In Season Mom

Trying to Conceive in Your 40s Coping Tips ebook

By January 6, 2017 Uncategorized

 Trying to Conceive in Your 40s Coping Tips ebook

  • Quick read resource without all the depressing medical jargon or statistics
  • Over 30 practical spiritual, mental and physical coping tips that you can use now
  • Written by InSeason Mom Founder Cynthia, who conceived naturally and gave birth to two healthy babies at age 42 and 44
  • Many books offer suggestions on getting pregnant after 35 but this e-book provides encouragement while you waiting

Get it now at https://gumroad.com/l/hfaIs

 

 

Adoption After 40 for First Time Mom Wendy

By September 21, 2017 Blog, Featured Moms

Name: Wendy

Age you adopted:  44

State of residence:  Illinois

Child’s name :  William

Current profession:  Teacher

ADOPTION DECISION

How did you arrive at the decision to adopt?

My husband and I met later in life, when I was 37 years old.  We got married when I was 41, so we decided to try having a family as soon as possible.  It turned out to be more difficult than we had originally hoped, with my age working against me.  After trying to get pregnant on our own without any success, we moved on to trying fertility treatments – IUI, IVF three times, and IVF with Donor Eggs.  We came close, but I was never able to sustain a pregnancy to full term.

As you can imagine, the emotional and physical roller coaster took quite a toll on me during these processes.  Luckily, my husband is a very supportive man, and was always there to simply hold me when I couldn’t help but cry uncontrollably.  I never lost hope that I would become a mother, though.  I knew deep in my heart that I had so much love to share, and that I would be a great mom.

My own mom has set such a wonderful example of being the kind of mom who could nurture the best in all of us, that I knew I, too, would be successful.  Eventually, my husband said, “Maybe it’s time that we move on to the next option for us – adoption.”  I had to give up the idea of being pregnant with and give birth to our child.

My supportive sister-in-law (who, coincidentally, was adopted, as well) said, “Being pregnant and giving birth is one year…  What you will have with your child is so much more than that.”  Once I had that in my heart, I knew that adoption was going to be the right path for us.

ADOPTION-International or Domestic?

Many people have misconceptions about the adoption process in general.  Did you have any and what did you learn?

We were definitely inexperienced the first time around, and had a lot of fear of the unknown.  The adoption process involves so many decisions, that it can be very daunting to the uninitiated.  Our first order of business was to simply find as much information as we could about the process and about agencies.  There were so many conflicting reports from different people about which way to do things, which type of adoption – domestic or international, which agency to use, how to go about getting a home study done, etc.

International Adoption

At first, we heavily researched international adoption.  The feature that we liked most about going the international adoption route was that it was more-or-less a wait-your-turn type of situation, where you could have a reasonable idea of when you might become parents.  We were lucky enough to meet and speak to so many adoptive parents who adopted internationally, so I think we got a good impression about it.

However, after speaking with many international adoption agencies, we found that many of the practices in other countries could feel a little shady, for a lack of a better term.  Some countries require that you bring $10,000 to $20,000 in crisp, new $100 bills.  That just seemed a little scary to us.  We also didn’t want to contribute in any way to child trafficking.  This is not meant to be a judgment on anyone else’s decision to adopt internationally.  It just wasn’t right for us.

Besides which, another requirement of many international adoptions is to make several long trips to the country… sometimes up to several months.  With both of us working, it would have been difficult to take that much time off from our jobs without resigning, or, at the very least, taking a leave of absence.

Domestic Adoption

Making the decision to adopt domestically, though, did carry some scary thoughts, as well.  The way that most domestic adoptions work, outside of the foster system where there needs to be a TPR first – Termination of Parental Rights, is that the birth mother or expectant mother chooses you.  This means that you have to put together a profile and then put yourself out there.  Of course, this is scary, because you think that it may be a possibility that you may never get chosen.

There are also so many other things that you need to think about and determine when adopting domestically.  You have to decide which things would fit well with your family and situation, and which things would not, such as: race; gender; whether or not the birth mother smokes, drinks, does drugs, etc.; how much you are willing to pay for the legal living expenses of the birth mother; whether you want a closed, semi-open, or open adoption; and many other factors.  We ended up getting chosen four times before we actually got our son.

