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"It gives your life another dimension." 9 women share their stories of having kids after 40.

Content warning: This post deals with miscarriage and may be upsetting to some readers.

Studies have shown us more women are having babies in their 40s than ever before. 

We asked nine women who have had children in their 40s to share their stories about having kids 'later' in life. 

Watch MM Confessions: The strangest pregnancy craving I've ever had. 


Video via Mamamia.

Here is what they had to say.

Kylie, 47. 

Image via Kylie.

How many children do you have? I had my first son at 26, my first daughter at 36, and my second daughter at 42. 

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What's your story? I was a single mum from pregnancy with my first, but then I met my now husband when my son was seven. We split for almost two years after my first daughter turned one, but have since gotten back together. 

I always wanted to have a third child, but I needed to be confident we were back together for good, which is how I ended up with a newborn baby at 42. 

The pregnancy was harder the third time round. I was sick much more often and vomiting and more tired. The recovery was also harder. 

I have no regrets, but I am a little nervous about how much older we will be for our youngest as she grows up.

Peta, 46.

Image via Peta.

How many children do you have? I was 31 with my first, 33 with my second, and 43 with my third.

What's your story? I never really wanted children. Then I got married, and it seemed like the right thing to do. In hindsight, I wish I’d had children earlier because I needed help to conceive due to endometriosis and PCOS

My first child, Elliot, was born in 2007. I had further treatment in 2008 and conceived around July. One month later, my husband left, and I moved home. I had my second son, Max, in 2009. I was a single parent until I met my partner David in 2016. We had no intention of having any children as he had two girls (now 22 and 21), but surprises happen! Bronte was conceived naturally and born in July 2018.

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Since she arrived, I have been tired. I can’t keep up with her at all, which breaks my heart because I want to be the mum that is down on the ground playing or running around in the playground! 

But I also feel like my patience has evened out and I am far more tolerant of things that may have sent me into a rage earlier in life.

I feel like I appreciate being a mother more now and I can stop and soak up all of her gloriousness! 

Tracy, 54.

Image via Tracy.

How many children do you have? I had my first at 30, then welcomed my second at 32. My third arrived when I was 35, followed by my fourth at 37. My fifth child (and only daughter) was born when I was 42. 

What's your story? I was married at 26 and we wanted to spend a few years together without children as my husband was in the RAF and was away a lot, so our time together was precious. We had two children by the time I was 32, and then we lost many babies through miscarriage in the first trimester. My third and fourth son had a twin who died in the first trimester. 

We always wanted four children, and we were very happy with four wonderful and healthy boys. We now have a delightful daughter too! 

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Having children 'later' in life was not that different from any of my other pregnancies, but I definitely felt a few more aches and pains in the last trimester. My recovery time was similar to the others too, although I felt more physical relief after giving birth.

Listen to This Glorious Mess, a Mamamia parenting podcast. Post continues after audio. 


Alicia, 42.

How many children do you have? I have two children. The first I welcomed at 33, and my second at 41.

What's your story? When my first baby was born, it was the best moment of my life. The relationship with the father of my first baby did not work out, and I found myself re-partnered with a wonderful man in my mid to late 30s. 

We decided we wanted to add to the family and started trying for a baby. The excitement and joy was soon clouded after several miscarriages over a couple of years of trying. 

I had no idea how IVF 'really' worked - the reality of the stats, the challenges, or how difficult and traumatic the process could actually be. 

I am now holding our dream baby. Our family feels complete, but it was a traumatic process through IVF to get here.

My experience with being pregnant with my first baby was so different from the pregnancy with my second baby - not so much physically, but emotionally.

For the first 12 weeks, I was filled with constant anxiety and feared miscarriage, as I had already had three before that pregnancy, including a missed miscarriage. Although the anxiety got a little better as the pregnancy continued on, it was so very different from the carefree experience of pregnancy in my early 30s. 

Physically, I loved being pregnant, but I could not relax emotionally until I was holding my baby in my arms.

Bronwyn, 41.

At 41, Bronwyn is helping her friends have a child of their own. Image via Bronwyn. 

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How many children do you have? I have two beautiful kids. Lachlan was born when I was 29. Joshua was born when I was 32. I’m weeks off number three now and I’ll be 42 this year!

What's your story? I had my two boys shortly after getting married. Once my boys were both in primary school, my husband and I both agreed we were done. Our very good friends, Chris and Jason, had always joked with us about taking one or both of our boys as their own children. As they are a same-sex couple, having a child was never going to be an easy journey. We often spoke about helping them have a child.

After researching the surrogacy procedures and finding that 'traditional surrogacy' (using the surrogates egg) is legal in Victoria, we decided to get serious before I got any older. After ticking all the boxes with regards to legal and counselling requirements, we were set to get pregnant almost immediately using a very technical at home insemination method. So glad we know each other well. It’s a strange thing to do. 

I’m now 38 weeks and we are all very excited about the impending birth. 

This pregnancy has been much tougher than my earlier ones. I’m much more exhausted and uncomfortable. I’m so glad I’m not chasing toddlers around.

Anna, 51. 

Image via Anna.

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How many children do you have? I had my first child when I was 40.

What's your story? I met my husband when I was 38. We got married and soon fell pregnant. Days before I turned 40, I had my baby. I had already lived a full life travelling the world, working overseas and kissing a lot of frogs.

I did want more children, but it is harder to achieve once you are over 40 from a fertility point of view. I was not lucky to be blessed and I have a deep sadness about the fact I only have one child who has no brothers and sisters. 

Image via Anna.

