Constance Marie Warns Late-in-Life Moms: Time May Be Running Out

12/21/2009 at 02:00 PM ET
Stefanie Keenan

If there was one thing Constance Marie wasn’t thinking about as a little girl fantasizing about her future, it was children.

A true tomboy, Constance never considered motherhood her calling. “I just didn’t grow up with that same desire to be a mom that many girls and women have,” she explains to Conceive magazine. What’s more, according to her, for good reason!

“To be honest, I’ve always been a little afraid of kids. I secretly thought they didn’t like me.”

However a string of events later in life led her on an unexpected path to motherhood. After adopting a local elementary school where she would spend time reading to the students, meeting her now fiancé Kent Katich and being cast as a mother in several movies — Tortilla Soup and Selena — having a child seemed like an inevitable next step in life.

The fact that she was quickly approaching 40 — and still not quite ready for a baby — wasn’t an issue for Constance. “I would read all of these stories about women having babies later on in life, and Latin women are known to be fertile!” she admits. “So I figured, ‘I have plenty of time.'”

The reality of the situation, however, soon turned from an excited couple looking forward to starting a family to one who dreaded discovering each month they had not yet conceived.

“At first you’re both like, ‘Yeah! We get to have sex all the time!’ Then after a few months you’re like, ‘Ugh, we have to have sex all the time.'”

Click below to continue reading about Constance’s fertility struggle.

Following ten months of trying to conceive naturally, Constance underwent a series of tests to determine her fertility. After undergoing “so much pressure and pain I didn’t think I could handle it” during a hysterosalpingogram — an x-ray test that examines the inside of the uterus and fallopian tubes — doctors broke the news that Constance had indeed sustained damage.

“The doctor said he couldn’t even find my fallopian tubes, they were so blocked — the ink couldn’t even get in there,” she recalls.

The next step — in vitro fertilization — was one that left the couple feeling unsettled. “We are very earthy, organic people, so I didn’t want to pump hormones into me,” she explains, adding that she then opted for insemination while taking Clomid. During one of their trips to the office, the couple were horrified when their doctor accidentally spilled Kent’s sample on the floor!

“Now I can laugh about it, but at the time you think, ‘That might have been our baby!'”

Faced with disappointment once again, doctors revealed that their insemination treatments were unsuccessful and advised Constance to undergo a second hysterosalpingogram. This time, the results looked promising.

“We don’t know if it was the dye from the first round that cleared them out — sometimes that does happen — or if the first doctor just didn’t know what he was doing,” she shares, adding that the news was a “huge relief.”

After believing they had finally achieved their dream, happiness turned to heartache during an early doctor’s visit. “All that was there was an empty sac,” she remembers. “My body was pregnant, but the fetal cell had not developed. It was such a radical emotional shift.”

Her feelings were put on hold as she was due to film episodes of The George Lopez Show just two days later. “It was hard not to feel down,” she confesses. Fortunately, her immediate return to work proved to be a good dose of medicine for Constance. “Since I had decided not to tell anyone…I couldn’t show it. I had to be pumped, so work was actually a good distraction for me,” she says.

Her determination to keep trying for a baby was unwavering despite even more disappointment. “I knew we would have a family one day, I just wasn’t sure how it would exactly come about,” she says. The couple faced a second miscarriage before finally turning to IVF, which saw Constance enduring daily hormone shots to prepare her body.

“I have to admit I was a nightmare. I was so emotional and my temper — oh my! I screamed at Kent once — the profanity that was coming out — I was, like, did that voice just come out of my mouth? I need to lie down!”

In an effort to ensure her the best chance at becoming pregnant, Constance researched countless possible causes for infertility. “I learned about BPA, and how it leaches out of plastic bottles and food containers when they’re scratched or heated. It acts like estrogen…causing fertility issues,” she explains. “So all plastic went out the window, and we started using glass containers.” Her other remedies included cleanses to detoxify her body of mercury, Japanese enzyme baths, and acupuncture. “I was basically willing to try anything to get pregnant!” she laughs.