Traumatic First, Second Letdowns

About three months after we signed with our agency, the first expectant mom chose us.  She lived in Oklahoma, though; and on the weekend that we were supposed to call her, there were 16 tornadoes.  We never did hear from her, so we wondered if she was ok.  That was our traumatic first match.

We got our second match in another three months.  We ended up staying in this match with the expectant mom for three months, paying for many of her living expenses through our social workers and agency.  However, we kept noticing that many things did not add up with her stories.  She lied about so many things to both us and to her social worker.  Now, just because an expectant mom lies, doesn’t mean that she is not going to place her child.  In fact, this would have been her fourth child placed outside of her home (though we are unclear how many of the placements were intentional adoption plans or if the outside placements could have included the Department of Children and Family Services).

After three months of the lying and the shenanigans, my husband convinced me that this was not the right match for us.  I was concerned that our adoption agency would think we were being difficult, and not match us so readily.  This situation did seem like a sure thing, considering the expectant mom’s past with placing children for adoption; however, she was so manipulative, that we chose to dissolve the match with her.  For us, it was important that we were able to say good things about the birth mother to our child.  Also, we knew that if we had a semi-open or an open adoption, that this woman would be in our lives for at least 18 years.

FINALLY A MOM

Meeting Our Son and Birth Mom

I was worried that we would not match again, but I didn’t have to worry long.  Only three weeks later, we got a call from our agency about a little boy who was 17 months old.  We spoke with the birth mother, and it seemed like a really good fit on the phone, so we decided to visit with the birth mom and meet the little boy two weeks later.  Meanwhile, two days after we spoke to the third birth mother, we got a call about a fourth match from an expectant mom.  This seemed like a great fit, too.  However, since we had already made plans to meet up with the third birth mother and what would then be her 18 month old, we asked the fourth expectant mom if she would be willing to wait for our decision in two to three weeks.

The first night of our visit with the third birth mother, we had dinner together.  It was truly like speaking with a long-lost friend.  In fact, she said “It feels to me as if you are my brother and sister.”  We knew that if all went well the next day, when we met the little boy, that this was the right match for us.  Here was a birth mother that we could say nice things about, and whom we wouldn’t mind keeping in our lives.

The second day of the visit, we met with the little boy and the birth mother, and hung out with them for virtually the whole day.  It was truly love at first sight, and it just grew from there.  We all knew that this was the exact right match for all involved.  Three weeks later, our son was in our custody.  That’s when our adventure as parents first began.  It was not always an easy road, since an 18-month old child is bound to suffer from the emotional trauma of the losses in his life.  However, we wouldn’t trade our situation for the world, since we have bonded so well as a whole and loving family.

The next step for us, now that our son has been with us for two and a half years, is to complete our family through adoption one more time, so that our son can benefit from having a sibling.  This is very important to us as older parents, as we have to think realistically about how long we will be in his life, and we want the siblings to be able to have each other as family when my husband and I are gone.

SUPPORT

What was the reaction of friends and family when you told them about your decision to become a first time over 40 mom?

We were both lucky, in that our family and friends have been super supportive through all our trials and triumphs of becoming parents.  I did have many younger friends who were getting pregnant fairly easily, and they were sometimes hesitant to speak to me about their joys.  But I have never been one to compare my life to others, and I was truly happy for them.  I knew deep in my heart that I would be a great mom, and that my time would come, and the right child for us would come in due time.  I was right!  Our son is perfect for us.  He fits in well with our family and friends, and he even looks like my husband.

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

My biggest concern is that I won’t be around for him as long as some of his friends’ parents may be for them.  My husband and I are in the process of getting ready to adopt a second child, so that the children will benefit from having a sibling throughout their lives.   Of course, I hope that both of us will be around for a long, long time yet, and will get to one day, see our grand-children.  One can only hope!

What do you enjoy most about being an older mom?

Like I said before, I think my mom gave us a good foundation of how a mom should be.  But I think that being an older mom definitely has it perks.  Especially, after 21 years of teaching, I have really learned how to be patient, consistent, and know that not every battle needs to be fought … It’s often better to choose your battles wisely, and let a lot of little things go.  I am sure I would have made a great mom at any age, but at an older age, I am probably even better, because I know the value of having a family.  After so many trials on our journey to having children, I feel truly blessed to finally have my dreams of motherhood come true.

How has becoming a mom changed you?

