In Season Mom
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InSeason Mom Founder Learns Life Lessons At Photo Shoot

By December 4, 2016 Blog, Featured Home, Uncategorized
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Hi I’m Cynthia, founder of InSeason Mom and pictured above. For some time now, I’ve secretly wanted to do a photo shoot. When talented photographer Grace-Given (Jimmie Basco) presented the opportunity, I hesitated. Then I decided not to give in to my fear and to fulfill my long-awaited wish.

I asked my best friend Lisa to accompany me for moral support. Little did I know she would not only provide moral support but she would provide much needed technique support. lisa_009-edit

My friend Lisa pictured above 

As Jimmie, the photographer, suggested certain poses to get the best shot, I discovered something about me: I was as stiff as a board when it came to looking relaxed and natural in front of the camera! (I’ve heard previous comments about my stiffness when I’m dancing from one of teenage daughters.)photoshot3_n

While he coached me along, Lisa, used her background as a former model, to demonstrate what he wanted.  Listening to what Jimmie said and looking at what Lisa did, I learned 3 life lessons:

1-Be willing to listen and learn from a variety of supportive people/mentors

Whether your goal is to become an InSeason Mom or to advance in your career, your success does not hinge on your knowledge alone. Gain knowledge from several resources. Then apply that knowledge to move forward.

2-Appreciate Your Own Uniqueness

All of us have something about us physically that we would like to change. Yet, this very thing adds to our uniqueness.  What’s even more amazing to me is with 7+ billion people in the world, you will never run into anyone who is exactly like you. Science says two people cannot have the same DNA, even identical twins. To me this means that the God of the Universe thought you were such a great treasure that He created only one “you.”

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3-What You Feel Inside Will Show Outside

“Think about Larry,” said either Jimmie or Lisa during the photo shoot. Larry is my husband. Until then, I was thinking about unfinished work I had to do. And, my thoughts were showing in my eyes and in the camera lens. Soon my eyes lit up with thoughts of Larry. I would encourage you to make it a regular practice to replace defeating negative thoughts with uplifting positive thoughts.

Thanks Lisa and photographer Grace-Given (Jimmie Basco) for making my first photo shoot fun and for helping me to learn a few life lessons in the process!

 

Meet Mom Karen Abercrombie, Actress,Singer-Songwriter,Speaker, Producer

By November 17, 2016 Blog, Featured Home, Featured Moms, Popular Posts, Uncategorized
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Name: Karen Abercrombie

Age when you gave birth: 39

Residence: North Carolina and Los Angeles, CA

Child’s name: Michael, currently a college student

Current profession(s): Actress (Miss Clara from War Room Movie), Singer-Songwriter, Storyteller, Motivational Speaker, Producer at Tapestry Entertainment http://www.karenabercrombie.com

PREGNANCY

How long were you trying to get pregnant?

Oh my, I was trying around 6 years.

What did you do to increase your chances of getting pregnant after 35?

You know people tell you about natural ways to stimulate the ovaries. I did a lot of teas. I stayed in the best optimum physical shape as I could. And, my husband and I were checked out a couple of times by doctors to make sure (our health) everything was good.

SUPPORT

Medical Community

How supportive were your doctors during your pregnancy?

My doctors were extremely supportive. They were helpful. Sometimes, the medical community is overwhelmed. So, it’s a quick “hi” and “see you tomorrow.” But, my doctors were helpful, warm, loving and engaging.

Family and Friends

What was the reaction of friends and family when you told them about your pregnancy?

They were all pretty much blown away and excited. I taught children’s theatre. I was very active in the community with youth and children. I’ve always loved children and everyone knew that. I was honored to be the godmother for a bunch of children. But still inside, I wanted my own. My family and friends were rallying and rooting for me to become pregnant.

LABOR AND DELIVERY

What do you remember most about the birth experience?

Oh my goodness, I was in labor for 28 hours!  I got to 7cm. Then after all that time, they decided to do a C-section. I wish they had done it sooner but the baby was getting stressed. Then I said, “okay, do it.”

