In Season Mom

Rachel Demas Mom Over 40 After 2 Miscarriages

By August 7, 2018 Blog, Featured Home, Featured Moms

 

Name: Rachel Demas

Age when you gave birth: 44

State of residence: New York

Child’s name: Claire

Current profession: Freelance Writer/Editor

PREGNANCY

How long were you trying to get pregnant?

We tried for about a year and a half. I got pregnant fairly quickly for the first time, but had a miscarriage at 13 weeks. We followed our doctor’s advice, and took about a six month break after my miscarriage. I got pregnant a second time about two months after we started trying again, but I lost that pregnancy at five weeks. We didn’t wait following that loss, and I became pregnant with our daughter, Claire, around three months later.

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

I went to a fertility specialist to make sure everything was in working order. The doctor said that I checked out fine. In fact, he practically gushed when he saw how many eggs I had on the ultrasound. He told me that he had thirty-year-old patients who would be quote “jealous” of my “egg supply”. While I was happy to hear the good news, his comment also made me really uncomfortable. I wish that he had managed to relay that information in a manner that was more matter-of-fact.

SUPPORT 

How supportive were your doctors during your pregnancy?

In general, I think the term “geriatric pregnancy” needs to go. I found that the medical community has a tendency to lead with that age-based assessment, and see you through this lens throughout your pregnancy. Specifically, though, I felt incredibly supported by the midwife, Barri Malek, who delivered our baby. The unfortunate thing was that there were four midwives in the practice, and I saw each of them during routine check-ups. I didn’t feel as supported by them, because they could be quite doom and gloom about all of the complications that can happen when you are pregnant past a certain age (none of the complications happened to my baby or me).

My husband and I were hoping that Barri would deliver our baby, because of her positive attitude. But we weren’t able to choose a specific midwife from the practice. Basically, the policy at the birthing center was that when a woman goes into labor, the midwife who is on duty that week delivers her baby.

Indeed, we hit the jackpot and went into labor when Barri was on duty. My labor went like clockwork (eight hours), but we had two complications during delivery (neither of which was likely due to my age). Claire had a shoulder dystocia, which Barri nimbly fixed with no harm to our daughter. More concerning, I had a postpartum hemorrhage, which could have been life-threatening. I lost about two liters of blood.

Barri stopped the bleeding, and I feel that I owe my life to her. Later, she told me that she attributes her expertise in postpartum hemorrhages to her time spent delivering babies in Indonesia, something I highly doubt many traditional doctors could boast.

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

I was originally with an obstetrician, who referred to me as a “geriatric pregnancy” at our first appointment. I wasn’t thrilled with our rapport with her, but she seemed smart, knowledgeable and experienced. We went to her until I was eight months pregnant, when we decided to look elsewhere. It was not a decision that my husband and I took lightly, but I was committed to having a natural birth if I was able with as few interventions as possible, and we came to feel that our obstetrician would not be as amenable to this idea as we had originally thought. It was hard to be so close to the end of my pregnancy without having everything in place (or a place to go. I joked that I felt like Mary looking for a place at the inn!)

But at my eight month check-up, my husband and I asked our obstetrician if we could start talking about a birth plan. At the mere mention of the words “birth plan”, she became incredibly strident.  Before we could even get into any specifics about what we had in mind, she told us that quote “she was the captain of the ship” and that “if we didn’t like that, we could leave her practice now.” The thought bubble over my head was “I thought the baby was the captain of the ship not you”. But I didn’t see the point of getting into an argument with someone who, clearly, had ideas that were different from ours, so I said ok and left.

That day, I started looking for another place to give birth. I found a birthing center, which was farther away from our house than we had wanted. But it turned out to be the best decision we have ever made, because I was able to give birth to my daughter naturally like I had wanted.

It’s funny how situations that are extremely stressful and trying can sometimes end up being the best thing that could have ever happened to you! I have ended up feeling thankful to the obstetrician for, basically, giving us the boot from her practice! Also, I attribute my willingness to leave her practice to the wisdom of age.