Becoming a mom is much like how I expected it to be; though, there are definitely benefits that I hadn’t expected.  Do you remember the sheer joy and love of life that you had as a child?  But somehow lose as an adult with all the things that have happened to you in life?  Well, becoming a mom gives you a window into seeing the wonderment of life as a child.  You get to relive the joy and love of life all over again through their interaction with new things and experiences.

I feel so lucky to be able to recapture that feeling, that I hope I will not lose it again.  I now know the value of keeping that joy and love of life…and not letting life take any of it from you along the way.  I hope that I will be able to help our children maintain this love of life as they grow older, as well.

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

Honestly, I say “Go for it!”  Motherhood is pure joy.  Even when my son is misbehaving, my heart is still full of love for him.  I feel so blessed to have him in my life, and couldn’t imagine life without him anymore.

 

Michelle-Pregnant Naturally Over 40 After Miscarriage

By August 2, 2017 Blog, Featured Home, Featured Moms, Uncategorized

Name: Michelle

Age when gave birth :  45

State of residence: Arizona

Child’s name : Nathanael

Current or former profession(s): Actress/Model and Real Estate Agent

PREGNANCY

How long were you trying to get pregnant? 

Two years – I lost a baby at 42 and had Nathanel at 45.

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

Having a very shaman/spiritual life, I was doing sweats and eating very clean and having regular balancing treatments.  I don’t eat a lot of processed foods. I walked, meditated and stayed very positive in my belief that I could manifest another baby.  Once I released the fear, I was able to receive the gift of pregnancy.

SUPPORT

Medical Community

How supportive were your doctors during your pregnancy?

Very supportive

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

If I had had doctors who didn’t support me or believe in the idea of having a baby after 40, yes I would have changed. I felt very blessed because I had great doctors and nurses.

 Family and friends

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

They were all very excited for me.

LABOR AND DELIVERY

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

Yes, we went to a birthing class once.

What do you remember most about the birth experience? 

For me it was awesome! I was in a car accident when I was 6 months pregnant. I was extremely worried because at age 42 I lost a little girl (miscarriage). I was 18 or so weeks into this pregnancy when I started to have some contractions from the car accident. I began going to an acupuncturist, massage/cranial sacral person and a chiropractor which helped greatly!

I could tell that he (Nathanael) wanted to come early. So I kept telling him that was fine, and that he could only enter this world if he was able to come home with me from the hospital.  I had dropped my husband off and went to an acupuncture appointment and then to the hospital for a routine check-up to see how Nathanael was doing.

I went into the bathroom as I always did, but didn’t seem to stop peeing.  I came out and told the nurses this and it all started—34-35 weeks into the pregnancy! I was only in labor for 8 hours and opted not to have any drugs. Around 8-9 cementers, I decided that may not have been the best choice, but by that point it was too late (lol)! He came out and all was good, except no one had prepared me for having to deliver the placenta. I was a bit overwhelmed at that idea(lol).

I AM MOM

What concerns you most about being a mom over 35 and how do you address these concerns? Michelle3

Not being here for him when he is older and not have family to connect with.  I enjoy every moment and trust.

What do you enjoy most about being an older mom? 

I enjoy being in a better place with myself which allows me to have more patience and understanding toward Nathanael.

How has becoming a mom changed you?  

In every way! For me there has been no greater honor than becoming a mom! We have the chance to help shape our world by raising amazing, loving creative little souls.

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

Take care of yourself and never stop believing and trusting. Eat healthy foods.   I am of a mindset that in many regards, we have been brainwashed as women to believe certain things. There is so much fear out there. We create fear in our lives by hearing and believing it.

I am not saying to wait if you don’t have too (become a mother) but if you have to, work towards trusting and believing.  Take care of you; anything is possible. Don’t allow others to create the fear that they know better; better than something higher and more profound at work in this process.  I was blessed because all my doctors gave the power to God/Higher power not to the medical world and statistics.

Michelle2

 

 

Emotional Health Tips For Your Pregnancy Over 35

By July 25, 2017 Featured Home, First-Time Expectant Mom Over 40, Popular Posts

Special thanks to this month’s blog post sponsor Heaven Sent Infant Wear-Infant Wear with a Spiritual Reflection. They’re offering a free pair of Cozy Feet Crib Shoes with every purchase of $15 or more until August 31, 2017.

If you’re a first time expectant mother over 35 or over 40, sometimes— finding emotional support for your pregnancy can be as be as challenging as finding an American teenager who doesn’t own a cell phone!