I AM MOM
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What concerns you most about being a mom over 35 and how do you address these concerns?

The only thing is my husband and I are older and my child is an only child. Of course, if you can be there with him forever, you would. But, there have been so many benefits. Having a younger child at my age, I’m current— in technology, lingo and everything.

I’ve always kept myself in shape. I hiked until I was 8 months pregnant. I lived out in LA during that time. They have wild cats up in their hills. So, when I hiked, I took my dog, baby in the womb, a weapon (for wild cats) because I wasn’t as fast as I used to be.   I exercised throughout my pregnancy. After my baby was born, I continued to take care of myself and bounced back quickly.  I’ve kept up my exercise and still take care of myself.

How has becoming a mom changed you? What do you enjoy most about being an older mom?

I’m wiser and more settled. I prayed to have a baby for what seemed like forever. After my son was born, my career picked up. But, I made a decision to slow things down. I wanted to be a “hands-on” mother, to concentrate and raise the gift God gave me.

Becoming a mother allowed me to understand God’s love better, the unconditional love He has for me. He not only gave me the gift of His Son but He gave me the gift of my son. So, I could know the mother to child love.

What advice do you have for women considering motherhood after 35?

Be in the best physical shape as possible, first and foremost.  Motherhood takes a lot of energy. You can see it wearing out younger mothers. Once you’re in good physical health, you can work on the mental part and everything that goes along with it. I made it a point to stay in shape and trust God to guide me.

Visit Karen’s website to learn more about her. Meanwhile, check out the clip below of her outstanding portrayal of Miss Clara in the movie War Room.

Meet Mom Jill Jonas

By November 10, 2016 Blog, Featured Home, Featured Moms, Uncategorized
Jill & Baby-1

Name: Jill Jonas

Age when you gave birth: 36

Child’s name and age: Dean, 9 weeks

Current or former profession(s): I have worked abroad quite a bit (Egypt, Dubai, Mexico) and international business is my career passion. Since living in New York, I work for a medical device company.

PREGNANCY

How long were you trying to get pregnant? 

We were very fortunate and got pregnant right away in the first month we tried. We decided to try for a late spring/summer birth month and voilá! I thought it would take a couple of months at least.

However, it wasn’t completely smooth sailing at the beginning. We had two doctors tell us we weren’t pregnant and that we’d had a chemical pregnancy! Although I knew something was happening, we were in limbo for about two weeks. Finally, the HGC blood test (it test your levels 48 hours apart) results came back. My levels were rising nicely. Okay, I thought to myself, so we ARE pregnant and then glorious 9 months followed.

What did you do or not do to increase your chances of getting pregnant after 35?

We did not take my age into consideration when we were trying to conceive. It was pretty simple – I knew my cycle and we had a time frame to try. What we did not do is stress.

On another note: When I thought that we had a chemical pregnancy, it opened my eyes to how much time and effort getting pregnant could really take, as well as the emotions involved. I am very grateful to have had this realization. It makes me appreciate Dean even more.

SUPPORT

Medical Community

How supportive were your doctors during your pregnancy?

My doctor is the one who joked with me about the AMA(advanced maternal age) he had to put after my name on my charts. He said, “for NYC you’re a baby”. So, that’s very supportive, I guess!

Did you change doctors or would like to have changed doctors? Why or why not?

I changed doctors before we conceived. I was not happy with other OBGYN’s I had gone to previously in the city. My GP (general practitioner) recommended Dr. Andrew Scheinfeld and he only takes patients who are pregnant or trying. He is an expert at pregnancy and delivering babies – which is what I wanted and what I got!

Family and Friends

What was the reaction of friends and family when you told me about your pregnancy?

My in-laws were elated and surprised. We put t-shirts on our niece and nephew with the words “number one cousins” on the front with our due date on the back. It took them a while and a little encouragement to realize what those shirts meant. Once they realized what it meant, they were ecstatic. Nothing was ever said about my age.

