Current Resident of: Arizona
Child name and age: Samara Rose – 11 months
What did you do or not do to increase your chances of getting pregnant after 35?
When you’re first trying, it’s so exciting and for some reason I expected to get pregnant immediately. I started out using the ovulation kits for the first three months. When that didn’t work I just decided to “relax” and go with the flow so to speak. After about 8 months I finally had a positive test result with an early pregnancy test. I was so excited, as well as nervous/scared and all the other emotions you get. Then a couple days later I had my cycle. So after a “chemical miscarriage” I decided I needed to put my mind on other things and try not to make getting pregnant my current life goal. Four months later Samara was conceived. Turns out her conception would have been New Years eve. I don’t know if that’s another popular conception day like Valentine’s day, but it worked and that’s all that matters.
Working in the health and beauty industry for over 20 years I have talked to numerous women trying to conceive and the pattern I always found was that as soon as they “quit trying”, or quit thinking about it that is, they would get pregnant. I really believe that there is a big link between emotional stress and conception. I plan on taking continuing education training on fertility massage and adding that service to my current practice.
How supportive were your doctors during your this pregnancy?
I actually saw my doctor before I even tried to get pregnant because I didn’t know if it was a smart thing to do or not. My doctor said she had patient that was young and unhealthy that had complications, and a patient in her late 40’s who was healthy and having a normal pregnancy. She said it really comes down to your overall health more than your age. So yes, she was very supportive.
Did you change doctors or would like to have changed doctors?
No, I was very happy with my doctor.
FAMILY AND FRIENDS
What was the reaction of friends and family when you told me about your pregnancy?
I was 39 when I got pregnant and no one knew we were trying except my managers at work. My mom passed on the previous year and I was so nervous to tell my brother and dad. I actually sent them a card. Even then I felt kind of silly being my age and still afraid of delivering such news. My parents didn’t enjoy raising children as much as some parents, and the news was more of something to accept than to be happy about. Since then my dad has come to visit and of course he worries about her as much as I do.
LABOR AND DELIVERY
Did you take any childbirth classes? Why or why not?
I didn’t take childbirth classes. Honestly, I have never been a group class sort of person. The idea of going to class with a bunch of strangers to pretend to be in labor was not appealing to me. I bought a dvd called live laugh and learn about childbirth and I felt it was very informative.
Where did you give birth and what do you remember most about the birth experience?
Samara was breech so we were waiting to see if she would turn. I found out 3 weeks before my due date that I had almost no amniotic fluid and I also was showing calcification on the placenta. My doctor said that is something you usually see when someone is overdue, it’s aging of the placenta. So I was admitted for a c-section 12 days early. At first I felt like I was getting robbed of the birthing experience, but the convenience of knowing exactly when she was coming also took a lot of stress off my mind and allowed my dad to time his visit. The cesarean went great and I up and out shopping for a bassinet the next day.
I AM MOM
What concerns you most about being a mom over 35 and how do you compensate for this fear?
I was really fearful of having a child with autism, or some other abnormality. I just didn’t feel I had the patience for that sort of situation. I don’t know that there is any way to compensate for that other than faith and hope.
What do you enjoy about being an older mom?
While I cannot say that I’m always patient, or a super mom. I don’t think that I will ever be a super mom, however I can say that I am more patient than I would have been when I was younger. I waited because I didn’t want the responsibility, to make the sacrifices that parents make with their personal time, and I had things I wanted to do for myself. It seems common for young couples to mourn the freedom portion of their life, and I’m glad I don’t have to feel that way and I can just enjoy my daughter.
How has becoming a mom changed you?
The major change I notice is that I’m tired all the time. (chuckle) All mothers seem to say that at any age. I also find that I am much more emotional, and empathetic. When I see bad situations on the news where parents, children, family suffer a loss it has a greater impact on my heart. I used to hate to watch movies where animals were hurt, now I can add children to that list as well.
What advice do you have for women considering motherhood after 35?
I think you should take a good look at your life, health, your relationship, and all the changes that come with being a parent and simply decide if it’s a lifestyle change that you want to pursue. I think you have to realistically consider what you may do if things don’t go as planned and if you can, and how, you will handle a specific outcome.
It’s great to be hopeful that your child will be perfect, but I think you have to be aware that that may not happen. We thought Samara was perfectly healthy, and she may well be, but we will be going for testing in a couple weeks to check for seizures. She has already had good results from her EEG so we are hoping for the best.
As far as getting pregnant, try to relax and just enjoy trying!