Having a baby at 40: Our biggest decision of 2020

The strangest thing happened. I turned 40 and suddenly, I wanted a baby!

I don’t know why. I have no clue where the desire came from and I can’t pinpoint any specific event that caused it to come on so strong. We’re a very happy family of four (including Murphy) and everything is really great! But for whatever reason, year 40 came and along with it, the desire for another child.

My husband and I talked it over (and over and over and over). And honestly for a while we were really seriously considering it! I mean, at 40, if we were actually going to do it, now was the time, right? There’s a ton of research saying that having a baby at 40 is perfectly safe and healthy. Plus, given his job and the flexibility of my business, now seemed like as good a time as any. So, why not?

We Did Our Research

Before coming to any major decisions, we did (a lot of) research. Yes, I actually Googled whether or not having a baby at 40 was a good idea. And man, things sure have changed since we had Quinn! 

We weighed the benefits:

  • We’d be awesome parents…I mean, Quinn is really great, we can surely do this again, right? Plus, we’d be so much more confident this time around. 
  • We’re in a good place financially, live in a great neighborhood, and our house has room to grow.
  • Some studies say having a baby later in life can actually boost a mother’s brain power – who doesn’t want more brain power?!?
  • Technology has advanced a lot, so, having a baby at 40 is safer now than ever before.
  • It’d be a great learning opportunity for Quinn. I’m sure he’d be an incredibly kind, loving, and patient big brother.
  • Babies are squishy and they smell really good (I still sniff my sweet boy like a creep)… honestly, isn’t that reason enough?!?

And then we weighed the disadvantages:

  • We’re so out of the baby phase…fiddling with car seats, fussing with onesie snaps, and those middle of the night feedings actually sound scary now! And we gave EVERYTHING away! 
  • Having to put my business aside to actually take maternity leave (I didn’t take one with Quinn).
  • My own health – being on Envytio helps so much but I’m not sure how I’d feel using it while pregnant.
  • General increased complication risks, I mean, even though there’s tons of positive research out there, that’s always a quiet concern, isn’t it?
  • Traveling… if we ever travel again. Quinn is the best little traveler. Adding an infant to the mix might not be the best idea.
  • Diapers. Crying. So many diapers. So much crying. 

And while starting all over sounded like an incredibly rewarding thing, it also felt like a huge challenging change and we really had to decide if that change was something we truly wanted or if it was just an in-the-moment type emotional response. I mean, babies are a pretty forever decision!

Ultimately We Decided…

When I say we talked about it a lot, I mean A LOT. We had tons of conversations about it. Tons! But ultimately, we decided we’re happy as a family of three…well, four with Murphy…and we both think our family is complete and perfect as it is.

I don’t know where the desire for a baby came from? Maybe that whole ‘your biological clock is ticking, Tina’ thing? Maybe seeing family and friends making baby announcements? Maybe it was a result of being in quarantine and feeling like a having a little baby around would make the time pass nicely? 

I don’t know.

Looking back over our conversations, the pro-con lists, the debates, the research, and the tons of back and forth my husband and I had over this very important (and personal) decision, I’m not sure why I felt like I did. I dunno, but right now, looking at my amazing little family, when I really think about it, I don’t feel like anything is missing!

Getting older is an adventure isn’t it? Have you recently turned 40? How did turning 40 hit you? Did any surprise desires for expanding your family or making other major life-changes pop up?

22 Comments

  1. I’ll turn 40 in January and don’t have any kids at this point. I’ve also finally found the man I’m going to marry so it’ll be interesting to see if I feel the same urge.

  2. My husband and I decided not to have any children. We are both well into our 40’s now. But I do often think, what if…..
    I agree, it is a very personal choice. Everyone has their own reasons and no one should ever question your choice. That was very nice of you to share your story!

  3. I’m easy 30’s and we are still unsure if we want kids or not. I haven’t felt the urge yet, but I am hoping it does come. I’d love to have a healthy body for a year before making a decision, right now my own health is a full time job and I couldn’t imagine having a baby too! It sounds like you and Mal are making the right decision for yourselves and that’s all that matters.

  4. I love it! I don’t know why you got the urge but I had a baby in May and I am not sure it has made the pandemic any more tolerable :p Just new things to worry about besides myself I suppose. Babies are cute but the crying and lack of sleep, makes me question whether we will go for number 2 or not.

  5. I would love to say that I just turned 40. I’m actually 49 today. I have three kids and wanted to have them all before age 35 to avoid all the tests and I did. I was lucky to have three healthy kids. And thank God for that everyday. Occasionally, I wonder if I should have had more. I think that is natural. Health and happiness to your family throughout this holiday (and crazy) season!

  6. I’m 42 (husband is 40) and this exact thing happened to me very recently. For various, somewhat complicated reasons, it’s probably not going to happen for us either. I guess it’s just a biological clock thing?

  7. I am 36 and have been really wanting another baby recently. We have two daughters that are 7 and 4. I can’t imagine going back to diapers and up all night but a reason to sit and feed and nurture another child is something I do want! Its hard to decide what is best, I appreciate your lists.