The first words out of your doctor’s mouth upon confirming your pregnancy may not be congratulations but may be monologue filled with negative statistics about pregnancy after 35 which show an increased risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, cesarean birth and chromosomal defects. Or your doctor may suggest a series of tests available to older expectant moms or ask if your pregnancy was planned.

Unfortunately, this insensitiveness for pregnancy after 35 is not limited to some in the medical community. You may be hit with a variety of comments saying you’re too old to give birth or that you should consider your age when your baby goes to first- grade, becomes a teenager, gets married and so forth.  These comments can come from well-meaning relatives to friends to strangers.

How do you handle so much negativity during a time when you are most vulnerable?

1-Realize Pregnancy Hormones Are At Work

The first tip is to remember your pregnant body is undergoing hormone changes which not only affect you physically, but emotionally as well.

Translation: Comments you wouldn’t have given a second thought during your pre-pregnancy state can make you sad or angry during pregnancy. This is true whether you are an expectant mom age 22 or age 42.

Choose your thoughts wisely. Like a gardener who pulls the weeds out of her flowerbed, pull the negative thoughts from your mind. Replace them through concentration on positive and uplifting thoughts.

2- Find Moms Who Have Been Through What You’re Going Through

Having a supportive friend, ideally one who is a first time mom over 35, you can talk to about your ups and downs will be invaluable during this time. There are also online group of expectant moms over 35 and over 40. If the online groups don’t fit your style, establish your own or join our InSeason Mom group on Facebook. If you don’t like any of these choices, email me and I’ll give you encouragement!

3- Remember Medical Studies based on Group Not Individual Results

Medical studies citing the risk factors for pregnant women over 35 and 40 are based on the results of midlife pregnant women when studied as a group. The studies are not based on your individual health history. The truth is any pregnant woman of any age may experience high blood pressure, diabetes, cesarean birth and chromosomal defects.

According to Dr. Glade B. Curtis, author of Your Pregnancy After 35,  today, many healthcare professionals gauge pregnancy risk by a pregnant woman health status not her age.

4- Follow Doctor’s Orders

Make every effort to follow the advice of your doctor which should include getting plenty of rest, eating healthy, refraining from smoking, drinking alcohol, and taking anything that is toxic to your body or your unborn child.

5- Embrace Mental and Spiritual Health

“People run their mouth” is one of my husband’s favorite sayings, which means everyone has an opinion. Opinions are not necessarily truth.

When well-meaning folks cite how old you will be when your baby enters first grade or goes to college, ask them how old you will be in the same length of time if you didn’t give birth. Hopefully, they’ll get the point. We grow older regardless if we pursue motherhood in our late 30s or 40s. Therefore, it’s important to make our lives count by pursuing our goals. Personally, I believe the adage, “Your life is a gift from God, what you do with it is your gift back to Him.”

Special thanks to blog post sponsor Heaven Sent Infant Wear-Infant Wear with a Spiritual Reflection. They’re offering a free pair of Cozy Feet Crib Shoes with every purchase of $15 or more until August 31, 2017.

Tina Marie- Conceived Naturally 2 Babies After 40

By June 13, 2017 Blog, Featured Moms

Name: Tina Marie

Ages when you gave birth: 42 and 44

 State of residence: Arizona

Children:  Braylon, age 2 and Bryce- 3 months (Tina was pregnant with Bryce at the time of this interview.)

Current or former profession(s):  Actress, Events Manager, Nerium Consultant, Stay- At- Home Mommy

PREGNANCY

How long were you trying to get pregnant?

We weren’t trying either time. We were just enjoying life! We did not do any planning other than having a desire of our hearts.

 MEDICAL COMMUNITY

How supportive were your doctors during your pregnancy?

My doctor was very supportive, made me feel more comfortable and gave me hope when I was scared. This second time, I was shocked  when I found out I was pregnant.  I think the lady (doctor) seemed shocked as well!

What did you do to increase your chances of becoming pregnant a second time?

I never worked on increasing my chances except for prayer and taking prenatal pills after the first baby was born, while breastfeeding him.

Did you change doctors or would like to have changed doctors?

No, I kept the same one. I considered changing because my doctor was a part of a team and based on the day you deliver, my doctor may not have been available. The thought to switch occurred to me –a few times– just because I heard about another lady (doctor) who was so loving and I like that connection. Other than that, my doctor wanted me to have another baby right away. I laughed!

