Hi All...I am new here and wondering....

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-02-2005
Hi All...I am new here and wondering....
20
Wed, 02-02-2005 - 1:19pm

Hi Everyone! :)
Wondering if anybody could answer this question for me, as I keep getting different answers....
I am 41 ( closer to 42! lol! ) I have never had a child. Like most of you, I am now considering this idea. The only concern stopping me is the high risk for birth defects at my age. I have seen different opinions on this...one magazine said it's 1 in 106, another said 1 in 16, yikes! And a doctor told me it's 1 in 80. Does anybody know the correct answer to this question?...I'm really afraid....should I be so concerned? Anybody know of anybody who has had a baby with birth defects, allegedly due to the mother's age?

Also, I see a lot of you over 40 have had miscarriages and I'm SOOOO SORRY for you, :( Is this also a big concern when over 40...what are the statistics on this?

Thanks for any help you can offer!

Robin :)

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iVillage Member
Registered: 02-02-2005
Wed, 02-02-2005 - 1:22pm

OOPS! I'm sorry...I see I posted this on the wrong board!

Forgot to ask also...what does "TTC" stand for ?? Thanks! :)

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-10-2004
Wed, 02-02-2005 - 4:03pm

Hi Robin!

First TTC is "Trying To Conceive". As far as statistics on children being born to woman later in life, I have heard different things also. What I can say is that of all the people I know that have had children later in life every one of the babies were healthy and "normal". However, I do know quite a few that have had miscarriages also. The vast majority of miscarriages later in life is due to poor egg quality and are usually in the first 12 weeks. It is natures way of preventing birth defects. I had a miscarriage at age 39 1/2 and have not been able to conceive again since. It stopped developing at 7 weeks and I started to miscarry at 10. It didn't have what it needed to go on. I truly feel that if those of us that are older can get past the early development of the fetus then our odds are fairly good to have a healthy child.

Hope this helps.

Lisa




Edited 2/2/2005 4:06 pm ET ET by itsjustlisab
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-02-2005
Wed, 02-02-2005 - 11:09pm

Hi Lisa!
Let me start out by saying how sorry I am that you miscarried :( And I'm so sorry that you haven't been able to conceive since....how long have you been trying again since, if you don't mind me asking?
Ahhhh....ok.... GREAT point regarding miscarrying being natures way of preventing birth defects! I hadn't thought about it like that, and had no clue that may be one of the reason for miscarriages after 40. That's really good to know! I understand much better now, thanks SO MUCH for your reply! :)
I was told one should take folic acid before conceiving, so I have been taking it about a year now, but haven't tried to conceive yet....do you know if this would also help with the miscarriage factor, or it's just to help prevent birth defects?

"I truly feel that if those of us that are older can get past the early development of the fetus then our odds are fairly good to have a healthy child."

Another excellent point, Lisa! Thanks so much for pointing that out to me! I think I will give it a try! And I will be saying some prayers for you that you are able to conceive again and have a healthy baby!

Thanks again for your help and Best of luck to you!

Robin :)

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-10-2004
Thu, 02-03-2005 - 12:06pm

Hi Robin!

Thank you for conveying your sympathy on my miscarriage. I actually was 39 1/2 (almost to the day when I conceived) and then 8 weeks later I found it wasn't meant to be. I am 41 and will be 42 in October. I had the DNC in June 2003 and started trying to conceive again at the end of August, so it has now been about 1 1/2 years. It took me 9 months to get pregnant with the one I miscarried, actually less time once I bought an Ovulation kit and I found out I ovulated earlier in my cycle than I thought. So it was 5 months after I bought the kit. (I have been blessed with a beauiful 9 yr old girl that I conceived first try, but I was much younger then) I then tried for about 8 months after the miscarriage before started to go to a fertility doctor. Things didn't work out as well with that as I had hoped and I am taking a break from it (due to the major expense and my insurance doesn't cover it) and now I am exploring other options, like acupuncture.

As far as folic acid, yes it is important and I have always had a great deal in my diet. Folic acid I believe is to help prevent neural tube defect (a birth defect involving incomplete development of the brain and spinal cord like spina bifida) . It somehow helps with the DNA. In my case, folic acid made no difference as the genetic quality of the egg was poor and was destined not to develop beyond what it did. However, just because 1 or even many of a woman's eggs aren't good that doesn't mean they all are like that! There are woman on here that were told that their eggs were bad after going through IVF unsuccessfully and still conceived on their own later!

It sounds like you're ready to try, I wish you good luck. Hopefully it will happen quickly for you!

