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English: A picture of a young child

English: A picture of a young child (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Personally I can’t imagine anything worse than having a baby at this time in my life, and if I could find a way to blackmail my doctor to rip out my ovaries at my next pap test, I would.

 

But each to their own.

 

I’m nearly fifty and on a good day I’m tired, cranky, exhausted for no reason and my hormones dictate my mood unless I dilute their superpowers with wine. And my body still hasn’t recovered from my last pregnancy, seventeen years ago.

 

Which is why the news that Sonia Kruger is pregnant at the age of 48 has set the cat among the pigeons among many middle-aged women.

 

Admittedly, I also can’t imagine the awfulness of having problems conceiving when you are desperate for a baby and all your peers have popped out babies as easily as rabbits. It certainly sounds as though Sonia and her partner have been through the infertility mill as far as treatments go.

 

And I’m sure that Sonia will make a fantastic mother. She is intelligent, successful, likeable, looks physically fit for her age and there is no doubt that she can provide a safe and financially secure environment for her child.

 

But she’s 48, a time when she should be thinking about flat shoes, the freedom of the elasticated waistband and armchairs with a built in footrest – not changing diapers. What’s more, nature naturally dictates that women shouldn’t bear children that close to ‘the change’, which is why our ovaries stop producing eggs to allow us to become bitter and twisted without risk to our children.

 

I know it’s not my place to decide who should and shouldn’t have a baby and usually I have a very open mind, but I can’t help thinking that this is not about me or Sonia.

 

Surely this is about whether her pregnancy is the right decision for the child too?

 

I don’t judge her for wanting a baby. It’s all I ever wanted and in spite of the challenges that parenting has thrown up, my life is complete because of my children.

 

But…

 

 

I question whether Sonia and her partner have thought this through objectively? Ideally kids need more than love. They need continuity and  a future with their parents. Just because the science is out there to help us procreate from donor eggs beyond the natural age of child-rearing, does that mean we should do it?

 

There have been a lot of scientific discoveries that we have to consider the consequences of wisely before use. Nuclear warfare is one. An incredible discovery but one that if abused, we now know is not necessarily the right thing to do.

 

I am Sonia’s age and will be nearly fifty when NC turns twenty at the end of this week. But in spite of the generation between us, I am still young and fit enough to keep up with her physically and mentally, empathise with her emotions, give her boyfriend- advice, and I should still have enough years ahead of me to be around for those pivotal moments in her life such as her wedding day and the birth of her children.

 

I didn’t have my mother around for those life events and it had a devastating effect on my growth that has transmitted through to my own children.

 

Sonia will be nearly seventy when her baby turns twenty and their relationship should evolve into a friendship. Has she considered that her child’s peers may think that she is the grandmother when she accompanies them on a tour of uni or goes to the parents evening at school?

 

Of course it can be argued that as long as a child is loved, age shouldn’t matter, and I respect that opinion wholeheartedly if you don’t have a choice like many menopausal women who accidentally fall pregnant.

 

But to choose to have a baby at 48 – is that an act of selfishness or love?

 

 

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