As I have grown older, I have learned to trust my own instincts and to push through the fear of not knowing what was going to happen. I think that, if I had been a younger version of myself, I probably would have believed that the doctor knew best and stayed with her out of fear of making a wrong decision.

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

Everyone was extremely thrilled.

LABOR AND DELIVERY

What do you remember most about the birth experience?

Of course, seeing my baby for the first time was the most memorable and amazing part of giving birth. Probably every woman feels that way, but it has special meaning when you become a mom after a certain age. You aren’t given much hope that you will have a baby, so you have a tremendous sense of God’s grace in this gift. Also, when you are pregnant after a certain age, you are told that there can and probably will be complications from beginning to end. Until you see your baby for the first time, you aren’t sure whether you or your baby will be a casualty of poor statistics. So when I saw Claire, it was a moment of great joy about life’s abundance and the power of surrendering to the unknown, as well as incredible relief that we had made it safely to the end.

I’M A MOM

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

I definitely have less energy than I did when I was in my 20’s or early 30’s. I think I am a more tired mom than I would have been, if I had had my daughter earlier. I have an earlier bedtime now, so that I feel rested enough to keep up with my busy, busy daughter! I also worry about how old I will be when she is in high school and beyond. Watching her grow and learn and experience life is the greatest joy I have ever had. I, greedily, want to go on seeing her life unfold for as long as I can. I know that, at some point, I will leave this earth and leave her. Odds are that it will be much earlier than I would like. But, really, no one has guarantees, so I try to live each day without dwelling on my mortality too much. Some days it’s easier than others to do so!

What do you enjoy most about being an older mom?

I have more of a sense of self now than I did when I was younger. I feel more grounded, which allows me to let my relationship with Claire be more about what’s best for her than what I want or need. Basically, I like to think of it like a tree. I am firmly planted in the ground, yet, when the wind blows, I am flexible and can bend. When I was younger, there would have been a greater chance that I would have just plain old broke! I’m by no means a “grand old oak”, but I’m trying!

Rachel-2-jpg

 How has becoming a mom changed you?

Being a mom requires an amount of sacrifice that I’ve never experienced before having Claire. Surrendering to that kind of selflessness is both challenging and rewarding. It’s not always easy, but it’s an incredible gift about what it means to be in relationship to another human being. The “I and Thou” relationship takes on a new and powerful meaning that is extremely beautiful.

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

Oh, don’t get me started on this question! I have so much to say about how necessary it is to ignore the bad statistics and cultural messages surrounding becoming pregnant and having a baby after a certain age. We are individuals, not statistics. Every woman is entitled to her own journey around having a baby, regardless of what other people believe or what the statistics say about her age. Indeed, I have so much to say that I will refer your readers to a post that I wrote about it on my own personal blog, because I’m too tired and busy from caring for a four year old to write it all over again here! http://taoofpoop.blogspot.com/2013/09/my-geriatric-pregnancy.html

Publisher Cynthia’s note: I originally published Rachel’s encouraging story in June 2015. If you’re a mom who gave birth over 35 or 40 to your first baby, I would love to share your story as a Featured Mom. Contact me for details at inseasonmom@gmail.com

Gabriella-Healthy Surprise Pregnancy After 40

By July 22, 2018 Blog, Featured Home, Featured Moms, Uncategorized

Name: Gabriella

Age when you gave birth: 42

State of residence: Florida

Child: a daughter

Current or former profession(s): Assistant Principal turned stay at home, blogging, future homeschooling, super mom with a cape around my neck and an “S” on my chest. J

PREGNANCY

How long were you trying to get pregnant?

I actually was not trying, and was led to believe by doctors that it was not possible for me to have children.

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

I didn’t knowingly do anything. For the last several years I have been mostly eating healthy and exercising, but nothing out of the ordinary.

SUPPORT

Medical Community

How supportive were your doctors during your pregnancy?

