Am I too old?

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    Hi everyone,

    I have posted before in the relationship forums, but thought that this subject belongs in parenting to see if I can get some perspective from parents.

    I’m 38 years old and still want to become a mother one day.  I can’t help but worry all the time that I’m just too old for that to happen.  I’ve only been with my boyfriend now for 6 months, so don’t want to get pregnant anytime soon, unless it just happens for whatever reason (as I’m not on birth control). So realistically, I won’t have children until I’m at least 40, and that terrifies me.  I’ve also been down on myself that I won’t be married either until I’m in my 40’s.  I feel like such a failure when it comes to marriage and kids.

    Both of my sisters are married.  One is older than me and has 2 kids and the other is 8 years  younger than me and is married without kids, but they don’t want kids.

    I can’t help but feel like I have completely messed up my 20s and 30s, and that I will have trouble conceiving due to my age.  My boyfriend has said that he does want kids, but obviously we both don’t want to have them soon and unexpectedly and enjoy our relationship as it is now.  I would also like to at least be engaged before this happens.

    I know age, timeline, etc. shouldn’t matter, but these days I’m feeling like it will never happen for me.

    Has anyone started a relationship/family in their late 30’s when they didn’t think it would happen?



    Dear WestCoastGal:

    I am looking forward to read and reply to you when I am back to the computer, in abut 14 hours from now. I hope other members reply to you as well.



    Dear WestCoastGal:

    “Has anyone started a relationship/ family in their late 30s when they didn’t think it would happen?”- I got married at 49, and I assure you: I did not think it could happen. On the other hand, I was sure that children will not happen for me, but that was/ is okay with me. I never intended to bring children into the world because I experienced the world as not good enough to bring new, innocent life into it. With climate change and recent events- I feel even stronger on the matter. There are plenty of children who are already here, in our world, and they don’t have a home- if I was to have children, I would adopt.

    Regarding getting pregnant in a woman’s late thirties and forties, here is from an article in The New York Times from April 15, this year (nytimes. com/ 2020/04/15/ parenting/ pregnancy/  baby after 40. html): “More than 1000,000 Americans give birth in their 40s each year, but what does that mean for the health of their pregnancies and their babies?.. It’s harder to get pregnant: eggs gradually decline in number and quality as you get older. If you’re over 35, you’re considered to be of ‘advanced maternal age’- with fertility starting to drop most significantly around 32… taking a particularly deep nose dive around 37. ‘By the age 44, the chances of spontaneous pregnancy approach zero…

    “Of course, reproductive technologies such as in vitro fertilization can help some couples skirt those numbers, but even those efforts can become less successful with age. According to a 2016 report from the C.D.C., one in vitro fertilization cycle has a 36 percent chance of successfully impregnating a woman under 35, whereas it has about a 22 percent chance for women between 38 and 40, about a 13 percent chance for those 41 or 42, and about a 6 percent chance for women over 42.

    “It’s harder to stay pregnant: Miscarriages and stillbirths can happen at any age, but the chances increase as you get older. Pregnancy losses… are almost always caused by chromosomal problems in the embryo, which are more likely in older eggs.. women between 40 and 44 have a 33 percent chance of miscarriage. Across all pregnancies, miscarriage risk is believed to be closer to 10 to 20 percent…

    “Your risk for other complications increases: As you age, your chances of developing certain cardiovascular problems like high blood pressure and heart disease increase. This is one of the reasons ..”women over 40 are at higher risk for pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure and protein in the urine during pregnancy, which can be life-threatening) and gestational diabetes (abnormally high blood sugar during pregnancy). These conditions can create a host of  problems for both mother and baby- including low (or abnormally high)  birth weights and premature deliveries”-

    – there is more, but this is enough for me, going back in time, to not consider getting pregnant even if I was okay with bringing new, innocent life into our world.

    Regarding relationships and marriage, in your first thread- you expressed on one hand, that you have been interested in a relationship and marriage for many years: “I just don’t want to be stuck in another relationship where I’m  waiting to move forward, as my past boyfriends I was with for years, and never got to the point of discussing marriage”,

    But on the other hand, you expressed that you have had the tendencies to (1) find wrong in relationships and end them: “Part of me wonder if I’m just looking for things to be wrong because I have a tendency to do that in relationships”,

    (2) to avoid relationships altogether (and therefore, to avoid marriage), ever since you were a young woman: “when I was quite young and if a guy was interested in me, I would immediately be turned off”,

    (3) to avoid relationships and marriage by chasing guys who were not interested in a relationship and marriage (and by focusing on those men, not being available to men who were interested in a relationship and marriage): “In my adult years, I’ve tended to chase men that aren’t ready for a relationship, have issues, or just aren’t interested”.

    The title of your current thread is: “Am I too old?” for marriage (and children). As far as marriage is concerned, I don’t think that you are too old for marriage. I don’t think that age will prevent you from getting married in your late 30s, or in your 40s- I think that it is your fear of being stuck in a relationship/ marriage that has kept you from marriage and that same fear, unless examined and confronted, is likely to prevent you from getting married in the future.



    Dear WestCoastGal,

    the name of your topic caught my attention, because this question bothers me too. I’m 33 and had a break up recently, so I’m asking myself same questions, as I’m single now and I don’t even have a patrner.

    However, there is a biological limit, but many women can have children up maybe 40 years. So I said to myself, I still have 7 years left. Some younger women have problems with having children, but then, some older women have them without problems. I Know a neighbour who had a child at 42, and a wife of a college had their first and so far only baby at 40 (they married when she was 39). So it may be that you have time.

    But, I also looked a bit at your other topics, and maybe you should ask yourself if there are some other things that actually bother you more.

    You were mentioning the way your boyfriend shows you love, how he answers your messages, wanting to have vulnerable and  deep conversations with him, wanting him to open emotionally, saying he loves you… It seems to me that maybe he’s not assuring you the way you need to be assured. Are you really sure it is you who wants to wait, or are you afraid of asking him?  Are you sure you’re not the one who wants children sooner, and he doesn’t, or you’re not sure if  he will? And I understand all of this completley, as I had problems with my boyfriends who weren’t ready to commit or even live tohegher, not mentioning having children.

    Sadly, we women have a biological clock, and after that passes we can’t have children. Men may allow them to think they can always find youger woman (even though they can be wrong and unsucesful in that, but they don’t have the same limit).

    Also, I remembered reading this article at Ask Polly, which may be helpful:




    I had a baby 6 weeks ago at the age of 41! We started trying to conceive several years ago and in the end we used an egg donor and had IVF. I have quite a few friends who had babies in their late 30s/early 40s. Some conceived naturally and others sought fertility treatment. Another adopted two beautiful boys at the age of 45. If you really want it to happen there are so many options now so don’t feel sad about your age. Just focus on what you can do to find joy in the future. Its wonderful you are in a relationship with someone who also wants to be a parent! However you have kids, they will be so lucky to have a parent who wanted them so much and has all that life experience to share…

    It’s really tough feeling like time is going too fast but there are lots of different routes to a family and a happy life. Personally I am so grateful to be able to hold my son in my arms and full of love and gratitude to any women who choose to donate eggs.

    Stay positive  x x x


    Thank you Kristy this means a lot! Just knowing that there are other women in my shoes who make it possible is very reassuring.  I do worry that time goes by so fast, that I’ll miss my chance, but I will stay positive and know that what’s meant to happen will.  Thanks again and congrats on your baby boy! 🙂

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