I gave birth to my first child at age 19. Things didn’t work out too well between her dad and I; and when he wouldn’t pay child support and I tried to get a “better paying” job in a male dominated field (truck driving) ans so I left her temporarily in the care of her paternal grandmother. Her dad remarried a woman with a child and they had a child together. That is how I lost custody without losing it legally. As a single, poorly paid woman, I wasn’t going to mess with her having a family.
Then I remarried and after 10 years of marriage my husband decided he wanted to be a father after all. Thanks to medical technology, I gave birth at 47 and 50. My sons are now almost 14 and 17. And physically ? Yep, it’s much harder than I could ever have imagined. No back problems but horrendous knee problems. And I did get what I read was termed “thumb arthritis” while nursing the youngest one but it isn’t debilitating (though I also got carpal tunnel in the right wrist and had that surgically fixed-some osteoarthritis remains in the finger joints).
Still being “older” parents makes us realize we don’t have “forever” with our children. We may never see our grandchildren (though that daughter I had at 19 has blessed me with two — a boy and a girl — so no complaints on my part).