Finally, when a doctor suggested she rid her system of all hormones before implanting her embryos — “this actually helped weed out the embryos that weren’t the strongest,” Constance notes — she and Kent finally received the news they had been hoping for: A baby was on the way!

“We were absolutely thrilled, but after what we went through, we were definitely cautious at first about telling people.”

After an exceptionally great pregnancy — even appearing on an episode of The Secret Life of the American Teenager when she was eight months along — Constance and Kent welcomed daughter Luna Marie on February 5th. Baby girl was delivered via c-section when an ultrasound estimated her weight at around 9 lbs., 7 oz.

“I have a photo of my uterus sitting outside my body like a big Butterball [turkey] proudly displayed in my home office. It is like my purple heart! Going through this, it is amazing how strong women are, and how much we can handle. If men had to have babies, there would be only about 12 people in the world!”

Obviously elated with motherhood, Constance jokes that Luna is already making her mama proud! “She only really cries when she’s hungry, and she is a great sleeper,” she raves. “I think she knows how much I love to sleep, so she’s a good sleeper. It makes me love her even more!”

By sharing her struggles with the world, Constance is hopeful women will consider the possible risks that come with starting a family later in life. “I didn’t want anyone to see that I just had a baby at 43 and think it was easy for me,” she states.

“I completely understand why women wait to have children — no one wants to do a bad job. I’m supportive of women getting to a place in life where they’re ready to be a mother. I just want to say we might not have as much time as we think we have.”

Source: Conceive

– Anya

FILED UNDER: News , Parenting

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urbanadventurertales on

I’m surprised that she was willing to go into so much detail about her fertility struggles. But I’m glad she did. I’m convinced that the majority of Hollywood moms out there that have twins have used fertility meds, but aren’t willing to say it. So bravo to Constance for being willing to talk about it!

G on

^ agreed. I’m struggling with similar issues at age 31, and it’s always helpful to hear others’ stories (and successes!). Congrats to her!

natalie on

Wow! That was really courageous of her to be so honest! I just have a feeling that all of the famous women who are having babies at 40+ have endured many a same struggle as Constance. Our bodies are made to bear children in our 20’s and 30’s, you can’t hold off forever!

Courtney on

that’s not neccessarily true sometimes twins run in families so it’s not always fertility meds that do it though in certain cases they do cause a spike in incidence

at least some hollywood moms are honest about their troubles as constance is but it’s more common to be open about these things now than it ever was in the past

Alicia on

There’s just one reason I don’t think women should wait until their 40s to have children. The reason is because babies have a higher chance of down syndrome or some other chromosomal defect. I think the risk increases after age 35. I looked up some facts about Down Syndrome: 1 in 10,000 for 20-year-old mothers, 3 in 1000 for 35-year-old mothers, and 3 in 100 for 40-year-old mothers.

Basil on

Yes, Alicia, and having an imperfect child is unacceptable so we’ve gotta do all we can to avoid bringing more of them into the world. Bigots like you make me sick. Why so much hatred against an entire group of people? Does it make you feel special to wish others eradicated?

On a lighter note, I’m proud of Constance for not being ashamed of a problem many women suffer from. Her honesty is so refreshing and I’m happy she got her little girl.

J on

I hear and agree with a lot of what she’s saying. I feel that have no desire to be a mother at this time (and may not be at all), although I’m 35, but do realize that things in my life may change and I may want to. And I realize that it would need to happen relatively soon. That said, I’ve informed my boyfriend that he needs to get his act together in terms of finances and life in general before we would even think of being married and having children, because I have no intention of walking around pregnant and trying to have a baby at 40 years old. Kudos to Constance Marie for speaking so frankly about her struggles.

