Fertile little thing, aincha?

Well, of COURSE I have to give my two-cents-worth about this story today. It's been on The Current, and every national newscast... front page on cbc.ca and weaseled its way into promos.

Now, a disclaimer. I don't have kids. I don't have nieces or nephews. None of my real-life friends have kids. I have no idea what kind of work goes into raising a child. So this is a perspective from a woman who really doesn't know what she's talking about. But you like random opinions, right? Otherwise you wouldn't be reading this blog. So there. Gotcha. :P

So brief synopsis: 60-year-old woman from Calgary gives birth to twins via in vitro fertilization. The story says she tried for decades to conceive naturally, had multiple miscarriages and even was robbed by an out-of-country doctor who promised to perform in vitro fertilization.

So this brings up a number of ethical questions I won't get into. But the main one is probably *should* we be pushing the boundaries of medical science "just for fun"?

Aaaand my thoughts.

It doesn't sound... like in this situation... the boundaries were pushed just "to see if they could do it." This woman has tried for decades to have a child... but a physiological problem kept her from doing so. Even getting it "fixed" didn't work.

Now I understand that the cut off age for in-vitro fertilization is 45/50 years old. And I understand if that cut off is put in place to ensure the safety of the mother and her children/fet-i (fun with plurals!).

But MY problem is when people say the problem is "the social implications of raising children when the parents may not live long enough to see them grow up."


So ... first of all... parents die at all ages. And it's tragic. Yes, the odds of dying before your kids are 30 are much better when you give birth at 60. But life span isn't guaranteed. No matter how old you are.

And second... probably the part that annoys me the most... is that never ever ever has there been anything that stopped MEN from being fathers at a older age. You didn't hear this argument come up when Viagra hit the market (I don't think...). So what's the deal now?

I'm not saying  I would relish raising a child at 60. I most people wouldn't.

But if that's all you've dreamed of all your life, and been denied it... back off, people. This is a dream come true for them. Let them enjoy it.


Amy H. February 5, 2009 at 5:58 PM  


jen February 5, 2009 at 6:47 PM  

My mom is 60 and could barely carry Ezri around because she has a bum knee. She is getting it replaced shortly, but then she is out of commission for 3 months. There is definately a benefit to being young and healthy for your kids. It has seriously taken a lot out of me and my body and I'm only 25, I can't imagine what it's done to her, or will do to her. Hopefully she has some help.

Just also imagine, being in your 20s', knowing your mom is going to die at any time, that she also won't get to know your kids (that is if you are planning on them lol).

I think 60 is too old to have kids, but then again I know what it feels like to want a baby so badly it hurts and I can only imagine how horrible this woman felt trying to conceive and not being able to.

Mongoose February 5, 2009 at 9:53 PM  

I didn't have any thoughts about it until you blogged about it, and now that you did, I'm still at a loss to have anything meaningful to say about it. On the one hand, I'm thinking, I hope that by the time I'm 60 I'm philosophical enough to do without the things I "want." Actually, I'm pretty good at it right now, so I'm pretty sure that by the time I'm 60, I'll be pretty used to not doing things just because I "want" them. Even if I wanted them for a long time. But, on the other hand, if I was 60 and I had never been to Antarctica and I was offered a work contract to Antarctica, would I go? Yes I would. Though of course there isn't any controversy, that I know, about 60 being "too old to work in Antarctica."

As far as being "too old to have kids", I kind of agree with you that parents die all the time and that's life. On the other hand, I don't agree with the "men can have kids at any age" argument. Because there is a reason, biologically, that men can have kids later in life than women. I don't know what it is, but there's got to be one, and I'm not too fond of messing with what nature deals us. However, my opinions are for me to have.

And, I also agree with Jen that how in the world does a 60-year-old woman who just gave birth for the first time manage twins??? Makes me tired just thinking about it.

So, in the end, I have no opinion, and realistically, I don't think my opinion is called for on this topic. It's a choice she made and no skin off my nose. I'd like to hope no tax money was spent on getting her pregnant, but then again considering how little tax I pay, it hardly even matters.

There... All this talk just to say nothing at all. :)

Anonymous February 6, 2009 at 1:19 PM  

I agree, but your feminazi "It wouldn't be that way if she was a man" argument doesn't hold water. Old men who have kids are definately "discriminated" against. Look at Larry King, guy is like 90 and has an 8 year old. That's just weird. Additionally, physiologically its possible to have kids at a later age if you're a man. you'll have to talk to "the big sexist in the sky" if you want to argue about that one. lol feminists.

Yeah totally agree, if you can safely have a kid, shouldn't matter what age you are regardless of wether you're a man or a woman

Jackie S. Quire February 6, 2009 at 1:30 PM  

Wow, I've never been called a feminist before. More on this later.

Mongoose February 6, 2009 at 3:14 PM  

Regarding the "safely" part of that argument, I'd like to point out that studies show children conceived with assistance tend to be less healthy than the "volunteer" kind. To me that stands to reason, because if you're having trouble breeding, that's probably nature's way of telling you you probably shouldn't be breeding.

But that's just me.