Jill & Baby-3

When we surprised my mother, I learned something that day. She came to New York (I’m from St Louis and that’s where most of my family lives) to visit and to celebrate her birthday with Josh (my husband) and me.  When we decided to tell her the news,  I made her a birthday cake and wrote “#1 Grandma” on it. We walked out and presented her with the cake. She was so surprised, but then noticed what was written on top.

She thought we were making fun of her age and just calling her a grandma! It turns out she wasn’t expecting me to have children.  She thought I was just focused on career and other things. Once she realized that I was pregnant, she teared up and was so happy. Even though she wanted grandchildren very much, she did not burden me with that pressure. and I am very thankful for that. I am even more thankful that she is now a Grandmother, Grammy T!

On another note, anyone who has children later in life risks losing someone close to them before it can happen. I lost my father 3 years ago to cancer. Every day I think about how he would be as a grandfather, but it wasn’t meant to be. He never put any pressure on me to have children, either. I’m sure that if he had seen “Grandpa” on his cake, I would have learned something that day, too.

Labor and Delivery

What do you remember most about the birth experience?

Luckily I remember everything. I’m not THAT old! Since we did not know the gender, the best part was hearing, “it’s a boy” and then seeing this amazing little boy held before us, behind the clear curtain. I had a gentle C- section. Dean was breech for almost the entire pregnancy. My husband and I felt like we already knew the little guy the moment we laid eyes on him!

 I AM MOM 

What concerns you most about being a mom over 35 and how do you address these concerns?

Having a second child. I don’t think I will have time to mentally prepare for that, before it is a little too late. Another concern is one that any parent has, being around for them as long as possible.  This motivates me to stay fit and healthy.

What do you enjoy most about being an older mom?

I’m just enjoying being a mom! You cannot truly describe the feelings it brings or the experience with words. It’s the best thing I have ever had the privilege to do.

How has becoming a mom changed you?

Everything has a bit more meaning. Also, I’m much better utilizing the time that I have everyday. It’s hard to procrastinate these days!

What advice do you have for women considering motherhood after 35?

Don’t read (focus) too much into what you read about– articles like if it is the best time for you to try for a family or to add to your family. Do it your way and don’t let anyone tell you how you should feel or what you should fear.

Jill & Baby -2InSeason Mom Founder Cynthia would like to thank Jill for sharing her story!  Are you over 35 or in your 40s trying to conceive or first time mom to be? Could use emotional support from a woman who’s been through what you’re going through? Get live support from Cynthia http://inseasonmom.org/trying-to-conceive-in-your-40s-coping-tips/

Meet Mom Kristin Beltaos

By November 3, 2016 Blog, Featured Moms
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Conceiving a child is more than just a bunch of numbers and statistics, it’s about the possibility, not probability that matters – Krisitn Beltaos.

Name: Krisitn Beltaos

State of Residence: Minnesota

Children: Vincent and Miles

Current or former profession(s): Life/Business Coach and Owner of A Gift of Miles

PREGNANCY

How long were you trying to get pregnant?

We conceived our first child naturally; however, we miscarried our daughter in the first trimester Thanksgiving weekend of 2003. Then we didn’t conceive after trying almost another year to get pregnant. Once we were diagnosed with male factor infertility, we utilized IUI, Clomid (for three months), progesterone suppositories and acupuncture and conceived our first son, Vincent in 2005.

What did you do or not do to increase your chances of getting pregnant after 35?

Once we were ready to try for another child, it was determined that I had female factor infertility, elevated FSH. My FSH was so high (24) that I wasn’t considered a candidate for IVF, as 25 was the cutoff number to attempt IVF. So the second time around we struggled with male and female factor infertility. In light of this, our only option was injectible fertility medications (Gonal F and then we switched to Follistim), IUI with progesterone supplementation (first suppositories and then progesterone in oil injections). We did conceive another son, but I miscarried him in the emergency room on Christmas Day 2007.

After healing from that miscarriage, we tried another four months and conceived our second son Miles on the same above mentioned regimen. Since we decided this was going to be our last month to try, I did throw acupuncture back into the mix for that last hoorah so to speak. It was difficult to get to acupuncture appointments already having a child. But for that last month, I was determined to try everything possible to maximize our chances. Apparently, that worked out quite well.