Elizabeth on

Twins are also more common as you age — sometimes 2 or more eggs drop per cycle. It’s like they’re going for their last chance!

ez peze on

awesome for coming out and being open about your infertility…bravo! as a mom who has also endured all the pain and suffering that infertility causes, it’s nice to see that i wasnt alone…

lacee on

Good story. She probably used another woman’s eggs to conceive.

Jenifer on

Elizabeth, interesting fact. I never knew that.

Kudos to her for being open and upfront about her struggles.

Ashandra on

I wonder why her and her fiance have not already married, if they were trying for a baby? I think it just doesn’t set a very good example, if the child one day hears about her mother’s sex life before her and the father marry.

Jennifer on

I don’t think she used another women’s eggs, because that baby really resembles her (but I don’t know for sure).

It’s really nice to have a woman in the public eye who is willing to say that Hey, I was not sure I ever wanted to have kids, and I was always kind of afraid of them! I’m 32, and I don’t know if I want to have kids or get married. I never really know how to relate to kids; I never had that strong & urgent maternal pull that some of my friends have to be a mom. (You never hear about other women who feel that same way which can make you think something is wrong with you! LOL). Of course, then I have those times where I think about the future..what if my Mr. Right just hasn’t arrived yet, or maybe my life is just not in order enough right now to add that stuff to the mix, but what if he is just around the corner or it is in like 5, 10 years?

Whether it happens later or not, I think that our society tends to think something is wrong with women who wait to get married or have kids, and especially if you don’t have kids at all. So, it’s nice to hear her admit that the “maternal instinct” just wasn’t as strong there for her as it was for a lot of women, and that it wasn’t until later in life whe she met her husband and other things factored into her life that she made the decision to become a mom. I feel that same way a lot right now!

I’m also glad to hear about her struggles because I do think it’s harder to get pregnant as you get older and kudos for her to being honest about the struggles she endured. I often wonder about my fertility and what it is like now, and I often think about what would happen if a family DID develop later in my life what my fertility would be like, so it’s good to hear an honest and upfront account of what you may have to go through if trying to conceive when older. Thanks, Constance..your honesty was super refreshing! :)

Laura on

Basil, I don’t think Alicia is being bigoted. She is just saying that the older you are, the more likely you are to have a child with Down Syndrome. That doesn’t mean she does not treat people with Down Syndrome with respect and thinks they are “bad” or anything of that sort. But what person wants to have a child with Down Syndrome? Of course if you do, hopefully you will love your child just the same, but it’s not something you sit in the doctor’s room hoping for. And if there are ways to avoid it then why wouldn’t you try?

Nina on

I dont think Alicia meant it in a bigoted way. Her post wasnt about it being “unacceptable”. For what its worth Alicia…I think I know what you were trying to say!

urbanadventurertales on

Courtney and Elizabeth- actually the rate of twins has grown dramatically in the past 50 years due to fertility treatments. I had mine at 26 so age wasn’t a factor. I was on clomid for 3 months and did not conceive, then we “stopped trying” and got pregnant with twins. So it does happen naturally, but I’m pretty certain that celebs like Jennifer Lopez and Rebecca Romijn used fertility treatments of some sort. Too many celebs are having twins these days for it to be just coincidence!

Lily on

I was 39 when I had my first baby. Thankfully, I had no problems, no complications at all. I was lucky because I got pregnant the 3rd month of trying. Now I’m 40 and my son is 9 months old. I’m trying next month for my second child and don’t really worry about not being able to conceive again. I come from a long line of VERY fertile women. My maternal grandmother had 13 kids. My paternal grandmother had 11. My mother, sister and all my 10 aunts (combined) never had any miscarriages. Both my grandmothers had their last child at ages 42 and 43 and none of their kids had Down Syndrome or any chromosonal illnesses. I hope my 2nd time around will be as easy as my first. The truth of the matter is most women nearing 40 have no problem having babies and most go on to have healthy children. Also, just for the record, when I got pregnant at 39 in June 2008, 3 other co-workers of mine (THREE!) became pregnant shortly after me. They were all in their early to mid 20’s—and all 3 miscarried. Just goes to show that ‘age’ means nothing. I was the old ‘fogie’ of the office and my pregnancy went to term and those poor girls in their ‘prime’ didn’t. You just never know.

