State of residence: Colorado
Child’s name and age: Patricia, age 10
Current profession: Part-time professor and stay-at-home mom
Author of http://www.getpregnantover40.com
How long were you trying to get pregnant?
I got married when I was a month shy of my 37th birthday. We started trying to get pregnant about 6 months after we were married.
After a year of trying to conceive on our own with no success, we decided to pursue fertility treatments. We tried medications and inseminations with no success. Eventually we tried IVF. This was a big step for us because we are very financially conservative people. IVF success rates vary greatly and it really is quite a ‘gamble” to put so much of your hard-earned savings into something where there is no guarantee.
My first attempt at IVF resulted in a twin pregnancy, but tragically it ended in one ectopic (which resulted in the surgical removal of my left fallopian tube) and one intrauterine pregnancy that also miscarried. I was absolutely devastated.
After recovering from the surgery and the emotional shock of losing two pregnancies, we decided to try IVF one more time.
My second IVF resulted in a pregnancy which also miscarried. At this point, we decided we were through with Assisted Reproductive Technology and we wanted to get back to life that wasn’t controlled by doctor appointments. I was also very concerned with the number of drugs and hormones I was “pumping” into my system with fertility treatments.
What did you do or not do to increase your chances of getting pregnant after 40?
After completing fertility treatments, I was over 40 years old. It seemed that no matter where I went, or who I talked to I would hear yet another story of a woman conceiving naturally and having a successful pregnancy over 40. This gave me hope that I could still get pregnant and probably do it naturally.
I had done quite a bit of research on natural methods of enhancing fertility. My research led to a specific pregnancy protocol which prepared my body, changed my lifestyle, and cleared my mental roadblocks.
I got pregnant 4 times after embarking on my natural journey and as I got healthier and more hormonally balanced, I finally carried my last pregnancy to term without complications! I was 44 when I had my beautiful daughter who is perfect in every way.
Did you receive support from those around you?
I kept my struggle to get pregnant very private, so my main ‘infertility’ support was through a support group through my local infertility organization. After I had my daughter, I was very fortunate to have a mother and two sisters who live very close by. They love to see my daughter. They were there to baby-sit or just give me a break. My husband is also very supportive and pitches in with the car of our daughter.
I AM MOM
What concerns you most about being a mom over 35 and how do you compensate for this concern?
I do worry that as I get older, I might develop health problems that could impact my ability to care for my daughter. Because of this, I am more motivated than ever to stay healthy.
My ‘getting pregnant” protocol taught me a new way of eating and taking care of myself. It’s interesting that all the things that are good for fertility are also good ‘anti-aging’ strategies.
What do you enjoy most about being an older mom?
I enjoy everything! I have the ability to be a stay at home mom. I write and teach evenings part-time at a community college when my husband is home. I am savoring every moment with my daughter.
I know what a blessing and what a gift it is to have a child. I absolutely would not let someone else raise her! I have accomplished everything I wanted to do in my life, so I don’t have any ‘hidden agendas’ for my daughter. I’m not trying to live my dreams through her—it’s her life, and I’m behind her every step of the way.
How has becoming a mom changed you?
It has definitely changed my life, but for the better. I am the happiest I’ve ever been. It’s really fun to see the world from my daughter’s innocent perspective.
The biggest adjustment is that your time is not your own. Having lived “child-free” for so many years, I was used to doing whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. Now everything has to be planned out and my husband and I must schedule everything well in advance.
What advice do you have for women considering motherhood after 35?
You’re in good company! If you take good care of yourself, you have a very long life ahead of you. In terms of getting pregnant, especially over 40, there is quite a bit of discouraging information out there. I had to look past that. I really had to learn to trust my instincts which kept telling me to keep trying.
I did worry about whether or not I would have complications with my pregnancy (again because of all the negative information out here) but as it turned out, I had a totally normal pregnancy and delivery.
As far as being an older mom— it’s the best! I have so much more patience than I did when I was younger. I also have learned not to ‘sweat the small stuff’ and believe me, there’s a lot of ‘small stuff’ when it comes to raising children. I highly recommend older parenthood!