THE MEDICAL COMMUNITY

How supportive were your doctors during your pregnancy?

Reproductive Endocrinologists are cautious individuals because there is always the chance of miscarriage. While I really liked my endocrinologist, his message was pretty consistent: you are advanced maternal age, your eggs are old and the quality of your eggs are diminished which puts you at a higher risk for miscarriage and birth defects. Hearing that over and over made it quite challenging to stay positive.

As I previously mentioned, moving to my perinatologist group for my OB care, was a relief.

Did you change doctors or would like to have changed doctors? Why or why not?

I loved my perinatologist group; they were the absolute best. They really develop a family feeling with their patients and it was a joy to see them each visit.

FAMILY AND FRIENDS

Who was the first person you told about your pregnancy and why? What was the reaction of friends and family when you told me about your pregnancy?

With conceiving Vincent, the first person that I told was my husband. Our journey to have Vincent was long, and an extreme rollercoaster ride. We were elated! I can remember getting up at 4 a.m. to take the home pregnancy test. We were elated!

With Miles, it was a funny story. My period had started, or so I thought, so I was very down because we decided it would be the last month to try. I was just so very tired physically, mentally and emotionally. When my period kept starting and stopping I decided to take a home pregnancy test. My cousin was visiting me from Ohio and she was the first person I told, since she was just outside the bathroom door and heard me scream. Then I told my husband. After speaking with my endocrinologist, I was switched to progesterone in oil injections for 10 weeks, as my progesterone level was considered borderline low even on progesterone suppository supplementation.

What was the reaction of friends and family when you told them about your pregnancy?

Since we had a miscarriage with our first child and had to use fertility treatments, etc., we were very cautious with telling people once we were pregnant with Vincent. Naturally, it made us a little gun-shy. So once we made it through the first trimester we were overjoyed to share our news. Everyone was so happy because they knew how hard the miscarriage was on us, how hard we were trying to have a baby and how when each month passed we sunk a little deeper into worry.

When we got pregnant with Miles, since we had another miscarriage after Vincent, we were very tight lipped. Since that miscarriage required an emergency room visit, it was quite scary. In particular, my father was extremely worried about me. So once we shared, I can remember him saying that he didn’t even know that we were trying again. Well, we were just that quiet about it. Everyone was so happy that our perseverance paid off and that Vincent would have a sibling.

LABOR AND DELIVERY

Did you take any childbirth classes? Why or why not?

With Vincent we did because we wanted to know what to expect and be prepared. It was actually quite useful, especially for my husband, who learned how to swaddle and change a diaper.

If I remember correctly, our perinatologist group required it. Besides, we are quite the planners. However since we had to have a c-section after 10 hours of labor, we realized, as with most things in life, you just can’t plan everything. So when we had Miles, another c-section, we did not take any classes because we knew what to expect.

What do you remember most about the birth experience?

With Vincent, everything was very stressful. He was a week overdue with no signs of “dropping”. I ran out of amniotic fluid, so I was finally induced. He had terrible heart rate issues, dropping constantly. I was hooked up to a ton of monitors and hearing Vincent’s heart rate dropping was terrifying. After 10 hours of labor, he was taken via c-section, wasn’t breathing right away and had meconium. So that little guy just had one thing after another at birth. But once I was out of recovery at 4 a.m. and began to nurse, I knew we were finally complete. We felt that all of our efforts, our love brought this little boy to us.

For Miles, I remember quite the opposite than with Vincent. With Vincent everything seemed unpredictable….like nothing we could plan for…everything changed in moments and there was A LOT of worry. With Miles, it was great to know he would be there within 30-minutes of my c-section. I felt so much more rested since I didn’t have to do the labor on top of the c-section. I was much more aware of everything that happened with Miles. It was such a great experience to be more present. The added bonus, since Miles was a planned c-section, is that we have wonderful pictures of him being born. I can still look at the pictures and feel like it was yesterday.