Lisa

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-02-2005
Fri, 02-04-2005 - 9:39am

Hi Lisa! :)
Wow! You sure have been thru alot! Thanks so much for sharing your story with me! I can understand why you would be taking a "break" after going thru everything and then with the fertitlity specialist also! Accupuncture sounds like a safe, great, idea, and what do you have to lose, right!? :) Good luck to you if you try it! Happy to hear you have a 9 yr old daughter! Keep trying! :)

I read the following on parents.com yesterday :
"researchers noted that drinking a half cup or more of tea per day actually increased a woman's odds of conceiving. "If there's any risk with caffeine, it's with extreme quantities -- equivalent to six or more cups of coffee a day," Dr. Soules says."

So if you don't already, start drinking tea everyday too! LOL! I am a big Green Tea drinker so I was happy to see this!

Thanks again for your help, Lisa!

Robin :)

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Fri, 02-04-2005 - 2:13pm

Hi Robin,


I have learned having a child is a gamble at any age.

Jan & Matthew (11) - mild hypotonia, apraxia, dysarthria, autism

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-21-2003
Sat, 02-05-2005 - 7:00pm

Hi Robin,


I'm just lurking on this board but saw your post and wanted to give you my experience.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 02-02-2005
Sun, 02-06-2005 - 10:19pm

Hi Janice!
Thank you so much for sharing your story with me! Thoughts and prayers going out to your son! And I'm sorry you had to deal with the non-thinking relative's comment at the talent show...people never cease to amaze me! LOL...
I'm also so sorry to hear about your miscarriage....
They say God doesn't give us any more than he thinks we can handle and I guess that's true! I Think I will go for it and just keep my fingers crossed! I don't even think I will opt for any of the early testing, with all of the false positive/negative results people get back....It would only put stress on me and worry me horribly for the 9 months, if it came to that.

I found a GREAT site, for mothers over 40...it's the first one I have found that has anything postive to say and puts the risks in perspective!

http://www.mothersover40.com/jansexperience.html

Thanks again for sharing your story!

Robin :)

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-02-2005
Sun, 02-06-2005 - 10:24pm

Hi Kea! :)
Awwwwwwwww!!!!!!!!!!! Your baby Owen is so incredibly beautiful! :) Thanks so much for sharing his pics, and your story with me!
I'm so sorry to hear about your miscarriges! :( I hope you are able to go full term next time! Keep the faith! :)

Check out this wonderful and positve site for mothers over 40!

http://www.mothersover40.com/jansexperience.html

Thanks again for sharing!

Robin :)

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-17-2004
Mon, 02-07-2005 - 2:46pm

Hi Robin,

Welcome to the TTC over 40 club! It's certainly not an easy thing to go through and one thing I've learned over the last 3 years is the protocol is CONSTANTLY changing. I've done 12 IUIs, two IVFs and am about to have my last IVF (with donor eggs).

Folic acid - it used to be suggested that taking extra to make sure there's enough in my system would help. Then reports came out saying do NOT take extra folic acid - only what would be in prenatal vitamins.

Vitamin E - this too was highly recommended until last year when there were numerous reports about not taking extra as it could hurt the fetus. I would not self-medicate under any circumstances as this is too delicate and expensive a process to mess up. Green tea, accupuncture - anything that helps get you in a relaxed state of mind will be helpful.

Yes, the chances of having a child with birth defects shoot up once you're over 40 - and the question you have to be prepared for is what do you do if something is wrong. I don't want to be a downer but a realist. Getting pregnant over 40 is difficult - especially if you have not had any children previously. Staying pregnant is even more challenging - I've read where up to 80% miscarry after 42.

These are greatly reduced using donor ie younger eggs. However, there are millions of women out there in their 30s who have beautiful children who have some kind of challenge. My sister is special needs and my mother was only 36 when she had her - BUT ... we wouldn't give her back for all the tea in China (and that's a lot!).

Other options (but expensive) are to have your embryos sent for genetic testing - a friend of 44 had 12 embryos sent for testing and only one came back as "undamaged" - she now has a 6month old daughter (no physical probs).

This process is constantly changing but you must remember the IVF docs are in this as a business. It is NOT a philanthropic industry. They will gladly take your money even if chances of conceiving are in the 2-3% range. You have to ask yourself, if someone said give $10k and you have a 2-3% chance of hitting the lottery - would you do it?

One last thing - when you do get pregnant (see I am being positive!) do not tell many people. It's very exciting but I've seen a good friend tell the world she was pregnant (even though her doc said levels weren't what they should be) only to have to call/email everybody within 4 weeks of getting pregnant that she was no longer pregnant. It will help preserve your sanity!

Good luck - Barbara

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