Kathryn Greenwood, 47, lives in the Midlands with her husband and their sons Freddie, 5, and Bertie, 2. She shares her story of being an 'older mum' to two young children.
When did you decide to start a family?
My husband and I have known each other since we were teenagers and dated when we were at school. But life took us in different directions and we both met and married other people, moved away from our home town and didn't see each other again. Then, years later, we finally got together with the help of a mutual school friend who played matchmaker. I had always wanted children and my husband's first wife had been told she couldn't have children. So we were fortunate that although we got together in our late thirties, we both wanted the same thing – to start a family. But I was adamant we had to be married first, which was very traditional of me!
How easy did you find it to conceive?
We hoped we'd be able to conceive easily but it wasn't something we would know until we started trying. That said, we are both fit and healthy and my periods are pretty regular. So, feeling confident, we started trying immediately and I fell pregnant on our honeymoon, aged 39. We were delighted.
How was your pregnancy?
The pregnancy progressed normally and then I miscarried at 15 weeks. It was such a shock. I was so focused on getting through the first 12 weeks and thought we were 'out of the woods'. Luckily for us, very few people knew about the pregnancy so that made it easier to just carry on a normal. It was tough though.
When did you start trying again?
We waited for a few months and then tried again. By this time I had turned 40, but it happened fairly easily again. But then, once again, I miscarried. Thankfully, it was earlier than the first time around, but that didn't make it much easier to deal with.
What did you do then?
I spoke to my doctor about my concerns and we were lucky enough to be referred to the frequent miscarriage unit at the hospital – usually you only get seen after three miscarriages. But because of my age they made an exception: they were very supportive. We had numerous investigations, like genetic tests, blood tests, that kind of thing – and all the results were fine. It was such a relief that nothing was 'wrong'. I will never forget the consultant's words: "So now you can just get on with it."
So we did, and it was third time lucky. I got pregnant – and stayed pregnant. My midwives were great and my age wasn't an issue with them: I got the impression that age was less important than your health and lifestyle. In fact one, of my midwives was an older mum herself.
What special treatment did you get because you were in your forties?
Chorionic villus sampling (CVS) is a prenatal test that detects chromosomal abnormalities such as