By on July 17, 2009

Back in December of 2008 I wrote a post about age and pregnancy. I asked our readers when is too old really too old?

The Spanish woman who had twins at age 66 has died leaving her children behind. And now Jenny Brown age 72 (yes I said 72) states she wants to have a baby. “I’d always had it in the back of my mind that when the time was right I’d like to have a child,” she said. Jenny also says that women die of all ages, she hopes to live to be 100 and after all Jane Goody died young, and after all she will have a guardian appointed to raise her children in the event she dies before they are adults.

As I sit here shaking my head in disbelief as I write on one level I of all people understand Jenny’s desire as well as the desires of other women who so desperately want children. I was one of those desperate women. After each of my losses I always hoped that somewhere deep within me I had the strength and the wherewithal to just try one more time.

I ask myself often — “Marna, how long would you have continued to try? When would you have stopped.”

Honestly I can’t answer that. I don’t know when I would have stopped. I can’t tell you if I would have continued this journey up into my fifty’s or even sixties. I would hope not, so on that level I can understand the motivation of Jenny Brown.

For me it’s very complicated. On one hand I think it’s not okay to have a child as an elderly woman. However, with that being said I am not sure if there is a magic age. I know a lot of 35 year olds who are not as healthy as many 50 year olds who are having children now. There’s also the argument that we don’t know how long our time is on this earth and if it’s your time it’s your time regardless of age – I have seen lots of kids who have sadly lost their young mothers to accidents, cancer etc. And in the event that the couple attempting to have children through DE IVF, the father is 35 and the mother is 50 (Yes that does happen more often than we realize) — is the couple’s age really then 30? We don’t think twice about older men marrying young women and having families — look at Donald Trump and Tony Randall. Mr. Trump is 63 and a new father and I think Mr. Randall was 80+ when he fathered his last child. And to complicate things even further — single mothers. Are we fair to them when clinics impose stricter age guidelines because they are without a partner?

Regardless I think the most important aspect to remember is regardless of the age of the parents if a person is going to bring children into the world they need to create a plan of care for those children in the event something unforeseen occurs – illness, death etc…

However, I ask you the audience, how old is too old?




Portland, OR

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July 2009
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