1st August 2012 | by MFC Team
Becoming a father (again) at 50
My name is Ryan, and I am 50 years old. When I was younger I had a particular vision for my life: I wanted to marry a wonderful woman, have children, work toward a fulfilling career, and retire when I turned 60. As it turns out, things in my life have unfolded very differently than I thought they would. Sometimes that saying is true – life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans!
After finishing my education, when I was 25 I married a lovely woman I met in University. Over the next 5 years we had 3 children. At 30 I found myself with 3 kids and a mortgage. So after child number three I figured my days of fathering more children were over and I had a vasectomy. Perhaps the pressure of building two careers and raising 3 kids was more than we could handle. My wife and I started growing apart. We had very different ideas about how to raise kids and we fought about money all the time. So after 15 years together, we finally threw in the towel and got divorced. Like I said, we always fought over money and didn’t agree on how to raise our kids, so needless to say the divorce was a nightmare. It took 5 years to get back on my feet financially and emotionally.
Despite the prodding of my friends, it took me awhile to even entertain the idea of dating again. Then one day by sheer chance I happened to strike up a conversation with a woman in the grocery store, and we hit it off immediately. I couldn’t believe it, but over the next few months I found myself “head over heels” in love. I felt like this really was the woman of my dreams. We had the same interest and values, and she was great with my kids. Everything seemed to finally be falling into place, except for one thing – she was 38 and very clear that she wanted to have a child. I suddenly found myself in a dilemma. I absolutely adored this woman but I thought my days of fathering another child were over. I found myself asking: “Can I go back to the days of Pablum and teething rings? Can I handle those sleepless nights? Can I keep up with an active toddler? When I am in my 60s this new child would be in their 20s; is that too old? Will I be able to relate to them and give them the same experience as a father that I was able to give my other children? Am I capable of doing all that over again, and do I even want to?” At first I was unsure, but I loved this woman and knew she’d make a fabulous mother. And I didn’t want to lose her.
So I decided to go for it. Becoming a father again, with this woman, just felt right. Unfortunately my vasectomy reversal didn’t work and it took 3 IVF attempts – but third time lucky. I can still remember the joy we both felt after finding out we were finally pregnant. I am now the proud father of a beautiful baby girl.
Becoming a father is an amazing experience no matter how many children you have or how old you are. It simply changes your life – in my case, this change was for the better.
I didn’t expect to become a father again at my age. Instead of spending my free time golfing and travelling, I am changing diapers and singing nursery rhymes — and honestly, I couldn’t be happier. Sometimes life throws us curve balls that we never saw coming. I’m so glad it threw me this one.