 FAMILY AND FRIENDS

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

Everyone was elated and some shocked. I recently shared on Facebook how I was overwhelmed by all the love and support from both near and far. My husband was definitely surprised and took some time to digest having another baby. I shared the news by giving him an empty can of Prego sauce with our names, Reg and Tina, on the outside of the can. Inside of the can was the picture of my 8 weeks ultrasound!

 LABOR AND DELIVERY

BB-FeaturedTina

What do you remember most about the birth experience?

With my first birth experience, I remember going shopping in Target. My hubby was in car. I needed to use the restroom because of a surprised mucous plug breaking. I thought something was wrong. I called the doctor. Then, we (hubby and I) went on about our day with some relief. I fit in shopping at Sephora and a Pregnancy Photo Shoot!

My check-up was scheduled for the following morning. I was going to have to be induced or I needed to be dilated. I started crying and we went straight to the hospital. The rest is history except towards the end when I was challenged to start pushing. We prayed and the doctor advised me that “this next push had to be like an Olympic runner or we would have do alternative,” meaning a C- section.

I said to my husband and sisters, “Cheer me on guys!” My doctor said okay and brought the forceps team in. I was finished after that big strong push!

With my second birth experience, my doula was with my hubby Reggie and me. I believe having a doula made the experience even more joyful because Reggie was able to focus with me. My doula took pictures (of the birth).  She did things that I wasn’t able to do and see things I would not remember.  Reggie and my doula made my experience truly surreal and amazing.

I was checked in the hospital a week later (than my due date). I was in active labor for about 1 hour and 15 minutes. I was started on Pitocin when  I was at 4 cm. We had worship music playing.  We prayed as a team. My doula’s direction was so encouraging. The big surprise was when my contractions grew closer and closer, my doula told the nurse, without my knowing, that the doctor needed to come in. She told the nurse, “I do not want to have to deliver this baby.”

Even though the epidural was requested, the anesthesiologist was on his way but there was no turning back. I was unable to stop pushing. Our baby was ready.  I kept saying “where is the epidural.”

They said, “It’s showtime! He is coming out!”  At 12:54 PM, I gave a half a dozen pushes and our Lil Angel came out healthy and natural. Au natural! I couldn’t believe it! There was no way I thought I could endure this pain, but God knew.

We were blessed with a baby boy named Bryce, weighing  7.10 pounds and 21 inches.  For this I am truly grateful!

We stayed in the hospital a couple of days to recuperate and enjoy time alone before returning home. Hubby and big brother Braylon even stayed which made it one big slumber party and celebration of our 2nd little prince!

 I AM MOM

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

The most that concerns me is being there to support my children later in their years. I believe it’s important to take care of myself and stay in shape. I want to live long with a youthful and healthy body, mind, and soul for my children. Anything is possible just depends on how you feel!

What do you enjoy most about being an older mom?

I enjoy having more quality time to give my sons and living in a season where I am more mature. The quality time I have and the desire to raise another person is awesome.

How has becoming a mom changed you?

I definitely have a new compassion for children. Because of the responsibility God has given me to raise strong children with a passion for life, I am less selfish and I give unconditional love to my children that I can see grow up in His likeness.  I am more settled and desire to play more,too.

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

IMG_3929Be available, stay healthy, and have a heart of compassion to live life to the fullest. We are as old as we feel! Don’t act your age in all ways, only use wisdom with a youthful attitude. Be present and communicate your needs clearly.

Never give up! Life is precious.  Eat well, pray, have a support group, and get involved with other like- minded moms. Never give up because life is precious as gold and silver.  (Special thanks to this month’s blog post sponsor Heaven Sent Infant Wear-Infant Wear With A Spiritual Reflection)

 

Susan of New Jersey Becomes First Time Mom at 41

By May 12, 2017 Blog, Featured Moms

Name: Susan

Age when you gave birth: 41

State of residence: New Jersey

Child’s name: Chad

Current or former profession: Social Worker

PREGNANCY

How long were you trying to get pregnant?

We were trying to get pregnant for about 8 months and we got pregnant naturally in March 2010. Unfortunately, that pregnancy ended in a miscarriage at 10 weeks. We began trying again in the Fall of 2010 and conceived our son in July 2011.