I was very lucky to have found a doctor who also gave birth after 40. It was a blessing to receive encouraging advice and awesome prenatal care. When I first started going to this doctor I was told that I needed to rotate through all of the doctors in the practice to familiarize myself with them in the event I gave birth and my preferred doctor was not on call.

There were two male doctors on staff, and one of them was a complete jerk. Everything from his mouth was negative. He repeatedly called my pregnancy a high-risk pregnancy when I had no health issues, and a healthy genetic background report. On one particular visit he started talking about low birth weight and high miscarriage rates in “older” moms. I cut him off and told him not to say another word to me. I also told him that he seriously needed to reconsider his profession because he clearly had issues!

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

I stayed with my preferred doctor, and refuse to see the other doctors in the rotation. It was a blessing that my preferred doctor was on call the day my daughter was born.

Family and Friends

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

Most of them were very happy for me. Regardless, I was so excited that it really didn’t matter.

LABOR AND DELIVERY

What do you remember most about the birth experience?

My daughter was a C-section baby. I remember being told to expect a lot of pressure. I was waiting for the pressure when I heard my daughter’s crying out very healthy lungs.

I’M A MOM!

What concerns you most about being a mom over 40 and how do you address these concerns?

I think I was most concerned about my energy level and being the oldest mom on the playground. To address these concerns, I started exercising again, dropped the extra weight and found a 40+ new moms group on MeetUp.com. As for the age thing, I don’t let it bother me. I have a beautiful and healthy little girl.

What do you enjoy most about being an older mom?

I don’t accept the “older” mom titles. I run around, play, wrestle, and enjoy every minute with my angel. Our favorite thing to do is to run around the beach collecting shells. We save them for art projects.

How has becoming a mom changed you?

Being a single mom has taught me to love with every inch of my heart, to smile until my face hurts, and to laugh until tears fall from my eyes!

What advice do you have for women considering motherhood after 35 or 40?

Do it! If you have no major reasons holding you back, go for it! Don’t ask for or except unsolicited advice or comments, and distance yourself from anyone who does not respect or support your decision. It’s also important to join a support group with other 35+ moms. You will be glad that you did!

Do you have any additional comments?

Do not be afraid to advocate for yourself. If you find that your doctor is one of many clinging on to the “It’s too risky to have a baby after 35” song and dance, find another doctor! Before you do, ask him or her how they explain the increase of 40 plus women having healthy babies. Ask the doctor if he/she has facts to support this mindset and how or why does it apply to you! Do not be scared into genetic testing or any other testing that is “highly” recommended for “older” moms. As with anything, do your research and form your own opinions. Most importantly think positively and enjoy your pregnancy, birth, and life as a new mommy!

 

 

Eye-Catching Coed Baby Shower Invitations

By July 11, 2018 Uncategorized

(This post is sponsored by Basic Invite. Get a sponsored post for your product/service, email inseasonmom@gmail.com)

You’re in charge of creating the coed baby shower invitations for your best friend, family member or co-worker.  You want eye-catching invitations but you don’t want to exhaust your entire budget on invitations because you may have to help with buying the food and drinks too!

First, stop and take a deep breath, exhale. Here’s a tip to help ease the stress of creating the eye-catching invitations you want: Basic Invite offers hundreds of baby shower card designs that you can instantly personalize online.

Mom-to-be wants a baby shower with forest friends theme? No problem. You can personalize Woodland animal baby shower invitation.

 

Basic Invite also offers 4 great features that will make your coed baby shower invitations appealing to the guests of the expectant mom and dad.

1-Almost Unlimited Colors – Basic Invite is one of the few websites that allows customers almost unlimited color options with instant previews online. Once you select a design you can change the color of each element on the card to over 180 different color options so you can make sure the card is exactly how you want it.

2-Custom Samples – Basic Invite is one of the few websites that allows customers the ability to order a printed sample of their actual invitation. You can see exactly how it will print as well as the paper quality before you ever have to place your final order.