Lola on

Basil–I think Alicia’s comment was valid. Many people do have disabilities such as Down Syndrome and it is important to respect and appreciate these people for who they are.Parents should definitely love a disabled child just as much as they would love a healthy one, but I don’t think the real problem here is the parents. The children themselves usually face a large number of health risks associated with those disorders, not to mention the prejudices they face in daily life. Many parents would rather adopt or just not have children than risk watching their child go through that.

Sara on

Lily, anectdotal stories like yours don’t change the facts: one in three women age 38+ will need help to conceive. By the time you’re 40, your chance of conceiving in any given cycle is about 5%. The rate of miscarriage is approximately 40%. At 35, you’re half as fertile as you were at 30. At 40, you’re half as fertile as you were at 35, and the drop from 40 onward is even more precipitous.

70% of women aged 38-40 will conceive. So yes, as you say, “most” women will (although many will require help to do so). But that leaves the 30% who won’t. Let me ask this – if you were one of 10 people in a room, and you were told that 3 of you would die in a car accident that very day if you left that room — wouldn’t you stay put?

If people reading this are still inclined to believe that 40 is the new 30, do a Google search on the Hutterites and researcher Christopher Tietze. Tietze’s landmark study concluded that on average, loss of female fertility takes place at 40.

I applaud Constance Marie for being so incredibly honest as to the challenges of conception at advanced maternal age. As a GP, it’s heartbreaking and frustrating to see older female patients at the tail end of their reproductive years, and to know that there is virtually nothing medicine can do at this point to reverse loss of egg quantity and quality.

CelebBabyLover on

Jennifer- I also don’t think she used another woman’s eggs. Considering she was open about pretty much all the aspects of her fertility treatment, I think she would have also been open about using donor eggs if she had indeed done that. :)

Anna on

There was nothing wrong with Alicia’s comment. No one wants a child with Down Syndrome that doesn’t mean that when they have a child with the Syndrome they won’t love or accept them.

Ashandra, children don’t mind if their parents are not married, as long as they are in healthy relationship. What does a piece of paper mean to a child? Nothing!

It’s good she speaks out about her fertility problems. I’m 29 and nowhere near having children and already worried about it. I know fertility in most women start to go down after 30.

kristen on

I am a late in life mother to be also. Its not a bad thing so if there are other women out there in their late 30’s to 40 dont give up. I was very lucky and got pregnant on my own with help. It is possiable. Dont give up!!!

Heather on

I applaud her being honest as well! I’m always honest about the things I’ve had to go through to have our 3 children (a 9-year-old daughter and 6-month-old twin IVF boys). I’ve had infertility treatments for all my pregnancies starting at the age of 28! Infertility is not just for those over 40 (although I agree with the concerns for Down’s syndrome). It sounds like she had really bad endometriosis, which is what my problem was. My tubes were blocked at the age of 28 when I had the test done after 5 years of blissful marriage and trying for a baby. I also tried lots of natural remedies to get pregnant too and I think they all helped.

Ashleigh on

Ashandra, what does that have to do with anything?

Marriage isn’t a must before one has a child. Either way, that doesn’t make the parent/parents worse. In most instances, even if a couple is married, it’s safe to assume that they had sexual relations before they became involved with one another. Who cares?

Cassie on

I’m 30, and currently going through fertility treatments. In my case, I have been pregnant before, though it ended in miscarriage. I’ve had the tube test and have done two failed IUI’s so far. My husbands count is low, so he’s on meds for that.
I’m hoping for my miracle baby in 2010!!!