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

Initially, when we were first trying to conceive (when I was 39), we didn’t do anything. Then we began to do BBT charting, ovulation kits and all that goes along with trying to conceive naturally. That is when we conceived the first time. After the miscarriage, we started out pretty much the same. Neither one of us was chomping at the bit to pursue the medical route to conceiving but it became clear to us that if we wanted to be parents, we needed to at least explore all of the available options.

So in April of  2011, we began looking into adoption. We were (and still are) interested in welcoming a child from the foster care system into our family. My husband has always wanted to adopt. I can’t say it’s something I always wanted to do, but I am certainly open to it; especially given all of the children that languish in the foster care system without ever knowing the love and nurturing of a family. It wasn’t about us having a biological child, necessarily. It was about sharing the love we had in our hearts with a child who really needed it.

We also decided to get information about where we were medically, too. In May of 2011, we decided to see a reproductive endocrinologist (RE) to get the preliminary testing. My husband had a semen analysis and I had my hormones tested and a hysterosalpingogram.

My husband’s sperm count was normal and my tests were normal for “my age.” We were given the “unexplained infertility” diagnosis that is both hopeful and infuriating!! The RE did not feel we needed to do anything aggressive because I did not have any barriers truly preventing me from becoming pregnant. We were presented with the option of doing rounds of Clomid with an intrauterine insemination. I should pause here to say that my husband and I are people with a strong Christian faith. We’d always believed that if the Lord wanted to bless us with a family, He would do so in His way and in His timing. This we were clear on.

Venturing into the realm of medically assisted conception was concerning for us because we wanted to be careful not to tread in His territory, so­ to ­speak. After much prayer and seeking godly counsel, we came to the conclusion that our inability to conceive was a medical issue, just like diabetes or asthma (conditions my husband and I have, respectively). We seek available treatment for that to live healthy lives. That is how we believe God provides treatment/healing ­­ through the knowledge and wisdom He gives medical personnel. So we felt comfortable with this level of treatment to address our inability to conceive. And the bottom line to us was that if it wasn’t His will, no amount of treatment would allow us to conceive. So we went forward and conceived our son on the first round of treatment. Our RE marveled  because he said that it was exceedingly rare.

MEDICAL COMMUNITY

 

How supportive were your doctors during your pregnancy?

That was truly a mixed bag. I felt decidedly unsupported during my first regular OB visit. My OB is a no­nonsense, blunt kind of doctor, something I was not particularly appreciative of during my first OB visit, after a miscarriage, and being of “advanced maternal age.” I was expecting her to congratulate me and to be excited with me. Instead, she let me know that because of my age I had a 50% chance of miscarrying during the first trimester and I had an increased chance of having a child with a birth defect because I was 40. She was appalled that my husband and I were opting not to have any invasive testing done. She related a story of how one of her patients “foolishly” didn’t have testing and was devastated when her child was born with Down Syndrome.

I explained to her that my husband and I were committed to this pregnancy no matter. The testing would only serve to add additional anxiety. I wanted to enjoy my pregnancy and I didn’t want to risk, however small, an invasive test that could cause a miscarriage. After my first appointment, I literally cried in the parking lot!

On the other hand, I absolutely LOVED my perinatalogist. He was a kind, older OB who was very experienced with older moms. He made my pregnancy seem like the most natural thing in the world despite being a doctor that specializes in high ­risk pregnancies. He was so encouraging and reassuring. And most importantly, he respected our decision to not do any invasive tests.

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

I came very close to changing OB’s. I attempted to make an appointment with an OB that a doctor friend recommended but I would have been 16 weeks along before she could see me. So I decided to stay with the practice I was already with. I reasoned that I only had a 25% chance of delivering with the OB I had a negative experience with and I liked the other OB’s and NP’s in the practice. As the months passed, I realized I needed to at least see this other “dreaded” OB to get to know her in case she did end up delivering our baby.

As I got to know her, I actually grew to appreciate her forthrightness. I found her to be much more confident and accurate in her assessments than the other OB’s. I truly trusted her competency. I wouldn’t choose her to be my friend but I did choose her to deliver my baby when I found out I had to have a scheduled c-­section!

FAMILY AND FRIENDS

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

Overjoyed!! Everyone was supportive, excited, and hopeful!