3-Over 40 Different Colors of Envelopes – Basic Invite is just as colorful with their envelopes as they are with their invitations. You can choose from over 40 different colors when it comes to their envelopes so that you can make your invitation stand out even before it is opened.

4-Address Capturing ServiceThis is my favorite feature. Basic Invite offers an address capturing service that allows you to share a link on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other form of social media to request the friends and family’s addresses for the coed baby shower. The addresses will be stored in your account and can then be selected during the design process.

Right now Basic Invite is offering 15% off with coupon code: 15FF51.

Enjoy the baby shower and take a minute to relax now that you don’t have to worry about the baby shower invitations!

Trying to Get Pregnant After 35 and 40: Resist Faith Drainers

By June 14, 2018 Blog, Featured Home

Today I update this post for the same reason I wrote it over five years ago:  to encourage women over 35 and 40 in their trying-to-get pregnant journey and to resist the widely-believed myths promoted by faith drainers.

I wasn’t as aware of these faith drainers when I married at 40, conceived naturally (by God’s grace) and gave birth to healthy daughters at age 42 and 44.  However, I soon discovered the faith drainers when I listened to conversations in the hair salons about having a baby after 35 and when I researched the topic online. These common-believed myths ignited my passion and guided me to what I believe is one of my God-given assignments: to dispel misconceptions about pregnancy and having a baby after 35 and to provide emotional support for first time moms over 35 as they work with their health care professions to ensure the best care possible.

First, I must say that I don’t tell women to wait until their late 30s or their 40s to conceive. But, I realize not every woman magically finds “Mr. Right” in her 20s.  Also, there are many married women who tried for years to conceive and natural conception didn’t occur until after age 35.

While it’s not hard to find articles on the risks of having babies after 35, it’s not as easy to find information which counters the negative information. I’ve been providing positive stories on InSeason Mom blog for over 10 years about real women who conceived and gave birth to healthy babies after age 35 and in their 40s.

Now, let’s talk about a few faith drainers and check out the encouraging story links of first time moms over 35 and 40:

Medical Faith Drainers – You’ll Never Get Pregnant

Unfortunately, now a whole new group of women are being quoted commonly accepted misconceptions about getting pregnant after 35 and in their 40s. Many of the misconceptions such as women over 35 will have unhealthy babies are believed as truth. Rather than taking time to research the healthy 40-something female medical history,  the doctor looks at her age along with outdated statistics which are based on group not individual medical history/studies. The arrogant doctor tells her that she’ll never have a baby. This doctor is a biased licensed faith drainer.

Unlike the arrogant doctor, today, many healthcare professionals gauge pregnancy risk by a pregnant woman’s health status, not her age (source: Your Pregnancy after 35 by Dr. Curtis Glade and Author Judith Schuler).

Francesa’s Encouraging Story: http://inseasonmom.org/meet-francesca-kotomski/

Medical Faith Drainers – You’ll Never Get Pregnant with Your Own Eggs

I update this post as encouragement to the woman who recently read or heard reports that celebrities giving birth after 40 with their own eggs are greatly exaggerated or nearly impossible.

Joan was told that she would never get pregnant with her own eggs. Less than a week from turning 39 years old, she proved 3 fertility experts wrong when she gave birth to her son.

Joan’s Encouraging Story: http://inseasonmom.org/meet-featured-mom-joan/

Family, Friends, Co-Workers Faith Drainers- You’re too old to have a baby

I update this post as encouragement for the woman 35+ who has been told not only by co-workers but also by friends and even family that she is too old to have a baby. She may even think she’s too old to fulfill her heart’s desire.

Dinah Cicenas was so shocked when she became pregnant about 3 weeks after her wedding. She didn’t realize she was pregnant until she was about 8 weeks along. Dinah was so confused that she threw the “used” pregnancy test in a public dumpster so her husband wouldn’t find it! She thought she couldn’t get pregnant due to her age.

