Pregnancy at 40 (rather long) - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 09-28-2005, 03:52 AM
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My boyfriend's mother is 40 years old. She is due to give birth in April next year, when she will be 41.



I can't really talk about this with her, because she's not the most understanding/rational of human beings, but it concerns me somewhat.

She already has 2 children (my boyfriend, 20 and his younger sister, 6) but she doesn't have a partner. Nobody knows who the father is (she won't talk about it) but she is determined to have this baby.



I am worried - and this is probably very selfish - that because she is a single parent, she will rely too much on my boyfriend. We are looking to move in together soon as we both now have full time jobs. She has said to him already "you will help me with nightfeeds, won't you?" and he says he doesn't want to have any responsibility for the baby, but he finds it hard to say no to his mum.



He has just bought himself a car, and everytime I speak to him, he is driving his mother to the shops, the hospital etc, for free. She relies on him far too much. And he daren't say no, because, as I've said, she's not the most rational of women, and has a bad temper.



She has joked already about my boyfriend and I having babysitting duties (which we do already, for his younger sister) and how she'll need extra help because she is 'too old'.



So if she knows she is 'too old', why oh why, is she having it??



But anyway, what is the difference between having a baby at, say 26, and having one at 41? Is there more at risk? Will the baby be as healthy? She has PND for both her other children, is it likely to happen again? Anyone had a baby themselves over 40? Or a relative? What were your experiences?



I guess what I'm asking is - how bad an idea is this? I know it's none of my business, and I can't change her mind, and I guess many of you are anti-abortion but I'd just like some facts and opinions from other sources to make me feel better, like perhaps I'm not being a complete selfish interfering hag.
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#2 Old 09-28-2005, 04:07 AM
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well... a) it's none of your business and b) your boyfriend needs to learn to set boundaries with his mother



until he does, she will continue to affect your relationship. If not this baby, then something else. Her temper is not his responsibility, it is hers. As long as he continues to let her manipulate him, she will continue to do so.



Lines are hard to draw, but everso important to a healthy relationship.



good luck.
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#3 Old 09-28-2005, 04:52 AM
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I agree with Amy. It's probably not a good idea to confront his mother about it. I think your best bet is to talk to your boyfriend, see what he thinks about the situation and express your view. It's not unreasonable to be worried, just approach the situation in a sensible way, try not to let it get out of hand, lol
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#4 Old 09-28-2005, 04:53 AM
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I've had similar problems with my boyfriend, his mom isn't pregnant or anything, but he can't seem to draw boundaries for his parents even though he is 20 years old! I've pretty much told him that his relationship with his parents is his business but where it impacts me and my time hes going to have to set some boundaries. His parents will do things like know he has plans to spend the weekend with me (we're 4 hours apart right now so thats a big deal) and make plans for him to work that they've known about for weeks and then tell him while hes leaving that he needs to work that weekend. Not cool, and not happening again.
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#5 Old 09-28-2005, 04:56 AM
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Oh god, no I could never talk to her about it, I didn't intend to. I wanted to get my boyfriend on my side and make him see that this is her decision and he doesn't need to feel like he has to be a part of it. I was just wondering about ways to go about it. I want to move in with him, and this has always been the plan. But I think if he mentioned moving out now she'd kick off because she needs help with the baby.
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#6 Old 09-28-2005, 04:58 AM
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Originally Posted by thebelovedtree View Post

tell him while hes leaving that he needs to work that weekend. Not cool, and not happening again.



Oooh I'd go mad!
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#7 Old 09-28-2005, 04:59 AM
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You're just going to have to pick the right moment where both of you can sit down and talk about it rationally. Hopefully he will see your point of view. At the end of the day, he really is the one who has to take the action.
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#8 Old 09-28-2005, 11:26 AM
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Oooh I'd go mad!



I was SO MAD! As far as I'm concerned that was the last straw. Its really important to them that they have a relationship with me, but if they can't treat me and my boyfriend with respect then I don't understand how they expect me to interact with them. I have my very own family to treat me like ****, why would I want another one?



I feel your pain, sometimes I really wish I could just stand up for my boyfriend but then I would just be controlling him instead of him letting his parents do it.
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#9 Old 09-28-2005, 01:46 PM
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I can't contribute much here, I just wanted to say that my aunt had her first and only child at 43 (it was a big surprise; they'd been trying unsuccessfully to have children for years before that). There were no complications at all, and her daughter is perfectly healthy.
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#10 Old 09-28-2005, 03:01 PM
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basicly, i'm with Amy too.



also, she's not too old. most 40 yr olds are young people these days. hasn't she heard? 40 is the new 30.
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#11 Old 09-28-2005, 03:04 PM
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As far as her having the baby, no, it's none of your business. But the nature of your relationship with your boyfriend is. You have to decide what you are willing to put up with. Personally I think your boyfriend is doing too much. It's nice to help a family member, but the baby is ultimately her responsibility. She could've a)not have gotten pregnant, b)had an abortion, or c)given it up for adoption. And nightly feedings??? What the??? Sounds like a weird and creepy relationship btwn your boyfriend and his mom.



