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Pamela Laycock, 50, mom of Toby, 5

Catherine McDiarmid-Watt | Friday, August 10, 2018 | 0 comments

Image: Grandson, by Ben Earwicker Garrison Photography, Boise, ID, on freeimages
Photo by Grandson, by Ben Earwicker Garrison Photography
Pamela Laycock Age: 50. Mother of Toby, aged five. Derek, her partner of 16 years, is 48, and runs a chauffeur company

I had always wanted lots of children. We started consciously trying at the end of my thirties when I still hadn't got pregnant. I had IVF in the end, which cost about £14,000.

I was 43 years old at the time. I made a conscious decision after the age of 45 I would give up.

It took only two attempts. I was very, very lucky. I was over the moon when I was told the news. It was better than winning the lottery.

It was then quite scary thinking maybe something would go wrong. We made a decision not to have any tests for Down's Syndrome because whatever happened we would love that child and look after it. But Toby was absolutely perfect.

My husband loves children but it's never been the be all and end all for him to have one, whereas I desperately wanted one. Now he thinks it's the best thing that happened in the whole world. He still has a little tear when he thinks about Toby being born.

My mother was a bit taken aback when I told her I was pregnant and worried I wouldn't have the energy - but I do. I'm a London guide, and when I was pregnant I worked up until a week before he was born. I worked with two colleagues who were in their early thirties and pregnant, and they were always having days off because they didn't feel well, and they stopped working way before they gave birth. I had no problem at all.

Being older I have more experience of life to share. I have done a lot, so I'm not desperate to travel. I have friends who had children in their twenties who are at university or leaving home and they're wondering what to do now.

I'm too old to go backpacking, and I'm lucky I got all that out of my system before I had Toby. We also had a house, so we weren't struggling to get a foot on the property ladder.

I don't think of myself as being any different from other mums. Not many people know how old I am. Most of the mothers in Toby's class are coming up to 40 anyway. At my antenatal class, there were seven of us all having our first and they were all in their mid-thirties onwards.

I do wish I had him younger because I would have loved to have had more than one. We won't do IVF again because there would be too big an age gap with Toby. It's also too traumatic and expensive.

Toby doesn't recognize I'm an older mum. I do worry things might be said at a later date. I don't think I look my age at the minute, but nature will take its course and I'm sure people will make comments. Hopefully, it will be something Toby can brush off as it's not an oddity these days.

Obviously, I would like to see Toby married and it would be lovely to see my grandchildren. I don't see why I won't. I don't intend to go before I'm 100.

Being a mother is all I've ever wanted to be and it completes the purpose of my life. I love every second I spend with him. It's the most wonderful experience. I think older mums are possibly more appreciative. I used to feel very left out and now I feel I belong.

This Pregnancy Over 40 story was found on
Read more: The changing face of motherhood
Originally posted on December 2, 2006.

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About Catherine: I am mom to three grown sons, two grandchildren and two rescue dogs. After years of raising my boys as a single mom, I remarried a wonderful man who had never had a child of his own. Unexpectedly, I found myself pregnant at 49!
Sadly we lost our precious baby at 8 weeks, and decided to try again. Five more losses, turned down for donor egg, foster care and adoption due to my age and losses - we have accepted there will be no more babies in our house.

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