Dinah’s Encouraging Story: http://inseasonmom.org/december-inseason-mom-dinah-meyer-cicenas/

Combat Faith Drainers With Faith Not Fear

I update this post as a reminder that an All Powerful God can bring a child or children into a woman’s life by any means that He sees appropriate or as we say in the Carolinas “sees fit.”

Jennifer’s Encouraging Story: http://inseasonmom.org/meet-jennifer-workman/

Although this blog focuses more on biological moms, I don’t think this is the only way a woman can become a mom. I believe in motherhood through adoption, which I’ve always viewed as positive, thanks to the loving experiences of family and friends.

I believe in motherhood through marriage, becoming a stepmom. Stepmoms are  often not given the same rank of importance as a way God brings a child into a woman’s life, However, I know from personal experience that custodial stepmoms should rank right up there with other moms.

Wendy’s Encouraging Story: http://inseasonmom.org/featured-inseason-mom-april-2013-wendy/

Words for Your Mental Battle

Whether you begin your motherhood journey one day from now or many days from now. I want you to plant the information that I’ve shared with you deep in your mind.  Take it out as a reminder on your journey.  Take it out to as a sharp faith sword to slice your misconceptions and fears.  Remain open in your journey to motherhood. Above all else, I wish you Happy Mothering!

Mini-version of my story: http://inseasonmom.org/about-cynthia/

Sherry’s Pregnancy Over 35 Success After Miscarriages

By March 4, 2018 Blog, Featured Home, Featured Moms, Uncategorized

This Indiana mom is as vocal about her faith as she is about her two successful pregnancies over age 35 and her miscarriages. Pictured  above with daughters, meet our Featured First Time Mom Over 35 as she shares her faith-filled pregnancy and birth journey, which included a healthy diet and medication.

Name: Sherry

Age you gave birth: I was 36 with my first baby, and 40 with my second one.

State/Country of residence: Indiana

Children’s names and ages: Faith is now 5, and Josephine is almost 2!

Current or former profession(s): Mom blogger at TheLateStork.com

PREGNANCY

How long were you trying to get pregnant? 

We naturally conceived 3 months after getting married.  With our second baby, we were trying for two years and needed help with fertility medication.

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

I didn’t do anything but pray for our first daughter, Faith.  For Josephine, lots and lots more prayer. I ate healthier, and stopped drinking coffee.  I eventually had to take medication to force ovulation, scheduled intercourse and conceived!  Before conceiving with Josephine, we had two miscarriages.

SUPPORT

Medical Community

How supportive were your doctors during your pregnancy?

My doctors were all very supportive!  They weren’t concerned about my age. They took good care of me, and kept me informed of any potential risks during pregnancy or health issues with our babies.

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

I never considered switching doctors. I felt very safe under their care. I was fortunate enough to have the same physician deliver both our daughters!

Family and Friends

What was the reaction of friends and family when you told me about your pregnancy?  Extremely excited and grateful to God that our prayers were being answered.

LABOR AND DELIVERY

What do you remember most about the birth experience?

My first birth was 31 hours long!  Faith was 2 weeks overdue, and I had to be induced.  Very long time to be in labor.  Here is Faith’s birth video!  https://youtu.be/BYAhEajO_v4

With Josephine, I again had to be induced because I had gestational diabetes and they wanted her out 2 weeks early.   Labor pains began about 12 hours after being induced, and the contractions lasted about 4 hours I think.  I know they usually say second pregnancies are easier but that was not the case for me.  Contractions were much more painful the second time giving birth!  But so worth it! Here’s Josephine’s birth video!  https://youtu.be/Rz9I0-WtNeg

I’M A MOM!

Do you have any concerns about being a mom over 35?

If so, how do you address these concerns? I am BLESSED to be an older mom.  I have full trust in God’s timing.  There is a time and season for everything – Ecclesiastes 3:1. In this season of my life I am thanking the Lord every single day for our beautiful and healthy baby girls He gave us.

