Should I let go of the dream of having another baby at 45?


I had our daughter when I was 37 and have tried to have a second child for the last 6 or 7 years. I have had at least 8 miscarriages, also at the age of 40 delivering stillborn a very unwell child at 19 weeks who had Down syndrome. I am now 45 and in my heart of hearts still think there is a chance I still might/could have another child but honestly knowing at my age it is not possible really. I hate to close the chapter and let go of the dream for good but think it is time and would love if someone told me straight to forget it and let it go and enjoy these wonderful years with our beautiful daughter, which I honestly do. I think the main reason is I just want to give our daughter a sibling and place a lot of emphasis On This in my own mind but hope to our daughter this is not such a big deal?

Thank you for even the briefest response to this.

Very much appreciated,


Dear E.,

I learnt many years ago that it is very difficult to deal with the loss of pregnancy or the loss of a child at birth, particularly at the very end of childbearing life. This is an injury which causes heartache and yearning; the urge to try just once more for a successful outcome is very powerful. In your case, your desperation to give your daughter a sibling is hugely important in these entirely natural feelings.

But as you will know, and as you express in your email letter, you do not quite want to close this chapter. Yet at 45 years old common sense is telling you very clearly that that this becomes a necessity if you are to maximise the quality of your own life and that of your child. I cannot imagine the extreme distress that you must have experienced during the last 6 or 7 years with repeated miscarriages and then the loss of your baby. But I have to say I really do not believe there is a realistic chance of a successful conception and further birth at this stage. Of course, you can go through harrowing treatment with in vitro fertilisation, or even use of donor egg, but surely this is not really a suitable option in your case. I think you feel rightly that really you have effectively finished natural childbearing life.

All of us at some stage in life go through deep grief and the loss of somebody close to us.  This is made worse when the grief and bereavement continue because there is no resolution. In our heart we may consider that that person is still with us or has not really died. And this is a very common emotion with infertility.  Very often one of the worst things one can do is to continue with some form of treatment, because you are always likely to find a well-meaning doctor who is prepared to give you treatment but with unrealistic hope. Treatment means you continue with grief and you continue bereavement. But the feeling of bereavement stops and healing begins when you finally decide to turn the page.

I have no doubt that if you manage that process you will find the joy and fulfillment of focusing on your daughter.  How wonderful that she is now thirteen; what a glorious age.  I hope you enjoy the future of life together.

I wish you peace and resolution.

Best wishes

Robert  Winston