I AM A MOM

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What concerns you most about being a mom over 35 and how do you compensate for this fear?

Honestly, I don’t really have any major concerns. Even though we had to do a lot of intervention to have our boys…I truly believe that everything happened just as it was suppose to. I was supposed to be an InSeason Mom.

What do you enjoy most about being an older mom?

I feel much more secure as a woman and also as a mother. I think my focus is on exactly what it needs to be…my husband and children. I enjoy the fact that having a fair amount of life under my belt enables me to teach my boys about compassion and empathy more than if I had them at a younger age.

How has becoming a mom changed you?

I don’t sweat the small stuff. Ok, I will rephrase that; I try to not sweat the small stuff. I know that sounds cliché, but having children really taught me that everything happens for a reason and within its own timeframe. My path, my journey to those boys made me resilient…the ups, the downs, the constant unknowns makes me feel like I have been through the fire and I can handle anything that comes my way. I hope that’s also what I can teach those boys. No matter what happens in life, you are well equipped to handle anything that comes  your way.

I have two favorite quotes from my favorite children’s author Arnold Lobel. One is from the Frog and Toad “Tomorrow” story; “I am going to take life easy.” Take each and every day as it comes. The good, the bad and the, “eh”. The second quote is from Lobel’s book called Fables, “All the miles of a hard road are worth a moment of true happiness.” I think that one speaks for itself.

What advice do you have for women considering motherhood after 35?

I think motherhood at any age is a wild ride. Since the chapter that paved my way to motherhood included infertility, I say to women who have difficulty conceiving that conceiving a child is more than just a bunch of numbers and statistics, it’s about the possibility, not probability that matters.

If you are having this difficulty, then frame it for yourself this way, people beat the odds everyday, people beat cancer, people have their MS go into remission and people who struggle with infertility have babies. I would much rather leave all the statistics to the racetrack and Vegas. While it is human nature to grasp onto statistics to help predict the chance of something happening for us, in many ways being too married to these numbers has an adverse effect on our psyche, stress. In turn, this stress has an adverse effect on our body. Mind stress plus body stress does not foster a good environment for conception.

I believe every month is a chance, a chance to conceive.

Any additional comments?

I’d like to provide my personal philosophy on the challenges that we experience in our lives. I believe that every challenge we face, every mile we walk in our lives provides knowledge or what I like to call “a gift”. You may not realize it at the time, it may take you weeks, months or years, but eventually you will come to know that morsel of knowledge that you were to walk away with…and those morsels accumulate and become part of the fabric of you. It’s the way that we come to know our morals, our values and our priorities in life.

 

 

Meet Mom Cat

By October 10, 2016 Blog, Featured Home, Featured Moms, First-Time Expectant Mom Over 40, Popular Posts, Uncategorized
Cat

 

Name:  Cat

Age when you gave birth: 40

State of residence:  Hawaii

Child’s name and age: Sagan, 3 months

Current profession:  Entrepreneur, vocal coach/mentor

PREGNANCY

How long were you trying to get pregnant?  

I was trying 14 months.

What did you do or not do to increase your chances of getting pregnant after 40?

After the first three months of trying, I started eating healthier, eliminated coffee–my weakness.  I walked a mile to work almost daily for seven months. I aimed to stay calm and not stress so much while working with Cynthia(coaching services) at InSeason Mom to gain perspective. As we approached the one year-mark with no pregnancy, I tried acupuncture.  After two acupuncture treatments, we visited my OB for an annual exam, and my OB recommended a fertility specialist. We booked the specialist not knowing I was already pregnant! When I later tested positive, we were elated! Call it serendipity, our patience paid off!  I continued with acupuncture until my daughter’s delivery.

SUPPORT

How supportive were your doctors during your pregnancy? 

My OB had no qualms about me trying acupuncture. She pushed us to start conceiving ASAP when she knew I was 38. She warned me it might take some time.  She was super-supportive yet matter-of-fact. It was tough to hear the truth but we took the risk any way!

