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The older mums are taking a risk: women of 35 are six times more likely to have problems conceiving than those ten years younger, according to a study by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.
The Royal College survey issued sobering facts about deferring parenthood: women in their 30s and 40s are far more likely to suffer complications such as pre-eclampsia, ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage or still-birth. I was raised by loving parents in a traditional nuclear family. My brothers Jonathan, 28, and Stephen, 27 — both of them single and childless — are a web designer and a chemist.
The irony is, if I had been born into my grandmother’s, or even my mother’s, generation, my news would have been celebrated. Women of granny’s generation expected to do their child-bearing in their 20s.
When my mum became pregnant with me, her third child, at the grand old age of 35 — six years after the birth of the younger of my two brothers — my grandma Peggy was horrified. Leaving it later was considered risky, ill-judged; even slightly indecorous. At my ante-natal class the other mums-to-be are all in their 30s.
Of course, as young parents we are bucking every trend.
More and more women are opting to have children late in life, and 27,000 babies were born to mothers over the age of 40 last year; almost three times the figure for 1989.
It was a surprise — we had planned to start a family later — but we were overjoyed. And in truth, once mum realised how happy we were, her apprehension dissipated.
Both she and dad were thrilled with the idea of becoming grandparents in their mid-50s.
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It seems incidental that I am not a feckless teenager who fell pregnant after a one-night stand.
On the contrary, I had been with Ben, 22, for five years.
And I fail to understand why it is considered more likely that a couple in their late 20s or 30s will forge an enduring relationship than two people of our age.
Ben and I were on holiday in Dubai when I discovered I was pregnant in May this year.Mothers as young as me are more often than not those who left school at 16; those without with prospect of fulfilling careers; those who have decided their sole route to fulfillment is through procreation.