LABOR AND DELIVERY

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

We opted to take childbirth classes because at the time, I didn’t know if I would have natural childbirth or have an epidural. We felt that even if we decided to go with an epidural, the breathing techniques would be helpful to cope with labor. Little did we know we wouldn’t need it at all!

At 36 weeks I was informed that my little sweet pea (as we called him) was more like a lima bean and that I would need to have a C-­section. They estimated that he was at least 9 pounds and could be anywhere up to 11. Since I’d never given birth before, they had some major concerns about shoulder dystocia. I delivered my son via planned C-­section 5 days before his official due date. He weighed 9.5 lbs.

What do you remember most about the birth experience?

Two things: It was (and still is) mind boggling. It truly is a miracle of God. One moment your child is inside of you. He is more of a notion than a reality. The next moment you have this living, breathing person in front of you.. The other is that it’s weird not knowing what labor or contractions feel like. After 9 months of waiting, I didn’t have to (get to) experience what is usually the culmination of pregnancy. I’m not complaining. It’s just weird.

I AM MOM

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

Living long enough to see my son grow up and have his own family is a great concern to me. I address it by taking care of the things that are within my control. I am trying to lose weight, exercise and eat healthier. The rest of it is in God’s hands!

What do you enjoy most about being an older mom?

Having never been a younger mom, it’s difficult to know how it’s different but I think that I am wiser (or at least I hope so). I don’t feel like I’m missing anything as a younger woman might think. I think having experienced infertility and a loss has more of an impact on my enjoyment in being a mother than my age. This is something I longed for. That longing has been fulfilled and I am enjoying being a mom way more than I could have dreamed or imagined. It truly brings me joy. I am grateful every single day. I see my child as a blessing, not a burden.

How has becoming a mom changed you?

It has made me slow down and live in the moment more. There is no “rush, rush, rush” with a baby. I am less selfish.

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

Don’t focus on the increased odds of having a child with birth defects. At 40, your chances of having a baby with Down Syndrome goes from significantly less than 1 % to like 2%. Yes, but that still means that you have a 98% chance of having a baby without Down Syndrome. All negative statistics have a positive flip side. Focus on that!

 

Sheryl’s Over 40 Pregnancy and Birth Story

By March 20, 2017 Uncategorized
Name:  Sheryl Taylor

Age when you gave birth: 45 (just 5 days before 46th birthday)

State/Country of residence:  Georgia

Child’s name : Charlize Taylor (daughter)

Current or former profession(s):  Realtor, Bank Treasury Officer, currently a stay-at-home mom and blogger at happilyeverafterthesedays.com

PREGNANCY

How long were you trying to get pregnant?

We started when I was 42 and got pregnant within 3 months, but lost the pregnancy at 6 weeks in a miscarriage.  I had been using progesterone cream, but stopped when I read on the label to discontinue use if pregnant.  I realized after the fact, the immediate lowering of progesterone may have contributed to the miscarriage. Sadly, I was not educated about the matter before my miscarriage.  Then we tried naturally for 3 years before going to a fertility doctor.  He advised IVF and we got pregnant with the first transfer, so the total number of years of trying was about 3 1/2 years.

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

Everything I read recommended healthy eating, exercise and to try to lose weight, which I did.  I also turned to herbs, specific foods and supplements that are known to increase the chances of conception such as wheatgrass, progesterone cream, and lots of avocado.  I also received acupuncture, which made me feel great.

My acupuncturist is actually who finally convinced me to visit a fertility clinic.  She was not pushy about it. Her supportive and calm nature is what helped me to be open to what they had to say.  She also shared her faith with me in the same non-aggressive manner and this helped me to have faith as well.

Even after we decided to use a fertility doctor for IVF treatment, I continued to see the acupuncturist.  She did a treatment right after my IVF transfer.  I really think it contributed to our conception at the first IVF treatment.  I’ve read many stories of women who tried multiple IVF treatments before conceiving or who never conceived from the treatments at all.

SUPPORT

Medical Community  

How supportive were your doctors during your pregnancy?  

During my first pregnancy that ended in miscarriage, I didn’t feel the first doctor was supportive.  She was a young doctor who took over my old OB/GYN’s practice when he retired.  We had not know each other long when I told her about our plans to get pregnant at 42.  She highly discouraged it at my “advanced maternal age”.  She did send me to a high risk doctor for a consultation, where he tried to scare me with very negative statistics about older mothers and birth defects.