Did you change doctors or would like to have changed doctors? Why or why not?

We had a good relationship with our doctor, and we trusted her. It took me years to find just the right one.  I believe that when the hope of having a child grew strong in our hearts, we were led to her. Word-of-mouth!  She was perfect for us.

What was the reaction of friends and family when you told me about your pregnancy?

Absolutely ecstatic! My mom laughed and cried.  My younger brother didn’t believe me; he figured that after 39 years, having no children thus far, that children were not in my future.  Was he in shock, but he was extremely happy! Our circle was very supportive. In fact, a few of my friends are having their first children after 35.  What’s “normal” anyway?

LABOR AND DELIVERY

What do you remember most about the birth experience?

Our baby came on her due date. We had a great staff. We thought we were going to lose our daughter when she went under fetal distress early on. So I stayed open to the process and had an epidural.  I learned to trust the experts and my doctor; they were fabulous. I allowed them to use their wisdom and experience to allow my baby to come through.  Her health and safety were my number one concern! My husband was super-supportive and never left my side. It took work, patience, and an openness to do whatever was necessary to deliver the child. I gave birth naturally and was mostly surrounded women in the birthing process. This reminded me of how strong women truly are… it takes a village.

I’M A MOMCatbaby6n

What concerns you most about being a mom over 35 and how do you address these concerns?

My only concern is that I have the energy, strength, and will to be the parent she needs. Besides that, I’d like to live as long as possible to be there for all her critical moments, her firsts, her successes, and even her disappointments. The world is changing so quickly but I want her to inherit some good common sense and be equipped to handle things.  Being 40 means she has a great mentor, teacher, and a never-ending well of support, love and care.

What do you enjoy most about being an older mom?

I have no urge to party or impress others. I am calm, more patient.  I know my priorities and enjoy the quiet, sacred moments, and I can say “no” to things. I choose my time with her and my husband with a level of wisdom and freedom that I would not have had at a younger age.  I know myself. I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything.  In fact, this is a new chapter I am embracing wholeheartedly. I feel I can mentor her and love her on a level that my parents did not.  We (my husband and I) can create a new reality and family dynamic.  I’m glad I worked on my career when I did because now I can enjoy the fresh air of parenthood by slowing down and being engaged more consciously.  I feel I’ve earned it. And I’m still learning!  Oprah Winfrey once said: “You can have it all.  Just not all at once.”

How has becoming a mom changed you?

You learn “selflessness” very quickly, and I look at my child and want to give her the world.  Time is precious, especially when you run a business like I do. You manage your time more intentionally and learn to focus on what matters. You find a way to sacrifice certain things and make things happen!  Raising a child is a privilege and a blessing.

What advice do you have for women considering motherhood after 35? 

Go for it.  Don’t waste time on the past.  Get healthy, stay healthy, and surround yourself with people who support your Path. By all means, look at your options, there is no one way to conception.  And have a life!  It’s when you least expect it to happen that the miracle happens!

InSeason Mom Cynthia would like to thank Cat for sharing her story! Download my quick-read guide offering 30+ POSITIVE tips to cope while trying to conceive (after age 35) in your 40s https://gumroad.com/l/hfaIs

Meet Mom Dinah Cicenas

By October 9, 2016 Blog, Featured Home, Featured Moms, Uncategorized
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Name: Dinah Meyer Cicenas

Age when you gave birth: 39 (Son born only days before 40th birthday)

State of residence: Ohio

Child’s name: John

Current Profession: Associate Professor of Psychology, Licensed Psychologist

PREGNANCY

How long were you trying to get pregnant?

I was not! I did not get married until I was 39, and my husband was 48. We just kind of assumed that we were too old to have a child, and I foolishly thought that 39 was too old to get pregnant!

What did you do or not do to increase your chances of getting pregnant after 40?

I became pregnant about 3 weeks after our wedding, but I didn’t find out until I was about 8 weeks along. I had been feeling ill nearly every day for a couple of weeks, but the sickness never hit me until about noon, so I never recognized my “morning sickness”.