And I agree that this is a harbinger of things to come. If he can't stand up to his mom on this, what if you are married and his mom is rude to you someday? Or otherwise imposing on you? I wonder if he'd stand up to her then. If after a heart-to-heart he can't uphold some boundaries with her, I'd say you are in for more of the same in many situations to come.



ETA- I didn't realize he's living with her now. That makes a little more sense. But hopefully he won't feel like he can't move out if he wants to.
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#12 Old 09-28-2005, 03:34 PM
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my neighbor had been trying to have a baby for a while and when she finally got pregnant, she was in her early 40s. everything went fine. i found out recently how old my aunt is and apparently she had my cousin at about 40. again, no problems as far as i know. and my mom had me at 37 or 38.
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#13 Old 09-28-2005, 03:53 PM
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#14 Old 09-29-2005, 05:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Thalia View Post

Sounds like a weird and creepy relationship btwn your boyfriend and his mom. .

Er, no.
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#15 Old 09-29-2005, 05:42 AM
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The only advice I would give would be to talk to your boyfriend about your concerns. Don't go around blaming or whining -- just ask, "How is your mom's pregnancy going to affect our plans for moving out?" It may have to be delayed, or he may want to get out now even more than before... you're not going to know until you discuss it.



Thanks for your advice, it looks like will have to do it at some point. I just don't want him to think I'm asking him because I'm jealous of his mum. Which I am, I guess.
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#16 Old 09-29-2005, 12:04 PM
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My mom had me at 37 and it was fine.
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#17 Old 09-29-2005, 12:21 PM
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Er, no.

WHen I wrote that I hadn't realized they lived together. I thought he was going to have him drive over in the middle of the night to feed her baby. Which would be creepy.
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#18 Old 09-30-2005, 01:07 PM
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my mom had a baby at 45, when i was 18 years old. i think when your mother is having a baby, you have to put any personal issues aside and help her out. it's understandable that you are jealous that he is driving her to her dr's appointments, but who else does she have to help her? your boyfriend sounds like a stand up guy, in my opinion.
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#19 Old 10-02-2005, 05:13 AM
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Oh, I was all set to post but Amy said it for me.



B
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#20 Old 10-02-2005, 08:40 PM
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Considering my irritation with anything related to babies/children, I can definately see where you're coming from. But as everyone else said it's really not your business. The only control you really have is whether or not you personally agree to babysit or not if you are asked to (which it sounds like you will be). Good luck.

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#21 Old 10-03-2005, 02:10 AM
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I know it's none of my business whether or not she has it, she can do what she wants. But it's my business if she drags my boyfriend in to it, and holds up our moving-in-together plans. I refuse to put my life on hold for that woman.



He is 20 years old and no longer needs to be at her beck and call. We have spoken about it this weekend, and he hates the fact that she is having a baby, and that she expects his help.



Anyway, she is having a really bad time with the pregnancy now, and is considering 'getting rid', as she puts it. She is convinced that she is too old, and has no partner...which I suppose I have to agree with.



All I wanted was a bit of advice about pregnancy at 40, not for everyone to jump on me telling me it's none of my business (I never said it was - but it kind of is, because it affects my life), however I did admit I was selfish and jealous, which I am.
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#22 Old 10-03-2005, 06:12 AM
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Meh. I don't think you are being selfish at all. This is probably nitpicking on my part (I'm sorry but I can't resist) But I'd like to point out that if your boyfriend gets dragged into it, it's not his mother's fault for dragging him into it, it's your boyfriend's fault for allowing himself to be dragged into it. I dated someone once who was a "yes" man and said yes to everyone even if it meant screwing me over in the process. It was rather irritating to hear "but they made me do it!" when really all he had to do was say no. Of course people like to see themselves as helpless victims and get mad at me when I point this out but oh well. Sorry, I guess that was a bit of ranting on my part. Heh.



I don't have advice about pregnancy but I do know someone who had a baby at age 50 and the kid is fine. Although, it was the man who was 50, not the woman (who was almost 30) so I'm not sure if that's a great example to give.



ETA: I believe I did read somewhere that as women grow older, there is a higher risk of the baby developing Down's Syndrome. But I am not sure how valid the study is.

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#23 Old 10-03-2005, 06:16 AM
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Yeah, he is a bit of a doormat (I like that though, I always get my own way, haha) nah, he's a bit scared of her I think, she's a bit of an evil witch when she wants to be. Especially so, with her hormones.