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

After the miscarriage, I researched OB/GYNs in my area and found one who stated in her bio that she worked with mothers of advanced maternal age. In fact, she had her daughter when she was over 40.  She was very supportive during our initial consultion as well as through out my pregnancy.  However, she was strict with me and always very honest, even if I didn’t want to hear what she had to say.  I appreciated her compassion, straightforwardness and professionalism.  It greatly contributed to us finally having a healthy, happy child.

Family and Friends

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

We told a few family members and friends when we decided to try IVF as a way to get pregnant.  Their reactions were a mix of being concerned, some supportiveness and some not-so-supportiveness.

My youngest stepdaughter lived with us at the time. I told her about her father and my plans to try to conceive.  The progesterone shots made me very emotional and I thought she might need to know in order to understand my crankiness.  She shared the information with her older sister who lived with their mom in another state.  She wrote her dad a letter expressing her feelings and how he would be a grandfather in a few years.  However, she wasn’t the only family member or friend who shared that they felt we were too old to have a baby.

Once everyone saw that I made it through the pregnancy and delivery just fine, they only expressed support.  The older daughters love their little sister and she adores them as well.

Labor and Delivery

What do you remember most about the birth experience?

My doctor induced me a week early because my liver enzymes was a little high.  I also developed gestational diabetes during the 7th month of pregnancy.  My doctor put me on bed rest for the remainder of the pregnancy due to the high level of stress in my then-sales’ job.

I remember everything feeling so surreal.  After all of these years, I was going to have a baby!  I was going to have a baby.  My childhood dream was finally coming true!

There are no words to truly describe how I felt when they laid my beautiful baby girl on my chest.  I was finally a mom!

I AM MOM

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

My husband and I both have the same main concern that most all older parents have.  Will we be around long enough?  Will we be here for her well into her adulthood?

We both address any life concerns with praying, educating ourselves, and talking it through with each other as well as others who might be familiar with the situation.  We’ve not only worked on our child having a relationship with all of our family members, but also our extended family such as her God parents, other church friends and even our neighbors who have children.

We have a very detailed will written which outlines who will take care of our child if anything happens to us.  My husband and I try to eat healthy as well as get exercise individually and as a family.  Last, but not least, we teach our child about our faith, our values, and our love so she has a foundation to stand upon independently, if we are not around long enough.

What do you enjoy most about being an older mom?

I definitely enjoy being in a place financially that I can stay at home with our daughter.  If I had her in my younger years, I wouldn’t be in a position to stay home with her.  Also, even if I still worked,  I would still appreciate being a mom more than when I was younger.  I don’t sweat the small stuff as much as I did when I was younger.  I’ve learned if I need to leave dirty dishes in the sink so I can play with our daughter, the dishes will still be there in the morning.

How has becoming a mom changed you?

I am no longer a perfectionist when it comes to having a spotless house.  As I mentioned earlier, I’ve learned not to stress as much about daily tasks.

I’ve also learned not to be as judgmental of others.  Before I was a mom, I didn’t understand why my friends who were moms couldn’t “get everything done” for the day.  I didn’t think about that a mom has to deal with unscheduled things like a toddler tantrum, a scraped knee, or spilled juice on the floor you just mopped.

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

My personal experience of having a child after 35 wasn’t really a choice.  Or maybe it was?  I married at 20 years old the first time and then divorced him when I turned 33.  I dated, but didn’t choose to remarry until a few months after my 40th birthday.

I just didn’t feel it would be in a child’s best interest to bring them into the life I could offer until I married my husband.  I was able to see the father he already was to his older two daughters.  I finally felt comfortable having a child with someone.

My advice would be, if you want children and are in the right situation, go ahead and have them while you are younger.  If you find yourself already 35 or older and want children, make it happen.  Everyone’s journey to parenthood is different.  Be open-minded.

I’ve known friends over 35 who only wanted to conceive under their own terms.  I’ve also know friends who have been open-minded enough to try herbs, acupuncture, and many other things that helped them to conceive naturally, in time.

Finally, I’ve also known friends who were open to medical help such as IUI or IVF (which we did and were successful).  Then, there are other friends who grew their family through adoption, sometimes adopting an infant, older child or sibling group.  Regardless of which path they chose, the ones who were open minded became parents, even if it wasn’t how they originally planned.

Additional comments?

God Bless and lots of baby dust to you!