Men have a midlife crisis and they go buy an expensive sports car. They have it easy. When women have a midlife crisis, it can come in the form of an unexpected pregnancy at an advanced maternal age. Imagine being 49, almost 50, and you have raised your children to "adulthood" and sent them out of the nest. The last thing most women want at this age and stage of life is to spend another twenty years raising a child. If that is where you find yourself, here is how you can handle this midlife crisis.
Think It Through
Even if you are 44, this baby is going to be 18 when you are 62 and almost a retiree. If you already feel exhausted and you remember what it was like to get up every two hours to feed an infant, you are not going to physically feel better with age. Of course, you do have the experience, the knowledge, and the wisdom gained from raising your other children. It is a very heavy decision, to be sure.
Just as counseling can help young mothers decide what to do about an unwanted pregnancy, counseling can help older mothers, too. Having someone to talk it through with you helps put perspective on the situation. It also helps if it is determined by your OB/GYN that your baby has Down syndrome or some other genetic disorder that will make it very difficult for you to take care of this child.
Do Testing to Check for Birth Defects
Advanced maternal age brings a multitude of risks, including birth defects and developmental disorders. Sometimes, discovering that the baby has some of these issues helps you decide what to do. You can terminate the pregnancy and have sterilization surgery completed all at the same time. You could also place the baby up for adoption.
Placing Baby for Adoption
Going through a pregnancy at this point will be rough. However, giving younger parents a chance to adopt a baby you are too old to care for may be a great gift. They will be able to raise and love the baby and they will have the energy to chase after him/her. If the baby has special needs, they will be able to provide for him/her in ways you can no longer provide. Many women who have late-in-life pregnancies find that placing a baby for adoption is a relief, and an excellent option for them. After some consideration, you may decide the same.