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One Foot in the Grave, One Hand on a Baby

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If you could have children forever, at what age would you stop?

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Momlogic's Momstrosity: As mere mortals, we can never predict when we're slated to leave this earth -- but here's one big clue it's coming: pushing 70. With that in mind, it's not surprising that the Spanish woman who holds the title of being the world's oldest mom died Saturday at 69 years old.

Maria del Carmen Bousada, at 66, and thanks to determination and fertility treatments (she fudged her age by 10 years to qualify for treatment), gave birth to Pau and Christian. One year later, the record-breaking mom was diagnosed with cancer.

She claimed she was suited for late motherhood because her mom lived to 101. Apparently she was wrong -- and now two 3-year-olds are without a mother.

Bousada's drive to have children was obviously powerful and, some say, selfish. But she managed to do it, against the odds and to the detriment of her offspring.

Personally, I'm not even sure if having kids after 40 is a good idea. I had my daughter when I hit the big 4-0. Recently, I've started to worry about early menopause and age spots, all while simultaneously teaching my daughter how to tie her shoes.

But even if you were able to have kids for as long as you wanted, naturally, without fertility treatments, would you really want to?? Our eggs have a shelf life for a reason: 80-year-old women cannot collapse a stroller without breaking a hip.

Do you think there should be a cut-off point to pregnancy?


next: Are Painful Deliveries a Plus for New Moms?
16 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous July 17, 2009, 3:34 PM

35 but that’s just my opinion. I wouldn’t judge anyone for going later in life. I do think 66 is too old but she did bring 2 beautiful children into this world and I hope that they will have a wonderful life despite not having their mother in it.

Angela July 17, 2009, 3:35 PM

I would probably stop at 35. I am a young mom, and I eventually want to have the freedom to enjoy traveling without kids when I’m older.

JUDITH SHERRIFF July 17, 2009, 3:54 PM

ive a one year old son my eldest child is 29 and im a grandmother of 5 im 47
i think its down to personal choice

Lisa July 17, 2009, 3:58 PM

I didn’t meet my husband until I was 38 and we both wanted children. I finally gave birth to a healthy, beautiful baby girl when I was 44. Not the way I would have planned it, but I never dreamed that I would get married late in life and then have fertility issues. Thankfully, I’m healthy. Although I agree that 66 is too old to have children, I don’t agree with the other posters that 35 should be a cutoff. My personal cutoff was 45. Really depends on the individual.

Secret Mommy July 17, 2009, 4:19 PM

Obviously each person or couple is going to decide this on their own, but making blanket statements about when is too old is just wrong. My hubs and I are in our late 30’s (okay, nearing 40…) and expecting our 2nd. We are both young at heart and physically healthy. Whose to say we shouldn’t have had kids because we met in our 30’s and didn’t get preggo before 35? Yes, though, I agree that 66 seems far too old and irresponsible to have a baby, but at the same time I just don’t feel like I have the right to judge someone for her private family decisions.

anon again July 17, 2009, 5:17 PM

I don’t see where any of the other posters are passing judgement on anyone.
I believe each of them said that “in my opinion” so please don’t pass your own judgement. I don’t understand why women get so defensive on this site.

Rachelle July 17, 2009, 7:02 PM

I believe it’s a personal choice. My husband and I adopted our first child three years ago, and will hopefully adopt again next year. I’m 37 and so is my husband. My body may be starting to feel the affects of my age, but mentally? I still feel like someone in their 20’s, and my drive to have children is just as strong. I feel bad for the lady who died. Sixty-six IS extremely old to have children, especially to give birth, but she obviously wanted them very badly. People may say it made her selfish, but I can certainly understand her need. At least she had 3 years with them. Hopefully, before she died, she set up a good home for the kids where her memory will be preserved, and they will be loved very much.

VanBurenMom July 17, 2009, 7:06 PM

WOW… I am 29 with a 17mth old and a 5yr old and I have a hard time keeping up with them. Throw in a 15mth old puppy and I am pooped out at the end of the day. Hubby and I made the decision of no children after I was 30 because the women in my family have a long medical history of hard pregnancies and miscariages. My aunt had to have a full historectomy at 26, her daugher, my cousin had one at 30, my mom had one at 50 and her other sister had one at 40. I figure keeping my insides INSIDE till I am 45 will be a good thing LOL. My first baby was an EASY preg and not to bad of a labor, well in my eyes at least.. 13 hours of labor, 2 hours of pushing and no drugs. But the 2nd baby made up for it for sure! She was 14 hours of labor 2 hours of pushing, an emergency c-section, durring which I was fully under and stopped breating 2x! Hubby made the exectuive decision at that point, NO MORE KIDS… he also changed our daughters name from Melonie Nichole to Melonie Jaci Nichole because he said I went thru more than enough to earn the honor of sharing my name with her as he does our son.

66… sounds crazy to me but to each her own eh?

Jen July 17, 2009, 7:25 PM

Not really sure why the outcry. Bousada didn’t die of old age. She had CANCER. Mom’s of all ages get cancer and die with babies of all ages. Always tragic. Never anyone’s fault.

The response I’m seeing in the online forums is baffling. We’re not talking about a 22 year old junkie who drank and smoked throughout pregnancy. Bousada wanted children naturally and she had the means to accomplish that. She also had the foresight to plan for their future. That’s a heck of a lot better than many parents. I don’t see her age either as an issue or as anyone else’s business.

Salvia divinorum July 19, 2009, 3:15 AM

Nice blog. i really appreciate with this blog. thanks a lots.

Salvia divinorum July 19, 2009, 3:17 AM

I would probably stop at 27. I am a young mom, and I eventually want to have the freedom to enjoy traveling without kids when I’m older.

carol July 19, 2009, 3:28 PM

I got my tubes tied when I was 25. Im 35 now and my kids are 15 and 10. I regret getting it done so young.

T July 19, 2009, 10:32 PM

I think if you’re not able to, whether by infertility or by menopause, that’s the end of the line. Adopt? Fine, but women these days are pounding together egg, sperm, and uterus like a 5 year old pounding together 2 pieces of a puzzle that don’t actually fit. There are reasons why you can’t and they should be accepted. She waited too long and she should have been told, “Too bad. Get a cat.”

Gigohead  July 20, 2009, 9:51 AM

I had my first son a month before my 24th birthday, my daughter at 29 and now I’m having my third and final baby now at 39 years old. I had my tubal ligation reversed. I wanted to have this baby. I think 66 is WAY to old. I do believe 50 is the cut off time.

While not mentioned, did the hormones given to this woman, contribute to the cancer?

Seems to be a correlation there.

Liza August 5, 2009, 3:04 PM

I believe menopause happens for a REASON. I had my first daughter at 23 and will have my next child hopefully before i’m 25. I will stop then, unless in 10 years I get an itch for another. If women choose work over family, that’s their fault if they wait too long and if it gets too late. Sorry for being harsh, but it’s my honest opinion.

kim September 16, 2009, 1:28 PM

The fact that she got cancer and died has absolutely nothing to do with her decision to become a mother at such an old age - BABIES get cancer and die too, remember? It can attack at any age, and if she hadn’t got it, she’d have probably lived to a ripe old age. Yes, even though I do agree that 66 is too old, it’s a pretty unfair article.


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