I am a relaxed mother, I think, because I have had life experience. The early days were so much fun. I had waited until I was 40 and really enjoyed every moment when my son was a baby. 

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It was so much fun going to mothers' groups and catching up with other mums and children. I still enjoy linking up with other parents and kids through school now that my son is 11. It gives your life another dimension.

Belinda, 44.

Image via Belinda.

How many children do you have? At 33 years old, I became a step mum. At 38, my baby boy was stillborn at 26 weeks. At 42, I had my miracle boy who was born at 29 weeks.

What's your story? The journey started in 2012 when I became a stepmother to the most amazing stepdaughter. Then, in 2016, the happiest moment of my life was seeing two lines on a pregnancy test. During my 20 week scan, we discovered that our baby had IUGR (Intrauterine Growth Restriction). 

He wasn’t getting enough nutrients through the placenta and he was already two weeks behind in growth. I was admitted to hospital and was informed that if Jackson was not delivered immediately, it was likely that I would lose my life from a stroke - I had pre-eclampsia and my blood pressure was extremely high.

On October 29, 2016, I gave birth to baby Jackson, who, at 26 weeks old, was born sleeping. I owe Jackson my life as delivering him when we did saved my life.

The next few years consisted of specialists, complex health challenges, blood pressure medications, and two unsuccessful IVF attempts. When we decided we would try one more time, we amazingly conceived naturally. 

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At week 26, it seemed like our worst nightmare was coming true again. I had a scan that showed that our baby had IUGR, similar to Jackson. I had daily scans and monitoring for nearly three weeks before an emergency c-section at 29 weeks and one day. Our beautiful baby Lachlan Oliver (Lachie) was born in April 2020, weighing just 920g.

Baby Lachie. Image via Belinda.

Born premature, Lachie is my miracle baby. He is now two years old, and I wouldn't change a thing (despite the obvious exhaustion). I absolutely love having a child at this age.

As I lived through my own grief and loss, I decided to train as a Life Coach and in 2019; I started Bella You Coaching.

Lisa, 42.

Image via Lisa.

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How many children do you have? I gave birth to twins at 40 years old.

What's your story? I met my husband when I was 36 and he was 30. We got married when I was 38 and immediately started trying for a family. After six months, we went to the doctor and tests found I had low ovarian reserve, polyps, cysts, adenomyosis, and only ovulated from my right ovary. 

It was recommended we go straight to IVF. We were so blessed to fall pregnant after our first round. At our 12 week scan, our son was diagnosed with a fatal condition called Anencephaly (a neural tube defect), his brain and skull did not form properly and we were faced with the heartbreaking decision to have a termination for medical reasons. 

After taking a break, seeing a specialist, and being put on a number of different supplements, we were ready to try again and did another cycle of IVF, but unfortunately, the embryo transfer did not work. 

We took a month off whilst our specialist was on holidays and tried 'naturally'. I was in a pretty bad headspace and felt like it was all hopeless, but my husband, the eternal optimist, said we should at least try. And by some absolute miracle, we got pregnant! 

A week after my 40th birthday, we had a scan, and there were two little blobs. We were so unbelievably grateful and excited. We had to wait until I was 16 weeks pregnant before we got the all clear, no neural tube defects, and no other issues. We had a complication-free pregnancy.

Our little miracle rainbow babies, Hadley Coral and Parker Kathleen.

Hadley Coral and Parker Kathleen. Image via Lisa.

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I think at any age, babies and kids are exhausting, but I do feel that at 42 and running after two very active two-year-olds, it does take its toll. It has also meant that our family is complete. I am far too old and tired to consider having another baby straight away, and at my age you can’t exactly wait five years and go back and try for another one. 

I will say though, being older, I spent my 20s and 30s travelling and living my best carefree life, so I really don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything now that my weekends are filled with trips to the park and going to bed at 9pm.

Em, 43.

How many children do you have? I had my little boy just days before turning 40. He is now three years old. I am 43 now and baby number two is due mid-July. 

What's your story? I met my husband when I was 37 and he was 40. He has older children from his first marriage. We tried for our first baby when I was 38, and in the fourth month, happily found ourselves pregnant. That pregnancy very sadly resulted in a missed miscarriage at nine weeks. 

I fell pregnant again at 39 and gave birth to our beautiful little boy. 

The pregnancy was challenging and there were some issues, but the brilliant surgeons managed to put everything back together without taking drastic measures in the end. 

We were under strict instructions that there was to be no attempt at baby making for a minimum of 12 months, as my OBGYN couldn’t guarantee my uterus wouldn’t rupture. 

My husband was deployed and right before his return, I consulted my OBGYN to see if we could try for baby number two. I was told to attempt naturally for three months before moving on to IVF.

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Two years have since gone by and in October 2021, we decided we would do two more rounds - really for no other reason than for me to have peace of mind that I’d done everything I could. Our results had been terrible all the way through our five IVF attempts. Our odds were now down to about a five per cent chance of pregnancy. 

At one point, I told my husband, "I am done. I just can’t do this anymore. I’m ready to call it after this one. I want our life back more than I want to keep trying." 

IVF is a completely miserable experience riding a rollercoaster of hope and despair. 

Image via Em.

Much to our shock and excitement, we fell pregnant due to one lucky embryo and that five per cent chance. It was a long first 20 weeks, with a 40 per cent risk of miscarriage possible (due to age), a couple of hiccups medically (a major bleed), and lots of waiting for all the types of testing to come back clear. 

We are 32 weeks now and so excited to meet this new addition to our family.

*Some names have been changed for privacy reasons. 

Feature Image: Supplied.

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