Lily on

Sara, your statistics of doom aren’t impressive. Facts ARE this, most women over age 35 Do get pregnant and bear healthy children. I prolonged having children because of college and a career. In the circles I ran, most of my female friends did also. They all had children in their late 30’s and none of them had Down Syndrome babies. My own sister had her first child at 37, her next child at 38. She’s a year younger than me. You think positive, your body responds. Also, I think there’s more fertility issues not because woman’s organs are ‘damaged’. We have a lot of obesity in this nation now and a lot of women are polluting their bodies with chemicals. Read this board, a lot of women in their 20’s and 30’s have already had miscarriages and/or are going through fertility treatments. It’s not ‘age’ it’s primarily genetics, family history and I’d guess diet. At work there’s a woman who has a Down Syndrome baby and she had her child at 17! She sure wasn’t old or 35 then. So, my point is this: women shouldn’t feel ‘rushed’ to have children and they shouldn’t let the ‘statistics’ scare them. There is a very good chance all women 35 and older will have kids. Your odds may go up a bit, but read the numbers..out of so many THOUSANDS of children born, you may be the 1. THOUSANDS. Good luck to all who are trying to have a family. Don’t let negative talk dissuade you…or worse yet, rush you. Suerte!

Lily on

I’m glad she talked about all of this. Now I don’t feel as paranoid for knowing it will be a few years before I have children. Not all of us get to be Mom’s in our 20’s, and we’re seeing so many people having children in their late 30’s and well into their 40’s, despite the fact that it isn’t always an easy road. I agree with her statement that if men had to have babies there would only be 12 people in the world. So true. Her daughter is beautiful.

Anna on

I started trying at 34, our issue initially was male factor and things were seemingly “fine” with me. 11 IUIs and 2 cancelled IVF cycles later, I realized I shouldn’t have waited around. When fertility declines, it can plummet. I went from average egg quality and low FSH to my RE saying I need to use donor eggs. I am healthy, have always been thin, used acupuncture, etc. While you shouldn’t rush, you also shouldn’t wait around forever, assuming your fertility will be sustained into your late 30’s and early 40’s. To those of you who had no issues in your later years, good for you! May you never need to experience the dark road that comes with years of infertility.

Thanks to Constance for being honest :-).

Nancy on

FINALLY!!!!

Courtney on

I know that my own father is a fraternal twin his sister Barbra is 11 minutes younger than him

and celebs are more likely to come out and admit problems with baring children now than even 20 years ago but I do agree what constance said is refreshing

JenLaw on

I had boys 17 months apart in my 20’s. I then thought I was done. At 38 I had boy and girl twins, my sister had triplet girls at 36. We got pregnant the old fashioned way. Older women tend to have multiples, although yeah, the chemical way does produce them in a large number. There are advantages to being an “older mom” and I recommend it, EVEN if it’s not planned or if marriage is present or not. Congrats to this mom, good for her.

Lulu on

Not everyone delays getting pregnant on purpose. Some of us have wanted to have children for many years but simply have not met the right guy & don’t feel that having a child on our own would work for us.

I am one of those women. I am 42. I want nothing more than to have a baby but I am single. If I were mega rich I would do it onmy own but I’m not. I was raised by a single mom where there was no $$ & I would not repeat that.

My hope is that one day I will reach a more secure place financially & then perhaps I will adopt but I am REALLY tired of people assuming that ALL of us put off having kids on purpose. That is not true.

Diana on

Basil – WHOA is it really necessary to attack Alicia in this way??? I don’t think she was being bigoted. She never said she wanted down syndrome children eradicated. GEEZ you need to calm down! I think most parents would want a healthy child; and I could be wrong but don’t A LOT children with down syndrome have health problems??? It isn’t just the simple fact of the child have mental problems they also have health problems as well. You are going way overboard and I think most people would try to avoid having a down syndrome baby if they could; but that doesn’t mean that if it happened they would love the baby unconditionally.

Anyways… I thought this was an amazing article and its great to see some women coming out and showing people that it does get more difficult to get pregnant with age; some people really probably don’t realize it with how many celebrities have babies in their late 30s and early 40s and then may not realize it until its too late.