What do you enjoy most about being a first time mom over 35?

I’m happy to have two important qualities now: Wisdom and humility.  Characteristics I wouldn’t have had much of  if I became a mother in my 20’s.  I have learned that life does not go as you planned, but how the Lord has planned. “Humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.” – Proverbs 16:9. I have learned that I want and need Jesus in my life in order to have the life I was meant to live.  I humbled myself and learned that “they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles!” – Isaiah 40:31. It is so true!

How has becoming a mom changed you?

To be honest, I feel I have always been a mother… just waiting on my children 🙂  The only thing that has changed is my ever-growing love and thankfulness to our Lord. With each passing day, I get to see my girls grow and thrive and learn about our sweet Heavenly Father.  What an enormous blessing that is!

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

“Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.” – Matthew 7:7

If motherhood after 35 does not become a reality, learn to accept what God’s plan may be for your life; whatever that may be.  “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11.

One thing I have always blogged about during my own journey of pregnancies and miscarriages is, “Always hold on to the Lord’s hand. Never let go. No matter what happens.”

Natural Pregnancy After 40 for New Mom Holly

By January 3, 2018 Blog, Featured Home, Featured Moms, Uncategorized

Natural pregnancy over 40 was not only possible for Holly (pictured above with daughter Lucy) from Colorado, but she now dispels fears of other women considering motherhood after 40. Here is Featured InSeason Mom Holly’s pregnancy and birth story:

Name: Holly

Age you gave birth: 43

State of residence: Colorado

Child’s name: Lucy

Current or former profession(s): Social work graduate student and freelance writer

PREGNANCY

How long were you trying to get pregnant?

5 months

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

I don’t smoke cigarettes and I didn’t drink alcohol during the time I was trying to conceive.  I was also seeing an acupuncturist at the time to address sinus issues.  According to Chinese medicine principles, Acupuncture is designed to unblock one’s chi (energy flow) and create a free flow of life force energy throughout the body.

Acupuncturists believe that women have low fertility due to congested areas in the body which block their chi.  Freeing up the flow of energy facilitates and encourages fertility.  And while I didn’t seek out acupuncture for that purpose, it definitely increased the chances of pregnancy and sped up the process significantly.  I also took a prenatal vitamin with folic acid.

MEDICAL COMMUNITY SUPPORT

How supportive were your doctors during your pregnancy?

For the most part, the doctors and other medical staff were very supportive.  I had a managed-care system of health care at the time, which worked out to my advantage.  There were many different providers from which to choose and, upon deciding that I didn’t click with the personality of the initial OB/GYN, I was able to choose a new one without any problem.

The prenatal care included multiple free visits with the OB, 3 visits with a specialist in high risk pregnancy, and various other types of frequent monitorings such as non-stress tests.  I was lucky in that my health insurance provider has a standard practice for all pregnant women over 35 that includes the aforementioned services.  I felt very well cared for.

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

I did change doctors about halfway through the pregnancy.  I felt that the original doctor did not make herself available for questions and did not fully explain the answers to the questions I did have.  She did not seem sensitive to the fact that this was my first pregnancy and I had no idea what to expect.  She just had a bad bedside manner.  I chose a new doctor through the network and was very pleased with her.  She walked me through the process slowly and explained how my situation was different from a typical pregnancy due to age and high-risk status.

FAMILY AND FRIENDS SUPPORT

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

They were all excited and happy for me.  It should be noted that I didn’t tell anyone I was trying to get pregnant, so there was no pressure or unsolicited opinions from my social circle or family members.  I didn’t receive any negative feedback about my age.

LABOR AND DELIVERY

What do you remember most about the birth experience?

I had high blood pressure throughout the pregnancy and it was necessary to induce labor once I reached full term at 37 weeks.  This was 2 weeks earlier than I had planned.

