's "right" to reproduce is ridiculous. Your responsibility to society is to perpetuate it and to provide as best you can for the child, not to live until your child feels comfortable with you dying, because that will be never.

The drive to have a child cannot be turned off, in some people, at any age, and nobody should say differently. Whether you WANT to have a child at that age, that is a whole other story.

No, you didn't sell out. I am glad that you asked the question in order to stimulate discussion and I believe you were very clear about your personal feelings based on your current situation – not to judge others.

As unpopular as it is there are issues to consider – and changes that happen – the older you get when it comes to conceiving, delivering and raising a child. As you mentioned, (whether the audience likes to hear it or not) it is a fact that fertility decreases and pregnancy complications and genetic disorders increase with maternal age.

I was also somewhat surprised by the interpretation of the question almost exclusively to biological children. Many “infertiles”, like me, end up in the blessed situation of adopting our children. And yes, even in adoption, age will matter. I agree with those that mentioned with age comes patience and wisdom – something I know for sure I didn’t have when I was in my 20’s. (Like you, I just wish I had the energy of my 20’s now….)

And lastly I would like to agree with Andrea about the disclosure of DE. Similar to adoption, it is no one's business. Her comment “Where we are trying to drive home the point that all paths to childhood are acceptable, that the child will be loved just the same, getting angry when people don't disclose donor egg feels to me like an unnecessary way to highlight the child's differences.” was right on.

You said it yourself, it's not about age, it's about your self-perceived energy level. I started on this quest when I was 33. I'm 39 and pregnant now. Back when I started I never imagined that I'd be pushing forty and still not fully there. Back then I imagined forty as a good general cutoff. But then you learn: there are no general cut-offs. You never know how far you're willing to go until you have to go that far. I'm pregnant with a singleton but in my ideal world she would have a sibling. So now, since I'm here, forty is no longer a cutoff. Sure, age matters. But making generalizations about age can lead to trouble.

No need for you to apologize. I *used* to think my cut off would be 35....that came and went....ok, 37.....passed that right on by, too....
38?....nope, didn't happen. DS was born 5 days after my 39th bday, 5 weeks prior to our 16th anniversary.

Would I like another child?? HELL YEAH!! but now I'm 44 - and as slim as our odds were before, they are even more so now - we do not have the $$ for IF treatments ( didn't before either - just got a BIIIG blessing !! )
If I got PG now?? You would hear me shout it from the rooftops - all the way from Texas !!

I totally understood you the first time around. But, I also understand *some* peoples' hurt feelings. All this is so hard for some of us. When I was in my 20's I really wanted to start a family--but I married the wrong person (so thank god we did not have kids). But, I had this complex about being a "young" mom. (Perhaps because my parents were "old" compared to all my friends parents when I was growing up). As "luck" would have it--I didn't end up marrying the RIGHT person until my early 30's. I was in a big hurry to have my first baby before 35--that used to be my big cut off age. Well, now I AM 35, and finally became a mom through adoption. Now, I see things so differently. After going through infertility, I wouldn't dream of telling someone she is too old, or making that judgement. I still want to try to have a biological child, and if it takes me 5 or even 10 more years--so be it. (Though I know without donor eggs time's awaistin'). I HOPE it happens, and IF it does I HOPE it happens by 40. But, I don't think I get to choose. I've learned that lesson over the past 3+++ years. And, maybe in another 5 years, I'll once again feel differently. Maybe by then I'll be "over it" or I'll be even more on fire to have a child. Who knows.

p.s. another thing I have realized that what made my parents "old" was not so much their ages but their attitudes.

"your demographics are no longer ivf"

What am I, sitting here waiting for tomorrow to come so I can beta to find out if we're bfn or bfp? Dog meat? Your demographics may no longer be *predominantly* ivf, but some of us are still here and still enjoying your questions, even if they are hard to swallow. Thinking about having said years ago, I wouldn't want to have children when I'm older than 37, and here I am over 40 and praying desperately while waiting to hear if this time is it.

I, too, read the question as personal choice, and I ignore polls because I know there's no way to make them say *exactly* what you want them to.

Now, put your book up on Amazon, then I'll call you a sell out. But at least I'll be able to actually *buy* the damn thing, then ;)

I haven't read the pp comments, so forgive me if I am redundant. I also saw the comment about selling out and I couldn't quite figure out the meaning either. I think selling out is an abandonment of sorts and I don't see that at all here. I see your blog as an evolution. It has changed as you have changed. Nothin' wrong with that.

I understood the spirit of your question, but I am on your side of the fence; I am a former infertile. I was "cured" with a set of twins and my last child, born at the ripe age of 36. I swear, I was monitored more closely for her due to AMA than I was for the twins. It all seems to be a matter of perspective. I don't know what too old is. 60 *seems* too old, but I used to think 30 was old, too. Sigh...

This child raising certainly isn't for the faint of heart though. I am so lucky to be so exhausted. :)

I only show up for your fabulous blowjobs. What demographic does that put me in?

To each their own, certainly.
Except I will admit to getting a bit angry over the 60 year old having twins. She was never infertile. This wasn't the culmination of years of trying to have a child. Her situation, quite frankly, is appalling.
My sympathy goes out to her first two children (both approx. 30 yrs old), who are angry and upset.

My personal cutoff age would be 40... then I would look into adopting older children, if I haven't already (I am still going back and forth on whether I will adopted or have biological children). My main concern with "older" mothers (and by this I mean in their 50s or 60s) is how young thier children will be when they die. Morbid, I know. But I had a friend in high school whose mom died when she was 15 - her mom was in her 70s at the time - and she was definitely not ready to handle the death (as no one is) and having to deal with being a teenage girl without a mom.
Also - what would be your start-off age (I don't know if this is the correct terminology). I've seen lots of people comment on the cut off, but what about how old a person should be before they start having children? I am the only one of my friends who doesn't have children, and I am only 23. With the exception of one GREAT mom I know, most were not ready for children in their teens/twenties - financially, physically, emotionally, etc. Nor were their partners. Do you think there is a good start off age? My fiance and I are planning on trying around 28/30, but we get a lot of flak from family members who think we should have kids now so we can "be young" when our kids are out of the house (which I think is a load of crap - if you want kids young so you can enjoy your later years, why not just enjoy your younger years now and worry about having kids when you want them?).

This has to be a personal decision for every person. However, as someone who did start at 21 (and kept going....and going....lol) I have to say, I don't think it matters at what age you have twins. My twins are 6. They were born when I was 29. I was exhausted! I currently have 6 children (who can be seen at my URL), am tired all of the time, and loving it! I'm 35 now. I used to say 35 was it. I wanted to be done having kids by then. Now that I'm here, I'm not so sure about that. We change our minds. I don't think that's selling out. As someone who has worked closely with pregnant and birthing women for the past decade, I always say, never say you're done until your youngest is 2!

First of all, I would like to respond to the commenter who says it's all about your "perceived energy".
It is not, in my opinion. My "perceived energy" level was off the charts before I had my twins at almost 44. The actual caring and feeding of twins as an only parent without help is exhaustion indescribeable.
This also responds to the gal who wrote that she has lots of energy and maybe something is wrong with her?... Nope. Not at all. Just that you are not comparing yourself to me. !!!!!!!!!
I dare any mother in her 40's who has twins and is alone without help or family to tell me they are not tired...
If they say that, they are full of it, and Tee you know what i am talking about (and you are married with fabulous live-in help... ROSE... and have your awesome Mimi for the kids!!).

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