Jen on

I had my son on my 36th birthday and was blessed w/the best birthday gift I could ever hope for. A healthy baby. I don’t plan on trying again until my son is 1 1/2 years old. Despite my age, I think it’s best to wait to have children until the parents are ready. Both my husband & I want to enjoy being parents to our little guy for awhile before trying for a second. I dono’t think this delay will hurt my chances for conceiving again but like everyone here, you never know what will happen until you try to conceive. Anything is possible and there are no guarantees. I learned this early on with seeing my close friends, family members and myself go through fertility issues and miscarriages. That is what makes having a child a true miracle. And whether a couple does it naturally, needs fertility treatment or adoption; it doesn’t matter in the end. Being a parent is the most important thing.

Anna on

I do think you need to be aware of how quickly things can change after 35. I had my first child at 33, easily, though I had gestational diabetes and my 2nd child at 35, and had preterm contractions. I’m a fit, healthy person and these complications didn’t make much sense, but age could have played a factor. This year at 37 I’ve entered premature menopause – or Premature Ovarian Failure. After getting pregnant so easily twice in my thirties I found the diagnosis pretty shocking – but my baby days are over! Thankfully I’m happy with two – but this would be devastating if we were wanting a third.

lizzielui on

Lulu,

I wish people would understand that not everyone is in what they would consider to be “their ideal situation” to have children when they are in the 20s. Some women are single far longer than others for various reasons and people should respect the idea and the notion that they may want to wait until they are in a stable, well grounded relationship before bringing another life into the world. Everyone’s path is different and I just hate the tone that some women take when they point the finger and start lecturing about how, “Women should wait to have kids” and how “women over 30 are so naive to think they can have a baby when they want to.” To me, it makes no sense to rush out and get pregnant at 30 just because you feel your clock is ticking. My sister is 36 and desperately wants to have a child. However, she is single and has only been dating her current boyfriend for 8 months. Should she just rush out and get pregnant because she may or may not have a hard time conceiving over the next year? Absolutely not. Thankfully, she wants to wait at least another six months to see how the relationship matures before making any brash decisions about parenthood. Whether you are young or old at the time of conception, everyone’s decision should be respected and supported.

Sara on

Lily, couples of all ages have fertility treatments for a variety of factors that have nothing to do with diet, genetics, or exercise. Tubal infertility can affect any woman at any age. So can endometriosis. So can PCOS. So can male factor infertility. Fortunately, most (if not all) of these conditions can be bypassed with ART.

What Constance Marie is referring to is reduced fertility due to female aging. The ONLY way to entirely bypass female age related infertility is via donor eggs. The ONLY factors that we know of which influence premature ovarian aging are chemotherapy and smoking.

Other lifestyle factors/choices (lack of exercise, diet, obesity) pose no conclusive risk — and having family members who’ve borne children at advanced maternal age does not mean that you will also be capable of doing the same.

You may have chosen to delay childbearing for career purposes, but most of the women that I see daily who long for children over the age of 35 are simply women who haven’t yet found the right partner. My heart breaks for them, but the good news is that they do have choices.

Finally, your odds of infertility at advanced maternal don’t just “go up a bit.” Your odds of successful live birth decline, and your risk of miscarriage and complications goes up. And for every 40 year old woman you see getting pregnant, I can guarantee you that there are hundreds of silent women just like her, in offices just like mine, each and every day, hoping that I can refer them to someone, anyone, who can make their dream come true.

On a personal note, I conceived my daughter at 30, on my first cycle of trying. My son was conceived 10 months after her birth, second cycle. At 37, my husband and I began trying to conceive our third. My successful pregnancy with our youngest daughter took thirteen cycles to achieve. Along the way, I had two biochemical pregnancies, and a termination at 14 weeks due to congenital abnormalities incompatible with life.