The main things I remember about the experience are these:

I felt absolute terror about the physical pain that would be involved once the process began. Once I got the epidural, all that changed and I was so much more comfortable than I thought I’d be.  I was so happy that I decided to do it in a hospital, surrounded by medical personnel who knew what they were doing.  While a C-section is more likely with an epidural, that was not the case for us.  Thank goodness!

A few people gave me the advice of going on 30-minute walks 3-4 times per week and doing squats daily in preparation for labor. I started doing that in the 6 weeks leading up to delivery.  Wow, they were so right!  I was able to get the baby out in 4 pushes.  The nurses remarked several times about how strong I was.

I’M A MOM!

Do you have any concerns about being a mom over 40? If so, how do you address these concerns?

I’m probably like most other moms over 40 in that I’m afraid I’ll die too soon to see her graduate, get married, have kids, etc.  But as far as I can tell, that fear is utter nonsense. It is statistically way more likely than not that I’ll live into my 80s and get to hang out with my 40-year-old daughter. That said, I feel compelled to stay in decent shape so I don’t throw out my back hauling the kid up and down the stairs.

I do calisthenics workouts in my living room (7-10 minutes tops) and I take my daughter and pug out for 30-minute walks a few days a week.  It keeps me feeling strong enough to handle what motherhood throws at me.  I used to want to be in shape just to look good but now I have a whole new, more worthwhile reason to be fit.  And I’m so much more motivated because the pay-off is immediate.  It only takes a few weeks of doing pushups and core exercises to make a significant difference in your strength and fitness.

What do you enjoy most about being a first-time mom over 40?

I love that I got to experience so many things in my 20’s and 30’s, free as a bird to live life the way I wanted and see the things I saw.  I don’t have to wonder what life would have been like if I didn’t have kids because I already experienced it.  I also have the calm attitude that comes with time and I know how to manage stress.  I don’t get rattled easily.

Also, I grew up without the internet or cell phones and I’ve had a job since high school.  I feel well equipped to ensure my daughter has the skills to succeed in life, part of which will be knowing how to entertain herself without an iPad.

How has becoming a mom changed you?

In most ways, I’d say I haven’t changed much at all.  It has been surprisingly easy to incorporate Lucy into my regular routine and lifestyle.  What has changed is that I feel I have a deeper connection to humanity in general.  I suddenly care more for all kids around me; I think about the world they will live in and what life will be like after I’m gone.  Now that I have a direct descendant I’m more emotionally attached to the next generation.  I’m excited to see who they’ll grow to become and what things are important to them.

I’m also more motivated to make money in different ways.  I’m doing a variety of things to bring in money so I can help provide for my family.

What advice do you have for women considering motherhood after 40?

Go for it!!!  Don’t worry about being too old.  I’m in better shape now than I was in my 30’s.  I remember reading and hearing so many negative things about giving birth after a certain age and it scared me to death.  It wasn’t until I reconnected with an old friend who had 2 kids after 40 that I began to feel okay about going ahead with it.  I was so freaked out, thinking for sure my child would be severely disabled or that I would be putting myself in physical danger.  But that just isn’t the case for most people having babies in “advanced maternal age.”  I worked in the field of developmental disabilities for over 20 years and rare was the case that a child’s disability was directly related to the mother’s age.

Additional comments?

I encourage other women to mentally prepare themselves for feeling like they’re having a nervous breakdown for the first few months of the child’s life.  It’s okay to feel totally overwhelmed.  The adjustment period is bound to be a little harder for us older gals because we’ve been grown women for much longer than the 20 and 30-somethings.  It can be a huge shock to the system to make such a big change later in life.  But after the initial shock wears off, you’ll probably find that you’re way more prepared for this now than you would have been 15 or 20 years before. The timing is just right.

InSeason Mom Cynthia would like to thank Holly for sharing her inspiring pregnancy and birth story. Check out her website Mom In Phase Two.   Are you a first time mom over 35, over 40? Email inseasonmom@gmail.com or cynthia@inseasonmom.org for details to share your encouraging pregnancy and birth story.