Having a baby at 50: Most of my friends are grandparents


Having a baby at 50: Most of my friends are grandparents

This week Naomi Campbell made the surprise announcement that she had become a mother for the first time at 50. It comes amid a rise in women having children later in life. According to the ONS, there were 2,390 babies born to mothers aged over 45 in England and Wales in 2019 - the latest figures available - a rise of almost half in 10 years.

Claire Mear, from Norfolk, was 50 when she had her daughter Amelie.

Four years previously, Claire and her husband were devastated when their first daughter, who had Down's syndrome, was stillborn at 40 weeks.

Speaking to 5 Live's Naga Munchetty, Claire said the couple channelled their grief into creating a music festival and raising money for stillborn and Down's syndrome charities.

But at 49, Claire started to think seriously about trying again. She was having acupuncture for her grief and feeling positive about the future.

"When I reached 49, things started to change. I was meeting people who'd had IVF babies.

"Even then, many people said 'no way' is that going to happen.

"GPs, specialists said: 'No, you can't do this.'

"But I was directed to a place in Athens in Greece. They checked us both out, we spent a week with them. They said, 'we think you can do this,' and that was my go."

'Most of my friends are starting to have grandchildren'

Claire had two eggs implanted via an egg donor.

"We lost one at six weeks but then little Amelie just kept growing and growing," she said.

Claire went for private scans because of her history and her age.

"It was terrifying going to those early scans," she said.

"But there she was, kicking away, growing to her perfect percentile."

At 37 weeks, Amelie's heartbeat had started to reduce so Claire was admitted to hospital and had a caesarean.

"She was born healthy…six pounds six…beautiful!"

Amelie turns four this weekend and Claire says being her mum has been "incredible".

The only drawback for Claire is not finding parent friends of a similar age.

"Most of my friends now are starting to have grandchildren but you get used to it," she said.

"The only downside for Amelie is she doesn't have grandparents but she's got plenty of friends who just adore her."

Claire has now written a book about her experiences called Rocker Bye Baby.

'You do feel a little bit insecure'

Simone Wolda, who lives in Glasgow, became a new mum again in her 40s when her first daughter Scarlett was a teenager.

She and her husband both had children from previous marriages.

She told 5 Live's Chris Warburton a key factor in making her mind up was that she didn't want her daughter to be an only child.

"Because I had my first at 25, I thought… 'what happens when I die?,'" said Simone.

"My daughter will be all on her own and have no one to share the experience with. I need to go ahead and have at least one more, so at least she's not going to be totally alone."

Simone said people were " very shocked" by their decision.

"I was trying, but I wasn't trying very hard, and it happened very quickly," she said.

She had forgotten how it felt to look after a newborn but said it all came back to her after the first few sleepless nights.

She said she did feel "a little bit insecure" at first when she was around younger mums.

"But they look upon you as the wiser mum because obviously you've been there, done that. They will come to you and ask you for advice. So from that point of view, you don't feel too bad."

Now aged 47, Simone has three children - Scarlett, aged 23, Jake, aged seven, and Olivia, aged three.

Her advice to Naomi Campbell is "be kind to yourself".

"Just lay down your expectations and literally just go with the flow, " she said.

"Because every child is different, every experience is different."

Article:  www.bbc.co.uk 19th May 2021