I’m a physician and I’m well aware of the statistics – and Lily, they aren’t my statistics of doom – they’re science, not random anecdotes – sciences is what it is, regardless of whether you like what it has to say. Despite that awareness, I foolishly thought that I would be immune to infertility, given that we had two successful pregnancies that were achieved rapidly, and no known issues. How wrong I was. 37 is not 30 or 32. As a previous poster pointed out, your fertility generally declines quite rapidly after 35.

Diana on

lizzielui,
I’m sure people are aware that not everyone is in the right opportunity to have kids in their 20s, I feel very fortunate that I was able to. I think really its just that some people decide to concentrate on their career and then think OH I can just have kids later. And I’m NOT saying there is anything wrong with that; its just I think sometimes the way celebrities have kids in their 40s it give the wrong impression that anyone can do that. So I think its just good that people are aware that they should be prepared if they choose to wait that it may not be easy.

mochababe73 on

I really enjoyed the article. I feel blessed because I knew that I wanted to be a mother before the age of 30, and it happened. I have two beautiful little boys. I know that this always doesn’t happen and alot of woman have babies in their 40s. She continued trying and got what she wanted. However, that doesn’t work out for everyone. Look at Sarah Jessica Parker and Michelle Stafford. Both of these families tried and eventually went the surrogate route.
However, I do wish that someone would speak of the costs of these procedures. Let’s face it, most women can’t afford this and some go into debt attempting to get pregnant. I know that 10 years ago, a woman that I worked with said that it was $8000 per IVF procedure.
Great article, and congratulations on a beautiful baby girl. She’s cute, and, sometimes, I wish that I had a little girl, but I stuck to my guns. Two is enough for me.

CelebBabyLover on

Sara- Thank you! I was thinking the same thing about Lily’s comment. My parents struggled with infertilty when they were in their 20s, and my mother also had two miscarriages…..none of which was due to my parents’ lifestyle choices.

CelebBabyLover on

Oh, and in regards to Basil’s response to Ashandra’s comment….I both agree and disagree with her. I don’t think she needed to be as defensive as she was, but I DO see where she was coming from. It saddens me when women terminate their pregnancies after learning that their baby has Down Syndrome.

All babies are blessings, including those with Down Syndrome. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing several people with Down Syndrome, and most of them are pretty much the happiest, sweetest, and most caring people you could ever meet!

That being said, I also agree with the commentors who have said that nobody wishes for a baby with Down Syndrome.

Jen on

Having a child and getting pregnant are two very different things. Women need to focus on the real goal – which is to have a child – not getting pregnant. I feel there is so much unnecessary pressure put on women to get pregnant and have a healthy baby before a certain age that it forces them to make rash decisons. That is ridiculous. If you’re in your late 30s or 40s and want to have a baby then consider all options whether means going for it the old fashion way or using a surrogate, etc.; then use the different resources available to have a child. I have experienced the pain of misscarriage and the joy of having a successful pregnancy. During my successful pregnancy I always reminded myself that no matter what happens – I am at peace w/myself and my decisions about waiting to have children. I never took my fertility for granted but I didn’t let it define me what at becoming a mother either. My advice to all women out there who want to be mothers someday – don’t let society or your biological clock tell you when to get pregnant. Wait until you and your partner are ready to be parents and then go for it. But remember to keep in mind that may mean you have to rely on other methods to have a baby besides the old fashion way and is OK. Be at peace with yourself and accept the things you can and can’t control. You can have a baby – you just can’t always control how you get the baby.

Diana on

CelebBabyLover – I absolutely agree that it is sad how many women terminate because their baby has down syndrome; when I heard the percentage of women that terminate because of that I couldn’t believe it. I chose with my son to not even do the test because there was no way I would terminate. BUT I don’t think that was what Alicia was saying at all; all she was saying was women shouldn’t wait until their 40s to have children because of that reason. She was in no way saying that if they find out the baby has down syndrome they should terminate.