I taught a 1:00 class and would sit in my office beforehand feeling sick as a dog, so I had to cancel that class several times. One day, driving home after cancelling the class yet again, I was ready to call my doctor because I was sure I had some virus. It suddenly hit me that I should take a pregnancy test, although I was sure that couldn’t be it.

I know now that was the Lord telling me what was going on, because I was clueless! Of course, the test stick turned blue in a second because at that point I was nearly 8 weeks pregnant. I was so shocked I took the “used” test to a public dumpster to throw away so my husband wouldn’t find it! I then took a second test and was able to get into my Ob/Gyn that afternoon, where a blood test confirmed the news. I waited another day to tell my husband, so he could accompany me for the ultrasound, which I insisted upon because I just couldn’t believe it.

 MEDICAL COMMUNITY

How supportive were your doctors during your pregnancy?

My longtime OB/Gyn, Dr. Costa, was so happy for me, incredibly supportive and calmed my concerns about my age. She kept telling me that tall women (I’m 6’1) do very well during labor and she was right in my case! I did have some issues with low blood pressure and fainting during the pregnancy (unrelated to my age) so I was also followed by a cardiologist.

Did you change doctors or would like to have changed doctors? Why or why not?

No, I couldn’t have been happier with Dr. Costa.

FAMILY AND FRIENDS

What was the reaction of friends and family when you told me about your pregnancy?

Shock. We had just gotten married, and I think everyone else had assumed we were too old to have kids! However, everyone was thrilled. My in-laws were in their mid-80’s at the time and were so happy that their only son was having a son.

LABOR AND DELIVERY

Did you take any childbirth classes? Why or why not?

Yes, we took childbirth and breastfeeding classes. Both were helpful, although I feel that no class can adequately prepare you for the realities of breastfeeding. I found it to be the hardest thing I had ever done in my life, but a one-on-one consultation with a lactation consultant a week after my son’s birth turned everything around. I nursed my son for 14 months and loved every second.

What do you remember most about the birth experience?

It was the happiest day of my life. I stayed at only 2 cm for about 6 hours, but after having an epidural, went to 10 cm in about 45 minutes! I’m so happy I had the epidural – after that I felt intense pressure, but no pain and was really able to enjoy my labor and birth!

I do have to admit, however, I wasn’t prepared at all for the roller-coaster of post-partum emotions. From the moment I got in the wheelchair to leave the hospital with my baby and throughout the 40 minute drive home, I sobbed in the back seat while my husband drove. All I could think about was how scared I was and how suddenly our lives had changed forever. I’m very blessed that those feelings dissipated quickly and I had no problems with post-partum depression, but I encourage women to seek medical help right away if their sadness persists.

The other very memorable thing is that my son was born days before my own birthday – in fact, we came home from the hospital ON my 40th birthday! What a miraculous gift.

I AM MOM

What concerns you most about being a mom over 35 and how do you address these concerns?

I do worry at times about my son being an only child with 2 older parents. My husband and I have both had some health issues the past few years, but are taking care of ourselves the best we can. We want to be grandparents someday!

What do you enjoy most about being an older mom?

Everything. Every cliché you hear about motherhood is true – I never could have imagined experiencing such an intense love and I’m so grateful that I didn’t miss out.

How has becoming a mom changed you?

After living pretty much only for myself for 39 years, the sacrificial part of parenthood has definitely been an adjustment, but one I’ve taken on happily. Motherhood changes every part of you – you can’t look at the world or other people the same way anymore.

What advice do you have for women considering motherhood after 35?

Well, I’m not sure I’d wait as long as I did if one has a choice (and I know some women don’t have that choice) – I do have less physical energy than I did 20 years ago. However, I’m so appreciative of every moment with my son, and think sometimes how much “color” he’s added to my life. I would encourage more mature moms to build a support network of other moms with young children. I’ve been blessed to find a group of amazing women with kids my son’s age. Most of these moms are in their late 20’s and early 30’s, but we’re all at the same developmental place in our lives right now.