On the one hand, I think aww, he only wants to help his mum, and on the other I think, urgh, you're 20, stop being at her back and call.
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#24 Old 10-03-2005, 10:37 AM
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Yeah, he is a bit of a doormat (I like that though, I always get my own way, haha) nah, he's a bit scared of her I think, she's a bit of an evil witch when she wants to be. Especially so, with her hormones.

On the one hand, I think aww, he only wants to help his mum, and on the other I think, urgh, you're 20, stop being at her back and call.

Well if he is still like this when you (if you do) get married, be prepared to be marrying his mother as well.
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#25 Old 10-04-2005, 01:48 AM
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Well if he is still like this when you (if you do) get married, be prepared to be marrying his mother as well.



The thought makes me sick!

(of his mother, I mean, not marriage)
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#26 Old 10-04-2005, 11:12 AM
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My boyfriend's mother is 40 years old. She is due to give birth in April next year, when she will be 41.

...

But anyway, what is the difference between having a baby at, say 26, and having one at 41? Is there more at risk? Will the baby be as healthy? She has PND for both her other children, is it likely to happen again? Anyone had a baby themselves over 40? Or a relative? What were your experiences?



I guess what I'm asking is - how bad an idea is this? I know it's none of my business, and I can't change her mind, and I guess many of you are anti-abortion but I'd just like some facts and opinions from other sources to make me feel better, like perhaps I'm not being a complete selfish interfering hag.



I don't think it is "none of your business." Both for the reasons you stated, and because this is a discussion board and "none of your business" is just a formula for avoiding discussion. In my opinion, it is no better than answering an inquiry by saying "just shut the f#@k up about this!"



To try to answer you question about pregnancy over 40, let me refer you to the following article:



Watch out for pregnancy pitfalls after age 40



by Roy J. Ducote M.D.




http://www.swedish.org/17341.cfm



Dr. Ducote writes:



Quote:

The facts



Standard medical teaching indicates a higher risk for pregnancy complications in women over the age of 35. These complications can be categorized as follows:



* Medical illnesses affecting the mother and fetus

* Genetic abnormalities and birth defects

* Pregnancy loss

* Complications of labor and delivery



As age increases beyond age 35, so does each of these risks. Nevertheless, proper preparation before pregnancy and early prenatal care can help assure the best outcome.



On the issue of genetic defects, he writes:



Quote:

Genetic defects



It is an unfortunate but incontrovertible fact that as a woman ages, a higher proportion of her eggs contain chromosomal abnormalities. At the present time, some infertility centers have the technology to weed out these abnormal eggs, but for the majority of women who become pregnant after the age of 40, the risk of a genetic defect increases based on age.



While the general population of childbearing women has a 3% chance of delivering a child with a birth defect, after age 40 this risk rises to between 6% and 8%. The likelihood of having a baby with Down's syndrome is approximately 1 in 365 at the age of 35. This number increases to 1 in 100 by the age of 40 and up to 1 in 40 at the age of 45.



So, to answer your questions: "But anyway, what is the difference between having a baby at, say 26, and having one at 41? Is there more at risk?" You've just learned that there is double the chance of having a baby with a birth defect, and triple the chance of having a baby with Down's Syndrome mental retardation.



I think what is being implied "between the lines" in many posts in this thread is that it is "politically incorrect" to discuss facts such as these, so let's avoid that discussion at all costs. IMHO, screw that.



"She has PND for both her other children, is it likely to happen again?"



PND= Post-Natal Depression ?
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#27 Old 10-05-2005, 01:56 AM
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Thanks so much for your help - this is exactly what I wanted, not to be told it's none of my business and to sort my own issues out. Thank you.



p.s Yeah, PND = Post Natal Depression.
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#28 Old 10-05-2005, 02:34 AM
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I think that all you can really control are your own actions.



If you want to move in with your BF, then it might be time to make an ultimatum: he moves in with you and stops hovering around his mom, or you leave.



Then your almost MIL can make the decision herself about the pregnancy based on how much support she has.
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#29 Old 10-05-2005, 03:05 AM
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But I wouldn't leave. Ever. This isn't something that is affecting our relationship, everything is wonderful - it his his mother who I have the problem with, for being a nasty controlling hag. He is behaving in the way most people would, trying to keep her happy so he has an easy life.
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#30 Old 10-05-2005, 03:20 AM
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I think you have it wrong:



It isn't your (almost) MIL that is making you miserable, it is your boyfriend's relationship with her. Like any normal person, he is trying to find the path of least resistance.



Trying to change your MIL is just not going to fundamentally alter the problem: it is likely that if the baby thing doens't work, then she'll find something else to tie you and your BF up with.



So you do what you can: you make it so that your BF's current "path of least resistance" becomes a path he no longer wants to take. He needs to re-imagine a new sort of relationship with his mother, and he needs to value what you have together.



However, if all you just want a temporary fix, then that's what you'll get. You'll just play second fiddle to your BF's mom as long as you let yourself be walked on.
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