Too Old To Be A Mum? Review: Maybe, Baby
TOO OLD TO BE A MUM?: Tuesday 26th January, BBC1, 10.35pm ALERT ME
Older mums then, what do you think? Not a lot, according to the vox pops at the start of this documentary.
“It’s not right; your friends would come round saying ‘That’s your mum! It’s more like ya nan, innit?” says one grammatically unaware member of the public. “I feel very sorry for a child born to a mum in her fifties or sixties,” says a sympathetic older lady.
All in all, opinions don’t look good. But this hasn’t stopped the likes of Sue giving birth to 18-month-old Freya via IVF treatment aged 57. “I’m often mistaken for her grandmother,” she says. As UK doctors don’t normally treat women over 50, Sue contacted doctors in Russia who granted her permission and fulfilled her wish of having a child. We meet her as she explores the possibility of baby number two – but at nearly 60, is it too late?
No, according to US born Lauren Cohen who gave birth to twins via IVF aged 60. Regularly approached by strangers like an intriguing dodgy convict, she’s asked, “We heard you had your first child at 58?” “She would be less embarrassed if I’d told her I was a lesbian,” dry-humoured Cohen delivers.
As a woman who has to take 30 pills a day just to keep healthy however, Lauren knows time’s not on her side (or is that sanity?). Both her and Sue have an array of health problems that viewers (and the voice-over) may use against them. But at the end of the day says Sue, “Think what a happy, well-balanced daughter I have, not how old I am.”
We also meet the world’s oldest mother (although no-one’s quite sure how old but at least 72, according to her brother). The Indian-born woman and her husband, who had been trying for a baby for 50 years, tried everything from black magic to her sister to conceive but nothing worked. After the selling of two buffalo, they could afford IVF treatment that successfully gave them a pretty cute baby.
All the mums worry they won’t get to see their kids grow up and will certainly not be around to see them have children of their own. “If I had a magic wand to knock the years off I would,” says Sue. “But at the end of the day I’m just like any new mum.” And proud of it.