Sara on

Until you’re actually in the position of having to make a very difficult decision, it’s easy to say what you would or would not do.

Jen, while I agree with you in principle, ART and adoption can be prohibitively expensive. They aren’t within the realm of possibility for every woman or couple. And what I see daily sometimes tells me that women aren’t getting the right message. While there are many women who understand that they have options with respect to becoming mothers that don’t include their own eggs, I also see a great deal of women who’ve bought into the myth that their own reproductive potential can be delayed well into their 40’s.

In 12 years of family practice, I can count on one hand the number of female patients who’ve used their own eggs to successfully deliver beyond the age of 42. The vast majority of those women over 40 have had help in order to get pregnant. If women can afford the time, energy, and financial resources to pursue ART – that’s great – but sadly, it’s not always an option.

Lulu on

lizzielui, thank you for your comment. I was dating a seemingly great guy when I was 36 & thought, “Great, maybe this is the one. ” I wanted to have a baby SOO badly & in terms of VERY Superficial traits he was exactly what I would want in the gene pool. LOL. It would have been very easy for me to get pregnant by him; to take advantage of the situation. But I couldn’t do that. I started to get a true sense of him as a person & realized that I didn’t want any part of it.

I can’t begin to tell you how many people told me, “Just get pregnant & then ditch him; at least you’ll have your baby”. These weren’t my GOOD friends but still I was shocked. I even had a doctor tell me, “Well, if you want to have a baby this might be your last chance”. Can you imagine? And in truth, for half a minute I considered it. But of course I didn’t. I broke up with him.

Like your sister, I want a baby more than anything, but I want to do it in a responsible way….responsible to ME, to the BABY, to the FATHER.

There is a great show on TV tonight hosted by Faith Hill about adoption. I watch it every year & every year it helps bring me closer to the reality that that may be the route I go.

I wish you & your sister a very happy holiday.

Jen on

Sara,

I understand what your saying and your right, fertility treatments, hiring a surrogate, adoption, etc. can all be very expensive. There is no doubt in my mind that it is something not everyone can afford however my concern is that people are feeling the pressure to try to get pregant before they or their partner are really ready. Or worse yet, they feel like a failure if they can’t get pregnant naturally. I just want people to understand that having a child is a major life long commitment and they should take it on when they’re mentally, physically and financially ready to. There are pros and cons to whatever decison a parent makes but its all about what your priorities are. Is your priority to get pregnant or is to have a child? I believe the number one priority should be to raise a child the best way you can and to use whatever means you can to achieve that. God bless everyone here and may you all have a Happy Holiday!

madjanssen on

I share a lot of her views about her struggles – you should have children when you want to, not because you think you have to, for whatever reason. That being said, I have seen the negative effects of having children late in life. Down’s Syndrome and other physical reasons are always a risk but it’s about the quality of life. Yes, true, there are a lot more women in their 40s who are healthier, wiser and who have so much more to offer than counterparts half their age but it doesn’t work that way for everyone. My MIL is already in her 80s when we had our daughter and whilst other grandparents were busy bringing their grandkids to the park or going grocery shopping with them, her phyiscal limitations rendered her useless to us – she couldn’t join us for any family activities because she was just not strong enough. I can’t even depend on her for simple babysitting as even that is too strenous for her at her age. Never mind my needs, the age gap between her and my toddler daughter is so wide that it’s doubly, even triply difficult for my daughter to relate to her in any sort of way, even though I and my husband try our best. I’m sure mine is not an exclusive story and though my daughter is not lacking in anything in the affection department, I do feel sorry for her that she doesn’t get to spend time with her grandmother like how her other friends do. Have kids whenever you want but you have to consider EVERYTHING, including how it impacts you in the long run. I, for one, wish I will be strong enough to be of some use to my grandchildren, if any, in the future and although I don’t want to put any kind of pressure on my daughter, I do hope I will be strong enough when and if she decides to have children, whenever that may be.

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