  8. Oh this hits home in so many ways! I am in my late 30s and have a 4 year old. Up until a couple of months ago I was perfectly content with our little family and then all of a sudden I wanted another baby so bad! I went through many of the same thoughts… we gave everything away, the crying, the lack of sleep, the impact on our lifestyle/traveling, cost of daycare, maternity leave, etc. There was also the problem of fertility- it took many rounds of IVF and several years to get pregnant the first time. I went so far as to have a consult with my reproductive endocrinologist and had some initial testing done. While waiting for those results I basically came to the same conclusion you did- that we are happy with our family as it is and a baby brings too many complications. Maybe it was because I knew on some level what the tests confirmed- that there is no way I am going to have another biological child. I’m still grieving this in some way and think I’ll always feel that a piece is missing, but I’m making peace with it, slowly.

  9. I turned 40 in January. I’d be lying if I didn’t think about babies, but mainly because my son is almost 5 and going from the toddler phase into the kid phase. I know my husband doesn’t want any more babies (we agreed upon one before kids) so I didn’t bring it up. I am desparate for a fur baby though and will start looking for one after the holidays! 40 is definitely an interesting phase – I don’t know if it’s the change in hormones or the mentality of being 40 and finally a “grown-up”, but it brings on some surprises! Happy birthday and welcome to the 40 club!

  10. I turned 40 this year too! We have a 6yo and 2yo (almost 3). I absolutely love my little people, but having a baby at 37 was hard on me. I’m still struggling to get myself back. We were always sure that we were one and done, because our first baby was TOUGH. But, I do sometimes wish we would have done it sooner so they were closer in age. We are definitely done, but I was just thinking about those sweet baby snuggles… I appreciate your being so open about this discussion!

  11. I’m 37 and my husband and I have decided not have kids. I used to worry that I would regret that decision (I mean, who is going to visit us and make sure we are OK in old age??) but then realized that the money we save by not having kids can go to a good nursing home where we can pay people to do that for us. 😉 (LOL).

    But in all seriousness, I truly don’t regret it. We love kids and enjoy playing with our 4-year old nephew and 1-year old niece, but we are so glad when we are home and have a quiet night to do whatever we want. 🙂 I love how acceptable it is these days to be open about the decision not to have kids.

  12. I had my second baby at 41 (my first at 37) after many, many, many miscarriages. I can’t imagine life without her and refused to stop trying. The baby stage (which was wonderful although exhausting) is fleeting. I found the toddler stage more challenging (but miss the littleness terribly). Every stage brings challenges. Bigger kids, bigger problems. My girls are now teenagers and we’re very close (most of the time!). Having a baby was a wonderful way to welcome my “40s”.

  13. Omg yes! I turned 40 in February and I want another baby. My husband feels complete with 1 but I’ve always felt something was missing. Similarly to you we’ve talked about it a TON and made our own list too. Ultimately we’ve decided we would give it 6 months to try and if it didn’t happen in those 6 months then it wasn’t meant to be. We shall see!

  14. So, we had three kids and I turned 40 and the same exact thing happened and guess what, we chose too. Now we have four kids, are in quarantine forever at this point and have a baby to keep us all pre-occupied, and tired and deliriously happy. Quite the adventure this year has been. I also all of the sudden want another, but five seems DAUNTING!

  15. I am a 49 year old mom to a four year old boy. He was conceived via an IUI a few months before I turned 45. They gave us an 8-10% chance that it would work so needless to say I was pretty shocked. I’m not nor have I ever been a baby person. My husband and I decided after much discussion that we should give it a try and see what happened before we said no kids for us. We’ve been married 28 years. I love my son dearly but I’m so glad we’re done with all the baby stuff including diapers. My son has always been a good traveler and I’m sure he’ll be an even better traveler when we are able to get back out there again. I had a relatively uneventful pregnancy until the very end when his head got stuck in my pelvis so he was a c-section baby. It has taken me quite awhile to adjust to having a little person around as well as coming to terms with the fact that my body will never be the same. I applaud all the moms out there that have more than one but for us there will be no more.

  16. I got baby fever at 40 too. We had our first daughter when I was 32, then our second daughter at 40, then twin boys at 45. Not only did we feel the urge but our kids wanted more kids too. I remind them of that when they’re wrestling on the floor. Merry Christmas.

  17. Wow, thank you for you openness and honestly around this. I absolutely agree with “is this what I really want it is it just because other ppl have two kids?”
    I have one and go back and forth all the time as to if we want another. As you said, it’s a forever decision 🙂

  18. Oh my gosh! I have one son, like you, who is six. I had a quick bout of baby fever this summer at 41. Probably Covid and margarita related, to be honest. Welllll…….within about two weeks I was pregnant. I am now 42 and expecting another healthy little boy this spring. So far, I feel fantastic (even better than I did whan I was pregnant at 35), and pregnancy has been a breeze. I now chuckle when I think back to my “high-risk” pregnancy days of 35. Now that I am literally half-dead, I REALLY feel high-risk. We had also given away everything and daycare bills had come to an end. We are starting from scratch and may never retire now, but we are SO excited and honestly can’t wait for this little guy to arrive.

  19. I turned 40 last year (and just turned 41 in November), and have a daughter who was born about a month before Quinn. I have had baby fever on and off for the last couple of years for sure! Some days I’m so glad I never have to deal with a newborn again, sometimes I really, really wish we were having another, even though the age gap would be pretty big!

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