book review :: baby changes everything

This book is written for women (and men) who plan on having a baby after age 35. The book is for those who have had children before age 35 and are adding to their family, as well as for those entering parenthood for the first time after 35. In all honesty though, I think the book had more information for those with caboose babies.

The author, Beth Vogt, fell into the caboose category herself, so I guess it makes sense that this is the focus. She had three children in their teens, before having her fourth child at age 41. Her oldest son graduated from high school just a few months after her youngest was born.

Really this isn't a new story. In the 60's and 70's these children were called menopause babies. I have a few friends who are either only children of older parents or the baby in the family where siblings are all a decade or more older.

The book tackles everything from being labeled AMA – Advanced Maternal Age – to dealing with siblings. It talks about the true risks of having a baby after 35, as well as some of the benefits of doing so.

Throughout the book there are vignettes about women and their families. It includes women who found Mr. Right late in life, women who adopted, and women who found themselves stepparents after their mid-30's. There is also a chapter told from the perspective of the siblings and children who have lived in a family with this structure.

Overall, I found the book interesting. It was a quick read and there was some good information in it. On of my gripes with the book is that a lot of the quotes were from the author's family and friends. If this is a growing trend, it seemed like she might have gotten a few more people to speak up, although I know how hard it can be to get people to give you something like that. Also I will warn you that there are strong Christian undertones throughout the book – not necessarily a bad thing, just something some people like to be aware of.

One of the ideas that I really love from this book is one that a father shared. I believe he was in his 40's when his son was born. He would write down stories or quotes he found interesting about his son and then at the end of each year he would gather up the bits of papers that he wrote them on and record the stories. Since cassette tapes are becoming a bit old, he had since taken the tapes and had them transferred to CD. His son has no idea that he has been doing this, and the father plans on presenting them either at his son's wedding or after the birth of his first child. Pretty cool.

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