As radical as that story seems, the idea of having kids later in life is not. Medical advancesincluding in vitro fertilization, using donor eggs and/or sperm to conceive, and enlisting carriershave all but erased the notion of a biological clock. In fact, between 1997 and 2007, the birth rate among American women ages 45 to 49 shot up 50%, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The CDC doesn’t even have comparable data for moms over 50, because this trend is so new. Along with news reports of older moms from coast to coast (Frieda Birnbaum of New Jersey had twins at 60, and Janise Wulf of California had a baby at 62), there’s a growing number of support groups such as PregnancyAfter50.com, MotherhoodLater.com, and the Yahoo! group babiesafter50.
But there is a flip side to this phenomenon. In the June issue of Health, we reported on the health dangers of later-in-life pregnancy. Now, in part two of our series, we investigate the challenges these older moms facefrom the stigma of being the oldest mom on the playground to unexpected, even life-threatening, health issues. Read on for three women’s honest stories.