Perhaps it’s because a slew of celebrities are having babies well into their forties, thanks perhaps to medical intervention—or perhaps it’s just plain good luck, but the latest trend, when it comes to pregnancy, seems to be women in or near their forties asking their spouses to get a reverse vasectomy.
I call this the ‘mid-life crisis baby craving’.
One of my friends went out to dinner with her husband and, over the course of a meal, they decided to reverse his vasectomy and try for a third (they have two children in high school).
‘It just hit me. I had been a stay-at-home mother and I just didn’t feel done. Even though my other two children were almost at the age where they were headed off to University, and I could taste the freedom…we decided to try for another. He needed a reverse vasectomy, which we booked within three weeks. I was pregnant six months later.’ The age difference of her eldest to her youngest is 11 years.
My friend admits they didn’t talk about adding on more years of parenting or the cost of having another child later in life, or, just as important, if they had the energy to start all over again. But, my friend wanted another baby, at age 43 and STAT!
Yet another acquaintance of mine sent a text message to her spouse while they were both at work, saying she wanted another baby. The craving just hit her, and hit her hard, when one of her younger colleagues had a baby.
This acquaintance was turning 41. ‘It took a little convincing, but it was like I woke up and just thought, ‘Baby! Baby! Baby!’ Especially seeing a lot of my colleagues who were much younger having babies. You forget how cute and cuddly babies are and I guess I wanted that again,’ she tells me. ‘I suppose I could have bought myself a Mercedes convertible, but I took getting pregnant!’
They welcomed a healthy baby boy 18 months later, when she was almost 43.
So more and more women (and men) are jumping on this ‘mid-life crisis baby’ trend. And, well, I had one, and it seems a slew of others are following suit.
Singer/songwriter Adele, although far from a mid-life crisis, summed up what it’s like when your uterus takes over any rational thought process. ‘My son is about to turn four very, very soon. I’m starting to get very emotional about it because I feel like once they turn four, they’re not really your actual baby anymore. So, my womb is starting to ache a little bit. It’s like, ‘Baby, baby, baby. Need a baby, need a baby.’ she told a crowd at one of her shows.
I truly believe, that for many women, the craving for a baby happens both in your late twenties to early thirties…and then again, when you near forty. I woke up at 29 and it felt like I needed a baby as much as I needed air. I had the same craving almost a decade later. I just woke up one day and I had baby fever all over again. Except this time, I was ten years older.
I had my daughter when I was 29 years old, and for the next 8 or so years, was thrilled to raise the daughter I had always wanted, which is what happens when you grow up with three brothers. We lived a wonderfully blessed life, because one child was affordable and easy.
Oh, and I was young! And I had energy. And I wanted to take my daughter absolutely everywhere. And I did.
And then, after many years of being single, I met my son’s father, at the exact same time that lovely organ in my body, where offspring are conceived and gestate, took over my every waking thought. Yup, my uterus was screaming at me, and not in a rational way!
I would see young couples walking down my street with newborns and think, ‘Need another one! Yup. Need another one!’
So, only a few months into dating, I broached the subject of having a baby. I was almost 40. He was even older and already had two children from his previous marriage. So why did I suddenly want, at age 39, sleepless nights, the worry, the cost, and all the other not-so wonderful things about having another baby? (You know what they are!)
According to Dr. Ethan Grober, who not only did my son’s father’s reverse vasectomy and then yet another vasectomy, ‘The majority of couples seeking a vasectomy reversal are trying to have their first baby together after a remarriage with a younger women who has not had children.’ he says. ‘Following that, I would agree that it’s likely couples that have had children together. Their children are more grown-up, their lives are a little bit more established and the female biological fertility clock is very much a reality.’ Yup!
My son is now four. Though I would not trade him in for anything (because I love him oh-so-dearly, he’s so damn cute!) I admit I sometimes wonder, ‘What the hell was I thinking?’. At age 42, I am too old (or lack the energy) to play on bouncy castles for hours, or deal with tantrums, or bedtime, or bath time, or water slides, and my social life now consists of birthday parties every weekend at 10:30 in the morning.
Even my son’s father sometimes jokes, ‘We could have been scott-free in five years with our other kids. But you wanted a baby!’ To which, of course, I argue back, ‘It takes two to tango, my friend!’ But I know, although he too lacks the energy to build sofa forts for hours and detests waking up so damn early every single day of the week, he always wanted a son, so, yes, while we are constantly tired, they are just thoughts of, ‘What if my uterus wasn’t so damn persistent! Should I sue?’ (I kid!)
Maybe women my age, now asking for their spouses to get a reverse vasectomy so they can have their ‘mid-life crisis’ baby, crave having another, because we actually want to feel younger, feel fertile, and, also, while I may not have liked the experience of being pregnant, I certainly like how much attention my belly got! People are just so damn happy for you when you’re pregnant. Did I miss that?
And guess what? No matter how exhausted I am, with my mid-life crisis offspring, I still kind of want another. But, no, no way says my rational brain (yes, I have one). However, Dr. Grober, the doctor who preformed my son’s dad’s vasectomy, receives a phone call every year on my son’s birthday. Why? My mid-life-crisis son just happens to share the same birthday as the man who made my mid-life-crisis baby a reality. Obviously, it was meant to be.